The Ford F-150 has long been one of the most popular trucks on the market, owing to its exceptional strength and performance. Despite the F-150’s popularity, Ford has been obliged to fix major engine and transmission faults that have plagued the vehicle for several years. Owners have reported a wide range of issues, some minor and others possibly deadly. Here, we will discuss the Ford 10 speed transmission problems in detail.
Through Technical Service Bulletins, recalls, and other steps, Ford has addressed a portion of the issues documented. Consumers, on the other hand, continue to report numerous major issues with their F-150 pickups. Let’s look at some of the Ford 10 speed transmission problems.
- A Brief History
- Common Problems
- Symptoms Of Transmission Failure
- Solution of Transmission Issues
- 10-Speed Transmission Reliability
- Final Verdict
Ford and General Motors teamed up in 2013 to create a design that would blow their customers’ imaginations. It’s worth noting that this was not the first time the two groups collaborated. They had previously worked on a six-speed planetary gear system that earned them millions of dollars.
As a result, they would work on a more potent and bigger project in the years ahead. It wasn’t long after releasing the 10-speed system that other firms followed suit. Honda and Toyota are two good examples of these companies that aspired to meet consumer demands. All of these variants were a success.
When the Ford 10-speed transmission was introduced, it was best suited for light-duty vehicles. As of now, it appears that this design in the future could be useful for heavy and medium-duty vehicles. It was evident at the time of the announcement in 2013 that the partnership would result in both nine and ten-speed designs.
GM-Ford 10 Speed Transmission
GM worked on a nine-speed transmission that could be utilized in front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive cars. In this situation, the only requirement was that the unit only works on cars with transversely placed engines.
Ford, on the other hand, was working on a 10-speed transmission. This unit could be used in both rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive vehicles. The automobiles in this scenario are required to have longitudinally placed engines as a requirement.
Collaboration was expected to benefit both organizations due to economies of scale and other factors. During the development process, however, everything went wrong. The ten-speed design was found to be viable for both firms.
But the nine-speed was shown to be viable for GM. The outcomes of the nine-speed design were not as planned; thus, Ford chose to use eight-speed designs instead. The firms proceeded with their business, and Ford began offering 10-speed transmissions in their vehicles by the end of 2017.
GM soon followed, and in 2018, both parties were ready to hit the ground running. The introduction went off without a hitch. It should be noted that there have been complaints about this transmission in recent years. As we move on, let’s focus on the issues that may come, such as Ford’s 10 speed transmission problems.
Ford F 150 Transmission Problems
While the focus will be on Ford, keep this information in mind if you’re having trouble with a GM 10-speed transmission. It’s because the issues are comparable. When Ford and GM merged, their primary goal was to create a transmission to improve engine performance and efficiency.
While the design was highly welcomed in the market, it did not come without its share of issues, which include the following:
Ford 10 Speed Transmission Problems #1: Rough Shifting
The 2017-2018 Ford F-150, 2018 Ford Expedition, Mustang, and Lincoln Navigator were the most affected vehicles. The 10-speed automatic transmission, in particular, has been criticized for its sluggish gear changes.
Or, on rare occasions, it shifted gears randomly. The shift slipped by itself, and drivers were surprised to find their cars in reverse when they believed they were in the park. Gear changes might be delayed or abrupt. Some drivers have encountered diagnostic problem codes in the past.
When this happens, a new application must be installed to update the control module. To give the module another chance to learn your driving style, make sure the update is complete. The shifts will be smoother this way, and you won’t even realize them happening.
According to a class-action lawsuit, the “10-speed 10R80 automatic transmission used in Ford F-150 vehicles can pose life-threatening problems owing to violent shifting, shaking, resistance, and missed gears.”
Ford 10 Speed Transmission Problems #2: Gear Position Indicator Won’t Light Up
A transmission problem has arisen once more for Ford vehicles F-150, F-253, and F-254. Each time the truck driver changes gear, gear shift indicators are intended to light up on display. YouTuber Johns Trucks 4Sale drew attention to the problem, claiming that many of his customers had contacted him for help.
He suggests turning on and off the power and the indicators in the hopes of solving the problem. The gears vanished from the screen for no apparent reason, and many Ford truck owners were left to figure out how to fix the problem on their own.
Ford 10 Speed Transmission Problems #3: Check Engine Light
When the check engine light illuminates, it is never a positive sign. However, for some drivers, this has occurred more frequently than they would like. When this happens, a diagnosis is required (make sure you remember the transmission diagnostic cost, as well), which can reveal the active issue codes.
