Q: Transmission slipping, hard to stay in gear

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The automatic transmission in my 2010 Ford Fusion started slipping while I was driving to work the other day. By the time I was driving home, the slipping was so bad that I got off the highway to drive at lower speed. Now it won’t go into gear. The transmission and drivetrain in general only had 30,000 miles on it. Is there some error in driving style that I may have made which could cause this? I drive pretty reasonably.

Automatic transmissions have been called “slush boxes” for years by old drag racers. The main reason for this name is they are a fluid driven device. Because of this, fluid level and condition are crucial to proper operation. Unfortunately, the 2010 Fusion is susceptible to fluid leaks from the driver’s side output shaft seal as identified in Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) 150079. Should this seal be leaking, the technician will have to inspect internal components per the TSB. Low fluid can wreak havoc on the internals of an automatic transmission, so I would strongly suggest you have the vehicle towed rather than try to drive it further. Once the technician is able to put the correct amount of fluid in the transmission, proper operation must be verified to ensure no further damage has been done. Provided the bushing, seal, and fluid are the only required parts, repair costs are fairly low but if the transmission sustained damage from fluid loss, the price may be exponentially higher. Contact YourMechanic for an estimate.

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