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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

I have an 07 Focus SE with about 115K miles on it and live in the Milwaukee area where it's been cold.

Over the past few winters I have noticed a few issues that have steadily been getting worse with age, particularly when it's below freezing.

Issue 1) When I cold start the car and move it I often hear two loud squealing noises. The noise comes from the front of the car and happens either when I gently tap the breaks or turn the wheel. After driving a few 100 feet these noises stop. The noises are not the sounds of squeaky pads/rotors.

Issue 2) When I cold start the car and accelerate the car at a normal pace everything is fine. But, if the card is cold and I accelerate hard (often when taking a right onto a fast highway to get up to speed) something odd happens. Once I do this, if the car is not up to temperature for the next half hour or so there is a metallic whine that comes from near the transmission. The whine will not go away until I either drive for a half hour, or park for several hours.

If I let the car warm fully first I can accelerate hard without any odd noises or issues. I should also mention the car does seem to have full power during breaking, turning, and accelerating.. but the noises are concerning.

Any thoughts on what could be causing these odd sequels and whines?
 

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Not sure what to tell you on #1 but on #2 when was the last time the gear oil was changed? If you have an atx what about the filter too?

Just throwing out ideas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I haven't changed the transmission fluid/filter at all. I have read that this can cause more issues than it fixes.. but maybe it's worthwhile?
 

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How so? In a mtx-75 you're suppose to every 100k. Iirc other than the getrag, it's the only mtx a focus uses.

No idea on atx's
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It's an automatic, and what I have been reading is that changing the fluid after $100K miles can cause issues since the transmission is used to a thicker viscosity fluid, and that more bad than good can be done with fresh thinner fluid that the transmission isn't conditioned to using.
 

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IMHO that's a "drive it 'till it dies" philosophy, and can be applied to anything on the car.

30k changes are the recommendation I've seen for the Focus automatic, and not doing it can start as early as 35-40k because it "wasn't done on time".

The noises in #1 can have a number of causes, from squealing serpentine belt to (yes) squeaking brakes.

Rust can develop overnight on the rotors, making for a squeaky first stop. Take a look before driving the next time, and if you see some you're more likely to get that squeal when braking.

P/S/ fluid is cold & thick when starting, putting a higher load on the belt when turning. Changing it out can help (easiest is just sucking out the reservoir & refilling a couple times) and if the belt/tensioner/idler pulley have never been changed it's something to put on the maint. list for attention when possible at that mileage.
 

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'...fresh thinner fluid that the transmission isn't conditioned to using.'

If that's bad then why would one set up the transmission to be in that condition INTENTIONALLY only to have to worry about it later???

Advice for those who would rather walk much sooner. You don't take proper care of the car you get to walk, not hard to understand until we start 'thinking' about it, then much harder.

Not changing ATX fluid in some semblance of on time costs many thousands of miles in transmission life. That people consider the engine with oil changes but not trans never ceases to blow my mind and quite frankly less than intelligent.

Noise probably a bearing in the belt loop starting to go bad, it drags to slip belt when cold and not when hot. Can be anything the serpentine belt goes around. Power steering loads belt harder when used and bearing may make more noise then even if not in the power steering.

No personal insult intended at all but MANY need to think about things a bit more, it costs them THOUSANDS in unneeded costs. The OEM often does not publish oil change schedules for transmissions so that it gets them more dealer repair when they wear out too early. They may even state that the newer synthetic fluids are 'lifetime' fluids, don't you believe that for even a second, there is NO SUCH THING.
 

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Nice rant on maint.(as usual), I remember my first new car when "lifetime lubed" suspension joints were touted - only to later learn that it only meant until the part's life was over.

Now we start to see sealed transmissions on some - good 'till they die & are replaced entire - same theory.
 

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Yes, I can see myself drilling holes in them to change fluid already, just like I did on 'maintenance free-no water added' batteries or laser printer cartridges to refill them and save $75............I have always pretty much ignored OEM trans maintenance schedules to make my own up. Same with power steering and why I've never failed one yet in many many years. People pay attention to the motor only failing to account for all the other parts that have to work there.
 

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Yeah, the "no maintenance" transmissions have arrived. My daughter's car has one. It says "Automatic Transaxle - No maintenance, No service required" in the manual. I'll be changing it at 30K.

To the OP...
Change the tranny fluid. There are several threads on the forum about how to do it. I wrote one up here: http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=515890&highlight=external+transmission+filter
The How-To is for installing an external filter which you don't have to do, but the instructions for changing the fluid are there.
 
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