Ford F150 Transmission Problems- [Discussed And Solved!!]

Ford F-150 transmission problems include broken gear bands, a failing torque converter. The transmission fluid may leak, It might be low or burnt. The gear shifting time may be longer than usual. The transmission sensor may also be malfunctioning. Some model years also have specific problems.

But, there’s so much more to discuss. So, keep on reading our article till the end to know more. 

Ford F150 Transmission- Problems and Solutions

First, let’s discuss all the problems, their symptoms, and solution briefly in the table:

Broken Gear BandsGrinding or scratching sound, slipping transmissionReplace Gear Bands
Failing Torque converterSluggish transmission, gears slipping or not shifting, transmission overheatingRepair/Replace Torque converter
Transmission Fluid LeakFluid leaks, fluid marks on the ground, low fluid levelFix Fluid Leaks
Low/ Burnt Transmission FluidLow: clunking sound, gear slipping, engaging and accelerating slowly.
Burnt: burnt smell
Refill/ Replace Transmission Fluid
Longer Gear Shifting TimeStuck or skipping gears, inability to upshift/downshiftReplace clutch/ Shift Solenoid/ TCM
Faulty Transmission SensorLocked gear, gear doesn’t shift from neutral, shifts to wrong gear. Replace Transmission sensor

Now, let’s discuss them in detail. 

Broken Gear Bands

If the gear bands in your transmission are broken, it’ll cause problems. While shifting gears you’ll hear a loud grinding or scratching sound. The transmission will slip. The bands can break simply because they are worn out or adjusted too tightly. 

Replace Gear Bands

If the transmission band is broken, you’ll need to replace it. This is a complicated process. You’ll need to remove quite some parts to just access the bands. So, it’s recommended to contact a mechanic. 

A new transmission band may cost you about $70-$130. Of course, there’ll be added labor costs for the replacement.

Failing Torque Converter

A torque converter can fail due to excessive friction, faulty seal, or clutch solenoid. Bad transmission fluid might also harm the torque converter. 

If you have a faulty torque converter, the transmission will feel more sluggish. The gears will slip or won’t shift. Your transmission will also overheat. 

Repair Torque Converter

Sometimes, just flushing your torque converter is enough to fix it.  For that, first, remove the metal guard underneath the front of the vehicle. Then, locate the supply line to your torque converter. Check your manual to determine the supply line. 

Now, put an oil pan under the supply line. Put the vehicle in neutral and start the engine. Get an assistant to shift the gears while you add new transmission oil to the truck. This drains out the old transmission oil and fills the transmission and converter with new oil.

If you decide to get it flushed through a mechanic, it’ll cost about $100-$200. It depends on the size of the vehicle. 

Replace Torque Converter

The toughest part of replacing a torque converter is removing the transmission from your vehicle. Once you’ve done that, just follow these simple steps:

Step 1: Hold the torque converter and jiggle it up and down while pulling it. It’ll easily come out.

Step 2: Take your new torque converter. Take some transmission fluid and apply it to the outer surface of the converter connection line. Then fill up the torque converter with transmission fluid. 

Step 3: Next, take the converter and place it in the transmission. Hold the bottom side and rotate it while pushing it in. When it’s installed properly, the converter will spin without getting out. The studs of the converter will be within the transmission plane.

You can also watch this video for help:

You can also get it replaced by a professional. It’ll cost about $600-$1000 including the labor costs.

Transmission Fluid Leaks

If the torque pump cracks or the axle seal becomes compromised, transmission fluid can leak out. The transmission fluid line can also get damaged over time and thus, leak. 

You can confirm it by looking beneath the car for fluid leaks. 

There’ll be spots on the ground. You can check the transmission fluid level with the dipstick. If the fluid is leaking, obviously it’ll be lower than normal.

Fix Fluid leaks

Finding the fluid leak and fixing it is a complicated process. Here, you should consult a professional. It might take as little as $150 to as much as $1000 to fix the leak. It depends on how much work needs to be done. 

But, if you’re confident in your skills, watch this video for instructions and fix it yourself: 

We also have a temporary fix for you. You can use CRC Trans-X Transmission Stop Leak & Tune Up to fix the leak. Pour the entire bottle of this with your transmission fluid. Be sure that it doesn’t exceed the maximum capacity of your Ford F-150. 

Although, it can’t be used in CVT and manual transmission vehicles. 

Low/ Burnt Transmission Fluid

The transmission may malfunction if the transmission fluid is low or burnt. The transmission fluid gets burnt in exposure to high temperatures, high mileage, and contamination. 

If the transmission fluid is low, you’ll hear a clunking sound from the vehicle. The gears will slip and engage slowly. The vehicle will accelerate slowly. If the fluid is burnt, you’ll notice a burning smell while driving. 

Refill/Replace Transmission Fluid

If the transmission fluid is low, you’ll have to refill it. On the other hand, if the fluid is burnt, you’ll have to replace it. It’s a fairly easy process. Still, you can watch this video if you need some help: 

Longer Gear Shifting Time

Another problem people face with the Ford F-150 is longer gear shifting time. It happens because of worn clutches, malfunctioning shift solenoids, and faulty TCM. Other than worn clutches, shift solenoids, and TCM might malfunction due to electrical issues. 

