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Old 04-13-2021, 06:20 PM   #1
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Question about using a Ford Focus as a Toad

We recently got a tow package for our 2016 Ford Focus (Blue Ox). This is my first time towing. We have a Itasca 29VE Class A as our motorhome. The other day I went through the steps setting the car up to be towed. I had a specific question about getting the Focus ready for towing. I followed all the steps in the manual: “Push start button with foot OFF brake. Press the brake pedal and shift to neutral. Wait for a message in the display indicating that the transmission is ready. Push start button to turn power off.” After I completed these steps, I got the message, “Transmission is not in Park.” I want to make sure that is normal behavior before disconnecting the battery cable. Can any Focus users comment?
Thanks.
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Old 04-13-2021, 07:08 PM   #2
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This is what I see when I look at steps to flat tow a 2016 Focus:

How to Flat-tow a 2016 Ford Focus
  1. Turn on ignition and shift into neutral.
  2. Switch climate control system to recirculated air mode.
  3. Wait for entertainment display to say transmission is ready, and then turn off the ignition.
  4. Disconnect your battery.
  5. Start your engine within 15 minutes of reconnecting the battery after towing.

Here is word for word from the 2016 Ford Focus Owner's Manual:

Quote:
Vehicles with Keyless StartNote:

Put your climate control system in recirculated air mode to prevent exhaustfumes from entering the vehicle. See Climate Control (page 103).

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 on the ignition by pressing the keyless start button, but do not apply the brake pedal.
3. Press the brake pedal, and then move the gearshift to the neutral (N) position. Release the brake pedal.
4. Wait for a message indicating that the transmission is ready in the information and entertainment display, and then switch off the ignition by pressing the keyless start button.
5. Disconnect the negative (black) cablef rom the battery. You need the door key to lock and unlock doors when the battery cable is disconnected.
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Old 04-13-2021, 08:33 PM   #3
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Thanks for your comments. I do have the owner’s manual, which I’ve read numerous times. The key step for me is this.
Quote:
Originally Posted by creativepart View Post
4. Wait for a message indicating that the transmission is ready in the information and entertainment display, and then switch off the ignition by pressing the keyless start button.
After this step is complete, I get a warning on the dash that the transmission is not in Park. The question I have is, is that normal behavior? I know that I am supposed to disconnect the battery but I want to make sure that I didn’t miss anything.

Thanks.
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Old 04-14-2021, 07:34 AM   #4
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I would guess that you either need to speak to another Focus owner that flat tows or a Ford Tech online.

As a “swag” I’d expect to get that notice any time I turned off the car when not in park. But understand the need to have confirmation from someone that knows.

My Lincoln sets up and works differently, and chimes a unique chime when it’s ready to tow and it shows a message that it’s ready to tow, but the info center still tells me to put my foot on the brake to start the car. Which obviously I don’t want to do so I ignore that message. After turning off the car there are no more messages on my car.

You might try posting this question on www.irv2.com it is much larger and covers all brands but would have a greater number of Ford Focus owners that would have experience with the process.
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Old 04-14-2021, 07:27 PM   #5
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Thanks. I’ll call the dealer with the hope that they know the answer.
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Old 04-22-2021, 07:38 AM   #6
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I have a 2017 Ford Focus hatchback with a keyed ignition. I have towed this car at least 5,000 miles. My procedure is the same as you have outlined. First I turn the ignition on, (I do not start the engine). I push on the brake pedal and then shift the automatic transmission into neutral. A moving line shows on the dash, then I get a warning on the dash that the transmission is not in Park. Then I release the brake. After this I disconnect the battery, leaving the key ignition on so the wheels can turn left or right. I am now ready to hit the road and enjoy my Sunova and when I get there I have my Focus to run around in. Enjoy this system.
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