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Ford PowerShift Transmission

2012 Focus Hatchback

2011 Fiesta Sedan
PowerShift is aimed at small vehicles like Focus

The U.S. government is getting more and more strict on vehicle fuel economy and it expects the major automakers to new regulations across their entire vehicle range. As fuel economy standards become more strict, the automakers are looking to new technologies to help improve fuel efficiency without sacrificing the performance that drivers expect from their machines.

Ford has already announced that one of the ways that it will seek to improve fuel economy is by moving to six-speed transmission across its entire fleet in the coming years. A perfect example of how Ford is using a six-speed automatic transmission to improve fuel economy is the 2011 Ford Mustang. Both the base level V6 and V8 GT models will get new six-speed transmissions in automatic and manual versions. The automatic six-speed provides better fuel economy that the manual transmission.

Ford has offered more details on a future automatic transmission that will find its way into the 2011 Ford Fiesta that was previewed in December 2009. The new transmission will also serve duty in the 2012 Ford Focus as well. The new transmission is called the PowerShift dual-clutch automatic and will help the Fiesta deliver up to 40 mpg on the highway with fully automatic shifting. The transmission is being built for Ford by Getrag Americas in Mexico. The plant that is building the new transmissions was built specifically for Ford and currently employs 200 workers with that number expected to double as production increases.

"We believe this new automatic transmission for the Fiesta will be the most advanced in the segment, offering far better performance than our competitors," said Piero Aversa, team leader for PowerShift development. "It's an advanced gearbox that reduces complexity, saves weight, increases responsiveness and performance – all while helping keep the engine in its peak efficiency mode – resulting in class-leading fuel economy."

The PowerShift transmission is based on manual transmission technology and eliminates the need for a torque converter, planetary gears, and fluid pumps found in typical automatic transmissions. The PowerShift uses a dual dry sump clutch system. The PowerShift has two clutches with one clutch working first, third, and fifth gears with the other clutch working second, fourth, and sixth gears. 

As gears shift, each clutch alternately shifts the gears as the other clutch is disengaged. Ford states that the design of the transmission is particularly well suited to small cars like the Fiesta and Focus.

"A dual dry-clutch transmission provides some real dividends on small car applications," said Aversa. "PowerShift with dry-clutch facings and new energy-saving electromechanical actuation for clutches and gear shifts saves weight, improves efficiency, increases smoothness, adds durability and is sealed with low-friction gear lubricant for the life of the vehicle. This transmission requires no regular maintenance."

Ford still states that it expects to offer six-speed transmissions across 85% of its vehicles for 2010 and by 2013, its entire range of vehicles will offer six-speed transmissions.

"Ford's advanced new six-speed automatic transmissions will really surprise our customers, and our competitors," said Barb Samardzich, vice president of Powertrain Development. "They provide the convenience of traditional automatics with fuel economy leadership, as well as responsive performance and driving dynamics that make these cars fun to drive. And we're adding six-speed transmissions to our most accessible vehicles, not just our luxury offerings and high-performance models."



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Could be worse...
By Iaiken on 3/29/2010 10:16:08 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
The transmission is being built for Ford by Getrag


I love my Getrag dual clutch automagic... I get all the performance of a manual including full control over up and down-shifts (like when going up/down a hill) with the convenience of a an automatic in traffic.

There seems to be a lot of "Holy crap! Ford did something right" going around.




RE: Could be worse...
By Spivonious on 3/29/2010 10:22:10 AM , Rating: 5
Ford's been doing something right for 10 years, it's just that no one noticed. When my '03 ZX3 finally gives out, I have no doubts that my next car will be a Ford. The '12 Focus is looking very attractive.


RE: Could be worse...
By Mitch101 on 3/29/2010 10:42:23 AM , Rating: 5
For me its the dealers that are screwing all the auto makers.

Its the biggest reason I haven't bought a new car and am driving my existing car still. I can afford to buy a new car and want to but dealers are the reason I haven't.

Last year I was completely put off by the poor attitudes and con artist style sales tactics by dealerships that I just walked away and eventually just gave up and had my car fixed.

If they dont fix the auto dealers then the whole auto industry can go F itself I'll just keep fixing up my car.


RE: Could be worse...
By dubyadubya on 3/29/2010 11:09:44 AM , Rating: 1
Your just looking at it backwards. Would you rather have a set price you must pay? no wiggle room. Do your home work on the cars you want with the options you want. Once you know true dealer cost when you walk in you are in control not them.

Dealers get a kickback every quarter equal to 3-5% of the cost of the car. Depends on the dealers sales volume.
So car A lists at $20K
Dealer payed $17K less 5% kickback so $16150.
Figure you should only pay 3-5% over true dealer cost.
So you pay $16150 plus 5% 16957.50
If there are any rebates or incentives deduct it from
$16957.50. If the dealer does not want to do it walk out.
9 out of 10 times they will chase you anyway. The only time you may need to pay more is if the car has a huge demand and are in limited supply.

The above figures are only a guide so take them with a grain of salt. Remember you are in charge!


RE: Could be worse...
By Mitch101 on 3/29/2010 11:44:50 AM , Rating: 5
Been through all of that and more. I would rather have a set price instead of wasting time at a dealer negotiating only to get to the paperwork and have to second negotiate how they markup the additional fees.

First your playing good cop bad cop with the sales person and the manager as the sales person pretends to be on your side, then they try picking your brain on what you want to pay per month scam and you deny that, They try the BS butter up on you telling you how smart a consumer you are, then your denying paying $200.00 on scotchguard when you cant verify it and can do it yourself for $20.00, The exact car and color you want is never on the lot with your options so your being upselled to get a package you dont want if you want the car today as the dealer never has certain cars on the lot because again packages are upsells, and when you think your done your not now your negotiating with financing because they try and tell you the bank is offering you a whole percent above what it should be you send them back a few times because you already know your credit rating they exit and leave the room a few times till guess what you get the rate you should have the first time they just tried making a little more off you, now you bring up rebates and incentives and they wont tell you about all of them you have to know them all but your still not done now its off to someone trying to sell you the extended warranty for $800.00 when it costs the dealer $200.00 and the other last minute fees they hope you will just sign at the bottom line because once you sign they have you.

If you bring a friend or spouse look for the I will let you talk it over while I leave the room scam. Look at their phone and you will see some have put it on speaker and listen to you in the next room.

The whole process has easily 10 different levels they can markup the cost and the whole process is meant to wear you down until you aren't looking at the print and give away a few extra hundred or more because your looking to get out the door by then.

I dated a girl who did the titling on cars and she used to tell me all the scams they pull on people.

If only Walmart sold cars.

If you get out of the dealership in under 3-4 hours you've been ripped off somewhere.


RE: Could be worse...
By Taft12 on 3/29/2010 12:58:23 PM , Rating: 2
Agree with everything you say.

In Canada, there is a non-profit organization called the APA that can provide you with dealer invoice costs and fees, and can provide a pre-negotiated price with a dealer with minimal markup. The service costs $50.

Is there something like this available in the USA?


RE: Could be worse...
By Spuke on 3/29/2010 1:03:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Is there something like this available in the USA?
No but there are books you can buy that have this info.


RE: Could be worse...
By Desslok on 3/29/2010 2:13:56 PM , Rating: 5
Come on guys, Edmunds.com has the invoices.


RE: Could be worse...
By The0ne on 3/29/2010 3:27:53 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, they do. One should use it too :) Then again, even with the info there will always be dealerships and salespeople that will try to screw you over for that last penny. One my car, the finance guy hid price of the power coated wheels with the whole price instead of just a service charge afterward. I didn't notice this until it was too late unfortunately. So now, I'm paying interest for the service for 5 years :)


RE: Could be worse...
By Mojo the Monkey on 3/29/2010 7:41:45 PM , Rating: 5
Exactly. I used that information and got everything I wanted when I went it for my car.

