Do Ford Fiestas Have Transmission Problems? yes! [Detailed]

Transmission problems make the driving experience anything but smooth. Sadly, Ford has been riddled with such problems. But do Ford Fiestas have transmission problems? Not only do they have them, but they are a big problem.

Ford had three affordable models after the global recession in 2011. They are Ford Fiesta, Ford Focus, and Ford Fusion. Apart from having similarities in their name, one other thing they have in common is the problems in their transmissions. These problems sometimes start right after people buy their cars.

When the transmission of a car starts acting up, it causes some serious problems for the driver. The car continuously shudders, vibrates, and even stalls in the middle of the road. This is not all as sometimes the car will speed up, which is a living nightmare if you are driving through an intersection.

Do Ford Fiestas Have Transmission Problems
Image by Jessy Smith from unsplash

Read also >> Can The Ford PowerShift Transmission Be Fixed?

ford fiesta transmission problems year

  • Ford Fiesta 2011
  • Ford Fiesta 2012
  • Ford Fiesta 2013
  • Ford Fiesta 2014
  • Ford Fiesta 2015

Ford Fiestas: A Detailed Look Into Their Trouble-ridden Transmissions

Ford Fiestas have been around since the 1970s. It was very popular as well, indicated by its presence in the market even after Ford stopped producing them by the 1980s. After a hiatus from the 1980s to 2011, it was relaunched with improved design (at least Ford claimed it that way) along with Ford Focus. Like its sibling, the Ford Fiesta also was diagnosed with crippling transmission problems.

When I say crippling transmission problems, I am not taking the help of any hyperbole. This transmission problem quite literally makes the car cripples. The reason for Ford Fiesta’s transmission problems can be attributed to faulty design and Ford’s refusal to improve upon it. To get to the bottom of this, first, you need to know where the problems start.

Early Ford Fiestas had manual transmissions, which were fuel efficient. As fuel prices kept rising, these cars continued to become more and more popular. But, these manual transmissions of Fiestas were a bit complicated to operate, so Ford introduced automatic transmissions. Despite not being as fuel efficient as the manual ones, the ease of operation made this transmission quite popular very fast.

But then came the regulations that the federal government passed regarding fuel emissions. Then, Ford started to look for solutions that would keep the popular automatic transmission around, while also making sure the cars passed the regulations. This gave rise to the Ford Fiesta transmission problems.

In a hurry to catch up with its competitors, Ford took the shortcut and manipulated the manual transmissions of the previous models to automatic shifts in 2011. They thought it solved all their problems, but it was just the start of the transmission problem of Ford Fiestas.

You see, manual transmissions save fuel by not supplying any oil during shifting. When Ford implemented a dry clutch system that was controlled by a computer, things took a turn for the worst. As the manual transmission doesn’t allow any oil to be supplied when shifting, the transmission becomes excessively dry. As a result, it is worn down very quickly.

On the other hand, the computer has to deal with things like acceleration and changes in speeds. With a worn-down manual transmission, the computer’s load becomes too much. As a result, the engine can’t work properly. Then comes the shuddering, vibrations, stalling, and unexpected acceleration.

What Steps Has Ford Taken To Improve Upon This?

stunning ford fiesta st blue
Image by Toby Parsons from Pixabay

Naturally, when things continued to take a turn for the worst, people petitioned for Ford to take the Ford Fiesta, Focus, and Fusion back. But they simply didn’t want the company to take it back. Due to its affordability, they still wanted the car on the roads. They just wanted Ford to make some improvements. But did Ford, do it?

Well, Ford did take a couple of steps. First, they extended the transmission’s warranty up to 150 thousand miles or 10 years. But the Ford transmission problem didn’t get solved due to this. An extended warranty will not come to any use when you are stranded on the road due to the car stalling.

Next, they claim that they have improved upon the design in the next models. But when people faced similar problems again, they found out that the transmissions continued to have the same issues as before. Not only that, they couldn’t even repair the transmissions, as almost half of the transmissions couldn’t be fixed at all.

This is not the only thing that put Ford in hot water. Due to a large number of Ford Fiestas being brought to repair, a backorder around the whole nation was created. The reason behind this was Ford’s inability to keep up with the increasing demand for the clutches that are needed for the transmissions.

To add to their misery, when Ford increased their warranty, many people who had a faulty Ford Fiesta, took their car for repair. They were then told that their car was just fine, or the transmission was made in Europe. Not only that, they were even wrongly told that the transmission was getting acclimated to the driving pattern of the driver.

What Steps Did The Consumers Take?

After Ford continued to provide negative feedback to the consumers, and a few accidents over the years, consumers decided to take action against the company. It was decided that Ford Fiestas were extremely dangerous, and not suitable for the road. Especially after a severe accident in October 2011, which saw an elderly woman getting injured, things were starting to heat up.

Many consumers contacted lawyers and those lawyers acted by the lemon laws of their respective states. As these lawsuits are piling up, people are getting their dues. It is also forcing Ford to think about improving the transmissions of their vehicles to prevent further accidents from happening.

Can You Repair Ford Fiesta Transmissions?

Although almost half of the faulty transmissions of the Ford Fiesta can’t be repaired, some can be repaired. Even if they can’t be repaired, you can replace the bands of the transmission as well as the shift solenoids. You can also rebuild or replace your car’s transmission if it goes bad.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

1. What Are The Most Common Problems With A Ford Fiesta?

Ford Fiestas have been riddled with problems ever since they were relaunched in 2011. The main problem this car faced was faulty transmissions. But there are other problems as well. These are issues with the car’s rear axle and the failure of the door latches.

2. How Much Does It Cost To Fix A Ford Fiesta Transmission?

Fixing a Ford Fiesta transmission is very expensive if the entire transmission has to be replaced. For example, if you want to replace a 2019 Ford Fiesta transmission, you have to pay around 3500 USD. But, if you need only servicing on the transmission, it costs significantly less.

Final Words

Ever since they were redesigned and relaunched along with Ford Focus, Ford Fiesta has had many problems. Do Ford Fiestas have transmission problems though? The answer is affirmative, and the problem is very severe. It has led to various injuries and deaths over the years and yet Ford hasn’t taken any necessary steps to stop this.

On the contrary, the steps Ford has taken are insufficient and insignificant. As a result, people have been forced to take legal action against the company.

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Mahir Ahmed


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