pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
107,713 miles
Total Complaints:
31 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (17 reports)
  2. replaced snap ring (5 reports)
  3. the transmission was rebuilt (3 reports)
  4. i bought a transmission at a ford dealer (2 reports)
  5. replace transmission (2 reports)
  6. replace crappy transmission (1 reports)
2004 Ford F-150 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2004 Ford F-150 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #31

Jul 252016

F-150 PK 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 137,323 miles


So, got up this morning and like every other day went to work, the truck drives fine as always ... but just after 20 -25 km it happened ... when it reached 4th gear it jumped in neutral and did not want to go into 4th (overdrive) at all... luckily I had the intuition of just pressing the overdrive button and it seemed fine... but had to drive it in 3rd gear all day and killed the gas at 3000 or more rpm.

I am not a Ford guy! Don;t like Ford and will never buy another again...always RAM, this one I bought out of necessity and now I am paying the price! I am serious when I say I had F-350 turbo diesel 7.3l, F-250 6.3l and now F-150 5.4... had to try and see for myself... Lesson learned! From now on it's only DODGE RAM!

It seems this is such a common problem and I can't believe that Ford will not recall this transmission or at least repair them when asked!

They have the Balls to ask me for 4000.00 for a new (rebuilt) transmission, the cheapest quote was 2500.00 when the repair is only 150 to 250 and they know for a fact that it can be fixed at almost no cost.


- , Toronto, ON, Canada

problem #30

May 132016

F-150 XLT 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,500 miles

another defect that ford should have issued a recall for but failed to do so. after replacing the snap ring ($2.77), filter, fluid. the idiot working at the Ford dealer parts department told me i would need 6 maybe 7 quarts of transmission fluid. and i also purchased a pan gasket $50.00, & filter $50.00. all of which i returned because i learned the original gasket is reusable and i picked up a filter at my local auto parts store for $20.00. and transmission fluid for about $6.00 qt. = $42.00

back to the 7qts.of trans fluid the ford dealers parts center guy told me with absolute confidence was all i would need. well it was about midnight on Saturday when i finally got it back together. started it up waited about five minutes for the fluid to do its thing put in reverse and........nothing wouldn't move an inch. i had only put 6 qts. in because the stick showed it was good. added the 7th qt and it moved barely i was at my dads house because he has a good size garage and its heated. i limped to a local super market were i purchased the only qt of trans fluid they had put it in and slowly and gently drove home. the following day i ended up adding another 4 qts.

it was a good idea that i went to the ford dealer. NOT!!! the actual repair was relatively easy because of a youtube video i watched by a guy named Mustie1 look up f150 transmission repair1,2,&3. really helpful. thanks Mustie1.

trans slips and clunks now! read about that in my next complaint.

- , golden, CO, USA

problem #29

Mar 252016

F-150 LS 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 142,000 miles


- , Bethel, VT, USA

problem #28

Jan 042016

F-150 XLT 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,878 miles


Transmission shop says this is very common. Cheap parts used. Lucky it did not ruin transmission when it shattered.

- , Green Bay, USA

problem #27

Jan 012016

F-150 Lariat 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 135,000 miles

I was traveling to work and started going a round a bout and all of a sudden the engine races and my speed drops. I thought for sure I had lost the engine. At that point I put the shifter into a lower gear and was not sure what to do. I contacted my brother who is a mechanic and he told me that I lost the overdrive switch in the transmission. Thank goodness I have an Enhanced Power Train warranty from Warranty Direct that will pay for the repair. But I have to wait almost a month and a half as the Ford dealer here only has one facility to do the work. At least I am still able to drive it, just have to remember to turn the switch off on the shifter. I too feel that this should be a Recall issue as it could have caused me to have an accident if I was not going slow and when in a curve this is not something that leaves a good feeling in the stomach.

- , Colorado Springs, CO, US

problem #26

Sep 132015

F-150 FX 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 155,000 miles

I bought it used with 94,000 miles on it....from a CHEVROLET DEALER! Was highly recommended the 2 year service plan. BEST MONEY I EVER SPENT! Paid $1200 for the bumper to bumper warranty and got about $6000 of work done over the 1st 2 years. Time for spark plugs, right. I got off easy....only $800 to replace the 8 plugs...only 4 sheared off at the repair shop. .....Oh the tranny? 2 hrs from home going about 40mph...felt like it went into neutral. Stopped, checked fluid, still no 30mph+++. Shut the O/D off and drove fine in 3rd gear. Thought for sure it was a vacuum line or something. Got on Google and checked...ruined my day! I was brought up in a GM family, ate GM food, paid for by GM money.....sorry Dad! I wanted it to make it through 1 more winter before I buy a new one in spring...not going to fix it. Maybe I'll buy a used Chevy from a Ford Dealer in the spring....NO MORE FORDS!

