Can a Ford Focus transmission be repaired?

Gearbox defective / gearbox damage - symptoms, repairs / replacement as well as costs incurred simply and briefly explained!

The gearbox has the task of stepping up or stepping down the speed and torque of the combustion engine and transferring it to the wheel or axle drive. It is also responsible for reversing the direction of rotation when reversing.

Modern cars have it either via manual gearbox with manual gearshift or via automatic or dual clutch gearbox, which start up and shift automatically.

Regardless of its type, the transmission can wear out with increasing mileage and load on the car.

A lack of gear oil or the use of an unsuitable gear oil, as well as material defects or thermal overloads are among the causes of gear damage.

Depending on the extent of the damage, the entire transmission or individual components can be repaired, overhauled or completely replaced.

Symptoms / signs of a defective gearbox

As is so often the case, there are various signs that can indicate a defect. Below you can see a selection of the most common symptoms, depending on the type of transmission:

Manual transmission:

  • The gear stick cannot be operated as usual, individual gears cannot be engaged or are difficult to engage and jump out again.

Automatic transmission / DSG / automated transmission:

  • Shifting operations are rough or "rough".
  • Switching processes take longer than usual.
  • The power from the engine is not transmitted completely, not at all or only from a certain speed (increased engine speed, no / little propulsion).
  • Driving is only possible in certain speed levels or in emergency mode.


  • The transmission makes unusual noises while driving or when the engine is idling.
  • Vibrations occur when driving.
  • Transmission oil is leaking out because the transmission is leaking. If the cause is not remedied in good time, gear damage is to be expected as the gearbox jams due to insufficient lubrication.
  • The gear oil is very dark, smells burnt or has absorbed a lot of metal debris / chips.
A worn or leaking transmission can best be recognized by the fact that the gears are difficult to engage or that the shifting processes in an automatic transmission / DSG are rough. In addition, with a defective automatic transmission / DSG, the shift times are usually different than in the normal state. A corresponding note is often also stored here in the error memory.

You should also pay attention to the symptoms mentioned above during a test drive as part of a used car purchase!

A must for anyone who wants to understand their car

Did you know that all modern cars (built around 2003 or later) have a very comprehensive fault memory that you can read out yourself? You can find suitable devices at Amazon *, for example.

Last updated on May 21, 2021 at 8:53 pm. We point out that the prices displayed here may have changed in the meantime. All statements without guarantee.

What could a defect in the gearbox be confused with?

With a manual transmission, the symptoms may be mistaken for a defective clutch. Here it is important to first have the separation and slip behavior of the clutch checked. You can find more on this topic in our guide to coupling defects.

In addition, if the gear oil level is too low, gears can no longer be engaged or disengaged. Overall, changing the transmission oil (and flushing the transmission in the case of an automatic transmission) often eliminates individual symptoms.

In the case of an automatic transmission / DSG / automated transmission, other electronic defects such as a defective brake light switch are also conceivable for individual symptoms.

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Repair or change of the transmission

First of all, the question arises whether a repair / overhaul of the transmission is possible or whether the component has to be completely replaced. There are basically three options:

  1. The defective gearbox will be repaired by a specialized workshop. Here the gearbox is removed and dismantled so that defective individual parts such as gears, bearings and / or synchronizer rings can be replaced with new components.
  2. The defective gearbox will be replaced by a replacement part / used part. This is often the most economical option, but is only recommended if your series is not known for transmission problems. Otherwise it is not uncommon for you to have "the same problems in your car".
  3. The defective gearbox is completely replaced by a new one.

Procedure when replacing the gearbox with a used or new part

Once the diagnosis of a defective gearbox has been confirmed, the removal of the gearbox can be started. To do this, the vehicle is first lifted on a lifting platform. The next step is to drain the gear oil.

Depending on the vehicle model, various other components or add-on parts such as panels, car batteries, starters, drive shafts, torque arms, subframes and the gearbox holder must first be dismantled to remove the transmission.

Before load-bearing components such as the gearbox holder can be dismantled, the engine must be secured or suspended with an engine bridge or other special tool.

Since the gearbox is a very heavy component, it is necessary to remove and install ita special transmission jack is used. If the old gear is removed, the new gear is installed so that all surrounding components can also be reassembled.

