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Ford Freestyle CVT Transmissions

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  • Add me to the list

    2006 Freestyle 88000 miles Repairs this year
    4 years old. Still paying the note

    New Trans $4300.00
    New Air Compressor $1000.00
    Throttle Body/Surging $1200.00

    Ford could care less. First and last ford product. Going back to Toyota, Honda or Hyundai. Can't wait to get rid of this piece of junk
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    edited October 2010
    Seems like a lot of those with Freestyle problems have only recently been members. Perhaps it's the same one individual looking to vent by creating more Edmunds userids and then posting "problems." Not necessarily true, but you never know.

    I've been posting for years, and while I don't have a Freestyle now, I owned one from 2005 until a few months ago and it was a great car. Other than routine maintenance, I didn't put in any of my own money for repairs (power steering pump under the extended warranty was the only repair). I sold the car with 86,000 miles one (I no longer needed such a large vehicle).

    If you look in Consumer's Reports, you'll find that the Freestyle has an average rating, which is much better than GM or Chrysler vehicles of a similar nature. I think anyone needing a vehicle that drives like a car, holds nearly as much as a minivan, and gets great MPG for a vehicle of its size should look at buying a used Freestyle. Due to depreciation, you can get one pretty cheap.

    Anyway, just don't let a few folks posting here ruin what really was a great car with high quality.
  • bruneau1bruneau1 Posts: 468
    We have a 2005 fwd Freestyle which we like very much. The throttle body was replaced under warranty before we had any bad driving situations. As for the CVT, it is my favorite thing about the vehicle. It is always doing the right thing, unlike the conventional transmissions in our other two cars. Granted, it's not as fast off the line. Sorry that many people are having problems. Hope our turn is not down the line.
  • sindersinder Posts: 37
    Surely you jest ? Someone actually creating mulitple ID's to complain about the Freeystyle CVT?
    You are most fortunate that you did not have any trouble with yours, but for those of that that have dropped 4-5-6K into a fairly young vehicle have to right to complain about it.

    Sorry, bobw3, but please do NOT suggest that anyone buy a used one....unless, of course the tranny has already been replaced with a remanned one.....('cause you can't buy a new one. :sick:
  • Most indie mechanics can handle Ford's "advanced" CVT. There are plenty of mechanics out there that can get through a tangled web of Benz, BMW, even Saab electrical issues and fix them for you at well below the cost a dealer will charge. I'm about to consider buying a Freestyle and with all the tranny problems on the CVT I may change my mind and not take the risk. Ford dropped the ball here based on all the awful experiences with this transmission; your blanket assumption about indie mechanics is misplaced.
  • sb, in what area of the country are you - curious if you work for a dealership that I'm getting a Freestyle checked out at soon.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    Sinder,

    The vast majority of folks have ZERO problems with the Freestyle's transmission, so my experience is the norm. And the vast majority of folks buying a used Freestyle will also have no problems with their Freestyle transmission, so I don't see anything wrong with me recommending this vehicle. I recently sold mine to someone who bought it because their parents have and love the one they currently own.

    What happens is that when someone has a problem with their car, they search google and find other's with the same problem on Edmunds, and then they start posting their problems. too. It's pretty rare for someone with no problems to post here, just those with problems. That's why something can appear to be a "huge" problems when in reality it's a pretty isolated group having a problem. It's the same with any of these car forums.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    The vast majority of folks have ZERO problems with the Freestyle's transmission, so my experience is the norm.

    That may be but it does not in any way diminish the severity of the problem to those who experience it.

    Consider this. The overwhelming majority of swimmers never get attacked by sharks but would you be as dismissive of people who recommend against swimming at the beach where they were attacked? After all, the norm is that swimmers don't get attacked. Just a thought. :)

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • sindersinder Posts: 37
    I did NOT go looking for a forum to post in. I merely went searching for what the problem could be with my vehicle, when I was damn near, in what would have been a brutal accident because of the tranny's malfunction.

    You keep talking about YOUR experience, but GUESS WHAT ???, my experience and many others are quite different from yours and we have the absolute right to say so.

    Unless you've been conducting some sort of study of Freestyle CVT from 05-08, then how can you speak of the vast majority ? And if it is so "RARE" for someone with no problems to post here.......why are you ?

    I assure you that if you had to dump an extra 5-6K into a vehicle with less than 65K, you too might find that a little painful. And for the record, I would NEVER recommend the 05-08 Freestyle to anyone and I would sooner set it ablaze then to hand it down to a family member. :lemon:
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,786
    edited October 2010
    I leased a FS SEL in early 2006. I had no trouble with the CVT or anything else. I went to a hybrid at the end of the lease, but I considered purchasing my FS. However the lease had set the residual too high for the resale value, so it wasn't worth it. It is still the most comfortable vehicle I've ever owned, and had the most utility.

    I don't devalue those who have had a bad experience, but these forums do tend to draw people together who have had issues, and the internet search engines point here.

    Personally I think there were some bad CVT units manufactured, rather that it being a design flaw.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    I was simply responding to the point Sinder's point that I should not be recommending a Freestyle to anyone. Just because he doesn't want to recommend a Freestyle, doesn't mean that I can't. And based on the reliability of the Freestyle (including transmission), I think my recommendation holds more merit that his.

