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Ford Focus Transmission Problems



  • lantazlantaz Posts: 1
    I also have a 2003 Focus Se with the same problem. You shift to drive and it stays in neutral for about a minute then it shifts into gear. Reverse works well, with no problems. Were you able to find out what the issue was with your car? Thanks
  • We have a 2002 Focus ZX3 and have just started having problems with the transmission. As you say the shift sequence sometimes doesn't engage, in our case the car remains in second. If it does reach third it only holds it for a while before dropping backing into second with the jolt you speak of. I have had no problems with reverse and although I am no auto mechanic I do work as a marine engineer and have some experience with engines.

    It was actually my girlfriend who took the car in and as usual it was the computer that told the mechanic where the problem lay... Must be nice that.. Never have to find the problem yourself. Well enough of mocking todays auto mechanics.... Almost...

    My girlfriend was told what the problem was in this case it is a faulty shift solenoid that was faulty. Fine I'll accept that, what I wouldn't accept is that the mechanic said it would be fine to drive about normally until it could be repaired. NOT FINE... My girlfriend drives like a maniac at times and I can only imagine what would happend to the head, head gasket and con rods if she were driving it around in third (Through 'D') and was going at any speed when it suddenly dropped back down into second. Engine braking is fine on a manual when it is controlled and this isn't a diesel so isn't designed to cope with the high pressures involved.

    Do yourself a favour and drive the car in second so you have no unexpected shifts. This car was second hand and had 60,000 on the clock so you know. The action I am taking is to change out the entire solenoid valve shift assembly and housing and replace it. $750 inc tax.
  • For your info when they plug up the computer heres what the numbers mean relating to the shift solenoid should you catch a glimpse....

    P0750 Shift solenoid (SS) A - Circuit malfunction
    P0751 Shift solenoid (SS) A - performance or stuck off
    P0752 Shift solenoid (SS) A - stuck on
    P0753 Shift solenoid (SS) A - electrical
    P0754 Shift solenoid (SS) A - circuit intermittent
    P0755 Shift solenoid (SS) B - Circuit malfunction
    P0756 Shift solenoid (SS) B - performance or stuck off
    P0757 Shift solenoid (SS) B - stuck on
    P0758 Shift solenoid (SS) B - electrical
    P0759 Shift solenoid (SS) B - circuit intermittent
    P0760 Shift solenoid (SS) C - Circuit malfunction
    P0761 Shift solenoid (SS) C - performance or stuck off
    P0762 Shift solenoid (SS) C - stuck on
    P0763 Shift solenoid (SS) C - electrical
    P0764 Shift solenoid (SS) C - circuit intermittent
    P0765 Shift solenoid (SS) D - Circuit malfunction
    P0766 Shift solenoid (SS) D - performance or stuck off
    P0767 Shift solenoid (SS) D - stuck on
    P0768 Shift solenoid (SS) D - electrical
    P0769 Shift solenoid (SS) D - circuit intermittent
    P0770 Shift solenoid (SS) E - Circuit malfunction
    P0771 Shift solenoid (SS) E - performance or stuck off
    P0772 Shift solenoid (SS) E - stuck on
    P0773 Shift solenoid (SS) E - electrical
    P0774 Shift solenoid (SS) E - circuit intermittent
  • Hi-

    I have a 2005 Ford Focus ZX4 (manual transmission). Recently I've noticed that while driving at 35mph or above (usually in 4th or 5th), the transmission seems to "hitch" or "skip" (not sure how to best to describe this...). Additionally, occasionally when I go to start the vehicle it doesn't always turn-over immediately. Both of these things don't happen on a regular basis but just every now and then...

    I know that I need to take it into a garage to get it looked at but I wanted to find out if anyone else out there had any information on these 2 issues? Any idea(s) about repair costs?

