Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.

9.2

really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
$1,644.00
Average Mileage:
78,408 miles
Total Complaints:
31 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. had to replace transmission (13 reports)
  2. not sure (11 reports)
  3. transmission rebuilt (5 reports)
  4. dealer replaced a million parts in the transmission (2 reports)
2003 Ford Focus transmission problems

transmission problem

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2003 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #11

May 222007

(reported on)

Focus ZX3 DOHC

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

First, can I just say, thank god for Mike down at Aamco Transmissions in Glendale AZ. VERY NICE. VERY PATIENT. Doesn't treat you like an idiot, either.

Turns out, 4th gear has rotted away! There's some clutch material in the transmission fluid but computer came back fine. What happened was, when it went to upshift to 4th, it went into neutral because the gear wasn't there, essentially.

The lurching at around 55 miles an hour has been happening for YEARS. I thought it was the way I was driving. That'll learn me. I've loved this car up unto this point... so I'm totally bummed that it's such a crappy part.

- , Peoria, AZ, USA

problem #10

Jul 012007

Focus ES 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,833 miles

Ford sucks, will not stand behind this piece of crap. It now does not run, transmission is out, electrical is fried, suspension is shot - but hey - it is low mileage, only 59,833 miles. I will go further in other areas of electric, suspension, brakes, tires. The transmission started with problems from the beginning. My daughter in law bought the car brand new, and the FORD motor company treated her like a non thinking dumb blonde, and led her around in circles until the car went out of warranty, three months later the trans died. They have record of her first visit, but her service writer did not record the others times it was taken in, after test drive they said it is a normal ford trait, all is well. Bull sh*t. The car has not been driven for eleven months. Now repo guys came but the car is on my property. They broke my gate, entered my property, but I caught them and they tried to run my truck into the rocks and again into trees (they did not get the car). The local Sheriffs department wants this repo man bad. He is wanted for assault with a deadly weapon (his Truck). I have two neighbors that witnessed the whole thing, plus the police took pictures. These guys were hired by Ford motor company. It will cost $3500 to fix the car, she owes $5,000. This is how FORD treats Young Americans that are trying to get ahead, have a new car without problems yet at inflated prices. Yes an American dream was just lost in debt due to the inability to fix Ford's problem car as well as try to find EXTRA money to make the payment, pay the insurance, plus buy another car to drive while FORDS wannabe car is broken. I want to thank Ford for this experience. Our family of fifteen will never purchase another Ford.

- , Winchester, CA, USA

problem #9

Aug 242007

(reported on)

Focus SE 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 31,855 miles

I bought this car used January 2005. It was only a year and about 2 months old with less than 10,000 miles. I purchased it for $14,000 (what a rip off) through Enterprise. It only had one owner so I assumed it was treated great. August 2007 I had my engine light pop on. It worried me so I called the nearest dealership. I brought it in right after work and was told they will look at it the next day since I brought it in late. Turns out it was the transmission. Honestly, I couldn't believe it but then again my car has been struggling to change to 2nd and 4th gears. So after two days in the shop I was told I would need to wait until Monday (over the weekend) to find out how bad the transmission really was. He said that it should be like 1500 to replace/repair it. Also that Ford would pay 750 of the 1500 since it was so young. So I waited. Should I mention the dealership never called me like promised? I had to call the advisor to find out myself. So I was told that the whole transmission was gone. WTF?! I was told that it would be $2300 something to replace the whole thing. Now since I had to replace the whole thing, that meant a lot of money. So they had the parts delivered (parts? I thought I needed a whole new one?). I was promised it would be done in two days... I get it. This dealership was very stupid I swear. My advisor said it was 2,906 for the whole new transmission and that Ford paid 1,200 of it. My total of 1615 didn't even include a car wash and the quarter tank of gas they used to test drive it around. I demanded for the orginial price of the brand new transmission to be on my paperwork and also to show that Ford is paying for part of the payment but my advisor told me to my face that they couldn't. All he could give me is a business card with a chicken scribble of a new trans. of 1900, the labor os 810 and tax of 150. I hate Fords and I wished this was a dream. I spent 522 on rental cars for nine days. Should I mention that my father told me that "This is great experience for you." Well dad, you were right- this was great experience for me. I'll never buy a Ford again nor will I go to that dealership AGAIN. BBB and Consumer Affairs do your stuff.

- , Citrus Heights, CA, USA

problem #8

Sep 172007

(reported on)

Focus ZX5

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I am extremely dissatisfied with Ford Motor Company's product and their customer service, or lack of. I bought my 2003 Focus in May 2005 with 21,000 miles on it. Within a week of buying the car, I was already having problems with the transmission slipping. Mind you, I was still within the 36,000 mile warranty period. I took the car into 2 different Ford dealerships and no one could find a "problem" with the car. Two years later, the transmission is even worse and I take it to another Ford dealership, where miraculously they find a problem with the transmission now that I am at 52,000 miles. I am told by Ford Motor Company that since I am not the original owner, I am not covered under the 100,000 mile powertrain warranty that I was told is standard with all 2003 models. Also, I was sold an additional 100,000 mile powertrain warranty through CNA who is rejecting it because they are saying that Ford should pay for it. Ford has done nothing but point their finger at everyone else and give me the runaround for 2 years now. They obviously don't care about their customers! For anyone considering buying a Ford, think twice and do your research...