    Again, Consumer Reports shows that that Freestyle (including the transmission) has at least average reliability, so it's on par with other similar vehicles. The only "black circle" area was in the brakes, which is a problem I had (and was paid for by Ford).

    I've also read posts from folks who say they'll never buy/recommend another Honda or another Toyota because they had some big problem too with their vehicle, so this type of emotional post isn't new to the Freestyle.

    And I'm not sure if the "shark attack" analogy can be made to some bad Freestyle transmissions. It would be better to use that analogy for avoiding a recalled vehicle where the nature of the recall actually led to deaths.
  • My brother and I bought bought 2005 Freestyles as company vehicles in June 2005. I have 122,000 miles on mine and he has about 117,000. Have done no service on the CVT and have had no problems with it at all. I had to replace the alternator at about 60,000 and it was expensive - rear AC and all that - at $1,200. The problem that we both have had almost simultaneously is the AC. Mine went out in August 2010 and his went out in September 2010.

    Both our mileage is about half high congested suburbs and half highway; and we have averaged 22 MPG. We service them every 5,000 miles and haven't been particularly gentle with them since we don't have a pickup truck. Plan to trade sometime in 2011 and the only reason I wouldn't buy again is boredom. Six years and nearly 150,000 is long enough and I miss my F150.
  • Mr Cranker:
    I have the CVT in the AWD 500 ('07). bought used from nationwide Ins. Exec. In my research i found Ford was not satisfied with the reliability of the the German ZF CVT. They elected to build their own, I think they made the right decision. Take a look at the Audi transmission forums. Also don't waste your time (not you Mr rank) on having anybody but Ford "fix" your CVT. Shops just buy it from Ford and put it in. Same with the Audi tranny. Replacing with a used one would be OK from a trusted mech. Oil and filter change @ 60,000 by a Ford dealer critical. I realize some of you have had these issues before 60K. Oil is $12 per qt. and takes 10 qts. and it needs an INTERNAL filter replaced. Before purchase I talked to a transmission shop that has been in business for over 40 years. They had not (2008) had any of the Ford CVTs in for repair. or heard of any issues. 6 speed auto is Aiesen (sp?) from Japan.
  • Possibilities are infinite but the programming is not. There are a finite number of ratios in the program.
  • OK guys. Sit in your car. Look down and to your right. What is that big metal shaft that falls so readily into your right hand? Is it not a "shifter"? Does it not "shift your CVT from hi to lo range? OK that's one "gear". Ever feel your CVT "down shift" when coasting down a hill? So let's call it a 2 speed with benefits. Only Jesus and his Old Man are infinite.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,786
    "Possibilities are infinite but the programming is not. There are a finite number of ratios in the program. "

    Do you have some inside source on this? Also, how do you know it isn't some kind of adaptive algorithm that changes based on driver behavior? That would kind of preclude specific shift points.

    Regardless of programming the CVT itself has an infinite number of ratios between it's top and bottom numbers.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,786
    edited November 2010
    "OK guys. Sit in your car. Look down and to your right. What is that big metal shaft that falls so readily into your right hand? Is it not a "shifter"? Does it not "shift your CVT from hi to lo range? OK that's one "gear". Ever feel your CVT "down shift" when coasting down a hill? So let's call it a 2 speed with benefits. Only Jesus and his Old Man are infinite. "

    My current ride is a FEH, which also has a CVT. That "low range" tells the computer to lock the CVT at a particular ratio for the current circumstances. Yes, it is a "shifter" - so you can get out of park, neutral, and reverse - and artificially let the computer engage engine braking by selecting speed specific ratios from the infinite range of ratios available. But the transmission itself, unlike conventional transmissions, is not bound by 5 - 6 - or even 7 specific shift points.
  • We have a 2005 Freestyle. Under 60k miles. CVT transmission just went. $5K+ to fix or trade it in w/ a value of $5k. Car worked well for 60k miles which may be all you can expect from a Ford. Had Nissan's in the past and 200k is the norm. Like an earlier post, not happy.
  • dnashdnash Posts: 35
    “Consider this. The overwhelming majority of swimmers never get attacked by sharks but would you be as dismissive of people who recommend against swimming at the beach where they were attacked? After all, the norm is that swimmers don't get attacked. Just a thought.”

    I believe the problem with this analogy is the availability of the sample size from which to gather opinions from. I can probably find 100 people to ask about going to the beach in Florida and it would be very unlikely that I would talk to one of the 73 that were attacked by sharks there in the last three years. So I probably end up with 100 positive opinions (at least in relation to shark safety) and can make a logical decision. To get a similar sample of Freestyle owners, the only place I am going to find that number easily is on a message board like this where someone is much more likely to post when they have problems rather than just to say I have 100k miles with no issues. If I could get a random 100 Freestyle owners, I believe that I would here a rosier picture.

    On another note, to help with the sample, I am at 100k miles with an AWD and the only problems I have had are a bad rear liftgate shock, a need to add some power steering fluid to eliminate whine, and the rear brake issues (which is why I am on here now after a couple of year absence). I get 24-25 on the highway at 70-75 and about 18-19 around town.
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