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Ford Focus Transmission Problems



  • I posted a trans problem a few days ago - have rev 1st and 2nd - no 3rd gear but also no speedometer reading/ the odometer goes blank with ....... and ---------/ the transmission and engine light both come on. I was wondering did you experience any of these symptoms? and also the car worked(trans seemed ok) one day and not the next day the problem would be present again - Thanks Amy
  • Greetings All ....

    Just bought a used focus ... 2000 ZX3, the previous owner told me that the trans slips and might need to be replaced ... After reading this forum, I decided to pull the DTC's ....

    The only transmission code that was in there was

    P0751 - Shift sol A perf/stuck

    After reading some of the other posts #76 to be exact, I am wondering if replacing the "A" solenoid would solve this problem ... It slips in 3rd, but the passing gear works ... Reverse is fine so far ... The car has 133K and I have no history on it ...

    Please Advise ...
    Thx .. Tony
  • I've been reading many of the post on the forum, but have not seen any post matching my own, so I'm gonig to request that if any one else reading this has had or has read a post from a person with similar problems please let me know.

    I own a 2001 ford focus se, 4 door sedan, automatic transmission with 180,xxx miles. I purchased the car used about three years ago.The car has had an intermitten problem since june or july of 2008 were it down shifts into the next lower gear momentarily then shifting back into the appropriate gear. It might only do it once or it migh do it a couple dozen time over the course of several miles. Aside from this problem the car seems to be running a driveing just fine.

    So far I have sent my car to a transmission shop, they had it for a week, but it never acted up for them. I don't like throwing parts at cars, but not knowing what the problem is; I drive alot and I need this car, I need to get it fixed, so I had a new sensor installed for $95. Since then the problem seemed only to happen when it was very hot outside ( 90 degree or more). August, September the problem was not to bad becasue tempraturea were not to high, but now it's doing it in december when it's only 4 degrees outside, and the car is still acting up. Sometimes within the first few miles of driving.

    The problem does seem to be getting worse, but it is still intermitten. The car has no codes, but within the last couple months I've had to drive at night, so with my lights on, radio playing, I notice the light flickering at the same time I'm haveing the problem with the transmission.. :confuse:

    Has any one else enconttered this problem? Thank you for any help you can offer.
  • markus5markus5 Posts: 102
    Did anybody invstigate the The Overdrive Off switch circuitry.?
    I'm assuming that when this happens there is no change in throttle position or road conditions, slight upgrades for example.
    Something electrical is probably affecting the transmission.
  • I have a ford focus 2002 - had same problems getting into 3rd gear. In addition to the 3rd gear problem, suddenly I also lost reverse gear. I searched the internet and found your posting. I followed your instructions (#76) and the 3rd gear problem was fixed. But my car still has no reverse gear. Do I need to replace another solenoid?
    thank you.
  • Please add me to the list of Focus' with bad transmissions. I have a 2005 Focus ZX4 SES, I just rolled 40,000 miles. My transmission, in a 1 mile stretch of road, downshifted twice, went into neutral with no warning as an 18 wheeler was barreling up behind me with no place to pull over, luckily that is when it downshifted the 2nd time and I was able to pull ahead without being creamed. It then didn't want to upshift. I tried to limp it to the dealership just 1/4 mile down the road but when I turned onto the road it went into neutral as cars were coming, I was able to get it into reverse and park it. A friend towed it to a shop for me to have it repaired, assuming it would be under the factory power train warranty. I bought this car used with 25,000 miles on it last year, I was not told that the 2005 Focus did not have a factory powertrain warranty. The dealership who looked at my car to see what was wrong with it called me and told me I have no warranty, sure that this man was a bumbling idiot I called Ford to straighten all this out, but there's nothing to straighten out. I have bought several new Ford vehicles, each one had a factory power train warranty, like all brands of cars. According to the people I spoke to at Ford today that particular car was not offered with a factory power train warranty. On another note, the people at Ford were rude, at least the supervisor, she had the nerve to tell me I should've bought the car at an authorized Ford dealership, not Carmax, she said if I had they would've told me I had no factory power train. I find it strange that Ford is willing to stand behind all their cars, except this one. Ford knew what this car was, yet still produced it and sold it. I have always been a Ford girl, but not anymore. Not after this. I can't support a company who treats their customers like this. I think this car has had a problem with the transmission the whole time I have owned it, the car is rated to get 26/34 mpg, no matter how I drive I can't get over 19 mpg, and I live in a small town, there is no stop and go traffic here, I drive highway speeds most of the time, this car has been treated well since I have owned it, I buy only Chevron gasoline, I put fuel cleaner in regularly, I've driven it nicely, as far as I know it has never been in an accident, I purchased it used at CarMax. I just don't understand how Ford can get away with saying these cars have no known transmission problem when it looks pretty obvious to me. How did they get away with not selling a powertrain warranty on one particular car??? If I find a civil action suit I am joining it, if not I will try to start one, I will be sure to post if I do. I live paycheck to paycheck, I do not have access to a bus, there is one taxi in this town. I am a single mother and I bought this car only because my other one's wiring was so old it was rotting out. I thought this was a good car, it got rave reviews on all the sites I saw, it got an AMI Auto World Best Used Car, I thought I was making a good purchase, now I can't afford to fix the car. From what I can tell transmission repairs will run between $2,000-$5,000. I can't drop that kind of cash, I can't afford to pay back a loan to fix the car and pay my bills, I barely make it as it is. I don't know what to do. :sick: :mad: :cry: :lemon:
  • I found a website,, you can report the problems you are having with your car and a lawyer who specializes in class action suits will review it and possibly start a class action suit for us. I believe this is how the 2000-2001 Focus owners got their settlements from Ford on their class action lawsuit for the brakes. I also found, you can go list the problems you have had with your car, it keeps track of them. If we all go on these websites and post and post and post, something has to get done. Someone will notice. If nothing else it will keep others from making the same mistake we made and purchasing this car. If I had found this website and seen all your comments I would never have bought this car. The 2000-2001 Focus owners with bad brakes actually started their own website, If I knew how to do that I would start a Focus tranny problem website. I hope this helps any of you. :D
  • i have a 2003 focus hatchback with the 5 speed tranny. my problem is that here in the last 3-4 days it has been "popping out" of 5th gear. thats the only gear. im not sure how to adjust the linkage or will this even do it? i love the car it gets very good gas milage, and it is kinda peppy. if any one could help or lead me in the right direction that would be great. Thanx in advance.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,422
    Adjusting linkage might help. You have a cable shift system. You'll have to get a very specific workshop manual to do the adjustments.

