2000 2.0 - Stiff gears - MD
I own a 2000 Ford Focus Zetec 2.0 ESP.

The car runs fine but I've noticed that recently it's getting more and more difficult to engage a gear, particularly 1st and 2nd. The problem is more pronounced when the engine is cold but even after 20 minutes motorway running it is still quite stiff.

The cars done 30,000 miles and has been serviced at a Ford dealer at regular intervals. The next service is due in 3000 miles time, approx 2.5 months time.

Does the Focus suffer with a notchy gear box or is it something unique to my car.



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Edited by Dynamic Dave on 04/03/2009 at 13:40

Ford Focus: Stiff gears - Pete F
It is quite likely that your clutch is dragging. Is the engagement point near the floor? If so hydraulic problem. If not then one way to check for drag is to jack up one front wheel and see if it spins when clutch is pressed and car is in gear. If it does then there is drag and only solution is to remove clutch and rectify fault. Another possible cause is misaligned shifter cables. This can be corrected simply by following set up procedure. Dealer could do this in a jiffy.
Peter F
Ford Focus: Stiff gears - Dynamic Dave
Is the engagement point near the floor? If so hydraulic problem.

I thought most modern cars had cable operated clutches?
Ford Focus: Stiff gears - Pete F
Ford have moved back to hydraulic. I suspect many other manufacturers have too.
Pete F
Ford Focus: Stiff gears - Galaxy
I have a 2000 Mondeo which uses the same engine and gearbox as the Focus.

They're all like it! A notchy gearbox is definitely a characteristic of this car, our secretary at work used to have a Focus, and she said exactly the same thing.

What I did discover myself, however, when I had this problem, was that it's very important to push the clutch right to the floor when engaging gears, particularly when the engine is cold. If you have the drivers seat set too far back (as I did) it's actually very difficult to do this. I found this out purely by chance; I can't ever remember having another car where it was necessary to do this.

I hope this might help. Good Luck!
Ford Focus: Stiff gears - ChrisV
I also have a 2000 Focus Zetec ESP, I have always thought it had a very good gearbox, nearly always very precise and not at all notchy. A couple of times I thought it was a little reluctant, but it seemed to sort itself out. These two instances didn't seem connected to the ambient or engine temperature. I've never had a cable operated gearchange before, so considered having the adjustment checked, but since it seems fine now I didn't bother.
Mine has now covered 96,000 miles, so yours shouldn't be having problems yet.
The points about checking for hydraulic problems and full clutch operation seem the best place to start though.
Ford Focus: Stiff gears - wain
I am having exactely the same problem with 2000 ford focus TDDI 1.8.

Were you able to get rid of the problem in the meantime?

I appreciate any help.

Ford Focus: Stiff gears - Fix Or Repair Daily
I have an 03 Zetec 1.8 with only 45K on the clock, same problem developed this winter. Ford suggest gear linkage cables or clutch cylinders (either pedal end or box end). This seems odd to me as 1st & 2nd are fine when the car is warmed up. Is because the brake/clutch fluid warms up a bit and expands? The clutch pedal certainly seems a bit firmer when car fs fully warmed up.

I notice on a Mondeo forum at least two people have successfully solved this exact problem by getting Ford to put a lower viscosity gearbox oil in.

Is it worth me checking for clutch drag when the car is cold ... before I pay Ford to change the oil I wonder?
Ford Focus: Stiff gears - John cone

Having got a Focus and a Mondeo with the MTX gearbox. I noticed the gearchange getting tighter between 1st &2nd gear. I changed the gearchange cables on the Focus with no decent result. Spoke to the local Ford garage receptionist who said that they hadn't had a problem. But on talking to one of the mechanics he advised me to change the gearbox oil. The oil he recommended was Comma MT75/MTX75. This is a mineral oil as to the synthetic oil fitted by Ford. After changing the oil it was a totally different gearbox, much smoother changes.


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