Common Ford 10-speed transmission problems

The Ford F150 is the best-selling car in the US for decades because it is strong, reliable, and fairly well-equipped. Ford knows that the F150 is by far the most important car model they ever did which means that they try their best to make it as good as it can be. Since the F150 has many strong competitors from other mainstream US brands, the F150 simply has to be the best.

The 10-speed Ford transmission is the choice for the F150 for a variety of reasons. It was designed in conjunction with General Motors which meant that the transmission is going to be used in a variety of different cars. A 10-speed configuration meant that the transmission is going to prioritize efficiency, power, and dependability.

However, no transmission is perfect and we are going to discuss the most common Ford 10-speed transmission issues in this article. The most common Ford 10-speed issues are associated with the transmission warmer, the TCC Regulator Valve, erratic shifts, gear position indicator not illuminating, and the pump drive gear failure.

All in all, the Ford 10-speed is a really good transmission and it should be able to last a long time without needing major overhauls. Be sure to take proper care of it and your 10-speed is likely going to last as long as the car itself.

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Ford 10-speed transmission – Transmission warmer issues

2018 and later models have the transmission warmer mounted to the transmission and this design is known to be problematic due to coolant leaks. The problem usually happens when the car sits unused for a while, especially after it has been on a long drive. All 10-speed transmission units have a warmer, but only the 2018 and on models have it mounted onto the transmission itself.

As such, if you want to locate the transmission warmer, be sure to go through the owner’s manual. The warmer itself shouldn’t be an issue per se, but be sure to always check the transmission warmer whenever you change the transmission oil. If you do come across any leaks, take the car to a dealer.

Ford 10-speed transmission – TTC Regulator valve issues

According to many online sources, the Ford 10-speed 10R80 automatic transmission which can be found on the F150, the Expedition, the Lincoln Navigator, and the Mustang sometimes suffers from erratic TTC operation. These are typically caused due to a sticking TTC Regulator valve which can be either repaired or replaced.

The valve body replacement should cost you around $400 to $900. If you come across any debris in the transmission fluid or if the fluid is discolored, you should also replace the torque converter and flush the entire system and re-fill it.

Ford 10-speed transmission – Erratic shifts

When these 10-speed boxes reach high miles, they sometimes tend to shift a bit more erratically which also includes poor shift quality, slipping, and many other related transmission issues. Some of these issues are accompanied by a code while others aren’t. Thankfully, most of these issues can be solved by reprogramming the system.

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If you don’t manage to fix the issue with software touch-ups, you are likely going to have to replace the valve body assembly. Sticking valves and solenoids are slowly becoming more and more common with the Ford 10-speed box.

Ford 10-speed transmission – Gear position indicator light problems

According to many owners out there, the 10-speed also sometimes suffers from the gear position indicator light not illuminating. Whenever you engage a gear, it should be visible on the indicator light. However, the system sometimes fails or tends to turn off randomly. Some even said that once the illuminator went off, it never got back on.

The worst thing about this issue is that there isn’t really a specific fix for it. It is likely an issue with the car’s electrics as some owners managed to solve the issue by putting the windows up and down or restarting the car’s exterior lights.

Ford 10-speed transmission gear pump failure

Many Ford diesel truck owners reported issues with the pump drive gear which emits whining noises while the car is driving. Ford says that this is completely normal and that you shouldn’t worry about it. However, some have said that this issue could lead to a complete pump drive gear failure.

As such, it’s a good idea to check the sump for possible dirt and debris as that is likely the sign your pump drive gear is going to fail eventually.

FAQ Section

 Were there any recalls on the Ford 10-speed automatic transmission?

There were/are a few Ford 10-speed transmission recalls and the worst one is associated with a few models not being able to stay in park. This could be a massive issue because the car could roll off your driveway or any other incline which could even end up tragically.

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Ford issued a recall because of this and they managed to fix all faulty units back in 2018. There was also a recall for a problem that caused the transmission to lunge forwards without an apparent reason.

Is the Ford 10-speed automatic transmission good?

Yes, the Ford 10-speed automatic transmission is a really good transmission that is more than able to do the trick in most situations. Sure, it may not be the best at certain aspects of driving and maintenance, but it makes up for it in other crucial areas.

After all, Ford decided to place this transmission into their best-selling car which means that they certainly do deem the 10-speed to be a good transmission.

Is a 10-speed transmission too much?

Most automakers make automatic transmissions with about 6-8 gears while Ford and a few other automakers offer transmissions with up to 10 gears. A 10-gear transmission makes sense if you want to make the car as efficient as possible and if you calibrate the way the transmission interacts with the engine.

This way your transmission could always be in its optimum power band which means that you should always have all the power you need underneath your foot.


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Marko Mikulic

Why do you love writing about cars? I love writing about cars as cars are a huge personal interest of mine. I was raised in a car enthusiast community and ever since I was young, I always wanted to do car-related work.

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