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The Ford Mustang is a global icon with over a half-century heritage. Launched in 1964, it was touted by the Ford Motor Company as "the car to be designed by you". The Mustang's extensive interior, exterior and drivetrain options made it appealing to many types of buyers. However, transmission problems such as hard shifts, grinding of gears and transmission slip is a sore spot among Mustang owners. Despite this, the Mustang is a prize catch among car enthusiasts. Read on to find the possible causes of transmission problems in your Mustang and tips on how to fix them.
Start with the transmission fluid
First, make sure that the transmission fluid is not leaking. Secondly, check the transmission fluid level and quality. If the transmission fluid has a burnt smell, is dirty or dark brown, you need to change it. Transmission fluid gets contaminated due to particles from the environment and friction materials working inside the transmission. If the fluid level is low, add more fluid because a low fluid level is a possible cause of failure to engage in drive or reverse, no reverse and slippage. Also, make sure that you do not overfill the dipstick with fluid as this can cause the transmission to be sluggish.
Inspect the components
Check the pump because a common cause of transmission slippage is a faulty pump that does not circulate fluid to the bands. Also, inspect if the transmission's case or clutch housing is misaligned because this is a common reason why transmission unexpectedly jumps out of gear. Other likely causes for this transmission problem is a worn pilot bearing at the rear of the crankshaft, a bent transmission shaft, an incorrect spring tension on the shifter's rail and worn teeth gears within the transmission.
Make sure that your clutch is properly adjusted and is not damaged because if it is, the transmission could stick in gear. A gear shifter that sticks in its boot could also cause the transmission to stick in gear. In such case, it is the boot and not the transmission which needs to be fixed. In addition, check if the synchronizer is damaged and replace it if necessary.
Look out too for worn bearings, which cause friction to increase and adversely affects shaft alignment. If the transmission is noisy in only one gear, the reverse countergear is likely damaged. If noise is produced only in reverse, you need to replace either the reverse gear or the countergear. If you only hear transmission noise when in neutral, this indicates a worn-out main drive gear bearing or countergear bearings.
Fully engage the clutch while shifting
See to it that you do not neglect to fully engage the clutch while you are shifting. This is an all-too-common bad habit among drivers which is sometimes hard to recognize because it initially may not pose a problem. However, over time not fully engaging the clutch while shifting will cause excessive deterioration in the transmission and clutch. This leads to a transmission that is hard to shift.