The majority of the time, the issue is due to the torque converter clutch (or its solenoid) valve binding. A valve inside the valve body could also be the source of the problem. Depending on the diagnosis, you may need to undertake a replacement of the entire valve body, which can cost a lot.
Ford 10 Speed Transmission Problems #4: Issues On Recalls
Some models have been recalled since their launch due to customer concerns over the years (be diligent then, of the Ford F-150 reliability by model year). During its research, the company discovered that the roll pin was installed incorrectly in the design. The 2018 Ford Expedition is a great example of a recalled model.
You might be wondering what could go wrong if the installation is done incorrectly. A car’s park function can be lost, according to tests. As a result, it can move even when parked, causing property damage and injuring or killing other road users. No doubt, the problem was so significant that recalls were necessary.
It all started with a Ford statement in 2018 that stated that some models needed to be fixed due to faulty installation. Dealers examined the recalled vehicles to ensure that the roll pins were in the proper places. Drivers who need design adjustments were provided with the appropriate revisions for free.
Ford 10 Speed Transmission Problems #5: Rattling Noises
This is a likely issue for owners of the 2017-2019 F-150s (as well as the Raptor, if you’re keen on comparing the Ford F-150 vs Raptor), as several drivers have previously reported this issue. Many car owners have reported hearing a rattling noise when accelerating, starting, or shifting.
Hearing any noise coming from under the hood is often enough to cause you to pull over to the side of the road. It gets even worse when you turn on the engine and hear a loud bang.
Transmission sliding issues in the 2018 Ford F150 are also included in this category. The noises originating from the engine have been described in a variety of ways. The descriptions, which range from sluggish starts to scratchy sounds, all point to an issue with the engine.
Unfortunately, customers who bring their cars in for inspection do not receive the assistance they require. Some dealerships dismiss the reports, claiming that such noises are to be expected from an engine.
Most of the time, automobile owners drive away after being told to ignore the noises and that the engine is good. The business has yet to issue a recall for autos that have similar problems. And this puts the majority of drivers in a dilemma.
Assuming that it is an engine-related issue, make sure you’re keenly aware of the most reliable F150 engine. Besides its transmissions, the plethora of Ford F150 5.0 engine problems and folks asking about the reliability of the 2010 F150 5.4 engine shows that engines can be a source of many issues, too.
Ford 10 Speed Transmission Problems #6: Brake Master Cylinder Leak
This problem has been prevalent in F-150 pickup trucks from 2014 to 2017. The 3.5 Ecoboost engines (among other problems) in these vehicles posed problems for the drivers. A vehicle’s drive becomes more complex and perhaps impossible when the braking fluid is lost.
Owners of pickup trucks experienced higher pedal effort and reduced front brake function, necessitating more work and distance to bring the vehicle to a stop. This issue raised the risk of a collision; thus, Ford addressed it in June 2020. “According to the firm, “dealers will free of charge repair the brake master cylinder and check the brake booster, replacing it if needed.”
Therefore, you’ll have to be wary of the bad brake booster symptoms. If need be, you can let Ford pay up for a brake booster replacement. They might also have to consider the master brake cylinder replacement cost, too.
Ford 10 Speed Transmission Problems #7: Leakage In The Head Gasket
These problems affected Ford pickup trucks from the F series, such as the F-250 and F-150. “The back of the passenger-side head gasket has started leaking oil.” Enough to cause some exhaust odor and leak on the driveway. It was pretty discouraging; a driver commented on a Ford site.
A rough start, loss of performance, white fumes from the exhaust, and coolant loss are the most frequent indications of a head gasket failure (aka a blown head gasket). Some owners have given up on their pickup since mechanics charge up to $2,000 to correct the problem, which is your typical head gasket replacement cost.
Ford 10 Speed Transmission Problems #8: Issues With The Battery Connection
Unless it’s the 2019-2020 F-150 battery, a car’s battery should last between four and seven years in general. In fact, you can always learn how to test a car battery, just to make sure. Drivers stated that their batteries had been depleted overnight. What is the reason for this?
The battery wires were poorly secured, resulting in intermittent or permanent loss of contact. A fastener connecting the components could loosen, resulting in many problems that are more significant than others.
