Top 4 Common Ford F150 Shift Linkage Problems + Fixes

Suddenly, your F150’s gear selector seems to lose or stops functioning abruptly? It could be that you’ve got a bad shift linkage; not sure what it is? The shift linkage is a cable that connects the gear selector to the transmission; it’s quite an essential part of your truck’s transmission system.

There are different names used to address shift linkage, including shifting linkage, gear shift linkage, transmission shift linkage, and transmission linkage. Well, if the shift linkage is bad, you’d notice oil leaks, unusual noise, and other unfamiliar problems.

Interestingly, this article covers the most common Ford F150 shift linkage problems and the possible fixes.

What is Shift Linkage?

The shift linkage is a cable that “links” the gearshift and the transmission. It is the linkage that shifts the gears from one position to another. For example, the shift linkage moves the gearshift from park to neutral, drive, first, second, third, and other available gears.

So basically, when the shift linkage is bad, it becomes difficult (almost impossible) to get the gear selector to move from one gear to another.

Of course, there are many signs to show that the transmission linkage is bad, so when you see these signs, you should have it checked and possibly fixed.

Ford F150 Shift Linkage Problems

1. Loose Torx Screw

The primary function of the shift linkage is to allow the gearshift to move swiftly from one gear to another. So, when it happens that the gearshift isn’t moving up or down anymore, it’s probably due to shift linkage failure.

Also, shift linkage failure can make the gearshift very loose, so the car won’t accelerate or decelerate even if you move from one gear to another. This problem usually occurs when the shift linkage is loose.


  • Look out for the loose screws and re-tighten them so the linkage becomes strong and effective
  • If the screws are broken or worn out, get a new set

2. Bad Bushings

FordFF150’s transmission shift is protected with bushings; these bushings can break down due to high mileage or under severe conditions (excessive heat). The transmission shift bushings could break into two, and the best bet is to have a replacement. Replacing FordFF150’s shit linkage isn’t that expensive.

You know you’ve got a transmission shift problem when your truck always goes into the Neutral gear without you moving the gearshift, or the gearshift won’t move at all from its current position.

Other common signs of shift linkage bushing problems include the vibration of the gearshift lever when you try to change gears.


  • Get a bushings repair kit that matches your truck model and follow the instructions keenly
  • You need a screwdriver for the fix/replacement

3. Roll Pin Failure

The 2017 Ford F150s were recalled due to roll pin issues. The shift linkage comprises several components, including a roll pin that holds it directly with the transmission. A loose roll pin can cause the transmission shift not to function properly.


  • Get a new matching roll pin and ensure it is installed correctly

4. Bad Cable

The shift linkage uses cables to transmit signals to and from the gear lever (gearshift). If these transmission cables fall out or become broken, the shift linkage won’t be able to interpret the actions of the gear lever; thus, your car won’t speed up when you change the gears.

You will have to disassemble the parts to find out if the shift linkage issues you’re experiencing are cable-related. If the wire falls out in place, you can put it back into the supposed housing and have the problem solved right away.


  • Put back the cables into their supposed ports
  • If the cables are physically damaged, you will need to replace them

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Know Your Truck’s Transmission Shift Is Bad?

A stiff gear lever, car not accelerating or decelerating, squealing noise, and ATF leaks are some of the most typical symptoms of a bad shift linkage. Other signs include very loose gear lever and vibrations when changing gears.

How Much Does It Cost To Fix Ford F150 Shift Linkage Problems?

The final cost varies based on the parts to be replaced. However, on average, it costs from $40 to $120 to fix most common transmission shift problems – labor and parts cost inclusive.

What Are The Reasons For Linkage Problems?

High mileage, excessive wear, extreme conditions, impact, and lack of regular maintenance are some of the common reasons why the shift linkage goes bad over time.


What are the typical Ford F150 shift linkage problems?The major problems include faulty components such as bad cables, loose screws, damaged roll pins, and bushings failures. You can fix these things yourself or have a mechanic do it for you for less than $150 (not in all cases, anyway).

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