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Ford Freestar Transmission Problems

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Comments

  • cowboys59cowboys59 Posts: 38
    Hey Jim,
    You know I love Dads who are manly enough to drive a minivan with pride (not a Ford of course)! I would never leave you guys out on purpose. Please forgive me!
    You are the driving force behind all of us. Kick me in the a** if I leave you out ever again!
    Love and admire you forever!!!!!
    Kelly
  • jim1065jim1065 Posts: 2
    We lost the tranny on our '04 Freestar Limited on Friday night at 82,000 miles. We were accelerating onto the freeway and the tranny just dropped out of gear. Fortunately, there was an abandoned weigh-station right after the entrance ramp that we could coast into. Of course, the extended warranty ended at 75,000 miles. Also, told by Roadside assistance that that ended at 75,000 miles too, and it would be $75 for the wrecker...sigh. Anyhow, given 2 options...1) rebuild starting at $650 (just to drop the fried unit) and that it would go only up from there with a 12-month/12,000 mile warranty...or 2) put a new unit in at $3500 with a 3-year/100,000 mile warranty. Seemed like a no-brainer since Ford will not own up to this as being a problem, and I cannot afford to spend $3000+ to just have it happen again in 12+ months because you know it will go out again after the 12-month warranty expires. Turned on the pity engine and got the dealer (where we bought it) to knock $500 off the new unit and kick in a rental. Just waiting now for everything to get done...afraid it will be a cold day in H#$@ before we buy another Ford. Always heard that Ford stood for Found On Road Dead...starting to believe it. Maybe now we will have a chance to get at least a fair trade-in, but not holding my breath there either.

    Jim M.
    Sugar Land, TX
    :cry:
  • jgenovesejgenovese Posts: 220
    Jim,
    Thank goodness no one got hurt. Another miracle. Hope you get a good repair and that your van lasts a little bit longer anyway. In the meantime, please report your incident to NHTSA via their website. Your report is critical as it is another brick in the wall that is our case for a recall/class action against Ford. Also, tell everyone you know about your experience, especially other Freestar owners who could be
    the next victims of this defect.

    Jim Genovese
    Annapolis, MD
  • jgenovesejgenovese Posts: 220
    Thank you fo the kind words Kelly. It is good to have the support of others like you!

    Jim Genovese
    Annapolis, MD
  • jim1065jim1065 Posts: 2
    Jim,

    Thanks for the support. I have reported the incident on the NHTSA site, and will continue to monitor this forum for more information.

    Jim M.
    Sugar Land, TX
  • enialeeniale Posts: 2
    Hello, I am having transmissions problems and was trying to find out how bad a problem it was before going to a transmission establishment. It looks bad. I read one comment that someone suggests replacing the transmission with a larger one and someone else said to have some one dependable rebuild. How much am I looking at for repairs?
  • jgenovesejgenovese Posts: 220
    eniale,
    The repair depends on the "problem". That said, as long as you are going to have the tranny pulled and dropped, you might as well replace at least the shaft that transfers the power from the engine to the drivetrain. That is what is going to fail eventually. (Your mechanic will know what this is). You can expect to spend $1500-3000.00 depending on the extent of the "problem" and how much damage has already been done. If, when the rans is pulled, metal filings are found in your pan/fluid, its too late and a total rebuild is going to be recommended. A total rebuild will cost $3000.00. Hope this helps.

    If your problem was a sudden failure, no engagement and vehicle will not move, it is essential that you report it to NHTSA via their website. NHTSA is the government agency that it SUPPOSED to be investigating these types of defects but, inexplicably, has failed to take action on this one. It is critical to report every incident to them so that, in the event of a serious injury or fatality as a result of this defect, they cannot say that they didn't know about it. Also, our only chance of a recall/reimbursement for repairs, short of a voluntary recall from Ford, (not likely), is a forced recall from NHTSA.

    Keep us posted as to your outcome.

