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Ford Focus Transmission Problems



  • bitchincrispbitchincrisp Posts: 1
    edited October 2010
    I wouldn't replace the transmission without a proper diagnosis. "Probably" and "smells like" is not a proper diagnosis.

    For example there is a transmission diagnostic test that can be done -- it's kind of like a 'stress test' for the transmission. I had this done on my car. I was told they would run the transmission on a lift or place it on a device to watch how the automatic transmission shifts, speed etc. It's been a while but I think it had something to do with testing the TCM [Transmission Control Module] or testing while hooked to the TCM. The test proved the transmission was fine.

    But if you opt for testing the transmission I would recommend rechecking for engine codes first. Something might be there. Long shot, but might be worth to look before spending to have trans tested. Sometimes the check engine light will not be on but a code may still have been stored. You can buy a scan tool or go to an auto parts store that offers free scanning of trouble codes.

    About the warranty: I was told by Ford (in my case) that if my Manufacturer’s Warranty had expired and if the transmission was found to be broken or 'defective' or it 'failed prematurely', Ford might still replace it.

    Quote from website:

    "As a starting point, if a transmission repair is needed, the first thing your mechanic should do is hook up a scan tool and test the ECM, TCM and every input, sensor, module, controller, etc. on the car. So many times it turns out that the problem does not require you to replace the engine or transmission, or if replacement is needed, the ECM or TCM transmission control module may be the culprit. So, in essence, you can put a replacement transmission in your car and still have a problem."

    "...Ask the technician at the repair shop checking out your car if the electrical system has been scanned or is going to be. If the answer is anything less than “right now”, take your business to another shop."

    Source: on-repairs-check-engine-control-moduleecm
  • I have a 2001 Focus Wagon SE, SPI engine. The car has around 215,000 Km (140,000 mi.) on it. The automatic transmission has worked well, but recently has shown some funny behavior when the transmission lockup clutch engages in 4th gear. With light engine load there is a jerky, shuddering feel. This goes away with more load, or if the wheels are pushing the engine.

    I have read some info on this forum and in other forums. The problem could be a worn lockup clutch or solenoid issues. I don't think there are other issues, because I have figured out how to defeat engagement of the lockup clutch. When I do that, the car runs smoothly under all conditions. There are no scan codes being set by this problem.

    How did I defeat engagement of the lockup clutch? I added a resistor in series with the thermistor that measures the ATX fluid temperature. With a 70 K ohm resistor in series, the engine control unit thinks the fluid is cool, and doesn't let the lockup clutch engage. The line pressure seems higher as well, so the shifts are firmer.

    However, I don't want to permanently defeat the lockup clutch and give up good gas mileage. So I am wondering if anyone has advice on how I could further analyze this problem. I have read on the forum that solenoid B controls the lockup clutch, but that solenoid C also plays a role. I thought that solenoid B would be either on or off and could not therefore cause the jerky feel. But it is hard to know. I have not been able to find a good technical explanation of how the engine control unit controls these solenoids for lockup clutch control. I have a DVD of the "factory" manual, but even it is not clear. Throttle position, MAF, temperature, etc. all seem to play a role.

    If I thought that changing some solenoids would fix the problem, I would do that. I am not so sure about getting a new torque converter or re-built transmission installed. That would be expensive, probably more than the car is worth.

  • I have a 2000 Focus that will buck when I'm going up a slight incline at about 45 mph & about 1500 rpm. It only does this when it's in overdrive. The engine doen't rev & it's the only transmission issue I have, but I'm concerned that it may become worse.

    The check engine light has not lit up. I replaced the "A" solenoid tonight & that did not solve the problem. Does the car have to driven more than about 10 miles for the new solenoid to make a difference?

    The car has 145,000 & also has a couple of other other issues (bad rear bearing & it needs front brakes & needs new tires). I'm thinking that it may be time to get rid of the car, but other than these problems it's really in great shape. I had the A/C, the timing belt & the rear brakes\cylinders\drums\lines replaced this summer. That wasn't cheap, but I was planning to keep the car for awhile longer. Now, heading into winter, I'm not so sure I wantr to keep it given the issue w\the transmission.

    Does anyone have any insight inot the transmission issue I'm having? Can I fix it myself (cheaply), will if get worse if I don't fix it? How long will it last with this problem?

    Thank you for reading & I look forward any replies!
  • I have a 2003 Ford Focus SE . When I am driving the car 'HESITATES' when it tries to go into 1st gear then again 2nd. The motor revs to 3.5 -4 rpm's when it is trying to switch gears. My husbabd changed the transmission fluid and filter and the problem still exists. I am wondering if this is the clutch plate going bad? Anyone who has an idea it would be greatly apprecieated!!! HELLLP! :
  • Problem solved!! I took the car to the dealer & explained the problem to them. I also told them what I had done to date & that I did not want them to take the tranny apart to look at the problem. I let them know that I felt that it was an electrical problem, but that the Check Engine light never came on. They said they could do a "deeper" check of the codes.

