Ford Fiesta Transmission Problems

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Since its reveal and production in 1976, the Ford Fiesta has gone on to sell more than 22 million units. This has made it one of the best-selling lineups in the brand.

Despite this monumental status, the car still suffers from a list of issues localized in a wide array of models spread throughout the years.

Ford Fiesta transmission problems rapidly became a concern with the release of the 2011 model.

It started a massive chain of issues in the component that would go to affect the next five models as well.

This meant that the next five models are all prone to most of the problems below:

  1. Transmission Jerking While Driving
  2. Stutter And Stalling
  3. Hesitation When Accelerating
  4. Loss Of Power
  5. Transmission Fluid Leakage
  6. Shaking When Downshifting
  7. Total Transmission Failure
  8. Difficulty Shifting Into Gear
  9. Transmission Surging
  10. Car Not Staying In Gear

If you want to understand all of these problems and know what causes them, it would be wise to read this article till the end.

This way, in the event your Ford Fiesta starts to act up, you can get the problem solved as soon as possible.

10 Signs Of Transmission Problems In A Ford Fiesta

What could be the reasons if your Ford Fiesta's transmission acts up? Let's find out

There are plenty of signs that can tell you if your Ford Fiesta is having issues with its transmission.

Most of these should be easy to tell as you can feel the difference in the drive of your car.

Other signs are more blatant and obvious such as noises and grinding.

In this section of the article, I will go over all of the major problems listed above.

This way, you will be able to get an idea of what you have to deal with when facing issues in your Ford Fiesta.

1. Transmission Jerking While Driving

Transmission jerking while driving is yet another annoying issue that Ford Fiesta owners might have to face.

It’s usually caused by issues like a worn-out torque converter, low transmission fluid, or problems with the transmission control module.

When the transmission jerks, it can be difficult to control the car, and it can also lead to other issues as well.

2. Stutter And Stalling

Transmission stuttering and stalling can cause the car to feel unstable and can be dangerous to drive.

This issue is usually caused by problems with the transmission system, such as low transmission fluid, worn-out gears, or a malfunctioning transmission control module.

It can also be caused by problems with the engine or other mechanical issues.

3. Hesitation When Accelerating

Transmission hesitation is usually caused by problems with the transmission system, such as low transmission fluid, worn-out gears, or a malfunctioning transmission control module.

When the transmission is hesitating, it can be difficult to control the car and it can also lead to other issues like poor fuel efficiency and transmission failure.

4. Loss Of Power

This issue occurs when the transmission is not able to provide enough power to the wheels to move the Ford Fiesta.

This can happen when the transmission is slipping, which can be caused by low transmission fluid, worn-out gears, or a malfunctioning transmission control module.

When the transmission experiences a loss of power, it can lead to other issues like poor fuel efficiency and transmission failure.

5. Transmission Fluid Leakage

As you can imagine, there can be a ton of issues if your Ford Fiesta is lacking transmission fluid.

Transmission fluid is an integral part of the car as it is required to keep the transmission lubricated and cool.

Due to fluid leaks, the car’s transmission starts to grind heavily, and this leads to wear and tear and overheating.

6. Shaking When Downshifting

This is another one of those problems that you can identify simply by driving your Ford Fiesta. As the title suggests, once you attempt to downshift your gear, you will face a great of shaking.

This problem is more common in automatic transmissions and is usually caused by issues in the gears that occur during the transition.

7. Total Transmission Failure

Total transmission failure is an extreme problem that any transmission can face. This issue occurs as a result of many of the issues mentioned above.

Signs like overheating and gear slipping can be early indicators of transmission failure. If this issue occurs, your transmission will cease all performance.

This issue cannot be fixed and will require you to replace your transmission.

8. Difficulty Shifting Into Gear

Shifting from one gear to another should be very simple, but if you are facing difficulty in doing so, it is likely that you are facing issues in the transmission.

Oftentimes, this issue is caused by the clutch or the transmission itself. If you are facing issues while changing gears, try to drive as little as possible and get the issue resolved.

9. Transmission Surging

If your Ford Fiesta is jumping back and forth or falling back for no reason, you might be dealing with transmission surges.

This issue could be caused by contaminated transmission fluid. Other signs you can use to identify his problem are strange smells, weak acceleration, and strange noises.

10. Car Not Staying In Gear

This issue results in the car not staying in the gear that you shift it to. There are a ton of reasons why this problem could be happening.

Usually, it is just a lack of transmission fluid, but other times it could be a defective shifter cable or valve body.

What Should You Do If Your Ford Fiesta Is Facing Transmission Shuddering?

Due to its nature, transmission shuddering can be caused by a variety of issues. This means that there can be plenty of solutions depending on the cause of the problem.

One common solution is to have the transmission fluid, and filter changed. If the transmission fluid is old or dirty, it can cause the transmission to shudder.

Additionally, the torque converter can cause transmission shuddering. Replacing the torque converter or having it rebuilt can fix the problem.

In some cases, a worn or damaged transmission mount can also cause transmission shuddering. Replacing the mount can also fix the problem, in some rare cases.

Should You Buy A Manual Transmission Or An Automatic Transmission For Your Ford Fiesta?

