pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
88,661 miles
Total Complaints:
28 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace transmission (13 reports)
  2. have transmission rebuilt (9 reports)
  3. not sure (6 reports)
2004 Ford F-150 transmission problems

transmission problem

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

problem #28

May 262015

F-150 Lariat 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,000 miles


I had my truck since it was new and never had any serious issues with it other than the rusted hub actuators. Left for a week long vacation, towing a 14' aluminum boat and had a major transmission failure 90 miles from home. There was no warning other than a growling sound in first gear that happened only twice before it blew. I was lucky enough to limp it back home and load everything into my car. The planetary gear set had come apart, apparently a common problem in these transmissions. Luckily I'm mechanically inclined enough to remove and replace the transmission myself. My Ford dealer wanted $2350 for a rebuilt transmission and $700 to r&r it. I had it rebuilt for $1600 with upgraded parts. My truck was never abused and serviced regularly. In my opinion this transmission is junk! I was considering buying a new Ford truck but I think I'll buy a Dodge instead.

- , Lake City, AR, USA

problem #27

Sep 282014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 168,000 miles

It is beyond me how someone could engineer the placement of the transmission cable on my 2004 F150. My truck would not go in to park, so after looking at it i realized that the transmission cable lays right against the left manifold. It has a cheap plastic shield around it to reflect the heat. Really? I cannot believe there is not a recall on this! I guess it is going to take someone getting seriously hurt or killed before a recall is sent out. I have been a Ford person for a lot of years. My father retired from ford. Now i see this terrible design of the placement of the transmission cable and it makes me wonder. If anybody reads this and knows how i can get a hold of ford about this problem, please let me know. If anyone else has seen this issue, please send out a complaint.

- , Columbus Grove, OH, USA

problem #26

Jun 042014

F-150 FX V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,000 miles

I take care of the truck, never off road. I owned the truck for 5 years now. I only drive the truck on weekends.

- , Industry, PA, USA

problem #25

Apr 072014

F-150 Lariat 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles



- , Harlan, IA, USA

problem #24

Jan 162014

F-150 XLT 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles

I was driving my 2004 F150 with 89,000 miles on a local highway when the 3rd gear and overdrive went out all together. I was able to make it back to work in 2nd gear, but could only drive 35-40 mph. The transmission fluid level was fine. The transmission shop said the transmission would have to be replaced--$2700 cost.

It's disturbing to see so many other complaints with the same problems with their 2004 Ford F150 trucks. Guess I'll have to go back to a Chevy for my next truck.

- , Killeen, TX, USA

problem #23

Aug 122013

F-150 XLT 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles

I have had regular maintenance done on my transmission, and noticed it hard shifting, I checked the fluid, which was low. I had just had it flushed 3 months before and there were no leaks. I don't tow anything and drive it like an old man. I was driving over Echo summit after a weekend out of town and it started slipping between gears. I got to the top and had no power so I coasted to a safe location and called for a tow.

The transmission shop checked it and found it was destroyed, chunks of gears laying in the pan. It cost me $3,200, the tow truck driver told me, he tows more Ford trucks with tranny troubles than any other vehicle. The mechanic told me it's a known problem with Ford transmissions.

- , Shingle Springs, CA, USA

problem #22

Jun 222012

F-150 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 126,648 miles


2004 F-150 just bought 11/2 month ago from a dealer. Transmission blew out on freeway! Don't know whats its going to cost me but after reading all the complaints on Ford F-150s I'm sure it's going to be expensive! I hope Ford recalls all their Ford F-150 starting in 2004!!

- , Hacienda Heights, CA, US

problem #21

Feb 232013

F-150 Lariat 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 181,000 miles

Bought my 2004 Ford F150, from a buddy. For years I had admired it. In 2009 and at 61,000 miles while he owned it; he got a new tranny with 100,000 mile, and/or 3 year warranty. ( that cost him $3,200) I thought it had failed due to a heavy trailer he had pulled, but the truck already had its first transmission changed prior and and so a second transmission on this vehicle. I purchased the vehicle from him in early 2010 with 72,000 miles. Now 13,000 miles past the warranty and just over 3 years the transmission has failed again. Don't know yet how much its going to cost, but I suspect somewhere in the $2,000.00 range, so now the truck looks like will have a third transmission on and/or rebuilt one.

