5R110W Transmission Common Problems (4 Possible Fix)

As Ford 5R110W came, it caught people’s attention with the features upgraded from previous version. Although some enjoyed its benefits to a certain extent, many were left disappointed. All due to the issues they encountered with the device. Obviously, it’s tough to include each of them but a few are common. And what are they? 

The most common 5R110W Transmission problems are includes A failing pump, overheated ATF, faulty gearbox, and solenoids malfunctioning are considered some of the common problems with 5R110W transmission. And the solution depends on the cause of each issue. 

Each problem with 5R110W Transmission needs to be handled differently since there isn’t any remedy that can fix everything. To make it easier for you, here I’ve added a table showing the causes of 5R110W Transmission damage and their solutions. 

Common ProblemEasy Solutions
Failure Of Transmission PumpHave the pump casting rebuilt by the OEM
Overheated Auto Transmission FluidUse glycol-based coolant additive.
Faulty Planetary GearboxTake it into the garage to replace or repair.
Malfunctioning Shift SolenoidChange it using a Torq Shift Solenoid Replacement Kit

5R110W Transmission Common Problems – with 4 solutions

Out of several, these 4 are considered to be the most common problems with 5R110W Transmission. 

problems #1 – Failure Of Transmission Pump

Ford F-250 and F-350 trucks typically have horrible durability. Both use hydraulic pressure created by the pump and transmit engine power to the vehicle wheels. 

However, this pump in the TorqShift can fail too soon mostly due to bad casting. And this leads to further troubles like slipping gears or extreme delays in gear changes because of lack of pressure. 

You may find symptoms such as fluid leaks, burning smells, or noise. These can eventually cause the pump to break. 

How to fix a failing transmission pump?

In that case, I’d suggest that you contact the Original Equipment Manufacturer first instead of taking it into a garage. Usually, such issues can be resolved by fixing the pump casting. Here, OEM can do the job with a thinner bushing. It will stay around 0.005 inches away while ensuring it doesn’t get too close to the impellor.

Contrariwise, others will use cheap bushings to rebuild casting and they may end up with misaligned pump gears. In case that happens, it will cause pump failure again. 

However, sometimes rebuilding the casting may not fix the problem. In such situation, you must replace transmission pump. For that, consider buying a TorqShift Transmission Pump Replacement Kit.

problems #2 – Overheated Auto Transmission Fluid 

ATF refers to lubricant that’s formulated to protect parts such as gears, bearings, and clutch packs while ensuring smooth shifts. However, low fluid levels or contaminated fluid can result in varnish buildups at 220°F, hardening of seals at 240°F, slipping of plates at 260°F, and burnt clutches and seals at 295°F. All these can eventually lead to failure of Ford 5R110W transmission. 

The signs are pretty common- burning smell, hesitation in the gear shift, shaking sensation, or slipping gears. 

How to fix overheated auto transmission fluid?

A very simple way to avoid this issue is to keep the fluid from getting hotter. And in this situation, I would make sure to use fluids that have coolant additives. If the product seems to lack enough agent, then buying one can help. A glycol-based, anti-corrosion additive can be an efficient option. Check out TransGo Ford TR-3650 Universal Tri-Fluid. Not only will it add viscosity but also work to lower temperature and reduce wear. 

If it’s too late and the transmission has got hotter due to overheated fluid, then stop driving immediately. Let the device cool down and see how severe the issue is. If the car starts with no issue after some time, then take it to the expert. 

In case the problem persists, contact a tow service to take it to the garage. You can also consider using a radiator since it works to regulate the system and keep it cool.  

problems #3 – Faulty Planetary Gearbox

Planetary gear set comprising a pinion shaft and carrier sits in the rear of 5R110W transmission. Since these are made of soft, low-quality steel, they can easily crack at higher power. This is typically an OE design flaw that causes the pinion shaft to pull itself out of the carrier. As a result, it leads to gear slipping and/or delayed gear engagement. 

Some of the clear signs include broken pieces, sediment build-up, or corrosion.  

How to fix a faulty planetary gearbox?

