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Ford Freestar/Mercury Monterey



  • Mileage wear ratings for tires (UTQG) are worthless for comparisons between different brands. The numbers only compare tire wear within each brand.
    Each manufacturer tests its own tires in accordance with the federal test procedure. The manufacturer assigns whatever number it wants to a tire. But then, all other tires of that manufacturer are rated relative to that tire, using the same scale.
    So, a tire rated 680 by Michelin should last twice the mileage as a Michelin rated 340. But a Goodyear rated 680 may last the same as the Michelin rated at 340. (just an example; you can plug in whatever brands and numbers you want)
    Oddly though, I'm pretty sure that comparisons of temperature resistance and traction ratings are useful between brands.
    Probably the best way to guess how economical a tire will be is to very carefully read the mileage warranty with all its fine print. Compare the warranties against the prices for tires which have similar heat and traction ratings. Note though, that traction ratings tell you nothing about cornering or comfort or noise characteristics of a tire.
    Rotate regularly, inflate properly and make warranty claims whenever possible to stretch your tire dollars.
  • You can buy a new Sedona with a factory hitch rated for 3500 lbs. Or your Kia dealer will install it aftermarket for about twice what the MSRP retail would have been. The cooling system and springs and shocks and transmission are the same on Sedonas whether or not they come from the factory with a hitch installed.
    I have not done much towing with mine. Just a large loaded U-Haul trailer around town a bit. No problems.
  • I replaced my 1996 Windstar with a 2004 Sedona EX. I like the Sedona better and it was cheaper with more equipment and a much better warranty. The Windstar had more luggage space behind the back seat. Overall the Windstar had a little more room, but the Sedona is significantly heavier. Neither one got really good gas mileage. The Windstar was on its second engine and its third transmission when I sold it at 58,000 miles. It was in the shop a lot. Sedona seems to be higher quality overall. No problems so far in 12,000 miles. Keeping fingers crossed.
    If you don't buy a Sedona, pay extra for an extended warranty.
  • beernutbeernut Posts: 329
    My '97 got the engine at 56k but since it was not a 95 or 96 it wasn't free under Ford's program. I paid $450 for an extended warranty and got the engine under that. Originally, I thought it was a pretty good deal to get a $5,000 engine for $450 and was extra pleased when the same extended warranty covered another $3,500 worth of misc. junk over the next two years.

    The trans, struts, blah, blah, blah, for another $3500 came out of my pocket. Overall, I have $16,000 invested, NOT INCLUDING the purchase price.

    It runs well for today, though. :shades:

    I will look at the Sedona
  • similar to my story. I'm not sure who ended up paying for my motor or transmissions
  • bri66bri66 Posts: 220
    Last winter my wife refused to drive her van when it snowed. She claims whenever she touched her brakes it would go into a skid. I brought her van this past Monday to a local tire dealer and he could not get over the wear on these tires. It came with Goodyear tires new and the outsides were almost bald. I never had them rotated, but will on the new Toyo's @ $140 a piece. Had them do the front end alignment also so she should be all set now. Should I have brought the van back to Ford before replacing the tires? Their gone now so it's after the fact, but is there a problem with wear on these vans that I should be concerened about? I will keep a close eye on these new ones. :confuse:
  • beernutbeernut Posts: 329
    Interesting.... I just looked at a used '05 Freestar at a Ford dealer on Monday. It was advertised as the usual "program" car with 27,000 miles on it. What a bunch of misleading garbage that is. "Program Car", "Executive Driven", "Demo"... its embarrassing that in our politically correct society these days we can't call that what it is... "lies". The van was "Program" because Ford built it in Canada "gave" it to Budget Rental in California who "gave" it back to Ford who sent it to auction in Michigan who auctioned it to a Ford dealer in Virginia who was trying to sell it to me. It never left Ford's control, so its "Program" - my butt.

    Anyway, back to the tires, the salesman said it had new tires... big RED flag to me if the odo only says 27k. Something doesn't fit. Is the odo true? Is there a suspension problem? Was there damage? When I got there, I found that only the fronts were new. The rears were not new and had a lot of tread left but were so badly cupped that it could easily be seen and easily felt in the steering wheel.

