What is the Difference Between Ford Automatic and Powershift?


Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a Ford Automatic and a Powershift? 

Well, I have! 

I am here to give you some insight so that next time you’re looking at cars, this will help you decide which one is best for your needs. 

What is the Difference Between Ford Automatic and Powershift?

A Ford Automatic is a standard automatic vehicle with the normal gears you’re used to: drive, park, and neutral. The Powershift has these same features but provides some manual control over gear selection. This allows you to “shift gears” by pushing the stick in the opposite direction, with upshifting and downshifting being controlled automatically by sensors.

Some drivers really appreciate the extra control that the Powershift offers while others will never have a need to take advantage of this feature.

I break down the differences between the two in the sections below to help you decide whether or not the Ford Powershift is a worthwhile upgrade for you.

Ford Automatic

There are several different modes you can be in with your automatic car, depending on your driving conditions. 

For example, if you’re moving along at 15 mph, you would put the shifter into D3 (Drive 3). 

This allows for the most economical shifting of the gears. 

It is in this mode that you’ll get your best gas mileage. 

If you are going down a hill and need some extra power, put it into D4 (drive 4). 

This is an economy plus mode. 

It will make up for any lagging control but still allow for good gas mileage. 

Most drivers, they’ll stay in D3 and only use D4 when they need more power.

A Ford Auto is a very durable vehicle system and will last you for many years and miles to come.

Ford Powershift

A Ford Powershift, however, is a dual-clutch system. 

When you are driving, the two gearboxes usually work together seamlessly to give you that smooth ride you expect from this vehicle.

Powershift refers to the technology that controls the automatic shifting process in a car with both an automatic and manual mode. 

This technology was first introduced to the market in 2010.

Powershifting vehicles can change gears without using a clutch pedal. 

Although both types of vehicles are considered automatic transmission, the Powershift goes about changing gears in a different way that leads to its improved performance.

It can be shifted just like a manual transmission, or it can automatically change gears independently. 

In the most basic sense, all involved in changing gears in an automatic car with a conventional torque converter is the movement of fluid from one part of the transmission to another to open or close hydraulic valves in the valve body. 

The valves control which gears are currently engaged and when they should be disengaged to allow another gear to engage.

How Do I Know if My Car has a Powershift?

If your car has dual-clutch functionality, then powershift is the automatic transmission system that will be used. 

For example, if there are two pedals on the floor for acceleration and one for braking, this means that you have a car with both types of transmissions available.

If you have a car with two pedals on the floor, but they both are for acceleration, this means that only an automatic vehicle is available. 

Suppose there are three pedals, one for accelerating and one for braking, in addition to a button for shifting gears manually. 

In that case, it means that you have an automatic transmission with manual shift capabilities.

Benefits of Ford Powershift

The benefits of having a power shift transmission installed in your car certainly outweigh the initial cost and installation expenses. 

The first question you may ask is, what are the benefits of this? 

Well, many benefits come along with owning a car with this highly advanced technology.

There are two completely different types of transmissions available on the market when it comes to automatic transmissions. 

Some have a torque converter, and those that do not. 

A car with a manual transmission will not have a torque converter. 

And a car with an automatic transmission option will include a torque converter.

The difference between these two types of transmissions will be what type of connection they have between the engine and the transmission. 

A car with a manual transmission will have a gear stick that must be shifted for gears to change. 

And a car with a Powershift transmission will have something called a torque converter which changes gears on its own through fluid movement.

The benefits of having a power shift will come from owning a vehicle with an automatic transmission with this shifting technology. 

The best benefit that can be seen is in the fuel economy for your car

The less often you have to switch gears in a manual transmission, the better fuel mileage you will get on average.

People who have arthritis will significantly benefit from having a power shift installed in their car. 

Anyone who has to turn a key to start their car and then has to shift gears manually will suffer from arthritis. 

This is because they have different movements that need to be made, increasing strain on the joints.

A power shift eliminates the need for you to ever take your hands off of the steering wheel when changing gears. 

This means that you are eliminating the amount of strain that goes into changing gears manually. 

It will also reduce the chances of causing arthritis in your hands by minimizing movements.

Another benefit is that your transmission will last longer if you have a power shift installed in your vehicle. 

You may have noticed that when driving with a manual transmission, you have to hold the clutch in place when stopping. 

This can wear out your brake pads much faster than if you were to drive a car with an automatic transmission that does not require this holding pressure on the pedal when coming to a stop.

Disadvantages of Ford Powershift

There are very few disadvantages of having a power shift installed in your car. 

The only real drawback is that it will take you away to drive either an automatic or manual transmission (not to mention there’s been a bit of a legal mess surrounding it as well). 

You can still get both types, but they will both be automatic instead.

If you like changing gears manually, this type of technology may not be for you. 

There is also some added expense in installing this type of technology. 

Still, it is well worth the money you will spend on preventing arthritis through controlling movements and maintaining your car’s brake pads.

Having a power shift installed means that your car will automatically engage when it senses slippery surfaces instead of simply slipping the gear stick into neutral as a standard automatic transmission would allow.

If you have a manual transmission in your car and slip the gear stick into neutral while driving in snow, then you will be able to keep going even though your vehicle is not moving because the engine will keep running. 

And if you are driving an automatic transmission that does not have a power shift installed, then you can use your foot to brake without having to worry about slipping the gear stick into neutral.

How to Install a Powershift Transmission

A powershift transmission can be installed in a car by an experienced mechanic. 

But you still need to know how this type of shifting mechanism works before installing it so that you do not void any warranties on the parts and labor.

The leading cause for this type of transmission is cold weather, but it will work just as well in warmer climates dealing with snowy conditions.

The first thing that needs to be done is to ensure that the transmission fluid is cold and will become solid. 

Then, start your car up and put your vehicle into gear. 

Once this is completed, you will need to turn off your vehicle’s engine entirely while still having your car in gear.

Then, you will need to pump your brake pedal a couple of times and hold it while also holding down the brake with your left foot. 

This is done to get the car moving from the pressure that is being applied to the pedal. 

Once this is completed, let go of both pedals and press on them slowly until you reach the speed you want to go.

Then, pump your brake pedal once more and then turn off your engine completely and let it rest for about 15 seconds until everything is reset and ready for another gear change. 

This can be difficult to get down at first, but it will become easier with time and practice. 

Once this process becomes easier to perform, you can install a power shift transmission.

The Ford Automatic and Powershift are two different transmission types that have been designed to help drivers get the most out of their car. 

If you’re not sure which type is best for your needs, enquire from your salesperson which will serve you best.

John Nelson

You can find John stringing a hammock from the back of his SUV to a tree camping in the outdoors most weekends during warmer weather. John loves the outdoors and the freedom four-wheel-drive vehicles offer.

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