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Ford Freestyle Transmission Failure



  • Hi Sandy,
    Here's my experience. I have a 2006 Freestyle. In October 2009 at 55,000 miles I had to have the transmission replaced (thank goodness I had the extended warrenty. Then again in August 2011 at 83,000 miles I had to have it replaced again.....again it was under warrenty. It has a 3 year warrenty on the current transmission. If it wasn't for we still owe on the car I'd be getting rid of it. I can't believe I've had to have the transmission replaced TWICE and the car is only 5 years old!!! Anyway, my car! This one is not worth the headache!
  • I am currently on my second transmission...which is starting to go bad. Only had it 3 years.
  • I had gotten the extended 5 yr mechanical warranty, that ran out at the end of May. Now, of course all my problems occur afte the warranty runs out completely and now have no recourse. I have had the dealership where I bought it also take care of all maintenance. I think that when so many vehicles 5yrs and younger are having the same problem then I think ethicly Ford should do a recall knowing that these problems are not just isolated and random. I really love Ford and I love the Ranger that we have. I even applauded them when they didn't take the bailout. I really love the car and it works great holding my family and everything else that I have to haul around.
  • tommyshaptommyshap Posts: 2
    After 6 months of surging while stopped, my transmission on my 2005 Freestyle died on Saturday. We still owe $8000 on the car. To fix the transmission, $5200 for parts (from Ford) and upwards of $1700 for labor. Yay, Ford!? Filed my complaint with the NHTSA and Ford. Meanwhile, getting trading in car and finding a way to pay off the balance. Yay, Ford!? Things go wrong on cars of all kinds. I get it. But most parts can be repaired and/or replaced for a lot less... Back to Hondas where I'll take a chance of dealing with air compressors at 120,000 miles and for a lot less money.
  • tommyshaptommyshap Posts: 2
    I've filed with the NHTSA today. 05 Freestyle, transmission shot...looking at $7000 to replace.
  • isilinisilin Posts: 3
    I guess all of us, who own a Freestyle, are in the same situation. The lucky ones who haven't had the trouble yet are just heading for a "surprise" some day. I had a transmission replaced just this summer in June and now the second is beginning to make loud noises. This is just a money-sucking black hole. I've also submitted an NHTSA complaint today. There are only 117 complaints listed on their website for the 2005 model. Everyone who hasn't filed yet, should do so:
  • momfmomf Posts: 10
    Finally---Ford admits they are at fault for the throttle body issue. I got a letter from Ford this week. If the throttle body fails, the repair is covered for the first 150K miles on the car. If you've already had it done, the letter says to take your receipt to your dealer for a refund of the cost of repairs.
  • Who sent you the letter? Your local Ford or HQ in Michigan? I am not finding anything on the internet about a recall or admission by Ford. How do I get one, too? We replaced our throttle body a month ago and the wrench light has gone on and off 6 or 7 times in the last couple weeks. Brought it back to them and they couldn't find anything wrong.
  • Lets see where do I start, Lets begin with this, I have owned 2 Ford Freestyles in the last year, a 2005 and now currently a 2007 AWD SEL.

    I have had problems with both these vehicles and both times transmission, the 2005 started with a lurching forward at any given time when at low drive speed (IE: pulling into park and backing up to get out of parking space.) greatly increased in the heat of the summer with air-conditioner on. Then the noise started from the transmission, I looked at it and tried to hear where the noise was coming from but with no success as it seemed to come from everywhere and a couple locations. So before I even had a chance to bring to ford the Torque converter and gears associated had blew up and caused catastrophic damage to the transmission which required a rebuilt and a $4500.00 bill, after the replacement I still had issues with lurching and lunging forward and was told that i had to replace the Throttle Body Module, at another $905.36, re-programed the computer ( flashed ). I did not have enough time to have tested everything that was done as i was T-boned at an intersection 1 1/2 weeks later that wrote off my car. I was not a happy camper, as not only did I loose my money from the transmission, i have been out of work since November 23,2011 to date. I don't know if I will be able to return i have been suffering from health related issues from the accident and have no time frame to getting better.

    With the write off of my 2005 ford freestyle, i needed another vehicle, the girlfriend and i enjoyed this vehicle so much we decided to go ahead and get another freestyle as we liked its all around functionality for what we used it for and that is allot of highway driving to and from the trailer and space. we purchased the 2007 ford freestyle on December 23/2011 and loved it ever since, I realized that we were having the same issues as we did with the 2005 in the summer of 2012 with regards to the lurching and lunging.

