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8.0

pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
$1,539.00
Average Mileage:
64,734 miles
Total Complaints:
20 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (11 reports)
  2. dealer claimed it is normal (5 reports)
  3. fix gear solenoid malfunction (3 reports)
  4. took back to dealership for full refund (1 reports)
2003 Ford Focus transmission problems

transmission problem

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2003 Ford Focus Owner Comments

problem #20

Aug 022012

Focus ZTS 2.0zetec

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles

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

FORD THIS IS NOT ONE OF YOUR BETTER IDEAS, WOULD LIKE TO SEE OT MAKE THE TO 20 WORST CARS

- , Olmsted Twp, OH, USA

problem #19

Jul 012011

Focus LE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,250 miles

My fiancee's car, her mechanical vocabulary couldn't tell me how severe the problem was... she just said that 'the engine revs". Much later I drove it and HOLY CRAP WAS IT AWFUL!! It only has 70k miles. I tried the immediate treatment of changing the tranny filter and fluids to no avail. Had a family mechanic check for solenoid fail codes and found none. I opened the filter housing again to check solenoids anyway and found that in the very short time since changing the fluid it was near black, burnt and full of metal splinters again. We are a low-income couple barely getting by, so it's still in the yard waiting for it's fate to be decided.

- , Makawao, HI, USA

problem #18

May 282012

Focus 2.0L Spi V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 122,330 miles

I GOT THIS TO GET TO WORK. I'M A HOMELESS VET TRYING TO GET ON MY FEET. NOW I HAVE THIS DAMN TRANS GIVING ME PROBLEMS AND DON'T KNOW HOW TO GET IT FIXED PIECE OF

- , Lake Worth, FL, USA

problem #17

Sep 012011

Focus SE 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles

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

this damn car is doing the same thing again! it wont go into overdrive and my check engine light is on! ive already spent 1000 in march 2009 for a used transmission after just purchasing it in feb. of 2009! now im being told its my shift solenoid (a) and it will run me 40.00 plus a transmission filter and fluids! if this fixes the problem im taking the receipt to the shop that told me it was the transmission last time and not very nicely!!grrrrrrrrrrr

- , Newnan, GA, USA

problem #16

Mar 012010

Focus SE 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles

i purchased this p.o.s and 3 months later it was bucking and the check engine light was on! i paid 1000.00 for a used transmission only to be told later that i could have replaced the shift solenoid and all would have been fine! damn mechanics got me good!

- , Newnan, GA, USA

problem #15

Oct 092010

Focus 2.0

  • Automatic transmission
  • 129,870 miles

Looking at the mileage everyone has made, I almost, almost feel lucky. I was driving and accelerated to get on expressway and the car spazzed out. I remember on the way home how the car would not go over 45 miles on the expressway. I turned on hazard until I made it home. I researched the problem and I am aware through auto zone testing as well solenoid malfunction. If my dad did not work at Ford I would not have bought this car. I so remember almost backing out on the deal. Piece of crap. You get a car paid for and it does not last even when you stick to all the requirements. Found On Road Dead, FORD.......

- , Chicago Heights, IL, USA

problem #14

Aug 112010

Focus

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,000 miles

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

I bought this car after my Oldsmobile 88 went out and MY GOD this thing was a bucket,within the first 20 miles of driving it home the transmission started slipping BAD,and when i got home the check engine light came on and so did the abs, I turned the thing around and went back to the dealership at first they said that they wouldn't do anything but I threw the lemon law out and threatened to get an attorney they decided to take it back.was an 7,000 dollar car and what a piece of junk that was.I drive my Moms old Oldsmobile silhouette (2000 GLs) and haven't had any problems and the bonus it was FREE.

- , Waseca, MN, USA

problem #13

Oct 272010

Focus SE 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,671 miles

Driving on the highway, I came upon a stop light. When I started to accelerate again I got going and had to pass someone, so I accelerated more and the car seemed to be revving then slipped into gear! No warning signs at all!! Now whenever I go anywhere the car seems to rev then slip into any gear! I have all grease too, no leaks at all!! Just takes time and revving to get into the gears! This is an Automatic Transmission too...and I even checked the fluids!

