Ford F-150: Why is My Transmission Slipping?
Original link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkNWniUXDFo
is the leading Ford F-150 and Super Duty resource for technical DIY guides. Diagnose a slipping transmission with help from this video. For the full step-by-step guide, please visit
"Slipping" is the sensation that your transmission isn't connected to your engine when you press the accelerator. This happens in manual transmission vehicles when the clutch wears out and loses grip intermittently. The F-150's transmission has been automatic only since 2004, but "slipping" still happens for a number of reasons. This could be a quick and cheap fix, or could mean you need a new transmission. A word of advice is to stop driving the truck as soon as you feel something wrong with the transmission. Prolonged driving can cause excessive damage to an already weakened transmission.
Step 1 – Check DTC Codes
The first step to diagnosing the transmission is checking your DTC codes. To do this you’ll need an OBD/OBD II Scanner or a visit to your local auto parts store. Even if your light isn’t on yet, a code could still be stored from the truck trying to apply the adaptive learning to fix the problem.
Once you have the code if it’s not on the lists, a quick Google search or call to your dealership will give you more information on both what the problem is and how to solve it.
Step 2 – Check Your Transmission Fluid
When going to check the transmission fluid make sure the engine is warm but not hot. This means a quick one to two mile jaunt will be more than enough to bring the fluid up to temperature.
If the fluid is low then top it off with appropriate fluid for your model. However, if for some reason it is overfilled, drain some out.
If the fluid looks brown or smells burnt, it is time for a change. If the fluid is foamy and thick, then there is a good chance of coolant or water in it. If this is the case then the unit will need to be drained, disassembled, and rebuilt.
Step 3 –Test Transmission Pressure
Testing your transmission pressure will help identify what component of your transmission is actually failing. This is only necessary for the 4R7xx series of transmissions. You will need a:
Transmission pressure gauge
Basic socket set
If the pressure is not within spec, you’ll need to check the EPC pressure.
2011 and newer trucks with the 6R80 transmission have no way to test the transmission fluid pressure. However, the sensors will tell you if something is wrong and likely put the truck into “limp” mode.
Step 4 –Drop Transmission Pan and valve Body
Lower the transmission pan and valve body and inspect for debris and clogs. Clear any clogs you find. Fine metal dust is normal and nothing to be concerned about, however bigger pieces of metal are a problem. The bigger they are, the worse it is. You will need to completely rebuild your transmission if you find big pieces of metal. Even if you replace the one part that failed, there's no telling what else it damaged. Enthusiasts recommend having a mechanic do this as there’s a lot of small things that can be messed up.
Step 5 –Inspect Transmission 1-2 Accumulator
This will require a vehicle lift. You will need to remove the transmission 1-2 accumulator and inspect for any damage or worn out pieces, and replace it if any are found.
Step 6 –Rebuild Transmission
If all else fails and you can’t pinpoint an exact problem, you will need to have the transmission rebuilt. Those who have done this job recommend having a mechanic who specializes in transmissions do this work. A full rebuild will cost you around $1000. It is not a cheap repair and definitely not one you want to pay for twice if it’s done wrong. Something to consider is that it may be cheaper to buy a used transmission that’s already rebuilt and have that installed versus rebuilding your current one.
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