    If that doesn't work, then you should check for a bad motor mount or transmission mount.

    If that doesn't work, then it's an internal problem--internal wear of synchronizers or selector fork.


  • javasjavas Posts: 1
    Recently I bought a Focus H/B 2006 model from a used car dealer in Dubai. The car was looking fine inside & out and has done only 30,600 KMs. After few days I have noticed problem with transmision - gear shifting downwrds at high speeds and engine jerking. After that engine system fault indication will come and gear will not work in manual mode also. I took the car to the agent in Abu Dhabi and they promised that it is due to some electrical fault and the problem will be fixed soon and it is covered by factory warrenty on power train. Unfortunately now it is more than 10 days the car is with the agency and they could not dignosys the fault since it is an intermittent fault. Also the agency is claiming that there is no more warrenty for the Transmission, since there is signs of accident in the bottom oil drain pan. After spending 10 days with the car now they are telling the complete transmission has to be brought down for further investigation to diagnosys the fault wich will cost $500 only for dismantling the transmission. The cost of repair will be many folds higher! The car is with full service history with the agency and I am not able to digest their claim for signs of accident in the bottom oil drain pan making the factory warrenty null & void.
    Can anybody advise me on this matter?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,422
    I have no idea what your legal rights are in Dubai, or what the obligations are of the Ford dealer there, but here in the states the dealer, and Ford, would have to prove that the damage to the oil pan had any effect on the transmission.

    My view? If it's a small dent, that is an unlikely cause. If there's a hole/leak, well that's a different matter and doesn't look good for you. It also doesn't look good for the used car dealer, but again, I don't know what you can do to him legally in Dubai.


