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Ford Focus Transmission Problems



  • I own a 2005 Ford Focus ZX4 automatic transmission and every couple months my gearshift lever will suddenly shift into neutral from drive. The first time I thought I bumped it into neutral, but by now I know I'm not. I can put it right back into drive and it's fine. I'm not sure if it's an actual transmission issue or just an issue with the gearshift lever. The car does go into neutral when it happens but easily goes back into drive.

    There are no maintance lights on when this occurs, so I know that having it scanned won't do any good. Any ideas on what this could be would be helpful!
  • I have a different question of sorts. My 2000 SE, DOHC Zetec auto trans is confirmed dead, with a broken spider gear. My question is about finding a replacement. I want to replace with a 2003-04 trans, due to their stronger internal build. Here's where I get confused though, choosing the correct trans.

    My car had a 1S4P ('00) model, and the new one will be a 3S4P ('03-'04), from a junkyard. Locally, I find the best deals on low mileage units, all labeled 3S4P-CA. I know the -DA will fit 100%, but those are all over 100K miles. However, the -CA models show it fit DOHC in 2003, but in 2004 it shows SOHC. I know it will bolt up, but their are internal differences, and I don't want to reflash the ecu, as this car is already costing me a lot of $$$$$. My local Ford techs are less than helpful, since they aren't making any money on this deal.

    Can anyone tell me if a 2003 3S4P-CA will work, or if it needs mods, what those might be. I have got a lot of "probably" and "I think it will's", but before I spend $450, I'd like to know for sure.

    Thank in advance, great site,

    Stephan Mackin
  • Actually, I printed that wrong. I probably have a XS4P, not a 1S4P. My tag is unreadable. I updated this because I now hear that X can only be replaced by another X, is that true?
  • mmj2mmj2 Posts: 2
    I had a second repair job done on my Ford Focus for transmission problems in July 2009. The transmission was shifting on the upwards side and then winding up high rpms then clunking down into a lower gear. The tranmission light came on. On the second time we had the car repaired, it took about 4 weeks total. This is a long time for someone to wait who may be dependent on the one car but we had two other cars for our transportaion needs. The dealer was considering replacing the full transmission but later said they detemined that an overhaul would work. That was in July and by the first week in August 2009 I got it back fully repaired. The car was covered by warrenty in full. Five months have passed and so far so good. No problems in shifting or high rev speed between gears. We are keeping the car for now. If I should have any other issues I will post again. :)
  • For those who did the repair #76 and #110 is the car STILL working. I have a 2005 and just came up with the same codes. My brother is a mechanic (one of the GOOD ones and thats from others not me and does not work for Ford!!!!) He is willing to do the work but I want to be sure this will fix it or just be able to get it to a shop to fix other problems! I love my car and do not want/can't afford another one. This has been the only problem I have had!

  • dno36dno36 Posts: 71
    merryem, our is fine, no issues at all.

    its a cheap fix for a problem that can be realy costly if you go to the "wrong" repair shop.

    Scan the codes, follow the easy steps. done.

    Note, ours is a 2003, differences in the trannys may be small but there may be differences.


  • Hi guys. I bought my Focus last year with a new motor, but 110,000 miles. I have driven it a lot since I drive 700 miles every weekend. I was 100 miles from home tonight with my daughter when I was slowing down from 60 coming into town. I was at 40 mph and tried to speed up and it seemed like my car was in neutral. It just rev'd instead of shifting and speeding up. I couldn't get past 40 mph. I stopped at a gas station, put in fuel injection cleaner. Tried to leave and it did the same thing. This time I couldn't get past 30 mph. I went back to the gas station. I randomly called a shop that sounded like someone's "home" business and was close by, since we were in the middle of nowhere, practically!

    Luckily for me, on a Friday night, an older gentleman and his wife said they'd open the shop for me if I could get there. He drove it, nothing happened. He put it on the computer and got the PO750. He only charged me $20, which I thankfully paid.

    I drove the 100 miles home, at first I couldn't get past 20 mph, so I threw on my hazzards and threw it in neutral then back to drive. I did it 3 times and it finally sped up. I drove 55 home and didn't have much of a problem the rest of the way!

    I am hoping to get this solenoid fixed tomorrow. I just wanted to share my store, swear once again I'll never buy a Ford product again (nothing but problems. I've owned 10+ cars, only the Fords have been giving me trouble, and the dealerships are a pain to deal with!! Chevy was always helpful with small things)

    Thank you for all the advice in this thread. I'm printing out the codes and the instructions on how to change it and I am PRAYING my dad can do the work tomorrow, or a friend of his. Thank you for this site for helping out the people who are not so mechanic-savvy.

    Btw, once the car started running better on the way home, I noticed it FINALLY shifted gear around 55-60 or so. It has NEVER done that! I always thought it was just the way a 4 cylinder ran, since it's the first time I ever owned one. Engine light is still on, from when I got more gas and restarted it... but it runs great.

    I guess I should still get it replaced, huh? My luck isn't so good that it just fixed itself. I wish it was. :)
  • dno36dno36 Posts: 71
    Hi no they don't just fix themselves.
    Sorry to hear of your highway turmoil.....

    It does appear pretty typical for the "A" solenoid issue here.

    It's a pretty quick fix and not tooo much $$. Don't take shortcuts and it should go smoothly and you should be running fine for less than $100.
    Glad you spotted this forum.