    Thanks much,
  • The transmission died today. The car has 61,000 miles. I did not use and abuse this car, bought new. Ford Motor Co can not help because it was purchased from an independent dealership. Ford number: 1-800-392-3673. (Ford and their dealers agreed on a six (6) year limit for problems) You HAVE to take it to a dealership for evaluation to be input into Ford's system for them to TRY to help financially for repair costs prior to the 6 year or 60,000 limitations. Bottom line is you will pay approx $2,000 because the transmissions are totally trashed. Many family members are Ford employees and buying Fords since I can remember. I guess when you buy cheap that's what you Message to Ford...quit making cheap crap for marketing and build what you started out to do, build a reliable vehicle at a cost effective price for consumers. Not all of us can afford a $300+ car payment. Hell, the $220 payment was a killer in todays economy. I am sorry downsizing cost people jobs but they were living above their means anyway at a job that pays over $18/hr. I am fighting for pay check to pay check survival. I am not on a bus line. I have no other mode of transportation. I will lose my job and home because Ford knows about the problem and did nothing to fix it. Yes, I am angry.
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    Did you buy it outside the US? If not then how do you know it was "new" when you purchased it.

    Someone tell me I'm wrong but I understand that ONLY a franchised dealer can sell "new" Fords.

    For the purpose of this discussion, I consider a car used once it is titled.

    Did you do the trans service every 30k?

    Most people DO not understand that 61,000 miles of stop and go traffic over 6 years is way way harder on a auto trans then 61,000 of mostly highway miles over 3 years. You could easily have put the car through the number of shifts in 61,000 miles of city driveing that someone else does in 150,000 of mostly highway miles.

    IMHO if you do not follow the scheduled maintenence in the owners manual, you have only yourself to blame for problems.

  • jeromebjeromeb Posts: 31
    Hello folks, I wouldn't be posting here if it wasn't true, so consider what you paid for it.
    I bought my 2003 Ford Focus SE as a Certified Pre-Owned vehicle. One aspect of that purchase was that it had extended warranties out the wahoo. Another was that it was supposedly certified to have never been in a collision. The warranties are real, but the other one is false. The car had been wrecked, the hood had been replaced and painted in a repair shop. This was pointed out to me by an insurance adjustor during a later claim. Anyway, being a good little puppy I took the Focus to a nearby very well regarded dealer for a 30,000 mile service.
    At that time I mentioned that on a couple of occasions it had slipped out of gear momentarily. The dealer promptly rebuilt the transmission under warranty. No jacking around.
    Lately, on a few occasions the transmission has delivered a very momentary blip. Today, though, in trying to accelerate from 40mph on a service road to 60mph on a highway, the transaxle crapped out and wouldn't leave second gear. I was about 4 miles from the previously mentioned dealer and managed to limp into their service drive with no further destruction. This dealership has treated me so good, I'll say their name, Sam Pack's Five Star Ford in Lewisville, TX.
    What do I expect? I expect them to make it as good as new under the extended warranty, and charge me a small deductible, just like the paperwork says. That's the way they've been treating me ever since I've been doing business with them, and I don't regret a bit of it.

    The service advisor checked the transaxle fluid and remarked that it was discolored. The mileage on the vehicle is about 56000 miles, and by-the-book transaxle service would have been done at 60000. When I get it back, though, I'm going to move that transaxle service interval to 15000 miles.

    These are just machines. You use them, and they wear out. You maintain them, and they last forever. This one is under warranty so the cost out of pocket will be low, but I'm highly educated on transaxle issues now. 15,000 mile interval for transaxle service, and it will be ok.
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    That is not true. A certified vehicle may have had body work done. You are entitled to a vehicle history report. A car cannot be certified if there was a bent or repaired frame or if has a branded title such as salvage, junk, lemon law, flood, etc.

    Also it takes up to six weeks for a repair to appear on the vehicle history report. The dealer was probably aware of the repair though.

