2008 F150 Lariat 4wd. I have 3 problems I would like to discuss here.
1) When I shift from park into drive, I hear a winding sound. And, when I take off, withhout a load or trailer attached, I hear this winding sound. I don’t hear it when I’m already moving and accelerate from a low speed. Only from the stop position. It definately sounds like the transmission is what’s making this winding noise.
2) In “drive” only, with my foot on the brake, I hear a rattling or vibrating sound. It sounds the worst when I let my foot off of the brake and start coasting and as I’m accelerating from the stop or coasting position. Originally It sounded like the exhaust was loose and vibrating but that’s not it. The rattling stops when I get to about 15-20 mph.
3) At a low speed, 30 mph, the engine revs up then it feels like like the transmission shifts to a lower gear. This happens when I’m holding steady at 30 mph. Not accelerating or decelerating.
Need a replacement transmission? Quality transmissions are hard to find. Free estimate to your email.
It sounds like you have several transmission and engine-related problems. Let’s look at each one.
1. When you shift from Park to Drive you hear a winding sound. It also happens when you take off without a load attached like a trailer. It sounds, at this point, like your transmission is having either a torque converter problem (likely, but not the main reason) or a clutch/band problem (likely the main reason). If your F150 were having a torque converter problem, then it is quite likely you would continue to hear the winding (could you mean whining?) sound in every gear, slowing down and starting up. And, when you reached cruising speed, it would assume a steady winding sound. With that said, though, you would have other problems, like a lack of pickup and your step-down into a higher gear for passing would likely be notchy, as well because the torque converter couldn’t handle the requirements suddenly being forced onto it. That’s why I think this problem is related to the clutches/bands. The clutches, like the clutch in a standard transmission, are used to smooth the transition between gears as the transmission and engine speeds are synchronized. If the clutches are slipping, then you get that type of winding sound (whining?) as they are reluctantly engaging. Further, since it tends to go away when you hit highway speed and when your F-150 reaches cruising speed and fourth gear, I suspect it is in the clutches. Of course, the clutch packs partner in operation, the bands, could be the guilty parties in this as they tighten up to help the clutches engage and remain engaged. It’s possible the bands could be slipping as well. I would have those areas checked. It wouldn’t hurt to have the valve body checked as well as there could be something hanging up as a result of a check valve that is remaining open (or closed when it should open).
2. Your F-150 is rattling and vibrating as you brake in drive. The signs of this one point to transmission slippage and the primary suspects in this one point to the clutches and bands. The issue is this, why only in drive? Why isn’t this happening as the transmission slows from drive to third, second and first? Ah, it may seem like it isn’t, but it could just be happening, as well. This is because your slowing transmission isn’t synching to the engine correctly because the clutches aren’t working correctly and the bands may be slipping. Of course, it could be the torque converter again, but this isn’t likely because you would have the vibrating in gear as you drive. Now, it is possible that a solenoid is misfiring so that the gearing isn’t meshing correctly, causing the vibration. I’d have the transmission specialist look at the clutch/band pairings first. I bet you will find the problem there. Here’s a final thought on this one: check out the cruise control. A throttle position sensor that is sticking could also be causing this. The TPS, by the way, also affects the transmission, so it pays to look.
3. Your engine feels like it is shifting to a lower gear, though you are in drive. Well, my friend, I think we have just found the cause of your problem. Let’s put it together:
The winding (whining??) sound
The revving (it operates like it is downshifting)
If your transmission is whining when you are moving along and it is also vibrating or rattling and it is revving, then what you have is transmission slippage. The likely culprits here are the clutches/bands. It might also be the clutch/bandsand gears because they may have been damaged by other issues.
Since that is the likely case, you will need a transmission rebuilt because the clutches have to be replaced for every gear as do the bands. They operate by complementing each other. As the clutches engage, the bands tighten up for each gear. It is quite likely that the gearing is also involved because of the way the transmission is built. If there is clutch/band damage, it is likely that the gearing attached to that particular pair is also not working correctly, so the technician will have to get inside the housing and take a look at that, as well.
In terms of cost, you are looking at a $3,000 to $3,200 investment which is a good idea if you plan to keep the F-150 for a longer time. At seven years old, there’s still plenty of life left.