Ford Mustang Transmission Problems

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Being one of the longest and most well-regarded lineups in the United States, not much is as iconic as the Ford Mustang.

The lineup started in 1964 and has been going strong since.

As of 2018, more than 10 million Ford Mustangs have been produced over the years, and this number will only increase from here on out.

Despite working on the lineup for more than 50 years, the people at Ford still do not know how to get it right.

There are plenty of Ford Mustang transmission problems you should be aware of if you plan to get the car for yourself.

Here is a list of all the signs that you can encounter when developing issues in the transmission:

  1. Gear Slipping
  2. Complete Transmission Failure
  3. Grinding Noise From The Transmission
  4. Transmission Fluid Leakage
  5. Issues With Accelerating The Ford Mustang
  6. Improper Shifting Between Gears
  7. Vibrations And Shaking While Driving
  8. O/D Light Flashing

If you want to learn more about these signs and how to deal with them, then you should continue reading this article.

I will also talk about models where these issues are most prominent.

8 Signs Of Transmission Problems In A Ford Mustang

Let's find out if your Mustang has an automatic transmission issue or not

Most signs of transmission issues are very easily seen and recorded.

You should not have any issues identifying that your Ford Mustang’s transmission is not working as intended.

Other times, it may not be as clear-cut. This section will explain all of the above problems in depth.

1. Gear Slipping

Gear slipping occurs when your Ford Mustang’s transmission cannot properly engage a gear, causing the engine to rev without accelerating.

It can be identified by a lack of response when shifting gears, revving the engine, or hearing grinding noises.

A malfunctioning clutch, worn gears, or low transmission fluid levels can cause this.

2. Complete Transmission Failure

Transmission failure is a catastrophic failure of the gearbox and it occurs when the transmission system is unable to function, causes gears to slip, or the car becomes stuck in one gear.

The most common causes are low fluid levels, leaks, worn gears or clutches, or electrical issues.

It can be identified by difficulty in shifting gears, slipping gears, and warning lights or error messages on the dashboard.

In some cases, the transmission may stop working, and the vehicle cannot move.

3. Grinding Noise From The Transmission

Grinding noise from the transmission is usually a sign of worn gears or a malfunctioning clutch.

Low transmission fluid levels, debris in the transmission, or worn synchronizers can cause it.

The noise can often be heard when shifting gears, and it is typically a metallic or abrasive sound. It can be identified by listening to this type of noise while the car is in motion.

4. Transmission Fluid Leakage

This may not be a problem, but it can lead to many more issues.

It can occur due to worn or damaged seals, loose or disconnected hoses, or a punctured pan. It can also happen due to overheating and degradation of the fluid.

A fluid leak can be identified by noticing low fluid levels on the dipstick. It can also be identified by the dashboard’s warning lights or error messages.

5. Issues With Accelerating The Ford Mustang

If you are having trouble accelerating your Ford Mustang, then it is likely your transmission is at fault. This can be caused by worn gears or even a malfunctioning clutch.

This can easily cause a delay in the accelerator when attempting to speed up the car and is very easy to identify.

This issue also pops up when you see warning lights in your Ford Mustang.

6. Improper Shifting Between Gears

Also caused by worn gears, improper shifting between gears can be identified if you attempt to shift towards another gear but there is difficulty or the gear does not shift.

You may also see this problem occur when you hear strange noises from the transmission. Alternatively, this can also be caused by low levels of transmission fluid.

7. Vibrations And Shaking While Driving

This issue is very easy to identify. Cars shake up to some extent, but if your Ford Mustang is shaking more than usual, you have an issue with the transmission.

Often this shaking can be felt in the pedals and the steering wheel.

The issue can be caused by a malfunctioning clutch and can easily lead to more damage occurring in the transmission.

8. O/D Light Flashing

Overdrive lights are usually located on the car’s dashboard.

If yours is flashing, there should be little doubt that there is an issue with the transmission of your Ford Mustang.

The issue is likely due to a failing sensor or a malfunctioning control module. Additionally, it can be the result of any number of electronic issues.

If you see the lights flashing, you should try not to drive the car for a while, as it could also mean that your transmission is overheating.

Recalls Caused By The Ford Mustang Transmission Over The Years

You should always note that recalls are usually year specific and do not apply to models outside of the specified years.

Moving onto the topic, there have been plenty of recalls of the Ford Mustang caused by issues in the transmission.

The latest recall was back in 2019. Ford recalled certain Mustang GT models. These were models mostly equipped with a manual transmission.

Due to a clutch pressure plate fracture, these models faced a loss of power or could even stall while driving. This led to them getting called back.

Before this recall, Ford had called back many models of the Ford Mustang assembled between 2011 and 2014.

The recall occurred in 2015 when it was discovered that there was a fault in the transmission shaft.

It would break and prevent the car from moving, resulting in the transmission having to be repaired or replaced.

Even before this, there was a recall back in 2012. This recall only affected certain models of the Ford Mustang GT produced in 2011.

It mostly affected the manual transmission, where there was a fault in the shifter cable. This would lead to issues when shifting gears.

It also prevented the car from shifting out of the park.

When Should You Get The Ford Mustang’s Transmission Checked Out?

Your Ford Mustang will last as long as 300,000 miles if you ensure to give it the attention it deserves.

Otherwise, you will find that the component will show issues as early as 75,000 miles and give out at 120,000 miles.

If you have any of the abovementioned issues, you can be sure it is a great time to get the Ford Mustang’s transmission checked out.

