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Discussion Starter #21
Weird thing is it cranked before i took it apart. We pushed it into the driveway and I turned on the key and the transmission light was off. I dont know if it was on some kind of timer but I would have thought having the battery out overnight would have fixed it. Could have also just been the fact that we rolled the car that made something in the transmission wake up. Not sure but I think when the solenoid acted up on the highway, being a college kid and not knowing what it was doing he probably kept trying to get it to go and the transmission or computer went into a protect mode of some kind. IT reset at some point. Hopefully it wont happen again.
 

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2006 ZX5 2.0, 2004 ZX3 SVT EE. 2004 ZX3 SVT
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Good job. Thanks for posting the solution. That was one I've never seen before.
 

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Neither did I but working it out..............If one solenoid shorted out bad enough to pull battery low...........WAY low......maybe. Something along that line. You'd think a wire would melt though. It shouldn't be possible, the solenoids in no way wire to do that to the PCM. Started working it out however after OP insistence in post #8. Something to keep in mind since Ford does not publish how the software is written. I also note Ford says that light comes on with both trans issues and cooling system overtemp, but we have never found out just exactly what exact parameters trigger it for the trans. Again, the software.

Thanks to the OP for proving us wrong......................noted in my trans rebuild book.
 

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It may have to do with solenoid B controlling TCC, if stuck solid one way the car would be cranking up in gear (TCC clutch on) against park lock and a bad situation that. Broken trans city. There may be rarely used software to stop that.
 

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First its a 2003 Focus with about 70k miles on it. Has been running and driving great with no issues at all. My girlfriends son drives it and last nigh the headed out to go hang out with some college friends about an hour away. He was on the highway with the cruise control on at 65mph. He said the car sounded like it bumped into neutral for a second and then just quit. I went out to rescue him and found that the transmission warning light was on (the orange one that looks like a gear with a exclamation point in it) and when you turn the key to the start position it does nothing. No clicks, no starter no nothing. Very odd. The car still had power, the radio was on, lights and windows all worked although the hazards did not work so that was odd. Turn signals did though. I Pulled the battery terminals and made sure they were clean and I checked the connecitons on the back side of the pos terminal as well. Reconnected the battery and still nothing. We had to leave it by the road last night and I am going to pick it up today with a tow dolly if I cant make it start. I did check and it has transmission fluid. I know the A solenoid goes out in these, I have replace one before but why wont it even crank? Oh I also put my SCT tuner on it to check codes and it gave me an error. I have an older scanner that I am going to try today but thought it may be a sign of other issues. Any help would be great.
 

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As far as I know, the A and B solenoid just starts and stops the flow of fluid in the transmission, and doesn't actually shift the gears.

Makes sense that the car would not start because the TCM didn't see the transmission as being ready.

I have a 2003 Zetec and I lost the first solenoid at around 70K, sounds about right, and it started dropping into neutral on the Freeway at 60+, but I replaced it before it completely failed so I never experienced your problem. Not sure why they fail, wear, over exposure to heat, or complete fluid breakdown. One of the jobs of the fluid is to protect the electronics inside the transmission. Most likely it's magnetic coil failure. And those things have gone up in price as well recently.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
Ok, So an update on this. With both new solenoids in, new filter and the correct amount of mercon V in the car it has been doing well just going to work and back for him in town. But he headed out on the same trip that it failed on before which is about an hour and a half drive on the highway mostly. He said it slipped out of gear again and the transmission light came on. He said he slowed down to under 50mph and it did find the rest of the way. I told him to check the fluid but I dont think its going to be low. I wont have an answer from him for at least a few days. So what do I need to check now? The only code the car is currently pulling is a EGR flow code but its had that for a while even with a new EGR. Cant imagine that upsetting the transmission. So what do I need to look at now? sell it and find something else. lol.
 

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You positively need to absolutely know what gear it is slipping on. If OD then the band may be slipping if higher mileage. Pay attention to the 3-4 shift, if it slightly flares up for a fraction of a second but still locks then you are there. The band can set tighter by changing a bolt on it, they come in different lengths.

