How To Fix Powertrain Fault In Ford Fusion – 5 Symptoms In 2023

When it comes to your Ford Fusion, encountering a powertrain fault can be a frustrating and concerning experience. However, It’s crucial for both Ford Fusion owners and mechanics to know what might be causing these issues and how to deal with them.

To fix a powertrain fault in a Ford Fusion, diagnose the issue of engine oil, faulty solenoids, engine misfire, EGR valve failure, wrong coolant use, etc. The specific repair steps will depend on the diagnosis and may require professional assistance for complex problems.

Don’t worry! This article will cover everything you need to know about diagnosing and fixing a powertrain fault in your Ford Fusion. We’ll provide step-by-step instructions and valuable tips to ensure your vehicle is back on the road quickly. So, let’s get into it!

Understand The Powertrain And Its Faults – For Those Who Don’t Know!

The powertrain is like the team that makes your car move. It takes the power created by the engine and sends it to the wheels through the axle. The powertrain in your Ford Fusion consists of the engine, transmission, axle, and driveshaft.

To effectively address the problem, it’s crucial to understand what a powertrain fault is. A powertrain fault can be displayed in various ways, such as warning lights on the dashboard, reduced engine performance, or unusual noises.

Relationship Between The Powertrain And Wrench Warning Light – Have A Look!

When your car’s powertrain has a problem, the powertrain control module (PCM) notices the issue and lights up a warning on your instrument panel. This warning light is usually yellow with a wrench sign and has a message like “See Manual.” 

The powertrain fault light tells you there’s a problem with the powertrain. This could be due to issues with the air pump sensor, problems with the throttle, or faults in the many components involved. 

Relationship Between The Powertrain And Wrench Warning Light

Now, the powertrain wrench light can either stay stable on the dashboard or blink. If it’s steady, the powertrain issue might not be too severe. However, if it’s blinking, you’ve got a serious powertrain problem on your hands. 

Now it’s time to find out some symptoms of a powertrain fault. So, let’s get into it!

How Can I Diagnose The Powertrain Fault? – Let’s Explore The Symptoms!

1. Check the Engine Light: 

The most common indicator of a powertrain fault is the display of the check engine light on your dashboard. This wrench warning light serves as a clear signal that something’s not right under the hood.

Check the Engine Light
Source:BM Tech

2. Reduced Performance: 

If there’s a problem with your powertrain, you might feel like your car has less power when you step on the gas pedal. It could have trouble speeding up, and shifting gears might become tough.

3. The Feel of Strange Noises: 

Issues with the powertrain can result in strange noises coming from your vehicle. Pay attention to unusual sounds like knocking or clunking, as these can indicate something is not right within the powertrain.

The Feel of Strange Noises

4. You can identify this Using an OBD-II Scanner: 

An OBD-II scanner is a must-have tool for figuring out what’s wrong with your car’s powertrain. It helps both mechanics and car owners by letting them see and remove the error codes saved on the car’s computer.

You just plug the scanner into your car’s OBD-II port, turn on the ignition, and do what the scanner tells you to read those error codes.

5. Visual inspection: 

Mechanics should check for any visible problems like damage, leaks, or parts that look worn out in essential areas like the engine, transmission, drive shaft, differentials, and axles.

Also, inspecting all the wiring and connections in the powertrain system is a good idea. This can help spot any electrical problems behind those powertrain issues.

Reasons And Their Solutions To Fix A Powertrain Fault In The Ford Fusion –  Everything You Need To Know!

1. Bad or low-level engine oil:

Not changing your engine oil regularly can lead to a lot of trouble for your engine. When oil gets old, it thickens and turns into sludge. This thick, sludgy oil doesn’t flow through the engine as smoothly as it should. 

As a result, the moving parts in the engine have to work extra hard, which can make your car use more fuel. This problem can also lead to issues like engine overheating, failure, and even blowing the head gasket. 

Bad or low-level engine oil


To overcome this problem, you have to change the engine oil regularly. Over time, oil breaks down, so it’s a good idea to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations in your user manual for when to change it.

2. Using water as coolant: 

This is a problem that often goes unnoticed until it causes trouble. Adding plain water to your radiator or coolant container can lead to the rusting of the internal metal components. The water, mixed with rust, starts rusting parts like the radiator, pump, engine block, and cylinder head.

