Transmission Focus



I have a 2002 Ford Focus wagon with 120,000 miles. Last week the transmission went out. Dealer service said the 3rd gear was burned out. Fixed it. Got it, paid $2300. Drove it. Thought it didn’t handle well yet and they said it was a computer thing and it had to get used to me driving it. Had it towed back - not fixed. Then they said it was the selinoid (sic) and they fixed that. Got it, not charged for this fix. Drove it, it still wasn’t right, called them, told to bring it back, but it’s safe to drive in the meantime - it kept shifting down to second gear while driving at 50mph - scary - took it back. They said, oops wrong selinoid. Said they’d fix it. Now they say they don’t really know what’s wrong, but they’ve ordered a new part that Ford has come out with and it won’t be here for a week. Any ideas of what might be wrong? With the car? With the dealership? Should they give me my money back? What’s a girl to do?


Random jumps into second gear are ususally associated with the activation of “limp home mode.” When the computer detects a potentially catastrophic or crippling fault in the transmission or the transmission control systems it forces the transmission to lock into second gear. This can be caused by something as simple as a loose or broken wire, or a bad switch, or something as bad as a seal that has or is about to rupture.

The TX (transmission) computer will have stored a fault code most likely, and this should allow the shop to pin down the fault immediately.



Thank you for the information. So then, How do I know that rebuilding the transmission at $2300 was necessary considering that the car still doesn’t run correctly? And, is it safe to drive in second gear so that I can take it to trade in on another car?


Well I guess you should leave the car with them to fix. At the meantime they need to give you a rental, after all it is their job to get it right. What do you mean by trade-in. Are you going to trade-in a car that you just spent $2300 to fix and is still not running well?


Today I am picking up a new Toyota Prius. The Ford Focus is not fixed yet - they are waiting for a part called a selinoid holder (or some such thing - they’ve already replaced the two selinoids). I still don’t think they know what’s wrong. I am using the Focus as a trade. Toyota says it will give me $1000.00 as a trade in if it runs (it does run, just not fast). I’m giving them the title in about an hour. I’m not getting much response from Ford.