    Jim Genovese
    Annapolis, MD
  • Dear eniale,

    We have a 2004 Freestar that had suddenly stopped working on the freeway between Grand Junction, Co, and Green River, UT. Luckily, traffic was light, and we coasted to a stop safely off the road. Also luckily, I had a cell phone that worked out there in the desert, and called for help. We were towed back to Grand Junction, and then called the Ford Dealer in the morning. The car had just 45,600 miles on it at the time. He said Ford would not do anything, as the warranty had run out, and it would cost about $3500 to replace the transmission. I told the service manager that was unacceptable, and that I would call the District Ford manager....the service manager said to go right ahead, but you will get the same answer. I dread to visualize what would have happended if we were in Salt Lake City traffic at rush hour when it happened. The car just plain went into neutral, as it were, and coasted to a stop. That is when I joined Edmunds web site and told my story. I knew an honest repair shop in Provo, Utah, and trailered my car to them. I asked if he could rebuild the transmission using after-market parts and a heavy-duty torque converter, which was the main part that fails in these cars. He did as I requested, and the transmission works fine; car has 68,000 miles now and no further problems; moreover, there isn't a single Ford part (except for the case) in the transmission. I have read on this site where others had the dealer replace the transmission, only to have it fail a few thousand miles later. Whatever you do, do not have the Ford dealer rebuid it. Our total cost for a completely rebuilt transmission with after-market parts was $2150, with a one year warranty included. I hope someone files a class-action against Ford. Perhaps it will take another "Ford Explorer" incident to light the fire needed to have the Ford Co. make good for all of us that have had problems. Needless to say, we will never buy another Ford product, and I am scared to take the car into the dealership to have the recalls taken care of; these people cannot be trusted.
  • shocked1shocked1 Posts: 85
    :P :P I HOPE FORD NOTICES THESE "SWEET SENTIMENTS" ABOUT THEIR TRASH! OVER THE WEEK END MY BROTHER SOLD BHIS 2004 "PRIDE &JOY, HIS F O R D (FOUND ON ROAD DAILY) MUSTANG!!!! THOUGHT HE'D NEVER DO THAT! HE NOW OWNS 2 NEW TOYATOS. WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO WAKE UP FORD? LOOK HOW MANY JUST ON HERE HAS SWORN OFF FORDS!!!!!!!! OWN UP, YOUR COMPANY SCREWED UP.....PAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • I have a 2004 freestar. I was taking my grandkids on a shopping trip to a nearby town. We was almost there when the transmission dropped into neutral and I had to coast off the highway. My husband had to tow it back. We took it to Ford and they said it would be about 3000.00 to put a new tran in it or 1500.00 for a rebuilt one. I asked them how much they would give me on a trade in.500.00 is all they would give me. They would put a rebuilt trans in it and sell it for a lot more money than they are offering me for it It seems like there is alot of trouble with this trans. Why can't there be a class action suit filed against Ford. I am also filing a complaint with NHTSA, not that it will do any good,but doesn't hurt to try.
  • jgenovesejgenovese Posts: 220
    dj,

    Thank God no one got hurt. Another miracle to be sure. Thank you for registering your complaint with NHTSA. Although they likely will do nothing until either someone gets killed or they are forced to in court, your report is another critical brick in the wall that is our case. Like you, every one of us is completely astonished by the lack of responsiveness on the part of Ford, and especially on the part of NHTSA. Afterall, it is NHTSA's job to look out for us, the consumer. I can't help but think that there is some connection between Ford taking no bail out money from Uncle Sam, (that we know of), and this case. The longer this goes on with no response from Ford or NHTSA, the more sinister it seems. In the maentime, keep spredaing the word and let us all know what you decide to do.

    Jim Genovese
    Annapolis, MD
  • nadinebnadineb Posts: 190
    I just reported my 2004 Freestar to the NHTSA today. Sent emails to my senators, congressman, vice pres, and pres. I really love the business card idea, too so I think that I will print some up.

    My car is in the dealer now.
  • jgenovesejgenovese Posts: 220
    Excellent. These are critical steps in getting the word out and getting this issue in the spotlight. Keep us informed as to the outcome at the dealer!

    Jim Genovese
    Annapolis, MD
  • Hey Jim,
    I use to like Fords, but they didn't want to work with me, so I went and bought a 2009 Dodge Journey. It has a lifetime warranty on the motor and tranny. Ford can keep their products, this grandma won't be buying one again.
  • nadinebnadineb Posts: 190
    Anyone really know how NHTSA works with these situations? I had a state senator tell me once that my local highway administration only takes situations seriously after three deaths.
  • momtobcltmomtobclt Posts: 19
    Title says it all.

    I have a 2006 Freestar Limited and have already had the PCM issue fixed. Now I am just hoping I don't end up with a tranny issue.

