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Grindy noise on Ford Fiesta


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My Ford Fiesta is making a slight grinding noise when I change gear and when freewheeling when you take your foot off the accelerator. You don’t hear it at higher speeds in 4th or 5th. It’s only slight.

Its only 5 years old in tip top condition and has done 34k miles, serviced by ford dealer. I wouldn’t expect it to be gearbox or clutch related. I never ride the clutch or kane it through the gears or on and off the clutch. But it’s probably looking like a clutch or gearbox related matter. It’s not slipping. 

I’ll take it to ford but what do you reckon it might be. I’ve never had cars long enough to change clutches tbh and I thought they only go when you’ve done loads more miles. 

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My Fiesta makes a grinding noise too, but only when I have a foot/hand/clutch/gear change timing error, always embarrassing when I do it in front of a crowd of people.

Seriously though I'm not sure what your issue is Simon, could it be a bearing problem? Or an issue with the synchromesh in the gearbox? Although like you said 34k isn't exactly old (in mileage terms) I wouldn't expect there to be any serious issues at that sort of mileage, I hope not anyway, mine's done a similar amount (32.5k) but unlike you I have, on occasion, given it a little bit of a thrashing, but only up to the speed limit officer!

I hope it's not a big problem whatever it is, cars have a nasty habit of being money pits, good luck.

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1 hour ago, DiamondJoe said:

My Fiesta makes a grinding noise too, but only when I have a foot/hand/clutch/gear change timing error, always embarrassing when I do it in front of a crowd of people.

Seriously though I'm not sure what your issue is Simon, could it be a bearing problem? Or an issue with the synchromesh in the gearbox? Although like you said 34k isn't exactly old (in mileage terms) I wouldn't expect there to be any serious issues at that sort of mileage, I hope not anyway, mine's done a similar amount (32.5k) but unlike you I have, on occasion, given it a little bit of a thrashing, but only up to the speed limit officer!

I hope it's not a big problem whatever it is, cars have a nasty habit of being money pits, good luck.

Thanks for the comments Andy. I don’t think it’s going to be a biggey. I’ve got the 1.25zetec engine in mine which was similar version in a previous fiesta which was reliable. What engine is yours? Mines a late 2012 model.

I think you might be right that it could be some sort of bearing and metal on metal grinding. Clutches going are usually wear and you can feel it biting wrong or slipping like on dodgy crap hire cars. 

The only things that went wrong on my previous fiesta before was exhausts but nowadays they use much better ones. I also had a coolant leak and front rubber suspension bushes changed (suspension creak is common with fiestas when you drive slow over speed bumps you hear it) but I did 65k in that car and had it from 10k so that was very reliable all things considered.

With my current fiesta Ive had it from 1000 Miles and all it’s had is services and two front new tyres and a battery changed. Cheap as chips so far. 

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Mine's a 1.6 Ecoboost (or turbo nutter b..... in other words!) goes through front tyres like they're going out of fashion, but still (slightly) better MPG than my previous non turbo Fiesta too :D

I had another thought about your issue, I wonder if the clutch isn't disengaging fully? You'll let us know when you've taken it to a garage won't you. 

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On 08/09/2018 at 01:15, QuestForThe13thNote said:

My Ford Fiesta is making a slight grinding noise when I change gear and when freewheeling when you take your foot off the accelerator. You don’t hear it at higher speeds in 4th or 5th. It’s only slight.

Its only 5 years old in tip top condition and has done 34k miles, serviced by ford dealer. I wouldn’t expect it to be gearbox or clutch related. I never ride the clutch or kane it through the gears or on and off the clutch. But it’s probably looking like a clutch or gearbox related matter. It’s not slipping. 

I’ll take it to ford but what do you reckon it might be. I’ve never had cars long enough to change clutches tbh and I thought they only go when you’ve done loads more miles. 

Top up the oil level in the gearbox. That grinding noise sounds like dry cogs mashing together. Gearbox isn't normally checked on a service as it only needs topping up every few years. Access to gearboxes are usually difficult.

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I'm no mechanic so am only relating what I've read but my latest edition of Fast Ford magazine has a buyers guide on the Mk7 Fiesta which yours will be if it's 5 years old. They say the gearbox is the Achilles heel of the Mk7 and state "Take a test drive and listen for grinding on the upchange from first to second gear..." They reckon it's a sign the synchromesh rings are going. Like I say only read it a magazine so treat with pinch of salt but sounds a bit like what you're describing.

I own a Focus RS Mk2 running 375 bhp so know all about going through tyres!

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Thanks pp, good thought. I hadn’t thought of that and I suspect actually that’s what’s going on, as the clutch isn’t worn and it would account the noise when freewheeling but not so obvious at higher speed. I’m also a very ‘sedate’ driver. 

I took it in today to the local ford garage but you have to get a time slot, not just turn up. Im going on a good drive soon but I don’t really think it’s anything big. May not bother getting it looked at until I come back. 

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8 minutes ago, Baggawire said:

EI'm no mechanic so am only relating what I've read but my latest edition of Fast Ford magazine has a buyers guide on the Mk7 Fiesta which yours will be if it's 5 years old. They say the gearbox is the Achilles heel of the Mk7 and state "Take a test drive and listen for grinding on the upchange from first to second gear..." They reckon it's a sign the synchromesh rings are going. Like I say only read it a magazine so treat with pinch of salt but sounds a bit like what you're describing.

I own a Focus RS Mk2 running 375 bhp so know all about going through tyres!

