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Discussion Starter #1
Fellow FFs,


Had a sudden issue today with 05 Ford Focus. While driving on road, heard a "flapping" sound from front wheels. Stopped car and parked at incline, then the car started slipping backward with some clicking noise. Does anyone know what this might be? Is it indicative of a transmission issue? The car shifts smoothly and engages when put on drive. Tranny fluid is ok too. Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks
 

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If it’s moving in park then I would assume it’s a parking pawl problem. How ever that wouldn’t explain the clicking (I think). I know that it is possible for everything else to function normally with out the parking pawl working normally.
 

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As said, you probably have an internal transmission problem with the pawl that holds the trans locked while in Park. You should start making it normal-habit to use the e-brake after parking.
 

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X3, burred up parking pawl or maybe dead axle jumping the balls. The 'flapping' noise was balls jerking past slots. Maybe a diff issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I take the "flapping" noise description back. It's more of a grinding noise. Sounds much like a piece of plastic hitting the gravel underneath the car.
 

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As said, you probably have an internal transmission problem with the pawl that holds the trans locked while in Park. You should start making it normal-habit to use the e-brake after parking.
Thanks for the tip, I will start making that a habit. Would you recommend paying for disassembly of transmission? Most places that I've called are telling me that it might require complete rebuilding for ~$2400.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
If it’s moving in park then I would assume it’s a parking pawl problem. How ever that wouldn’t explain the clicking (I think). I know that it is possible for everything else to function normally with out the parking pawl working normally.
Got it, thanks for your insight.
 

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Thanks for the tip, I will start making that a habit. Would you recommend paying for disassembly of transmission? Most places that I've called are telling me that it might require complete rebuilding for ~$2400.
Hell no. If me, I would ride that problem until death of the 2005 car; or until other transmission problems arise. Also note that I have no parking on inclines or hills at home or at work.

You have not fully confirmed or isolated all sounds, symptoms or conditions when these sounds & problems happen. Is this set of problems repeatable? -still happening?
 

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With the major noise description change just made there no wonder they want nothing less than changing entire trans. If other symptoms jump around that much it's likely a taillight bulb.

And what they do.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hell no. If me, I would ride that problem until death of the 2005 car; or until other transmission problems arise. Also note that I have no parking on inclines or hills at home or at work.

You have not fully confirmed or isolated all sounds, symptoms or conditions when these sounds & problems happen. Is this set of problems repeatable? -still happening?
Yes, the sound happens every time. However, I must note that it takes a few minutes of driving before it starts and it also goes away at higher speeds (i.e. >30mph) and is more noticeable when you get to lower speeds upon releasing gas pedal.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well guys, I have taken the Focus to a transmission shop for a second opinion and they showed me exactly where the noise is coming from. The culprit seems to be the planetary assembly. Anyone have experience with this issue and what the best course of action is?
 

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'Stopped car and parked at incline, then the car started slipping backward with some clicking noise.'

I have commented on your symptoms changing (???) to change a guess as to your problem. If the above quote is still true then it is NOT planetaries, IMPOSSIBLE. You are describing more likely final geartrain noise only louder and in that area is the only place your quote above can happen. I have identical slight noise there on one of my Focus cars and you describe it perfectly only mine has been running like that forever (4-5 years) since it is slow wear unlike yours.

Most places no longer tear down to fix your exact issue, they will insist on changing the entire trans. It gets them far more money quick without wasted time chasing phantom errors because quite frankly good ATX symptom guessing guys are few and far between and most diagnosis is a whopping waste of shop money, the shops are actually not very good at it at all. Like here, the planetary, VERY unusual to happen although possible, that trans will commonly fail many other parts before it does that section. Why they use other makers transmission, it allows them to say they are not the cause of any resulting issues and you lose much of your recourse action then.
 
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