As the inquiry into this matter continues, it is largely assumed that there is a problem with the transmission. There is also testing on the six-speed model to see whether there are any similarities in the issues.
We’ll look at various case examples from internet forums to better understand the present scenario. If you’ve ever gone through something similar, you’ll know you’re not alone.
Customer Review 1:
According to one driver, the noise occurs now and again when starting the engine. At times, the driver has experienced unexpected changes and rattling in the drivetrain. It became evident after phoning the dealership that this was not the only incident.
There was nothing that could be done because the manufacturer had not yet issued a recall.
Customer Review 2:
Another driver claims that even when the engine is cold, there is transmission slipping during acceleration. The automobile has 9,000 miles on it (hardly challenging the Ford F-150 life expectancy in miles), and the driver has had this problem more than five times.
Due to a paucity of news on recalling the autos, the owner is again blank for what to do.
Customer Review 3:
The situation is somewhat frightening for the following driver. For starters, the automobile starts with a loud bang and then shifts jerkily across the vehicle. Additionally, when the car comes to a complete stop, acceleration becomes rather difficult.
When driving on a busy road, the motorist remarks that this puts their safety in jeopardy. When the fuel injector failed at 4,500 miles, the driver naturally sought assistance from a dealership. The dealer responded casually, saying that it was quite common for it to happen.
These are only a few examples of the Ford 10 speed transmission problems that drivers face. It’s no surprise that consumers are now actively participating in class action lawsuits with the hopes of having Ford fund the repair costs. Let’s have a look at the current lawsuits filed against this corporation in terms of legal action:
Ford Class Action Lawsuit
As customers try to deal with Ford 10 speed transmission problems, two class actions are currently in the works. One of these is a Pennsylvania driver’s suggestion for the 10-speed transmission in the 2017-2020 Ford F 150s.
According to the driver, the current model is faulty and shifts erratically. The twitching and the leaping off cars with malfunctioning gears are the outcomes of this. Furthermore, there are concerns with gear shift lag, which puts road users’ lives in jeopardy.
The lawsuit takes cues from a previous case that centered on 2017-2019 vehicles. Many car owners came forward in the prior lawsuit, claiming that the fault in the vehicles put their lives in danger.
The cars not only slipped gears, but they also jolted and lunged abruptly. The complainants informed the NHTSA of their concerns, claiming that Ford had failed to solve the problem.
Ford’s Failure To Respond To Customer Complaints
The damaged part had not been recalled or replaced by the company. To make matters worse, the maker went on to say that the jerky movement was to be expected. Dealerships quickly echoed this sentiment, but drivers were unsatisfied with this answer.
When the complainants purchased the autos, these flaws were not known to them. They also indicated that they would not have purchased the impacted models if they had realized they would have to pay for unneeded repairs. This lawsuit protected residents of Illinois, and it was expected that citizens in other states would follow suit.
They did the same thing in the Pennsylvania class-action lawsuit. This time, they were talking about the failure to replace or recall the defective parts. They also mentioned the recall of six-speed transmissions in 2019, which affected around 1.5 million vehicles.
The issue of repairs arose once more, with complainants pointing out the company’s casual approach to the subject. The ten-speed design, according to Ford, is known for its rough shifting. As a result of this movement, the manufacturer will not reimburse the repair costs. This case covers the people of Pennsylvania.
Bad Transmission Symptoms
This section will go over the most typical indicators of transmission failure.
1. Refuses To Shift Gears
If your car refuses to shift gears or struggles to do so, you’re most likely dealing with a transmission issue. Symptoms of low transmission fluid or the wrong form of transmission fluid are frequently at blame in this situation.
2. Smell Of Burning
If your car emits a burning odor (akin to a burning clutch smell), take it to an auto shop as soon as possible. This burning smell from your car can indicate that your transmission is overheated or that the transmission fluid has become burnt and is worn out.
3. Noises When A Car Is Neutral
Strange noises emanating from your car while in neutral are a solid symptom of transmission trouble. The noises may suggest that your automobile needs new transmission fluid (a transmission fluid change cost isn’t too pricey, relatively – to find out more, check out our guide on how do you add transmission fluid), or they may signal that a costly part replacement is required due to mechanical wear.
4. Shifting Gears
If your gears jerk in and out of position while you’re driving, it’s not only terrifying and alarming; it’s also quite dangerous. If your gears start to slip (akin to the symptoms of a slipping clutch), make an appointment with your auto repair expert.
