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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
"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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