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#345 of 675 2004 Ford Focus Transmission Problems
Sep 16, 2010 (10:12 pm)
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!
#346 of 675 Re: 2004 Ford Focus Transmission Problems [nsk2]
Sep 19, 2010 (4:02 am)
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.
#347 of 675 Re: 2004 Ford Focus Transmission Problems [dno36]
Sep 20, 2010 (8:51 pm)
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?
#348 of 675 Re: 2004 Ford Focus Transmission Problems [nsk2]
Sep 21, 2010 (3:45 am)
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?
#349 of 675 Re: 2004 Ford Focus Transmission Problems [nsk2]
Sep 21, 2010 (8:36 am)
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.
#350 of 675 Re: 2004 Ford Focus Transmission Problems [Timdrivesaford]
Sep 21, 2010 (8:50 am)
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!
#351 of 675 Re: 2004 Ford Focus Transmission Problems [dno36]
Sep 22, 2010 (2:05 pm)
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!
#352 of 675 Re: 2004 Ford Focus Transmission Problems [nsk2]
Oct 23, 2010 (4:33 am)
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: http://www.gottransmissions.com/blog/transmission-control-modules-tcm/transmissi- on-repairs-check-engine-control-moduleecm
#353 of 675 2001 Focus torque converter lock up clutch
Oct 26, 2010 (2:16 pm)
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.
#354 of 675 Odd transmission problem...
Oct 26, 2010 (9:46 pm)
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!