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"Transmission failure" after battery replacement

I have a 2012 Ford Fiesta SE. Last night the battery went dead, so I got it replaced by AAA. This morning I thought the warning lights that I was seeing were on because the battery had been disconnected. There's an orange wrench light on the instrument panel (I assume that's the check engine light, didn't look it up yet) and the radio screen gives a message saying, "Transmission malfunction." It will shift into drive, but it doesn't seem to want to shift from first to second gear. So I parked it. BTW, reverse also worked. I have tried leaving the battery disconnected for about 40 minutes and then reconnecting, but I'm still getting the same error. After Googling the problem, I learned that the car is more than likely in "limp home" mode. I also read from multiple sources that the car should reset (or go back to normal, for lack of a better term) after 20-30 minutes of "normal driving."

Should I drive it around at 10 miles an hour for awhile? Just pay to have it towed to the nearest dealership? My power train warranty is up. I can't exactly afford a bill from the dealership, but of course it's better than making the problem worse and more expensive to fix. I'd just rather not pay Ford to "fix" my car if there isn't anything actually wrong with it. Any advice from someone who has experience with this error is very much appreciated.
 

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Quite coincidental me thinks. If you have a code scanner I would scan and then clear any codes. If you do not have a scanner disconnect the battery ground cable for 20 minutes and then reconnect and see if it clears.

Here's to hoping the AAA tech did not ground out the battery when installing.


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I have this literal same problem. My battery died in a parking garage from someone leaving the blower motor running without cranking it (it wouldn't crank and the display went nuts). I got a jump from Geico. Drove it home in rush hour traffic for about 30 minutes. Got home, everything was fine. The next day it was slow to crank, but I didn't pay it much attention. Day after, I got the "Immobilizer Fault" and display error and the entire front display would literally die while cranking. After I got back home, it wouldn't even crank anymore, and barely enough power to turn a few lights on.

I got another jump the next day and drove it to Advance, they did a battery test and it had 230 CCA of 500, with 12 volts, the alternator was putting out 14 volts, and it had a 2 second crank time (the battery was still weak). I just replaced the battery and then when the new battery was in, I got the transmission warning.

I've been in a queue for a clutch replacement for 4 months (they're saying it could be even longer) and the car shifts as if its in learning mode (it won't do Sport mode so I can't even check what gear it is). Dealership isn't open until Monday, so right now I'm stuck just biting my fingernails and hoping it's just something silly from the battery. I drove the car 20 miles and it did alright, just acting as if it was in learning mode, shifting around 4k and obviously shifting sooner if you're aggressive with the gas vs. slowly accelerating.
 

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clearing code does not remove the problem.

Worst case scenario. The "tech" reversed the connections, even for an instant. I happens. :(
 

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In the manual there is specific instructions as to what must be done for the tranny to "reprogram" it's self. My dealer failed to heed those instruction and I had the same problems as the first poster on this difficulty. They had to completely reprogram the whole transmission. The reprogramming by letting the car do it is simple, it just takes time.
 

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Hi,

I disconnected my battery in order to clean acid from the terminals and when I hooked it back up I am having the same error and the car hs gone into limp home mode.

My car is past 36k mile warranty. If I bring it to the dealer will they charge me to reprogram the transmission?

Also was wondering if disconnecting the battery again may help? In addition I am getting code P0420 that has re-appeared since going away 6 months ago.

I think it is unfair of Ford dealer to charge us when a sensor is giving off a false alarm and then we have to pay to have the sensor reset?

I have waited 3 days and started the car each day and drove it 5 blocks just to see if the error would go away. But so far it remains. Also the ignition sounds weird when it is cranking up, almost like it is struggling (It never sounded like that before)
 

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The powertrain warranty goes to 60,000 miles, doesn't it? Should be a freebie at the dealer.
 

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I had the same issue on my 2012 after some body work. The body shop had disconnected the battery while they had it. The Ford dealer diagnosed the problem as a failed transmission controller and it was replaced under the extended warranty that Ford has on the controller per the info below:

FSA Title: TRANSMISSION CONTROL MODULE EXTENDED WARRANTY COVERAGE
Field Service Action Number: 14M02

Maybe you can talk to your dealer about this.
 

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THanks guys,

I was really worried sick that I would have to pay out of pocket for this :(
 

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My daughter's 2011 SE had the same problem this morning. The dealer is looking at it today, but said that it would be covered under the extended warranty. Wondering what others have been told the problem was? I would hate to think that this is a possibility every time the battery is disconnected! I often disconnect the battery to perform maintenance on the car.
 

