Ford Focus '02 manual transmission problem

#1

My '02 Focus is manual with 86k miles. It’s been very cold here in Naperville, IL lately and it has been getting very difficult to shift into gear. As of two nights ago I now can’t shift into any gear at all. Have let it run for over an hour trying to warm it up, but no improvement. Neighbor says to wait until weather warms up, but that could be Spring and I can’t wait that long. Is there any sense in getting it serviced? Any preventative maintenance for next winter? Anything I can do for now?

Thanks in advance for helping me get unstranded.

#2

Noone has any advice? Could really use the help.

Thanks.

#3

Tell us more about what it does when you try to shift into gear. What do you feel and what do you hear? What does it feel like when just moving the shifter from one spot to another when it is out of gear but the engine is not running?

#4

Is there fluid in the clutch fluid reservoir?

Can you shift the transmission if the engine is OFF?

#5

Just before out of commission entirely it was sort of popping in and out of gear with some force. Now wont even do that. Car will try and edge forward just a hair when I’m trying to push into 1st thru 5th. No real ‘noises’ to speak of when trying to shift. When engine is off, it shifts thru the gears effortlessly.
Thanks for any help you can give.

#6

Have not checked, but will tonight. If low, should I replace with any specific kind of trans. fluid? Should I fill all the way to ‘max’?
Really hoping, based on my response above regarding shifting, that I won’t be looking at massive repairs.

#7

“should I replace with any specific kind of trans. fluid?”

No. You shouldn’t replace w/ trans fluid at all. You will probably be adding brake fluid as there’s a good chance that your clutch reservoir is you master cylinder. What you need to do is look in your owner’s manual to locate the correct reservoir & figure out the correct kind of fluid to put in it. Don’t guess about it and don’t add anything else. - if it is low. And if it is low you then need to have the whole system checked for leaks.

It really sounds like you just need a mechanic.

#8

Have a mechanic buddy out of state that suspects an issue with ‘clutch release’ since all gears are out, but when engine is off it shifts fine. Does that sound somewhat accurate?

#9

Have a mechanic buddy out of state that suspects an issue with ‘clutch release’ since all gears are out, but when engine is off it shifts fine. Does this sound somewhat accurate? If I have to visit a mechanic I’d prefer to not sound like an idiot and hopefully also provide some useful direction for them…