- , Brantford, ON, Canada

problem #12

Feb 072010

Focus ZTS 2.0L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

After my Daughters Car Engine Light came on, I took it to the corner repair shopmso they could read the code. Code indicated "Solenoid A malfunction". I probably should have first attempted to replace the solenoids first (myself). But unfortunately I took the Vehicle to a transmission Shop that not only told me the solenoids "checked" fine, but I had other issues (leaking seals?) contributing to the problem. Well, $1866 later we get the car back. My daughter drives about 2 miles to school every day, so the car never really warms up (transmission wise). I finally took it for an extended Drive yesterday, and not 20 minutes into the Drive the Slip/Jerk occured at about 25mph. Occured again at about 40mph. By the time I got home (about 40 miles round trip) Engine Light was back on. Will return to transmission shop shortly.

- , Streamwood, Illinios, USA

problem #11

Jul 012009

Focus

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,671 miles

I loved my car as a mom with 2 kids and I live on the highway I need a relieble safe car for my family. Well What I got is a peice of crapola that has cost me 3000 dollars in less than 6 weeks- first we are heading out on a family holiday when this slip thing happens- then we get it fixed only to have the check engine light come on and cost me another 400 to fix some little comuper thing- problem fixed right........WRONG.

Next the front end, then the day I get it back I drove maybe 10kms, back out of my mom's drive and brake my right coil spring...GREAT $780 later....to have the check engin light come back on.....another couple hundred.....lights fail......autolocks don't work...wait an minute jump out of my car and it locks for me...lol. Can we say one pissed off momma. I paid way to much for the repairs, the car, just to save abuck on the gas.

Funny thing is the check engine light is back on....the gears are still slipping and to make my nightmare more complete I now have no reverse whats so ever. WOW do I ever feel lucky to own a FORD. this car is definately not First On Race Day...it is more like Fugged Over Royaly Dear!!!

- , Atikokan, ON, Canada

problem #10

Jan 092010

Focus 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 137,944 miles

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

seems to me that there are quite a few people out there with this problem and ford as usuall says there is no problem and we are all idiots.No wonder they are in trouble. i hope someone can tell me where to get a cheap new tranny so i can do it myself and cut them out of the pictrue

- , Barrie, Ontario, Canada

problem #9

Sep 012009

Focus ZX3 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,000 miles

2003 ford focus zx3 My transmission all of a sudden has started occasionally slipping at 69,000 miles. It seems to be 3rd gear while driving you can feel either a slip or a jerk of the car. After performing some research I found many other ford owners are suffering from the same problem. So the 1st thing I did was contact ford because a transmission should not give you trouble at 69,000 miles. Fords response was....There's nothing they can do to help me, there is no recall and no warranty but feel free to go to Ford.com and look at new car incentives. I will now begin the process of having someone look at my transmission and hopefully diagnose the problem. I will say this will be the last ford car I or my family will ever own. To own a car with a transmission to go at 69,000 miles is embarrassing. Its an added expense at this time I really do not need. Should anyone want to contact me with a solution to the transmission problem, please do so at ROBERT.SCIARRILLO@GMAIL.COM

- , Metuchen, NJ, USA

problem #8

May 222007

Focus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,000 miles

They dealership said that the problem was normal and that many people with car's this old were experiencing this problem. They stated that it was easily solveable by changing the shift plate in the transmission. So after $800 and keeping the car for 3 days, they claimed the problem was fixed.

So I test drove it off the lot. Took it straight back saying that the problem wasn't fixed. They said that I needed to perform a reset run (drive the car 100 miles without turning off the car at EXACTLY 55 mph...) to reset the computer and allow it to "learn how you drive," in order to better adjust the computer settings. I tried it, like a dumbass.

Now 2 years later after just living with the problem, Tanner Transmissions helped me correct the problem by replacing the transmission completely for only 2500. The manager of the chain said that Ford models in general, but specifically, the Focus were the most common cars/trucks in there shops for complete replacements and repairs. He'll never own one and recommends people getting rid of theirs as soon as possible.

- , Orem, UT, USA

problem #7

Apr 152003

Focus LX 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15 miles

I bought the car BRAND NEW in 2003 with only 15 miles!!! It started slipping and jerking the same day we drove it off the lot. I took it back almost on a daily basis and yet Lapoint Ford of Murray, UT ( now out of business) told me that nothing was wrong, they never logged it into their computers and I never got any form of work order showing what was wrong with it! how ridiculous also had fathers ford truck in for 6 different turbos would I ever buy another ford the answer is HELL NO!! Tell ya a secret its a circled problem it starts in the front and ends in the back! sounds like the american auto makers need to take lessons from the japanese auto makers!