5. Lagging Clutch
When you press the clutch pedal, a lagging clutch fails to remove the clutch disc from the flywheel in your car.
6. Fluid Leakage
One of the simplest transmission problems to diagnose is a transmission fluid leak. If you see a crimson, sweet-smelling fluid underneath your car in the garage or a parking lot, inform your mechanic that the transmission fluid level needs to check (or consider how to remove too much transmission fluid).
7. Check Engine Light Is On
A check engine light illuminated on your dashboard might signal a range of automotive problems, both minor and major. However, if the source of the problem is critical, make sure a local professional inspects it.
8. Vibrating Or Grinding
Grinding or wobbling as the gears change is a common sign that your gearbox has issues, and it’s more common in automobiles with automatic transmissions.
9. Humming Noise
No one wants to hear humming, screeching, or rattling noises in their car. Allow a local mechanic to examine the vehicle.
If your automobile doesn’t respond when you shift gears, especially from park to drive, it’s most likely due to a gearbox problem.
Has Ford Fixed The 10 Speed Transmission Problems
Ford’s 10-speed automatic transmission has been on the market for a few years, and customer complaints have been pouring in since day one. So, has Ford finally corrected the 10-speed transmission? They’re working on it, in a nutshell.
According to the Motor City Mustang manufacturer, most customer complaints are due to the adaptive learning software in the 10-speed transmission. In layman’s terms, Ford refers to a process in which the transmission “learns” your driving behaviors to increase fuel economy and ride comfort.
A difficulty arises if the system is reset for whatever reason, and you must learn your habits repeatedly, resulting in jerky shifting for a brief period of time. Ford’s first attempt to address the 10R80 issue was in 2018 when they issued a technical service bulletin.
A TSB is a manufacturer’s internal letter provided to dealerships as the official method for problems not yet addressed in the handbook. According to this service bulletin, customers who are having trouble with their Ford 10 speed transmission should reprogram the control module.
Although the update appears to have resolved many consumer problems, some remain unsatisfied. Ford has also supplied some other adjustments for the 10 speed, including an improved shift cable clip and, in some cases, the replacement of the first gearbox.
The good news is that it appears that Ford is now paying attention to the problems and is actively working to resolve them.
Ford 10 Speed Transmission Reliability
Ford has had a good proportion of transmission issues, from wobbly starts with the twin-clutch Powershift to erratic gear changes with the 10 speed automatic. Transmission problems have damaged the reputation of some of Ford’s most popular models in the previous ten years.
It’s also among the most prevalent issues that contribute to the 2005 Ford F150 problems, and the litany of the 2013 Ford F150 problems, as well. As such, you should ideally put them in the list of what year of the Ford F150 to avoid. Instead, try to find the best F150 model year.
Not every Ford will have transmission issues. Some models may go their entire lives without visiting the shop, while others may only visit once a month. Ford appears to be taking the problems seriously and striving to address them after years of complaints and a few lawsuits.
Hopefully, they can work out the concerns with the Ford 10 speed transmission problems because it has a lot of potential in theory, but only time will tell if they can make it work. We don’t propose rejecting Ford as a brand; however, tread carefully in your search, and don’t be surprised if the transmission needs to be replaced.
Ford’s 10-Speed Transmission Problems: Key Facts to Know
- Three class-action lawsuits claim that Ford F-150 trucks equipped with the 10R80 automatic transmission, including those in other Ford vehicles, experience life-threatening problems, such as lunging, jerking, harsh and erratic shifting, and whiplash.
- These lawsuits include Marino v. Ford, Orndorff v. Ford, and O’Connor v. Ford, and are ongoing, with no settlements yet.
- Ford marketed the 10-speed transmission as having optimized power, improved performance, and fuel efficiency, but the transmission has not lived up to these claims.
- Signs that the 10-speed transmission may be defective include a wrench light turning on, a clunking or banging noise when starting the engine, delayed or rough shifting, gear sticking, jerking or lunging, and loss of power while driving.
- Ford’s attempts to fix the transmission problems through software updates have not worked, and dealerships have been inconsistent in their diagnosis of the problem, with some saying the transmission’s behavior is “normal.”
- Ford F-150 trucks are not the only vehicles affected by this issue; Ford Mustangs, Expeditions, Rangers, and Lincoln Navigators with the 10-speed transmission also have reported similar problems.
- In 2021, Ford recalled over 47,000 model year 2021 Ford F-150 trucks with 10-speed automatic transmissions due to software problems that caused the transmission to shift into Neutral.
