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Ford Freestar Transmission Problems



  • Hey everyone. I have an 05 Freestar with 130 000km (80 000mi), and out of the blue one day, the van would not shift into reverse, drive etc. Tranny shop said the torque converter needed to be replaced (along with the seals and some electrical unit inside the tranny). It would have cost me 2500.00, but I have 6 months left on my warranty, so I got lucky with the financial aspect. After the repairs, it worked for a day or so and then the exact same thing happened (wouldn't go into gear). Turns out there was a ton of water in the PCM unit and the water was causing it to malfunction. They took the PCM out and dumped the water out and let it dry out. They then sealed the PCM connector with silicone and sealed the area where the water was getting in etc. It has been 2 weeks and so far things are as they should be. I am just wondering how long it is before the tranny has other issues etc. Is there a history of the tranny having more problems even after the torque converter etc. was replaced?

  • shocked1shocked1 Posts: 85
    Well friends, after exactly 6mo. our rotten FORD'S tranny's acting up again!!!!! Ill junk it for $200 this time!!!!!!!!!
  • nadinebnadineb Posts: 190
    I was told that Ford means F*** Old Rebuilt Dodge.

    The April addition of Consumer Reports in the Used Cars section states that, "These models have piled up below-average records of reliability. Used cars to avoid." We had one dealer who told us that he would only give us $2500 for the thing. We paid over $9300 for it less than a year ago. This is like some vicious cycle of raping the consumer, and usually, it someone who can not afford the economic hit. Just like most of us.

    Any wonder why the foreign manufactures are taken over the car industry. Did you know that Ford made tanks and other equipment for the Nazis? A friend on mine who happens to be Jewish told me that his family will not buy Ford based on that information. Wish I knew that sooner.
  • kaki1kaki1 Posts: 7
    At 60,000 miles the transmission died in my 2004 Freestar. At the time I was on a busy 4 lane highway in the number one lane with a friend and my two dogs in the car. Without warning the van was suddenly in neutral. The engine reved but no gears. I barely made it onto an exit and down to the service road shoulder. Seems it's the torque converter. The vanes sheared and fragged the transmission. Sound familiar?
    I'm looking at a $3500.00 bill. I'm picking it up tomorrow. Just thankful I wasn't on a two lane road passing another vehicle when it happened.
    Why isn't there a class action suit against Ford for this obvious and dangerous defect?
  • mercmontymercmonty Posts: 9
    my 2004 monterey has been having the same bucking symptoms for the last 20000 miles. Its been a while since i visited this forum, and now i see that some people are getting results by sealing the pcm module. Also has anyone had a problem with the low tire warning system and how do you fix it?

    Glad to see a few people like Jim G. still giving them hell. :sick:
  • nadinebnadineb Posts: 190
    There isn't a class action suit because as I was told by an attorney "It would cost $300,000.00, and in this economy with the car industry as it is, etc......" Like Jim and myself, if you're mad as hell, then write. If enough of us make a strong enough campaign to change something, we can do it together. It's worth the effort, and this is still America the last time I looked. We have a voice, and we need to be heard!

    Congress is our tool to change what is happening. They work for us and as I was told by Ford, "NHTSA is the federal agency responsible for motor vehicle safety, and is the only organization with the authority to order a recall." Let your senators, congressperson, and the white house know what is happening to us.
  • jgenovesejgenovese Posts: 220
    You have asked the $64,000.00 question. Why isn't there a class action against Ford? Better yet, why hasn't there been a recall? I think the lawyer nadine referred to hit the nail on the head - somewhat. I do think the economy has something to do with it but, at the end of the day, its all about the money.

    From an attorney's perspective, the likelyhood of collecting an award or getting paid is slim, regardless of how good a case we have.