  • jeromebjeromeb Posts: 31
    Take me OFF the list of 2003 Focus owners who have transaxle problems. The air mass sensor was out of spec and the behaviour it induced in the vehicle made me and my pre-electronic understanding of automobiles believe that something was wrong with the transaxle. The Service advisor compounded the confusion by pulling out the oil dipstick while thinking she was getting the transaxle dipstick.

    They also found that the timing belt pulley was loose. That repair was warranted. The air mass sensor was not.

    The AMS part & labor was a little over $500. Ow!

    Anyway, the car runs good now, and the transaxle fluid is bright pink.

    Mark, I've read one place on the internet where a CPO means that the car is not to have been in a collision. That differs materially from saying that a car may not have been salvaged. The part known to have been replaced was the hood, and I never asked for a vehicle history report.

    I've got the car and the payments, and it runs good.
    I'm not converted to the "Fix Or Repair Daily" religion yet.
  • I recently had a very rough running symptom on my 97 Escort LX Wagon, a direct ancestor of your car. The shop that had been doing all my routine and scheduled maintenance said the catalytic converter had a hole in it - please pay $800 to replace it. Fortunately I went for a second opinion. The better mechanic said if the CC had a hole in it we would hear it and smell exhaust in the area, neither of which was the case, and replacing the cc would not have fixed the problem. The problem was the mass air flow sensor was bad, and also the air intake temp sensor. I bought the parts for less than $200 and he installed them in 20 minutes. Problem fixed. As he explained it, the mass air flow sensor feeds back to the computer and effectively controls the fuel-air mixture. When that sensor is bad you have a bad [way-too-rich in my case] mix and a very rough running engine.

    As a postscript, the first shop will just be be doing tire and alignment work for me henceforth and maybe an occasional oil change.

    I'm hoping to find a lightly used '07 ZX5 next summer, to replace the faithful old Escort.
  • markus5markus5 Posts: 102
    I thought that A.M.S. was covered under an extended warranty for PZEV (Emission Control) ?
  • jeromebjeromeb Posts: 31
    This particular vehicle does not have any markings on the body or notations in the owner's manual to indicate that it is a PZEV. The Ford dealer nearby is high quality in my eyes and this particular service advisor has dealt me straight before.
  • I was wondering if the valve cover has any indication, but then I found this on a forum, describing the way to tell a PZEV (Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle) from a Zetec, "Intake manifold [on the PZEV] is towards the front of the car, and the exhaust is towards the back and therefore doesnt run under the engine...." Then I looked at a couple of Ford VIN decoder tables, and VIN position 8 indicates engine type and seems totally ambiguous about PZEV. There is an entry for a 2.3 PZEV in 2003 and 2004, but none for a 2.0 PZEV before 2005. Look here (for other years just change the year number in the link):
    The problem is that VIN character 8 seems to indicate displacement and nothing more, as the same character can be a PZEV or not.
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    Prior to 05, all 2.3L were PZEV and all PZEV were 2.3L According, if you have an 04 with a 2.3L, you have a PZEV.

    AFTER 05, no 2.3L were PZEV and so if you have an 05 though 07 with a 2.3L, you do not have PZEV.

    For 05 to 07, PZEVs are mandatory in the 5 CA emissions states. If you live in CA emissions state, you have PZEV.

    PZEV is also available in cross border states. If you live next to a state that requires CA emissions, open your hood and if you see a sticker that says "this car is certified for sale in CA" then you have PZEV. If you see "this car is certified for sale in all 50 states" then you do not have PZEV.


  • greenponygreenpony Chicago, ILPosts: 531
    Interestingly, I had a '97 Escort where the automatic would do the same thing.
  • My 2002 Focus only has 43,000 miles and I also and having a problem with the transmission bucking and knocking when I give the car the gas. I will now change the transmission fuel pump. My car is also an automatic.
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    that are you talking about?

    Older Focuses required trans service at 30k I believe.

