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Ford Focus Transmission: Overview, Problems, Fluids

We’ve written extensively about Ford Focus cars and the various questions you might have about this car on this blog. Today we’re going to take a deeper look at the transmissions that this car has used. Let’s start with a quick answer:

In North America, the first generation Focus used a 5- and 6-speed manual and a 4-speed automatic. The second-generation used a 4-speed automatic and 5-speed manual. The third generation used a 5- and 6-speed manual and automatic and a 6-speed DCT. The fourth-generation used a 5- and 6-speed manual and a 6-speed DCT.

In Europe, the Focus used a 5- and 6-speed manual and a 4-speed automatic in the first generation. The second-generation used a 4- speed automatic, a 5- and 6-speed manual, a 6-speed DCT, and a CVT. The third generation used a 5- and 6-speed manual and automatic and a 6-speed DCT. The fourth-generation used a 6-speed manual and a 7- and 8-speed automatic.

However, that doesn’t tell the whole story. Below we’ve outlined the transmissions for each generation and also per region of the world. Furthermore, we’ve specified transmission types. We’ll continue by talking about the durability of each unit and the problems that each transmission has. We’ll finish by giving proper recommendations about what transmission fluid to use. Read on!

Also read: Where Is The Ford Focus Made? (Answered)

What Transmission has the Ford Focus Used?

First Generation (1998 – 2004)

Europe

  • 5-speed MTX-75 Manual (2.0, RS & 1.8 TDCi, 1.8 TDDi)
  • 5-speed IB5+ Manual (2.0 SPI USA Only)
  • 5-speed IB5 Manual (1.4, 1.6, 1.8)
  • 6-speed Getrag 285 Manual (ST170)
  • 4-speed 4F27E Automatic (1.6, 2.0)

North America

  • 5-speed MTX-75 manual (ST)
  • 6-speed Getrag MT285 manual (SVT)
  • 5-speed IB5 manual
  • 4-speed 4F27E automatic (Zetec, Split Port and Duratec)

Second Generation (2004 – 2011)

Europe

  • 4-speed automatic
  • 5-speed manual
  • 6-speed manual
  • 6-speed PowerShift DCT450 MPS6
  • Durashift Continuously Variable Transmission

North America

  • 4-speed automatic
  • 5-speed manual

Third Generation (2011 – 2018)

  • 5-speed iB5 manual
  • 6-speed MMT6 B6 manual
  • 5-speed MTX-75 manual
  • 6-speed automatic 6F15 / 6F35
  • 6-speed PowerShift 6DCT250 DPS6

Fourth Generation (2018 – Present)

Europe and Asia only

  • 6-speed manual
  • 7-speed 7F40 automatic (ST)
  • 8-speed 8F24 automatic
  • 8-speed 8F35 automatic
  • 8-speed 8F40 automatic

North America (discontinued after 2018)

  • 5-speed manual
  • 6-speed PowerShift 6DCT250 DPS6
  • 6-speed manual

How Long Does a Ford Focus Transmission Last?

The MTX-75, IB5, Getrag 285, Durashift CVT, MMT6, 6F15, 7F40, 8F24, 8F35, and 8F40 are reliable transmissions of the Ford Focus that should last between 180.000 – 250.000 miles depending on the style of driving and maintenance level. The 4F27E and PowerShift DCT450 MSP6 can also reach these mileages, although they are more prone to problems between 100.000 – 150.000 miles. The PowerShift DCT250 DPS6 and 6F35 have significant issues and will most likely need replacement between 50.000 – 120.000 miles.

Also read: The Exact Bolt Pattern Of A Ford Focus

How Much Does a Ford Focus Transmission Cost?

Everyone would want to be familiar with the prices when one needs to change the transmission of one’s car. Prices vary according to your vehicle type and model. Here we have mentioned estimated costs for your Ford Focus transmissions:

  • The MTX-75 costs between $1.600 – $1.800 for a rebuilt unit.
  • The IB5 costs between $850 – $1.500 for a used unit with 10.000 – 50.000 miles.
  • The Getrag 285 costs around $1.000 used but the supply of this transmission is very limited on the open market.
  • The Ford 4F27E Transmission costs around $1.800 – $2.600 at retail.
  • The DCT450 Powershift will cost $2.600 – $2.900 at retail.
  • The PowerShift DCT250 will cost $2.600 – $2.900 at retail.
  • The MMT6 will cost $1.700 – $1.800 for a rebuilt unit.
  • The 6F15 will cost $2.000 – $2.400 for a remanufactured unit.
  • The 6F35 will cost $2.000 – $2.400 for a remanufactured unit.
  • The 7F40 will cost $2.100 – $2.300 for a remanufactured unit.
  • The 8F24 / 8F35 / 8F40 will cost $2.300 – $2.500 for a remanfuctured unit and $3.000 – $3.500 at retail.

