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Ford Freestar Transmission Problems

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  • I have a 2005 Monterey with now 90,000 miles on it (bought because I am alive today because of the safety of my now totaled 2003 Windstar, may my Windstar RIP, hence the only reason i had to have this van as my replacement vehicle.
    At 90,000 miles with no warning my car went into neutral and refused to move, the front tires were locked and would not even roll once it had come to a complete stop--good thing it coasted onto a shoulder and did not stop in the road....
    I have the extended Warranty and have had the laundry list of little things gone wrong... wiring harnesses replaced, sensors replaced, the rear sliding door motors replaced...ect....
    I called the dealership, and they were excellent at this point---told me to call the extended warranty people and Ford would have a tow truck pick it up....even told me to tell the Ford people i was scared and in a bad area for a young woman to be in all alone.....which worked....the tow truck was there in less than an hour,,,,
    They towed it the three miles to the dealership, I get a loaner car, and get told they will call me the next day......That is where the fun begins....
    A phone call from the service advisor asking for permission to tear into my transmission and telling me that since i did not have the reciepts for changing my trans fluid (which i had JUST had checked the week before and was told it did not need changing yet) I was told Ford may not honor the extended warranty.....I got upset and immed went into action, calling my attorney (already on retainer for my divorce) My service advisor told me it was out of his hands, he would do what he could, but he had no bearing on the decision. Ford was sending in someone to inspect my transmission and they make the call. I did inform them that my lawyer wanted copies and pictures of everything. After many sleepless nights wondering how I was going to pay for repairs if it could not be fixed.....today i get a phone call that Ford sent in thier person and he has agreed to honor the repairs under warranty and I am getting a new transmission--not rebuilt--but he said all he was "authorized" by ford to tell me was wrong was a defect in the transmission---I guess after reading here i am very lucky..........I am not sure why they honored my warranty when it looks as if on here many people have been screwed. I am going to press to find out what exactly was the issue with my transmission.....
    My dealership and service advisor have always been very good to me.....from reading here i think they need to check my torque converter before i get my van back....
    AMR
    Queen Anne County MD
  • I too just replaced the torque convertor and rebuilt the rest. Same story traveling at 45mph when the tranny let go. No prior indication that there was a problem. Very dangerous situation. Filed my complaint and will keep my receipts in hope that something is done.
  • jgenovesejgenovese Posts: 220
    You are very lucky. I am guessing you went to Norris Ford in Easton?. I drove all the way over there from Annapolis to get a recall service done on my F150 to avoid Koons Ford of Annapolis because they are such liars and cowards. It is too late for them to help me with my Freestar issue but, I must say, that my experience at Norris Ford of Easton was excellent. The contrast between Norris Ford of Easton and Koons Ford of Annapolis was like night and day. I still have to wonder how koons Ford of Annapolis stays in business. Anyway, PLEASE LET US KNOW WHAT THE OUTCOME IS REGARDING WHAT THE ACTUAL DEFECT WAS. This information would really help the rest of us who have been put in harms way by Ford and then totally betrayed and abandoned when our transmissions failed. (That is putting it nicely).

    Jim Genovese
    Annapolis, MD
  • jgenovesejgenovese Posts: 220
    You are absolutely right. Thank God nothing happened to you and your children. Please keep us in the loop regarding the outcome of your situation.

    Jim Genovese
    Annapolis, MD USA
  • jgenovesejgenovese Posts: 220
    Thank you for doing the right thing and filing your complaint! I am still waiting for NHTSA to step up and do their job and recall these defective transmissions. we all know that Ford will never step up and take responsibility. that is why, after 20+ years of buying Ford and recommending Ford, NEVER AGAIN! The only thing I would "recommend" Ford for is charges of criminal conspiracy, criminal negligence, and fraud, to the US Attorney's Office for their actions throughout this entire debacle with the Freestar/Monteray.

