Ford Fusion Transmission Problems

by James Highland
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Image by, courtesy of Nathan

The Ford Fusion has received much attention over the years for its comfortable, straightforward design. It was named 2010 Car of the Year by Motor Trend. But transmission difficulties plague some Fusion vehicles, frustrating a portion of the consumer base. Often, these problems are similar and resolved easily. But some instances of transmission malfunction leave owners considerably disappointed in the Ford Fusion.


The reports of transmission problems in the Ford Fusion span all years of manufactured models. The varying engine types are all susceptible to the common malfunctions. Issues are cited with 2.3 L engines through the range to 3 L models, and affect both automatic and manual transmissions. Mileage is also not a likely cause, as the problems frequently present in cars with little use.

Car Shakes

Complaints on consumer reports web sites show a common problem among many owners. The transmission can perform very rough gear changes, which may shake the entire vehicle. Often this occurs while the car shifts into first gear. Unfortunately, this particular problem is not often resolved by dealerships, and may be escalated to other divisions of the Ford service chain. Some owners report that the problem worsens after attempted repair.


Over the years, Ford has officially recalled certain transmission components for upgrade or repair at dealerships. In 2007, service bulletins were issued to correct PCM calibration devices in the Ford Fusion transmission system. The crankshaft pulleys have also been recalled for malfunctioning transmissions. Both problems affected drive-ability and caused a variety of transmission symptoms. However replacement is straightforward and resolves many transmission issues.

High RPM

Owners frequently report concerns over unusually high RPM during gear changes. The RPM may rise sharply during normal operation, such as incline driving, but harsh unexpected gear changes then occur. The majority of reports indicate that lower gears are involved in the problem. The condition will present during a shift into first, second, or third gear, either deliberately or unexpectedly. Some dealers blame bad tires, but owners report that more complex mechanisms usually need replacement.


While the scope of transmission problems are usually more than individuals can repair on their own, dealerships also have poor track record in resolving Ford Fusion transmission malfunctions. When interacting with a Ford dealer, urge them to research all TSB bulletins on the Fusion as they investigate the problems. TSB 07-26-9, for example, is a notice that may get a dealership working directly with the issue rather than dismissing the symptoms as "normal" behavior.

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