Using water as coolant
Source:Car Insurance

Over time, this rust builds up and clogs the pathways within the engine and the cooling system, causing the engine to operate less efficiently. One of the main signs of this issue is engine overheating.


  • Drain and flush the cooling system.
  • Clean the system thoroughly to remove rust and debris.
  • Inspect components for corrosion and damage.
  • Use the appropriate coolant with corrosion protection.
  • Maintain regular coolant system maintenance.

3. The transmission issues:

3.1. low transmission oil:

If the transmission fluid in your car is too low, it can lead to the transmission overheating. When this occurs, it’s unable to cool the engine, which can damage the transmission. If the necessary repairs are delayed, it could eventually lead to a complete transmission failure.

The transmission issues

3.2. faulty Solenoids:

Solenoids are responsible for managing the flow of transmission fluid. They receive signals from the engine to either open or close. You might encounter delays when shifting gears if this function becomes slow due to a faulty solenoid. Sometimes, the gears could slip or even fail to engage correctly.


You should do a few things to fix problems with your transmission:

  1. Checking and filling up the transmission fluid.
  2. Changing out the dirty fluid
  3. Fixing or swapping out parts that are worn out. 

Sometimes, if the problem is terrible, you might have to rebuild the whole transmission or get a new one to make everything work again.

4. Engine misfire:

A misfire happens when the engine doesn’t ignite appropriately in one or more cylinders. This can lead to rough idling, a drop in power, and decreased fuel efficiency.

Misfires can occur due to various factors, including worn-out spark plugs, malfunctioning ignition coils, or problems with the fuel delivery system.

Engine misfire


When dealing with engine misfires, the usual fixes involve:

  1. Changing a worn-out spark plug
  2. Fixing problematic ignition coils
  3. Dealing with problems in the fuel delivery system

This can mean cleaning or swapping out fuel injectors, checking the fuel pressure, or looking into the fuel pump.

5. Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) Valve failure:

The EGR valve (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) is essential for lowering emissions as it redirects some exhaust gases into the engine. But when the EGR valve isn’t working correctly, it can cause powertrain problems. 

Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) Valve failure

Signs of a faulty EGR valve include a decrease in engine performance, higher emissions, and a noticeable reduction in fuel efficiency. Problems with the EGR valve can arise due to carbon buildup, damage to the valve itself, or electrical issues.


When dealing with EGR valve problems, mechanics usually start by cleaning or changing the valve. They’ll also look for any carbon buildup and check the electrical connections. 

Sometimes, you might need a software update for the PCM to fix EGR-related issues.

For the best visual view on how to clean the EGR valve, check out this YouTube video.

6. Faulty throttle:

It is a component of the car’s transmission. It’s called the throttle body, which regulates how much air enters the engine. When you press the gas pedal, a signal goes to the throttle position sensor, letting it know how far down your foot is. 

 Faulty throttle

The sensor then passes this data to the computer, which adjusts the fuel system accordingly. Sometimes, the throttle body can gather dirt, experience airflow problems, or have electrical issues. This can lead to your vehicle idling poorly at too high or too low RPMs.


The usual steps to tackle problems with the throttle body involve cleaning it or switching it out with a new one. Mechanics also check the sensors for any damage and inspect the electrical connections.

In certain situations, you might need a PCM software update to fix issues related to the throttle body.

7. Powertrain Control Module (PCM) Failure:

The PCM (Powertrain Control Module) serves as the primary computer in your vehicle, overseeing various engine and transmission operations. When the PCM isn’t functioning properly, it can lead to powertrain problems. 

Powertrain Control Module (PCM) Failure

Signs of a faulty PCM include reduced engine performance, transmission troubles, and warning lights appearing on the dashboard. Software errors, sensor damage, or electrical malfunctions can cause issues with the PCM.


When dealing with PCM failure, the solutions can include updating the software, fixing or changing damaged sensors, or looking into potential electrical problems. In more severe cases, you might have to replace the entire PCM to fix the issue completely.

8. The differential:

The differential, whether a slip, locked, or open type, is crucial in ensuring your vehicle handles well when turning and avoids wheel slipping. If there’s an issue with the differential, it can send power to the wheels in a way that’s not ideal, making your vehicle less efficient. 

The differential

A faulty differential can be unsafe because it might lead to understeering or oversteering. When there’s a problem with the differential, it can trigger the wrench light on your dashboard as a warning.


