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Ford Freestar Service Experiences

robfredrobfred Posts: 1
I have a 2004 Ford Freestar with 28,000 miles on it. Among many problems I have had with the vehicle, the transmission died this past weekend on the way home from a family vacation (14 hours away, UGH!). The worst part of the story is that the vehicle was at the dealer (Bill Collins Ford in Louisville, KY) two months ago with a flashing transmission light and our complaint that on long trips the light goes on and there is rough shifting at highway speed...the dealer couldn't find anything or diagnose the problem and sent us back on our way. This is all documented. A follow up call to the service person at the dealer saying we were still having the problem went unanswered.

I am wondering if others have had experience dealing with Ford customer service, dealership, etc. about a problem such as this. We are seeking reimbursement for the rental car that we drove home, the cost of shipping the vehicle from MA to KY, the extra night of hotel, etc. We don't have an extended service plan yet because we planned to buy it at the end of the 36,000 factory warranty period.

While I would like to vent about this, I am also interested in advice on how best to handle.

Comments

  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,915
    I would write a nice letter to the Regional manager (cc the service manager) describing your situation and send copies of the previous visits to your dealership and mention names.

    The flashing transmission light is clear sign something is wrong with the transmission. At least this is the warning signal that has been used on the Explorere for the past few years.
  • Most of us had no warning at all that our transmissions were going out...just catastrophic and dangerous failures!
  • I own a 2004 Freestar, which I might add comes with a significant monthly payment. Reveiws stated a minivan with comfort and reliability like never before. After 3 years of run time, and less than 70,000 miles, the vehicle of "reliablity" turned into the vehicle of "liability"! In late October of 2007, I left the parking lot after work, engaged drive and made it another 50 feet before the van died as I continued to roll. Luckily at that time, I was only going 10 mph. After $100 tow bill, and nearly 9 days at the dealership, I was told that "Catastrophic" failure occured withitn the transmission body. That is hard for me to comprehend, when the van showed no indicator lights or hard shift patterns, even at the time of failure. Needless to say, the 3/36,000 had expired. So $3,000.00 and 12 working days later, I get the van back from the Ford dearlership. Four days later, same symptons. Only this time, I had my children in the vehicle with me at the time I was traveling at a rate of 35 mph through town. I regained control of the van without power steering or assisted braking. I immediately called the dealership, paid another tow bill, and waited 3 working days for a diagnosis. I was told that I had significant water damage to the PCN board located under the cawl panel (excuse the spelling). A transmission and a PCN board within four days! Come on, I don't buy that! But I did, and paid another $280.00 for a tube of silicone to be applied to the plastic housing that the board is mounted in. Dealership assured me that the board was fine, "here you go". Three months later, same symptoms. Only this time, I finally get a transmission indicator light on the dash. Tow bill number 3 later, and 7 working days, I was told that the board needs replaced. FINE!! The only saving grace I might have is that the Service Manager I demanded to get involved, admitted to me that Ford is issuing service bulletins on Freestar PCN failures due to the design of the hood and how body seems allow water to land directly on the PCN housing! After asking the manager what the PCN does for my van, he explained, among many other functions, that it controls transmission shifting through electrical buss cables. Did I really need the $3,000.00 transmission, or just the board that controls it???? Oh, I forgot to mention, at the time of this last failure, I was traveling 55 mph on a two lane highway, lost complete engine power, steering, and braking: then played "chicken" with a semi hauling silica sand. I'm guessing I would have lost that one and my children would have lost their dad! How much more has to happen before Ford admits complete failure of their design, stops putting peoples' lives at risk, and offers to make it right monetarily with those who have survived, and issues a world wide recall for those still at risk. If Ford wants to build an American made car and ask Americans to buy it, rather than a foreign made model, then they need to step up and protect the American consumer. I am so ready to go public with my travesty, if they won't protect my family in the family vehicle they made, then I will!

    Jason Nunnally
    103 E Pike St
    Attica, IN 47918
  • Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,018
    You may want to check out this discussion, http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/WebX/.f0fb94a/202. You're not alone with these issues.