I decided to go on line to see if other people had trouble with vehicle and sure enough; there a numerous complaints of tranny failure, as well as some of same problems I have had. The engine has a noise, sounds like if were a diesel engine - do not even want to think how much it would cost to repair it. Just repaired the electric motor on the passenger and driver front window $170. Now I am thinking the truck no matter what will need a new tranny in future again. All I can say is that Ford, will not be my next truck. I hope there would b a recall before next tranny, but it seems from all the complaints - that no action will be taking by Ford.

- , Orlando, FL, USA

problem #20

Feb 112013

F-150 STX 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,058 miles

Purchased my 2004 F150 STX 4.6 V8 from my brother-in-law with 95,000 miles. He had paid each time to have all of the preventative maintenance services completed each time. Literally, by the book. He changed jobs that required him to travel and I ended up purchasing it. One day when I started driving it I noticed a whine coming from the floor. Listening to it a bit more I took it into the Ford shop where I was told, "That's normal". I also developed a "thud" noise that can be seen in my video.

A little research later, and some common sense, I took it to a reputable transmission shop. They pulled the tranny apart and it was trashed. They attempted to rebuild it, but as you can see by my video I've posted, the tranny continued to make a "thud" noise. Whine was gone however. After a few weeks of attempting to rebuild, they decided to give me a new one at no additional charge. My problem was fixed, but only after spending several weeks without my truck and spending $2,700.

Before this, I had a Honda. Granted, not a truck... but that thing had 219,000 miles on it and never once did I have a repair cost that came close to this. I would recommend staying far far away from this year. If you purchase a Ford F150, I'd recommend another year. Simple as that. Do your research and find out that this particular year will eat your wallet! Thanks for nothing FORD.

- , Richmond, VA, USA

problem #19

Aug 012012

F-150 XLT 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

I have read of many pople here and elsewhere complaining of this problem. Somewhere around 90K miles, the tranny giving out. My fluid is black (had it serviced at 86000),hard shifting, won't go into reverse immediately, etc. $3300 for a tranny from ford. I'd get rid of the truck but who wants a truck with a bad tranny, or once you fix the thing, you now have a lot money in the vehicle (however - no payment). Otherwise truck is fine.

- , Catl, VA, USA

problem #18

Jul 102012

F-150 STX 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,000 miles


Started having transmission problems at 98,000 miles. Sometimes truck would jerk while changing gears. It was slow about going into reverse. When I raised the engine their was a harsh jerk. Most of the time the truck ran fine. In July of this year the truck would hesitate when moving forward from a stoplight , then it would jump and jerk. On July 12th I was at a stop sign when I stepped on the gas nothing happened. After racing the engine the truck finally moved. The transmission fluid smelled as if it was burnt. I managed to get the truck home with one forward gear. Reverse was gone. Finally the truck moved in reverse , however when it moved it moved forward. The model is a 2004 F-150 STX with a 4.6 engine. I thought Ford had solved their transmission problems. My father drove ford products when I was a child , most of the time the transmission would go out after 80,000 miles. He drove ford cars. When Ford came out with the overdrive transmission , his cars had no more transmission problems. I have owned two Lincoln Town cars with no trans problems . The first one I drove 237,000 miles. The one I am driving now has 186,000 miles. I also put 207,000 miles on a 91 Ford Ranger , I have a 92 F-150 and a 2001 F-250 no transmission problems. From my past experiences with Ford products I know they can do better. There should be a recall on the 2004 F-150. Ford should stand behind their products. At this time I am undecided as to whether or not I will buy another F- 150 as I have heard that the 2011 and 2012 also have transmission problems. If Ford does not get their act together they might lose their number one spot.

- , Meridian, MS, USA

problem #17

Dec 192011

F-150 Lariat 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,064 miles

trans,stops working at a low speed,have no reverse,passenger window hard to come up ,trans. need sensors and god knows what else.

- , channelview, TX, USA

problem #16

Jul 242011

F-150 Supercrew 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles

While returning home from Home Depot w/ two kids, on 125 during rush hour, the transmission slipped out of gear and would not go back. Eventually realized that if I turned off the over drive it would go into second gear and at least allow us to make it home. Ford and my usual mechanic informed me the high end gear was out and the transmission needed replaced. Ford wanted $5000.00, and my guy found a used tranny w/10,000 miles he would put in for $3100.00. After speaking w/my neighbor who worked at the Batavia Ford transmission plant, he told me that between 2003-2005 they produced 60-80 thousand defective transmission. Ford used them, figuring the vehicles would be out of warranty,sold or wrecked before the transmission went bad.

