Ford F-150 10-Speed Transmission Problems

In a collaborative venture, Ford and General Motors introduced the 10R80 automatic transmission, initially featured in select 2017 Ford F-150 trucks and later becoming the standard transmission in 2021 models. However, recent class action lawsuits have spotlighted alleged “life-threatening” problems in 2017–Present Ford F-150 trucks equipped with these transmissions. Reports include whiplash, harsh and erratic shifting, as well as vehicle jerking, lunging, and hesitation between gears.

The lawsuits, exemplified by Marino v. Ford, Orndorff v. Ford, and O’Connor v. Ford, underscore the seriousness of these claims. Owners contend that the transmission issues pose risks ranging from discomfort to potential safety hazards. As legal proceedings unfold, it remains imperative for Ford enthusiasts to stay informed and vigilant, anticipating resolutions that prioritize the safety and satisfaction of Ford F-150 owners.

Ford F-150 Transmission Problems


As avid Ford enthusiasts, it’s crucial for us to stay informed about the latest developments surrounding our beloved vehicles. Recently, three notable lawsuits have been making headlines, shedding light on alleged transmission issues in 2017–Present Ford F-150 trucks. In this comprehensive overview, we’ll delve into the details of these lawsuits and the challenges faced by Ford owners.

Marino v. Ford: One of the lawsuits, Marino v. Ford, centers around Robert Marino’s experience with his leased 2019 Ford F-150 Sport equipped with a 10-speed transmission. Marino reported a disconcerting “clunk” or “bang” noise upon engine startup, coupled with slipping and jerking during gear changes. Despite the dealership’s attempt to rectify the issues through a transmission software update, Marino claimed that the problems persisted.

Orndorff v. Ford: Victor M. Orndorff’s case, Orndorff v. Ford, revolves around his 2018 Ford F-150 Super Cab featuring a 10R80 10-speed transmission. After a mere 6,000 miles, Orndorff allegedly encountered a loud “clanking” noise, signaling the onset of numerous transmission problems. Reports of “rough” gear shifting and unusually long shift times raised safety concerns, leading Orndorff to seek a solution from the dealership. Shockingly, he was told there was “no fix for the transmission issues,” and the problems persisted.

O’Connor v. Ford: In the third lawsuit, O’Connor v. Ford, Justin O’Connor leased a 2018 Ford F-150 XLT 3.5 EcoBoost with a 10R80 10-speed transmission. Within 5 months and approximately 6,000 miles, O’Connor experienced a loud “clunk” or “bang” at engine startup, alongside longer gear shifting times and a noticeable loss of power during shifts. These transmission issues not only posed a risk of rear-end collisions but also led to claims of warranty disputes and deceptive trade practices.

The Common Thread: What ties these lawsuits together is a persistent theme of loud “clanking” noises during engine startup, prolonged gear shifting times, and other gear-related problems. Despite dealership interventions, a permanent solution has proven elusive. Perhaps most concerning is the claim that the automatic transmission ceased functioning while driving, raising serious safety considerations.

The Road Ahead: The Ford F-150 transmission settlement update indicates that the challenges persist, with no definitive solutions provided by the dealerships. The gravity of these allegations underscores the need for Ford to address and rectify these transmission issues promptly to ensure the safety and satisfaction of its loyal customer base.


The focal point of three class action lawsuits, the 10R80 automatic transmissions have raised concerns among owners of 2017–Present Ford F-150 trucks. While the reliability of the Ford 10-speed transmission remains uncertain, other models facing potential issues include 2017–2022 Ford F-150, 2018–2022 Ford Mustang, the 2018–2022 Lincoln Navigator, 2019–2022 Ford Ranger, and 2020–2022 Ford Expedition.

Although not part of the lawsuits, these vehicles with 10-speed transmissions may exhibit issues such as hard shifting, delayed shifting, jerking, and acceleration problems.

Symptoms of 10-SPEED Transmission Problems:

The 10-speed transmission issues plaguing many Ford vehicles are attributed to a potential manufacturing defect. Recognizing signs of trouble is crucial, and drivers should be alert if they experience the following:

  • Wrench light illuminated
  • Clunking or banging noise during engine startup
  • Rough, harsh, or erratic shifting
  • Hesitation between gears
  • Stuck gears during shifting
  • Jerking or lunging
  • Loss of power while driving

A 2021 F-150 truck Ford 10-speed transmission recall highlighted a concern where the vehicles mistakenly sense low transmission fluid pressure, shifting into Neutral. Despite a proposed fix involving a transmission software update, owners assert that the issue persists, raising questions about the effectiveness of the remedy. Stay informed about Ford F-150 transmission complaints, Ford Ranger transmission complaints, and Ford Expedition transmission complaints on our blog for ongoing updates.


Despite ongoing challenges, Ford has yet to address and rectify its persistent 10-speed transmission problems. Astonishingly, Ford has taken a firm stance, refusing to undertake repairs or replacements for the problematic 10-speed transmissions.