    My van is in the shop right now getting its second warranty paint job done on cracking paint.

    We are buying a new car next year and you can bet it won't be a Ford. In 20 years my husband and I have only had Ford, but now we are done.
  • nadinebnadineb Posts: 190
    I am having an ethical dilemma with this vehicle. Being too afraid to drive it after stalling and lurching in traffic, having to drive on high speed roadways, bridges without shoulders to be able to pull off the road safety, and the fear of being rear ended, what are we to do with these vehicles.

    Trading the car into a dealer will just put it back on the road only with another person who may have a family with children. If I sold it myself, I would have to disclose the issues, and I can not afford to donate it. I need the funds to purchase a replacement.

    Disappointed with Ford is an understatement.

    I would like to know what you are planning to do with your vans. Is there a solution to all of this?
  • jgenovesejgenovese Posts: 220
    dj,

    Ford lost me after 25 years of undying loyalty, 9 new Ford purchases, many used, and countless referrals. They obviously do not care and have demonstrated that quite well. What bothers me the most is that they, apparently, knowingly put my family in harms way by selling us this van. The irony of it is that the centerpiece of their advertising campaign for this vehicle was its safety rating. Go figure.....

    Jim Genovese
    Annapolis, MD
  • jgenovesejgenovese Posts: 220
    nadineb,
    Apparently, they bury their heads in the sand and do absolutely nothing. I have asked them many times what the criteria to open an investigation is and they have no direct answer. I asked them how many people have to die before they open an investigation and got the same reply - the standard line. I can't help but think that there is some sort of deal with Ford not to open this can of worms because of the economic crisis. Is it a coincidence that Ford hasn't taken any bailout money? I know that, on the surface, that sounds like a conspiracy theory however; are we to believe that Ford is doing any better than Chrysler or GM or, better yet, that they didn't take the money based on some moral or ethical basis? Based on their handling of the Freestar issue, we all know that this is not the case. Until they come out and address this issue head on, it is only natural that the speculation will continue and we cannot let this issue go away.

    Jim Genovese
    Annapolis, MD
  • jgenovesejgenovese Posts: 220
    nadineb,

    We have the very same ethical dilema. When you distill it all down, however, the only real choice is to either by a replacement, which we cannot afford right now, mainly because we are still paying down the loan we took over a year ago to get our van fixed, or, have faith in the transmission tech that did the work to have done a good job and that God will watch over us until we get out of the financial mess Ford has gotten us into. My wife knows that the danger is always there and that she needs to drive accordingly, always aware, always planning an escape route, etc., That is one heck of a way to live, isn't it? Ford, are reading this? (I know your lawyers are). This is the situation you have put my family in. You must be so proud!

    Jim Genovese,
    Annapolis, MD
  • nadinebnadineb Posts: 190
    The way I see it, Ford needs to step up to the plate and take responsibility before someone is seriously injured. There is power in numbers, and I know that if we make a strong attempt that we can get them to hear us.

    Like you, Jim, I may not have a choice about replacing the vehicle, but I do have the will to keep pursuing what I know to be the right thing. I have to believe that Ford will also do what is ethically moral. Justice will prevail, but I hope it is before a child is injured or killed. To me, it appears that they have all the proof they should need to see that this situation is a disaster waiting to happen. I did email my local television station, but since they do not make this vehicle anymore, I don't know how much concern it will generate.

    Does anyone know the amount of these vehicles that Ford produced?
  • nadinebnadineb Posts: 190
    I received a response from my Senator today and the paperwork to fill out for the NHTSA. My Senator asked for a detailed letter to be sent so I would encourage everyone to do the same.

    Wikipedia has an interesting description of the Freestar and Monterey. The paragraph about Reliability Issues quotes "The main weak point of the Ford Freestar and Mercury Monterey is the poorly designed transmission system. Many have had or will have transmissions problems, requiring towing. There is a problem with the power train control module (PCM) as it can easily get wet and malfunction. Limp mode is not automatically engaged on the vehicle, the driver must disconnect the computer manually, allowing the vehicle to move without the computers faulty control. There is also a problem with the clutch, as it will wear out and not engage. The brakes wear out quickly, and problems with the design create a squealing noise." These problems can get you killed!
  • jgenovesejgenovese Posts: 220
    Nadineb,

    Amen. Further proof of what we have been saying all along. Ford has been aware of this problem far longer than you would think, however. Why do you think they rebadged this van from the Windstar to the Freestar? Instead of fixing this dangerous defect, they just gave it a different name and then marketed it to families based on its safety rating! In my mind, this is criminal behavior and should be treated as such. Please keep up the good work and communication with your senator and keep us in the loop. Also, if you could provide a name and the mailing address, I and I'm sure all of the others on this site, would be happy to send a letter as well.

