Author Topic: Give me your opinion on car troubles please  (Read 600 times)

Sibley

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Give me your opinion on car troubles please
« on: November 06, 2018, 09:45:37 AM »
Hello all, I'd like opinions.

Background:
2014 Ford Focus, 34k miles.
The transmission sucks - there have been multiple recalls, and several warranty repairs. Repairs have covered both the Transmission Control Module (TCM) and the actual transmission pieces. Don't know details, wouldn't understand them if I did.
This car has had trans problems since very early on. Mostly rough shifting, a bit of slipping in low gears. (Ford lost a class action lawsuit because of these transmissions.)

Current issue:
Friday, the trans slipped, badly. The car decelerated abruptly, in traffic, while trying accelerate up to about 50-60mph. Slip happened around 40ish. Luckily there was enough space behind me there wasn't an accident. This was not the engine.
Saturday trans was rough, but no slips.
Didn't drive Sunday.
Monday was fine.

Warranty status:
The TCM is covered. The rest of the transmission is out of warranty.

Repair options:
1. Dealership - is pretty crappy. Openly told me that I'm a 2nd class customer because I didn't buy the car there (um, I didn't live in this state, what do you expect?!?). I can take the car there and it'll take 3-4 days for them to look at it.
2. Independent place - recommended by car guy neighbor, he's been going there for years.

Problem:
I need to get this checked out, obviously. If it's the TCM, then I will bite the bullet and have the dealership fix it since it's under warranty. If it's not the TCM, then I would prefer to avoid the dealership.

So, do I take the car to the dealership, or the independent place?

(I don't want to replace it right now, my life is interesting enough, and I want things to become significantly more boring before I deal with car shopping. Plus, it's a really low interest rate loan so I've just been paying the minimum to optimize. Financially, replacing it doesn't make sense unless I'm looking at a 4k+ repair.)

LifeHappens

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Re: Give me your opinion on car troubles please
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2018, 09:50:02 AM »
If the dealership has already made it known they're not going to give you good service, what harm does it do to try the independent shop? Fords are not exotic and that transmission issue is well known. Any competent mechanic should be able to fix it.

Dr.Jeckyl

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Re: Give me your opinion on car troubles please
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2018, 11:18:21 AM »
That transmission kills the reliability ratings for the Focus. With the manual the Focus is a nice car, especially the Focus ST. But that's another story for another day. I would say it doesn't hurt to check out the independent mechanic. Typically an independent will be way cheaper than the dealer. Compare costs and explain to the independent that part of it would be covered under warranty so he only deals with the parts that aren't. With that low of miles, I'd try to get it fixed and see if I can hold on to it a while longer.

catccc

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Re: Give me your opinion on car troubles please
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2018, 11:19:06 AM »
IDK, it really sucks to have a newish low mileage car have such problems.

I'd first go to the dealership for the work under warranty.  Then if you still need work, go to the independent shop.

Is there another dealership you can go to for the repair under warranty?  Will they do a loaner for you?  I feel like if this is a recall issue, they should help you get by while it's in their shop. 

HawkeyeNFO

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Re: Give me your opinion on car troubles please
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2018, 07:23:23 AM »
Dealer is obligated to fix things under warranty, regardless of where you bought it.  You might have to call Dearborn HQ if they are giving you attitude locally.  Don't take it anywhere else, or you'll have to pay.

WSUCoug1994

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Re: Give me your opinion on car troubles please
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2018, 09:43:23 AM »
The value of car ownership to the dealer is not where you purchased it but where you have the car serviced.  Although I am sure they would have appreciated being a part of your financing, they make more money on service (from a profit/margin) standpoint than they typically do on a purchase.  I would be surprised if they really care that you didn't buy the car there.  I believe they get paid less for warranty work but they still get paid.

Sibley

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Re: Give me your opinion on car troubles please
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2018, 06:32:30 PM »
Hi all, I'm back. Got busy IRL!

Yes, the service guy said, and I quote "We give priority to people who bought the vehicle here". Which makes me second class. This dealership also works solely on a first come, first served basis. There's no appointments, for anything. I don't like them much.

There are other dealerships, but significantly farther away. Loaner cars are rare in my region, so I'll be renting a car for however long repairs take.

Warranty would only apply if the problem is the computer, not the physical transmission. Are their sites/forums that could tell me which it's more likely to be? (Not something I'm hooked into!)

TomTX

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Re: Give me your opinion on car troubles please
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2018, 04:16:35 PM »
Hello all, I'd like opinions.

Background:
2014 Ford Focus, 34k miles.
The transmission sucks - there have been multiple recalls, and several warranty repairs. Repairs have covered both the Transmission Control Module (TCM) and the actual transmission pieces. Don't know details, wouldn't understand them if I did.
This car has had trans problems since very early on. Mostly rough shifting, a bit of slipping in low gears. (Ford lost a class action lawsuit because of these transmissions.)

Current issue:
Friday, the trans slipped, badly. The car decelerated abruptly, in traffic, while trying accelerate up to about 50-60mph. Slip happened around 40ish. Luckily there was enough space behind me there wasn't an accident. This was not the engine.
Saturday trans was rough, but no slips.
Didn't drive Sunday.
Monday was fine.

Warranty status:
The TCM is covered. The rest of the transmission is out of warranty.


Focus has a 5 year/60k mile powertrain warranty. Transmission is part of the powertrain. It should be under warranty, unless you bought the new model year by November 2013. Even so, I would argue that the transmission already failed under warranty and they just haven't fixed it properly yet.

Frankly after all this bull, you should be getting a fully new replacement transmission for free. If the dealership doesn't want to do it, take it up with corporate and keep pushing.

Edit: Ford apparently extended the transmission warranty to 7 years/100k miles (based on a quick Google search) http://fordfocustransmissionwarrantyextension.com/
https://www.reddit.com/r/FordFocus/comments/6snolu/2014_ford_focus_extended_warranty_on_the/
« Last Edit: November 10, 2018, 05:12:48 PM by TomTX »

LorettaLynn

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Re: Give me your opinion on car troubles please
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2018, 05:47:56 PM »
My own local Ford dealership was unhelpful when my old Mustang had an intermittent starting issue and I was told by someone to take it to a shop with younger guys who have an affinity for the diagnostic chase.  When I walked in I was greeted by guys who looked like Buddy Holly and they fixed my issue very reasonably in less than 48 hours.  The ford delearship did not appreciate the fact that I did not want to be stranded someplace with a non starting car.  Havenít been back there since.

chasesfish

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Re: Give me your opinion on car troubles please
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2018, 07:12:49 PM »
Sibley - I'm going to double down on what @TomTX said.  I'd be beating the heck out Ford HQ about this.  This is a known issue, you have 34k on the car, they are obligated to make this right.  This is not a "you spend money" situation outside of dealing with the pain of a rental car.  New cars have 36/60k warranties for manufacturers defects.  Modern automatic transmissions don't have issues at 34k without it being a manufacturer defect.  (I bought my Honda new, its giving me some occasional "clunks" at 208k and it was manufactured in 2007). 

I'll repeat this again:  You are having a manufacturer's defect, you deserve to be treated with fairly.

The dealer is either an independently owned business or part of one of the national chains.  They don't make much on the actual warranty repair, but they have a franchise agreement with the manufacturer.  If you're not being treated well by the dealer, go to the manufacturer. 

Make sure you're documenting this if they continue not to be able to fix it.  Then its time for the manufacturer to buy your car back at a reasonable value.