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The first time this issue happened (at 60k miles) I paid a transmission shop $600 to fix it. It just happened again (at 100k miles) and I fixed it myself for about $50. It's a fairly common problem, so I'm posting the symptoms, codes and instructions here to help others.

I own a 2002 Ford Focus with automatic transmission. The symptoms are that the transmission disengages (slips out of gear) when it goes into 3rd gear. When the car slows down to 20 miles an hour or so (or when you stop) it re-engages. You can drive the car in 1st or 2nd gear generally. The transmission light comes on. There are no noises associated with this problem. If you have this problem then it's probably the "A" Solenoid that needs to be replaced. Here's how you make sure that's the case and fix it for $50.

1. You need to pull the diagnostic computer codes. Ford will pull them for you for $100. But, you can do it for free by going to AutoZone. They have a loaner computer diagnostic code puller. If you bring the car they'll just do it for you in the parking lot. If you want to borrow the tool then they will want a $200 security deposit. I recommend that you bring the car to them if you it's close. Also, there are lots of small shops that will pull the code for you for free. There's no reason to pay a "diagnostic fee" to pull the computer repair code. This code will tell you Exactly which solenoid to replace. It's typically the "A" solenoid, though.

2. Once you get the code you need to know which solenoid to replace. Here is a list of diagnostic solenoid codes:

P0750 SSA SSA solenoid circuit failure SSA circuit failed to provide voltage drop across solenoid. Circuit open or shorted or PCM driver failure during on-board diagnostic. No reverse gear (short) or no fourth gear (open). Refer to Pinpoint Test A.
P0751 SSA SSA functional failure Mechanical or hydraulic failure of the shift solenoid. Not all gears present. REFER to Diagnosis By Symptom (307-01 , DIAGNOSIS AND TESTING).
P0755 SSB SSB solenoid circuit failure SSB circuit fails to provide voltage drop across solenoid. Circuit open or shorted or PCM driver failure during on-board diagnostic. Not all gears present. No converter clutch apply in third and fourth gears. Refer to Pinpoint Test A.
P0756 SSB SSB functional failure Mechanical or hydraulic failure of the shift solenoid. Not all gears present. No converter clutch apply in third and fourth gears. REFER to Diagnosis By Symptom (307-01 , DIAGNOSIS AND TESTING).
P0760 SSC SSC solenoid circuit failure SSC circuit fails to provide voltage drop across solenoid. Circuit open or shorted or PCM driver failure during on-board diagnostic. Not all gears present. Refer to Pinpoint Test A.
P0761 SSC SSC functional failure Mechanical or hydraulic failure of the shift solenoid. Not all gears present. Refer to Pinpoint Test A.
P0765 SSD SSD solenoid circuit failure SSD circuit fails to provide voltage drop across solenoid. Circuit open, shorted or PCM driver circuit failure during on-board diagnostics. Not all gears present. Refer to Pinpoint Test A.
P0766 SSD SSD functional failure Mechanical or hydraulic failure of the shift solenoid. Not all gears present. Refer to Pinpoint Test A.
P0770 SSE SSE solenoid circuit failure SSE circuit failed to provide voltage drop across solenoid. Circuit open. Shorted or PCM driver circuit failed during on-board diagnostics. Not all gears present. Refer to Pinpoint Test A.
P0771 SSE SSE functional failure Mechanical or hydraulic failure of the shift solenoid. Not all gears present. Refer to Pinpoint Test A.

3. It's fairly easy to replace the solenoid. You need a 5/16 socket and rachet and a tube of Gray RTV Gasket Maker (you can get it at any auto parts store).

4. You need to buy the solenoid. I only found it at Ford. For some reason when I told 3 different parts managers I wanted the "A" solenoid (which is how it's described in every Ford transmission diagram and on the computer code) they didn't know which one it was. There are 6 solenoids in the transmission. The "A" solenoid is the one they sell the most of and probably have on hand - because it goes out fairly often on this model. The Ford part number (off the bag) is XS4Z-7H148-AA. I paid about $45 for it at a Ford dealership.