To avoid severe problems, I’d say that you have the damaged ones repaired or replaced by an expert. 

problems #4 – Malfunctioning Shift Solenoid

Solenoids are responsible for controlling the TorqShift gears. Absence of oil flow, overheated or incorrect voltage to the coil can cause them to burn out and malfunction. It’s considered a very common problem with Ford F-250 and F-350 trucks. When this happens, the device can fail to switch gears properly. And this can result in some jerky shifting. 

How to fix damaged shift solenoids? 

The best way to resolve the defect is to replace 5R10W Shift Solenoid with a new one. You will need a TorqShift Solenoid Replacement Kit for the job. 

How To Keep 5R110W Transmission Healthy?

Regular maintenance and following necessary steps on time can keep Ford 5R110W Transmission healthy. This is how you can prevent several problems. 

  1. Ensure The Quality Of Auto Transmission Fluid 

Use the right fluid for Ford 5R110W Transmission as per the recommendations of OEM. For that, I’d recommend Mercon LV fluid. It will keep the parts lubricated and cool while ensuring smooth operation of the gearbox. 

Typically, ATF should be changed every two years or every 30,000 miles along with filters. However, you should still check it regularly, especially the dipstick. 

A healthy fluid should be clear, bright red, and smell a little sweet. Only change it if it gives of rotten odor or looks dark. 

  1. Install A Regulator To Prevent Transmission Overheating

Regulator will keep the Ford 5R110W transmission cool and regulate the internal temperatures. Hence, you should consider installing one. Not just that, using the right coolant fluid is important too. It has the right amount of glycol that doesn’t freeze at low and doesn’t get to boiling level at high. 

If all are set right, the device will handle the impact coming from heavy loads, towing, or hard pushes and protect transmission. 

  1. Avoid Aggressive Driving Habits

Aggressive driving can cause severe damage to Ford 5R110W transmission. In fact, harming it is easier since the model can’t handle extra pressure. So, if you love accelerating quicker or grinding the gears hard while you shift, be prepared. This will surely end up with failed transmission. 

To avoid it, keep the driving speed between 30 to 50 lm/h depending on the area. 

  1. Get The Auto Transmission Serviced 

You should have a certified technician inspect Ford 5R110W Transmission every 12 to 15 months or every 15,000 miles. They will look for damages, leaks, and other problems as well as can tell you what needs to be done. 

Plus, they will also fix them from the root. This way, the repair will keep the vehicle in good condition while saving you from potential damages and extra expenditures. 

So, how much should it cost to service transmission? It may cost from $150 to over $1500 depending on the type of transmission service. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is The 5R110W A Good Transmission?

Yes, Ford 5R110W is considered a better transmission than 4R100 since it’s designed to provide better speed and performance. Apart from that, the TorqShift device comes with enhanced control of shift strategy and optimal fuel mileage. It can be a suitable option for heavy-duty use. 

How Long Will A 5R110W Transmission Last?

5R110W Transmission can last anywhere between 130,000 to 220,000 miles on average. However, its maintenance and several other factors can increase or decrease the lifespan. 

As for getting a new one, a quality replacement 5R110W transmission can have longer lifespan if the vehicle is well-maintained and all the design flaws are addressed beforehand.  

Can I Drive With A Transmission Problem?

No, you shouldn’t drive with a transmission problem since it can lead to safety hazards. Even if the problem seems small like overheating, this may cause the failure of the system. Issues like gears slipping or not engaging can trigger the vehicle to start jerking or shaking. So, don’t drive in such situations. Instead, make sure to inspect the problem and act accordingly. 

What Vehicles Have A 5R110W Transmission?

5R110W Transmission is compatible with around 7 models of Ford vehicles. It includes E-250, E-350, E-450, F-250, F-350, F-450, and F-550. 

5R110W (TorqShift)Transmission Teardown Inspection >> Check out the video below:

Final Words

You can avoid all the problems easily as long as you keep the TorqShift well-maintained. This is a simple way to make the system last longer despite some flaws it comes with. However, minor issues like degraded ATF fluid can be tackled by yourself.

If it’s major, then I think you should speak to the OEM or any other specialist. Hopefully, my solutions will help you fix issues with Ford 5R110W Transmission.

Here are other transmission problems related articles you might like:

6r80 Transmission Problems (With Rebuild Cost)

6r140 Transmission Problems (With Rebuild Cost)

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Mahir Ahmed


I'm the guy responsible for ensuring honest, informative, accurate and helpful guide to the reader.

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