Am I screwed? (about my f-150)

Hi there!

I have a very important question, am I screwed?

I have a 2010 F-150 stx 4.6L 4x4, and the transmission is slipping, it’s not terrible and it happens more when under load or going up steepish hills. The fluid hasn’t been changed or flushed. My question is should I change the transmission fluid or should I keep it how it is? I did take it to a shop and the mechanic said the fluid level was fine, but he found little metal particles in the fluid which doesn’t sound good to me. I have heard a few stories about people who had slipping tranies on their car/truck, and days after changing the fluid the transmission died. Is this true? have y’all heard anything similar? Is there anything I can add to the fluid that will help it and ACTUALLY WORKS? Should I do a trany flush? or do I have to get a transmission rebuild/ replace?

Thank you for all of your help

Never do a transmission flush. Always do a “drain and fill” which means remove the pan, replace the filter and gasket, and then refill with new transmission fluid of the proper type. It is normal to find some metal shavings in the transmission pan of a high mileage transmission. Changing the fluid cannot hurt, and may help. This, of course, assumes that the correct type of transmission fluid is used, and that it is refilled to the proper level–use of the incorrect fluid, or being low on transmission fluid can cause slippage/delayed engagement.


Is the transmission fluid level low? You should change it anyway, but low level or fluid breakdown may cause those problems. If the transmission fluid is black and smells burned, then it has broken down.

The level was not low and the fluid was still pink

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That’s an indication the transmission is done.


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Well folks, he said the fluid level was fine and color was good BUT there were particles in the fluid PLUS some slippage. I’m not an expert or a mechanic but I have bought my share of transmissions, and particles and slippage means the clutches are breaking down so bye bye transmission. It will need to be rebuilt. I can’t say whether draining or not would help but doubt it.

I had a flush by the dealer at 30k, all is good. That is what they do, nice to get all the fluid changed instead of just half. imhop.

Changing the fluid will not hurt the transmission at this point but I think the transmission is done. Those who claim that changing the fluid killed their transmission should realize the trans was on borrowed time anyway and it was going to give up; fluid change or no fluid change.

The vast majority of transmission failures are caused by just what you refer to in regard to your own transmission; lack of regular servicing. Service the trans every 30 to 35k miles and the trans should last the life of the vehicle unless major league towing is involved.

OK Thanks for the help! However I’m still kind of a newbie, what exactly do you mean by regular servicing? Is it just getting the fluid and filter changed or is there more to it than that?

If you pour in a bottle of Lucas transmission additive you might get a few more weeks or months before it folds up. But folding up seems a certainty in the near future. That additive drastically improves the friction in the clutches which are just about shot.


It’s 10 yrs old. Miles? Original owner? Servicing on newer rigs is drain/fill and pan drop and filter change if you can do it. Many trucks have a removable trans pan. 50k interval might be 2 yrs or 4 yrs.
would you rebuild the trans if it came down to that? Or contemplate selling it?