I've purchased 2 cars within the last 20 months, and although I got the same result with both (first one was HARD negotiating for 3 hours), I reached my desired result by going in and saying "Hey, dont jerk me around. My credit is excellent. I know what the car is worth. I want to pay X. I want a 0% APR. I will not pay for any other special option you claim you upgraded here on the lot. $XX means $XX, and if you want my business, you can come back and let me know that number and only that number works for you guys. If I don't hear a 'yes,' I'm leaving."


RE: Could be worse...
By bhieb on 3/29/2010 2:27:19 PM , Rating: 4
Another popular option I've found is to do it over email. Submit a quote request of exactly what you want online, and specify that you will only communicate in email (give a bogus tel# even if you want). If they don't like it move to the next dealer on the list.

Don't get me wrong they will try the same crap, but it is very easy to walk away via email. And let them know up front that you are shopping other dealers, that will keep your response times higher. Had a friend do that with 3 local dealers and she took the best deal, walked in and the paperwork was ready.

Also it allows you to be flexible with your time since they are not finding your car as you sit. They may not have your exact car in stock, but they can usually get it if you allow them time to do so. Going into the dealer, and doing it all at once really is asking a lot. This is not a bottle of ketchup at Wal-mart there are dozens if not hundreds of option combinations. That is why I find submitting it online helps, since it already has all the correct OEM codes. Either they have it, can get it, or don't.

You may still have some issues with the finance guy, but at least the exact car, and the amount financed is completely hashed out. If you show up and they even mention any other "fees", just walk. And some will even work out your financing via email as well. Show up and if it does not all match up walk out, simple as that. When they try to "ask their manager" simply tell them to email you another closing date when it will be done right and leave. Don't even give them the chance to keep you there. You come in ONLY to sign and drive off nothing more.


RE: Could be worse...
By Mitch101 on 3/29/2010 3:39:49 PM , Rating: 3
I did this as well with about 18 dealers on 3 car models I was interested in and all but two would supply a price quote. All of the others stated I needed to come into the dealership. Umm whats the purpose of e-mail quote if you dont supply a quote and say I need to come into the dealership? I get it leads they turned e-mail quote into them getting leads not what it was intended to do. Actually it is what they intended it to do but not to me.

Then I got the e-mail upsell from them. Most replied that they dont have what Im looking for in stock but they kept offering me cars with the sunroof option package which was a $2500 option I had no interest in. Basically as I recall that option is for a sunroof, different rims, some better floormats - something like that. Stuff that is worthless to resale value. Its obviously a model that allows them some nice markup and they had a number on thier lot but nothing I was interested in. I found myself haggling through e-mail that I wasn't interested in a sunroof package so what do they do start offering me the sport editions or telling me how they can offer me a great deal on the sunroof model or sport edition. Im not interested in a sporty decals, bigger engine to burn more gas, and a spoiler on a car that will never reach speeds to own a spoiler. YOU WANT TO SELL A CAR THEN LOOK UP WHAT I WANT NOT WHAT YOU THINK I SHOULD BUY! It was just the same BS without quotes but through e-mail. I just started telling them to stop e-mailing me.

The dealers have made buying a car impossible. I'm currently going through this BS on a Ford Fusion so if Ford falls short of sales you have your dealerships to blame.


RE: Could be worse...
By tastyratz on 3/29/2010 3:09:15 PM , Rating: 3
sounds like a pretty scummy dealership. Not all dealerships are like that.

That man spoke the truth - the fact is you can buy it for far less than you ever would get if the sticker was all the same. We see how well fixed pricing worked for Saturn. You think you would get dealer end cost +5% on fixed pricing? dream on.

The reality is people need to haggle for their cars so they feel like they are getting a steal on a major purchase usually only second to a mortgage or previous vehicle.
Negotiating gives the consumer the power to control the deal even if they aren't all savy enough to get that great price.


RE: Could be worse...
By Mitch101 on 3/29/2010 4:00:12 PM , Rating: 3
1 in 20 but then its probably the sales person you get and that persons quota.

But thats what the dealerships or sales person wants you to believe is that you got a deal. They want you to walk out the door thinking you got over on them. Im all for dealerships making money but after dating someone who worked in one I can tell you they are making a hell of a lot more money than people think. My wife taught preschool to a pair of kids of an car dealership owner and its not an overly big dealership. They were taking their kids to Disney on their personal Jet which they do twice a year. Nothing wrong with that but its an eye opener to how much money they make. My ex girlfriend would tell me about deals they made on people where in one case they made 11K from the transaction when all is said and done. They make good money on your trade in as well selling them to used car lots if they dont want them for themselves. The house always wins.


RE: Could be worse...
By tastyratz on 3/29/2010 4:45:58 PM , Rating: 3
I actually worked at a dealer 5 years ago for a few months before deciding it wasn't for me (ironically the only opening was a ford dealer). These things really do vary dealer to dealer. I disagree on the trade in value - unless they are going to sell it on the lot your trade in will generally net less at an auction house than they actually give you for it. Ever been to an auto auction? Cars sell there for peanuts. Only time the house wins on a trade in is if they can resell on their lot for your trade in value + markup.

There is x profit to be made - and you are either going to get the car cheaper or more for your trade in but the numbers end up the same behind the scenes... depends on what the person buying seems to be looking for.

When we sold a car we were given a very small percentage if it sold over invoice, if it sold under invoice we were given what they called a "mini" - we were paid a flat fee based on car value (all in all about $150) by the time we finished with you for x hours, did the rest of the paperwork for the transaction after you left... took the car to the detailer - then the wash - then filled up on the gas card etc... we mighta made 10 bux an hour for that time while making 0 money at times nothing is sold. the job sucked.

Even still from a salesman perspective the commission was far less overall than they led us to believe, and if you wanted to make money you worked looooong hours.

From the owners and management point up? they probably made a lot of money. 11k sounds more like the profit on a luxury or higher end class vehicle - its possible but certainly not everyday.

Private jet? I think that might be taking it far for your standard dealership owner... maybe multilot or 100+ stock car dealers but below that I would be less likely to believe what a preschooler has an impression of...
Of course I am sure this is also during the times when the economy was better than it is - poll that person now and I am sure they don have nearly as much as they used to.


RE: Could be worse...
By Mitch101 on 3/29/2010 8:00:58 PM , Rating: 2
Its not from the kids mouth but from someone we know who is going with them. They were flying down and taking another family. This is a Chevy dealer. Yes over 100+ cars.

As for car salesman a good rookie is likely to make 50K and My ex would tell me how the more senior car sales people would complain they only made 100k in the year and how horrible a year it was. This was a Ford/Lincoln/Mercury dealer. If the car salesman were making 100K they definitely made the owner more.

The 11k transaction they made was someone who traded in their corvette to purchase a bronco I believe. Between the corvette and the bronco they made 11K on the transaction. Money made on the bronco, loan, and trade-in.

Interesting that your place sent used cars to an auction house. This particular dealer sold them to the local used car lots around his. She would tell me how they would call the used lot and sell the car to them for a few hundred over what they gave as a trade in. If they hated the car and wanted it off the lot immediately they would mark it up maybe $100.00 or nothing just to get it off the lot. Trade in value is much less than what a car can be sold for. In that case everybody wins except the consumer because most people wont sell their car outright. One dealer would supply several local used car lots with vehicles. Its possible what they didnt sell to the local shops went to the auction house but I dont recall ever hearing that.


RE: Could be worse...
By Nik00117 on 3/30/2010 9:08:04 AM , Rating: 2
At the dealership I work with when you come in and buy a car there will be no finance guy, or manager your dealing with.

There is one sales person who handles the entire process for you, and an hour? That's too long to do a deal I generally need 30-45 minutes for all the p/w.

The price? We have speacil pricing (which is below MSRP) on all our vehichles, then we give you the rebates/discounts which you qualify. Generally the price is very attractive.

No hassle, no BS, straight up.

My dealership does extremely well with this business model. And because we sell so many units we can afford to make very little on each car. Because we sell hundreds a day.


