Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Ford Focus Transmission Problems



  • kaylynnkaylynn Posts: 2
    edited September 2010
    Yes, the car moves when the rpms go up and the speedometer says 0. Ther car has roughly 135,000 miles on it.
    Thanks for your suggestions. I took it to a mechanic and 3 codes came up this time. One was for the speed sensor, another was something about the computer and the last was the transmission. The mechanic is going to take out the sensors and clean them and go from there. Hopefully its nothing too big. Thanks again
  • 130 k when i start and cold my reverise works when tranmission heats up got no reveris but when t do work clunking and baning shaking is my tranmission going changed oil and filter
  • I have a 1999 ford focus ghia which does not go into reverse.It dives perfectly and goes into every other gear but reverse.Can somebody help because all the experts seem to be stumped because the shifters and everything seem to be fine.So it looks to be a transmission problem.Help?
  • nsk2nsk2 Posts: 4
    I am afraid at 25,000 miles, my Ford Dealership says I need a new transmission. I am the original owner. It has an automatic transmission. I have the same problem with the overdrive light flashing and the car not going more than about 20 mph while the tach is way up there. When they hooked the car up to the computer, no codes came up. In the time the car was setting the battery died and they said that was why no codes showed up. To make a long story short, they said with the symptoms I described it probably needed a new transmission. The only thing they said was the transmission fluid smelled burnt.

    Of course the warranty was 5 years/100,000 miles and I've had the car for 6 years. They said I would get no help from Ford and after reading all these posts I understand. I am for the Class Action Lawsuit!

    Any suggestions as to what I should do? Will I do more harm to it if I drive it to another service station? It bearly goes above 20 mph. I really don't have the $3,000+ to fix it. And by the way, they did ask me if I wanted to trade it in!
  • dno36dno36 Posts: 71
    OK nsk2, this sound like a sad repetitive story here...
    Can you give more info on your car and current problem? Any check engine light activity at all??
    did it just start to act up?
    Has it been seeming strange for a while??
    Where was it setting when the battery died??
    If there is a trouble code, it will reset. Do you have a bad battery??
    There is not much more to hurt by driving it, aside from getting stranded if the trans is kaput.
  • nsk2nsk2 Posts: 4
    Hi dno 36. My car is a sedan, auto trans with a Zetec engine. The check engine light has not been on. My problem is the Over Drive light starts flashing after I drive a few blocks. It happened once before during the winter and the roads were wet, so I thought maybe the roads were icy but nobody else had a problem. Any way the next day it was fine. I kind of ignored that it was slipping as I pulled out from stop signs. One day I stopped to pick up a pizza and the parking lot had a little hill and my car did not want to go up it. The next hill I came to the tac was past 5 and the car was crawling and the overdrive light was flashing! Did manage to get to work the next day by using back roads. My son thought it was my imagination, he took it out and couldn't get much past 30 mph either!

    Parked it for a few weeks and the battery died. Was original battery, guess it was it's time. I also saw a post on how the Focus eats tires. My Perrelli tires were shot at less than 15,000. miles.

    Also to the person who keeps blowing out their rear tail light, mine it also out. All these stories are sadly similar.

    I guess I'll have them put in a new battery and try to get it home. I haven't heard a word from them in about a week. Think they will charge me $100. to put it on the computer even though no codes showed up?
  • I don't know if you found any of my posts about a similar issue that I have yet to resolve. My car is a 2005 Focus SE. OverDrive light flashes some, I have a check engine light on. Transmission is rough when I start up and it has a hard time going into drive when I first start. The code on the engine light shows a grounding problem with the speed sensor for the trans (this has been "repaired" several times and keeps popping back up).

    I have had numerous wierd problems over the past two years with this car. Mysterious dead battery; blown anti-theft fuse; alternator shot, new alternator gone bad before the car even left the repair shop; alternator just tested bad diodes, even though battery had just tested 104%; turn and brake lights gone out, although they came back when the engine codes were cleared. I had a new trans put in a year-and-a-half ago. Problems started before that.

    The reapairman who drove it when the brake lights went out said he had someone else run codes and it showed the GEM was bad. I took the car to another shop for another opinon and they said they didn't think that was the problem. They found no code showing anything wrong with GEM (actually, two places have told me that). The tranny people say the car has an electrical problem. The auto electic guy I went to this summer says it needs to go back to the transmission shop.

    I have a feeling I may try to find a new GEM and have that put in and see if it takes care of the problem. I heard they used to only be available through a dealer, but they may now be available aftermarket. I guess I could also find one in a junk yard. Anyone have an idea on the cost of a GEM?
  • dno36dno36 Posts: 71
    This does have the 'earmarks' of an electrical issue. The entire car systems are all electrically driven. Tim's response #348 is similar to your plight, however as he does not have a resolution...
    Personally, I would call around and find a parts or repair shop that will hook up your car to an engine reader for free. They are out there, you will need to make calls. Be straight with them.

    Outside of that, the 1st thing I would check the battery (non-running voltage should be 12.3 - 12.6 volts, and running 14 or so volts) and all of the grounds should be checked as well.

    Blowing a taillight sounds like a shorting (positive contacting ground) issue somewhere. If the voltage regulator is going out, I would think it would effect all of the lights not just 1 of them.

    I am not a Ford mechanic, just someone who shares your pain.

    GL & Keep us informed.
  • nsk2nsk2 Posts: 4
    Looks like I'm in for a rough ride. Would get rid of the car if I could! Unfortunately I also have a "96 Ford Explorer with some issues that I was planning to replace first. Think I could trade them both and get one reliable car?

    Anybody know any good repair shops in the Allentown, PA area?

    Keep me posted on your issues. I feel your pain!
  • nsk2nsk2 Posts: 4
    Just bailed my car out from the Ford Dealership. Amazingly made it home without any issues and no lights. Charged me $109.95 for a new battery and $24.00 to put it in! That better be a good battery! Charged $40. to see that no codes showed up. New service manager said "It's drive able but I don't know for how long"

    Did run in to old service manager told him my story. Said he would make some phone calls and get back to me. I'm not holding my breath about it, but do appreciate his efforts.

    By the way the exact mileage is 24,253 and it's a Focus ZTS with a 2.3L. It also needs front brake pads and rotors to pass inspection. I'll see who is having a special and have it done there and replace the brake light bulb myself.

    I'll update you on any new developments. No news is good news!
  • 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: 7,770
    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.

    Edmunds Moderator

    Need some roadside assistance? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

    Share your vehicle reviews

    PF_Flyer's 2014 Versa Note Long Term Blog
    How To Start Your Own Long Term Blog

  • 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?
Sign In or Register to comment.