  • My daughter purchased from a private party two months ago a ford focus 2002 sedan, with 36,000 miles on it for 5,000. We had it inspected prior to purchase. Passed with flying colors.

    The engine light when on and we checked the errors -- thermostat and gas cap. Hubby changed the thermostat and we tightened the gas cap.
    She drove it 40 mins and then from a stop sign it wouldn't go past 35 miles an hour without it engaging. Our reliable transmission people state that third and fourth gear are shot within the transmission. Before hearing again from them I'd like to ask...
    Questions: Is it worth fixing? Is it best to swap the who trans out or fix the internal issue? Was there a recall situation, we are not aware of? Could this car have more mileage on it that we see on the gage? If so, how so?

    I was so proud of her paying cash for this car....She she trade it in (running of course) for a newer dealer Toyota?
  • Hey Jeromeb, I have an 05 Focus ST that was rear-ended up in highland village last friday. Have you had body work done at Sam Pack in Lewisville and if so, were you happy?
  • Hello folks. I have an 02 Focus, auto trans. The car has 114K lightly driven miles and recently started running rough. Belts & pulleys are in great shape, but you can actually mash down on the block and cut out the vibration. Therefore I assume it may be the motor mounts. I have neglected that for 2-3 weeks. After the car sat in near freezing temps for three days, I get in to drive and out of the blue the transmission slips. Reverse, first & second are ok, very slow and hard drop into third, and no fourth. Before I shell out the big ones for a new tranny, is it possible that this could be related to the previously mentioned engine vibration, or clogged fluid filter or circulation problem? Thanks!
  • Comes from both front wheel areas whenever i turn my steering wheel left or right, i reckon its my bearings, but ive never heard it like this before, sounds like 2 metal poles being clanged together, am i right, and its just the bearings? Im in UK just in case some of my expressions are not the norm.

