2010 F-150 Engine Revs but Moves Slowly

I just got a 2010 Ford F150 with 220,000 miles on it, and sometimes it has trouble accelerating after starting it. I’ll start the engine, put it in drive or reverse, and when I press the gas pedal, the engine revs and the RPM gets pretty high, but the truck hardly moves. After driving it down the road, the truck slowly regains power until it drives fine. And what’s weird is that this doesn’t happen every time. Half the time I’ll start my truck and it’ll move fine right off the bat. Any ideas what the issue could be? I know it needs a new O2 sensor, but I’m not sure if that’s what’s causing the problem or if the issue stems from a transmission-related thing.

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If there is no check engine light on… you didn’t say… I’d guess you have a transmission problem.

I’d have that checked out at a good independent transmission shop… not a chain like AAMCO or similar.


Check the color and smell of the transmission fluid.




With some degree of certainty, I am of the opinion that the OP definitely has a transmission problem. Almost surely, the seller knew that he/she was selling damaged goods to the OP.

The OP can cut his losses by having an independent trans shop diagnose the problem, and then decide whether the truck is worth the repair costs.

So I actually just took it to a general maintenance shop to have them take a look at it, and they scanned for any codes with a computer. It showed that the O2 sensor was going bad, but the transmission was supposedly fine. One of the guys there took my truck for a drive and thought he noticed something wrong with the transmission by the way it drove. I just wanted a second opinion.

Also, about the check engine light, it was not on when I was having these problems. However, after I got it checked out, the light came on. I’m assuming it’s because of the O2 sensor

The O2 sensor won’t make it drive like this. A code scanner won’t pick up every problem. The test drive by the mechanic was a warning now confirmed by what you are now experiencing. Off to the transmission shop!


Thanks for your help! I may take it to the shop, or I might just take it back to the dealership. The dealer said he didn’t know about the problem and offered to give me my money back, so I may do that so I don’t have to shell out $3500 or more for a new transmission haha

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Take the money and run!


+1… if that is actually possible.

Hopefully, he isn’t just blowing smoke up your rectum. Most dealers who sell such seriously-flawed 11 year old goods would not refund the full purchase price. But, I really hope that this works-out to the OP’s benefit.

And… I hope that the OP has learned something from this experience, namely, to have his mechanic inspect a used vehicle prior to purchase.


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A transmission failure-to-engage during a cold start will not be caught during a pre-purchase inspection. There seems to be high expectations from an inspection, intermittent problems are rarely discovered during inspections.

I usually road test vehicles for 15 minutes before inspecting them, the buyers never provide any input from their road test, they expect the technician to find any quirks that the vehicle may have. They may wonder where I went with the vehicle, I am supposed to be “inspecting” it. The technician is only paid one hour of labor for the inspection, there is a limit to what can be discovered in an hour.

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A 12 year old truck with 220k miles on it and which has likely had a 98% chance of trans fluid changes never being done is giving up because of a failed transmission.
If the dealer is actually offering you your money back grab it now before he changes his mind.

The only other option is buy a quality reman transmission or roll the dice on a used unit with hopefully lower miles. And the great odds are that the U-joints will also need replacement.


Except for Tester’s comment no one suggested checking the fluid level! These symptoms suggest low Tranny fluid level. Very first step. I agree, if dealer is offering money back, take it!

Can you? Many vehicles since early 2000’s don’t have a dip stick.

Mike, you’re right. But I’m going to guess a 2010 Ford F150 has a tranny dipstick.

About 99% certain no dipstick. My daughter’s 05 Mustang is also sans a trans dipstick.

The OP could shift the trans into DRIVE, set the park brake, and try to rev the engine while holding the brake pedal. I’m guessing here a bit but assume the truck has the 6R80 trans and the converter stall is about 2200 RPM.
Quickly push the accelerator pedal down while holding the foot brake. Do this VERY quickly and do not linger on the throttle.
If the RPMs go up to 3000 or whatever the clutches are slipping.

Dealer is offering refund? Credit? Did you pay to transfer title? And so on?

Yes transmission is in need of fluid/or service! the sometimes it works and sometimes not is a caution. The not working when first revving up is a classic sign of low fluid level or plugged transmission filter. Transmission service shop is the place to go. or get warrantee from where you bought it.