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Miller88 01-29-2013 06:49 PM

Early AT Reliability?
So, in order to keep my 2011 out of the salt next year, I'm considering finding an older 2000-2003 Focus. A focus would save me the hassle of getting new snow tires and wheels

There are a lot of them on CL for under $2000 (which is a plus) and they all have between 100-130k miles on them.

Other than rusty rockers, they appear to be in good shape.

I know the SPI dropping valve seats is a problem, but are the automatic transmissions reliable on these when they get higher mileage?

My fear with picking up an older vehicle is the automatic transmission reliability. I know these are derived from the CD4E transaxle ... which wasn't too reliable.

Ideally, I'd find something over the summer and work on getting it back into shape and up to date on maintenance, etc before winter hits.

clayton89 01-29-2013 07:03 PM

I had to replace the transmission in my 1st focus an 01 zx3. It had 85,xxx when it was slipping from 2nd to 3rd, never had a problem 20,xxx miles after that. I'd say that your best bet is too look for a MT or take it he AT for a good test drive. I'm sure other members are much more experienced with early focus AT than I am.

GreySkorpion 01-29-2013 07:52 PM

I have a 04 and the AT trans was replaced at 125K, previous owner neglected it though.

Miller88 01-30-2013 10:19 AM

2 for 2 ... that's not good.

Mine is a manual as I generally don't trust ford automatic transmissions. The manuals are pretty rare , unfortunately.

spiller 01-30-2013 11:08 PM

Original owner of an '01 Auto. One service on the tranny and 130k

Miller88 02-04-2013 08:26 PM

I did some research and it is NOT a CD4E! I did not know that - it's a Mazda transmission.

I'm still looking for a good one. There's a wagon for $2k locally

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