    They found that one of my engine cylinders was only firing about 73% of the time. They suggested replacing the spark plug wires & the coil (for about $470), which I had them do. The car no longer bucks! And it has a lot more pep!

    I hope this helps anyone else having this issue.
  • Had typical A-Solenoid problem as many people here. Have 127,500 miles on the car and just spent the $150 for the fix ($50 solenoid, $100 for filter/gasket/oil & labor to install).

    I didn't see too many follow-ups indicating how the fix worked and how long it has lasted. Hoping this fix works!!!

    By the way, other car is '05 Scion xB with 138,000 miles and NO major problems whatsoever... FYI.
  • dno36dno36 Posts: 71
    18 + months into the repair, 23K miles, no additional trans issues here.
    Other issues yes, but not trans related.
  • Ok so i have an 03 focus which i think has the famous a solenoid prob but not sure. my car when you put it in drive it takes a few seconds to engage and then shifts up fine. It acts up when you go to accelerate or climb an overpass and it shifts down it slips then jumps into gear. I had the trans out and took it out because it took out the front planetary hub splines. fixed that but it still has the shift problem. anybody have any ideas.
  • dno36dno36 Posts: 71
    Scan it for codes.....if it comes back 0750...refer to post #110.
  • scan for codes with my code reader and get nothing. the ! light or the check engine light have never even flashed when this happens think ill spend the 50 to see if it works.
  • well put in the a solenoid no difference i was affraid of that . couldnt be that lucky
  • Wife's car has over 140K and end of 2010 we lost D gear. Engine light is on at all times except when powered off by key. We can get gears: 1,2,N,R,P but in D it just acts like it's in nuetral no matter what RPM's are reached. Recently we had a mechanic check the PCM codes, but he wasn't able to get a clear message. He said 1 was the TRS and other might had been the shaft speed sensor.
    I have my Hanes manual so I've spent most of today researching what it could be and what questions to ask the mechanic as an informed owner. I read in the forum where as the Vehicle output shaft speed sensor could be holding metal desbris and thereby causing faulty signals to the PCM about when to shift.
    I don't have a PCM reader nor a garge lift to aid in my dianoses here at home. I do have a 2 ton floor jack and 2 jackstands. Would there be any damage if I jacked my car up and removed that sensor to check for metal shavings?
    Or would I be better advised to just take it to my mechanic, describe the problem again and let them fix it?
  • Well update on my focus after i put the shift solenoid in i thought it still actted funny but two days later drove the car again and now its working fine. thanks to you guys on this thread
  • I have a 2001 Focus (automatic w/ od) with an odd tranny problem - it will go into reverse fine, no problem. But when I try to put it in any of the forward gears, as soon as the rpm's change, it kicks out of gear. Sometimes the car will move 3 ft, other times maybe 6 inches, but regardless, it just kicks out of gear unless your in reverse. We did the filter, fluid change, but it didn't help any.
    Any ideas or info out there would be greatly appreciated.
  • Everyone is having issues with the transmissions on the ford focus. There should be something we can do legally. This is crazy!!
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,854
    edited January 2011
    While frustration about problems with cars is understandable, the rules of the road here are that the Edmunds forums cannot be used to organize legal actions, so please don't make any posts attempting to do so as they will have to be removed. Thanks in advance for your cooperation on this.

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  • Well I decided to go the garage route, callback was the worst outcome, need new trans. :lemon: We are going to be auctioning it off at a local auto auction house since I think there's some good parts besides that busted tranny. We put in this new: full coolant sytem(hoses,tanks and thermo), alternater, plugs, wires and full tune up. What does anyone think I might put a starting price at??? Body is mint, all glass good with a decent interior. Wheels and tires are stock alloy with 20K on tires.
  • Hi, I live in England and own a Ford Focus Trend hatchback 1600cc Automatic in Spain as a holiday car. This has a CVT (Constant Velocity Transmission) gearbox which is driven by belts.

    We don't have this model in England only the C max auto which is different as it has a Tiptronic shift! I'm therefore having problems getting information!

    The auto gearboxes and problems you are discussing sound the same as my car which was slipping out of 3rd gear and losing drive along with the transmission warning light comming on.

    The Ford dealer in Spain wouldn't touch it so I had a British owned garage recondition the box @ 1000 euros. However the same problem keeps re occurring! The solenoid has been replaced twice! I assume this is the 'A' solenoid! Can you confirm that the codes (P0750 etc) reffered to are for a CVT box so I can discuss this with the machanic in Spain?
  • texmex1texmex1 Posts: 1
    Like most of the people in this forum, I had the same tranny problem in my car (code P0750), but after I found this forum and following the instructions given on posts 76 and 110, the problem is history.

    I just want to thank you all for providing with the information necessary to resolve any issues by ourselves and by doing so.....avoid huge headaches and hundreds or thousands of dollars on repair costs.

    Thanks a lot.....I really was worried about this issue....I depend on my car for everything.
  • is there any common problems with the 2003 focus zx3 transmissions, like bearings going out?
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