    From the perspective of the individual consumers, it is impossible to do it alone. We need to stick together and keep this thing going until either a reporter/media outlet takes an interest or an attorney who is motivated by something in addition to the money, (like principal, the moral component, or just plain doing the right thing). Take heart however; I'm sure the Pinto and Explorer victims faced the same odds before someone took up their cause.

    From NHTSA's perspective, I can only imagine there is some behind the scene's deal where Ford is claiming that a recall will bankrupt them and that is the last thing this country needs is the 3rd of the "Big Three" going under, blah, blah, blah...
    Think about it; How much more dangerous of a defect can you imagine? When your transmission fails, without warning, and you have no control of your vehicle, that is about as perilous as it gets. It is no less dangerous than say, your brakes failing without warning. There either has to be some kind of backroom deal or the people at NHTSA are just as incompetent as the baffoons at Ford who designed this deathtrap on wheels.

    From my perspective, I consider the conduct of Ford and NHTSA, given what Ford knew when they built and sold this vehicle and what NHTSA knows at this point, nothing short of criminal. I will not rest until somebody steps up and does the right thing. Ford put my family in harms way and NHTSA, through their negligence, continues to put other families in harms way. Anyone that knows me will tell you; If you know nothing else about me, understand this; Do not mess with my wife and children.

    Our day will come. It is just a matter of time. Unfortunately, while Ford cowers in the corner and slithers through the grass, and NHTSA buries its collective head in the sand, families are still in grave danger and the odds are somebody will lose their life because of this defect. That is why it is critical that we keep this forum going and keep spreading the word.

    Jim Genovese
    Annapolis, MD
  • nadinebnadineb Posts: 190
    Well said my friend!

    Do we not live in America? For the people, by the people. I do not remember the Constitution saying for the corporation by the corporation. Ford and other automobile manufactures are making billions of dollars from hard working Americans by defrauding us and selling us defective products. It is really unconscionable that they can do this. Where are our public servants? I believe that NHTSA is a government agency not a corporate tool.

    NHTSA told me that there is not a "magic" number for them when they decide to take action in these cases. What is the criteria for protecting us from this abuse of power? What about the children who are so put at risk?

    Does anyone know if the car is stalled will the airbags deploy?

    We must stick together!
  • nadinebnadineb Posts: 190
    Between May 13 and now, Wikipedia has been edited. This statement has been removed. Wonder why?

    "Reliability Issues: 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."
  • Dear Jim,
    After sadly joining this group in November 2008, I submitted my complaint with the NHTSA. Today I got an email from the NHTSA
    Dear Sir or Madam:
    Thank you for reporting to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) concerning the transmission problem on your 2004 Ford Freestar.
    To assist us in evaluating this issue, please
    email or fax (202-366-1767) me a copy of the repair invoice. Thank you

    Have you or anyone else gotten such an email. I am hoping that this is not a joke/hoax but the real thing, finally.
  • jtjd96jtjd96 Posts: 4

    I received the same e-mail today from Steve Chan (Safety Defects Engineer) from the NHTSA and have e-mailed him my repair invoice.

    My 2004 Freestar had just under 40,000 miles when the transmission failed in December, 2008. I had it rebuilt with aftermarket parts for $1,600 at a local transmission shop. I asked them to look at the PCM and gave them the service bulletin that I found in this message thread. They looked at it and said it was fine. A few months later, the motor died out again on the road. This time, they checked the transmission and it was fine. They then looked at the PCM and sure enough, it was full of water. They followed the sealing repair provided in the service bulletin and tested it several times by hosing the van down with water. For about 3 days of work, they only charged me $100. I think they must have felt bad because I raised the PCM issue the first time around. Everything works fine now. I just drove from Chicago to Detroit and back with no problems. I was extremely nervous because I had my wife, 3 little kids and my parent in the van, but the van drove fine. Hopefully the combination of the rebuilt transmission with aftermarket parts and properly sealed PCM solves the problem.