- , Eagle Mountain, UT, USA

problem #6

Jan 032009

Focus SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

I think that Henry Ford would be ashamed of what his company has become. My ford focus is a jerk! Literally! When I drive it, it will randomly JERK and make a loud noise, the automatic transaxle/cooling system light comes on and it revs low, then it gears back up, light goes off and it drives as usual.......this first happened over a year ago, shortly after I bought it, and I took it in to the dealership, thinking they would know more and be more trustworthy and I was still under warranty. They assured me that there was nothing wrong. They looked at every part of the transmission and cooling system, but they couldn't find anything. They said it was probably because of built up dirt in my fuel filter. Easy fix. Yeah.....I ended up taking it in a total of 10 times and every time they said they couldn't find anything and they could never get it to mess up. One of the techs took my car home with him for 3 days. He drove it as his own car and said it never messed up, but it jerked loudly as I drove out of the parking lot. They adjusted some fluid levels and replaced some filters and said that was all they could do. Eventually, it just stopped doing it.......for about a year and a half. Now it is a lot worse. It jerked and freaked out seven times in the matter of two miles while I was going 70 on the interstate. Now my car is stranded an hour away from where I live and no one knows what's wrong with it. I am so tired of having problems with this stupid car. Henry, you and your company have let us all down

- , Fayetteville, AR, USA

problem #5

Nov 302004

Focus CF (cheapest Found) 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,000 miles

I have dealer service work orders/receipts that show that I complained more than once as far back as 2004 regarding transmission jerks (for lack of a better term) when changing to passing gear or down-shifting. This was so bad that the whole car would make a "BANG" that sounded like we'd been hit or something. The dealer said they could find nothing wrong and that the transmission was fine.

The problem worsened, yet the dealer insisted it was normal/not a problem. Eventually (October 2008, @50,000, Warranty expired now) this problem caused the trans fluid to become dark, and a grinding/gravel noise developed. At first it was very subtle, and could only be heard under load when turning sharply to the right. eventually the noise got louder and was present whenever the car went forward. One day it jerked so badly and made such a terrible BANG while on the freeway. I could feel something obstructing our movement. As if one or more teeth had been snapped off from a cog and were getting caught within the transmission and rolling around in there or something. I had to pull over and drive slowly on the shoulder. Sure enough, a transmission specialist said that there was all kinds of internal damage and a fine black dust (presumably this was the obstruction I felt, now ground into powder).

We needed a new transmission @ 50,000 miles! I'm looking for any other party with a similar problem with their Focus. Especially if there's a class action filed.

While this is a good example of how the dealers (Moss Bros. in colton,ca. which is now closed, and Sunrise Ford in Fontana, ca.) jerked us around, it is far from the only example I could give you.

They try everything they can to avoid warranty work. I've spoken with at least 3 former employees of Ford dealerships now, and they all admit that they were discouraged from investigating problems that would lead to expensive warranty work (one of them quit because he was afraid they were going to fire him because of excessive warranty work.)

I'll never buy another Ford, and I'll NEVER take the Ford that I'm stuck with to another Ford Dealer for service.

- , Rialto, CA, USA

problem #4

Jun 162008

Focus SE Wagon

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,923 miles

Being my first car - I didn't realize there was a problem, but every time I slow down then press the gas again (as in everywhere - traffic, lights, etc..) the car bumps forward. My father drove my car and totally freaked out. He sent me to Ford right away. They told me there was no problem. I didn't have many kilometers left on the warranty so I told them I'd be back. I went back, spoke to the manager - I drove with the mechanic and he still said nothing's wrong. So now I just have to drive with the problem. At least now I feel it coming - I let up on the gas and let it slow to get into gear a little less roughly!!! ..And I hope it'll last me until my loan's paid!!!!

- , Greenfield Park, Quebec, Canada

problem #3

Mar 152008

Focus 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,000 miles

2003 focus w/71,000 miles. Transmission is slipping one week after replacing the transmission for the 3rd time. Harper Ford says not bad enough to be concern yet. They are waiting for the warranty to run out and then charge me for the fourth transmission. Dealer still says that focus transmission do not have problems

- , Humboldt, CA, USA

problem #2

Oct 222006

(reported on)

Focus

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles

Last winter, my car started jerking a lot and wouldn't go once it reached 3rd gear. ONCE AGAIN, I am having the same problem. This is absolutely ridiculous. When we first took it to a transmission shop, a gentleman told my husband he was going to have to replace the entire transmission (over $1700). I made my husband get a second opinion, and the guy told him is was actually a solenoid problem. It cost me about $300 to have it replaced. Much better than $1700, but still ridiculous. Even more ridiculous that I am now going to have to replace it again. If anyone knows what might cause this problem, let me know...

- , Belton, MO, USA

problem #1

Nov 052003

Focus ES 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,000 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

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