I have a similar problem and, after several tentatives, i finally found something that improved the shifting behavior. I will share my case here.
I got a 2013 Fusion Titanium 2.0 Ecoboost AWD with 60.000 Km and was very disappointed with shift quality. Besides some minor and sporadic hard shifts (which didn’t bother me so much), the most annoying issue was a huge delay/hesitation specifically from 2nd to 3rd gear on mid/high engine load situations. When changing from 2nd to 3rd climbing a hill, for example, the engine cuts/holds the acceleration for around 2s until the 3rd is finally engaged. On light engine load situations (like accelerating slightly on a plain road), the 2-3 shift performs normally (no delay).
After a lot of research (found several reports of this problem, but no clear solution), i started with the basics:
- Fluid change (flush/complete)
- Updated PCM calibration to the latest available (Ford dealer)
- Clear adaptive tables / relearn
The overall shift quality improved a bit, but the 2-3 delay/hesitation was still there (identical).
Before going to next step, also tried a fluid additive:
But no luck. Didn’t notice any improvement.
From this point, i started to pay more attention on the shift behaviour during my everyday ride (commuting to the job). I was able to observe that the 2-3 delay/hesitation on mid/high engine load was much more evident when the trans was cold. After a 30-40 min ride, it turns less evident (still there, but not so much annoying as when cold).
Then, since i read a lot cases of problems on valve body (separator plate damaged by the check balls, wear on housing of control valves, etc…), i decided to go deeper:
- Replaced the valve body by a brand new one (both parts, main control and solenoid body) and reprogrammed the strategy and body ID codes using Forscan (works perfectly, automatically downloaded the calibration file from the internet). This procedure is known as “Transmission Characterisation”.
The overall shift quality was now a bit better. Improved smoothness, no more minor/sporadic hard shifts. However, for my surprise, the 2-3 delay was still there! Identical behaviour (worse when cold, better when warm) So, in my case, the problem was obviously not related to the valve body.
After discussing the case with a local transmission specialist, he raised the possiblity of some issue with the torque converter (not releasing the clutch properly). So, before going to the final and most expensive step (rebuild), he suggested a last try:
- Added Lubegard Shudder Fix
The trans didn’t have any apparent shudder, but since this additive changes the fluid friction characteristics, i decided to give it a try. We applied the additive and went out for a test ride. The trans was already warmed up because i made a 30 min ride to the transmission shop. The result was impressive. The 2-3 delay/hesitation in this scenario (warmed up) was completely gone! No more "less evident", it simply shifts quick and firm.
I drove the car for a few days and the overall performance of the transmission was much improved, specially when the trans is warm after a 30-40 min of operation. When the trans is cold, however, the 2-3 delay/hesitation is still very evident and annoying (still happens only on mid/high engine load situations).
So, i am surprised and pleased with the improvement achieved with Lubegard Shudder Fix, this is why i decided to share here. It might help other users.
I will continue the investigation of 2-3 delay/hesitation when cold on mid/high engine load.