    Lastly, my mechanic told me to save the repair invoice because in the event there is a recall, I would be reimbursed by Ford the amount I paid for the repair. I don't know if this is true, but it would be nice to recoup the cost.
  • nadinebnadineb Posts: 190
    I have been emailing Stephen McHenry with NHTSA about our issues. We had the front window resealed because we had water on the PCM. The dealer had to change the PCM, but we still had problems. They changed the wire harness after that because my husband was told by a mechanic that corrosion will be on both ends of the connectors, but we still had problems. They resealed the window again, added more protection to the cowl, but still issues. All this work cost one thousand dollars.

    After all that, my husband drove the vehicle to Long Island from Delaware, the check engine light was on, and the transmission hesitated as he was inclining over bridges. Having been rear ended over a year ago in a different vehicle and just getting ready to have surgery for a torn rotator cuff, I could not drive that vehicle. We were told that if the vehicle looses power like this one, the air bags will not deploy if you are rear ended and pushed into another vehicle so we disclosed all the issues with the vehicle to a dealer and traded it in on a different vehicle (not a Ford). I will never own another Ford!

    My senator told us to keep track of the vehicle. They just held hearing concerning lemon vehicles that are taken back by the company and then, resold. Several dealers told us that when vehicles are manufactured, and there is a problem on the line with a worker getting a part to fix, the line will keeps moving. The worker jams the part in the vehicle, but they never solve the problem. Our American car manufactures keep moving the vehicles through. Japanese manufacturers will stop the line and figure out what the difficulty is before they allow any other vehicles to go through solving the problems. Wonder why imports are a better quality?

    Keep the pressure on NHTSA and Ford! I plan to keep doing my civic duty.

    I've lost so much money on this vehicle that I can not afford, but I have a vehicle that I can drive now. I pray that they retire this vehicle, but I believe it will be back on the roadway again.

    I am not giving up on this issue. I believe that I have been economically and criminally raped by Ford when they will not correct these sever issues that have the potential to seriously injury families. Any wonder why are car manufactures are going bankrupt?
  • turtle45turtle45 Posts: 4
    Could you send me the email address for Stephen McHenry
  • jgenovesejgenovese Posts: 220
    I have not received this Email. All I got back from them was a form Email that was basically a blow-off. Please keep us posted on the outcome!

    Jim Genovese
    Annapolis, MD
  • jgenovesejgenovese Posts: 220
    Wow. It sounds like NHTSA might actually be getting involved! I am awaiting, but not expecting, an Email from someone there requesting a copy of my repair bill. They should still have my Email address. We'll see......

    Jim Genovese
    Annapolis, MD
  • shocked1shocked1 Posts: 85
    I'd like the addy also. haven't received anything. :sick:
  • dalbertsdalberts Posts: 1

    After what I have been reading my story won't sound any different than anyone else. I have a 2005 Freestar with about 85,000 miles on it. My wife and daughter were driving the vehicle on the highway Thursday June 4th when the transmission failed. As others have described, it was if the car went into neutral. The rpm's would increase when she stepped on the pedal but the car would not accelerate. Luckily she was close to an off ramp. I had it towed to my mechanic.

    It did not seem right to have the transmission fail already. I started to do some research today and came across this site. I am glad I found this site! Thanks to those who have not let this issue die. This is a major safety issue and I will not feel comfortable after the repair. I have taken your advice and have already emailed NHTSA. I will be calling the Ford dealership next to let them know what I think about this issue.

  • For those who's transmission failed. Can you honestly say all the proper transmission maintance was done? Like changing the fluid? And what's your driving style?

    Can maintance help extend the life of the trans?
  • kaki1kaki1 Posts: 7
    I had all of the maintenance done at the prescribed time, including flushing the transmission fluid. I am not a "jack rabbit" driver. The transmission still went out suddenly.
  • shocked1shocked1 Posts: 85
    come on people, don't question us 602 customers of FORD'S junk!!!!!!! sure we did everything right...... are you a for5d dealer?????? :mad:
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