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What does the "Transmission Limited Function" error in my 2013 Ford Mondeo mean?

Asked by Jeremy

I have a 2013 Ford Mondeo LX Hatch which has just thrown up an "Transmission Limited Function" error after 101,000 kms. I was then only able to access R, 1, 3 and 5 gears so clearly there’s a problem with the dual-clutch Powershift transmission. I took it to a Ford service centre and it had an error code that they had never seen before (ISO_150316-2715$1). Then they road tested it and told me that the transmission was faulty and needs replacing. Price quoted is $9683 fitted. The vehicle has pretty low kms for the age but is well and truly out of warranty. I am interested to know if other owners have had the same issue. At this point it looks like the car is a total write off as the value is only 11-12k if it did not have the transmission error. Do I have any chance of Ford coming to the party here or is that completely unreasonable?

Answered by CarsGuide

6 Sep 2021 David Morley

Ford’s Powershift dual-clutch transmission is one of the most suspect pieces of engineering in recent history. When failures of the transmission first started being noticed, Ford, rather than fix the problem, took the view that owners were driving the car incorrectly and laying blame there. It didn’t end there, though, as the high failure rate of the gearbox soon had the ACCC involved and Ford was subsequently fined and accused of `unconscionable conduct’ by the consumer watchdog.

Fundamentally, the transmission itself was junk. It suffered failures of the electronics and sensors as well as the control module and, in some cases, failure of the mechanical parts including clutch-packs. Symptoms include harsh shifting, a loss of drive, noises and, as you’ve noted, failure to select some gears.

Even worse was the dry-clutch unit fitted to Ford Focus, Fiesta and Ecosport models which would fail even more spectacularly. These were so bad, Ford ended up offering owners of those vehicles a very cheap trade-up deal to the newer model which used a conventional torque converter automatic rather than the dreaded dual-clutch. Unfortunately, the wet-clutch unit in your car wasn’t included in that offer, but the failures are still well documented.

You’re right that the car is well out of warranty now, but I still think you’d be wise to have a chat with Ford’s customer service division to see if there’s anything that can be done to help you out financially. Throwing away a modern car with just over 100,000km on board just doesn’t seem right in 2021. Nor does a transmission that costs almost $10,000 to replace. But I can see your point about throwing good money after bad; on today’s figures, your car is worth about $10,000, roughly the same as the gearbox it requires.

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