How do I tell if I have a bad solenoid or something more serious?

Tiny
JAYRANDALL
  • 2005 FORD FOCUS
  • 169,000 MILES

I have a 2005 ford focus, 4 speed atx. My transmission seems like it is stuck in either 2nd or 3rd gear. It won't shift in reverse, in drive, it has little to no power(as if in a higher gear), and even in neutral, the car will only roll forward. The car has 169k miles, atx fluid is extremely dirty. Before this happened, the car was struggling engaging into first, but all other gears worked fine. Could the problem be a solenoid or is it probably something more serious requiring a new or rebuilt tranny?

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Monday, July 23rd, 2012 AT 10:38 PM

13 Replies

Tiny
SATURNTECH9
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Do you have any codes in the computer?

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Monday, July 23rd, 2012 AT 10:41 PM
Tiny
JAYRANDALL
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I don't have current access to a code reader, but no warning lights are showing on my dash console.

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Monday, July 23rd, 2012 AT 10:42 PM
Tiny
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I would still check it for codes even though the lights not on. Code readers are cheap these days on amazon you can get one for like 20 and one that reads some live data for 50 something.

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Tuesday, July 24th, 2012 AT 1:08 AM
Tiny
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I did get a warning light. It was just prior to the current issue. Before the tranny went completely bad, it was just having a hard time engaging first gear. If the RPMs were too high and/or the shift into first was rough, the o/d off light would flash orange. Normally when o/d is turned off, it's a green light, not orange.

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Tuesday, July 24th, 2012 AT 1:14 AM
Tiny
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Alright theres even more reason to get me the exact code numbers not code descriptions?

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Tuesday, July 24th, 2012 AT 1:21 AM
Tiny
JAYRANDALL
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I called two separate tranny places today, described the situation and both said my transmission is like shot.

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Tuesday, July 24th, 2012 AT 1:25 AM
Tiny
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Thats amazing over the phone transmission diagnoses I would never go out on a limb and say that.

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Tuesday, July 24th, 2012 AT 1:30 AM
Tiny
JAYRANDALL
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I knew I needed a fluid flush before this happened, but I was waiting until payday to do it. The difficulty with first gear is what initially told me it was a solenoid. The reason the tranny places says its an internal issue is because it won't engage reverse. I won't have access to a code reader until Thursday. If it were drivable, it'd be sooner.

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Tuesday, July 24th, 2012 AT 1:38 AM
Tiny
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I have never seen a fluid flush fix any transmission problems I have seen it cause them or make a problem occur faster also. Just because it has no reverse doesnt mean its a failed transmission.I have seen low pressure in the transmission cause no reverse and was fixed without removing the transmission.

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Tuesday, July 24th, 2012 AT 1:59 AM
Tiny
JAYRANDALL
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Is low pressure a more likely cause of no reverse than a bad solenoid?

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Tuesday, July 24th, 2012 AT 2:06 AM

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