5. For the repair you need to raise the front of the car. I used ramps, but make sure it's secure. The transaxle (transmission) is in the front right, as you look at the car. The bottom is a pan, like an oil pan, with about 20 bolts holding it on. They're 5/16th's. There's transmission fluid in the pan, but no "drain bolt". So, have a pan ready to catch the fluid once the transmission pan comes loose. Be careful. Transmission fluid is hot, it will make a mess. And, the pan has a silicone gasket seal around it. So, once you get the bolts off/loose you will probably need to work the pan loose. Don't bend it. (Make sure you get all the bolts off, it's easy to miss one.) I left one bolt on the front so I could ease the pan loose from the transmission on the back and let the fluid run into a pan. Then I removed the pan.

6. You will see SIX solenoids in the transmission. You can't miss them. Each one has a different colored wire going to it. The A Solenoid has a white wire going to it, it's a small solenoid in the center on the right. It's held in place by one bolt (that's also 5/16ths). Unplug the wire, remove the bolt and remove the solenoid. Put the new solenoid in.

7. Carefully and completely scrape all the old gasket off the transmission surface the the edge of the fluid pan. Clean it. Then apply the new gasket (from the tube) onto the edge of the pan. It is VERY IMPORTANT that you just apply a thin bead of gasket compound. Don't use too much or the excess will get into your transmission and cause a problem.

8. Replace the pan. Let the gasket set according to the instructions on the tube - READ THE INSTRUCTIONS. And refill the transmission with transmission fluid. I was told to use the same fluid I took out, by someone I trust. You use a funnel and refill it through the transmission dipstick tube (front, right of the engine, yellow handle). Make sure you put it in the right place. Fill it slowly. Then run the engine and check the fluid. Add until it reads correctly on the dipstick. You check transmission fluid with the car running and the fluid hot.

9. Look under to car to make sure there are no leaks around the transmission pan. Over the next days and weeks keep an eye out for leaking transmission fluid when you park. If the transmission pan is leaking then you'll need to redo the gasket but do a better job this time.

That's it! It's so easy a 14 year old kid could do it. It doesn't take strength, mechanical ability or the ability to grow a beard. It just takes care, patience and dirty hands. Have a shop do it for you for $450-$600 OR MORE. Or do it yourself for $45 for the part and $5 for a tube of RTV gasket.
 

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Very good info, thnxs. Question: can you replace all the solenoids like that to basically renew the whole thing or not. I think I might need this info very shortly, ATX is acting out too.
 

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My trans is slipping from 2-3 and 3-4 and it happened after a fluid and filter change not a flush. The only thing is I am not getting a code. What do you suggest? Mechanical issues? Clutches?

CarJunky.com :)
 

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My trans is slipping from 2-3 and 3-4 and it happened after a fluid and filter change not a flush. The only thing is I am not getting a code. What do you suggest? Mechanical issues? Clutches?

CarJunky.com :)
its hard to get tranny questions answered becuase i guess it could be anything
well look over the solenoids that control 2-3 and 3-4
replace them?
ive seen some threads where noone gets a CEL
but they use these how tos to fix but never respond back if it worked i hate that[:(!]
but NEways its worth a shot to replace the solenoids before spending big bucks on a Mechanic
so look at the solenoids that control certain functions of the ATX and pinpoint it down to what controls all of these if needed

good luck
 

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its hard to get tranny questions answered becuase i guess it could be anything
well look over the solenoids that control 2-3 and 3-4
replace them?
ive seen some threads where noone gets a CEL
but they use these how tos to fix but never respond back if it worked i hate that[:(!]
but NEways its worth a shot to replace the solenoids before spending big bucks on a Mechanic
so look at the solenoids that control certain functions of the ATX and pinpoint it down to what controls all of these if needed

good luck
Thanks man yeah I was thinking of going that route first.
 

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From the top post, why reuse the old fluid? aokrongly, did you changed the filter? I'm driving an '05 ZX SE with an automatic and the Justask.com Ford Mechanic is telling me the A solenoid most probably is ther reason I appear to be not making it to fourth (O/D OFF cancell switch not working either). My transmission code from the door sticker says "2" (i.e. automatic) can anyone tell me what transmiision it really is. VIN code indicates the car was built in Hermosillo Mexico.
 