RE: Could be worse...
By compy386 on 3/30/2010 8:54:47 AM , Rating: 2
If you're interested in a Ford you can always get an X-Plan pin online. Set price based on invoice. They can't charge you an interest rate above the one set by Ford Credit. The only thing is they can still try to sell you a warranty or service plan. My last car purchase was under an employee pin plan and it was the best experience I had. In and out in 2 hours which is not bad when it comes to buying a car. No negotiation, do dealings. I did walk away with a service plan but it was $300 for 3 years of all inclusive maintenance. No additional warranties.


RE: Could be worse...
By lcbrownz on 4/4/2010 9:12:06 AM , Rating: 2
I purchased my Mustang on Ford's X-plan and the dealer only made about $250.00 (transporting the car from New Jersey to Virginia) on the deal. The price was about 5% under dealer's invoice. The salesman didn't even make a commission on it.

About the pin number, the dealership will verify the pin number you give them with Ford x-plan partner that is issued to and verify that you are an employee of that partner. No verification, no sale. On the x-plan, there is no dealership's administration fee ($199-$399) added to each transaction.


RE: Could be worse...
By callmeroy on 3/31/2010 12:41:57 PM , Rating: 2
I'm a car dealers worse nightmare...

In my normal day to day life I think I'm a pretty nice guy, but I "intentionally" go into prick mode when I go to buy a car.

Its you give me what I want for my budget(*) or I walk. Period. End of Story...take your long sales pitches and shove them up your arse...etc.

(my dad often goes with me when i'm looking at a car, I think he gets some entertainment out of how I deal with the car dealerships)

*-- I'm not unfair...I can get away with being a no-nonsense prick with dealers because I research the crap out of the car I'm interested in before I go...I research the prices from dealers all over the place. I know what is a rip off or a decent deal. I know my credit history, I use finance calculators to estimate payments, etc.

So in short your best weapon against a dealer....information.


RE: Could be worse...
By thurston on 3/29/2010 4:17:26 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Would you rather have a set price you must pay?


Yes


RE: Could be worse...
By Spuke on 3/29/2010 4:59:02 PM , Rating: 2
You can go to the set price dealer then, I'll control my own destiny thank you. BTW, I don't waste time with excessive haggling. My wife will NOT spend more than an 1.5 hours MAX at a dealership. I tell them right when I walk in the door that she will only wait an hour. We've walked out MANY times. Interestingly, the one's wanting to make a sale get it done in that timeframe.

I have also used email to buy cars and bought four cars that way. I have found that I tend to have an easier time getting the price I want via email. Again, I have my wife mention that she will only spend ONE hour max at the dealer when we come to pick up the car. If it's not ready in an hour, then there is no deal. The cars have always been ready to go and we'll usually try their financing within that time to get another 1% off our interest rate. We ALWAYS bring our own financing or cash.


RE: Could be worse...
By fcx56 on 3/30/2010 1:42:11 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly! No wonder all the horror stories posted in these comments, they start off about right but then move on to rant about financing.. If you're going in without cash or previously securing your own financing they know they've got you by the balls. The only way to win is to know what you can spend and walk in telling them that for X amount you'll leave with a car and they'll have the cash in their hands that day.


RE: Could be worse...
By Spuke on 3/30/2010 12:35:10 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
No wonder all the horror stories posted in these comments, they start off about right but then move on to rant about financing
You save soooooo much BS when you have money already. People do the same thing when they "buy" homes. They go find the house first then go apply for a mortgage. They have NO idea how much they can qualify for! LOL!


RE: Could be worse...
By epobirs on 3/30/2010 11:31:07 AM , Rating: 2
How soon they forget...

One of the original selling points on the Saturn brand was the no-nonsense pricing. What it said on the sticker is what it took to drive away in that car. No screwing around.

My father was in the car business for a long time and hated the con artist approach to sales. He would have been intrigued by the Saturn policy if he'd lived to see it.


RE: Could be worse...
By plowak on 3/31/2010 5:12:49 PM , Rating: 2
"...and am driving my existing car still."

You mean some may be driving a non-existing car?

</shudder>


RE: Could be worse...
By omnicronx on 3/29/2010 11:47:03 AM , Rating: 3
I was just about to say the same thing.. I was very angry when they discontinued the of the focus hatchback model, I am a Mazda Protege5 owner (which shares many of the same parts), and as with you, when my 03 dies I will most likely also be buying a ford.

That Focus hatchback looks pretty sexy..

That being said.. I will still be getting a manual transmission. It can shift like an manual, it can be as efficient as a manual, but its never going to be as fun ;)


RE: Could be worse...
By Taft12 on 3/29/2010 1:21:11 PM , Rating: 2
Speaking as someone who sits in stop-and-go traffic on the way to owrk for 30 mins+ in the morning, it can certainly be a lot less fun :(


RE: Could be worse...
By omnicronx on 3/29/2010 1:30:37 PM , Rating: 2
I hear you man ;)

Lets rephrase.. more fun when not sitting in stop and go traffic ;) Consider yourself lucky though, my morning mission is over an hour and a half mainly stop and go...


RE: Could be worse...
By Reclaimer77 on 3/29/10, Rating: -1
RE: Could be worse...
By Spivonious on 3/29/2010 2:21:41 PM , Rating: 1
*scratches head and dons flame-proof suit*

Yes, and so did my dad, and two of my friends. They're fun cars to drive.


RE: Could be worse...
By Reclaimer77 on 3/29/2010 7:57:07 PM , Rating: 2
/shrug

Ok. Not sure why you would buy a Ford hatchback when their entire goal was to try and build a hatchback as good as Acura/Honda/Mazda has been making for years.


RE: Could be worse...
By deputc26 on 3/30/2010 7:37:24 PM , Rating: 3
I think it is more accurate to say that Ford has being doing something right since Alan Mulally was "stolen" from Boeing in 2006. That dude made a model development cycle of the 777 and continues to excel at Ford.


RE: Could be worse...
By Hieyeck on 3/29/10, Rating: -1
RE: Could be worse...
By dubyadubya on 3/29/2010 11:31:31 AM , Rating: 3
? Every bolt under the car is rusted solid and there is no access to any parts that need to be serviced under the hood. You can keep your European cars. Volkswagen and Mercedes are the worst junk on the road. I would take a BMW because they are way more durable than the above and generally easier to work on.

In general European cars are safe, nice driving cars that are over engineered to a point they are backwards. Try working on a few. I'd take any Asian or US designed vehicle over Eurocrap. Of course if money is no object you can pay someone more to keep the Eurojunk on the road. Parts cost more, labor cost more. No thanks!


RE: Could be worse...
By Amiga500 on 3/29/2010 1:34:13 PM , Rating: 3
I guess you will be quite disappointed to learn that most of the modern Ford small/mid range are designed in the Ford Europe Headquarters... which are of course located in Cologne, Germany.

The Ka, Fiesta, Focus and Mondeo all come from Cologne (although former variants may have had significant design input from the UK).

Unfortunately for your argument, the facts do not line up with your prejudices. (Although I do agree with your comments on Mercedes, their quality control has gone to the dogs)


RE: Could be worse...
By dubyadubya on 3/29/10, Rating: 0
RE: Could be worse...
By Strunf on 3/29/2010 4:13:15 PM , Rating: 3
I just loved how you went from "I prefer US and Asians cars over European ones" to "Both US and EU cars suck all hail to Asian cars"...


RE: Could be worse...
By dubyadubya on 3/29/2010 8:20:41 PM , Rating: 2
In the small car market yes the Asian cars are better than the big three. Once you get into larger cars or trucks the big three are as good. I'd take a new Taurus, Fusion or a Ford F series in a hart beat. GM stuff is looking better all the time. They feel more solid and the interiors are much improved. As for Chrysler they may have improved some but not enough for me.


