The performance and longevity of your vehicle's automatic transmission can depend on checking the transmission fluid and keeping it at the correct level. A fluid level that is too low or too high can create shifting problems and may cause internal damage to the transmission. The 2002 Ford Focus has a transverse-mounted, four-cylinder engine that is mated to a four-speed automatic, overdrive transmission on some models. Fluid level should be checked frequently via the transmission dipstick tube in the engine compartment.
Things You'll Need
- Lint-free cloth
- Mercon V automatic transmission fluid (optional)
Drive the vehicle at least 20 miles to warm up the transmission fluid to operating temperature. Park on a level area and set the parking brake. Leave the engine running.
Press down on the brake pedal and move the transmission shift lever through each gear. Leave the shifter in each position long enough for the gear to fully engage before going to the next position. Place the shifter in park and release the brake.
Open the hood and locate the transmission dipstick near the front of the engine compartment, in-between the battery and engine block.
Pull the dipstick from the dipstick tube and wipe the end with a clean, lint-free cloth. Insert the dipstick back into the tube until it is fully seated.
Pull the dipstick back out of the tube and ensure the fluid level is between the minimum ("Min") and maximum ("Max") marks on the end of the dipstick. Insert the dipstick back into the tube until it is fully seated.
Tips & Warnings
- Add fluid to the transmission if it is below the minimum mark on the dipstick. Remove the dipstick and place a funnel into the dipstick tube. Add Mercon V automatic transmission fluid -- available at Ford dealers -- in small increments. Check the fluid level with the dipstick between each increment to ensure you do not overfill the transmission.
- The automatic transmission fluid level may appear to be overfilledl if the level is checked after car has been operated at high speeds for long periods, used for city driving in hot weather or with prolonged, erratic braking or steering actions. Shut the engine off for 30 minutes to allow the transmission fluid cool off to correct the problem.
- Transmission fluid expands as it becomes warmer. Checking the fluid cold will give you an inaccurate reading. Always check the transmission warm, with the engine running and the transmission selector in "Park."
- "2002 Ford Focus Owner's Guide"; Ford Motor Co.; 2001
How to Choose the Oil and Fluids for a Ford Focus
The Ford Focus has been a best-selling compact car since its introduction in 2000. The manufacturer recommends 5W20 viscosity engine oil, unlike...
How to Check Transmission Fluid on a Ford Taurus
Transmission fluid is one of the most important consumables in your automotive system. It is the durable lubricant that coats all moving...
How Do I Check the Transmission Fluid in a 2002 Ford Taurus?
The 2002 Ford Taurus uses a liquid-cooled automatic transmission. Few things will damage the transmission more than operating it with an insufficient...
How to Check the Transmission Fluid in a Ford Explorer
Ford Explorers have been around in one shape or form since the 1970s. In that time, the Explorer has gone from simply...
How to Change Antifreeze in a 2002 Ford Ranger
Ford equipped the 2002 Ranger with a coolant-filled cooling system. Engine coolant provides protection from freezing and boiling, maximizes cooling efficiency and...
How to Add Transmission Fluid to a 2002 F150 Automatic
Ford equipped the 2002 model-year F-150 with a four-speed automatic transmission. Fluid inside the transmission hydraulically controls the transmission's functions. A proper...
How to Check Ford Escort Transmission Fluid
One of the single most important components on a car is the transmission. Yet the transmission fluid level is the most neglected...
How to Add Transmission Fluid to a 2002 Altima
Checking the various fluids on your 2002 Nissan Altima automobile is an important part of the preventive maintenance program. If your Altima...
My Ford Focus Won't Go Into Overdrive
Vehicles with an automatic transmission are easier to drive but require frequent maintenance and care to keep functioning properly. Most modern automatic...
2002 Focus Transmission Problems
Seven recalls have been issued for the 2002 Ford Focus, according to carcomplaints.com, but none of these recalls has dealt with the...
How to Check & Add Fluid to Your Automatic Transmission
Automatic car transmission fluid should be checked and added every 30,000 miles. Inspect a car's transmission fluid with tips from an automotive...