Ford 10 Speed Transmission Problems

High performance and efficiency are all the craze when it comes to vehicles nowadays. That is why manufacturers work night and day to come up with advanced engine builds. They work hard at the designs in the hope that their product will gain a fair share of the market.

Back in 2013, Ford and GM came together in the hope of wowing their customers with a design that would blow their minds. It helps to note that this was not the first time this collaboration took place. They had earlier on worked on the six-speed planetary gear system, which translated to millions of dollars in profit. It thus followed that they would work on a bigger and better project in the years that came. After introducing the 10-speed design, it was not long before other companies followed suit. Good examples of these would be Honda and Toyota who, too, wanted to satisfy the needs in the market. All these versions have been a success.

When the ten-speed design came to the market, it was most suitable for light-duty cars. As things stand, it looks like this design may come in handy for heavy and medium-duty vehicles in the future. But before getting into that, it helps to look at the current state of affairs.

At the time of the announcement back in 2013, it was clear that the collaboration would yield both nine and ten-speed designs. GM worked on the nine-speed unit that was suited for used on front as well as all-wheel-drive models. The only pre-requisite, in this case, was that the unit would only work on cars with transversely mounted engines. Ford, on the other hand, worked on the ten-speed unit. This unit was suitable for use in both rear and four-wheel-drive cars. The pre-requisite, in this case, was that the vehicles had to have longitudinally mounted engines.

Working together was set to benefit both the companies, thanks to the economies of scale and other such aspects. However, things went wrong during the development process. It turned out that the ten-speed design could work for both companies, but the nine-speed would work for GM. Ford stated that the results from the nine-speed design were not as they expected, and they opted to use eight-speed designs.

The companies went ahead with their dealings, and Ford introduced the ten-speed design in their cars towards the end of 2017. GM did the same thing, and both partners were ready to hit the road running in 2018. The introduction was a success. Note that in recent years, there have been complaints as to this transmission. But for now, let us focus on what this design is all about before we move on to arising issues regarding the same.

Ford 10 speed transmission reviews

While the focus is on Ford transmission, the backstory shows you that select GM cars also have a ten-speed design. As such, as you go through what you should know about this innovation, it helps to have both companies in mind.

  • For one, you need to think about the ratio spread. You might think that given that there are ten speeds, the span must be wide. However, that is not the case as the span is quite limited. In this way, when driving on the highway, drivers find that the top gear is easy to sustain.
  • Secondly, there is the issue of a reduction in RPM when shifting from one gear to the other. In eight-speed models, you find that the drop can be as high as 25%. The ten-speed design reduced this reduction by as much as 5%, and you can thus enjoy a smoother transition. This maintenance of RPM levels allows you to maintain high power, which is especially essential when hauling items.
  • Thirdly, the last three gears are pretty close, and the ratio of one to the other is quite small. As such, when shifting from one to the other, you should not feel much of a difference. The manufacturer worked on making the change as unnoticeable as it could be, aiding in a smooth transition. It helps to note that these gears are the best for use when towing, accelerating, and saving on fuel.
  • With these many gears, you may think that moving from one setting to the other might prove to be a hassle. However, this could not be further from the truth. This design operates based on six clutches that work in pairs. The engaging and disengaging does not call for the unlocking of the torque converter. As such, you should not feel a decrease in performance as you make the changes. It also helps that the clutches have fast responses owing to the integrated solenoid valves which direct their operations.
  • Five, you should note that this design came about in a bid to replace what was already in the market. Most people were using six-speed designs, which featured a lot of spin losses owing to mechanical friction. With a reduction in friction, the losses also reduce, and the gears become more efficient than in other designs. Also, there is more temperature regulation, and this aids in achieving high efficacy.

You would think that with the increase in gears, the weight and size of the new design would be quite high. But this is not the case. The design has an additional inch in length and four pounds in weight. The manufacturer achieved this through the use of aluminum and composite materials. Thus, some of the components are lighter than their counterparts in previous designs.

This design relies on the use of a highly effective transmission fluid that features 4.5 centistokes. Other options on the market have values of between 6 and 7.5, and this lowered value is thus an improvement. This fluid can significantly reduce the chances of friction and allows for regulation of temperature with ease. Also, note that this fluid can work in the engine for as long as the transmission is in place. How much would you save in this way?

While recent news has shed light on some of the problems with this design, it helps to note that the companies involved exercised a great deal of caution. For one, they tested the model for a while to ensure that it was of high quality before its release. However, there have been recalls of some of the models owing to improper installations of roll pins, among other issues. We will cover this further down the article.

2019 Ford 10 speed transmission problems

While the focus will be on Ford, use this information when thinking about GM 10 speed transmission problems. It owes to the similarities in the complications. When Ford and GM came together, their focus was on building a transmission that would increase the performance and fuel efficiency in engines. While the design was well received in the market, it has not been without its fair share of problems as follows:

Problems in Shifting

Some drivers have stated that they have faced challenges regarding shifting. The gear changes can either delay or feel harsh when they do happen.

In some cases, some drivers have come across diagnostic trouble codes. When this happens, there is a need to update the control module in place with a new program. Ensure that the update is complete to give the module a chance to learn your driving style again. In this way, the shifts will be smooth, and you will hardly notice as they take place.

