This Ford F-150 only has 70,000 miles and the shifter already sounds bad.

In 2020, for Model Year 2021 F-150, Ford rolled out an evolution to the console shifters (PRNDL), press a button and the shifter folds flat.

The idea is, with the shifter out of the way, F-150 owners wanting work done in their trucks could get work done where an upright console shifter normally would be.

While, in theory, it sounds like a good idea, in practice, when they go bad due to not being used regularly, it’s painfully obvious.

Car detailer Brandon, who goes by @detailer_brandon_w on Instagram, shared the horrendous noise that came from this Ford F-150 and its foldable console shifter, and the truck only has 70,000 miles!


Check out his video below.

“Remember when we thought this idea was amazing?” Brandon captions his video.

When Brandon presses the button, the shifter makes a gut-wrenching RrRrRr noise.

For comparison, here’s how it’s supposed to sound, virtually no noise, just happy, lubricated gears.

And here’s a gear shifter module comparo between an older style F-150 on the right and the new folding one on the left.

The new and “improved” folding shifter on the left and the tried-and-true non-folding one on the right.

With many new technologies, this new fangled shifters weren’t without teething issues.

Shortly after rolling out to new F-150 owners, owners reported console shifters that couldn’t get out of park, made clicking noises, and/or were inoperative.

Under warranty, Ford used a TSB and either reprogrammed the GSMs or replaced them altogether.

The video above isn’t so much a clicking noise as just an annoying one.

Here’s a failed console shifter that has one or more of the above symptoms in the TSB that would be covered.

There are many theories why these folding console shifters fail or start to sound like a moaning banshee.

The unconfirmed consensus is most F-150 owners aren’t using that area to work (shocking) and just never fold the console shifters flat.

Without regular use, the folding mechanism’s internals don’t get used and lubed normally enough that they start to make noise and inevitably fail.

The solution seems to be to either use the folding mechanism regularly, which is yet another maintenance item to remember, or never folding it (which is what many F-150 owners online already do.)

As Richard Hammond said when critiquing the Honda/Acura NSX Type R and its titanium mesh shifter boot, when engineers start doing things like this (small things like a new boot material or a foldable shifter) they’re just fiddling.

And, in this F-150’s case, they’re actually making the ownership experience worse!


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