Ford Powershift

Feb 27, 2011
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I saw some while ago somewhere (sorry can't remember where) some info regarding possible problems with Ford's Powershift auto transmission system with regard to the clutches, especially when maneuvering around, such as parking up on site on the pitch. Now while I am capable of reversing our caravan on to a pitch, I always disconnect and use the mover, because eventually I like to 'fine tune' the caravan position and invariably use the mover to level the unit on the ramp(s). So if there is only a possible problem moving the caravan around with the car, in our case this would not occur. Does anyone using Ford's Powershift have any problems otherwise? Currently our tug is a Saab 9-3 with the smooth 'slush' box which I am very happy with. In the (hopefully distant) future when/once the Saab gives up the ghost (it will probably now go bang tomorrow lol) I would be tempted to go the Mondeo route and anything has to be auto for my gammy left ankle.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Petemate said:
I saw some while ago somewhere (sorry can't remember where) some info regarding possible problems with Ford's Powershift auto transmission system with regard to the clutches, especially when maneuvering around, such as parking up on site on the pitch. Now while I am capable of reversing our caravan on to a pitch, I always disconnect and use the mover, because eventually I like to 'fine tune' the caravan position and invariably use the mover to level the unit on the ramp(s). So if there is only a possible problem moving the caravan around with the car, in our case this would not occur. Does anyone using Ford's Powershift have any problems otherwise? Currently our tug is a Saab 9-3 with the smooth 'slush' box which I am very happy with. In the (hopefully distant) future when/once the Saab gives up the ghost (it will probably now go bang tomorrow lol) I would be tempted to go the Mondeo route and anything has to be auto for my gammy left ankle.

I have posted re Powershift. A class legal action in US and Australia was decided last autumn because of problems owners had experienced. Search the internet and you will find lots of info. My daughter sold her 53 reg Saab 9-3 Aero auto and bought a low mileage three year old Focus with Powershift. As I wasn’t around she just relied on the salesman to demo it. When she then drove it herself she felt it hesitated on take off and the gearchange 1-2 was not smooth. The garage reinstalled the latest software but marginal improvement. So it went back to the main dealer and had to have both clutch packs replaced along with some seals. It now drives fine. Although it hasn’t been publicised in UK my daughter was told that they would support it for five years if the car had a a full Ford history.
Ford aren’t alone as the VAG DSG equivalent suffered problems in the dry lubricted versions, where the wet lubricated suffered far less issues.

These double synchro gearboxes are automated manual gearboxes and operate differently from a torque converter box. The clutches (the lower gear and reverse ) will wear so you need to be aware of this when driving. The two clutch packs operate 1,3,5 and 2, 4, 6. Even though my DSG is wet lubricated I don’t crawl in traffic even solo. I don’t apply handbrake with Car in Drive when at a standstill. I tend to put it into N even if stopped with foot brake applied as the clutches never fully disengage.
Saying this I find the DSG an excellent intuitive gearbox but given that Ford are moving away from Powershift I’m not sure that I would opt for one.
 
Feb 23, 2018
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Can't comment on towing, but I have also heard of issues with Volvos which have the Ford Powershift auto box which were produced during Fords ownership. These issues were as OtherClive described.

Depending on the power output, the cars could either have PowerShift or GearTronic (torque converter) auto boxes, but with no obvoius design differeces to the the driver. The latter reserved for higher bhp/torque applications, as a Volvo dearler told me PowerShift would explode under the torque from the D5 engine.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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CustardAvenger said:
Can't comment on towing, but I have also heard of issues with Volvos which have the Ford Powershift auto box which were produced during Fords ownership. These issues were as OtherClive described.

Depending on the power output, the cars could either have PowerShift or GearTronic (torque converter) auto boxes, but with no obvoius design differeces to the the driver. The latter reserved for higher bhp/torque applications, as a Volvo dearler told me PowerShift would explode under the torque from the D5 engine.