RE: Could be worse...
By Hieyeck on 4/1/2010 9:06:58 AM , Rating: 2
Why the hell did I get rated down?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct-Shift_Gearbox

quote:
At the time of launch in 2003 - it became the world's first dual clutch transmission in a series production car, in the German-market Volkswagen Golf Mk4 R32 and shortly afterwards, worldwide in the original Audi TT 3.2; and for the first few years of production, this original DSG transmission was only available in transversely-orientated front engine, front-wheel drive — or Haldex Traction-based four-wheel drive vehicle layouts.

You tools need to learn your cars.


RE: Could be worse...
By Spuke on 4/1/2010 12:08:10 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Why the hell did I get rated down?
It was your delivery that sucked.


RE: Could be worse...
By MrBlastman on 3/29/2010 11:10:47 AM , Rating: 2
Manuals aren't actually that bad in traffic, in fact, I prefer them. You don't have to ride the clutch constantly, as most drivers would think and best of all, you don't have to brake constantly either. No, it is as simple as it can get, you use one foot for one pedal--the accelerator. The car in front of you is slowing down, no big deal, you let off the gas. The car in front of you is speeding up, no big deal either, you press the gas. Sure, there is occasional upshifting and downshifting, but, it is not that much.


RE: Could be worse...
By KentState on 3/29/2010 11:25:15 AM , Rating: 2
I recently just purchased a second car fun car which has a manual. I found that it's much easier to drive in hush hour traffic over the automatic in the daily driver. I'm sure having over 400lb/ft of torque helps a bit.


RE: Could be worse...
By omnicronx on 3/29/2010 12:02:59 PM , Rating: 2
What happens when you come to a stop? i.e bumper to bumper traffic?

Slow moving traffic, I would tend to agree, but bumper to bumper traffic? Heck no.. For an automatic that requires one pedal, the break as when in drive you are always in gear..

Now don't get me wrong, I definitely try and glide as much as possible and try to leave space in front of me in stop and go, but its definitely more wear and tear on the legs, and you are definitely making use of at least two pedals assuming you have amazing timing and never have to break. (i.e you could end up using all three)


RE: Could be worse...
By MrBlastman on 3/29/2010 1:12:58 PM , Rating: 3
The object of the game is to never come to a stop. :) I drive in one of the worst traffic areas in America--Atlanta, and I've had quite a bit of practice dealing with the mess of a situation we have here. The concept of a "grid" for roads/streets does not exist here. Basically what I've found is leaving a "floating" gap between my car and the one in front of me works the best. Sometimes that gap will become quite large, and at times someone will butt in and steal the spot. That doesn't bother me that much since we're all going nowhere anyways.


RE: Could be worse...
By Taft12 on 3/29/2010 1:33:29 PM , Rating: 2
I do the same, I really wish this didn't piss the guy behind you off so badly.


RE: Could be worse...
By Reclaimer77 on 3/29/2010 1:16:45 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Slow moving traffic, I would tend to agree, but bumper to bumper traffic? Heck no.. For an automatic that requires one pedal, the break as when in drive you are always in gear..


Bumper to Bumper traffic is terrible no matter what you are driving though...


RE: Could be worse...
By Amiga500 on 3/29/2010 1:36:10 PM , Rating: 3
For that... you need bigfoot ;-)


RE: Could be worse...
By MrBlastman on 3/29/2010 3:01:07 PM , Rating: 2
For once, I agree with you. :) Bigfoot with a belt-mounted bushmaster on the roof.


RE: Could be worse...
By dubyadubya on 3/29/2010 3:42:07 PM , Rating: 2
+1 you hit the nail on the head for sure!


RE: Could be worse...
By Chaser on 3/29/2010 12:18:18 PM , Rating: 2
Automatic transmissions are the future. Clutch pedal manuals are slower, more cumbersome and unnessarily complicated. They are just a nostalgic thing for people that don't like change that complained about fuel injection and ECUs when they came out.

The super exotic car sports are going to paddle shifters with sophisticated computer assisted "launch" controls. My auto car shifts gears in .1 of a second. You can put the best driver in the world on a clutch pedal manual and they can't shift as fast.

If the best performance is what you seek autos are the way to go.


RE: Could be worse...
By djc208 on 3/29/2010 12:54:31 PM , Rating: 2
How are two parallel manual transmissions (which is basically what this Ford tranny is), operated by computer controled servos and motors less complicated than a regular manual transmission. They are the simplest, most robust, least complicated thing in the powertrian of most cars (except maybe for the differential).

In the end the issue with an automatic comes down to one problem. Any automatic, no mater how advanced, has one major flaw: It's reactive only. It shifts based on the current inputs. Where as a good driver is pro-active, planning ahead for the next gear change and how to perform it. Sure you can flick a paddle or switch to get that change but it's not as smooth or direct as letting a clutch out.

For most standard transmission drivers it comes down to the loss of control, pure and simple. The auto may be better for convenience/efficiency/economy but it's not the same as rowing your own gears.


RE: Could be worse...
By Spuke on 3/29/2010 1:23:27 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Where as a good driver is pro-active, planning ahead for the next gear change and how to perform it.
How can't you be "reactive" with these transmissions. With a typical DCT, you can either shift it yourself or let the electronics do it for you. If you shift yourself, which part is not proactive? And if this is a typical DCT, it pre-selects the next gear anyways hence the super quick gear changes. A human CANNOT shift as fast nor as smooth as a DCT. Car manufacturers are going to these trannies to eliminate human error and inefficiency.

I, for one, welcome our dual clutch overloads!


RE: Could be worse...
By JediJeb on 3/29/2010 1:39:05 PM , Rating: 2
How well will these DCTs be working with over 200k miles on them? They said they last for the lifetime of the vehicle, but for me the lifetime of a vehicle is at least 250k miles, usually more.


RE: Could be worse...
By bhieb on 3/29/2010 2:12:29 PM , Rating: 2
They are essentially a manual tranny, so you will need to replace the clutch(s) at some point. Just like your standard tranny today. Moving parts = wear, no getting around this no matter how you define "life" of the car. If you've gone 250K without replacing your clutch, then IMO you're lucky. But they should be able to hit 100K or so easily with these. A big reason why clutches wear out is improper shifting, so again with a computer controlling it, you should in theory see better life than a normal manual can provide.


RE: Could be worse...
By omnicronx on 3/29/2010 2:34:29 PM , Rating: 2
If dual clutches in which only handle even or odd gears don't last much longer than an normal clutch, then we have a problem ;)

Furthermore, I've driven 3 cars to 200k, and the clutch was never replaced in one of them (three different makes too). I.e as you stated, improper shifting is usually the culprit.


RE: Could be worse...
By zhopa on 3/30/2010 12:34:03 AM , Rating: 2
Computer control of clutches essentially eliminates unneeded slip in the clutch which means that the clutch will last >250k miles.
A modern manual car driven by a skilled driver will need no clutch replacement in 200+k miles. My previous car was the living proof of that fact.


RE: Could be worse...
By Spuke on 3/29/2010 2:47:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
How well will these DCTs be working with over 200k miles on them?
You'll have to check out VW as they're the only non-sporting cars with this type of transmission.


RE: Could be worse...
By omnicronx on 3/29/2010 2:28:06 PM , Rating: 1
A manual is still more pro-active in many situations.

ex:

I'm on the highway going 60MPH in 5th gear (let just assume my car has 5 gears), I am forced to suddenly shift lanes and speed up. With my manual I would most likely drop to 4th, get to the speed I need quickly and go back into 5th.

There is absolutely nothing the DCT can do in this situation.

There are also various driving techniques (such as double clutching) that can lower shift times to a fraction of second. (which would put it in line with a typical DCT)

The fact remains manuals give you ultimate control, you are not at the mercy of a computer, and I think thats what the OP is trying to point out here.


RE: Could be worse...
By Spuke on 3/29/2010 2:48:21 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
There is absolutely nothing the DCT can do in this situation.
Why can't you do that with a DCT? Explain.


RE: Could be worse...
By chavv on 3/29/2010 3:19:53 PM , Rating: 2
Say, you're on 5th, IF the pre-selected gear is not the one you need (ie 6th was preselected but you need 4th to accelerate), shifting time will be a lot bigger. Like 2secs instead of < 0.5secs if "the right" gear was selected.
The transmission will first disengage 6th, then engage 4th...