- , St. Petersburg, FL, USA

problem #7

Jun 272007

(reported on)

Focus ZX5 V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 23,000 miles

I bought the car used and within a month or so of having the car the transmission kept slipping and then got caught in 2 gear. Almost burned out the transmission. It had to go in 4 times for the mechanics to finally getting it fixed correctly. I am seriously considering staying away from ford products next time I buy. This was only one problem I've had with this vehicle. It needed a new starter at 23000 miles, and at 66,000 miles I am already replacing ball joints, swing bars etc. I am not an aggressive driver, I've never had to replace these types of parts in any other vehicle I've owned, new or used. I usually keep my cars well after they are paid for a but this one I considered junk.

- , Fairport, NY, USA

problem #6

Apr 192007

(reported on)

Focus ZX3 2.0L ZETEC

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

I've had this car for a year and have been overwhelmed with problems with it. This is the icing on the cake. I was turning off the highway and was at a stoplight when my CEL turned on. I was almost to my destination so I decided I'd check the problem when I got there. The light turned green and as I drove I didn't see a problem. That is until I heard my car switch into 3rd gear. I lost all acceleration and only heard the car rev as if I was in neutral. I pulled to the side of the road, turned the car off, turned it back on and proceeded to drive. As I hit 3rd gear/ 35mph it did the same thing. I finally made it to my destination and was forced to leave my car parked there overnight. I am bringing it to the dealership tomorrow hoping this is covered under warranty (if not I have to pay them 120$ for looking at it to tell me its not covered). I've had way too many problems in a year with this car. I advise to stay away from Ford Focus', I will never buy another Ford for as long as I can help it.

- , Denton, TX, USA

problem #5

Aug 082006

(reported on)

Focus SE

  • 58,799 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I bought my car from a used car dealer in early June of 2006. Shortly thereafter, when at a speed of at least 50 mph my car would do a big "jerk". Later, when driving the car would seem as if it was down shifting into 1st gear. I took my car into the Ford dealer and they replaced some parts within the transmission. Luckily, the transmission is covered under extended warranty but this car doesn't even have 60,000 miles on it and its having transmission problems. The car still had the temp tag in the window when it went in the shop. Other things have gone wrong with this vehicle but I will post those things in the appropriate places on this site.

- , Baton Rouge, LA, USA

problem #4

Oct 242006

(reported on)

Focus ZX5

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles

I bought my 2003 hatchback Focus in Jan 2004. It had 19k miles on it and was my first car I bought as a self sufficient adult, and would become my biggest headache. Disregarding all the issues with my dealer - Ted Britt Ford Financing Dept. in Fairfax Virginia, (not to call them out to clearly as lying and thoughtless stereotypical car dealers) -The transmission showed signs of trouble just a few months after I bought the car. I found trying to gain speed on the highway or go up the steep hills of New England roads made me lurch forward as the car struggled to change gears. Luckily, my dealer did tell me about the extended warranty (the good thing they did) and I bought it. Good thing too, because my car has been in the shop for 2 weeks now to breakdown and rebuild the transmission for the 2nd time! It got so bad I couldn't safely merge onto the highway without getting shot out of a slingshot and getting mild whiplash.

Nice work Ford, must be why your team's in the toilet, I sure as hell won't buy a ford again...

- , Florence, MA, USA

problem #3

Apr 272006

(reported on)

Focus LS

  • 39,349 miles

I OWN A 2003 FORD FOCUS. YES 2003, ONLY 39,349 MILES AND THE TRANSMISSION WAS COMPLETELY SHOT. GO FIGURE HOW THAT HAPPENS UNLESS THE VEHICLE WAS OF POOR QUALITY... I HAVE COME TO NOTICE WITH THE FORD FOCUS AND MANY OTHER FORD VEHICLES THIS IS A MAJOR PROBLEM!!! THEY KNOW THAT IT IS TOO NEW WITH LOW MILES FOR THE TRANSMISSION TO GO ALREADY. COME ON NOW STAND UP BACK YOUR PRODUCT AND FIX THE CAR WITH OUT STICKING THE HONEST CUSTOMER WITH THE OUTRAGES BILL!!!! THIS IS NOT AN OLD VEHICLE WITH TONS OF MILES AND WEAR AND TEAR. THIS IS BULLSHIT. I HAVE CONTACTED EVERYONE I COULD. I GET THE SAME OLD RUN AROUND!! SIMPLY STATED I HATE FORD !!

- , Hackensack, NJ, USA

problem #2

Dec 162006

(reported on)

Focus LX 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,000 miles

I have had this car for two years and I can't believe I am having transmission problems. The car winds but does not switch gears. This is dangerous as you think you have power, say to... accelerate on a parkway entrance. There is no acceleration. This car is a big pain in the ass. It is a big rip-off. I have to wait to the beginning of the week to get a quote on what it will cost to get fixed.... BIG PAIN IN ASS

- , Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #1

Jul 052006

(reported on)

Focus SE

  • 67,000 miles

Ever since I bought my car in Jan 2004 I would always feel like the car would lurch forward when at high speeds. It felt like the engine had a hicupp at 45-55 miles an hour. I took it to the dealer and they could find nothing wrong. Delt with this problem for over 2 years and then suddenly, once my warranty was used up, I pulled into a gas station to get gas one day and then tried to pull out and it felt like I was out of transmission fluid. I pulled over and checked the transmission fluid and it was fine. Had to have the car towed in to get it fixed. My mechanic had to replace 3 gears in my transmission. After I had the car fixed i found out that ford offered a 100,000 mile warranty on all of the ford focuses. no matter what year. I called ford about it. I was told that I need to contact the last owner of the car and have the warranty transferred to me. I said lady, I bought this car from a dealer. When I tried to call the dealer about this, they told me good luck, the guy was in the military and they could not find him.. I ended up just hanging up on the woman. Thats ok though because** ITS GONNA BE REPOSSESSED* HA HAH

- , Pittsburgh, PA, USA

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