    Jim Genovese
    Annapolis, MD
  • 5thaveman5thaveman Posts: 10
    I have 142K miles on my van.The engine light came on. The van revs real high when moving. It sounds like a NASCAR engine whe just tyrying to get to second gear. Took in to dealer, only codes that came up where for the wires,plugs and coil pak. IT STILL REVS HIGH, sparingly. Keep in mind, I just finished paying off the last TRANNY I had replaced in there 2 years ago($3400). Any thoughts or comments would be helpful. :mad:
  • momtobcltmomtobclt Posts: 19
    Do all of the Freestars have the same transmission?
  • tervmomtervmom Posts: 12
    It is a conundrum. All I know is I will not be in this vehicle past its current warranty on the transmission fix I just had done (12,000 mi/1 yr). My mother lives 200 miles away and I have been putting off the visit since my Freestar suddenly stopped on a rainy night. To help me get the courage to drive there (my frst trip will be this weekend) I, also, think of evasive manuevers when I drive. The road it occurred on had no shoulder, only a ditch - so, I just stayed in the middle of the road and turned on my flashers. I only hope I'll have more choices should it go out again before I get rid of it. I feel like I'm in a race with a ticking time bomb and I didn't get to set the fuse. I get in my car and tell myself - "my vehicle and I are always safe when we travel" hoping to get some divine assistance. I also travel to dog shows with my dogs in the back and am scared as hell when vehicles are following a bit too close or fast. It's amazing how many driving decisions are based on "what if". It's just scary.
  • jgenovesejgenovese Posts: 220
    Its amazing to me how we all face the ethical dilema and choose to do the right thing in spite of the tremendous financial and emotional costs involved. Conversely, Ford sold hundreds of thousands of these vans, knowing of this defect, and didn't blink an eye. Ford, including those individually responsible, for this should be prosecuted criminally and a recall should be forced by NHTSA.

    Jim Genovese
    Annapolis, MD
  • nadinebnadineb Posts: 190
    We need a letter writing campaign to start. Government officials need to be aware of the danger this vehicle poses to those driving them and other vehicles who may smash into them when they stall on the roadways.

    Ralph Nader's book The Lemon Book is dated, but it still provides very helpful information on dealing with the dealership, small claims court, and consumer protection units. I checked one out from the library along with twenty other books.
    His web site also explains how NHTSA under the previous administration lacked with it responsibilities, but now that we have a new administration, we need to get our voices heard.

    I believe that we need to put some more force on NHTSA to do something. Yesterday, I phones some dealerships looking for a new vehicle. They are quite aware of the problems with the vehicle, and when I asked them what they would do with it as a trade in, they commented that if it was sell able, they would put it on their lot-problems and all. No need to disclose. Something is just not right with that situation.

    My letters are almost complete!
  • jgenovesejgenovese Posts: 220
    Nadine,
    Who is your senator? If you would like, you can either include my name and hometown in your letter or I will write a separate letter.

    Jim Genovese
    Annapolis, MD
  • nadinebnadineb Posts: 190
    Jim,

    I filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau because I do believe that there is fraud on the manufactures part, and the dealership sell these vehicles knowing full well that they have major safety faults that could seriously injure or death.

    You want to hear something not so funny? The other day I called a car dealer, and told them that I was thinking about getting a new vehicle. I told him that I was not interested in trading in my vehicle, but he wanted to know the model and make so I told him. When I asked him what he knew about this vehicle, he stated, "I know that they have a lot of problems." Then, I asked him if I did trade it in what he would do with it, and he said that as long as it runs he would put it on the lot for sale.

    Contact your senators, congressman, the Board of Directors at Ford, your Attorney General Office, and Consumer Protection units. To Ford, I am writing a demand letter for restitution. One letter can be sent many places. The cost of postage is well worth informing them of this serious situation. I travel along roadways at night with many tractor trailers, and personally, I do not want to be rear ended by one of those hugh vehicles because I may not be able to walk away from an accident with one of them.
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