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My ATX slips from 3rd to 4th and back around 60 mph and keeps doing this until I go faster, then it shifts in 4th and stays there. Now after reading this very informative thread I guess it wouldn't hurt to change all the solenoids at once while you're at it.
Plse give me your opinions on this since I have to eventually go this route & appreciate all of your knowledge. Thnxs in advance.
BTW my tranny devolved this issue after a transmision flush at 100K K's.
 

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2008 Ford Focus Transmission problem

I have only 5000 miles on my new Ford Focus. It has had problems shifting at about 40 mph. The engine will rev high when the car has sat for a period of time, first thing in the morning and again after work and has set all day. It only does this when the car is "cold". I have had the car in the shop with this problem three times. The first time they had me drive with a computer attached for one week and everytime the car had this concern I pushed a button on a joystick and it recorded what was happening with the car. They then downloaded the readings and found that it was sticking between 3rd and 4th gears. They replace the valve box. This did not correct the problem, but added more transmission problems. Now it was not shifting smoothly into any gear. I took the car back and they found that a spring was correctly placed in position when they replaced the valve box. They reseated that spring and now the car shifts smoothly, except when it is "cold" or set for a period of time. The orginal problem has not been fixed. It still revs high when trying to shift from 3rd to 4th gear (abt 40 mph) everytime when the vehicle has set for a period of time. I am frustrated. This is the first time in my life that I bought a new car, so I would not have car problems. The dealership keeps telling me that it is normal and that it will do this when the car is cold, that nothing is wrong with the car. But they did replace the valve box and the problem still exists. I have trouble believing that it is normal for a car to rev high before shifting. The 2008 Ford Focus they put me into drive while they were "fixing" my car did not perform that way and never that this problem. I just want the car fixed! I invested in a new car and expect the car to ran properly!
 

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2008 Ford Focus Transmission problem

I have only 5000 miles on my new Ford Focus. It has had problems shifting at about 40 mph. The engine will rev high when the car has sat for a period of time, first thing in the morning and again after work and has set all day. It only does this when the car is "cold". I have had the car in the shop with this problem three times. The first time they had me drive with a computer attached for one week and everytime the car had this concern I pushed a button on a joystick and it recorded what was happening with the car. They then downloaded the readings and found that it was sticking between 3rd and 4th gears. They replace the valve box. This did not correct the problem, but added more transmission problems. Now it was not shifting smoothly into any gear. I took the car back and they found that a spring was correctly placed in position when they replaced the valve box. They reseated that spring and now the car shifts smoothly, except when it is "cold" or set for a period of time. The orginal problem has not been fixed. It still revs high when trying to shift from 3rd to 4th gear (abt 40 mph) everytime when the vehicle has set for a period of time. I am frustrated. This is the first time in my life that I bought a new car, so I would not have car problems. The dealership keeps telling me that it is normal and that it will do this when the car is cold, that nothing is wrong with the car. But they did replace the valve box and the problem still exists. I have trouble believing that it is normal for a car to rev high before shifting. The 2008 Ford Focus they put me into drive while they were "fixing" my car did not perform that way and never that this problem. I just want the car fixed! I invested in a new car and expect the car to ran properly!
 

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well change the solenoid that shifts 3rd-4th which is solenoid A
 

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I have a 2002 SE 4door with an atx ..........my ? is would this solenoid cause the issue if your trans seems to shift to 4th fine but when shifting into O/D there is no gear ....seems to shift but just nothing after, engine revs, no forward motion .........if i hit o/d off button it down shifts into 4th and i start going again ......i have a CEL cant remember exactly but i think it was one about mechanical failure like p0671 ill run up to autozone again to check tomorrow

EDIT: went to Autozone its Code PO750 first one on the list so........i will be buying a new solenoid and fixing prolly this comming weekend .......whew think i dodged a $900 bullet here thanks
 

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hi there i have 03 focus se 2.0L sohc about 85000 kms it has had a tranny problem from going about 20 km\h if i accelerate it has problems shifting it will keep reving but not shift only when i let off the gas and accelerate again it will then shift but it dosent happen all the time but it happens quite a bit the tranny light isnt on i took it the ford dealership were i bought it and they say they cant find nothing wrong i even took the mechanic out for a drive it did it and he said it was nothig it was still under warenty at the time. We got into an argument and so on but thats another story is this a commun thing for these help me pls thax
 
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