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What's with my Ford

I have a 2001 Ford Focus. Today my multi-function automatic transaxle/ cooling system light kept coming on then going off. It stays on for a few seconds to a minute and then goes out. My car shows no sign of over heating, I checked the cooling fluid, no problem there. Any suggestions what it might be. BTW I’m a dog walker so lots of stops and starts, lots of parking and un-parking (if that is even a word).

My guess is the transmission is having a problem. How many miles on the car and has the transmission fluid been replaced?

I have no idea what trips this particular warning light, but I’ll risk embarassing myself and throw a thought in the air in hopes of stimulating the thoughts of someone familiar with this vehicle.

Does this vehicle have a single radiator/tranny fluid cooler setup, where both are built into the radiator? Perhaps there’s some way that a sensor could be detecting a leak between the two.

You could stop by a parts tore, get a repair manual, and see what trips that light. Perhaps that’ll provide a clue.

Thanks for the replys. I’ve been doing some research and it seems that it could be the battery. My battery pretty old, so I’m going to check that this morning. I 'll let folks know what happens from there.

It might be that the radiator fan is not coming on. Years ago, this fan ran constantly whenever the engine was running. But now it turns on when the car might be about to overheat. For example, if the car is stuck in traffic or idling in a driveway for awhile, the car would need air to pass through the radiator coils to cool the fluid and your engine. Check to see if the radiator fan is coming on when the car is idling for a while on a hot day. If not, check the fuse (under the hood, in a plastic box near your battery). If the fuse is okay but the fan never turns on, take it in to find out why the fan doesn’t work.

Any chance this happens when you’re parked on a steep hill? I wonder if the sensor is indicating a false positive if it is not (or is) immersed in ATF. Some SF streets are pretty steep.

I have a similar but worse problem with my 04 Focus: the car bumps hard, the engine turns off, transmission/coolent light comes on for a few seconds (as does the little red light next to the hazzard warning button…it turns off in a few seconds too), and then the car starts again with a touch to the accelerator pedal. This happens at no set speed AND sometimes happens when I touch the breaks OR when I turn on the turn signal. I had the transmission fluid and filter changed, and that solved the problem for about 5000 miles, but it has returned.
I suggest you change your transmission fluid and filter and see if that fixes the problem. Too much or too little fluid can cause this problem I’m told.
Good luck!