    Most times, the dealer will BS about front wheel drive, heavy engines, blah, blah, blah, and how the tire wear is "normal". Everything is "normal" when it comes to something breaking on your $30,000 car. I remember a friend of mine dying some 25 years ago. Another friend thought it was abnormal for a healthy, 22 year old guy to suddenly be dead. I said, "Not really. He was shot in the chest three times." So what's "normal" for a Freestar? 27K tires?
  • If the tires' shoulders, both inside and outside had a lot of smooth wear on them, you need to increase the air pressure in the tires.
    If the shoulder wear is only on one side of the tread, you have an alignment problem.
    If the wear is only on one side and is not smooth, you need to balance the wheels and check alignment and shocks and springs.
    Sounds like a maintenance problem to me.
  • bri66bri66 Posts: 220
    The wear on them were on the outside edge on both front tires. The rear tires were fine. The air psi was to what is stated on the door jamb. I believe it says 35lbs. I check tire air psi every 6 months, usually summer and winter. The tire dealer asked me if it had been in a front end collision. Being the original owner I know it hasn't. They did say the alignment was out slightly. He wasn't able to give me too much info because they have never sold tires to a Freestar yet, I was their first. He was quite suprised by the size of the tire Ford put on this van. He claims the size 235-60\16 are normally the size they put on large SUV's and not mini-vans. Thanks for your input, I am going to keep a close eye on these tires, I purchased the premium bumper to bumper warranty from Ford when I bought my wife the van.
  • Camber is out of adjustment most likely. Could be toe problem but camber is 1st guess. You need an alignment. Try another shop. You can put a little more air in your tires than what the label on the door says if you find the center tread is not wearing as fast as the outsides. But inside and outside of each tire should wear evenly.
  • beernutbeernut Posts: 329
    I agree. If the wear is same edge of both tires (outboard or inboard) its camber. But lets be clear.. is it the edges of each tire or outside (outboard) edges of each tire (only one edge per tire, not two)?

    The reason I ask this is that the way the pressure has been maintained could make it an underinflation issue:

    Let's say the manufacturer of the vehicle specifies 35 psi.
    1) Vehicle manufacturers sometimes specify less than the tire manufacturer because they want a smooth ride, not long tire life. Let's say one pound less.
    2) Maybe you check the pressure when the tires are warm or even hot. The pressure is higher than it would be when cold which is when you should check it. Let's say 2#.
    3) All gauges are off in one direction or another. Your's may read high. Let's say its off by one pound.
    4) If you only check it once every six months and set the pressure dead-on 35# and over the next six months, pressure is being lost, that's six months of averaging less that 35#. Let's say by one pound.

    YIKES! You could have been running your tires 5# LOW for 26,000 miles and didn't even know it!

    Alignment could very likely be the problem - my advice is to never trust just one shop - not all alignment specialists are created equal - assuming your shop even has one. But... make sure your tire pressure management is sound. Every six months isn't often enough, make sure its done at the right tire temperature and with a top notch gauge.
  • I've had the pinging problem with my 2004 freestar with the 3.9.since i bought it new.I've had the van worked on several times.I can easily duplicate the pinging for the dealer.But no one can fix it.Any luck with the engineer?
  • I have the base Freestar with the second row bench. It is supposedly not fore/aft adjustable, though I understand that in higher-level trims the bench seat can be moved forward and back. When I look under the seat, I can see two movable levers and the rail system appears to be fully intact, but movement appears to have been disabled or blocked somehow. Does anyone know if it is possible to bypass whatever it is that blocking movement of the seat? Thanks.
  • lostlost Posts: 64
    There is a bolt that locks the seat into that position. First remove the the bolt. The locking levers are missing the wire that connects them together so you have to hold them both open at the same time to move the seat.
    PS I think the bolt was a gold or silver color.
  • I have been reading that the Ford Freestar (Winstar) is a slow selling mini van. Perhaps Ford should contract with Kia Motors. Have Kia build a Kia Sedona, as a rebadged Ford Freestar Minivan. A Kia Freestar sounds like the next bigg thing....
  • I've hurd that very thing that the Ford Freestar is a very slow selling Mini van. A Kia Sedona sold as a rebadged Ford would be a slap in the face to Ford. But then again, they should build a vehicle that people would really want to drive and buy. So Mr. Ford, Swallow your pride and call the Kia Motor Car Company and tell them that you need a really good MiniVan. Tell them that you would like to sell a rebadged Kia Sedona as a Korean made Ford Winstar/Freestar. Maybe just maybe mr Ford, the Koreans can teach your company how to make a Good looking minivan.
  • sunburnsunburn Posts: 319
    Does anyone know what type of alignment the Freestar takes - 2 wheel, or 4 wheel? I don't see anything on the rear suspension that looks adjustable.
  • bri66bri66 Posts: 220
    I just had my wife's van done. Where I bought her new tires they included a rear wheel to front wheel alignment free for the purchase of tires and then I paid for them to align the front end. I'm not a mechanic but it sounds to me there are two types of alignments. Hope this is helpful.
  • I was just wondering if anyone had heard anything on a possible Freestar replacement for 07' or 08'. Never too early to start thinkling about it!
  • sunburnsunburn Posts: 319
    I've only heard two rumors. The first is the replacement won't be until 2008. The drivetrain will use the new 250 hp 3.5L V-6 that Ford has developed. The second rumor that I've heard was that Ford was getting out of the minivan market and will instead offer SUV-like vehicle for 2008. I guess that we'll have to wait and see.
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