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Ford Focus Says Transmission Fault Service Now? Here’s What To Do

You're driving your Ford Focus, and a sudden warning message says, "Transmission Fault Service Now." What should you do when you encounter this problem? We've researched the issue and have answers to share.

The "Transmission Fault Service Now" notice may display in your Ford Focus if there is an issue with the transmission. However, this is not always the case.

Here are some other common reasons for a "Transmission Fault Service Now" message to appear in a Ford Focus:

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  • Loose Wires
  • Malfunctioning Sensors
  • Bad Battery
  • Low Transmission Fluid

These are the common problems experienced by Ford Focus users. Continue reading to learn more about issues that may cause your Ford Focus to show the warning sign "Transmission Fault Service Now" and how to address them

photo of a sky blue color paint on brand new ford focus on the display, Ford Focus Says Transmission Fault Service Now? Here's What To Do

Transmission Fault Service Now Meaning

If your Ford vehicle displays the "Transmission Fault Service Now" notice, it implies that there is a transmission problem that has to be addressed as soon as possible.

The warning "Transmission Fault Service Now" may display on your vehicle's dashboard. This message is issued whenever the transmission control module (TCM) identifies a problem with the transmission.

This warning may occur if there is a problem with the gearbox, but that is not always the case; a malfunctioning sensor, a defective battery, and other unrelated issues can all cause this error message to display on your car.

Common Reasons For Transmission Fault Service Now Warning

Now that you know what the warning means, here are the common reasons for it:

Loose Wires

Many wires link the TCM to the transmission, and when these wires get loose, the TCM may be unable to regulate the transmission effectively. If that is the case, the cables will have to be fixed or replaced.

Malfunctioning Sensors

The TCM monitors the transmission using several sensors, and if any of those sensors malfunctions, the TCM will create the "Transmission Fault Service Now" message.

Faulty Transmission

When your transmission is damaged, it may be unable to shift gears effectively. This might result in the error message. However, if your transmission fails, it should almost certainly be replaced.

Bad Battery

When your battery begins to fail, a number of difficulties arise due to low power, electronics, and other faults. If your battery is malfunctioning, it may not have sufficient power to run your transmission effectively. This might result in the error message. 

Low Transmission Fluid

If the transmission fluid is insufficient, it may be unable to lubricate and cool your gearbox adequately. This can result in transmission issues and, eventually, the "transmission fault service now" error warning.

What To Do If You Receive Transmission Fault Service Now Warning

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Restart the Car

To begin, try turning it the car off and then restarting it. If the notice does not reoccur, the issue is likely with that sensor or the battery.

In this instance, you should take the car to your local dealer or repair center to get it checked out.

If the notice reappears after restarting the car, the issue is most likely with the gearbox. You'll be required to have the vehicle towed to a local service shop for repairs in this situation.

Don't disregard the notice on your dash, no matter the root of the problem!

Reset the TCM 

A malfunctioning transmission control module is another probable source of the "Transmission Fault Service Now" warning. The TCM controls the transmission, and if it malfunctions, the transmission may not work correctly.

The TCM can be fixed or replaced in some instances.

Resetting The Ford Transmission Control Module

If you suffer any of the following issues, you should consider resetting the transmission control module:

  • The gearbox shifts into a different gear whenever you are not trying to shift gears.
  • When you press the accelerator, your automobile takes more time to accelerate compared to usual.
  • You can't change gears from neutral.
  • Shifting up through the gears can be a sticky experience (or you can not shift up when you are parking your car or accelerating).
  • Your car's gasoline doesn't last at least as long as it used to.

This does not have to result in a costly trip to the mechanic. If you are experiencing any of the difficulties listed above, you should try to reset the transmission control module.

