Your car’s transmission is one of the most important parts of your vehicle. It’s what allows your car to change gears smoothly. And without it, your car wouldn’t function properly. But what if your Ford transmission is in need of a repair? What are the common symptoms to look for?
Symptoms of a bad Ford transmission can be indicated by slipping, grinding noise, or jumping during acceleration. Other symptoms include overheating, the check engine light being on, or delay in gear shifts.
If you own a Ford, then you might be wondering what kind of symptoms you should be on the lookout for. After all, Ford transmissions are known for being particularly reliable.
However, that doesn’t mean that they’re immune to problems. In fact, there are a few symptoms in particular that you shouldn’t ignore. Doing so could result in serious transmission issues down the road.
And perhaps the most common sign your Ford transmission is in need of a repair is when you notice a delay in shifts as the car accelerates.
Truth is, this is a clear warning sign that the transmission needs service. And if ignored, could become a costly problem in the future.
In this guide, let’s take a look at the common transmission symptoms that all Ford drivers should pay attention to.
After all, being informed about what is happening with your vehicle now will help prevent costly repairs later. Let’s jump into this!
Signs Your Ford Transmission Requires Repair
For many car owners, the idea that their transmission may need to be repaired can seem like a daunting task. Truth is, catching problems early on will save you a lot of hassle and expense down the road.
In fact, many times the transmission is either low of fluid, or simply in a need for a fluid change.
Let’s take a look at some common symptoms that all Ford drivers should pay attention to when it comes to their transmissions.
Check Engine Light is On
One of the most obvious signs something isn’t right with your Ford vehicle is an illuminated check engine light.
And if you notice your Ford transmission is behaving strangely, and the check engine light is on – you may be low transmission fluid.
Simply put, low or dirty transmission fluid can cause a delay in shifts, lurching forward, even overheating.
How to Check Transmission Fluid Level
Checking the transmission fluid requires a particular procedure. In most cases, the process is the same for all Ford models.
First, park your vehicle on a level surface and leave the engine running. Then, locate the transmission dipstick. It is typically located towards the rear of the engine and may be labeled “Transmission” or have a yellow handle.
Next, pull out the dipstick and wipe it clean with a cloth or paper towel. Insert the dipstick back into the transmission and then carefully pull it out once again. Caution, the fluid will be hot!
Check the level of the fluid on the end of the dipstick. The fluid level should be within the crosshatched area between the “Full” and “Add” markings.
However, if the fluid level is below these markings, or no transmission fluid on dipstick at all – add more fluid as needed. Just be sure to use the type of transmission fluid recommended by Ford for your transmission type.
Repeat the above steps until the fluid level is within the crosshatched section of the dipstick.
Why is There no Transmission Dipstick?
Not all Ford vehicles have a transmission dipstick. In recent years, some Ford models have been designed with a sealed transmission system that does not have a dipstick.
These transmissions are often referred to as “sealed for life” and are designed to require no maintenance or fluid checks for the life of the vehicle.
The good news is, if your Ford vehicle has a “sealed for life” transmission, then the vehicle will have sensors or a monitoring system that can provide information about the transmission fluid level and condition.
And when the transmission fluid level gets low, you will get a warning light on the dashboard.
Your mechanic will need to use a diagnostic tool to check fluid levels to determine if the transmission is in need of more fluid.
Difficulty Shifting Gears
Another symptom of a potential transmission issue is difficulty shifting gears. If it feels like your car is getting stuck or “jammed” when you try to switch between park and drive – then that’s a sign your transmission needs servicing.
Delay Shifts Between Gears While Accelerating
When experiencing delays between changing gears when accelerating, there could be several potential reasons.
If you have a standard automatic Ford transmission, a defective torque converter may be the issue for the delay in gear changes.
However, if your Ford has a dual-clutch transmission (DCT), then the lag in gear changes could be from prematurely worn clutches.
Another possible cause for that pesky delay in gear changes could be from a faulty shift solenoid.
Simply put, a transmission shift solenoid is a valve that controls the flow of transmission fluid inside an automatic transmission. When this solenoid begins to go bad, you will experience a delay in gear changes.
Transmission Fluid Leak
Perhaps the most common of all symptoms of a failing transmission is one that leaks.Transmission fluid leaks are fairly common in Ford vehicles with higher mileage.
If you notice any reddish-brown fluid underneath your car, then chances are good that it’s transmission fluid.
This isn’t necessarily cause for alarm, but it’s still something you should have looked at by a mechanic right away. Continuing to let the transmission seal leak could cause more costly repairs later down the line.
Your mechanic will need to remove the transmission pan to replace the transmission fluid, as well as the leaking gasket.
Burning Transmission Fluid Smell
A burning smell emitting from your Ford is never a good sign. In most cases, that smell could be due to old transmission fluid that has broken down and turned into sludge.
That burning smell is an indication that the transmission fluid is overheating and can’t circulate correctly. The result can be bad news, as it can allow the transmission to self-destruct.
When you begin to smell burning transmission fluid, check the fluid level immediately. It may simply be low on transmission fluid.
However in our experience, this smell is an indication that the fluid is old and dirty, and in need of a change.
Final Thoughts: Ford Transmission Repair
All in all, Ford transmissions are highly reliable, but you should still be aware of the potential symptoms of a transmission in need of repair.
One of the most common indicators is if your vehicle slips, grinds or jumps during acceleration. Another sign can be if it is repeatedly shifting gears or taking longer than usual to do so.
Additionally, if your check engine light is on, your transmission may have gone off-kilter. Fortunately, keeping an eye out for these indications can help you prevent a larger problem before it begins.
Overall, if you begin to notice any of the symptoms highlighted in this guide, take action immediately. Preventive maintenance goes a long way when it comes to keeping your vehicle running at its best.
Your Ford will thank you for it!