pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
57,750 miles
Total Complaints:
9 complaints

Most common solutions:

  1. don't buy a focus between 2000-2005 (3 reports)
  2. not sure (3 reports)
  3. replace transmission (2 reports)
  4. smoother transmission design, like Ford's Mazda unit (1 reports)
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This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Ford dealer.

problem #9

Jul 192011

Focus SE 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,000 miles

Just left the bank parking lot attempted to accelerate to get past a car after the traffic ligth turned green on Blanding BLvd, Orange Park, Florida. My transmission suddenly failed shift at 20-30 miles per hour. My engine would only rev and stay in its first or second gear. I pulled the car over the first time to a complete stop and observed the transmission seemed jerky when shifted from park too drive, but I had to continue toward home. The car continued to not want to shift; the second time I pulled it over, "placed it into park"; shut the motor off to see if that would perhaps reset this junkers computer or what ever makes it tick and the damn thing would not then start for nothing; I ended up having this junker towed to "AMACO Transmission" nearby! OH Boy what will this cost me?????

- dken, Glen Saint Mary, FL, USA

problem #8

Oct 122010

Focus ZX3 4 Cycl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,000 miles

the amber light comes on and disappears; i run it to the shop and when it's on/off; indecisive response by mechanic; off it's okay; on it's a pain the neck; mechanics charges just for looking at it on the hoist; I'm afraid that one day it will just quit or headlights may go out; sometimes the view looks clear and sometimes ahead of it they look dim; it's a frightening experience; I'm skeptical about driving long distances and at high speed.

- lazycar, Racine, WI, USA

problem #7

Mar 122009

Focus SE 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles

I have a 2002 Ford Focus that I bought new. It has been a great car until last week when it reached 30 MPH and wouldn't engage 3rd gear. I took it to a local Ford dealer to have it checked out and it took them 1 1/2 days to come back with an "I think it's this problem, but not fully sure". They want to take out the transmission and check what they think it is.

This " I think it's this" will cost me over $400 just to have the transmission removed and put back in. I have noticed a lot of other Ford Focus owners on here have had the same problem, so before I go and spend any large amounts of money on this piece of crap do any of you have suggestions other than trading it off ASAP? Thanks.

This is an update to my prior entery. My Focus has now turned 55,000 miles and now won't engage in 2nd and 3rd gear. Needless to say it was towed to the Ford dealer for a new transmission. Also the sway bar links and front wheel bearings have had to be replaced too. I have never had a car that has needed this kind of service at such low miles.

- Jennifer W., Rochester, MN, USA

problem #6

Oct 152002

Focus LX 2.0L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles

I listed this issue as fixed under standard warranty, not quite the case. Ford just felt as their piece of crap was to blame so they fixed it no charge. Heres what happened: While driving everything was fine. but when you put the car into reverse (yes at a full stop) it would wait a few seconds then CLUNK!!!!!!! in to reverse. Never got a diagnosis, "just something wrong with the torque converter", which Ford paid to fix.

- James M., Mountain Home, ID, USA

problem #5

Feb 092008

Focus LX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,500 miles

O.k., here we go again. The car already has problems, engine stalling and dieing at an idle, not to mention the multitude of other krap that's already been fixed. But, I just can't take this nightmare anymore. I have had fewer problems out of a '93 Geo Metro (a three cylinder no less) with over 225,000 miles then this piece of SH*T that just rolled 100k.... This just plain sucks major ass...

- Laura F., Woodstock, GA, USA

problem #4

May 102007

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,420 miles

I am an owner of two Ford vehicles a 2002 Ford Focus and a 2002 Ford Explorer. They were purchased on the same day as Certified Ford Used vehicles. I bought American vehicles to support American companies and American workers.

At approximately 43,000 miles I had to take my Focus to get the transmission repaired. I did this at an authorized Ford dealer in Huntington Beach, CA. Repairs were made and I was on my way. At approximately 73,000 miles the same transmission was having issues and again was delivered to an authorized Ford Service center. They weren't able to find any problems with the transmission, however they found $429 in other repairs I "needed". I took the car back another time at about 74,500 to be looked at again without the dealer finding any problems.

Now, I am at 75,420 - 420 miles past my ESP Warranty and according to the dealer I need a new Transmission. I've been through all of the 800 numbers I can find and they all say there is nothing they can do and I am screwed.

2 transmissions needed in 75k miles and Ford is telling me that is MY problem... Thanks Ford! I will never buy a Ford again!!

- ford_sucks, Surprise, AZ, USA

problem #3

Apr 302007

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,000 miles

Ford sucks. Customer satisfaction means nothing to them. After two letters , photocopies of estimates, etc, they finally called and said that even though we had a diagnosis and estimate for the dealer we did not have it replaced at the dealer. We couldn't understand why they could'nt understand why we took it to a certified mechanis to save $1000.00. They finally said that even if we had it repaired at the dealer, they would have to investigate the problem and could guarentee payment tp us for the repair.

- Arlene M., Plymouth, MI, USA

problem #2

Mar 052007

(reported on)

Focus V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles

At 8600K car stayed in 2nd gear and then shifted to neutral this should not have happened. I do not recommend this vehicle

- Michael F., Cedar Creek, TX, USA

problem #1

Nov 162003

(reported on)

Focus ZX5

  • 14,500 miles

This 5-speed manual trans. is finicky, notchy and hard to predict. I'll find myself at a light or a stop, and having difficulty finding first gear, followed by a notchy and hesitant second gear shift. I predict that this trans. will be shot at 40 or 50K miles.

- Ted B., Fullerton, CA, USA