If the shift solenoids malfunction, the gears will get stuck or skip. You’ll be unable to upshift/downshift. These symptoms are also true for faulty TCM and worn clutches. Also, for faulty TCMs, you’ll face lower fuel economy. 

With worn clutches, you’ll also require higher RPMs. The clutch pedal will feel soft/sinking. 

Replace Clutch

You’ll have to remove the transmission to replace the clutch which is the hard part. But, if you are able to do it, the rest is pretty easy. 

Here, unbolt the clutch plate and pry it off. You’ll be able to pull the clutch pieces out. Get your new clutch kit. Put some grease from the kit on the spline and then put it in the clutch. Bolt in the clutch. Put on the new throw rod bearing and bolt the clutch tightly.

Now, you’ll just have to wiggle the transmission to fit the clutch on. You can also watch this video for details: Ford F150 | Clutch Replacement | Making a Trans Jack Useful | Broken Stuff

If you choose to get it replaced by professionals, it’ll take about $1253-$1428. 

Replace Shift Solenoid

Replacing the shift solenoid is pretty easy. First, you’ll have to remove the transmission pan. You’ll be able to see the old solenoid. Disconnect the solenoid connector. Remove the bolt of the solenoid. Then you can wiggle and pull out the old solenoid.

Now, take the new solenoid. Put some new transmission oil around the solenoid’s o ring and put it in. Attach the bolt and reconnect the connector. With that, the shift solenoid is replaced.

Also, it’ll cost about $200-$500 per solenoid to replace it with professional help. 

Replace TCM

To replace the TCM, first, you’ll have to access it. Here, you might need to remove the auto cap. The TCM module isn’t bolted. Just pull it out and disconnect the wiring from the module. Take the new TCM module. Reconnect it and put it in. And, you’re done. 

If some of the locations don’t match with F150, refer to your driver manual. You can also contact a mechanic who’ll replace it for $750-$808.

Faulty Transmission Sensor

Some users may face a faulty transmission sensor. It’ll give the code P0705 upon diagnosis. Sometimes it may not show a code but be faulty. If you doubt that, physically test the transmission sensor. Rather than wearing out, it also goes bad due to wiring issues. 

With a faulty transmission sensor, the transmission gets locked in gear. In Particular, the vehicle can’t move out of neutral. It may even shift to the wrong gear. 

Replace Transmission Sensor

The solution here is to replace the transmission sensor. Just remove the connector of the sensor. Now, you can easily remove the sensor using a socket. If the sensor is stuck, use a prybar to take it off. Take your new sensor. Attach it and connect the connector. 

Now, take your vehicle for a test drive. The problem should be fixed. You can also watch this video for help:

You can also get it replaced for $273-$372 with professional help. 

Ford 150 Transmission Problems According to The Year

Different year models of the Ford 150 have some specific common problems. Here, we’ve tried to address them:  

2013Faulty powertrain control unit programming
2015Hard downshifts
2016Shifting delay, jumping, or grinding during acceleration, shaking at any speed, whistling noise or burning smell from under the hood
2019Transmission failure, shifting lags, grinding noise in transmission
2021Shifts into neutral unexpectedly
2022Rolls forward spontaneously in park

Other than that, there are some common problems for 2017-2021 year models of the Ford F-150. The owners experience harsh shifting, gear slipping, jerking, loss of power, hesitation, and sudden acceleration. 

Ford 150 Recall

The Ford F-150 of 2017-2018 and 2021 are issued for recall. The 2017-2018 Ford F-150 might be missing a roll pin in the transmission. Also, the 2021 Ford F-150 has a problem in the transmission software. Thus, it shifts to neutral unexpectedly which can cause a safety hazard. These vehicles will be fixed by Ford. 

How Long Does a Ford F-150 Transmission Last?

A Ford F-150 transmission lasts about 100000-150000 miles if you drive 10 miles per day. Though, it’ll last about 60000-80000 miles if you drive about 40 miles per day. After that you might need to change the transmission. It’ll cost about $3000-$5000 depending on the model of your vehicle. 


Are F-150 10-Speed Transmission Reliable?

No, F-150 10-speed transmissions aren’t reliable. Ford marketed them as ‘Innovative’ and had optimized higher power and performance. But in reality, the transmission comes with poor shifting, lunging, and jerking. Thus, it doesn’t live up to its marketing claims. It’s quite unsafe too. 

Is the Ford 10-Speed Transmission Better Than 6-Speed?

Yes, Ford’s 10-speed transmission is better than the 6-speed transmission. The 10-speed transmission provides better overall performance. It provides enhanced acceleration at mid and low ranges of power bands. It also has 3 overdrive gears with drag-reduction actions. 

What Years of F-150 to Avoid?

2004, 2005, and 2010 years of F-150 should be avoided. They’re some of the worst model years of the Ford F-150. Despite the decent reputation of the F-150, these models are quite problematic. 

Bottom Line!!

Hope you enjoyed reading our article about ford 150 transmission problems. Still. We’d like you to know one more thing. You shouldn’t carry more than 3325 lbs. on your Ford 150. Thanks for staying with us till the end. 

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William Baldwin

This Is William Baldwin, The Founder & Managing Editor of this website. Me and my team share automotive tips, tricks, and news

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Talha Atta

Talha Atta, a Mechanical Engineer and experienced technical content writer and editor at with a passion for the automotive industry.