What adds to the complexity of the situation is the discrepancy between what Ford communicates to consumers and what it conveys to its dealerships. Drivers report being told that unusual gear shifting is “normal” for their vehicle models, while internal documents, known as “technical service bulletins,” provided to dealerships acknowledge issues such as harsh, bumpy shifting in 2017–2018 Ford F-150 trucks.

Ford F-150 10-Speed Transmission Problems

These bulletins recommend reprogramming the powertrain control module, citing an “adaptive transmission shift strategy” that could lead to “firmer than normal shifting.” Regrettably, users claim these suggested solutions fail to effectively address the underlying 10-speed transmission problems. A recall affecting over 47,000 trucks with 2021 Ford F-150 transmission problems, specifically those equipped with 10R80 (10-speed automatic) transmissions, was initiated. However, this recall doesn’t encompass all vehicles with faulty 10R80 transmissions, and the proposed fix does not provide a comprehensive solution to the persistent transmission issues. The quest for a definitive resolution to the Ford 10-speed transmission problems continues.

Common Transmission Concerns in 2011, 2013, and 2014 Ford F-150 Models:

The 2011, 2013, and 2014 Ford F-150 models faced their own set of transmission problems, such as:

  • Transmission Leaks: Some owners reported transmission fluid leaks, which could result in reduced performance or even transmission failure if left unaddressed.
  • Clunking Noise:Certain drivers noticed a clunking noise when shifting gears, particularly when transitioning from park to drive or reverse.
  • Transmission Control Module (TCM) Failure: There were cases where the TCM malfunctioned, leading to erratic shifting patterns and potential transmission issues.

F-150 Pickup Transmission Problems

The Ford F-150, as a pickup truck designed for heavy-duty use, is often subjected to demanding tasks and towing capabilities. However, these activities can put additional strain on the transmission system, resulting in specific transmission problems. In this section, we will discuss some of the transmission issues commonly faced by F-150 pickup truck owners.

When towing heavy loads, F-150 owners may encounter transmission-related problems. These can include overheating due to increased stress on the transmission, reduced acceleration and power due to the added weight, and potential issues with the torque converter or clutch packs. It is important to ensure that the F-150’s transmission and cooling systems are properly equipped for towing and that regular maintenance is performed.

The F-150 pickup’s transmission system may encounter challenges with gear engagement and shifting, particularly when transitioning between gears or when under heavy load. This can lead to rough shifts, gear slippage, or hesitation. Causes of these issues can include worn-out components, inadequate lubrication, or sensor malfunctions.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Transmission on a Ford F-150?

The cost to replace a transmission on a Ford F-150 can vary depending on several factors:

  • 1) The year of the vehicle
  • 2) The type of transmission
  • 3) The labor costs in your area
  • 4) Whether you choose a new or remanufactured transmission

On average, the cost of a new transmission for a Ford F-150 can range from $2,000 to $4,000 or more, depending on the specific model and any additional features or upgrades. Remanufactured transmissions, which are rebuilt to factory specifications, can be a more cost-effective option and may range from $1,500 to $3,000.

In addition to the cost of the transmission itself, you should also consider the cost of labor for the installation. The labor costs can vary depending on the location and the shop you choose, but you can expect to pay several hundred dollars or more for the installation.

It’s important to note that these are rough estimates, and the actual cost can vary significantly based on the factors mentioned above. It is recommended to get quotes from multiple reputable shops or dealerships to get a more accurate estimate for your specific situation.

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How Long Does an F-150 Transmission Last?

The lifespan of an F-150 transmission can vary depending on various factors:

  • 1) Driving habits
  • 2) Maintenance
  • 3) Vehicle usage
  • 4) The specific model year

In general, with regular maintenance and proper care, a well-maintained F-150 transmission can last anywhere between 150,000 to 250,000 miles or more.

However, it’s important to note that these figures are estimates and not guarantees. Some transmissions may last significantly longer, while others may encounter issues earlier. Factors such as towing heavy loads, driving in extreme conditions, and neglecting maintenance can contribute to premature transmission failure.

To maximize the lifespan of your F-150 transmission, it is recommended to follow the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule, including regular fluid and filter changes. Additionally, practicing good driving habits such as avoiding aggressive acceleration or excessive towing can help reduce stress on the transmission.


While the Ford F-150 is renowned for its durability and capability, it is important to acknowledge the transmission problems that have affected various model years. The issues discussed in this article, including slipping, harsh shifting, transmission failure, shuddering, delayed engagement, leaks, clunking noise, TCM failure, torque converter issues, fluid contamination, and sensor failures, highlight the diverse range of challenges faced by F-150 owners.

It is crucial for Ford to continuously address these transmission concerns through improved engineering, proactive recalls, and enhanced quality control measures. Moreover, potential F-150 owners should consider thorough inspections and test drives, as well as obtaining vehicle history reports, to mitigate the risk of purchasing a truck with known transmission issues.

Despite the transmission problems faced by certain model years of the Ford F-150, it is worth noting that many owners have enjoyed trouble-free performance and dependability from their trucks. Regular maintenance, timely fluid changes, and addressing any early signs of transmission trouble can help maximize the longevity and reliability of the F-150’s transmission system.

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