Shift Sys Fault: Ford Fusion & Focus | Drivetrain Resource

Drivetrain Resource

Ford Fusion Shift Sys Fault

Getting an error on your vehicle is never fun. Unfortunately for Ford Fusion owners, this specific error can be a common issue. There are ten shift system fault errors that Ford Fusion owners can experience. In this article, we’ll go over each of these errors, why they occur, and the best course of action. 

Common Causes of Shift System Fault Errors in Ford Fusions

There are ten shift system fault errors. It’s important to distinguish which shift system error you are experiencing because the cause and course of action can vary drastically. Let’s go over why they typically occur.


This error is due to a system failure. Drivers will see this error when the parking brake has to be released before exiting the vehicle. 

SHIFT SYS FAULT Cannot Shift Trans Use Park Brake to Secure Vehicle 

This error is very similar to the previous error. When drivers see this error displayed, the parking brake must be depressed before exiting the vehicle. This issue is also due to a system failure that needs a proper diagnosis at the dealer. 

SHIFT SYS FAULT Service Required

This error reader may be due to the shifter becoming dislodged or disconnected from the transmission. It also may be due to a system error. 

SHIFT SYS FAULT Vehicle is Shifting to Park

This error occurs as the driver is shifting to park. This error code has many different potential culprits. When the driver attempts to shift into park, the gears may be dirty or rusty. Low transmission fluid may also cause shifting to be slow and sluggish. 

SHIFT SYS FAULT Reverse Unavailable Service Required

This error occurs when you are attempting to shift to reverse. In the Ford Fusion, an electronic shifter allows the shifting cables to communicate with the computer. Sometimes a malfunction or error can occur with this communication.

SHIFT SYS FAULT Drive Unavailable Select S for Drive Service Required

Unfortunately, this error requires a diagnosis tool to read your car’s data. This is due to the fact that there are a variety of issues that could be causing this notification.

SHIFT SYS FAULT Drive Unavailable Select L for Drive Service Required

After your vehicle has been diagnosed and the problem has been identified, a shifter circuit will likely need to be replaced.

SHIFT SYS FAULT Neutral Unavailable Service Required

When neutral becomes unavailable, it’s likely due to a fault shifter circuit. Contact your dealer to run a diagnosis.

SHIFT SYS FAULT Sport Unavailable Service Required

If you’re unable to shift into Sport mode, contact your dealer to run a diagnosis on the vehicle. 

SHIFT SYS FAULT Low Unavailable Service Required

Like the other error messages, a notification of this type is likely due to a computer or circuit issue. Contacting a dealer as soon as possible is best to correctly diagnose the problem.

Likely Fixes for Shift System Fault Errors

If the error message is not due to your vehicle’s internal computer, a faulty circuit, or bad communication between shifting cables and the computer, here are some common issues and fixes.

Transmission Cooler Replacement

If the transmission oil cooler line is damaged and needs replacing, thankfully, it is typically not a costly repair. For a Ford Focus, the average cost of replacement is typically between $140 and $166. Be sure to check for recalls because Ford will cover the cost if there are.

Shifter Cable Needs to Be Reattached to the Transmission

If you have a 2017 Ford Focus, the shifter cable detaching from the transmission is a known problem. Thankfully, this is a quick, cost-effective, and simple problem. The cable will need to be reattached with a plastic retainer. This can be purchased online for a few dollars or purchased from your Ford dealer.

Before Taking Your Ford in For Repair

When there’s a shifting system error, unfortunately, the root cause may not always be obvious. Ensure all fluid levels are within normal ranges, valve bodies are performing correctly, and internal Transmissions are examined. There’s also the possibility that the error could be originating from your car’s computer or some other electronic component. 

Discovering the Root Cause of Your Ford Focus’s Shift System Fault Error

Ford Focus Shift Sys Fault

Unfortunately, given the many possibilities of problems that could be contributing to this error code, it’s best to bring your car to the Ford dealer to determine the problem. Having your car’s fault codes read by a scanner and diagnostic tool may be the quickest way to determine what might be wrong with your vehicle. 

Having your car’s system read by a professional will likely save you the headache of trying to see what’s wrong with your Ford shift system yourself. Thankfully, in many cases, the solution is inexpensive and quick. We wish you luck on your journey and hope this article has been helpful. 

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