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Followup: The Transmission Control Unit was replaced for free under the customer satisfaction extended warranty. Service guy said that the problem is known, but offered no more information. As expected, the transmission is still running erratically, as the computer is still learning the properties of the clutches, but my daughter reports that it's getting better.
 

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Followup: The Transmission Control Unit was replaced for free under the customer satisfaction extended warranty. Service guy said that the problem is known, but offered no more information. As expected, the transmission is still running erratically, as the computer is still learning the properties of the clutches, but my daughter reports that it's getting better.
Were you charged the 136 diagnosis fee? I was, even though the TCU was the problem and needed to be replaced and programmed. The cause was a low voltage code since I just changed by battery... my old one died.

Unacceptable.
Anybody know who I can complain to about this?
 

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"Transmission failure" after battery replacement

I have a 2012 Ford Fiesta SE. Last night the battery went dead, so I got it replaced by AAA. This morning I thought the warning lights that I was seeing were on because the battery had been disconnected. There's an orange wrench light on the instrument panel (I assume that's the check engine light, didn't look it up yet) and the radio screen gives a message saying, "Transmission malfunction." It will shift into drive, but it doesn't seem to want to shift from first to second gear. So I parked it. BTW, reverse also worked. I have tried leaving the battery disconnected for about 40 minutes and then reconnecting, but I'm still getting the same error. After Googling the problem, I learned that the car is more than likely in "limp home" mode. I also read from multiple sources that the car should reset (or go back to normal, for lack of a better term) after 20-30 minutes of "normal driving."

Should I drive it around at 10 miles an hour for awhile? Just pay to have it towed to the nearest dealership? My power train warranty is up. I can't exactly afford a bill from the dealership, but of course it's better than making the problem worse and more expensive to fix. I'd just rather not pay Ford to "fix" my car if there isn't anything actually wrong with it. Any advice from someone who has experience with this error is very much appreciated.
 

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Remove both the positive and negative battery cables from the battery, them touch the cable ends together for around 10 seconds and then reconnect them to the battery. I've had it work for this exact problem. Its pretty much zeros out all the electrical resistance in the electrical system and resets everything. I've had fix more issues that I could count.
 

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I had this transmission malfunction on my 2011 Fiesta (won't up-shift correctly) after replacing the battery last winter and finally had the car serviced the other day by my local private repair shop. I tried various tricks to get the controller to reprogram including disconnecting the battery again for a while and reconnecting, putting miles on the car, driving it through a series of acceleration runs at graduated intensity so it would "re-learn" proper shifting and nothing worked. I did find that the car can be forced to up-shift by putting the shift lever in neutral for a few seconds and waiting for the revs to drop, then back to drive. Still, it was a pain to have to do that every time I slowed enough to drop to a low gear. My service tech read the codes and cleared them, then told me I'd have to go to Ford for help. Anyway, the morning after he returned my car to my driveway I went out and started up and lo and behold, not only were the annoying error messages gone (which I expected since he cleared the codes) but the car drove and shifted normally again. Whether this will last once I've gone the required miles for the computer to register new faults again, I don't know.

If I were the suspicious type, I'd wonder if Ford did this on purpose to get people to see a dealer even though all they really need to do is clear the codes and the problem will disappear. If all else fails, get somebody at the local auto parts store to loan you a code reader and clear any codes. It just might be all you need.
 

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Are things still running smoothly? I have the same problem with my daughter's fiesta Ecoboost's Auto transmission after battery ran down and I replaced it. It is 2016 with the original battery up to now.
 

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So far. I've had it maybe 100 miles since the reset and it's still shifting OK. A way to avoid this could involve jumping the new battery to the terminal connections before disconnecting the old one. Since there's little power draw with the engine off, any wire would do the job. Hopefully this would keep the computer from detecting any loss of voltage and setting off error codes. Why this design flaw made it through production is a mystery.
 

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Hi,
I have had a similar problem. Car wouldn't start (lights would come on but engine wouldn't turn properly). The screen advised that the immobiliser was malfuctioning or that traction lock was on. If I left it a while it would start and I could drive it again.
The Ford dealership looked at the code and advised that the transmission module needed to be replaced.....$1200 later I thought the problem was solved. Today, same thing happened again, same message. This time they said it was the battery and not related to the previous problem. Seems weird to me because the car did the exact same thing and the same message came up on the screen.

Do you think the problem was with the battery all along and that the $1200 for the new transmission module was unnecessary?
 
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