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Click, click, click, whirr, etc

My new 2013 Ford Focus is a making a very, very strange noise every time I open the door. The Ford dealer said it’s normal for the type of trans and handed me the following statement: " …vehicles equipped with the Powershift DPS6 transmission may experience a clicking noise from the transmission after the doors are unlocked, opened and prior to the engine starting, for up to 3 min. The noise is the shift motors waking up and preparing for startup. Attempts to eliminate the noise should not be made."
To make it easier to understand the situation, the following link from a YouTube video explains EXACTLY what is occuring:
Has anyone ever heard of such a ridiculous sound/concept about waking up a transmission. Note, this noise even happens when you open the passenger door. Why does the transmission need to be waked up for someone getting in the passenger side. The car cannot be driven from here.

I would not worry about it. Of course it is not my car. But even if it were my car, I don’t think I would worry about it, unless it stopped doing it.

Does it say anything about it in the owner’s manual? Is there anything directly from Ford about it?

I’m not sure why you’ve decided that it’s ridiculous. Perhaps this moves some fluid around and reduces wear at startup, in which case it sounds like a good idea to me.

Are you unhappy with the car?
Would you have bought the car if you had known that it makes this noise?
A lot of cars make strange noises when they’re doing self-tests.

This is what happens as automobile design engineers computerize cars more and more. You end up with a car that has all the aggravating annoyances of a computer. You know, where the computer keeps asking you questions like “Do you want Google to be your home page?” over and over and over again? No matter how many times you say “NO”, it continues to ask the same damn question, like it is brain dead. You know, those kind of aggravations. When the same kind of thiking is applied to cars, well, it’s obvious you get the same kind of results. Aggravations! Pretty soon owners of new cars will have to go to the dealership once a week for software updates I expect.

It’s not just auto engineers. It’s a symptom of the way all engineers seem to think; i.e. “If it can be done, we can do it, and we will do it”.

Rather than what they should think “Any idiot could do it sure. But we should do it only if it absolutely needs to be done and everyone agrees it improves the car’s affordability, reliability, safety, and driving experience.”

There is nothing mentioned about the noise in the owners manual. In fact, NONE of the dealers service or sales people ever heard of it. If you listen to it for three minutes in an attached garage, it is very annoying & ridiculous. Cut/paste the link I provided in your browser and see the comments on the video. I’m not the only one annoyed by this noise. I would NOT have bought the car if I heard these noises. If Ford engineers are computerizing engines, fine, make them ALL make this noise. Why does this particular Ford transmission only make the noise. Don’t all Ford trans have to “wake up”? Also, why does it occur if you open the passenger door, the passenger can’t drive the car. If the “wake up” is a design necessity, then it should only occur when the car MAY get driven, BY THE DRIVER.

Some vehicles run the fuel pump when the drivers door is opened. This makes sure the fuel pressure has built up when the engine is first started.

Have someone stand at the rear of the vehicle and then open the door to see if that’s where noise is coming from.


Based upon my memory of mystery Ford fires (something to do with a brake switch), I would NOT park this car in my garage or near my home. If I had to park it near my home, I think I’d disconnect the battery. Maybe buy a disconnect switch or some sort. Do the other cars at the dealer’s do this?Have you visited a Focus owner’s group?

Ford has had complaints about the double-clutch automatic in the Focus from the start, mostly about hard shifting at low speeds. This was a new transmission for Ford and they didn’t get the shift programming quite right, though the firmware has since been revised and it supposedly works a lot better now. Dual-clutch autos operate very differently from conventional automatics. They use two automated clutches to disengage one gear while engaging the next (yes, that is a simplification.) They are most popular in Europe, where Ford designed the Focus. VW uses them quite a bit, but so do the German luxury brands. It’s an interesting design that can improve both efficiency and performance.

My suspicion is that Ford added a warmup routine to address the customer complaints about jerky shifts. The first hint someone is going to use a car is often a door being unlocked, so Ford likely used that as the signal to start the routine so it would have plenty of time to run before the driver put the car in gear. It’s unfortunate you didn’t know about this noise, as it seems to bother you, but Ford has no responsibility to warn you of an odd noise, especially if few customers are bothered by it. The info the dealer gave you about the source of the noise is likely correct, so at least you’ve been reassured that the sound is normal and nothing to be alarmed about.

Did you try the car out extensively before you bought it ? It certainly is a warning to the rest of use to take a car home and inspect it more thoroughly before we buy one. I would try out another on the lot and keep complaining. It would irritate the heck out of me too.

If I was being told it was “normal”, the first thing I would do is ask to see some cars on the lot and see if they made the noise. If not then you know something is up.