The choice between a manual transmission and an automatic transmission for your Ford Fiesta depends on your personal preferences and driving habits.

Manual transmissions are generally more fuel-efficient and offer more control over the car’s power delivery. They also tend to be less expensive to repair and maintain.

Automatic transmissions, on the other hand, are generally more convenient and easier to operate. They offer smooth shifting, which can make the ride more comfortable.

However, they tend to be less fuel-efficient and more expensive to repair and maintain. This can be a deal breaker if you get one of the models listed below.

In the end, it should depend mostly on how comfortable you are with a particular transmission type.

That being said, the automatic transmission generally has more issues that you may have to deal with.

Which Year Did Ford Fiesta Have Transmission Issues?

When it comes to the Ford Fiesta, there are not a lot of years that have transmission problems.

This is the reason why in this section of the article, you will see only five different models listed below.

Each of these models has a lot of different problems that need to be discussed, which is why I will be going in-depth into all of their issues.

1. 2013 Ford Fiesta

In the entire lineup, the 2013 Ford Fiesta is easily the most complained about the car in the entire lineup.

Throughout the entire car, there are plenty of problems that owners have to deal with.

With that being said, the most frustrating component was undoubtedly the transmission as it had the most number of issues.

Even at first gear, people noticed the hesitation, and this would be present throughout riding the car, especially so when accelerating.

This was nothing compared to the slipping and chugging that drivers and riders of the car had to face.

Often accompanied by a loss of power, the 2013 Ford Fiesta would also clang a lot and face major hesitation.

Moreover, there would be dragging and crunching noises as well as a very loud noise coming from the transmission.

Additional issues included the car stalling in lower gears. Facing all of these issues, it was very difficult to recommend this model of the Ford Fiesta.

2. 2011 Ford Fiesta

Before the rise of the 2013 model as the most complained about car in the lineup, people had to deal with the 2011 Ford Fiesta, which was almost as bad.

When it came to this model, the first thing people had to ensure was constant shuddering, jerking, and hesitation. This, as you would expect, was very common during acceleration.

Another major issue that people faced was the transmission straight up failing. This would often lead to a lot of people having to get new replacement components for their Ford Fiesta.

In some cases, the car would not go into gear at all. Other times, there would be an annoying rattling sound that would emanate from the transmission.

All of this was topped up with the transmission leaking its fluid. This would in turn lead to a series of other issues as well which would make the transmission hard to deal with.

3. 2012 Ford Fiesta

Released between the two models above, the 2012 Ford Fiesta included a variety of problems when it came to its transmission.

That being said, they were not as much when compared to the models above.

Owners of the car faced difficulty shifting gears, especially when shifting from first to second gear and the transmission shuddering.

Many people complained about sudden jerking or shaking of the vehicle while driving and moments of transmission surging.

Transmission failure was also an issue however it was not as common.

People faced general trouble with the clutch, like difficulty engaging or disengaging. This was often accompanied by problems in shifting in general, along with the car not staying in gear.

Additional problems included leaks in the transmission fluid. Some reports suggest that the issues were not resolved even after multiple repairs.

The most common issue was undoubtedly the transmission shuddering. This was the nail in the coffin for this model.

4. 2014 Ford Fiesta

Things started to cool off after the disaster of the 2013 model.

When it came to the 2014 Ford Fiesta, people had a decent amount of complaints against the transmission. However, it was still a step in the right direction.

The 2014 Ford Fiesta has been reported to have intermittent shudder when taking off. This was often accompanied by transmission shift shuddering and a rattling sound on top of it.

These issues would cause significant inconvenience and easily affect the car’s performance. Intermittent shudder when taking off made the car feel unstable and dangerous to drive.

The transmission shift shuddering made the car feel jerky and difficult to control. These issues can also affect the fuel efficiency of the car, which is much less than advertised.

The major offender was the fact that in some cases, the car’s transmission would not work at all. Most of these issues were isolated in the automatic version of the transmission.

5. 2015 Ford Fiesta

The final year that people had to deal with a bad Ford Fiesta was 2015. The 2015 Ford Fiesta would be the final model to receive a lot of hate for its bad transmission.

When compared to the models above, it had nearly half of the issues of the 2014 model, which was already short on plenty of issues.

Despite this, the model faced intermittent shudders when taking off, jerks and hesitates, jerking and slipping.

Transmission slipping and transmission shuddering have been reported and these have caused significant inconvenience to the car’s performance.

Intermittent shuddering made the car feel unstable, while jerks and hesitation made the car feel difficult to control.

All of this led to a very rough ride. Jerking and slipping also caused the transmission to fail.

Loss of power was reported due to the transmission slipping. All of these problems were less frequent than in previous models, which is why this year is at the end of this list.



Lastly, you should not have to worry about Ford Fiesta transmission problems unless you have gone ahead and gotten one of the models above.

Due to the lack of data on older models, I cannot say for certain how they may perform.

For this reason, it is recommended that you stick to their newer releases as they are state-of-the-art and have less problems in general.

The main years you should stay away from are the ones between 2011 and 2015.

Doing so should give you a solid experience when it comes to driving a Ford Fiesta, as you won’t be dealing with constant transmission shuddering.