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Old 03-23-2018, 08:09 AM   #15
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I towed a '12 Focus for years and many miles and have heard many discussions about battery disconnectin. I have never heard a Ford engineer or service man say why the battery has to be disconnected. Reasonable speculation is to make positive sure the electric motors that shift the gears inside the transmission are unable to opperate by accident and maybe to prevent a slight drain on the battery. Both would be bad but engaging a gear would be a disaster. People have disconnected the negative or the positive cable or both and they all work fine to disable the power to the car. Using a disconnect switch is way better than using a wrench repeatedly to disconnect at the battery terminal post. If you want to run a charge line or power a brake unit from the coach you need to leave the ground on the battery connected and connect the power line from the coach to the always hot side of the positive disconnect switch. That isolates the power from the coach feeding the +12v battery cable when the switch is open. If you feel you just have to disconnect the negative cable like the owners manual says then you will need a disconnect on both the positive and negative cables and an additional ground wire to the negative disconnect switch. There are lots of threads on this forum with details on different methods people have used to tow a Focus or Fiesta automatic and they all seem to work for the them.
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Old 04-29-2018, 05:10 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c_oneil View Post
I towed a '12 Focus for years and many miles and have heard many discussions about battery disconnectin. I have never heard a Ford engineer or service man say why the battery has to be disconnected. Reasonable speculation is to make positive sure the electric motors that shift the gears inside the transmission are unable to opperate by accident and maybe to prevent a slight drain on the battery. Both would be bad but engaging a gear would be a disaster. People have disconnected the negative or the positive cable or both and they all work fine to disable the power to the car. Using a disconnect switch is way better than using a wrench repeatedly to disconnect at the battery terminal post. If you want to run a charge line or power a brake unit from the coach you need to leave the ground on the battery connected and connect the power line from the coach to the always hot side of the positive disconnect switch. That isolates the power from the coach feeding the +12v battery cable when the switch is open. If you feel you just have to disconnect the negative cable like the owners manual says then you will need a disconnect on both the positive and negative cables and an additional ground wire to the negative disconnect switch. There are lots of threads on this forum with details on different methods people have used to tow a Focus or Fiesta automatic and they all seem to work for the them.
I towed a 2013 Focus for more than 20000 miles. Always disconnected the negative on the battery like Ford says to. Used a switch to do it. A line from the motorhome to power the Break Buddy. Never any trouble. It's what Ford says to do. It's your warranty.
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Old 04-29-2018, 05:42 AM   #17
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Our 2014 Focus has the positive disconnected per the supplemental braking instructions since the braking system uses the negative for a common ground. A separate wire and disconnect switch isolate the power neeeded by the supplemental brake system from the rest of the car. Donít forget to use diodes in the rear lights if you intend to use the original system to prevent feedback to the cars electrical system like the transmission.
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Old 04-29-2018, 05:56 AM   #18
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I don't know about the 2013 Focus, but I do know the 2016 Focus it says to disconnect the neg terminal. I even called Ford to verify this. My key does stay in the ignition, but I do lock the doors before I disconnect, so after I disconnect I just have to lock the driver door with a spare key.
Once you turn off the battery you are able to remove the key from the ignition.
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Old 04-29-2018, 07:23 AM   #19
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Our 2014 Focus has the positive disconnected per the supplemental braking instructions since the braking system uses the negative for a common ground. A separate wire and disconnect switch isolate the power neeeded by the supplemental brake system from the rest of the car. Donít forget to use diodes in the rear lights if you intend to use the original system to prevent feedback to the cars electrical system like the transmission.


Wow is that dangerous!!! All that bare positive exposure is certainly going to burn you or the vehicle. If you insist on switching the positive, COVER ALL THAT BARE CONDUCTOR.
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Old 04-30-2018, 05:22 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by 69Stang View Post
Once you turn off the battery you are able to remove the key from the ignition.
I have not tried to take the key out after I turn the battery off. You don't have to keep the ignition in the ON position? Or will the key come out in the ON position?
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Old 04-30-2018, 05:29 AM   #21
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the key will not come out regardless of it's position, without the battery cut off. but, no, you don't have to keep the key in 'on' or anything, matter-of-fact, and especially if the battery is NOT cut off, you certainly don't want to. The way these transmissions work, you don't want it to be accidentally activated while towing it.

at least if your '16 works like our '14
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Old 04-30-2018, 06:27 AM   #22
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I have not tried to take the key out after I turn the battery off. You don't have to keep the ignition in the ON position? Or will the key come out in the ON position?
No, once the battery is disconnected, by whatever means you use, you can remove the key from the ignition. It does not need to stay in the "on" position.

From my 2015 manual page 184:

Note:There must be battery power to move
the transmission's internal components to
neutral (N) properly in Step 3. In addition,
moving the gearshift to the neutral (N)
position without first switching the ignition
to the on position limits the towing
capability to 35 mph (56 km/h) and 50 mi
(80 km).
1. Release the parking brake.
2. Switch the ignition to the on position.
3. Press the brake pedal, and then move
the gearshift to the neutral (N)
position.
4. Wait for a message in the information
and entertainment display indicating
that the transmission is ready, and then
switch off the ignition and release the
brake pedal.
5. Disconnect the negative (black) cable
from the battery. See Changing the
12V Battery
(page 217).


My Add:

6. After disconnecting the battery, turn the key counterclockwise and remove the key from the ignition.
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Old 04-30-2018, 08:00 AM   #23
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Wow is that dangerous!!! All that bare positive exposure is certainly going to burn you or the vehicle. If you insist on switching the positive, COVER ALL THAT BARE CONDUCTOR.
We have a cover that goes over it, but have not used it in the past 3 years or 30,000 miles. Have had no problem when towing or in normal driving.
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Old 04-30-2018, 10:16 PM   #24
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You can rotate some things around like in this picture and the cover will fit over the cutoff switch.
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Old 05-15-2018, 02:34 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by MisterT View Post
you won't be able to remove the key from the ignition without a battery disconnect, and therefore probably won't be able to lock the doors either. Other than that, it's probably just to keep normal 12v items from discharging the battery on long trips.
Lock the doors using the key fob, leaving the driver door open.
Place the vehical is neutral, following instruction in manual.
Disconnect battery.
The key can be now removed.
Lock the driver door using using the key.

Because I use use a charge line, I disconnect the positive terminal using a switch. I highly recommend using a switch. Taking off, putting on that battery cable becames a pain in the butt after a while.
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