In 2010 I sold my Sorento and the cars considered to replace it were Mondeo or C5 estates or Volvo XC70 D5 AWD. Both the Ford and Citroen C5 had the same Powershift gearbox but the C 5 had a significantly lower maximum towing weight. I opted for the XC70 as at that time the VAG DSG had a bit of a cloud over them yet had been around for a while, whereas the Powershift was relatively new. The Volvo was what I would call a “simple 6 speed torque converter “ auto.
 
Feb 27, 2011
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Many thanks for the info. After my earlier research, the info is just what I expected. I knew that the DSG boxes had both wet and dry clutches. Very good points regarding holding car in gear with the brakes applied; I don't think I would ever be able to train 'er indoors to comply! I slip our slush box into neutral each traffic stop but she tends to blind the poor drivers behind with the brake lights lolol. So I think I may opt for a replacement, when it comes, with a torque converter-equipped car. Shame, as I do like the Mondy which these days has many toys. I recall reading once that replacing these clutches is quite a specialist job, so replacement would be expensive? Also how long do they tend to last given careful driving?

Ta again for the inputs.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Petemate said:
Many thanks for the info. After my earlier research, the info is just what I expected. I knew that the DSG boxes had both wet and dry clutches. Very good points regarding holding car in gear with the brakes applied; I don't think I would ever be able to train 'er indoors to comply! I slip our slush box into neutral each traffic stop but she tends to blind the poor drivers behind with the brake lights lolol. So I think I may opt for a replacement, when it comes, with a torque converter-equipped car. Shame, as I do like the Mondy which these days has many toys. I recall reading once that replacing these clutches is quite a specialist job, so replacement would be expensive? Also how long do they tend to last given careful driving?

Ta again for the inputs.

My daughters car was in the main dealers for four days having both sets of clutches replaced.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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My own experience with Passat DSG (170) I haven't towed with it. There is a discernible lag when you want to pull away, but you just have to get used to it and work with it.

I tow with a manual Renault Espace, which does, but have previously used Saab's with great success.
 
Feb 27, 2011
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ProfJohnL said:
My own experience with Passat DSG (170) I haven't towed with it. There is a discernible lag when you want to pull away, but you just have to get used to it and work with it.

I tow with a manual Renault Espace, which does, but have previously used Saab's with great success.

Thank you Prof. I really do like the Saab auto; it is very smooth and has never given us cause for concern. Both solo and towing, the changes are faultless.. I changed the auto fluid at approx 60k, and I realise that this did not change the complete quantity; if we have it long enough, I will go for the full flush and refill at 120k. (current mileage is 105k)

Should we have to move the car on for any reason soon, I am tempted towards an Insignia, as the mechanicals are very similar to the Saab (eg brake and some suspension parts, and of course the engine in the main and transmission). For me this is useful as I do most of my own maintenance.

Safe towing!

Pete
 
Nov 11, 2009
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ProfJohnL said:
My own experience with Passat DSG (170) I haven't towed with it. There is a discernible lag when you want to pull away, but you just have to get used to it and work with it.

I tow with a manual Renault Espace, which does, but have previously used Saab's with great success.

Prof
I’ve not noticed any lag with mine which is 170ps DSG although if I were to use Stop-start you then become aware of “bits” sorting themselves out. But I don’t usecstop-start preferring to have my engine on line as I pull out of junctions/roundabouts. Somewhat conservative I know but that’s borne after years thinking what can go wrong and screw up the day!

Earlier DSGs also had a bit of a problem pulling away as the interaction between the fuelling and gearbox mode gave some hesitancy.
 