- , Amelia, OH, USA

problem #15

Jul 042011

F-150 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,550 miles

Truck had no Reverse Drive. Last time it worked was when I hit a u turn and had to reverse a little bit to complete the turn. After that i parked at home depot and when i was ready to go, no reverse. Had to push my truck out. This was a big problem all the forward gears worked just fine. Parking anywhere soon became a pain in the ass!!!!!

what surprises me is the number of complaints same year same truck same problem



- , Fresno, CA, USA

problem #14

May 272011

F-150 XLT 5.4L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,127 miles

Purchased a 2004 ford f150 with 9000 miles in may 2010,now@ 15127 miles and the vehicle resides at the ford store in san leandro ca.Thought I woud need no extended warranty for a vehicle with this low of milage! Wrong.To add insult to injury they are trying to stick the knife in further by trying to take me for 4 Grand on a $2500 dollar job.I have emailed ford but so far they are in hiding.This is hard to stomach! Was thinking maybe there may be some way to file a law suit for all the people on this web site that have suffered as I and put those slime balls out of buissness.Maybe just maybe they built these 2004/2005 problem vehicles like this on purpose to hose us @ the dealership.Also the window regulator and the passenger power window controller went out.Would appreciate all Ideas to help Found On Road Dead customers!

- , Castro Valley, CA, USA

problem #13

Apr 032011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

I have had nothing but problems with this truck. first there was a flaw in the engine that cost $2500 to repair and still my truck sounded like a diesel. Then the rear electric window broke $300.00. Now the transmission will not go in reverse..Just heard a pop and then no reverse, fluid was fine...no warning..just no reverse... Also the sunroof leaks and the shifter knob broke, the cd player quit working and I hardly ever used it. I have the super tow package and I have never towed anything... did all of the regular service at the dealer.. What a hunk of junk I have Paid $45,000 + for this truck and it should have lasted longer...Just finished paying for it. Just got an early retirement because of budget cuts and look where I am - Carless...don't even want to pay to have it fixed as it only bluebooks for about $8,000 with all of the ford problems...I always said buy American...but not anymore...

- , Stockton, CA, USA

problem #12

Nov 102010

F-150 XLT 5.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,036 miles

Bought truck new in 2004. Had Transmission fixed before year 2 with only 31k miles. Mechanic @ dealership said it was a known problem. Now it is out of warranty & needs new or rebuilt transmission. Mechanic also told me on sidebar that there is no guaranty that it will not fail again. After the window failed & cost $356 to fix (also known problem), I sworn to buy Toyota in the future, but then we know about Toyota. But now I don't know what brand to buy. This was my 8th Ford & I think I WAS a Ford person. But I don't want to buy a vehicle more than once. I need a truck to pull camper & boat. What to do? I know Ford didn't take bail out money, they are making the money off of repairs, no need for government money. Also, they do not want the government to know what they are hiding, I think. So, who is worse, Ford or government?

- , Mount Holly, NC, USA

problem #11

Dec 232010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,000 miles

I just bought a 2004 f150 in June of 2010 34,000miles and today dec 23,2010 at 57,000 the transmission would not engage while i was driving. Got it towed to a transmission repair shop as soon as i walked in the guy asked me what happened and said i know exactly what the problem is and preceded to tell me what the problem is. Then proceeded to show me a part on a diagram that he said ford took out of there transmissions in 2000 and he has seen this problem plenty of times. As a matter of fact he had an explorer outside that he just did the same repair to. Fords customer service said there is no recall and i am out of warranty. What a croc, luckily my transmission guy is going to put that plate on that ford took off in 2000 and said i should not have a problem again and if i do i am trading this baby in and going back to Chevy.