RE: Could be worse...
By Keeir on 3/29/2010 3:38:36 PM , Rating: 2
Yep. Your right, the preselection process is the weak point.

However, its not required that a DCT be better than a Manual in every single situation.

If we take some example times

DCT 0.5s if preselect is correct
DCT 2s if preselect is wrong
Manual 1s alway

if DCT preselect is correct 75% or more of the time, the DCT is the better option....


RE: Could be worse...
By omnicronx on 3/29/2010 4:02:23 PM , Rating: 2
I think thats what the OP(who made the proactive claim) was trying to say. Yes ideally a DCT will be more efficient and shift faster, but there will always be the outside cases in which you do not have the same control.

And then of course you have to make the decision of whether or not the huge premium you will pay for such a system is worth it ;)

There is a reason DCT's have been left to high end vehicles in the past..


RE: Could be worse...
By Keeir on 3/29/2010 4:29:31 PM , Rating: 2
Well... the advantage for me is I don't need to worry if the spare driver for the day can drive a manual... which is the whole advantage of the automatic to start with...

As far as the "huge" expense, I'm betting that a DCT will be right around the same premium as an automatic transmission is... not sure what your talking about. The original DCT were a huge premium, but now you can get them on VW Golf TDIs ~25,000. The tranny can't be that expensive, and I am sure Ford's will be even cheaper than the VW.

Get 95% of the control of the manual, faster average shifting, AND the ability to hand the keys to your girlfriend


RE: Could be worse...
By fic2 on 3/29/2010 6:50:35 PM , Rating: 2
You know people that can't drive a manual? You should use better criteria in friend selection. ;o)


RE: Could be worse...
By chavv on 3/30/2010 2:58:02 AM , Rating: 2
in Europe, if a replacement DSG for Golf is 5-6K euro (if out of warranty)


RE: Could be worse...
By Spuke on 3/29/2010 4:10:56 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Yep. Your right, the preselection process is the weak point.
It's not a weak point because it's STILL faster than any human and barely perceptible even when having to ignore the pre-select.


RE: Could be worse...
By Keeir on 3/29/2010 4:24:55 PM , Rating: 2
Ever driven a Golf/Jetta/A3 DCT? The "economy" models do have a slight delay sometimes when the preselect is wrong (as far as I can tell thats whats causing the delay). Its a bit unnerving, but maybe if I drove one for 10k miles I wouldn't let up on the gas during the "hang-up" and it would be faster than a manual. I will say, based on my limited experience, the preselect was correct more than 90% of the time, and I vastly perfer paddle shifters... to well anything else


RE: Could be worse...
By Spuke on 3/29/2010 5:06:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The "economy" models do have a slight delay sometimes when the preselect is wrong
Read about that. It seems to be random and might be to save the clutch in those models. In all honesty, I don't expect them to be very aggressive.


RE: Could be worse...
By Spuke on 3/29/2010 4:00:04 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Say, you're on 5th, IF the pre-selected gear is not the one you need
Nope. It would still shift MUCH faster than any human. Instead of 50 ms, it would be 75 for example. BTW, BMW describes their Z4's DCT shifts as seamless. Owners of the cars actually timed them at 30ms. That's friggin fast!!! Ferrari's non-DCT Superfast tranny shifts at 80ms. Don't know how fast Ferrari's new DCT shifts.


RE: Could be worse...
By zhopa on 3/30/2010 12:29:45 AM , Rating: 2
Fast DCTs shift time is 0.01 seconds.
Typical DCT shift time is 0.03 seconds.
You can't touch that.


RE: Could be worse...
By chavv on 3/30/2010 1:53:40 PM , Rating: 2
Are we talking about top sport models like Z4/Ferrari, or are we talking about Golf-class autos?
When gear is missed DSG needs more than a second.
Wiki says shift time is 10ms with correct gear selected and 1.1sec if its incorrect.


RE: Could be worse...
By MrBlastman on 3/29/2010 3:07:01 PM , Rating: 2
I double-clutch all the time. Not only does it make downshifting smoother, but it also prevents wear on your synchros.

The smoothness is of utmost importance when racing due to if you are not smooth while downshifting, you will mess up the weight displacement on the tires potentially causing you to lose traction, spin out or veer off the course.


RE: Could be worse...
By bhieb on 3/29/2010 3:10:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'm on the highway going 60MPH in 5th gear (let just assume my car has 5 gears), I am forced to suddenly shift lanes and speed up. With my manual I would most likely drop to 4th, get to the speed I need quickly and go back into 5th.

So your forced to speed up, your brain has to tell your hand to leave the 10/2, you lift your left leg to apply the clutch (most ppl don't drive with it on the clutch and ready). You apply the clutch, manuver the shift lever to 4th, release the clutch, apply the gas and begin to accelerate.

Now if the CPU does it, you simply step down on the gas that your foot is already on. The signal is send at the speed of light to the cpu which determines that you want to go fast, it then tells the tranny to down shift, and mechanical servos working way faster that you can shift the car down.

What sounds faster to you?

Unless you have Neo-like speed (matrix reference) then it takes several milliseconds for you to move your clutch foot, and your hand to the shift knob, and manipulate the shifter, then release the clutch. F-1 racers have went to a paddle system for this reason, too many motions make it too slow. If I'm not mistaken they use computer shifted manuals as well, not saying a Focus will have an F1 level gear box :)

Now I'm not saying there will be no flaws in the algorithm that determines when to downshift. But from a pure physical aspect the computer should, in theory, be able to perform the act of downshifting WAY faster than you. It is the decision that takes time and that is just the software algorithm. In this example though it is easy floored gas = shift now to lowest safe gear.

How you would expect to beat it with your cumbersome physical motions, I don't know.


RE: Could be worse...
By omnicronx on 3/29/2010 3:20:14 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not talking about paddle shifting here, you are 100% correct on that front. (you could just downshift and do the same thing, while getting the advantage of preselecting gears when you get back into higher gear)

He made the claim that the DCT alone (i.e the computer doing the shifting) is always faster.

If I just changed gears and I am sitting at a low RPM on the highway, and then I press on the gas. The computer is not going to shift to a lower gear to accelerate, it will merely continue in its current gear.

Regardless if it takes my brain takes a few hundres MS to shift gears, at a lower gear I will already be at higher RPM .


RE: Could be worse...
By omnicronx on 3/29/2010 3:22:48 PM , Rating: 2
I would also like to point out that the main advantage here is that the you are assuming that the DCT as preselected the 'right gear'. That cannot possibly happen in all situations


RE: Could be worse...
By bhieb on 3/29/2010 5:20:54 PM , Rating: 2
I agree, but it is more of a software issue than a DCT issue. If programmed right the computer can be faster. One of the biggest selling points for me will be if they have true paddle shifters that are instant. The ones with a regular auto seem very slow to respond. That will be the best of both IMO, having the computer shift for me when I'm not interested in doing so, but having the ability to downshift manually when I want quicker response.

BMW did this with the SMG transmission in the M3, and if I'm not mistaken some reviews showed faster lap times using the "track" algorithm, than if manually shifting. So as with most cpu based thing, it is all about the software.

If Ford can pull off anything close to that in budgets lines, then it is a win in my book.


RE: Could be worse...
By Mojo the Monkey on 3/29/2010 7:49:51 PM , Rating: 2
or they could keep mastering the CVT. With enough development (they've come a long way recently), there is no reason why that system does not have more potential than any other for everyday driving.


RE: Could be worse...
By djc208 on 3/29/2010 4:18:27 PM , Rating: 2
The best example I can think of is some of the nice moutain back roads that are the joy of car enthusiasts. You're coming down a straight-away in to a tight turn starting into an uphill run.

As the driver of a standard I can be coming into the corner at 55 or so in 5th or 6th gear. As I approach the corner I get on the brakes to scrub speed, push in the clutch at the same time and downshift to 3rd. As I come off the brakes I can feed in clutch and gas and power out of the turn smooth, clean, and fast.