    Community Manager If you have any questions or concerns about the Forums, send me an email, karen@edmunds.com, or click on my screen name to send a personal message.

  • Your provided link is broken.
  • Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,018
    Link structure has changed since that was posted. This is where it goes now. Ford Freestar Transmission.

    Community Manager If you have any questions or concerns about the Forums, send me an email, karen@edmunds.com, or click on my screen name to send a personal message.

  • Hello Jason.... Well, I have not had my 2004 Freestar pretty much for 6 weeks now. My car was "fixed" mid june and I took the family to the Cape for a week. Low and behold, my car died in Provincetown...and had to be towed to Ayer, MA...some 140 miles or so away. Oh, the two operator thought the problem was a a bad battery and had me drive the car to Eastham...some 20 miles away..we bucked the whole way. The dealership kept fixing the sensors...until they finally found water in the PCN. So, they ordered a new PCN and installed it. After installing it, they drove it all day to make sure it was fixed...Of course, when I got there, the car wouldn't even start. They kept calling Ford to help them diagnose and fix the problem. They are now making a "rain Jacket" for my "NEW" PCN. Ford basically told the dealership to figure it out...they definitely need to recall the vehicle and fix the problem...

    I hear there is another Freestar in the shop now...at least with them, they know what the problem is...and will build a "rain shield" for that car.
  • Can everyone posting under this forum give the date of your last dealership service/repair visit PRIOR to the date of your transmission failure OR pronounced transmission operation? Why am I asking for this information? With slow U.S. auto sales over the past 5 years or so, I honestly believe their are some dealership technicians THAT WILL "TWEEK YOUR FREESTAR" in a different area (most cases their repair or service work is warranted for 12 months) so as to cause a failure in the near future THUS ENSURING THEY ARE KEPT BUSY (job security) as the dealership continues to make money on maintenance repairs or trade-ins. Would you say transmission work is the probably the #1 or #2 most expensive work next to major engine repairs or replacements? So again in closing, can everyone go back and correlate the last dealership repair/service visit date with the date of the transmission failure or pronounced transmission abnormal operation?
  • kjmk15kjmk15 Posts: 1
    I have a 2006 freestar and the seal around my computer failed. First I was told that a gasket was bad then the said the seal was bad. Water damage to the computer is not covered under my extended service plan but IF it was due to a damaged part it would be covered. AFTER NUMEROUS HOURS ON THE PHONE, I was told that a seal is a body part and of course my computer is not covered. Why would a vital component such as a computer not be protected better and why would it be placed on the bottom of a windsheild that would direct the rain right into it. I am trying to fight ford on this does anyone have any idea how to go about this. I have called ford's consumer affairs and customer service. After reading the above post I feel this is a problem for many other people. If people continue to call maybe something can be done to correct this. call 1800 392-3673 ask for Cindy she is the consumer affairs manager. I am not going to let this rest, ford needs to fix this problem.
  • philvidphilvid Posts: 8
    Me too, the ECU died last week because of infiltration. It cost me $1600 CAD at the Ford dealer. That's after me transmission went last august, so that's another $2400 CAD for the bloody transmission. What's her last name Madame Cindy ?
  • i have freestar 2005, before everything was good but know i have check engine light problem,
    any body hav salution
  • I have a 2007 Freestar and my light has been on about a year. No problems with it, yet, but a mechanic hooked a handheld computer reader to it and it said that the catalytic converter was "not operating at or to ford's standards". Which means, at least on mine, that i will have to replace 2, yes TWO, converters in due time. Mechanic said it would be ok to drive until it starts to lack power and starts to become sluggish. That hasn' t happened yet and put some Lucas in the intake and blew it out. She runs good now and I'm getting about 19 on the hwy.
    You can take it to a auto parts store, O'Reilly's, Advance Auto, and they can check it for you sometimes for free. Hope this helps.
  • billc11billc11 Posts: 1
    Sounds like your O2 or "oxygen sensors" got dirty from bad gas. That explains why the Lucas solved the problem.
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