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Old 10-22-2022, 06:28 PM   #1
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Exclamation Flat towing 2017 Ford Focus issues

Dear RV friends,
Pulling our 2017 Ford Focus behind our 2018 Tiffin Allegro Bus using Blue Ox system. Goes into tow mode very easily ,no problems. Getting it out of tow mode is the problem. Very little vague directions in owners manual. ( We had the Demco Duo Stay n play system installed so we have a switch in the glove box to the connect and disconnect the battery. ) After towing, directions say, reconnect battery and start engine within 15 minutes. Thatís it. How do you KNOW that it is OUT of tow mode? Several times we followed the directions and several miles later there is a notice on dash, Transmission HOT.. stop and wait 5 min. We donít want to hurt the transmission but there is no notification about whether you are truly out of flat tow mode. On rare occasion we get a ď normal modeĒ notice.
What are we doing wrong?
Any help is appreciated !
Barbie Ann
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Old 12-09-2022, 06:43 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarbieAnn View Post
Dear RV friends,
Pulling our 2017 Ford Focus behind our 2018 Tiffin Allegro Bus using Blue Ox system. Goes into tow mode very easily ,no problems. Getting it out of tow mode is the problem. Very little vague directions in owners manual. ( We had the Demco Duo Stay n play system installed so we have a switch in the glove box to the connect and disconnect the battery. ) After towing, directions say, reconnect battery and start engine within 15 minutes. Thatís it. How do you KNOW that it is OUT of tow mode? Several times we followed the directions and several miles later there is a notice on dash, Transmission HOT.. stop and wait 5 min. We donít want to hurt the transmission but there is no notification about whether you are truly out of flat tow mode. On rare occasion we get a ď normal modeĒ notice.
What are we doing wrong?
Any help is appreciated !
Barbie Ann

Aside from your problem how does the Focus do towing? I am considering one for flat towing myself. Have you checked the owners manual on recreational flat towing? I think the procedure is different than what it is if you are just towing to a service facility. Also says to keep speeds down to 70mph.
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Old 12-11-2022, 07:20 AM   #3
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There really isnít a ďtow modeĒ on the Focus, the transmission is just in neutral. Moving the gearshift from neutral to any other position after re-connecting the battery shifts the car out of neutral and itís no longer ready to tow.

When you get the Hot Transmission message, are you disconnecting the Focus soon after arriving at camp and heading out in it? The transmission fluid will become quite warm while towing - this is normal. I would suggest having the fluid level in the Focus transmission checked, perhaps it is low. Not sure if this is something that can be done DIY or not; the Focus uses a unique automatic transmission so itís a bit different from most other cars.
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Old 12-11-2022, 07:42 AM   #4
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There really isnít a ďtow modeĒ on the Focus, the transmission is just in neutral. Moving the gearshift from neutral to any other position after re-connecting the battery shifts the car out of neutral and itís no longer ready to tow.

When you get the Hot Transmission message, are you disconnecting the Focus soon after arriving at camp and heading out in it? The transmission fluid will become quite warm while towing - this is normal. I would suggest having the fluid level in the Focus transmission checked, perhaps it is low. Not sure if this is something that can be done DIY or not; the Focus uses a unique automatic transmission so itís a bit different from most other cars.
I tow a 2015 Focus and they have a Dual Clutch transmission. There is no transmission fluid. Maybe gear oil? Not sure.

Like boiledowl said, put it back in drive and reconnect the battery. Then start it within 15 minutes.
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Old 12-11-2022, 07:44 AM   #5
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I have a 2015 Focus. I have a blade switch at the battery to disconnect it and use the Demco Air Force One braking system. My procedure when I arrive at my destination is:
Unlock door (using key), open hood
With foot on brake, put transmission in park
Turn on battery
Disconnect car from MH

I am a fulltimer and have been doing this since I bought the car in 2015 without issue. I have friends who have a later model than I and use the same procedure.

I think twice when putting car in tow mode, the "transmission ready" did not show on dash. I put the car back in park. opened and closed the door, then put foot on bake and moved shifter to N. I then received the "transmission ready".
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Old 12-11-2022, 11:11 AM   #6
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I tow a 2015 Focus and they have a Dual Clutch transmission. There is no transmission fluid. Maybe gear oil? Not sure.

Like boiledowl said, put it back in drive and reconnect the battery. Then start it within 15 minutes.
It uses Ford part number XT-11-QDC which is a special transmission fluid unique to the DCT automatic. I dug a little deeper and it is drained and filled like a typical manual transmission.
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Old 12-11-2022, 11:27 AM   #7
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What 2017 Ford Focus do you have.........manual transmission, 1 liter automaitc, 2 liter automatic? Reason I ask is there may different flat towing procedures for each per the manual https://www.fordservicecontent.com/F...&buildtype=web
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Old 12-11-2022, 04:03 PM   #8
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It tows just fine! Figured out that to put transmission back in normal mode you just do exactly as the owners manual states. Nothing more, nothing less.
We are very happy with how it tows. It is an automatic . If you look for one to tow just make sure you get a model that is towable. Several models especially with ST in the name that will not tow. Confirm and reconfirm that the particular Focus is able to be flat towed..before you consider buying it.
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Old 12-11-2022, 04:24 PM   #9
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It uses Ford part number XT-11-QDC which is a special transmission fluid unique to the DCT automatic. I dug a little deeper and it is drained and filled like a typical manual transmission.
That is because the "guts" of the transmission are basically a manual transmission.

I worked on a very early prototype of this transmission in the 1980s. Many design changes since that first one ! IIRC, the production version had no hydraulics. That is, all of the shifting was done by electric motors or solenoids.
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Old 12-12-2022, 05:35 AM   #10
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It uses Ford part number XT-11-QDC which is a special transmission fluid unique to the DCT automatic. I dug a little deeper and it is drained and filled like a typical manual transmission.
Thanks. That's what I was guessing as well.
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