Pow­er­shift prob­lem

Car Mechanics (UK) - - Help! -

In May 2013, I bought a new Fi­esta 1.6 Zetec fit­ted with a Pow­er­shift au­to­matic gear­box from Ford Re­tail. Very soon af­ter, I found that the car shud­dered around 2000rpm, mostly when ac­cel­er­at­ing through the lower gears. When I com­plained, Ford all but de­nied that the fault ex­isted, but even af­ter three vis­its to work­shops, the prob­lem re­mains. In Septem­ber 2016, Ford gave me an ex­tended war­ranty of five years or 100,000 miles, but this did lit­tle to ap­pease me.

Look­ing on the in­ter­net, I note that there are hun­dreds of com­plaints sim­i­lar to mine in Amer­ica, Aus­tralia and Canada. In many cases, Ford has been taken to court. I find it odd that I can find very lit­tle ac­tion in the UK. I am anx­ious to know if the Fords in these coun­tries are fit­ted with a Pow­er­shift gear­box sim­i­lar to mine. Terry Moxon

The Pow­er­shift gear­box fit­ted to Amer­i­can, Cana­dian and Aus­tralian ve­hi­cles is the same as the one in your Fi­esta. The prob­lem of shud­der­ing you are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing is one that has been re­ported by many UK own­ers, with the worst af­fected ve­hi­cles seem­ingly those reg­is­tered in 2013. Ford did pub­lish two field ser­vice ac­tions re­gard­ing the prob­lem: 4W567 – DPS6/6DCT250 War­ranty Ex­ten­sion and 14M02 Trans­mis­sion Con­trol Mod­ule war­ranty ex­ten­sion.

The first ac­tion that should have been taken was to up­date the soft­ware to the trans­mis­sion con­trol mod­ule. If the fault was still present, then the clutch pack and oil seals in the gear­box should have been re­placed, as the clutches may have been con­tam­i­nated due to oil seal leaks.

It may help to have an un­der­stand­ing of how the Pow­er­shift gear­box works. It is sim­i­lar in de­sign to the VAG DSG gear­box, us­ing two sets of gears and two clutches. The gear­box se­lects the next gear that will be needed and, when re­quired, the clutches will dis­en­gage one gear train and con­nect the other. The idea is that, un­like a con­ven­tional au­to­matic, there is no fluid drive and con­se­quently no loss through the fluid drive, which gives a bet­ter mpg fig­ure from an au­to­matic. The soft­ware was mod­i­fied to en­sure a smoother change, but if the clutch plates are dam­aged or were dam­aged by in­cor­rect changes car­ried out by the soft­ware, the prob­lem will not be rec­ti­fied purely by a soft­ware up­date.

Hav­ing said all that, it sur­prises me that the Ford dealer has been os­trich­like about the prob­lem with your ve­hi­cle. The de­tails of the law­suit in the USA can be found at this web­site: http://bit.

ly/2tajw9h. It’s sur­pris­ing that sim­i­lar con­sumer ac­tion was not taken in the UK, al­though it has been men­tioned on UK Ford on­line fo­rums that con­tact­ing

BBC Watch­dog might be worth­while. If your dealer is still in de­nial, I would try go­ing di­rectly to Ford UK; their tele­phone num­ber is 020 3564 4444. Fail­ing any sat­is­fac­tion the next step is to con­tact www.the­mo­torom­buds­man.org. The Mo­tor Om­buds­man is a cer­ti­fied al­ter­na­tive dis­pute res­o­lu­tion provider who can as­sist with prob­lems that arise be­tween con­sumers and codeac­cred­ited busi­nesses such as Ford.

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