- , Bushkill, PA, US

problem #10

Sep 282010

F-150 FX4 5.4L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,600 miles

OK bought the first set of tires for my 2004 F-150 SCrew FX4 last week and brought it to Hub City ford in Lafayette,LA to get a 4 wheel alignment. They tell me both lower ball joints need replacing,,,that didnt surprise me I knew the passenger side lower BJ was worn. So I let them replace and align and while mechanic was road testing my alignment the truck barely made it back to the shop...The service rep tells tranny is acting up and $225 to drop the pan and inspect after the $600 I spent on BJ's and alignment.. The tranny never gave me trouble while I was driving it I'm not wondering if there is something fishy going on here..

Other than a power window regulator I've had no trouble I had to pay for...I did catch a rear end problem that the warranty covered at 35600 (cut it razor close) but they completely rebuilt the rear end or they said they did. They did fix the issue.

All of this with less than 500 miles total under a towing situation,,,,and then it was an empty trailer on top of that... I've hauled stuff in the bed but with a truck who hasen't?

All I can say is if I need a rebuilt or new transmission I will be looking at another brand when it comes time. I've had several F-150s and a full size bronco back in the day and never had the kinds of issues with rear end and tranny

Update from Oct 28, 2010: Yep yep had to replace the transmission in this hunk of garbage.....put in a reman tranny for just under 3 grand parts and labor....this is what I get for spending nearly 700 total on 30000 and 60000 maintenance stops..truck is 6 years old with under 78000 miles I only drive the thing 6 months out of the year....as I said in main post I towed an empty trailer once for under 100 mile....hell I dont even own a ball for the factory mounted hitch.....this is totally pathetic I've written consumer affairs but they are telling me the dealer should resolve this.....well maybe BUT they sell em and fix em.....they do not build em and these drivetrain problems are clearly manufacturing flaws that ford is not owning up to.....they totally lost me for my next vehicle...oh yeah ford i've got 2 kids and 4 sisters and numerous friends that will NEVER be driving a new ford.....I've almost got my parents convinced.... who always drove fords...like I said in my consumer affairs e-mail.....TOYOTA HERE I COME

- , Lafayette, LA, USA

problem #9

Aug 102010

F-150 Lariat 5.4L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,000 miles

I bought my Ford F-150 Lariat Supercrew brand new in Feb 2004 at Joe Cooper Ford in Midwest City, Oklahoma. All the scheduled maintenance was performed on time at the dealership (Joe Cooper Ford). A week after getting scheduled maintenance done (and the dealer service department assuring us that everything looked okay), I had to take the truck in because the driver side window feel down into the door. On the way to the dealer service dept., the transmission starting slipping and losing power. The truck made it to the dealer service dept, however by that time the serviceman indicated that the truck would not go in drive, only reverse. After checking out the truck, the service department informed me that I would need a new transmission. This is six months after my warranty expires. The truck was excellently maintained, with all scheduled maintenance performed and only 44K miles on the truck. The service department contacted Ford, however Fordl declined and/or refused to stand behind their product and replace the transmission.

I cannot believe a transmission could go out in a truck with only 44K miles on it and so well maintained. I'm even more appalled that Ford would not stand by their product! The Ford dealer service department quoted $2,800.00 to rebuild, however I had enough with Ford and anything to do with Ford. I promptly took my truck to AAMCO transmissions where they knew what they were doing and rebuilt it for $2,200.

I'm a taxpayer that now believes the government should not bail out sorry ass car companies that have grown to big to respect their customers and stand behind their products when obviously something had to be defective in the transmission when built. I've bought and owned four Ford Mustangs, one Ford Pinto, one Ford Escort, and two Ford F-150 trucks, and would have continued to buy Ford products in the future. However, now I'm a disatisfied and pissed off former Ford customer! The sad thing is that Ford will lose money and business from this former customer due to all the Ford vehicles and product I would have bought in the future, which would have been significantly more than the $2.8K Ford could have asorbed by replacing and/or rebuilding my transmission at no charge or for a significantly reduced amount.

I'm getting rid of my Ford truck as soon as possible before something else fails or breaks, and will buy foreign products (Nissan, Toyota, Honda, etc.) for now on because at lease the foreign companies stand behind their product. I will also tell everyone I know looking for a new or used car to stay away from Ford vehicles because frankly, any company that doesnt stand behind their products after knowing they've sold you a piece of "Sh*t" deserves to go out of business for "F***'ing over customers. WILL NEVER BUY FORD (FIND ON ROAD DEAD) AGAIN!!!!

- , Oklahoma City, OK, USA

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