    I brought my 2007 back to the dealer i bought it from and they informed me of the throttle body issue. I asked if warranty will cover they checked into it for me and said no.

    I could not afford a $1000 dollar repair. The lurching had stopped so I decided not do anything at that moment. I had bought some cleaners to see if the throttle body issue would stop or lighten up and it did for the most part. Odd time here and there would i have the issue.

    I then started to hear a noise from the time i would start my freestyle until I engaged drive or reverse, the noise would go away even in driving, with a week of hearing this noise i noticed when i would put the car in reverse and move i heard a very loud gear winding noise.

    I paid close attention to it, keeping track of things as well, i finally decided to bring into a shop with my after market warranty, it is currently being investigated for transmission issue, the mechanic has suggested to me that he thinks it some kind of a ( plemun gear ?? ) not sure. but he needs to open the transmission and go from there.

    I called Ford Canada today, reported issue and was told there is a 1 time customer service satisfaction recall/??.

    I have the number for it and was told after the transmission is fixed bring to a ford dealer and this will be taken care care of the following is what Nancy said at ford, they will clean the throttle body and or replace and re-flash the computer. Now i think this might do it but i have my doubts.

    Plus this does not fix or help me with the transmission issue as i think the two are directly related, this whole transmission is based on electronic signals sent to it via the computer and throttle body.

    My question to anybody that wants to listen and i would also direct to Ford is, if you know the throttle body is causing the electronic lunge forward, on a system that is mechanical, would this not cause early failure in the transmission as its the transmission that is being told what to do by the electronics that are being fed by the computer?????.

    I know it seems simple to ask and the question is simple and may not be related but i cant seem to understand why one part fails and its fixed by replacing and re-flashing a computer that controls everything from top to bottom in the car. Its not right, I Believe there is a direct issue with the computer to the transmission because there are more electronics in this CVT transmission than any other, I believe the lurching forward that goes on is not the only issue. I believe that the problems the computer has with the throttle body and the signals it sends to the computer to cause parts within the transmission to prematurely wear and or break. because who knows what else the electronic signal is activated at the wrong time within the transmission.

    Sorry if I sounded long winded in this but I believe I have a true and valid point with Ford and ford is hiding more than what they are saying or just fixing as a customer satisfaction. I am not happy with them even though i enjoy there cars and trucks and think they are the better one of the north American dealers and would go back to them with a new purchase if I could afford it.... But I think they need to stand up to this issue and fix both the transmission and computer as I am no computer wizard I do know computers can send more than one signal at a time to cause parts not to function in the right order. Hence causing catastrophic failure in the transmission.

    Thank you.
  • momfmomf Posts: 10
    I got the letter from Ford HQ. The letter said if it hadn't yet happened, take it in for a "cleaning". If it has already happened, and you've had it repaired, take the receipt to the dealer. I took my letter to the dealer on Tuesday 12/18. They're sending it to Michigan and will supposedly get my check. About the wrench light...if it's not under warranty, have someone other than a ford dealer look at it.
  • momfmomf Posts: 10
    soarneagle--good luck with getting Ford to admit that there is a problem. There was litigation pending over the throttle body issue, I think that's why they finally agreed to pay something, but still not admit a mistake. There have been over 200 complaints filed with the NTSB about the lurching, but still no admission from Ford. I hope you get satisfaction soon.
  • Yep, I got the same letter from Ford HQ too. Will try to contact local dealer today if they haven't closed for Christmas break yet. We shall see how it goes.
  • I also got a letter stating that my warranty will be extended because of this prob.
  • We had the same thing happen to us with our 2007 Freestyle. We had to replace the mechanitions sensor, which cost $1700. After that was replaced, the Ford dealership then told us the CVT was going to have to be completely replaced for another $6000.

    Right now we're trying to recoup our loss because we can't afford to replace the transmission. I hope you get things sorted out on your end.
  • isilinisilin Posts: 3
    OK, so I went to the dealership with this letter in hand before Christmas. We were going out of town anyways for a week, so I asked if I can just leave the car there and pick it up on Dec 31st. They said 'Sure'. And sure enough, when I got back there, they said "Oops, it was OK when we tested it, but just as you walked in it started acting weird and the check engine light turned on". Then they offered to change the spark plugs and gaskets and coils for some $1200. I said 'No thanks'. So after 10 days and $300 spent at the dealership, I got the car back exactly as it was but this time with the 'check engine' light on. My usual mechanic replaced the spark plugs and all for just $600 based on the check-engine codes.

