Ford B Max. - Well...I went and did it. - argybargy

Well, despite all the advice I went and did it.

I bought a B Max with Powershift, and no, I hadn't researched Powershift problems beforehand. On that previous thread I told a slight porky when I said I'd had a "look" at one...in fact, I'd already agreed to buy, and when Powershift issues were mentioned in response to that comment, I spent a sleepless night wondering whether to pull out of the sale. In the end I went for it because everything else about the vehicle suits us just fine. Though yes, for that to mean anything in a car you have to be able to drive it without kangarooing or breaking down. .

The gearbox is actually smooth for the vast majority of the time, though having taken it out for a pretty serious workout yesterday on a hilly, undulating section of country roads, I did notice a judder, particularly when negotiating a steep, sharp, upward bend.

Its done 23 thousand miles with one Motability owner, and probably spent most of its life going backwards and forwards to the local shops on flat terrain. If anything is likely to go wrong, it will go wrong here in Wales where the hills tend to be steep and unforgiving of fragile gearbox parts.

I suppose I could try to see this as a project, though hopefully not an expensive and depressing one.

Ford extended the warranty to five years on the gearbox, so we have a year of ownership before the cost of fixing any potential problems become solely our responsibility. And for what its worth, the indy dealer who sold the car to me has given 12 months parts and labour warranty, which along with his good reputation and 30 odd years in the business does give me some peace of mind.

Nevertheless, feel free to give me a virtual kicking; I probably deserve it. Best excuse I can come up with is that I just couldn't find a Jazz at the right price.

Ford B Max. - Well...I went and did it. - DieselBoy

If you are happy with it, then other people's opinions don't matter. Remember, they are just opinions. There's every chance you'll have no issues with your Powershift box.

Enjoy.

Ford B Max. - Well...I went and did it. - RobJP

If you are happy with it, then other people's opinions don't matter. Remember, they are just opinions. There's every chance you'll have no issues with your Powershift box.

Enjoy.

With lots of cars / parts that do have a poor reputation, I do wonder how much of it is down to a lack of regular and preventative maintenance or monitoring. For example, BMWs timing chain problems seem to occur far more regularly on diesels that get the 20k oil changes, probably don't get oil level chaecks carried out, seem to be on older cars that are being serviced more cheaply (wrong grade of oil ?). Get them serviced properly and every 10k miles, and problems seem far less common.

HJ, I seem to recall, recommends a fluid and microfilter change every 40k miles on this transmission. I'd be willing to place a reasonably-sized bet that a vast majority (80 or 90%) of the failures are on gearboxes that have never been maintained.

Ford B Max. - Well...I went and did it. - SLO76
Not what I would've bought but it's your dosh to do with as you please. I'd service it solely with your local Ford dealer who will see regular technical bulletins from the manufacturer regarding reported issues with the car and in particular this gearbox. If there's any oil changes due on the box they'll advise and don't scrimp on it. These are complicated pieces of equipment which need maintaining by people with the right knowledge and tools. I can't remember which engine you went for, can you remind me?

Best of luck and remember despite the reputation the majority of punters do have no major problems it's just instances of faults are far higher on these than say the Jazz.
Ford B Max. - Well...I went and did it. - scot22

Argybargy I have read critical comments about the safety of the sliding rearing doors and the risk of not fully engaging its lock to keep the door open. Is this the case ? Have you found any practical drawbacks so far ?

Ford B Max. - Well...I went and did it. - badbusdriver

One of my customers has one, 1.6 petrol with the powershift. I asked him about it when he got it a year ago because I had been thinking it would be an ideal car for my wife (this was before I learned about the potential problems). He was well impressed with it at the time, and since then, hasn't mentioned any problems to me.

So fingers crossed you don't have any problems!

The one thing I would suggest, now that you actually have the car, is to not drive 'aggressively', no trying to be 1st away from the traffic lights etc. Maybe get into the habit of easing off (slightly) the throttle pedal at the shift points, just to lessen the stresses on the gearbox.

Ford B Max. - Well...I went and did it. - argybargy

Thank you for your encouraging, helpful and above all, non judgemental responses.

SLO, it’s the 1.6 engine, which in itself seems sound and so far it appears to deliver decent low down power for a small car. Its a bit raucous at high revs, but I can live with that. Scot, early days again, but the sliding doors don’t appear to have any obvious drawbacks, though with us living on steep hill it does take a little extra effort to close them. Although it would be pretty easy not to shut them properly, the car does give you a warning beep if they're not properly secured. Oh, and the internal handle on the rear door does slightly obscure vision when checking over your shoulder.