Start by diagnosing the problem, checking and replacing the differential fluid, and, if needed, repairing or replacing components, ensuring proper alignment and calibration for optimal performance.

9. Faulty Carburettor:

A malfunctioning carburetor is a common reason for the wrench light coming on. Your car may shake or overheat when your carburetor isn’t working correctly. If this happens, the wrench light on your dashboard will flash, indicating it’s time to schedule maintenance for your car.


To address a malfunctioning carburetor, thoroughly clean or rebuild. However, if the damage to the carburetor is severe, you might have to replace it.

Minor repairs may return your car within a day, while more extensive repairs could take several days.

10. Bad/Disconnected MAF sensor:

Another common reason the wrench light illuminates on a Ford Fusion is a malfunctioning or loosely connected MAF (Mass Airflow) sensor.

Bad/Disconnected MAF sensor

The MAF sensor in your Ford Fusion is critical in measuring the air entering your engine. If this sensor isn’t malfunctioning or has become disconnected, the wrench light can be turned on.


  • Inspect the MAF sensor and wiring for damage or loose connections.
  • Clean the MAF sensor if it’s dirty.
  • Reset the check engine light after checks.
  • Test drive the car to check if the wrench light issue persists.
  • Seek professional help from a mechanic or Ford dealership if the problem continues or there is uncertainty in diagnosis.

Moreover, as the owner of a Ford Fusion, I recommend checking if the sensor is connected correctly and in working condition to address this issue. If it’s not connected correctly, simply reattach it. If the sensor is faulty or disconnected beyond repair, you’ll need to replace it with a new one to resolve the problem.

11. Defective catalytic converter:

The part of the Ford Fusion that is essential to your car’s exhaust system, not the transmission. Its primary role is to help reduce harmful emissions from the engine.

Issues that can cause problems with the catalytic converter include overheating, physical damage, or contamination by substances like oil due to internal coolant leaks.

Defective catalytic converter
Source:AAA Towing

When the catalytic converter is faulty, it can trigger the wrench light on your dashboard. Signs that your catalytic converter might malfunction include a sulfur or rotten eggs smell, unusual noises, a burning odor, reduced acceleration, and extreme heat from under the car.


Professional Diagnosis: Have a mechanic diagnose the catalytic converter issue.

Address Contamination: If contamination is detected, promptly address its source, such as internal coolant leaks.

Inspect for Physical Damage: Check for visible damage to the catalytic converter, including dents, cracks, or loose connections.

Follow the mechanic’s Recommendations: Based on the diagnosis, follow your mechanic’s advice for repair or replacement to ensure emission control and vehicle performance.

Finally, you’ve learned all the possible causes and their solutions. Moreover, Read the discussion on the forum-based website of the audience over this problem and get people’s opinions worldwide.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. How much does it cost to fix a powertrain fault?

In simple terms, the control module for a Ford Fusion’s powertrain typically ranges from $69 to $88. But it can depend on the specific issue, like sensor replacements may cost a few hundred dollars, while more complex problems could run into the thousands.

2. Can I drive my Ford Fusion with a powertrain fault?

Driving with a powertrain fault is possible, but it’s not recommended. Continued driving may worsen the issue and lead to more significant problems. It’s best to address the fault as soon as possible.

3. What should I do when the powertrain fault light pops up?

To rule out this possibility, follow these steps: Turn off the engine when the warning light appears, restart the engine to see if the light disappears, and if it persists, disconnect the battery cables for about 30 minutes to reset the car’s computer. If the light remains lit, consult a mechanic for a thorough inspection.

4. How can I prevent powertrain faults in the future?

Regular maintenance, including oil changes, filter replacements, and following your vehicle’s service schedule, can help prevent powertrain faults.

5. What are the Error Codes?

The Ford Fusion has an onboard computer system overseeing various car functions. Error codes are numeric or alphanumeric combinations that computer systems and devices use to identify specific issues. They help diagnose and pinpoint the cause of a malfunction or error in software or hardware.


Summing up the discussion,

It typically requires professional inspection and repair by a qualified mechanic. However, You can quickly fix the problem of the powertrain by resolving the causes, including faulty throttle and carburetor, bad MAF sensor, engine misfire, transmission issue, failure of the exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) Valve, low-level of engine oil, etc.

We provide you with the knowledge and confidence to tackle this issue and get your car back on the road.