Time to retire the Focus? Transmission trouble

I’ve got my 2002 Ford Focus w/ auto in the transmission shop, awaiting diagnosis. It has 154,000 miles and hasn’t given me any trouble until now.

The mechanic says he needs to drop the transmission and look inside to figure out what is wrong. This will of course cost money. ($500 or so.) He’s gonna get to it tomorrow or the day after.

This gives me time. Am I throwing good money at a bad thing? I realize this car will cost me a few more dollars in the future. But I did not want it to be the transmission first off.

I have maintained the car OK, probably could have changed the transmission fluid and such more often …

As background, I was driving home late after work, accelerating to get on the interstate, and wham! it would not shift into highway speed gear. It would not let me go past 35 mph. (Limp home mode, I think.)


At 152K, it’s time for a rebuild. On most Fords that’s $1800-$2800. Unless you repair it, your car is worth $300 maybe…So if you get 2 or 3 more years out of it, it’s worth fixing…


DO NOT let anyone drop this transmission without first scanning the computer for codes. If the trans IS in limp mode, it will set a trouble code. Most of the time the problem is electronic in nature. I would hate to see you spend lots of $$ on an overhaul when your problem is something as simple as a $50 sensor. Have the computer scanned and post back here with the code/s and we can go from there.