    Good Luck

  • Thanks, Dean. My dad's repair guy works on the side and told him he could do it on Tuesday, but since it's the solenoid, they're only $50 and he'd replace both. Both? Should I have him replace "both in there" to keep from another going out or just the one that's bad? I just don't want to pay another $50 if I don't have to. He did say he has to order it because he did a Focus with the same problem and Ford only had one....

    I'm trying to call a few more people, but being Saturday, not sure who could spare an hour or two. Thanks for your help. I don't trust dad's friend since I always have to take it back a 2nd time when he fixes it. Ha. Sheesh.

    Btw, I called the Ford dealer, Napa, AutoZone... no one has one in stock. You'd think with all the problems, they'd have some. I have no clue who else to call.
  • marked1marked1 Posts: 15
    A question for all those Ford techs:
    why would my a/t focus 2003 w/split port engine would jerk repitedly and hesitate for first several minutes of driving when the engine is cold. It happens only in drive and reverse when giving gas and really doesn't act up every day. No codes present and lights illuminated ever. Trans fluid level and condition ok, it was serviced 2 years ago along w/Ford genuine fluid and filter.
    Please help srtuggling Honda tech.
  • Ok so we replaced solenoid A and solenoid E the car shifted down the block turned around and now the O/D light is blinking and the shifting has stopped. Now we get code #0751 and the shift solenoid A mechanical or hydraulic performance code?

    What now? Once again my brother IS a certified mechanic! And he tells me NO mistakes were made. Should we try and replace another solenoid?


  • I have a 2001Ford focus.My transmission quit! I left my driveway and went about 200 yards and it just plain quit going. Does anyone have any ideas?
  • dno36dno36 Posts: 71

    Sounds like a major failure...Pump...etc.
  • dno36dno36 Posts: 71
    Well Kristi.....seeing that there are 6 solenoids in our Focus's trans, I do wonder what your guy is referring to when he says "both of them"???

    From what I found out, you must get the "A" solenoid directly from a Ford parts dealer. If your local dealer does not have one, they usually will tell you which of the local dealers has one, unless they are schmucks. Just ask them. I needed to go about 25 miles to find ours.

    Hope this gets to you in time and it helps

  • dno36dno36 Posts: 71
    What do you mean by: "the shifting has stopped"??

    The O/D light blinking happens often with a trans code error.

    Don't know why you replaced 2 solenoids?? The 0751 code does point back to the "A" solenoid. It is possible you got a bad one or there may be a loose connection.

    The typical" problem fix here is for the 0750 code, however it seems that the 0751 code does get displayed when the "A" solenoid has gone bad as well.
  • Well it shifted on the test drive and then stopped. My brother got two codes.I don't know what told him to change E. (he's not here right now.) I did run the gambit of question, could it be backwards?, Are you sure you hooked up everything right?, Did you sneeze and blow something else off LOL. He is a very careful when working on cars. The guys at his shop make fun of him for moving so slow, but when only 3 cars have come back in the last 5 or 6 years they have stopped laughing!

    So I'm guessing the code we have is not for the A solenoid? I read (and my brother read) the codes list posted here. Maybe the car was too far gone?

    I'll post a general message.

  • Looooong story short, the problem start about a year ago. I was not driving the car at the time. My boyfriend was using it to go to work. He complained about the shifting and I said its in your head. (he normally drives a V8 truck.) I told him he can't stand on the gas and expect it to move like the truck would. My brother (a certified GM mechanic) told him the same thing. (boyfriend drives like he is in NASCAR!) We'll 2 weeks ago I went to go some where and the car would not shift and drive faster than 25 MPH. My Brother came out with his computer and got code #0751 and another code I can not recall right now. He found the codes are for A and E solenoids to be replaced. I found the fix in posts # 76 and #110. He came out this weekend and did the work. On the test drive it took a few seconds and then it shifted. Then we tested a bit further and it stopped shifting. My brother got code #0751 again.

    Any ideas? Should we try and replace the A solenoid again? My brother is a very careful mechanic. Maybe all solenoids need replacing.

  • dno36dno36 Posts: 71
    Well I wish you luck, sounds like your bro has his act together.

  • dno36dno36 Posts: 71
    Merry, LOL "All" the solenoids do not need replacing.....unless you are getting codes on all of them.........

    The lack of shifting tends to lead in another direction than just a solenoid issue.

    Could be a bad "A" solenoid.
  • ru8484ru8484 Posts: 2
    This was very strange to me! I had been out all morning the friday before Christmas and the car was running excellent. I stopped like I usally do every oil change and get a bottle of lucas fuel injector cleaner, been doing this since 03 like clockwork. I drive over to the bp and fill my tank up with gas. Now heres the part that is bugging me. I noticed the little flap that pops open when you put the gas pump pipe in was stuck open. I couldnt get it to come back down, but I didnt really think it would make a difference as long as the lid went back on. I get not even a half mile down the raod and boom will not shift past 30mph. Another strange thing is I was near a shop and stopped in the guy ran a obd2 and it showed solenoid a malfunction. He reset the code and the car ran perfect for the 30 minute drive home and the next day we drove back to the city another 30 minute drive and again was running perfect. We went to eat, took the wife and kids to a few places and on our way home bam done it again. Autozone still shows a solenoid a malfunction, but now a reset onley last for a short period now my points here are this. #1 if this solenoid was really bad why would it have been able to be reset in the computer and run perfect for the time period it did? #2 Could it be the little flap in the fuel door? I really need some help with this before I spend money I do not have! Please!!!! anyone? I also called three ford dealers in my area who tell me all the solenoids come in a package now for $130.00 and you can not by them by themselves anymore!
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