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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all, my girlfreind has a Focus with the 2.0 SPI motor with the 4 spd trans. I'm a big 4.6 guy, I post a lot over on places like modular depot, TCCoA, and MarkVIII.org. These FWD cars are a little new to me but I was wondering if you could help me with a problems she's been having problems with her Focus. (not sure on the year yet, I will have to find out next time I talk to her). It sometimes downshifts for no reason into a lower gear, then upshifts again into the gear it was in before for no apparant reason, no additional load on the engine, or additional throttle input. It has done it at lower speeds around 25-30 mph, and yesterday did it at around 60mph. It has not been manually shifted since she has owned the car. It has 50k miles on it now. I will find out how many she has put on it since, but somewhere around 10k. I was thinking it maybe needed a transmission fluid change, because Thunderbirds and other cars with the 4R70W trannsmission (like mine) sometimes shift like this when they need a fluid change badly. (They also expierence torque converter shudder as well). The dealership said they changed fluid before it was bought by my g/f. She said it did it only once a month for quite a while but has recently started doing a lot more lately. I will find out some more info on the car soon. Will the trans be able to be saved or is she looking at a new one? Thanks for any help you guys can offer.
 

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i think there may be a tsp out on this problem so ford knows about it but has not made it a recall. i wiork at suburban ford of sterling heights and i know that we do not do tran flushes on used cars so she may want to get on done it does help. my car does the same thing and i am taking my car in to get a trans flush next week.
 

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This could also be a software issue. In days of old, transmission shifting was controlled by engine vacuum. Now, it is the job of computers. If the car is driving under just the right (or wrong, in this case) load conditions, with the engine rpm at just that certain point, the computer tells the transmission to downshift. Then, when it sees that the rpms have climbed above that certain point, the same computer then tells it to upshift. This back-and-forth is called "hunting." Four-cylinder cars are more likely to exhibit this vexing problem than sixes or eights because fours tend to have narrower torque band characteristics.

Assuming the transmission is mechanically OK, and all the electronic sensors that sense engine rpm, throttle position, etc., are OK, software is likely the culprit. The cure usually comes in the form of a software revision administered either by a new chip or by reflashing the existing one. These revisions are not safety-related, so there is no legal requirement for Ford to disclose them. But a check with the dealer should tell you if a technical service bulletin has been issued for this problem, with a free fix for those who complain.

But first, try going to this website (http://www.edmunds.com/maintenance/vehicle.do) and look up your year and model of Focus and see if anything pops up. I checked myself and found that automatic transmission control module problems have been an issue with Foci.
 

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Thanks a lot for the help guys, I know exactly what your talking about with the transmission software issues, my Thunderbird (with stock tuning before SCT) would sometimes do this but not very often because of the broader torque curve it has. The thing that leads me to believe it is something mechanical is that it did not used to do it all that much but has started doing it a lot more recently.
 
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