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#37 of 689 2005 Ford Focus ZX4 Transmission Issue...
Sep 25, 2007 (7:20 am)
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?
#38 of 689 2000 Ford Focus ZX3 Automatic Transmission
Oct 12, 2007 (1:17 pm)
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 get..cheap. 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.
#39 of 689 New from an Independant dealer?
Oct 13, 2007 (8:51 am)
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.
#40 of 689 Add me to the list of Focus owners with transaxle problems
Oct 16, 2007 (7:53 pm)
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.
#41 of 689 Certified not to be in an accident?
Oct 17, 2007 (8:32 am)
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.
#42 of 689 Take me OFF the list of 2003 Focus owners who have transaxle problems.
Oct 20, 2007 (5:31 pm)
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.
#43 of 689 Re: Take me OFF the list of 2003 Focus owners who have transaxle problems.
Oct 20, 2007 (7:03 pm)
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.
#44 of 689 Re: Take me OFF the list of 2003 Focus owners who have transaxle problems. [jeromeb]
Oct 23, 2007 (8:00 am)
I thought that A.M.S. was covered under an extended warranty for PZEV (Emission Control) ?
#45 of 689 Re: Take me OFF the list of 2003 Focus owners who have transaxle problems.
Oct 30, 2007 (7:50 pm)
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.
#46 of 689 Re: Take me OFF the list of 2003 Focus owners who have transaxle problems.
Oct 30, 2007 (8:30 pm)
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): https://www.fleet.ford.com/maintenance/vin_tools/pdfs/VIN2003.pdf
The problem is that VIN character 8 seems to indicate displacement and nothing more, as the same character can be a PZEV or not.