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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I just purchased a 2007 Focus ZX4 from a Ford dealership on Saturday. The last two mornings when I start the car and put it in reverse it jumps really bad. As the car warms up, it shifts more smoothly. Is this a common problem? or normal. Is the transmission about to go out?
I'm trying to decide what to do? Any suggestions?
 

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C2H5OH
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I'm guessing your guys morning temps are close to us, 40's to low 50's ... ?
When the fluid is cold it is thicker, viscosity. The thicker the fluid the more pressure it puts on solenoids and the harder the shifts will be. Now as the fluid warms the pressure also decreases and the shifting should smooth out.

But excessive dirt in the fluid can also cause the same problem as can a dirty transmission filter, lack of flow, pump compensates by creating more pressure).

Depending on the miles on the car it may not be a bad idea the have the fluid flushed and filter changed. Also being it's pretty new I'd imaging there may be some type of powertrain warranty left so Ford would be my recommendation for the work, or at least another opinion.
 

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This is quite common. How long are you waiting after starting before putting the car in gear? I think that this may be just the normal cold start elevated idle speed causing the jerking/jarring that you're feeling. Some cars are better at "dampening" this than others. If you allow maybe about a 30 sec. "warmup" after a cold start (which is a good idea anyway) the engine RPM should decrease enough to maybe prevent such a jerking effect. If you are still concerned, then get the car back to the dealer. As an experiment, try another Focus at the dealer for comparison. You can't have that much mileage on maybe a two year old car, where fluid condition has anything to do with this issue. My friend's Taurus does the same thing......she doesn't like waiting before ramming the poor thing into reverse when backing out of her apartment parking spot, and there is definitely more of a jarring effect, than when the car is warmed up. I can't convince her to wait, but when I get to drive it and wait even about 20 secs. the idle has already decreased quite a bit which pretty much eliminates the jerking.
 

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That happens to me when I floor it in neutral and pop it into reverse. (hihi)

I think you have it right there in both of those posts. I just don't personally recommend flushing. I think it's mainly a way for shops with the right equipment to get your money for nothing. You can do it yourself, and change the filter for less than a shop will charge for just a flush. The thing is, you probably don't need it until over 60k. The trans fluid used in the ATX is a fully synthetic MerconV which is more expensive. I would not trust a Jiffy Lube or Wal-Mart to install the correct fluid since 99% of cars on the road use Dexron/MerconIII.

We have How-To's on about changing the filter and flushing the transmission yourself. My personal recommendation would be to flush and change the filter at the 100k mark, use Seafoam's AT flush additive as described on the back of the bottle, and even consider investing in one of those pumps that will pull fluid out of the dipstick. Actually, I recommend those for anyone who owns an AT vehicle and works on it since very few AT's have drain plugs.
 

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Personally, if it has more than 30,000 miles on it - change the trans filter and fluid. In my experience, I hear a lot of people saying they have transmission problems at 90K or so miles. The main reason for this, nobody has ever drained the fluid and changed the filter in the trans. But this is my opinion, I would rather invest in a fluid and filter change now for $50 or $100 than I would to fork out $1500 TO $2000 later for a transmission.

Check with the dealer to see if they may have the service records for the car. If they do, see when the trans was serviced. If they don't, see if they will do a fluid dump and filter change as a freebe or at a low cost to you. If you pay for it, do it yourself, or get it done for nothing, it is a good investment. As I said before, this is my opinion.
 

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Is there a how to on flushing the automatic trans fluid and filter? I looked in the how to archive and didn't find anything for an automatic. [:(]
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Update:
I have never used a forum like this before and you all have to know that this is the thrill of my day. Your posts have been so helpful. I took my Focus to the dealership where I purchased it and they kept it over night and they said they are going to have to look at the transmission because something is wrong. I am going to wait and see what they have to say after they look at it. I hope it isn't going to be an ongoing problem with the car. Thank you for your replies.
 
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