    Jim Genovese
    Annapolis, MD
  • I was told this morning when I called to ask about the torque converter and making sure that it was checked out too after reading ALL of the posts in this forum.....that the problem with my van was the Planetary Gears had "failed" causing the sudden failure of the transmission--he is going to show me the old when I go to pick up the van next week and explain. I am a single mother and know NOTHING about cars, so all of this has been a roller coaster ride for me.

    The dealer that has been so good to me is Rich Morton in Annapolis. There have been several warranty issues that they have gone to bat for me to get covered. They always treat me with respect-If I have questions or need something explained they help me and take thier time with me. I have been so many places where I was treated like I was ignorant.

    My past vehicle--the Windstar that is RIP-- was bought at Koons in Annapolis, but I took it to Norris for everything else because Norris is so laid back and freindly---I had bought at Koons because they were able to get the price $2000 lower than Norris for the EXACT same vehicle---same VIN being transferred from another dealer.

    I will keep everyone posted, but my experience with Rich Morton has been excellent. They have always come through for me.

    AMR
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    My service advisor told me it was out of his hands, he would do what he could, but he had no bearing on the decision

    Service advisors generally don't make decisions like that. They tell you what you need... sometimes what you don't need. Ask to speak to the service manager reguarding the heavy stuff.
  • My service advisor is the Service Manager...The decision was in the hands of the person Ford sent in from Corporate. The service manager told me this morning he was surprised Ford flew someone in to see my transmission from Ford HQ, he said they say they can, but he said he has never had it happen in the 15 years he has been there.

    I just picked up my Van this morning---and it works right now :) I asked what I needed to do to make sure I did not have an issue, and was told that at 30,000 miles on the new trans to make sure that I get the trans fluid changed. And then again at 75,000 miles.....I think I will do more like at 70,000 for the second just so I am still UNDER the warranty if they find anything....The dealership gave me a warranty on the new transmission in writing that states the 75,000 miles for the new transmission.

    My van has had a host of issues in the past---the check tire lights, the sliding door opening by itself while driving, the traction control light coming on, ect....But I still love my van. I missed driving it over the past week.

    AMR
  • jgenovesejgenovese Posts: 220
    You are VERY LUCKY. I wonder how Ford will explain itself to the rest of us who got screwed out of THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS. Maybe this is the beginning of Ford starting to take responsibility for this fiasco. I doubt it but mabey...
    Keep your receipts everyone!

    Jim Genovese
    Annapolis, MD
  • Well I had to change my screen name and re-post. My husband and I were returning from a day at Hershey Park yesterday with my 2 daughters. We stopped at a drive thru and when I pulled back out into traffic, the van reved and then we could not go. We coasted into a parking lot, the trans was obviously shot. This is a 2006 Freestar. The van was towed last night and our mechanic called this afternoon with the news----$3200 to repair! This is so frustrating. We will file the necessary complaints and keep track of the posts here. As for the repair bill--the van is going to have to sit for a bit. Now we'll be making a monthly payment on a vehicle we can't use. My husband has pampered this vehicle since we purchased it. As a former mechanic he has done all of the necessary maintenance. I am so grateful that no one was hurt during the break down.
  • My wife was driving home from work last night and while going over the Indian River bridge at 55mph, the engine revved up on her and acted like it was in neutral with no warning whatsoever. Our van is a 2005 Mercury Monterey with 57000 miles, and we don't have the extended warranty. However, it makes no sense to me that a transmission should fail on a car we have owned for less than 3 years. I have filed a complaint to Ford Motor Company, NHTSA, and have also emailed every local news channel's consumer investigator department. I suggest we flood a couple major news channels with complaints, it worked with the Dodge dashboard problem. Anyway, I had the car towed to the nearest Mercury dealership which doesn't open until after Labor Day. If anyone has more suggestions please respond. My wife's lucky she was able to get over the bridge and coast to the side of the road, but eventually someone's going to get injured or worse. :mad:
  • jgenovesejgenovese Posts: 220
    You are absolutely correct.It is just a matter of time before someone is injured or killed because of this defect. A Ford rep has already admitted that it is defect to a customer here in MD so they can't continue to deny responsibility or knowledge of it as they have for the last few years. NHTSA certainly can't deny it anymore either. At some point, somebody from one of these organizations will have to step up and do what is right. Our job is to NEVER GIVE UP until this happens. Thank you for taking the time to report your experience. It is this type of grass roots, consumer driven effort that will force the issue and cause some action to be taken. If nothing else comes from it, we may just be able to save someone's life.