I have to admit to having driven it quite hard since we bought the car, perhaps with the intention of trying to encourage issues with the gearbox so they can be sorted before the warranty runs out. But I’ll take note of the suggestion that I drive it with a degree of restraint; after all, not one of our previous cars has ever been given anything approaching a hard time.

It also makes lots of sense to let Ford service it, and as stated above, t has already had a software update which I picked up on Ford ETIS (though whether that did any good or just ticked a box, Lord Knows). My only reservation about Ford servicing is that my son had his Fiesta serviced by a Ford garage and they managed to break his air cleaner box for no good reason other than clumsiness. Then again, that could be down to an individual, or a poor culture at that particular dealer, and not typical of Ford dealerships in general. I don’t really know enough about that to be able to say.

My first instinct, having taken this particular plunge and had time to consider the potential drawbacks, is to see how it goes till next Spring, and if its been a bag of trouble, trade it in at the dealer where it was purchased.

After all, he tells me that he’s sold dozens of Fords with Powershift boxes and only one of those has needed work. So he can hardly refuse to take mine in part ex, can he......

Edited by argybargy on 01/08/2017 at 13:30

Ford B Max. - Well...I went and did it. - SLO76
The 1.6 petrol is a good engine and should give no trouble at all. Wise advice to drive a little more gently and ease off during changes. It can do no harm.
Ford B Max. - Well...I went and did it. - argybargy
The 1.6 petrol is a good engine and should give no trouble at all. Wise advice to drive a little more gently and ease off during changes. It can do no harm.

Thanks, I'll most certainly follow that advice. The overall driving experience is fine once you set aside any reservations about the gearbox. We might even enjoy owning it, with luck.

As a trader you probably know this already, SLO, but chatter on the forums seems to indicate that it's the early small cars with Powershift that have the most serious problems. Plenty of owners report more than one clutch pack replacement below 20k miles, and there's an issue with chafing and failure of the degas hose on the Ecoboost cars. So although the right servicing is obviously vital, some vehicles represent a ticking financial timebomb from the moment they leave the factory.

Ford B Max. - Well...I went and did it. - nellyjak

Enjoy it, mate....if we all took absolute notice of vehicle reviews/opinions etc. we'd never buy any car..!

I accept that some makes/models seem to be more "fault" prone than others but that doesn't necessarily mean you'll suffer the same fate.

Personally I love the sliding doors on my imported V6 Toyota Estima (Previa) but to be fair they are "soft close" and providing the door gets closed reasonably close to where it should be then the system takes over and closes them fully automatically.

Yes, they can sometimes seem a little on the heavy side...but I prefer to use the word..solid..lol.

Ford B Max. - Well...I went and did it. - argybargy

Much appreciated, Nellyjak. For us, there's not much more than novelty value in the doors, to be honest. Our kids are grown up and 90 per cent of the time its just the two of us in the car. Maybe I could let her drive and get in the back...then again, no.

Time will obviously tell whether our B Max is a pig in a poke or a little gem.

Or a combination of the two.

Ford B Max. - Well...I went and did it. - SLO76
"As a trader you probably know this already, SLO, but chatter on the forums seems to indicate that it's the early small cars with Powershift that have the most serious problems. Plenty of owners report more than one clutch pack replacement below 20k miles, and there's an issue with chafing and failure of the degas hose on the Ecoboost cars. So although the right servicing is obviously vital, some vehicles represent a ticking financial timebomb from the moment they leave the factory."

They are more prone to it but truth is no one has perfected the automated manual gearbox to date. It's just too complex. Even the Japanese (both Honda and Toyota had a pop at it) couldn't do it and effectively gave up on them in favour of CVT and conventional torque converter transmissions instead.

I hope all the best for you and despite the dislike of the gearbox the car itself is a good model and the engine is very well liked by the trade with no real vices.
Ford B Max. - Well...I went and did it. - KB.

I too wish you well. And I too own a similar gearbox - the DSG in a 1.2 petrol Yeti. So I too know how it feels to have the world and his brother foretelling impending doom and disaster. (Hasn't happened yet, but tomorrow's another day).

Mine HAS had a replacement clutch pack under warranty due to early onset judder. It's fine as we speak and I've not renewed the extended warranty on it this year.

You have a year to judge whether you might want to consider an after market warranty such as that available from, what was called CSMA, but now called "Boundless". Fair price and decent enough cover although after the car is five years old it gets dearer and covers less, but still isn't bad if you fear the worst.

I too would advocate driving with sympathy. The first sign of judder would have me back at the dealers and that is when you'll find out how good (or otherwise) the dealer and/or the manufacturer actually are.

I would have another DSG (very similar to yours) in something like the new Yeti replacement or the equivalent Seat as I believe VAG have cracked the back of the problems encountered earlier - but I would take an extended warranty from new... i.e. up to five years. And with my ultra sensible hat on would go for another Hyundai or a Kia - mainly coz of the warranty.