May 15, 2006
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We previously owned a motorhome so i just needed a small car for work etc. In 2014 after a short test drive (Btw the short test drive was my biggest mistake) anyhow i opted for the 2013 Ford B max with Powershift Auto.
On collection i drove the car home from the dealer forecourt & reversed up into my driveway & from that moment knew i had made a big mistake.
The car lurched & juddered making all types of strange noises & the transmission felt like it was locking up, i felt truly sickened.
Having owned & driven many convensional Autos with torque converter i knew the Powershift required a different driving technique however no matter what method i used the strange noises & jerking were very embarrasing especially with passengers on board.
The car went straight back to the dealers for software updates & after the 5th time i refused to take the car back until something was done.
The dealer eventually fitted new clutch packs & the car drove better for a few Months at which stage i outed the B Max & opted for a Vauxhall Mokka 1.4 Turbo Auto Wow what a difference, the Mokka gets very poor write up's but the Auto box with torque converter is an absolute dream to drive!
We decided then to sell the motorhome & return to caravaning & although the Mokka towing weight is poor & careful matching is essential & it is what it is but i have been pleasently surprised at how well it actually tows & i can reverse car & loaded van up into my driveway with ease, no judder,noises or clutches burning!!
I did hear Fords are moving away from Powershift back to Torque converter in the very near future.
My advice for towing is stay well clear of the Powershift & try opt for convensional torque coverter autos but this is purely my opinion. :)
 
Feb 27, 2011
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Thanks for that useful post & info Michael. Interesting to learn of Ford's plans, but at 81 yrs old I don't think it will help me in my remaining years' driving/towing! I look forward to seeing what Ford does just as a matter of interest though.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I believe several of the car put up for tow car of the year have been DSG or Powershift versions, and most of them have been well regarded.

Other than the reported software updates, Perhaps the issues relate to partially worn or poorly maintained gear boxes.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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ProfJohnL said:
I believe several of the car put up for tow car of the year have been DSG or Powershift versions, and most of them have been well regarded.

Other than the reported software updates, Perhaps the issues relate to partially worn or poorly maintained gear boxes.

Many of the issues reported on US and Australian sites relate to issues that don’t come under maintenance. Although driver input can cause problems such as clutch glazing. One YouTube video shows how one US dealer claims to have solved it. They find a very long very straight road and hit “launch control” up to five times in doing drag starts up to 60mph+ Not something I’d feel comfortable doing.
In my daughters case the car was approaching three years old, one owner, full Ford Dealer service history, and under 20k miles on the clock. There were no maintenace requirements specified for that period/mileage other than checks.

My Skoda DSG which is oil lubricated has a full gearbox oil change at 4 years or 40k miles. I believe the newest VAG boxes will have the clutch lubricant kept separate from the gearbox lubricant. This will further aid clutch life similar to a Limited Slip Diff which uses oil lubricated friction plates. Although having two separate lubrication systems further complicates an already complex system. Oh for full electric eh?
 
Sep 27, 2016
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I own a 2016 Ford Kuga 180ps diesel with Powershift. The car has covered nearly 60,000km, of which over 12,000 have been towing a Sprite Major 4SB derivative around Europe. The transmission has not given any cause for concern, even in the Pyrenees.

Ray

coppersontour.com
 
Nov 11, 2009
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EH52ARH said:
saint-spoon said:
I am looking at a kuga as my next tow car (the sante Fe has died). Thank you for the information.

Stick with the SFe.

Given the Santa Fe and Sorento both use a conventional automatic gearbox I know where I would invest my cash. Despite the fact that there are owners of Poweshift gearboxes that work okay there is an undoubted weakness in the design that has led to major legal actions in some countries. Even in UK Ford are extending their support to them, but not making it public. The fact that Ford are dropping them from new models speaks volumes to me.
 
Feb 23, 2018
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EH52ARH said:
Craigyoung said:
EH52ARH said:
saint-spoon said:
I am looking at a kuga as my next tow car (the sante Fe has died). Thank you for the information.

Stick with the SFe.

Oi !! ;)

But whatever you do , don't get a personalised Number plate. Too Possie.