Common Ford Focus Transmission Problems

MTX-75

The MTX-75 is a solid transmission that has few problems. The main problem that seems to pop up now and then is this:

  • Problem shifting into 1st, 3rd and 5th gear. The gears grind hard or the shifter stick isn’t able to go into gear at all. This is most likely caused by a transmission mount that has busted. As a result the shifter can’t move enough compared to the transmission itself. Fixing the mount should fix the issue.

IB5 / Getrag 285

The IB5 and Getrag 285 are solid transmissions that have caused almost no problem under Ford Focus owners.

Ford 4F27E

The 4F27E is a reasonable transmission overall. However, it does have some common problems you should be aware of:

  • Premature forward clutch wear and a delay in forward engagement caused by a rough finish inside of the forward clutch drum, which can in-turn damage the forward clutch bonded piston sea.
  • Slipping converter clutch caused by worn stator support bushings.
  • Ratio erros, 2nd/3rd gear slipping/flaring or 4th gear slipping. Caused by the intermediate/overdrive band servo becoming to loose in the piston and causing leaking. Replacing the servo is the only fix.
  • Hard shifts caused by a broken transmission accumulator. Fixing the accumulator is the only option.

PowerShift DCT450 MPS6

This unit is used in many variations of different Ford cars. Two central problems can be identified with this unit:

  • Clutch wear/failure
  • Mechatronic unit failure

The following causes mainly cause these problems:

  • Clutch wear is caused by general wear and tear but can also be cause by contamination of the oil or faulry mechatronic operation. This requires a complete replacement of the clutch.
  • Mechatronic unit failure is most likely caused by clutch pack failure which releases metal debris in the unit. Both the unit as well as the clutch pack need to be replaced.

PowerShift 6DCT250 DPS6

The DCT250 Powershift is one of the worst transmissions that Ford has ever produced. The unit has become subject to multiple different lawsuits throughout the year. The main pain points of this transmission are the transmission control module (TCM) and the clutch. The problems with the TCM are as follows:

  • jerks when driving, jerks when changing gears;
  • no gear indication;
  • failure of the rear transmission;
  • problems when choosing a sports mode;
  • bad traction;
  • unable to start the engine.

Durashift CVT

The Durashift CVT hasn’t been used in many Ford Focus cars. Therefore, not many problems have been reported. Overall the unit seems to hold up fine, although some users think the shift quality is harsh.

MMT6

The MMT6 is a reliable transmission overall with very few reported problems. The only problem that seems to occur from time to time is second gear synchro failure. The main symptom of this culprit is that the gears start to grind when upshifting or downshifting into second gear.

6F15

The 6F15 is an upgraded version of the problematic 6F35. Furthermore, the 6F15 was introduced to replace the PowerShift 6DCT250 DPS6, which was also problematic, to say the least. However, the good news is that the upgrade did seem to work. This transmission is paired with the 1.0L EcoBoost and should be relatively pain-free.

6F35

The 6-speed 6F35 is one of the most challenging transmissions on this list. Ford has been using this model transmission routinely in its cars while, since 2009, they have been aware that the transmission is causing problems. Symptoms include:

  • Sudden and unexpected shaking
  • Violent jerking, bucking and kicking on acceleration
  • Delayed acceleration
  • Gears slipping
  • Difficulty stopping the vehicle
  • Lack or loss of motive power
  • Delayed downshifts
  • Hard decelerations or clunks when slowing down or accelerating at low speeds

If you’re experiencing issues with your 6F35, it’s best to have your dealer look at it. In the case of the 6F35, there’s a list of possible causes for these problems. Causes include:

  • Failing fluid seal integrity
  • Throttle body deficiencies
  • Failed torque converter welds
  • Driveshaft failure
  • Failed transmission control module updates
  • Failed powertrain control module

7F40

No significant problems have been reported with this transmission, and it’s therefore considered to be reliable.

8F24 / 8F35 / 8F40

The 8F2 and 8F35 4 are fairly reliable automatic transmissions used by Ford and GMC in 2019 and 2020. The transmissions haven’t been on the market for very long, which means few problems have occurred. However, fuel economy and performance aren’t considered to be the best.

Don’t get us wrong. This doesn’t mean the transmission is bad. It’s just that it isn’t perfect. Most owners would most likely tell you they’re pleased with the transmission.

However, it is good to know that vehicles that have one of these transmissions and have been built between 2018 – 2020 may have some transmission fluid in the central control electrical connector. The cause of this is that the connector is submerged in transmission fluid during the main control manufacturing process. However, this is no reason for concern and shouldn’t cause problems. However, if many transmission fluid is found, it is wise to contact a dealer or mechanic.

Transmission Fluids and the Ford Focus

Transmission fluid is the lubricant for all the moving parts that make up your vehicle’s transmission. Due to the heat generated in the transmission, the fluid can break down over time. What type of transmission fluid you need depends on your vehicle. Below we’ve created an extensive overview.

Also read: Types Of Gas A Ford Focus Takes (Explained)

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