In an automatic, when I come off the gas it will stay in 5th (or even shift to 6th for economy), then when I come out of the turn and get on the gas the tranny will still be in that gear till it sees enough peddle to downshift, and then it may not downshift far enough and have to do it again.

The paddles/selector (if you have them) can help you aleviate some of this, but those shifts will not be as smooth or convenient as the manual sinc the auto has to go through the gears vs being able to go directly to the one you need.

Most people aren't looking at those corners like they're in an auto-cross, and that's fine. But driving a standard is like making the transmission an extension of your mind, vs trying to convince some computer to do what you want vs. what its programming tells it.


RE: Could be worse...
By JediJeb on 3/29/2010 5:11:51 PM , Rating: 2
Another example is driving in snow. To help reduce wheelspin you can select a gear above what you would normally use so you are putting less torque to the wheels, with an automatic you can select a lower gear than the transmission would select, but not a higher one.


RE: Could be worse...
By Kurz on 3/31/2010 11:42:13 AM , Rating: 2
You can trick the transmission to shift earlier.
Lifting up the pedal near speeds when the car upshifts.
Still its a pain.


RE: Could be worse...
By Spuke on 3/29/2010 5:32:09 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The paddles/selector (if you have them) can help you aleviate some of this, but those shifts will not be as smooth
I think you are confusing a standard automatic with a DCT. The article is about DCT's not standard auto's. See BMW, Porsche, VW/Audi, Ferrari, Lamborghini and etc for more info.


RE: Could be worse...
By djc208 on 3/29/2010 7:10:04 PM , Rating: 2
No, the "manumatic" functions apply to any automatic transmission. The computer will accept your input on the gear desired and go there. Not all vehicles may have the paddles/buttons but the concept is the same regardless, just depends on if the manufacturer wants to add it.

You probably won't find them in a base Ford Fusion but some of the cars you listed have a DCT that can be controlled via paddles/buttons or left in an "auto" mode to shift itself.


RE: Could be worse...
By zhopa on 3/30/2010 12:41:56 AM , Rating: 2
Are you people still living in the 80s?
Almost any sporting car today with an automatic has a logic with a gyro measurement and statistical learning ability. If you go into a corner fast and brake hard, the tranny computer knows this and will pre-downshift.
In snow, traction control will limit the power of the engine in any gear, so you don't have to worry about it.
Not having the control of clutch slippage has its disadvantages, but these are not it!


RE: Could be worse...
By JediJeb on 3/29/2010 1:36:09 PM , Rating: 1
Also what happens when you are halfway through a 2000 mile trip and one of those actuators goes out? Or you blow a fuse that powers the shifters in the automatic or even the paddle shifters? Usually unless you break something that is solid metal you don't break a manual transmission.

A friend drove to our house in a minivan, parked it, then tried to leave a few hours later. Put the thing in gear and it just sat there. Towed it to the shop and the torque converter had died, now warning at all. No thanks, give me a manual any day.


RE: Could be worse...
By bhieb on 3/29/2010 2:43:13 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Usually unless you break something that is solid metal you don't break a manual transmission.

So just because it is not metal it is more prone to breakage? I don't really get your logic, a manual clutch can fail as well.

Just to further my point the torque convert on your friends car is a mechanical mostly metal piece as well. It is not like some new fangled plastic thingy broke. Newtoyou/Different does not equal inferior.


RE: Could be worse...
By omnicronx on 3/29/2010 2:55:30 PM , Rating: 2
He is trying to imply that there are less points of failure, and everything is actually connected. The same is not the case for cars of today, when you are shifting an automatic it is the computer telling it to change gears, you have no direct input.

There is far more that could go wrong with a automatic transmission than a manual. And if you are a good driver you may never have to replace your clutch either..


RE: Could be worse...
By bhieb on 3/29/2010 5:29:46 PM , Rating: 2
Yah I got what he was trying to imply, but just because it "could" fail does not mean it will. And for me at least I'd rather have advancement of tech even knowing it "could" break, rather than not have it.

Last time I reached across a rental to open the door lock I was like WTF. Course my dad said the same thing first time I had a car with power locks, just more stuff to wear out son. Come to think of it I've never had that wear out, even after playing with the swtich all these years :)

If it was a lifetime investment maybe I could see his point, but on average I only keep it 5 years.


RE: Could be worse...
By JediJeb on 3/30/2010 5:26:13 PM , Rating: 2
That the difference, I have kept my last vehicle 14 years and don't plan to trade it any time soon.


RE: Could be worse...
By Spuke on 3/29/2010 2:51:13 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Or you blow a fuse that powers the shifters in the automatic or even the paddle shifters?
You can have sudden failures in any mechanical or electronic part.


RE: Could be worse...
By JediJeb on 3/29/2010 5:16:57 PM , Rating: 2
True, but I have had many more blow fuses than broken shift linkages.

Worst electronic transmission problem I ever encountered was on my ex's Hyundai. It kept upshifting when going up hill and down shifting when going down hill. Problem was the alternator, it wasn't putting out enough power to make the transmission computer function correctly. Only figured it out when it refused to shift at all when the headlights were in high beam, but would shift somewhat on low beam, and would shift little better with them off.


RE: Could be worse...
By zhopa on 3/30/2010 12:46:07 AM , Rating: 1
Must have been a shitty minivan.
I'd bank on electrical systems being more reliable than mechanical ones because there are no moving parts.

Now, I will not bank a reliable DCT that is made in Mexico!
However a DCT that is executed properly will live as long as the car.


RE: Could be worse...
By omnicronx on 3/29/2010 2:05:35 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If the best performance is what you seek autos are the way to go.
I'm going to have to disagree, I don't care how fast you can shift gears if you are forced to do so.

Furthermore dual clutch transmissions are not really automatics at all, they are basically manuals with computer controlled shifting. Automatics don't have clutches, they have a torque converter..


RE: Could be worse...
By Keeir on 3/29/2010 3:19:57 PM , Rating: 2
Wait...

an "automatic transmission", is a transmission that doesn't require user input past "forward, stop, reverse"

CVT, DCT, Liquid Torque Converters, etc are all types of automatic transmission

And I guess that being the gearbox of choice for the Nissian GT-R, Mitsubishi Evolution X, Numerous Porsches, BMW M3, etc

It seems the DCT -is- the new standard for performance for all but the very cream of the crop Manual drivers.

I'd rather have the DCT over a normal manual, because for the most part, DCT with paddle shifters is just as engaging as a typical manual (my left leg does get bored I guess...) and I don't need to worry about who drives the car


RE: Could be worse...
By omnicronx on 3/29/2010 3:44:17 PM , Rating: 2
Yes technically it is an automatic transmission :)

I was just trying to make the point that DCT and normal traditional automatics are not the same thing, and it was quite obvious he had lumped both together in his statement of automatic > manual.
quote:
I'd rather have the DCT over a normal manual, because for the most part, DCT with paddle shifters is just as engaging as a typical manual (my left leg does get bored I guess...) and I don't need to worry about who drives the car
To me this is the big one, you get best of both worlds, although manuals will always have a special place in my heart ;)

I still don't think manuals are going anywhere anytime soon though. Shift times are completely irrevelent if it costs 5k more to implement than a manual transmission. Remember even current automatic transmissions can cost you 1.5-2K+ over a manual, how much do you think the delta will be between a DCT and a manual?


RE: Could be worse...
By Spuke on 3/29/2010 4:17:52 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
how much do you think the delta will be between a DCT and a manual?
DCT's are replacing automatics for the most part, not the manuals. See Porsche, BMW, and VW. All used the DCT to replace the traditional automatic. Cost is definitely an issue BUT people are already paying a premium for the auto tranny and not blinking an eye at the cost. My next car WILL have a DCT. Maybe a used 2011 or 2012 Z4.