  • I have a 2003 Ford Focus SE (Automatic) with about 56,000 miles. The car loses power like it is suddenly not in any gear, then all of a sudden jots into gear. It was taken to a local Ford dealership and they put it on the scope and said it needed the transmission fluid changed. The check engine light also was on. Next time it was driven within the hour same thing happened. Have called the dealership to say hey now paid to get this fixed, they agreed to renegotiate the fee paid and take it for a test drive. A friend who knows a mechanic at a Ford dealership says it sounds like it is the valve body which is like 1,000 just for the parts. I am hesitant with the last one thinking it was one thing and it wasn't. Anyone have this type of problem, and gotten it fixed? If so what was the problem and how much to fix?
  • Just wondering what the problem ended up being, and if it was expensive to fix. I am having the same problem with my 2003 focus.
  • mdocmdoc Posts: 1
    hi my ford focus automatic 1.6 zetec 2002 has the same problem but in reverse gear and it delays like 10 secs as if the car is dead and the engine light comes up(yellow) and then moves on with jerk.
    any success with your repair work ? how much did it cost? many thanks for ur reply
  • Sounds like the motor mounts I had to have replaced around 145000. It also caused substantial steering wheel vibration (1" or so).
  • Got the same run-around. Was told to change the transmission fluid. Doesn't solve anything. Bottom line= 4th gear(Drive) was toast. The car would NOT shift into drive. 35mph is the fastest it would go THEN it was though it was running in neutral! The 4th gear was shot. Bad news is the parts cost $1000+. Total repair approx $2200. Check other Transmission problem blogs on the net. Many many focus auto transmissions '02-'07 having the same problem. If your car is still in waranty insist the trans be repaired if it "jumps" into gear at any speed, low or high. MY CAR? It's a 2003 Focus with 55000 miles. Waranty expired 12-16-07. Transmission expired 02-05-08. My cost to have repaired? $2222.03.
  • Model: 2002 SE 2.0 SPI with 4F27E Transmission
    OBD Code: P0751 => Shift solenoid (SS) A - performance or stuck off
    Symptom: No 3rd or 4th gear
    Having studied the service manual (which is on a CD) for days and trying to verify what is causing my problem, I think I have narrowed it down. Since I am an individual and don't have a complete Ford shop at my disposal, I attempted to check the obvious thing first - connections, loose grounds, broken wires, continuity and amperage checks of all solenoids, and on and on.... Since all solenoids and connections passed electrically, I proceeded to check each solenoid with air pressure while energizing them and found that all solenoids tested good. Now, what I did not say was that the main control valve body had several bolts loose (they could be turned by hand). I state this now, since when I first discovered this after removing the drain pan, I removed the valve body, checked it for damage and reinstalled it. It was late in the day and no parts stores were open, and I just tried it out to see if that cured the problem. Well, it didn't. I pulled the valve body again and inspected the gaskets a little closer and discovered they should be replaced. (The manual tells you to replace them anyway) My question - Has anyone found any valve body bolts loose. I don't know if this was done at the factory or by a previous mechanic, most likely the latter. I feel that my shift problem has occurred due to the valve body bolts backing out, thus allowing the fluid pressure to leak out. This was a possible cause listed in the service manual. I am having to order the parts and hope this is going to solve the problem. Will post when I figure this out...
  • I have a 2001 Ford Focus (automatic transmission) that has 75,000 miles on it. When i first start driving the car from a cold start, it shifts fine thru the gears. once the car warms up, it stops shifting into 4th gear and will not shift up if i have to accelerate quickly (it revs for a sec like it's going to shift up, and goes strait back into 3rd). after a while of that, it starts shifting really rough, jerking between 1st, 2nd, and 3rd gears. also, i noticed that, once the car is warmed up and 4th gear disappears, if i try to turn off overdrive and shift down manually it doesn't do anything.
    anyone have any idea what might be wrong?
  • I'm post #60 and was just reviewing the site as I was reading the service manual. Might be the transimssion oil temperature sensor. If the sensor has failed in some odd way, my guess is that this could happen. This sensor is located in the tranny oil pan, under the transmission filter. The sensor can be checked by use of an ohm meter. See below...

    This is out of the manual:
    Transmission fluid temperature (TFT) sensor
    The TFT sensor is located on the internal wiring harness to the solenoid valves in the fluid pan.
    It is a resistor and measures the transmission fluid temperature.
    The transmission fluid temperature is used by the PCM for the following functions:
    Applying the torque converter clutch is not permitted until the transmission fluid reaches a certain temperature, engagement of 4th gear is prevented in extreme sub-zero temperatures until the normal operating temperature is reached,
    if the transmission fluid temperature is excessive, a pre-set fixed shift curve is selected and the torque converter lock-up clutch is closed in "2", "3" and "4"; of the transmission warning indicator is activated.

    Resistance between transaxle vehicle harness connector pin 5 (component side, transaxle internal harness), and transaxle vehicle harness connector pin 4 (component side, transaxle internal harness).
    Resistance should be approximately in the following ranges:
    -20 ° C (-4 ° F) - 236Kohms - 317Kohms
    0 ° C (32 ° F) - 83.2Kohms - 107Kohms
    20 ° C (68 ° F) - 33.5Kohms - 41.2Kohms
    40 ° C (104 ° F) - 14.6Kohms - 17.6Kohms
    60 ° C (140 ° F) - 7.08Kohms - 8.01Kohms
    80 ° C (176 ° F) - 3.61Kohms - 4.06Kohms
    100 ° C (212 ° F) - 1.96Kohms - 2.20Kohms
    120 ° C (248 ° F) - 1.13Kohms - 1.25Kohms
    130 ° C (266 ° F) - 0.87Kohms - 0.96Kohms

    Pin numbers as looking at the connector on top of tranny with lock tab on top:
    1 2 3
    4 5 6
    7 8 9

    Good luck, let us know what happens,
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