Having Problems With A 2001 F150 Transmission? Learn What To Look For

Posted by on Thursday, November 1st, 2012

As a repair shop you’ve probably worked on your fair share of 2001 F150’s. Ford made over 900,000 F-series trucks in 2001, the majority of which were F150’s. The F150 is a half-ton truck that was available in many different configurations: XL, XLT, Lariat, Lightning, King Ranch and Harley Davidson edition. They were equipped with the 4.2 liter V6 or one of two different V8 engines, the 4.6 liter and 5.4 liter. The trucks were available in both 2 wheel and 4 wheel drive.  The models included a standard cab, extended cab, or crew cab and came with either a short or long bed.  They were equipped with either the 4R100/E4OD or the 4R70W automatic transmissions.

2001 Ford F150 Lightning


Are there gremlins in your customers 2001 F150 transmission? In general the 2001 F150 automatic transmissions have a good record.  But, if your customer has a problem, there are a number of things to consider.

1)      Computer problems – These transmissions rely on a computer to function properly. It controls electronic solenoids and relies on sensors for feedback. The computer, solenoids, sensors, or all three can become corrupt or fail. A quick scan with an electronic scanning device should give you some insight.

2)      Hydraulic problems – The fluid could be low, old or of the wrong type. It is recommended that the fluid be changed every 30,000 miles.

3)      Engine problems – The same computer that controls the engine controls the transmission. If the engine is not running correctly it can cause a transmission malfunction. Make sure the engine is running properly before attempting to diagnose the transmission problem.

4)      Adjustments – the only adjustment that can be made externally involves the shifter linkage. This should be an easy fix.

5)      Mechanical failure – If you pull the pan and see metal shavings or other debris, the transmission has most likely experienced a mechanical failure.  Damaged clutch plates, planetary gears and front pump failures are all possibilities. Most mechanical transmission failures will require that you replace the customer’s transmission.

4R70W Transmission



A mechanical failure is the worst type of failure. The transmission will need to be rebuilt or replaced with a new transmission (which is expensive!). You can also opt for a re-manufactured unit. I recommend going with a re-manufactured unit from ETE Reman.  All their transmissions carry a 3-year warranty and include R&R labor. A re-manufactured transmission is a much better choice than a rebuilt unit.



Now tell your customer to go out and have fun with their 2001 F150!

Sooner or later due to high mileage or abuse, you will be faced with a decision to replace your transmission. I highly recommend you replace it with a re-manufactured transmission over one that was simply rebuilt. A re-manufactured transmission will include major modifications and upgrades designed to make it both more durable and stronger. A rebuilt transmission will not. A re-manufactured transmission also comes with a much better warranty: three years compared to an average 90 days for a rebuilt unit. Let’s not forget to mention that after-sales customer service is top notch for companies that re-manufacture transmissions. They are a quick call or email away in the rare event you may need to contact them.

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