- , Gaylord, MI, USA

problem #25

Sep 032014

F-150 XLT 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,005 miles


Yes, I too have a 2004 FORD F150 XLT that the overdrive has failed! Can't afFORD to have it repaired. Uses much more fuel on the highway without overdrive. This is should definitely be a FORD RECALL issue! This problem is occurring way to often with these FORD vehicles not to be recalled, If there is not a recall on these tranny's soon. I WILL NOT EVER PURCHASE A FORD AGAIN! And I will continue to spread the word on FORD'S LACK OF COMMITMENT to there customers!

- , Sherman, TX, USA

problem #24

Nov 142013

F-150 FX4 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 198,201 miles

This is a simple fix, however every mechanic shop wants the entire transmission to either be over hauled or replaced with estimates between $2,000 to $2,500 for this simple fixed but was told that to fix it right the transmission needs to be upgraded. So why wasn't there a recall on this very common problem that the mechanic shops have told me?


problem #23

Apr 232014

F-150 Lariat 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

Says truck is always in OD, will not shut off, could be due to issue with transmission not having first gear and second gear slipping. Will know for sure when we replace the transmission.

- , Harlan, IA, USA

problem #22

Feb 192014

F-150 5.4L Triton

  • Automatic transmission
  • 126,000 miles

driving home normal 10 mile trip,stopped at red light started to drive at about 40 mph tack revved to 4000rpm like truck was in neutral. pulled over and stopped then started again did same thing at 40 mph. shifted off od and truck picked up speed to about 60mph.read all of the other threads seems like my 2004 f150 is in same boat,but don't have money to fix problem right now..how long can I drive with od off before total tranny failure.just don't have money to fix right now.

- , Birmingham, AL, USA

problem #21

Aug 102012

F-150 FX 4 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 127,500 miles


this has been a problem with ford for several years there should be a recall ford should a least replace at fair discount instead of trying to sell you a new one at $3100

- , Tulalip, WA, USA

problem #20

Apr 142013

F-150 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,000 miles

Everything that is being said about the Ford F-150+ series and.. the year really doesn't matter, is happening to my 2004 F-150 too. I can't believe how consistent each complaint is. My prayer now is.. "recall" is warranted and becomes official immediately.

Regards, Rcarter

- , Austin, TX, USA

problem #19

Aug 252012

F-150 FX4 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

I was driving back to WI from MO when the overdrive would not engage. Called my local Mech. and he told me to take the overdrive off which seemed to allowed the truck to go over 40 mph. Called Ford motor Co.which of course gave the run around and although the operator said she understands my problem I diffently questioned her on it. How could you know how we feel when we buy a 30k-35k truck and have to shell out 3k more to fix a screw up that Ford could have avoided by maybe paying a couple of dollars for a quality part. She did take down my info and it seemed like she did her best to just get me off the phone!! I feel very betrayed by the Ford Motor Co. since like a lot of other owners, we have been gun-ho Ford all the way. Ford needs to step up and get a set of balls and treat the customers more like family instead of a competitor. If Ford does not do this then they will be asking for assistance from the Gov. like all of the other American Motor Co. Ford you should be ashamed to call yourselves Americans. Keep doing these things and your company will burn Down!!!

- , Deforest, WI, USA

problem #18

May 172012

F-150 XL 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,000 miles

Turned the truck on one day and noticed a "TRANS FAULT no O/D" message in the dash. The truck drives and shifts fine. I took it to the dealer and they reported a code for the transmission temperature sensor. After removing the transmission pan they noticed a chunk of metal and mentioned the torque converter essentially "punching through". They recommended a new transmission ($3000) or a new torque converter + any other parts ($1500+).

The mileage was 64,000, roughly 66% of it highway miles. Towed a couple times after getting the vehicle, never any rough driving.

This was a complete and very expensive surprise.

I noticed several other reports on this site as well as some Ford forums. A family friend works at another Ford dealer and mentioned having to replace the transmission on a 2005 F-150 months ago for a similar issue.

- , Augusta, GA, USA

problem #17

Dec 162011

F-150 Lariat 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 109,364 miles

don,t buy a ford truck,especially 2004 lariat.it runs like sh*t ,spaRK plugs are a pain in the rear to change

- , channelview, TX, USA

problem #16

Apr 142011

F-150 XLT 5.4L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 122,500 miles


Tranny started slipping here and there when cruising at slow speeds,30-35mph.When I let off the gas and coasted for a short distance,and gave it just a little gas to keep going,it would rev right up.Immediatly let off the gas and you could feel it engage,and then it would be ok.Did this for several months....sometimes once or twice a day,or maybe only once a week.

