Why Does My Ford Truck Stall When I Put It Into Reverse?

January 9, 2009 by  

This is one of those little mysteries that can leave you scratching your head when you first run into it.

You have a late eighties to early nineties Ford truck with a Automatic Overdrive transmission.  When you put it into reverse the engine stalls.  Put it into drive and everything is fine.  Back into reverse and she stalls.  What's up?  Is it just tune up time?

Well, it may be tune up time, maybe not, but it is certainly maintenance time.  What typically  happens is the transmission cannot build adequate pressure when in reverse to fully release the converter clutches.

One of two reasons typically exist for this.

1. Either the transmission's filter has fallen out of the valve body and numberswiki.com

into the bottom of the pan.  Occasionally this happens.  The fluid level may be correct, but without the filter in place the transmission is "sucking" from too high up in the pan.

2.  More likely the fluid is just low.  Maybe radically low.

I had a 1994 F-150 this week that was 4 1/2 quarts low.  Why it wasn't shifting erratically is a mystery.  There was a small leak at the front seal that probably has been leaking for a number of months until the level got too low.

Topping off the transmission fluid is all that was necessary to solve the stalling in reverse problem.  Now all we have to do is get the leaks taken care of.

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One Response to “Why Does My Ford Truck Stall When I Put It Into Reverse?”

  1. mcarter on September 4th, 2013 9:37 pm

    2001 ford explorer stalls and shuts off engine when put in reverse.trans fluid level is ok.

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