Thanks for the information Ian. What you mentioned there is exactly what’s going on but I’m also hearing it in third and a bit in fourth when the revs are low. That doesn’t sound that expensive if that’s what’s going on. If it’s the synchromesh it would suggest a slipping out of gear problem perhaps and I’m not having that so it could be a seal on the gearbox which has leaked a bit of oil. I’m kind of thinking what pp is saying is more likely. Also I’m no mechanic too but I think synchromesh might be only on the 1st to second gear but if im getting it in third and fourth it points to a dry gearbox moreso maybe, if synchromesh isn’t on these gears.  

Mines the mark 6 just before the facelifted version which is what I think you meant . The most recent mark 7 is the brand new model which i had a look at today and it’s smart. The st line model is a very nice car. I might get one like that next I think 

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27 minutes ago, QuestForThe13thNote said:

Thanks pp, good thought. I hadn’t thought of that and I suspect actually that’s what’s going on, as the clutch isn’t worn and it would account the noise when freewheeling but not so obvious at higher speed. I’m also a very ‘sedate’ driver. 

I took it in today to the local ford garage but you have to get a time slot, not just turn up. Im going on a good drive soon but I don’t really think it’s anything big. May not bother getting it looked at until I come back. 

I know from older Fiestas gearbox can clog up. On the main shaft it has various holes under each cog that distribute the oil around the box. They are a known to block and starve the box from oil.

Have the levels checked first.

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Is your car still under warranty as I no some people extend the warranty ?  I just brought a Ford Focus 1.25 eco boost ST line its only done 10.000 miles but I might have an issue with the clutch on mine as I have to fully push the clutch pedal right down to the floor but sometimes if you just a little bit of the floor and not talking much when changing gear there is a slight drag on the gearbox like your not changed gear probably it’s like it slightly catches the last bit of gear change .

So probably take mine in just to get ford to check it over as it’s under warranty still for 2 more years 

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2 hours ago, Blacksabbath25 said:

Is your car still under warranty as I no some people extend the warranty ?  I just brought a Ford Focus 1.25 eco boost ST line its only done 10.000 miles but I might have an issue with the clutch on mine as I have to fully push the clutch pedal right down to the floor but sometimes if you just a little bit of the floor and not talking much when changing gear there is a slight drag on the gearbox like your not changed gear probably it’s like it slightly catches the last bit of gear change .

So probably take mine in just to get ford to check it over as it’s under warranty still for 2 more years 

No unfortunately BS mine is no longer under warranty. It did get better as I drove it this evening. I was thinking originally the part might be cheap but if it’s hard to get to in the gearbox or if it is the synchromesh then it could take some time to fix, so labour cost high. But these things shouldn’t go on cars at my mileage. I’m really hoping it’s just the oil. 

Really jealous of your st line as the new Fords and those ecoboost engines are tremendous. I like the fiesta st line 3dr model.

What you are describing might be a lever problem or to do with the engagement of the clutch that just needs readjusting. I wouldn’t think that’s anything big but you’ve got the protection anyway. I just hope my car doesn’t start costing now as it’s been cheap as chips so far. Only had a battery change and two front tyres. 

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36 minutes ago, QuestForThe13thNote said:

No unfortunately BS mine is no longer under warranty. It did get better as I drove it this evening. I was thinking originally the part might be cheap but if it’s hard to get to in the gearbox or if it is the synchromesh then it could take some time to fix, so labour cost high. But these things shouldn’t go on cars at my mileage. I’m really hoping it’s just the oil. 

Really jealous of your st line as the new Fords and those ecoboost engines are tremendous. I like the fiesta st line 3dr model.

What you are describing might be a lever problem or to do with the engagement of the clutch that just needs readjusting. I wouldn’t think that’s anything big but you’ve got the protection anyway. I just hope my car doesn’t start costing now as it’s been cheap as chips so far. Only had a battery change and two front tyres. 

Yes most probably just an adjustment for me 

Anyway I wanted a Ford Focus ST 3 but they are to much money and the MPG wouldn’t be great on a 2.0 turbo but like the sound of 250 BHP  :)

If we didn’t have the little one with us I would of brought the festa ST as I have had fiestas in the past as they are a great car but unfortunately no leg room in the back so went for the Focus instead but didn’t buy brand new I brought a year old car only done about 8000 miles and got a great deal on it to as the car was up for £14.000 but ended up getting it for £11.000 .

Because at the time they had the same model somewhere else but a 2016 one with the same miles but cheaper road tax which would of cost me £25 a year road tax but the garage advertised the wrong model of car so when that car came to the garage for us to look at it wasn’t a ST-line  .

So the only ST-line they had was on site already but didn’t want to pay £14.000 as it was over our budget so we where going to walk and then the salesman said what would it take for you to buy that car so I turned round and saiid  about £10.000 but we ended in the end getting it for £11.000 which I thought was a good deal so ended up with 2017 Ford Focus ST-Line 1.25 turbo it’s a good car .

I think I got it that cheap because there is a new Ford Focus coming out so I am not bothered as I like this shape a lot better then the new one coming out as it looks a lot meaner  :)

Did you no there is a new shap ford festa come out it might be worth trading in your old one for a new one 

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  • 2 weeks later...

A good place to ask is the Honest John forum, run by a chap called Peter oddly enough. He knows a lot about car problems. And if you look at the review of your car, it’ll mention known issues. 

£11,000 for a one year old Focus is excellent. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

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