Tell him not to abuse trans but when it slips then go to 3rd and drive some there, the idea being to see if 3rd slips too, if so direct clutch has a problem, it is needed in 3 and 4 (OD).
 

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Discussion Starter #29
The car only has 80K miles on it so not high miles at all. The magnet in the pan had almost no fuzz on it and the pan was very clean when i took it out. I dont think the transmission is abused at all and this kid drives like a grandma so I know he is not hot rodding it. It happens in overdrive on the highway only and its not slipping, its disengaging like it went to neutral. I dont think its a true slip at all. This is something either electronic or the transmission is being given a bad signal from something. Problem is there are no codes to tell us anything useful.
 

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If you got a trans with the band right in the middle of bolt as far as adjustment you could easily slip OD in that much mileage. Band is paper at the friction and leaves no real residue, it becomes part of the fluid.

Sol A controls 3-4, sol B converter clutch, sol.C is forward clutch (not used in OD), sol. D controls low gear coming on, and sol. E is 2-3. EPC is the overall pressure control solenoid.

You are welcome to change the remaining ones if you want. Take note that sol. D in controlling low gear also bumps the 2-4 band open to make sure second does not interfere with low, if that happened at the wrong time you have no OD instantly, trans would race up in neutral. Longshot but possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Ok, So I have an update on this. The car has been running fine up until yesterday. He left his work and went to the gas station (maybe 40 yards away) and he said it died while he was driving. Then it would not crank again. Had the Orange transmission light on the dash and no crank. I told him to try putting it in neutral and try it and then park and try it. Not sure which one worked but he said it started and he drove it home. (1 mile through the neighborhood). When he got home I went out to look at it and did not see any obvious problems. I turned the key on and it would not crank, and had the light on again on the dash. I tried neutral and park and still nothing. Now the part that gives a clue is this. I put it in Drive and let the car roll backwards a few feet. Then the light went out and I was able to start it.

So the question is this. Is there a sensor on the transmission somewhere that is like an orientation sensor or something that maybe is confused and does not know that the transmission is stationary or ready to be cranked? Like a position sensor or a speed sensor that is confused? Otherwise the transmission has been shifting fine and he has made two trips to the next town without any issues.
 

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Nothing that I know of. There are two speed sensors, one for input and the other output but they have nothing to do with cranking at all.

That light has never been fully explained as to what turns it on other than the words trans issues or engine overheating. I have tried researching it as to the exact things the PCM sees to trigger it.

There is sort of a position switch in that the neutral switch at trans that only allows cranking at park or neutral may not be adjusted to center, if so then the car can lean against its' own weight to not crank but crank if the sensor is then unloaded or loaded the other way. You might get in car and put in reverse and have somebody watch the reverse lights as they come on and go off while slowly creeping the shifter handle through its' arc and see if the shifter travel band of reverse light on is centered in your shifter action, if not adjusting the shift cable may help. Or change sensor, no telling what kind of short or open can affect things there.
 

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Discussion Starter #35
Today it did it again. Car had set all night cold and he went to move it into the driveway, put it in drive and it died while moving and the light came on and will not go back off and it will not crank. I had him to to move it in gear like I had done and still nothing. I will check the reverse lights. This just has me stumped. I am tempted to go try to trade the damn thing in when it is working but I dont want to be making payments on a car when I have one that is paid for and has low miles. It "should" be a reliable car. This is really getting stupid at this point. Also he unhooked the battery before I had a chance to have him check codes so will have to wait on that too.
 

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Check battery cable attachments and especially the ground ones. There is a black/orange or black/yellow very small ground that gets buried in the bigger grounds and attaches to fenderwell that is a PCM ground. Car will not crank without it and usually has - - - - dashes on instrument readout when it is broken. Never heard of it triggering a trans fault light though.
 

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Did the hazard lights ever get working right? I note that unit is part of the PATS circuit for antitheft, assuming the PATS light is not flashing wildly when trying to start engine?
 

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The trans solenoid wires bathe in high temperature fluid, always making the harness suspect.

It wouldn't hurt to rig a temporary trans to battery ground either.
 
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