- Ford has refused to repair or replace the 10-speed transmissions, according to multiple lawsuits.
- Owners of affected Ford vehicles have reported nearly being rear-ended and feeling like they’ve been hit by another vehicle due to the transmission problems.
- Despite the ongoing lawsuits and recalls, Ford has not yet provided a permanent solution to the 10-speed transmission problems.
Ford 10 Speed Transmission Problems: In Conclusion…
The Ford F-150 has received numerous complaints about transmission problems when shifting gears. Most complainants expressed dissatisfaction with abrupt shifts, inadequate control, vibrations during shifts, or an abrupt transfer into first gear without notice. It is critical to complete your homework about Ford 10 speed transmission problems before buying.
If Ford owners are unsure whether their vehicle has been tampered with, they should use the NHTSA’s tool. Furthermore, drivers can always contact their auto dealers if they have any extra queries or concerns. Nonetheless, Ford fans and drivers are relieved that the issue was discovered and remedied quickly and effectively.
FAQs On Ford 10 Speed Transmission Problems
If you’re still curious to learn more about Ford 10-speed transmission problems our FAQs here might help…
What Years F150 To Avoid
For the most part, the Ford F-150 is a rather dependable work truck that’s easy to care for and own. However, there are certain model years that are worth avoiding, due to the plethora of issues and reliability concerns. Among them is an F-150 from 2004, 2005, and 2006. These particular years spawned numerous problems with the F-150, such as faulty spark plugs, electrical issues, and rusty gas tanks. Beyond that, the 2010 F-150 is also worth avoiding. This model year also had spark plug issues and problems with its poor transmission and other electronic faults. Any F-150 from 2015, 2016, and 2017 should be avoided too, courtesy of brake and even more transmission problems.
Are Ford Trucks Reliable
Yes, Ford-built trucks are reliable… With some caveats. Pundits and owners, when surveyed, showed that Ford trucks are generally average when it comes to reliability. Still, if well cared for, a typical Ford truck, such as the F-150, F-250, F-350, and so on, could last quite a long time. Moreover, they could take a beating too, which is what makes Ford’s popular F-Series truck line perfect as a work truck or for commercial use. This is especially so when you practice good maintenance and diligent servicing. Although, it still has some issues that you need to be wary of, such as the Ford 10-speed transmission problems, which affected some model years of the Ford F-150.
Why Does My Transmission Shift Hard
There could be many reasons why your transmission is shifting hard or roughly. The most common cause of failure is aimed at your transmission fluid. With an automatic gearbox, the transmission fluid is required to not only perform cooling and lubrication duties to prevent the transmission from excessive wear. However, the transmission fluid provides its hydraulic properties on top of that, allowing your transmission to automatically actuate and change gears. Therefore, running on worn-out and burnt transmission fluid, using the wrong type of transmission fluid, or not having enough fluids in the system, will severely impact the transmission’s ability to shift gears smoothly.
What Causes Transmission Problems
You could find many possible underlying causes of why your transmission is failing. The most familiar of which relates to your transmission fluid. The latter is vital to both cool and lubricate the many moving parts inside your transmission. For automatic transmissions, it also requires hydraulic pressure from the transmission fluid to actuate the gear changes. If you’re using worn-out, burnt, or contaminated transmission fluid, it will put more wear on your gearbox. The same goes for using the wrong type of fluid and having not enough of it in the system (likely attributed to a leak). All of the above will eventually cause the transmission to fail.
How Long Do Ford F150 Last
Despite some of the reliability concerns that you may come across during your ownership period, a Ford F-150 is undoubtedly a long-lasting vehicle. On average, an F-150 should last as long as 300,000 miles and beyond, or at the very least, between 150,000 to 200,000 miles. Given the fact that the average American drives around 15,000 miles per year, this should equate to between 10 to 20 years (or more) of dependable ownership. There are even some owners who have crossed the 500,000-mile threshold. Regardless, after that milestone is reached, you will need to rebuild major parts of your F-150, such as the engine, to keep going even further.
These tools have been tried and tested by our team, they are ideal for fixing your car at home.
I’m looking at purchasing a 2021 mustang Mach 1 with the 10 speed auto.Do I opt for the standard tranny instead or did they get the issue fixed before this Mustang. All the video’s I watch on youtube love the auto.
I would still go for the auto be honest.