You should check the component regularly for around 2 to 3 months.

If your car has been running beyond or close to 300,000 miles, it might just be time to get a new transmission rather than repair it.

Which Year Did Ford Mustang Have Transmission Issues?

Now that you have an idea of what issues you can expect to see in your Ford Mustang and its symptoms, you should see which of its years had the most issues.

The list itself will be ordered based on the most problematic models in general and then discuss the model’s level of transmission issues.

Generally, you should try and avoid the models listed below.

1. 2006 Ford Mustang

Out of the entire lineup, the 2006 Ford Mustang is widely considered the most clunky and problematic.

It has the most complaints out of any model in the entire lineup, which is why it is at the top of this list.

As you can expect, it had a lot of transmission issues that many people had to deal with.

The biggest issue related to the transmission was that it could fail altogether. It would jerk when would put into reverse and often slip out.

2. 2005 Ford Mustang

Just a year prior, people had to deal with the 2005 Ford Mustang which was less problematic than its successor but still had a lot of issues that people had to deal with.

There were a lot of difficulties when it came to shifting the gear. The car would generally jerk and grind at low speeds, giving out a grinding noise from the transmission.

Transmission slipping and slamming in reverse was also quite common along with issues with the model’s power train.

3. 2012 Ford Mustang

The next biggest failure would be the 2012 Ford Mustang.

While there were plenty of issues with other Ford Mustang models, they were not as many as this model. This is the reason why this particular model ranks above them.

Despite this, the model only had a bad case of limp mode activating and stalling. Shifting roughly was also a common occurrence.

Additionally, owners of this model also had to deal with slipping and stopped acceleration. Issues in the power train were rampant, especially in the manual transmission variant.

4. 2015 Ford Mustang

Three years after the previous model, Ford was still struggling with the Mustang’s transmission.

This was quite obvious regarding the 2015 Ford Mustang which was widely criticized for its transmission issues.

The transmission would fail, but this particular issue was not as common as the clutch itself going out.

The vehicle hesitated when shifting from reverse to a drive state and the shifts themselves were not as smooth as one would hope.

5. 2007 Ford Mustang

While the 2007 Ford Mustang had a decent amount of issues, there were not as many regarding the transmission.

This does not mean that the transmission was completely perfect. On the contrary, this particular Ford Mustang model displayed many shifting problems when being ridden.

The transmission was also a common component that owners of the vehicle were completely frustrated with.

They had to deal with the O/D lights flashing, which is a clear sign that the transmission was not working as intended.

6. 2011 Ford Mustang

While the 2011 Ford Mustang did not have many problems with its transmission, these problems that it did have were very common.

This led to over 100 complaints from the NHTSA regarding the power train of the manual transmission.

The main issue surrounding the component was the amount of clanging owners heard on top of the gears being difficult to shift.

There was a lot of hesitation when it came to moving the gears and the car popping out of them.

7. 2014 Ford Mustang

Mostly having many body problems, the 2014 Ford Mustang is not widely regarded for its transmission problems.

That being said, it had only a couple of them, which are truly noteworthy.

These issues were common enough to get recognized but would often take a back seat compared to the car’s other issues.

Regardless, the vehicle had a very clunky transmission, making it difficult to shift properly. The transmission of the model was annoying at best.

8. 2016 Ford Mustang

No one wants to deal with unintentional shifting, but unfortunately, that is something you have to deal with when driving the 2016 Ford Mustang.

This was mostly accompanied by noise when shifting, which would become very obnoxious over time.

The car had a major problem with its transmission, which made it very difficult to shift between gears properly.

This was on top of a generally clunky state of the component which made it clunk into gear. This led to a lot of bad ratings about the vehicle.

9. 2013 Ford Mustang

The NHSTA made sure to complain about the manual transmission of the 2013 Ford Mustang. This was on top of some very bad reception in general.

Many people complained about the rough shifting and the clunking sound it would make when shifting between gears.

Other issues in the transmission included the lock-ups, which would be electric. Whirring and slipping were also common occurrences.

People complained about the car not shifting out of first gear. This particular issue was known to occur on the automatic version of the transmission.

10. 2010 Ford Mustang

There is not much no say about the 2010 Ford Mustang’s transmission other than the plain fact that it did not work properly.

Nothing about the component functioned as it should, which led to a lot of bad word mouth.

What is worse about this model is that the problem had to apparent fix to it. This meant that the only way to fix any issue you had with the transmission would be to get a new one.

This was a very expensive replacement that did not appeal to many people.


What Is The Best Year For The Ford Mustang When It Comes To The Transmission?

Generally speaking, you can find that the best transmission for the Ford Mustang will be found anywhere post-2016.

While the models between 2005 and 2010 have shown love in regard to transmission, many of those models are displayed above.

Despite the issues, the five-speed automatic transmission 5R55S and the six-speed manual transmissions TR 3650 are solid choices.

Personally, I would recommend any model that comes after 2016 simply because they lack many of the issues I have highlighted above.

You should be able to get a solid experience while driving these models as long as you put in the maintenance and do not let the transmission degrade.


Just like any other car, Ford Mustang transmission problems are very irksome and annoying to deal with.

Additionally, you have to spend a lot of money to fix them or get a new replacement. Not many people want to spend a huge sum of cash to fix a particular component.

This is why it is integral that you keep track of the signs mentioned above so that you can avoid these problems altogether.

Additionally, you should try and avoid the models mentioned above altogether to have the best experience with your Ford Mustang.