How To Reset The Ford Transmission Control Module

  1. Insert your key into the ignition or press the starting button.
  2. Make sure the gearbox is placed in the neutral position (displayed as an N)
  3. Wait around 20 seconds after turning off the automobile.
  4. Put the automobile in park mode (P on the gearbox).
  5. Restart the automobile but do not let it run completely.
  6. Wait 20 seconds more.
  7. Turn the car off and then rapidly restart it.
  8. Change the gear to the Sport (S) or Drive position (D)
  9. When the TCM reset procedure is complete, an alert should sound.
  10. You should now be able to drive your car normally, or you can retrain the the transmission.

Here's a video demonstration of how to reset the Ford Transmission Control Module:

Is It Possible To Repair A Ford Focus Transmission?

photo of car automotive vehicle automatic transmission shifters

Don't give up when the Ford Focus does have a gearbox problem; it can be remedied.

Depending on the seriousness of the situation, it may be preferable to replace the transmission if you're having transmission troubles. The very first step is to get it diagnosed by a certified technician.

After determining the source of the problem, you can choose whether to replace or fix the transmission.

Getting a new transmission will cost approximately $3500. However, it will give you peace of mind as well as a better driving experience. A fix could be available if the issue isn't with its PowerShift system.

Keep in mind that even if a repair is sustainable, it might not be the best long-term option. In rare circumstances, it may be preferable to replace the transmission completely.

Whatever path you choose, the main thing is to have the problem resolved so you may resume enjoying your Ford Focus.

What Factors Contribute To TCM Failure?

If you're having problems with your gearbox, your TCM may be failing. Water shorting a circuit, a voltage overload, or stress produced by vibrations and high temperatures can cause TCM failure.

If your TCM is damaged, you should get it fixed or replaced, since continuing to drive with a broken TCM is risky.

Relearning a Ford Transmission

You may need to retrain the Ford transmission after a TCM reset.

To retrain the transmission control module, drive at different speeds and let the gearbox relearn the CVI numbers (clutch thickness values) and processes when and how the gears should change.

The TCM can memorize the proper settings in a short amount of time, but you'll need a significant length of road to do it to the best of your ability.

How Can I Tell If My Transmission Control Module Is Faulty?

If you're having problems with your gearbox, it's possible that there's a malfunction with your transmission control module.

Poor fuel efficiency, sluggish acceleration, gear slippage, and difficulties changing smoothly between ratios are all signs that your vehicle's transmission control module is malfunctioning.

Is It Possible To Drive Without A Transmission Control Module?

The transmission control module is a critical component of any transmission system. If your TCM fails, you risk inflicting catastrophic harm to your vehicle if you continue to operate it.

Driving your automobile will be nearly impossible if your TCM prevents you from changing into and out of gear. You're not getting anywhere if you're not in gear!

If you suspect your TCM is malfunctioning, attempt to reset it or see a specialist, since driving with a faulty gearbox might result in costly repairs later on.

How Does A Transmission Control Module Become Programmed?

To reprogram a transmission control module, unplug the battery connections and let the system drain for five to 30 minutes. The TCM should be reset once you reconnect the battery.

What Happens If Transmission Is Not Reprogrammed?

If your computer has to be reprogrammed or rebooted, your transmission may begin to malfunction.

Automatic gearboxes are linked to sensors and solenoids that interact with the computer in your vehicle. This communication may fail as the transmission's bands, and clutches wear out.

How Much Will It Cost To Replace A Ford Focus Control Module?

photo of a car mechanic fixing repairing car under chassis on car shop

The Ford Focus powertrain control module replacement costs between $779 and $1,122 on average.

Labor expenses are projected to range between $71 and $90, with parts costing between $707 and $1,032. This range excludes taxes and fees and does not take into account your exact model year or area.

Summing Up

photo of a sky blue color paint on brand new ford focus on the display

The warning "Transmission Fault Service Now" can occur for a number of reasons in your Ford Focus, including faulty transmission, a malfunctioning sensor, a defective battery.

You can repair or replace the components related to the problem and have your car checked by a Ford dealer if you don't know how to look for malfunctions.

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