Problems with the engine light

It is never a good sign when you come across the check engine light message. But for some drivers, this has happened to them more times than they would appreciate. When this happens, a diagnosis is necessary, and it can bring up the trouble codes in play. In most cases, the problem lies in the binding of the torque converter clutch valve. The issue could also result from a valve inside the valve body. Based on the diagnosis, you could end up replacing the whole valve body, incurring expenses on the same.


There have been recalls of some models since their release owing to customer complaints over the years. During its investigation, the company realized that there was an improper installation of the roll pin in the design. An excellent example of a recalled model is the 2018 Ford Expedition. You may wonder what could go wrong owing to improper installation. Testing shows that a car can lose its park function. As such, it can move even when parked, and this can result in the destruction of property and injury or even death to other road users. Yes, this problem was that serious, hence the need for recalls.

It all started with an announcement from Ford back in 2018, stating that some models needed some amends owing to improper installations. Dealers inspected the recalled cars to check if the roll pins were in place and at the correct positions. Drivers who needed some changes to their designs received the necessary modifications for free.

Ford 10 speed transmission noise

For people who own 2017-2019 F-150s, this is a likely problem, as many drivers have reported this issue in the past. Many car owners have stated that as they start, shift, or accelerate the transmission, they hear clunking noises. Often, hearing any noise coming from the hood is enough to have you parking by the side of the road. It gets worse when you start the engine and hear a loud clunk coming from it.

2018 f150 transmission slipping problems also fall into this category. Many words have been used to describe the noises coming from the engine. From jerky starts to rough sounds, the descriptions point to a problem in the engine. Unfortunately, when people take their cars in for inspection, they do not get the help they require. Some dealerships brush off the claims, stating that it is quite normal for the engine to make such noises.

In most cases, car owners drive away after being told that they should ignore the sounds and that the engine is fine. As of now, the company is yet to issue a recall of cars with such issues. And that puts most drivers in a fix. 

  • As investigations into this problem continue, there is a widely accepted belief that the transmission has an issue. In this line, there are also tests on the six-speed model in search of similarities regarding the problems. To give you a better picture of the current situation, we will look at some case examples listed on online forums. If you have experienced something like this, then you will know that you are not alone.
  • One driver states that the noise comes about now and then when starting the engine. The driver has also noticed some unexplained shifts and clunking in the driver train at times. After calling the dealership, it became clear that this was not the only incident. However, given that the company was yet to issue a recall, there was nothing to do.
  • Another driver states that the transmission slips during acceleration, even when the engine is cold. The car has nine thousand miles on it, and the driver has experienced this slip more than five times. Again, the owner is at a loss of what to do owing to a lack of reports on recalling the cars.
  • For this next driver, the situation is pretty scary. For one, the car starts with a loud bang, followed by jerky shifts that rumble throughout the vehicle. Also, when the car comes to a stop, accelerating it becomes quite tricky. The driver notes that this puts their safety in danger when driving on a busy road. Naturally, the driver sought help from a dealership when the fuel injector went out at 4,500 miles. The response was casual, with the dealer citing that it was quite normal for that to happen.

These are but a few examples, showing what drivers are going through. It is no wonder that people are now actively joining class actions in the hope of getting the repair expenses covered by Ford. Speaking of legal courses of action, let us take a peek at the lawsuits against this company at present:

Ford 10 speed transmission lawsuit

There are two class actions in play at the moment as people try to come to terms with Chevy 10 speed transmission problems. One of these is the brainwork of a Pennsylvania driver regarding the ten-speed design in 2017-2020 F 150s. The driver states that the model in play is defective such that it shifts erratically. The result of this is the jerking, as well as the lunging of cars with faulty gears. What’s more, there are issues with hesitation between gears, and this endangers the lives of road users.

In the lawsuit, there is heavy borrowing from another case, which had a focus on 2017-2019 cars. In this previous suit, many car owners came forward, stating that the defect in the vehicles put their lives in danger. Not only would the gears slip, but the cars also jerked and surged unexpectedly. The complainants submitted their concerns to the NHTSA, citing that Ford was yet to offer a solution to the problem. The company had neither recalled nor replaced the defective part. To make matters worse, the manufacturer had gone ahead to state that the harsh shifting was normal. Dealerships were quick to echo the same, but drivers did not find that explanation sufficient.

The complainants went on to point out that they were unaware of these issues when they purchased the cars. They also stated that had they known that they would incur expenses in unnecessary repairs, they would not have bought the affected models. This case covered residents in Illinois, and it thus followed that people in other states would follow suit.

And they did with the Pennsylvania class action. This time, they covered the failure to replace or recall the parts in question. They also highlighted the recalling of six-speed designs in 2019 present in close to one and a half million cars. Once again, the issue of repairs came up, with complainants bringing up the casual nature in which the company broached the topic. Ford claimed that the harsh shifting was characteristic of the ten-speed design. As such, the manufacturer would not cover the repair costs owing to this shifting. This lawsuit covers people in Pennsylvania.

Bottom Line

Ford is a reputable company that has been in the industry for decades on end. As such, models from this manufacturer often have more to offer than those from other companies. But before you start thinking of Ford 10 speed transmission fluid changes, you should pay attention to this design’s flaws. Figure out what mechanisms are in place to protect you if you end up experiencing the problems listed above. Better yet, wait it out and see what becomes of these class actions. Good luck!

Editorial Staff

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