    And as far as my previous expenses on replacing the transmission (I paid about $2700 in June 2012 to put a used transmission from a 2006 model) they said 'this recall only covers the "cleaning procedure" and not the total transmission replacement'.

    Either way, I think it was more of a reap-off than help.

    To summarize: I'm not going to buy a ford myself in the future, nor would I recommend it to anyone.
  • This is only my opinion however, to each is own on theres and may want to lok into it if they want, i beleave the failure of the transmission is not this or it might because of the failure of the wrong commands the computer is receiving because of the b ad throttle body... hey its a possibility and i am talking to ford Canada about it all and have launched a couple of complaints to ford and logged some trouble calls to them...also with the governning body here in Canada, Good luck all. its my opinion they have a real issue here and something needs to be done...cheers all.
  • So we have a 2007 Freestyle bought it used about 3 years ago. Was great for the first year then all of the sudden when setting the cruise control the car would start to slow down but the RPMS would continue to climb. This also happens while driving down the highway at speeds 70 mile an hour. We took it to the local Ford dealership who kept it for 3 days only to return it to us saying they could not find anything wrong with it or replicate the issue. They said the only thing they recommended was replace the transmission at a cost of $6000. Well we did not have that kind of money and they would not guarantee that it would fix the problem. Now 2 years later and the same transmission we get the recall letter set up an appointment. My wife takes it in one day they do the recall work send her home with the car and within the 5 mile ride home it happens twice. She calls them they say bring it back the next day she does they have it all day long they call and say the computer code shows that either the recall was not done or that it did not take. So they do it again go test drive it and the issue is still present. Then they take it back in check the codes and mysteriously the codes now say it is a transmission issue and that they can do nothing about the problem. But if we want they will replace the transmission... It is amazing that what the recall describes is exactly what the car does but they are trying to say it is transmission issue not covered by warranty... It seems Ford has a real issue but not willing to step up for their loyal consumers. It seems corporate Ford is telling dealerships to make consumers purchase new transmissions instead of admitting they have another recall issue...
  • The sad part about it is....its not a new transmission. Its a factory rebuild! 2 throttle bodies , "new" transmission, 4 brake jobs one of these was a factory recall! Finally got rid of it with 90000 miles on it. All of thiss happend with only 76,000 miles on the car. Good luck.
  • these are fantastic cars! i just dont understand why the CVT fails in the freestyle so often but not in the five hundred, as it is the same thing? why would someone not just put in the 6 speed auto and computer from the five hundred? better yet, why would Ford not have just made the freestyle FWD the 6 speed auto same as the five hundred? i plan on buying a freestyle soon and i think i will get myself a rear end totalled five hundred to swap the transmission and keep the engine for parts, being that they are the same thing.
  • pegkpegk Posts: 11
    Hi soarneagle,

    My Ford Freestyle (2005 AWD) has the same issues as you mention here. Over a year ago, I saw the notes about cleaning the throttle body and finally had that done by my mechanic in Sept 2012, before I received the “letter” from Ford in Dec that they would “clean” the throttle body or reimburse me if I already had it done. I put in for the reimbursement in Dec, but before I even received my check, I started having the sound problem exactly as you describe with the transmission. I did not even think they could be related, since I’m not a car expert. My mechanic is the one that said the sound is most likely the transmission, but he does not work on transmissions. So I took it to a transmission shop near my home and they too said it was the transmission, but they would have to charge me $450 just to give me an estimate of a repair cost. At that point, I figured with 116,000 miles on the vehicle, I’d be better off just starting to search for a new vehicle. But now that I’m hearing they are related, I’m wondering if you’ve been able to get any satisfaction from Ford. I’m sure they won’t give in very easily, but like you, I like the size and features of this vehicle and have not been able to find something comparable. I’m leery about buying a used Freestyle considering this tranny issue will probably come up again. Please let me know if you’ve received any more info on this.

    BTW – on another thread on this forum there is a link to join a class action lawsuit: ts_in_ford_and_mercury_vehicles.
    It is being handled in their Philadelphia office. Call the 888 number on their home page and they will give you the Philly number.
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