RE: Could be worse...
By JediJeb on 3/29/2010 5:27:40 PM , Rating: 2
If it is cheaper than a manual I might consider it, but I don't like to pay extra for toys. I like my vehicles as simple as possible, even manual windows and locks if you can even get those now days. Nothing is more annoying that pulling up to a drive thru and having to open the door when a power window motor won't work.

Make it simple and keep the cost down.


RE: Could be worse...
By Spuke on 3/29/2010 5:38:45 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
even manual windows and locks if you can even get those now days.
Don't know of too many cars with manual windows/locks (you can get them on trucks). I doubt you'll get manual windows/locks in the future as you can make electric windows/locks assemblies lighter than manual nowadays (see Lotus). Electric windows/locks are not complicated (not to mention they've been around for almost as long as the car) and I've had more issues with manual than electric. As a matter of fact, I've never had a problem with electric on any car I've owned.


RE: Could be worse...
By JediJeb on 3/30/2010 5:29:41 PM , Rating: 2
Never had a problem with manuals myself, but had a couple electric windows fail, either motor or cable. And know of several others that have had the same problem. Also I guess it depends on how long you keep the vehicle. Trading every 5 years you probably won't see any problems, 10+ and who knows.


RE: Could be worse...
By Keeir on 3/29/2010 4:34:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Remember even current automatic transmissions can cost you 1.5-2K+ over a manual, how much do you think the delta will be between a DCT and a manual?


VW offers DCTs now at approximately the same premium as thier older gated torque convertors. IE ~1-1.5k.

If Ford is wanting to sell Foci at ~20k, I can't believe the Transmission will be more more than 2k of that. Adding paddle shifters might be an additional 1-2k though because of the stupid stuff packed with it..

for example the Audi A3 TDI costs and extra 2k with paddle shifters because of the bluetooth, headlamps, and multiple other little things...


I trust nothing...
By MrBlastman on 3/29/2010 10:18:01 AM , Rating: 2
that,

quote:
sealed with low-friction gear lubricant for the life of the vehicle. This transmission requires no regular maintenance."


Is sealed and not serviceable for maintenance on a car. I also trust nothing that says it does not require maintenance for the lifetime of the car. Now, it does say "regular maintenance" but, I'm still suspect.

Yes, being sealed means no dirt and grime will get inside the tranny, both which are principle agents in wear. However, say you are pushing the car very hard and heating that transmission fluid up. At certain levels, or over long enough periods of time, that fluid will break down, become less effective--and leave waste material in the mix of good fluid.

The only way to rectify that problem is maintenance. With a dual-clutch system, it is only a matter of time before people start autocrossing, V-8 swapping, drag racing or beating on their cars. The last thing they want to hear is--oh, sorry, you'll have to replace your entire transmission.

Now, I applaud Ford for coming this far, they really have shown us what an American car maker can do if they put their nose back to work and fix their problems. Ford has truly shown GM and others that it is not impossible to do. This new dual-clutch system is very interesting indeed and I hope it really is another innovation that sets them apart. I don't own a Ford, but, this does pique my interest.




RE: I trust nothing...
By dubyadubya on 3/29/2010 10:42:17 AM , Rating: 2
Many cars and trucks now sold in the US have transmissions that are claimed to be serviced for life. They can still be serviced but on many its a pain in the ass. Automatic transmissions with no dipsticks so you cant check the level without special tools, you need a scanner on many GM's. Some like ford fill though the bottom of the pan requiring special fill tools etc. etc.

If you have the tools its not so bad but independent repair shops are going to need to spend money to train and buy needed equipment if they want to service these transmissions. Its hard to sell a customer a service the manufacture claims is serviced for life. Shops are not going to spend money unless they are going to get a return on the investment.

Most newer so called serviced for life transmissions use full synthetic fluid which under normal conditions will last forever. Is it full, you can't check it. Is it clean you can't check it. Also as you said what happens when the conditions are not normal.

Maybe they will last forever because you can't let the smoke out as its sealed in!


RE: I trust nothing...
By zhopa on 3/30/2010 12:55:06 AM , Rating: 2
DCT tranny fluid is subjected to the same wear and tear as the manual gearbox (no torque converter, no excessive heat) which means that even non-synthetic fluid can last >10 years.

If you need to replace it once every 200k miles, this is by no means a "regular" maintenance.
It's sort of like PS fluid on modern cars - never needs replacing unless contaminated. I still replace every 100k miles or so, but that is just me.
If you start using your vehicle in a manner other than directed, than all the bets are off anyways and you're not a regular maintenance schedule anyways.


RE: I trust nothing...
By Maroon on 3/29/2010 11:03:57 AM , Rating: 2
VW claims the same for my 5 spd auto in my Passat, but at 230k miles, shifting started getting a little funky. I serviced it myself, but it was a pain. I suspect while Ford says "for life", you better find a way to service it when it reaches higher mileage.


RE: I trust nothing...
By Lord 666 on 3/29/2010 11:35:33 AM , Rating: 2
Was the servicing just changing the fluid and was it successful? I have a 2006 TDI 6 speed DSG with 83,000 miles that sometimes shifts funny in low gears.


RE: I trust nothing...
By mindless1 on 3/29/2010 12:13:57 PM , Rating: 2
Generally, new transmission designs still have a few bugs to work out so I would expect the first couple generations to have significantly shorter lifespans than conventional manual or automatic tranny.


RE: I trust nothing...
By NARC4457 on 3/29/2010 11:49:47 AM , Rating: 2
It's all about the definition of "the life of the vehicle" isn't it? :)

Mine certainly might be different than Ford's.


RE: I trust nothing...
By mindless1 on 3/29/2010 12:16:13 PM , Rating: 2
Their statement doesn't really mean anything, except that they use synthetic fluid that should last longer. Otherwise, they could make the exact same statement about any transmission on their cars as a low-info, marketing position.


RE: I trust nothing...
By JediJeb on 3/29/2010 1:44:33 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly, for me lifetime of a vehicle is just beginning at 250k miles. They are probably betting on those who trade one off simply because they want a new look every few years instead of driving them until there is no life left like I do.


RE: I trust nothing...
By Spuke on 3/29/2010 3:05:14 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Exactly, for me lifetime of a vehicle is just beginning at 250k miles.
If you keep your cars that long, you have PLENTY of time to do research before buying. I typically start researching my next car two years into the ownership of my present one. I'm looking to replace my 2006 (bought in 2009) F250 with the new 2011 F350 in 2014 or 15. Depends on whether or not my wife wants a car to drive instead of driving the truck. I'm not sure when I'll be replacing my car.


RE: I trust nothing...
By JediJeb on 3/29/2010 5:34:05 PM , Rating: 2
That would be too far ahead for me, still driving my 96 F150. Though I did have to replace the water pump last fall and lower ball joints at Christmas, and should probably replace the clutch/pressure plate soon also along with the front tank low pressure fuel pump. Those are starting to show signs of wear but nothing to keep it from running yet. Still all that adds up to less than $1k in repairs for a 14 year old vehicle.


RE: I trust nothing...
By Spuke on 3/29/2010 5:40:32 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Still all that adds up to less than $1k in repairs for a 14 year old vehicle.
Not too bad. I've found that preventative maintenance keeps costs low.


RE: I trust nothing...
By Spuke on 3/29/2010 12:50:32 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Is sealed and not serviceable for maintenance on a car.
If it's like some other transmissions currently on the market, it won't require any maintenance until well over 100k miles. Way past when your average person trades in for a new car.


RE: I trust nothing...
By rudolphna on 3/29/2010 1:20:34 PM , Rating: 2
THen the person who buys the car used is screwed though. I would never, ever never change the transmission fluid. I change it in our cars every 30,000 miles, as everyone should. 60k at the MOST. I've seen VW "fill for life" fluid after 50k miles, it was nasty. Burn, gunky, black from all the wear in clutch material... It was not good. If they told you that your oil never needed changed, you'd think they were nuts, wouldn't you? For the record, I also change my oil every 7,500 miles.