  • bird54bird54 Posts: 6
    I own a 2003 Focus with 50,474 unabused miles on it and the transmission failed on 1/26/09. It was like I knocked it into neutral when I tried to go above 25 miles per hour. I managed to drive it to Dewey Ford in Ankeny, Iowa where they took it for a test drive-which confirmed what I had experienced and hooked it up to the computer-and it showed no "codes". The service "adviser" said something about a valve cover they could replace for> $800.00, plus $300.00 for taking the "pan" down. They really could not tell what was wrong but he thought it was electrical not mechanical. Not trusting in the dealerships opinion-I had it towed to a reliable trustworthy Transmission garage. They took it a part and basically the "drum" broke due to a weakness in the part-let me cut to the case and I quote "a crappy cheap product that was defective from the factory". Second and 4th gear were gone. This was not something that resulted in poor driving but poorly made parts. I contacted the Ford customer service number 800-392-3673 and of course there is nothing that Ford can do since my car is out of warranty-how predictable. The customer service person asked why I did not get my car fixed at the dealership. First of all they wanted >$3200 for a transmission and second why would I trust Ford to put in another poorly made transmission. I realize that I am one small speck of a person in this vast world and who cares if I will never buy another Ford. There are plenty of other suckers that will invest their hard earned money in a Ford vehicle. Is it any wonder that the automakers are needing a bailout-they make crappy cars that won't stand the test of time. It use to that a Ford stood for something. Now you are lucky if the vehicle keeps running a little past when the warranties are up-without still owing anything on it. Ford has to know that there is a problem with the transmissions-they just won't take responsibilty for them.
  • I read your post and thought I could offer a possible solution to your problem. I own a 2005 Focus SE, auto/ trans with mileage just north of 63K. My "O/D" (overdrive) switch - located on the shifter - seemed not to work at all. No matter how many times I pressed the button the dash light indicating that the overdrive was off remained lit. I started to trace the problem from the switch to the transmission by first removing the plastic shifter housing between the two front seats. To my surprise when I wiggled the connector, found just behind the gear shifter, the "O / D OFF" dash light would go on and off with the ignition in the "on" or "run" position (without starting the car). There was an intermittent electrical connection being made in the connector. When I separated the male end of the connector from the female end, I found the telltale evidence of liquid infiltration. Apparently, soda, coffee or some other foreign liquid had gotten into the connector and caused the trouble. Note: Before I removed the center console in order to start my troubleshooting expedition, I noticed that every once in a while I could get the "O /D" light to toggle off and on when I cycled the ignition on and off again and again. This might explain the intermittent nature of your problem. My fix involved very, very carefully taking the female connector apart using jeweler's flat-blade screwdrivers and cleaning the affected individual connector, first with soapy water using a slightly dampened cotton swab , then spraying with electrical contact cleaner. I then did the same thing on the "male" end of the connector. Hope this helps. :)
  • Thank-you so much for your insite. Unfortunately my car is repaired-the drum on the transmission was cracked. So now I've forked over >$1700.00 in repairs.
    Good luck with your car-
  • I have a 2005 Ford Focus SE Auto... Nothing is "wrong" I just need to change my tranny fluid/filter.

    I am looking for a step-by-step guide on how to do it so I do not make any mess-ups.

    Is doing a full change okay or would it be better for me to pay the damned $200 ford wants to flush it out for me?

  • According to the transmission garage where I took my car to be repaired DO NOT EVER get a transmission flush-which I did back in May 2008. You can't change the filter without taking out the "pan"?? Ford will flush then do a backwash and add chemicals to clean out the tranny. I find it strange that my transmission failed so soon after this FLUSH. My "servo" failed and then the drum broke. DON'T LET FORD TOUCH YOUR CAR!! They are not to be trusted.
  • So I found this site that has a walk through let me know if you think its legit and if its a good one to follow.

    eHow ATF Change

    Also, Do you think its okay to change the filter too?
  • Can I use Mobile 1 full synthetic ATF or should i use motorcraft's brand? Both are mercon v
  • Thanks so much to Aokrongly (#76) for the help!! I have a 2002 Ford Focus wagon (96K) and had the same problems getting into 3rd gear. I searched the internet and found your posting. I followed your instructions (#76) and the 3rd gear problem was fixed. The only thing to add is that I decided to replace the filter. I purchased it from AutoZone for $20 and to my surprise it came with a pan gasket. By using the gasket instead of the gray RTV I was able to avoid the RTV curing time, which was important to me using a borrowed stall.
  • dno36dno36 Posts: 71
    How has your Trans Issue gone??
    Read your post and feel your pain.
    I too am mid-tranny pissed off. Slipping, erratic, possessed, transmission that may kill someone who has too much faith in its ability to get someone out of harms way.
    I hope you have at least emotionally recovered from your ordeal. I am still tweaked by the experience.
    At least my Chrysler mini-van had a "limp-in" mode where it worked in second gear until you could get to saftey.
    Ford ignores me like I am a bad penny.
    The dealers, both I went to, are a rude as rude can be. I guess if I had an Expedition they might give me the "time of day".
    I have done a bunch of research and, while being quite handy, I don't want to "practice" fixing this rolling depreciation. So...
    I am going to try 2 things:
    #1 - A solid advisor suggested trying to do a reverse flush:
    a. change the fluid and filter. Do not power-flush.
    b. double secure block the rear wheels and set parking brake in a safe location.
    c. Start car in park and allow to warm up to normal temperature.
    d. Put car in reverse and allow to idle at least 30 minutes with car in reverse gear at idle.
    e. Make sure your car is safely secured and will not move in the slightest. The cooling fan should kick on when the temp goes up, this is necessary to aide in cleaning.
    f. After 30 mins, let cool, drain fluid and change filter again.
    g. He call this a reverse flush and says it should be done every 36 mos or 36K miles. It is supposed to clean the debris and sludge that can accumulate in the precision valves and passages.

    If this does not work, then I will try #76's route and take it to AutoZone to get codes and see if it is a solenoid that needs replacing.

    Jilted, your post inspired me. I will not quit 'til i am satisfied.

    Keep the faith,

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