I've had a personalised plate for 16 years... it was a total pain in the bum when changing cars; filling out the form and sending off tax discs. All online now... took longer to fit the bloody number plates than deal with the DVLA! :lol:
 
Nov 16, 2015
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CustardAvenger said:
EH52ARH said:
Craigyoung said:
EH52ARH said:
saint-spoon said:
I am looking at a kuga as my next tow car (the sante Fe has died). Thank you for the information.

Stick with the SFe.

Oi !! ;)

But whatever you do , don't get a personalised Number plate. Too Possie.

I've had a personalised plate for 16 years... it was a total pain in the bum when changing cars; filling out the form and sending off tax discs. All online now... took longer to fit the bloody number plates than deal with the DVLA! :lol:

thought I would get you to bite on that. EH52 ARH. :eek:hmy:
 
Oct 12, 2013
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CustardAvenger said:
EH52ARH said:
Craigyoung said:
EH52ARH said:
saint-spoon said:
I am looking at a kuga as my next tow car (the sante Fe has died). Thank you for the information.

Stick with the SFe.

Oi !! ;)

But whatever you do , don't get a personalised Number plate. Too Possie.

I've had a personalised plate for 16 years... it was a total pain in the bum when changing cars; filling out the form and sending off tax discs. All online now... took longer to fit the bloody number plates than deal with the DVLA! :lol:
Had mine for 22 years but only had it on 3 or 4 cars ! But yes a pain when you come to swap and put them on other cars and expensive at £8o a shot!!
 
Mar 10, 2006
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What are Ford proposing to use if they dump the powershift box?

The Kuga is a lot smaller car than a santa fe, with less kerbweight. However if you want that size of car a Mazda cx-5 is a smarter but more expensive choice, especially if buying new, if buying used avoid the 2013 cars, some were fitted with faulty cams, and vacuum brake pumps.

I'm on my second CX-5 now, present one is an auto and I love it, auto is a torque convertor type, new car has a 2100kg tow limit, only a 88kg nose weight limit is a negative.

A 2017 sport nav auto AWD weighs in at 1765kg .

I tow a 1636 caravan with mine up plated to 1700kg, with an estimated 1677kg load, with out effort at 88kg nw with very little rear end sag.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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xtrailman said:
What are Ford proposing to use if they dump the powershift box?

The Kuga is a lot smaller car than a santa fe, with less kerbweight. However if you want that size of car a Mazda cx-5 is a smarter but more expensive choice, especially if buying new, if buying used avoid the 2013 cars, some were fitted with faulty cams, and vacuum brake pumps.

I'm on my second CX-5 now, present one is an auto and I love it, auto is a torque convertor type, new car has a 2100kg tow limit, only a 88kg nose weight limit is a negative.

A 2017 sport nav auto AWD weighs in at 1765kg .

I tow a 1636 caravan with mine up plated to 1700kg, with an estimated 1677kg load, with out effort at 88kg nw with very little rear end sag.

Better direct that question to Ford. Since other companies use auto boxes I guess Ford could follow their line. There’s the conventional torque converter gearbox now with 7+ gears and lock up, or CVT. VAG are continuing with their DSG dual clutch gearbox but phasing out the dry lubrucated versions which have had their moments. Future variants will all be oil lubricated which to date has tended to be used for the cars with higher torque/power. Mines a 2.0tdi and it’s oil lubrucated.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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My daughters 2014 1.6 Focus went in to the main dealer last November for its twin clutch packs to be replaced and some oil seals too. Now less than 5000 miles later it has suffered another gearbox failure. Whilst driving on a main trunk route it decided to loose drive. Diagnostics show the fault to be within the gearbox not the ECU module. She has to wait a week even for the gearbox to be removed for examination as there are three more Powershift failures ahead in the queue. Not a good situation for someone whose job is community mental health. Oh it’s only done 25000 miles in total, less than 5000 miles since last years rebuild, full Ford service history. Four days out of the 12 month warranty for the previous rebuild and Ford don’t want to know, unless it were a faulty ECU. Pity we don’t have the benefits of the US and Australian class actions in UK.
 

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