Good luck... you may or may not need it. It's a shame you have to be so cautious - they've been making cars long enough, I would have hoped they could solve these problems by now. And Ford isn't exactly a back street fly by night outfit either.

Ford B Max. - Well...I went and did it. - argybargy

Thanks once more. I read somewhere that Ford do seem to have ironed out the issues with the Powershift, but only in later models. Not much compensation for the likes of myself, but it is encouraging to note that the doom mongers don't always hold sole ownership of the truth.

I actually have 3 warranties at this moment in time: I had an AA warranty on my old Focus, and I've informed them of the change of vehicle. This is one of those with a 75 quid excess so most of the cost of a severe gearbox issue would be covered. The dealer I bought it from insists that if there are any issues he would "look after us", and I believe him. And then there's the remainder of the Ford warranty, which runs out next June, and which I would obviously go to first as they have the expertise to cope with any gearbox problems at their cost, and not mine.

So it ain't all bad news. ;0)

Ford B Max. - Well...I went and did it. - Engineer Andy

Thanks once more. I read somewhere that Ford do seem to have ironed out the issues with the Powershift, but only in later models.

VAG said the same about their DSG boxes, but until they reach 5+ years old with no more issues than a standard torque converter design, I'm not buying one, as many makes (IMO) have 'form' on such long-standing reliability issues. It may mean there are less terminal (and very costly) faults and/or affecting less cars than before, but I'll reserve judgement whether they'll be as reliable as TC or the better CVT boxes. As you say, at least Ford have extended the warranty on the existing ones, better than nothing I suppose. Hopefully if yours goes wrong, it'll do so whilst still in warranty.

Ford B Max. - Well...I went and did it. - Wackyracer

As you say, at least Ford have extended the warranty on the existing ones, better than nothing I suppose. Hopefully if yours goes wrong, it'll do so whilst still in warranty.

Having a warranty and getting something fixed under warranty are 2 entirely different things as alot of 1.0T Ecoboost owners have found out. Many of the people with these engine failures have been told it's not covered by the warranty and been given quotes of around £5000 for a new engine. It's only through a struggle they managed to get them done for free.

Ford B Max. - Well...I went and did it. - Engineer Andy

As you say, at least Ford have extended the warranty on the existing ones, better than nothing I suppose. Hopefully if yours goes wrong, it'll do so whilst still in warranty.

Having a warranty and getting something fixed under warranty are 2 entirely different things as alot of 1.0T Ecoboost owners have found out. Many of the people with these engine failures have been told it's not covered by the warranty and been given quotes of around £5000 for a new engine. It's only through a struggle they managed to get them done for free.

Bummer. To be honest, that's why I still lean towards buying from the Japanese makes, as they tend to be more focussed (pardon the pun) on post-sales customer service and satisfaction to keep their brand reputation up than European and US makes. Most people have enough in their lives to worry about and don't need to be dealing with a car manufacturer who won't take responsibility for poorly-designed/made products.

Ford B Max. - Well...I went and did it. - argybargy

If the chatter on the forums is to be believed, Ford dealers do tend to be receptive to anyone who brings a car back for a Powershift issue when under warranty.

I don't think I've come across a post from anyone who claims to have had what (on the surface) sounds like a reasonable claim refused. Yes, they might try more minor solutions first, such as software updates and module replacements, and these sometimes work, but I've come across plenty of examples of people who claim to have had clutch replacements under warranty. This may be a course of action only adopted by Ford after the sheer number of failures obliged them to take responsibility. Earlier complainants may well have had more trouble having their issues fixed.

However, I have noted a few posts from folks who have been asked to pay five grand plus for new Ecoboost engines. Whether under warranty or not, I've no idea.

Edited by argybargy on 02/08/2017 at 16:34

Ford B Max. - Well...I went and did it. - KB.

Haven't troubled to look immediately before typing this, and not strictly pertinent to the OP, but I do recall that Ford's own extended warranty from three to five yrs was remarkably inexpensive so I would have thought that for any (new car )private buyer expecting to keep the car for five years that small extra cost would be almost obligatory. Ditto, as I recall, the servicing package for the first three years wasn't outrageous either.

Over time I think most people have, rightly or wrongly, laboured under the impression that Fords were (relative to their competitors) cheaper to run with servicing and spares being readily available and reasonably priced. Have owned a Cortina 1600E, Corsair GT, Anglia De-Luxe 105E and several 100Es (the latter most definitely weren't "de-luxe" ... and have never bought a new Ford or, as can be seen, bought a used one for many years so don't speak from recent experience. But if the Powershift really has had it's problems resolved maybe it's time to reconsider?

 

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