    Jim Genovese
    Annapolis, MD
  • I was driving home on Aug. 31 with my wife and kids, going approx 45-50 mph when suddenly the van acted like it was in neutral and wouldn't pull. Luckily there was no traffic and was able to get it to the side of the road. I checked all the fuses none were bad, ATF was full, no warning lights no indication of any problem. I guess I will be going to the dealer tomorrow to see what lies they will tell me. How do you send a message to NHTSA? Maybe if we all send a message they might do something. :mad:
  • Bought our 2005 Freestar new off the lot. Had the tranny fluid changed at about 29k. Last Friday at 41,005 miles, the wife pulled up to a stoplight with no issues. Took her foot of the brake and touched the gas and no-go. Not a bump or clunk.

    First thing that came to mind while pushing her van to a parking lot was the linkage. Everything looked good. Then I checked the fluid while the engine was off and then again while running and both read a bit high. That's when I thought it may be the torque converter. Found this thread about 5 minutes after getting home. Had it towed to aamco and they finally got it torn apart and confirmed that the converter splines are stripped. Metal fragments lodged in the valve body also. $2600 for a rebuild. I've never heard of a vehicle with more failed transmissions under 50k and no TSB. The guys at aamco have been pretty good with me so far. I was skeptical, but I'm not about to give ford another nickel. They are documenting what was found and I even talked them into snapping a few pictures of the converter splines and metal fragments in the valve body to pass along to ford.

    I've always had good luck with fords, but this van is the worst. It chews through front rotors like nothing I've seen before. Good luck all!
  • It is absolutely amazing to me that neither Ford nor NHTSA will do anything about this fiasco. It is just a matter of time before somebody gets killed because of this defect! Your story is identical to mine and so many others. We are trulyblessed that no one has been hurt yet. My wife and 5 of my 6 children were in our van when ours failed in the middle of an intersection. Our Ford dealer, KOONS FORD OF ANNAPOLIS, flat out lied to us and told us they had never heard of this before and said it was our fault because we didn't have the tranny flushed at 30K. What a bunch of nonsense! This was the plan all along because Ford new this defect existed when they rebadged the Windstar as the Freestar and likely long before that! Most recently, a Ford rep admitted to a customer here in MD that it was a defect. This rep was flown in by Ford from Detroit so, it is obvious that Ford has taken notice of the problem. I doubt, however, that they will do anything for the thousands of families like ours that are out thousands of dollars and forced to drive a vehicle that we can no longer have faith in to keep our families safe on the road. The irony of it all is that we bought this vehicle based primarily on Ford's claims of its "Best in Class" safety. What a fraud! Thank God for the internet. Were it not for our ability to link up in forums like this one, we would not have a chance to fight this. However; because we do, we have strength in numbers and the power to keep this going until either Ford or NHTSA gets up off of their cowardly behinds and does something before somebody gets seriously injured or killed.

    Keep the faith and keep spreading the word. Tell everyone you know, especially others with this ticking time bomb, about it. In situations like this, there is nothing more powerful than a knowledgable consumer.