Finally about a week ago,I lost overdrive completely and had to use the button on the shifter to shut off overdrive so I could drive it.I have a friend that I've known for 20 years or so that has been doing trannys for 29 years.He knew what the problem was before he did anything.He said it was the snap ring,and what happens is that it breaks/shatters and the pieces float around in there,and eventually cause more problems....costly ones.I dropped my truck off at 8am this morning,and at 5pm this afternoon I picked it up.Now,he also told me that he's the only one around my area that will do just the snap ring....every other shop wants to do a complete overhaul when THERE IS NO NEED TO.All these shops are just money hungry and rape the poor customer for every penny.

My buddy charged me $500.00 to do the snap ring,and new filter and fluid.When I went to pick it up,he said take it for a ride.Well I beat the hell outa that thing for 15 minutes,flooring it and letting it run through the gears continuously up and down the road....and it was perfect,never shifted so smooth.

- , Plymouth, MA, USA

problem #15

Aug 042011

F-150 Crew Cab Lariat 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 126,000 miles

First let's start off by saying i am very meticulous when it comes to maintenance on my vehicles, i keep records of all of my oil changes and my complete transmission fluid flush and filter change. That's why i am so pissed about my transmission deciding to screw up on my daily commute home with my son! At 40mph my truck felt like it just jumped into neutral, i pulled over took it out of overdrive and it drove home fine. I checked my fluids and my records, fluid was clean and full and my records show its been 8 months since my last fluid and filter change. I really hope ford does something about this problem on the 2004 F-150. I have owned nothing but ford trucks since i was old enough to buy one, this is by far the nicest truck i have ever bought crew cab 4wd loaded lariat truck with the 5.4 motor. I went all out on this truck and i feel like ford has laid the pipe to me and others who paid 35000.00 + for their trucks!!! I work for a company that makes parts for Toyota, Nissan, and Honda but i stayed true to my Ford......If ford doesn't stand behind their trucks i will buy a Toyota or Nissan because i know they do!

- , Tazewell, TN, USA

problem #14

Nov 092011

F-150 Lariat 5.3L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,297 miles

Driving home last night, I hit 40 miles per hour and suddenly my engine disengaged from the drive train and started reving...no power to the wheels. After a couple of quick attempts to re-engage the engine (I was on the highway during rush hour), I turned the over drive off and it kicked back into gear. I called my normal Ford dealership, and they informed me that they can't get me into the shop for a week because they were dealing with a large volume of transmission problems...hmmm..coincidence?? It's not fixed yet, but the comments left for similar problems will help me discuss the issue with a non-Ford mechanic, as I don't want to get fleeced by Ford. I will also submit a complaint with the NHTSA as well, hoping that this may become a recall for Ford so I can be reimbursed for the poor quality parts in the tranny.

- , Gahanna, OH, USA

problem #13

Jul 012011

F-150 Supercrew 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

5.4L Supercrew. 100,000 Miles O/D went out.

No towing, off roading or abuse.

Transmission techs all say if you have a Ford and drive under 50MPH TURN OFF THE O/D because it will fail from excessive cycling.

Thanks to all the others who shared their repair stories. It may save me a lot of money.

- , Fresno, CA, USA

problem #12

Oct 032011

F-150 XLT 5.4L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles

Driving @ 60 mph and tranny acted like it was in neutral. I took it out of o/d and 1st 2nd and 3rd worked fine. Went on this site and read some of the same issues and decides it was the snap ring. So my local mech. and I decided to try to fix . He dropped the oil pan and oil valve and saw that the snap ring was broken Replaced snap ring and put valve back together( when putting valve stem back in make sure it is line up in band correctly). The snap ring was busted and was missing 2 small pieces that we could not locate. O/ D still wouldn't work. cost $270 thought about replacing tranny for $ 2600. Called a local tran mech and he said it would cost $ 1200 - $2400 to repair depending on what he thought was wrong. Ford dealer wanted about $3000 to replace with new tran. Called another tran mech and said to bring over and he would take a look at it. He determined he could fix it a lot cheaper(Never had to pull tran did work from oil pan area) Found the 2 little snap ring pieces stuck in a valve and replaced snap ring with a better style and did a few small up grades. WORKS GREAT His bill was $420 dollars. So go to show that a good tran. mech is very important in fixing the problem and not trying to rip me off and would recommend to a lot of people So my total cost was $ 270 first mech and $ 420 GOOD tran mech. for a total of approx.$700. Beats the hell out of $3000.

- , Beaver Dam, WI, USA

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