Ford Focus ZTS 2.3L with Auto Transmission


Asked by Jul 11, 2011 at 07:33 PM about the 2004 Ford Focus ZTS

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

My son has a 04 Ford Focus ZTS 2.3L with 90000 miles on it that the automatic transmission started going out two days after he bought it. We are trying to figure out for sure if it is something mechanical inside or electronic like a solenoid. The first symptoms were that the vehicle could go into first gear just fine then the RPMs get high so you have to hold back and then it finally switches into what we think is 3rd gear, but then never goes into overdrive. The overdrive off light will sometimes begin flashing.

The code that keeps returning is Shift Solenoid D stuck on. We have changed out the solenoid and even switched some of the solenoids around to see if symptoms changed to other gears and they did not. The car has been driven like this by my son for about 8 months cause no one can afford to fix it right now.

About two months ago the reverse began going out also. Sometimes the reverse works but when it does the entire car shutters. The part that is confusing me is that last night my son called me and said that he needed me to come and pick him up cause his car seemed like it didn’t have any power. My husband went with me and I drove my son’s car home and discovered that it now feels like it was not shifting out of 1st and engaging in 3rd gear now. While driving it I decided to try turning the overdrive off and see what happens and when I did it shifted into 3rd again. This is really weird cause it seems like if this problem is mechanical like a gear band, that turning off the overdrive would not have changed the fact that it wouldn’t shift out of 1st. I have tried this before with the 1st to 2nd and turning off the overdrive doesn’t help that. Sorry this is so long, but if someone can give some advice I would really appreciate it.

12 Answers

sorry man,the tranny is burned up.if it started 2 days after you bought it,it should have been taken back to where you bought it and made them fix it.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Yeah we did try to take it back, but since you sign an as is clause they wouldn't do anything. They also never offered an extended warranty, but still wouldn't do anything. I did have someone respond on another forum with instructions on how to remove the overdrive "intermediate" band without removing the transmission. It was awesome instruction cause we did this and sure enough the band was broken, but once we replaced with a new one all forward gears were fixed. YEA!!! We now have to narrow down what is causing the problem with the reverse cause that was not fixed with the replacement of the band. I will try to remember to post pictures later.

6 out of 6 people think this is helpful.

AS IS or not,they should have told you about the problem(.CAR DEALER THIVES).onley thing i feel about the no reverse,is the clutches are burned up.when you droped the pan was it gunkey grayish looking inside it.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I have change the shift solenoid d in my 2008 Ford focus and it still don't want to shift from first to second gear any suggestions please help

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

I know these postings are getting old but I have run into a similar issue with my 2003 Focus. I removed the transmission myself after replacing Shift solenoids A & B and still experiencing the shift problems. During a soft part rebuild, I too found my intermediate band is broken. I bought a new one to install during my rebuild, however, the shop where I bought the band said it was pointless to replace the band without boring out a hole and sleeving it to get a proper bore size. He said without doing that, the intermediate band will break again. My question to you is your intermediate band replacement still holding up or are you experiencing problems again? Thanks.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I have an 07 it kicks the od light when its hot, was told its solenoid been driving it like that for yrs. I turn od off until the rpms are high enough do kick it on most of time it shift if not I again raise rpms or get around 50mph kick it in neutral then drive and she shift right in, pain in the rear but works but only does it when it at temp or real hot days , winter time no probs at all


Try spraying in the fill tube most of a small can of WD40 and let it warm up for 5 minutes. If it tries to go into gear at all after that you have a clogged transmission filter.


i just replaced the overdrive band ( 2, 4 gear not working) was easy to do(2 hrs) 2010 focus, 30dollars 1 1/2 quarts transmission fluid. shops wanted 2800 to 3500. i am happy, it works. don't care if i have to change every 110000 miles.(my miles)this was every easy to do, glad i researched thru the forums to find answer, thanks to all who talk about it.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

I am having the same problem. Can someone please give me instructions how to change the intermediate band (with pictures) please. A video would work too.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

Anybody still on this thread have instructions on how to change the band and where to buy it from? Everyone tells me they have no idea what im talking about

My 2003 Ford focus zts slipped out of third a couple time on way home. It would act like it was in neutral revving up but going nowhere. The next day I went to work in it doing it worse then wouldn't stay in any gear. Had it pulled home, the engine light had been coming on couple days prior to the slipping and also died twice when had left in running at gas station. Don't know rather it's solenoids or clutch converter or rather it b something else. Shortly before this I had a ground issue with my neg battery cable could they b connected.


I posted a reply years ago, but I thought I would include a link to the forum. We followed the instructions on this forum post and it has been fixed for 5 years now.]Ford%20Focus%20ZTS%202.3L%20Auto%20Transmission%20problems

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

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