    Jim Genovese
    Annapolis, MD
  • Just go to the NHTSA website and follow the prompts. It is pretty user friendly but you will need to be prepared with your VIN and some other basics about your van such as engine size/type etc. As far as, "Maybe if enough of us report this they will do something"; They have had MANY, MANY reports and still have done NOTHING! When I inquired if there was a "magic number of complaints" or if somebody had to die before they took any action, they replied with a standard Email that denies either of these things. I'm guessing that they are either woefully inept or in Ford's pocket. Either way, the consumer suffers. That said however; we still need to report each and every failure so that when, not if, somebody does get killed, these cowards can't claim that they didn't know this defect existed and they can be held responsible. Remember the Explorer/Firestone tires case? Ford denied responsibilty but then turned around and completely redesigned the Explorer making it a much safer vehicle. What a COINCIDENCE! The Freestar however, will never be back though. It was such a huge failure due to defects such as the one we experienced, that after a name change, (Windstar to Freestar), didn't solve the engineering problems, (Meant to be as ridiculous as it sounds because that is why Ford did it), it was still the same defective failure and eventually dropped from the lineup alltogether. What a shame too because this segment of the market is HUGE and Ford can't comptete. No wonder it is as close to going under as it has ever been.

    Jim Genovese
    Annapolis, MD
  • Our '04 Freestar with 32,000 miles was whining in the engine compartment (It started around 31,000) after miss diagnosis, they said it was the alternator - WRONG. So the tranny guy at Ford pin pointed to the Torque Converter. Once they tore into it they also found the Stator Support and Torque Convertor Bushing worn. Thank the holy heavens we purchased the extended warranty, I figure that we broke even on the cost of it. So if you hear a high pitched sound when you take off or just hold the brake and gas it. This is a warning shot. I even flushed the transmission fluid the last two summers before taking it on vacation, so exchanging the fluid did not even stop failure. :shades:
  • You are absolutely right. Flushing the tranny will not prevent this failure yet, this is the excuse Ford gives when they say they won't cover the replacement cost if you did not have this done at 30K miles. More proof of the FRAUD that Ford is perpetuating on its customers. What a bunch of cowards.
  • Wife driving home and transmission on my (her) 2005 Ford Freestar (52K miles) just suddenly stopped pulling while driving down the road at about 50mph. Luckinly it was only about a mile from home and she was able to call a friend to help her push it out of the road. I saw this post for the first time about a week and a half ago. At first I was hoping to find good news, but when I got on the post and read the stories, my heart sank. I got better things to do with three grand. Long story short is this. I saw a post around 9-10 months ago from a lady that said she worked at a call center and that the call center classifies people when they call in using cues like tone of voice, etc. People that call in all mad and demanding action and stating they ain't never gonna buy another Ford again will get no help at all. So I took this to the extreme. I asked the service guy very nicely if there was anything that he could do and his answer was party line, it is out of warranty, sorry. I had a 100K dealer promise warranty from the PA dealership where I bought this thing, so I asked him if there was anything that they could do in a coorpoerative way with the other dealer. Again, party line. Sensing I was getting nowwhere, I asked pleasently for the Ford 800 number and he gave it to me. I called up corporate Ford and told them that my wife and I loved the car (I lied) and were just really surprised to have a tranny go at 50K. I told them that I had bought two brand new Fords inthe last 5 year (which was true) and really like them both and wanted to continue to bur Fords but that the whole tranny deal really had me worried. At times, I was sucking so hard that I had to put the phone on mute because I was giggling at how well they appeared to be believing everything that I was saying. Anyway final ESTIMATE was 3100 for the dealer to replace the tranny. Ford only charged me 1350.... and they gave me a 3 year/ 36000 warranty to boot....Suckers.... Hope somebody else reads this post and is successful at getting this huge discount on a replacement tranny until they finally recall this piece of crap.
  • Worked for me too!! The first thing you have to do when this happens is have it towed to a ford dealership. If you take it anywhere else, you are footing the entire bill. I called Ford and gave them the story and told them I have purchased 7 Fords in the last 14 years (which is true, always been a Ford guy). I told them the same thing, that we loved the van and couldn't believe the tranny would go at 57k. The estimate from the dealer was 1650.00. Ford paid 1050. They did a follow up after the car was fixed and I told them that I was still uneasy about my wife driving the car knowing that this is happening to so many people, and stressed to them that Ford needs to design a better torque converter and issue a recall before someone else isn't so lucky.
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