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What Is P0720 Code Ford F150 And How To Fix It? [With Cost]

The P0720 code on Ford F150 means output speed sensor malfunction. It can happen due to a faulty sensor, wiring issues, PCM malfunction, or dirty transmission fluid. The output speed sensor replacement cost varies from $212 to $278, including $117 to $143 for labor and  $95 to $135 for parts.

You will need to find the exact issue and then take the necessary actions. Depending on the problem, the repair cost can also be different.

Today, I will talk about the problems causing P0720 in detail with solutions. Then I will also provide an estimation of the cost of fixing the issue. Let’s start.

4 Common Problems Causing P0720 Code Ford F150

The P0720 code on the F150 is a trouble code that indicates a malfunction in the transmission output speed sensor. The problem can be with the sensor itself or other connecting parts.

Let’s have a detailed discussion on 4 problems that cause the P0720 trouble code:

Problem 1: Faulty Transmission Output Speed Sensor

The transmission output speed sensor measures the rotational speed of the output shaft of the transmission. The transmission control unit receives a signal from it informing it of the speed. If it is malfunctioning, you will get the P0720 trouble code.

  • Causes: The sensor can get damaged due to various reasons, such as poor electrical connections, overheating, and or poor maintenance.
  • Symptoms: You will get an engine light notification. Besides, you will have trouble shifting the truck, and there can also be problems with the speedometer.
  • Recommended Solution: Use an OBD-II trouble code scanner to ensure the output sensor is working properly. If not, then replace it with a new one. Check out this video to learn how to diagnose the issue.

Problem 2: Wiring Issues

The wiring transmits electrical signals between the transmission output speed sensor and the vehicle’s computer in the Ford F150. Faulty wiring can also be the cause of the P0720 code.

  • Causes: Wiring problems can happen due to corroded or loose connections. Besides, the wire can also be damaged due to electrical issues.
  • Symptoms: As the wiring issues cause the output speed sensor to fail to function properly, it shows the same symptoms, such as check engine light, erratic shifting, and speedometer issues.
  • Recommended Solution: After checking the sensor, use a multimeter to check the wiring. If any wires are damaged, make sure the connection is secure and replace them.

Problem 3: Powertrain Control Module (PCM) Malfunction

The powertrain control module, or PCM, is responsible for transmitting the signals and controlling all the sensors in the Ford F150. A malfunction in the PCM can be due to issues with the transmission control module (TCM) that show the P0720 code.

  • Causes: The PCM can malfunction due to connection problems between the sensors. Plus, software glitches can also cause the control unit to fail.
  • Symptoms: Besides the common P0720 symptoms, the truck may have difficulty starting, or the gas mileage can get lower.
  • Recommended Solution: Reprogram the PCM by an expert. If that does not work, then replace the part with a new one.

Problem 4: Dirty or Low Transmission Fluid Level

Contamination in transmission fluid or low oil levels can also trigger the P0720 trouble code in the Ford F150. It affects the transmission system and the output speed sensor, causing the code to appear.

  • Causes: The transmission fuel can get dirty due to dirt and debris build-up. Poor quality transmission oil can also be the cause. Besides, if you do not change the oil regularly, the oil level can drop.
  • Symptoms: Check engine or transmission light, abnormal noises, and slow gear engagement are the common symptoms of low or dirty transmission fluid.
  • Recommended Solution: Drain out all the transmission fluid and fill it with new oil. Try using high-quality automatic transmission fluid (ATF).

Cost to Clear P0720 Code on Ford F150

You will need to replace the output speed sensor to clear the P0720 code in a Ford F150, which will cost between $212 and $278. It includes the labor cost of $117 to $143 and the parts cost of $95 to $135.

If you can replace the output speed sensor yourself, then you can save on labor costs. But that is not recommended unless you have prior auto repair experience.

ParticularsCost
Parts$95-$135
Labor$117-$143
Total$212-$278
Average$245

However, the cost can vary based on various other factors. Let’s have a look at the factors affecting clearing the P0720 code in the F150:

Parts Cost List:

Even though you usually need to replace the speed sensor, other connecting parts can malfunction occasionally. In those cases, the cost will be different.

The wires for the speed sensor cost between $30 and $100, while the transmission fluid will cost between $14 and $92. However, if you need to change the PCM, it can be costly—around $545 to $786.

PartsPrice
Output speed sensor$15-$135
Wires$30-$100
PCM$120-$786
Transmission fluid$14-$170

Note: These P0720 code-clearing costs are only rough estimations. The actual cost will vary depending on the problem’s severity and where you repair it.

Check out my article on the Ford F150 power running board problems.

FAQs

Can you drive with a P0720 code?

Yes. The P0720 code in the Ford F150 does not make the truck undrivable. However, ignoring it for a long time can damage various other parts of the vehicle. Try to fix the problem ASAP.

Why is my speed sensor not working?

If the speedometer does not move and stays at 0 mph, it indicates a faulty speed sensor. It can happen due to a damaged sensor, faulty wiring, loose connections, or a powertrain control unit malfunction.

Where is the speed sensor located on a Ford F150?

The speed sensor is located in the transmission housing under the hood of the Ford F150. You will find the sensor on the rear side of the transmission.

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