My vehicle is a 2014 Ford Focus SE.
Last Friday, I got in my car to drive somewhere, and I noticed a distinct hesitation when I would stop and go. This went on for a few hours. When I ran my scanner, I was getting the code P07A3, which I learned meant “transmission friction element a stuck on.” After a few hours, and after the car had sat for a half hour or so, I drove again, and this time it drove completely smoothly, and when I ran the scanner a second time, it was coming up totally clean.
Fast forward to today, I got in my car, felt the same stuttering, ran my scanner, and got the same code. Went into a grocery store to shop. When I came out and started to drive home, it was driving smoothly, and when I got home and ran the scanner, it came up clean again.
What is going on here? Any info about this code coming and going would be appreciated. Thanks much.
I suggest you change the transmission fluid and cross your fingers.
The transmission fluid on this car is sealed and the manual recommends a fluid change at 150,000 miles. I’m not even halfway there yet. From research that I am doing, I am now seeing that a very common cause of this code is dust and dirt getting into the clutch mechanism. And people are suggesting cleaning that out with WD-40.
That is a contradiction. If you can change it, it is not sealed. No transmission is sealed, none, no matter what anyone tells you.
Change it NOW. You will need to anyway since that solenoid is inside the transmission and if it comes out, so does the fluid.
Your year Focus has a one of the worst transmission Ford ever made. They extended your warranty to 100K miles… or 7 years, so you are out of warranty. If you have not gotten a software re-flash, you should, along with the fluid change. As far as squirting WD40 anywhere near a dry clutch… Don’t. That will only hasten your need for a new transmission.
It’s sealed to me. There is no dipstick. For a change of the fluid, a mechanic needs to lift the car to do it. I’m only at 62,000 miles and it’s recommended to change at 150,000. But maybe I’ll look into getting it done now, way early. Thx for your input.
But it still is not sealed. And while there is no dipstick you can see, there is a way to check fluid level when the fluid is changed.
I gotcha. It’s semantics. They describe it as “sealed,” but of course it’s not 100% sealed because the fluid could be changed by a mechanic. I follow. I wish there was a way for me right now to check the level, but there is not. I would love to avoid a Ford dealer to do this. I’m wondering if Valvoline could do it. My guess is they won’t be. Because it’s “sealed.”
Even if the folks at a quick lube place say that they can do it, I strongly suggest that you not allow them to touch your car.
If you want to avoid the Ford dealership, then your best bet is to take the car to an independent trans shop–NOT a chain-run joint like Mr. Transmission, Cottman, Lee Myles, or AAMCO.
Just for info… This is what a fluid change looks like and it also shows how to fill and set the levels.
It can be done in your home garage on jackstands while under the car.
I strongly suggest you get the software update. A good transmission shop should be able to do this but they may direct you to the Ford dealer.
I personally would never trust a quick-lube shop to do anything transmission-related.
Our late forum member, Joseph Meehan, used to say, “Never go to a quick lube place. Not even for directions!”
Another vote for steering clear of “quick lube” shops–especially for transmission fluid changes. Many newer transmissions are extremely dependent on using the manufacturer-specified transmission fluid, and “quick lube” shops are likely to use a cheaper “universal” substitute. That might work fine on an older transmission which specified Dexron III, but can cause serious damage in a newer transmission.
Agree. Change every 30k. No such thing as sealed. Mine are both sealed. If the level needs to be checked, the shop puts it in the hoist and removes the fill plug by the axle somewhere. Some things are just not worthwhile diy anymore. Sorry I didn’t read all the comments.
I have a friend who owned this same model and year of car. Basically he had THREE transmissions replaced under warranty. It was like changing the entire transmission was a 30,000 mile service on his car. After the third one and with the warranty about to run out, he sold the car before the next transmission let go.
You might read some of the problems here. Note that transmission issues are by far the biggest thing mentioned. 2014 Ford Focus Problems, Defects & Complaints
I didn’t realize this is a dual clutch transmission.
These might be okay on an exotic sports car, but not on a daily driver that sees stop-and-go city driving and parallel parking.
Hyundai-Kia also had a rough time of it with some models using this design.
My 2017 Tucson offered the DCT as an option, but I did my homework and avoided.
Were there any other codes , esp starting with “P28” , like P286F?
In any event, this appears to be indicating a problem with one of the dual clutch mechanisms. Your transmission is an automatic, but the disconnecting of the transmission from the engine (needed to shift from one gear to the next) is done with something more akin to manual transmission clutches. Seems like a good idea in theory, but in practice , the method has some challenges. You’ll likely need a dealership or transmission shop to do a work-up and diagnosis, but, good news, in some cases the repair looks to be pretty simple, replacing the clutch actuator motor. There’s two of them A & B, and both are external parts that bolt to the transmission case. Can be done by what I’m seeing with transmission in car.
This may not be caused by problematic transmission fluid btw. But still makes since imo to be changing it out soon, as the rest of the transmission will benefit. Remember the manufacturer is in the business of selling cars, not in telling the owners how to make their cars last as long as possible. Creates a clear conflict of interest, so best to act in your own interest.
Thx, George. Your reply was the most informative and helpful. And by the way, no, there were no additional codes that accompanied the P07A3 that I did get. I’m keeping an eye on things and am ready to go to a transmission shop if need be. Thx again.