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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone have any experience with a '03 Ford Focus with no overdrive. I suspect a bad solonoid, but don't want to pay $80 bucks to confirm it. There is no engine warning light on, so the parts store cannot help me with this.
When the overdrive is turned off, the car does fine through 1,2,and 3. With the overdrive turned on it will go out of gear when it should go into 4th or overdrive. I guess this would be considered limp mode as it goes back into gear when the speed decreases.
I started to change the A solonoid, until my son noticed the way it acted when the od was turned off. Now I am not sure as it may have something to do with the shift cable or shifting mechanism.

I guess what I need to know is, if it is a solonoid, should the check engine lighht come on? Since the light does not come on, is that an indication that the problem is not electrical?
 

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I like Green things
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I know this is not a Ford but, I was having issues with my gmc suburban 4l80e. It would be fine for about 10 miles and then I would lose 4th gear. There are tons of solenoids and crap in these auto tranny's now. I never once got a check engine light but, hooked to a snap-on scanner I could see that the torque converter was not locking up.

Checked the one thing responsible for that and it was functioning, turned out to be my torque converter was shot.
I was a little apprehensive about yanking a 140k tranny and just putting in a TQ. It has been fine for the last 10k.

My point being, take it to a tranny shop, they can check all the electronics in the tranny without guessing. They can then tell you what the problem is and you could fix it. Some shops will do this for free if you buy the parts from them, some will charge you.

It will be cheaper than throwing expensive solenoids at it until it is fixed.
 

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did they hook up the scanner and tell you there were no codes-codes can be stored w/o setting off the CEL.

Google is your friend-I've found many answers by spending some time digging
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Since the check engine light does not come on, they said they their scanner would not help.

Right now she is driving it local with od disabled. In a few days if it does turn off really cold again I intend to either have it scanned at a transmission shop or drop the pan and check the "A" solonoid. I might be able to ohm it, but if go that far, I will just replace it. They are not expensive. If it is the solonoid, I can replace it, filter, and 3 quarts of fluid for close to what one shop wanted to charge for a scan if I do not let them do the work. If I do let them do the work, you know how that can go.
These cars are known to have solonoid problems. I have read the trannys need to be surviced like every 30,000 miles. New to me.

We have a Trans Mart that sell parts for transmissions. Solonoid, filter, and MerV fluid may be somewhere around $60 I suspect.
 

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These cars are known to have solonoid problems. I have read the trannys need to be surviced like every 30,000 miles. New to me.
And people wonder why a lot aren't buying american anymore? :whistling

I was thinking of a Ford Focus for the wife, but I guess a Toyota Matrix is worth looking at a little closer.
 

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I was having an overdrive problem with a large ford truck. We kept blowing fuses. Turns out the OD fuse is the same as the cigarette lighter, and someone had thrown some change in the ash tray and a penny got in the cigarette lighter. Glad I have an honest service tech!
 

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And people wonder why a lot aren't buying american anymore? :whistling

I was thinking of a Ford Focus for the wife, but I guess a Toyota Matrix is worth looking at a little closer.
Really? So you think that Toyota mechanics are all out of work?
 

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Really? So you think that Toyota mechanics are all out of work?
I just know my the tranny on my Tacoma doesn't need work every 30k and have had no issues.

I take it to the toyota dealer for maintenance, and to give the toyota mechanics something to do. :shifty:

My only complaint is that brake lights burn out too fast, I wish I had an '09 with the LED lights (and back-up camera).
 

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I won't play favorites here, but ALL cars break. I don't care what you buy, it's going to bite it sooner or later. That's just reality.

It bugs me when people say this manufacturer is better than that one.

Buy what you like and maintain it. That's the best you can do. Other than that...be prepared to fix something. You may get lucky or you may get a lemon.
 

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[Ford Guy rant] I am sure fo you read your owner's manuals, you will realize that service intervals for such things likr transmissions are probably more similar across brands than you imagine. The funny thing is that I have 140k on my E350, and the tranny has never had a service. It has been chattering into OD for the last 60k and keeps on going. Try that with your other brands. [/Ford Guy rant]
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hmm, I will look for the fuse. The car was recently stuck. Not bad, just on top of the ground, it did not mar up like my wifes car did. I am wondering if it has anything to do with the this problem.
 

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The snap-on scanner when hooked up when driving will show you every function that is going on with the vehicle.

I could see the TC wanting to lock up but keep giving a tranny code (not something an auto parts store can check for).

You have to look at over all cost of ownership and re-sale value when you compare different makes of cars. In the end, close to the same, there are some out there that will run a lot longer with minimal repair.
 

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I bought a scanner off ebay and it has paid for itself. If you and your friends all drive junkers (like we all did) splitting a scannar a few ways if a quality investment.

I was thinking of a Ford Focus for the wife, but I guess a Toyota Matrix is worth looking at a little closer.
Wasn't the Matrix a split production between GM and Toyota? wasn't it identical to the Pontiac Vibe? :whistling

I won't play favorites here, but ALL cars break. I don't care what you buy, it's going to bite it sooner or later. That's just reality.
Absolutly agree.
 

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The Vibe has a toyota engine
...and the Cavalier had a SAAB engine, and the Duramax is an ISUZU engine...

Auto manufacturing is so globalized you never know who makes what part of anything. Toyota or GM, probably all Chinese parts anyway.:thumbsup:
 
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