Adjacent components such as the clutch or dual mass flywheel (if present) should always be carefully checked and, if necessary, replaced at the same time. For example, it is not uncommon for a defective dual-mass flywheel to be partially responsible for the gearbox damage.

Finally, during a test drive, it is checked whether the transmission is working properly.

Procedure for a gearbox repair

After dismantling, the entire transmission is first dismantled into its individual parts. These are then carefully cleaned and checked for wear and tear.

Wear parts likeBrake bands, clutches, seals or filters are replaced. The same applies to all other damaged components, such as worn gears or a defective shaft bearing.

Finally, the transmission is subjected to several electronic test runs. If these work as expected, they are installed in the vehicle and a test drive takes place.

Independent repair attempts should be avoided. The reason for this is that dismantling, dismantling and reassembling the gearbox is very complex and requires both special tools and specialist knowledge.

Costs for the replacement / repair of a gearbox

Alongside the engine, the transmission is one of the most expensive parts of a car.General statements about the costs for replacement or repair cannot be made.

The reason for this is that the effort involved in a repair is heavily dependent on the respective defect in the gearbox and the construction. In addition, only a few specialist workshops specialize in gearbox repairs.

If you decide on a repaired replacement gearbox, we recommend going to a free workshop and, if necessary, ordering the spare part yourself on the Internet. By the way, it is usually the case that you then also have to send in / hand in the defective gearbox.

For a new or replacement part, the costs vary greatly depending on the vehicle model, the engine and the number of gears. For particularly popular series - such as the GOLF V - there is also a significantly larger range of overhauled gearboxes than for rarer series.

Overall, you can roughly reckon with material costs between 200 and 2,000 euros for a repaired replacement gearbox.

A distinction is made between partially overhauled (only defective wear parts have been replaced) and general overhauled (as a precaution, all wear parts have been replaced) gearboxes. The latter are always more expensive.

The most expensive option is always to buy a new part with material costs of mostly 3,000 euros and more. However, this is seldom absolutely necessary.

The duration of the gear change cannot be specified as a flat rate either. You can roughly assume an effort of between 3 and up to 10 hours.

This is mainly dependent on how easy it is to dismantle add-on parts and whether many other components have to be dismantled in order to be able to change to the transmission.

Based on an hourly rate of 80 euros, this results in labor costs of 240 to 800 euros.

Material / serviceestimated prices
Gearbox (used replacement part)200 to 2,000 euros
Workload240 to 800 euros
All prices are rough guide values ​​including VAT and can of course vary.
It turns out that the optimal procedure (new part vs. replacement part vs. repair) should be weighed up individually for each vehicle. We therefore strongly recommend obtaining various offers from specialist workshops.

If the transmission is defective through no fault of your own - especially if the car is less than five years old - we recommend that you submit a goodwill application in any case.

TIP: Do not drive to a workshop before you have determined the current value of your vehicle. So you always know in advance exactly the cost up to which a repair is still worthwhile!

Simply use the following form from (100% free and non-binding).

Increase the service life of the gear unit

Basically, you should always switch to "soft". Even high speeds when shifting can cause increased wear! With manual transmissions, it is important that the clutch is always fully depressed when shifting.

If there are the first signs of transmission problems, a specialist workshop should be visited as soon as possible. So you can often avoid major damage with a direct repair or a gear oil change.

Checking and changing gear oil

Transmission oil is present in manual transmissions as well as in automatic transmissions and automated transmissions. With the latter, the correct fill level should be checked regularly in the workshop. In some cases, this is also possible independently with an oil dipstick, as is the case with engine oil.

While a fixed oil change interval is often specified in automatic transmissions, the oil in manual transmissions is usually only changed when other work is being carried out on the transmission.

Regardless of the type of gearbox, new oil increases its service life, and it can also remedy minor problems.

In the case of automatic transmissions, a transmission flush is also possible. This helps ensure that an automatic transmission runs smoothly again and prevents transmission damage.

Because with a conventional transmission oil change, half of the used oil often remains in the transmission due to the construction, so that not all impurities such as metal chips can be removed. A rinse ensures that such impurities and other residues are removed.

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