RE: I trust nothing...
By Spuke on 3/29/2010 1:29:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
THen the person who buys the car used is screwed though. I would never, ever never change the transmission fluid.
I have the tranny fluid changed once a year in my truck. It's NOT a maintenance free tranny though. You could always have the DCT's fluid tested every so often to see how coherent it is. That would determine when a good time would be to replace it then you could pass that info on to other owners.


RE: I trust nothing...
By JediJeb on 3/29/2010 1:51:22 PM , Rating: 2
As long at it isn't made like the hydrostatic transmission my my lawnmower. Not drain or fill ports, once it stops pulling itself the service shops tell you to just replace it for $800, where the mower only cost $1,200 to begin with. Found out you can drill a hole in the top and bottom and tap them for plugs, drain and refill the oil and the thing is good to go. About a $20 repair.

If they make it easily repairable then it will last too long and they can't make enough money from repeat business.


RE: I trust nothing...
By Spuke on 3/29/2010 3:09:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If they make it easily repairable then it will last too long and they can't make enough money from repeat business.
Even the current maintenance-free trannies are serviceable but you'll usually have to do it yourself or find a shop that will do it (usually the dealer won't but there are exceptions). I would suggest you can research some of the high mileage VW's with the DSG tranny and see what they're doing.


RE: I trust nothing...
By MrBlastman on 3/29/2010 3:09:23 PM , Rating: 2
Trading in your car is about the worst thing you can do financially speaking. It pays to keep a car til it stops working. Leasing cars is nuts and buying a new one every 5 or 10 years really eats at your savings for a depreciating purchase.


RE: I trust nothing...
By Spuke on 3/29/2010 3:14:59 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Leasing cars is nuts
Leasing is awesome if you drive 15k miles or less a year AND you want to buy a new car often. I leased two cars and was able to drive a nicer car for the same money as a less expensive car. You have to find a deal though as one of my leases only required $500 down and other required no money down. I haven't leased a car since 2004 because we only buy used now and intend to keep our cars longer.


RE: I trust nothing...
By JediJeb on 3/29/2010 5:40:23 PM , Rating: 2
I paid about $20k for my truck interest and all, had it for 14 years now. That figures out to $35.67 a month if spread out over the total time I have owned it. What car can you lease for $36 a month? Also what else can you buy with the difference between that and what a typical lease costs?


RE: I trust nothing...
By Mojo the Monkey on 3/29/2010 8:01:45 PM , Rating: 2
People are not stupid just because they are willing to pay a premium to appreciate the finer points of a newer automobile. It doesnt mean you're wrong either - some people just care about different things.

I have to battle LA traffic all the time... and then some. I am keenly aware of any minor annoyance in my vehicle, appreciate new features, and enjoy some variety every few years.

Further, if you know how to deal, leasing is not a bad precursor to buying. The post-lease car value that I negotiated with my wife's car was far below the street value. At the end of the lease (which I was paying a zero money factor on), I purchased and privately sold for a fast few grand profit, which then factored into the total cost of the next car.

If I didnt care about anything but dollar value, I would leave California, shop only at Walmart, only use the internet at the public library, and eat bulk rice and beans every day. Boy I'd be the happiest 70 year old curmudgeon when I retired with that extra cash to have that EXTRA senior living fun. (sarcasm)


RE: I trust nothing...
By Spuke on 3/30/2010 1:40:09 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Also what else can you buy with the difference between that and what a typical lease costs?
Not sure what you're getting at. My typical lease was 3 years. After that, I just turn the car in. What's expensive about it? I have people giving me these formulas on how much money I lost when I only made a car payment and some maintenance for 3 years. There's nothing else going out of my pocket. And maintenance on the cars I leased were only oil and filter changes.

I leased a 2001 Infiniti G20. A near 30k car at the time that I only paid $17k in payments for 3 years plus some oil changes. That's inexpensive as hell!!!! I got a VERY nice car for less than Honda Civic money. When you buy a car, you spend WAY more than that over the course of its lifetime. There are benefits to buying like ownership of it AFTER the car is paid off and, to some extent, if you're a car nut you can customize it but that's about it.

For your typical person that buys new every 3-5 years, buying a car HUGE waste of money. Most people never pay off the car before they get a new one and roll that negative equity into the new car. Why do that? LOL! LEASE the damn thing and be free and clear of it after three years!!!! If you drive the typical commute mileage, the 15k a year "free" mileage of a lease is easy to meet and you get a fresh new car to satisfy you without the hassle of selling or trade ins. I'm a big fan of this. BMW "owners" do this all of the time as BMW has good lease deals. You you can also get great deals on lease returns.

http://www.bmwusa.com/Standard/Content/FinancialSe...

My current cars are not leases as we intent to keep them a long time, I am a car nut and like to mod my cars plus I'm not buying new anymore BUT I may go this route again in the future.


RE: I trust nothing...
By corduroygt on 3/29/2010 3:20:23 PM , Rating: 2
True, but you only have one life to live, and if you always want to drive nice new cars you have to pay for it one way or another.


RE: I trust nothing...
By Keeir on 3/29/2010 3:31:09 PM , Rating: 3
Errr..

That all depends Blastman on continued operating costs

I'm all for smashing a car into the ground, but I had a Impala SS that due to an exhaust system issue (that multiple places quoted more than 2,000 to fix) decided it would never ever get more than 20 MPG HWY and ~15 MPG combined. Given that I found a good offer from someone who really wanted to play with it (not drive it), the savings from the fuel and maintaince essentially paid for a new 25 MPG Midsized car with the expected residual at ~200,000 miles as a bonus.... and that if the Impala SS cost only the same to maintain as the Midsized Car... which is a pretty funny thought


RE: I trust nothing...
By FITCamaro on 3/29/2010 8:24:08 PM , Rating: 1
I agree. Whatever happened to greasing your own suspension? Now everything is sealed and doesn't last as long. Planned failure man.


RE: I trust nothing...
By Spuke on 3/30/2010 1:48:35 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Now everything is sealed and doesn't last as long. Planned failure man.
Someone doesn't remember the crap that we drove in the 60's and 70's. Look, I like old cars too but they really were junk compared to todays cars. A typical car of the 60's/70's did NOT last till 100k miles. I don't know what memories people are having but old cars truly were POS. So what that someone can spend a $100k to restore some old car. That has ZERO to do with how crappy they were back then and they were crap. Every now and then you got something that God shined his face on but, seriously, old cars are junk.

That said, I'll take a 1962 Ford Galaxie 500 "Cammer" and a 1955 Porsche 356 thank you very much. :)


RE: I trust nothing...
By JediJeb on 3/30/2010 5:36:48 PM , Rating: 2
69 Boss 429 would be my dream car, or the 427 powered Shelby Cobra. CycloneGT was nice also.


Chrysler & Dealers
By btc909 on 3/29/2010 8:21:12 PM , Rating: 2
This must be a mistake, it's Chrysler who is releasing this Dual Clutch transmission right? Are you sure it doesn't have a rubber band in it?

Dealers, never buy a car direct. Pre-approve your financing through you credit union or bank, don't waste your time with the dealers finance department. Also find out what the "fleet manager" or "internet sales manager" email or fax number is. Contact them only & let them bid for your price. Don't be a prick & share what the other dealers are offering & see if they are willing to match. Yes some dealers will give you the "oh the price is higher" "that vehicle is no longer available crap" just walk, & go with the next bid. If you don't have several dealers near you be willing to drive to save money.
Use edmunds.com to see what the invoice price is.

I'm done for now.




RE: Chrysler & Dealers
By lcbrownz on 4/4/2010 9:20:39 AM , Rating: 2
Most large new car dealers have their inventory posted on their website, so you can delete that dealer off your list, when you find the car is not available from them. But if you really want a car with certain specifications, have a dealer look for the car on their network(which covers several states)to find it for you. ALot of times, they will find it for you but won't tell where it is. Press them, and they give in. Then, you go to that car dealership to make a deal.


who cares.
By Finnkc on 3/30/10, Rating: 0
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