How to Fix Ford Focus Transmission Problems

The Ford Focus has a decent reputation as a relatively reliable, affordable, compact car. However, like so many other vehicles, the Focus has its share of problems, and many of them affect the transmission. Owners of 2012 to 2016 models, in particular, have reported weird sounds, random stalls, jerks, shudders, and more.

This guide will list some of the most common Ford Focus transmission problems and explore ways to fix them.



Out of the many Ford Focus transmission problems, this is one of the worst. Sometimes, the car will unexpectedly stall while being driven. For drivers, it can feel like their Focus has suddenly lost power, out of the blue. This often tends to happen when the car is running at relatively low speeds (20-30 mph) but can happen at faster speeds, too, and it puts drivers in some tricky situations.

For example, some users have reported random stalls when going down narrow, winding roads, or even on the freeway. This sudden loss of power can force them to quickly pull over in order to avoid a rear-end collision. In some cases, there isn’t anywhere safe to pull over nearby, forcing drivers to switch on their hazard lights and hope to avoid an accident.


A lot of Ford Focus owners have also reported that their vehicles shake and shudder while driving at low speeds. This may occur both while slowing down and while accelerating. It’s one of the most commonly reported transmission issues with the Ford Focus. It regularly leaves drivers feeling concerned that their car is about to stall, or that something is wrong under the hood.


Another transmission-related issue that owners may experience with the Ford Focus is hesitation. This is when the car feels a little sluggish, delayed, or slow to react when you press down on the gas pedal or switch gears. In most cases, this Ford Focus problem is down to issues with the transmission control module or contamination in the transmission fluid.

Grinding Sounds

It’s never pleasant when a car starts making weird sounds. Unfortunately for Focus owners, many have reported grinding noises during gear shifts. These noises are often accompanied by stiffness in the car as it shifts, and the sound tends to get worse while slowing down to make a turn or accelerating.

How to Fix Focus Transmission Problems

How to Fix Ford Focus Transmission Problems 1

Clearly, there are quite a few things that can go wrong with the Ford Focus transmission, and several of these issues are quite serious. It’s therefore recommended to take action right away if you notice something is wrong with your Ford Focus transmission and get it fixed. Unfortunately, transmission repairs aren’t usually DIY jobs.

The transmission is a very complex part of any vehicle. It requires specialized tools and skills to access and repair. Even jobs that seem reasonably simple, such as changing transmission fluid or replacing the filter, are much more complex than other car maintenance tasks, like changing your engine oil.

For this reason, the best course of action is to call on the services of a trusted mechanic or visit a Ford dealership. Expert technicians will be able to carry out multiple diagnostic tests to figure out what’s wrong with the car. Then, they’ll take the appropriate steps to fix it. Note that this may include entire transmission replacements or clutch replacements, both of which are quite costly.

What Causes Ford Focus Transmission Issues?

Ford is well aware of the transmission problems with the Focus. The company has openly admitted that these issues exist, and it even had to establish new customer service programs and extend warranties to help owners fix their transmissions.

In terms of the cause, there are several possible reasons why any transmission might fail or struggle. But, in the case of the Ford Focus, it’s mostly because of the specific type of transmission that Ford decided to install on these cars. Known as the DPS6 or PowerShift transmission system, it was fitted to both Ford Focus and Ford Fiesta models in the 2010s.

The precise problem with this system was eventually traced to the transmission control module that Ford was installing. The faulty module was discovered to be sending the wrong inputs to the transmission control unit, leading to many of the aforementioned issues, like shaking, stalling, and so on. Ford also found that a leaky seal within the transmission system could cause contamination in the clutch.


How reliable is the Ford Focus?

In general, the Ford Focus has been ranked as quite a reliable car by many experts. Some owners have been using their Focuses for years with minimal issues, but others have had much worse luck. In particular, owners of 2012-16 models tend to be most at risk of serious transmission issues.

How much can it cost to fix Ford Focus transmissions?

It depends on the age of the car and the level of work required, but the most serious jobs – like a full clutch replacement – can cost several thousand dollars.

Did Ford recall Ford Focus transmissions?

No, the company never issued a recall over the transmissions. However, it was taken to court in a class action lawsuit over the issue.

Seek Professional Assistance for Ford Focus Transmission Problems

So, if you’re the owner of a Ford Focus, particularly one released from 2012 to 2016, it’s important to watch out for these transmission problems. If you spot any warning signs or feel that something isn’t quite right, don’t delay. Seek out the services of trusted technicians in your area to get the problems fixed before they can get any worse.

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