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Ford Freestyle CVT Transmissions



  • pbaypbay Posts: 1
    MALFUNCTION. I was extremely lucky that someone finally figured out WHY!!!! In my opinion is the reason why ford hasn't been slapped with a major, major!! recall. No one outside of the Ford dealerships can figure out were the problem actually begins. Most Shops don’t want anything to do with it. I found a very talented transmission shop that did! I had all the exact symptoms as everyone else. The acceleration when putting the car in reverse. No power, wrench light coming on, etc; I am field sales rep that puts a lot of miles on. After ford installed a new throttle body the first time within 7 months same symptoms accrued. Already out of warranty because of miles I was in no rush to get it repaired again for the same thing. Because of an extremely busy schedule I didn't have a lot of time to bring back to ford. So I continued to drive it the way it was. Every time it would act up, I would turn off the motor wait a minute restart and it would reset itself. drove my 2006 ford freestyle till transmission was totally gone. I brought it to ford they did a diagnostic and told me I needed a new Transmission, and it would cost around $6,000. So I started calling Transmission shops, No one would touch it, Except for one place. The owner Bill said he had a couple of the best transmission mechanics in the country and would be able to rebuild it for $3,500. So I brought it to him . $ 6,000 later and After 4 trips back his crackerjack transmission guys were having a difficult time figuring out why they couldn't get to run right. Bill was pissed off because he said my car was making them look bad was determined to find out why. much help from ford with parts or Info finally him and his guys figured out it was the main computer that tells the throttle body what to do and throttle body tells transmission what to do. He can explain it much better than I can. In any case If no one knows that main computer is the problem to begin with it would be very hard to get a recall on the throttle body or transmission. That’s my opinion. What do you think? I would like for Ford to pay me back the $7,500 + car rentals. Can anyone help me? Sincerely Pbay
  • handchandc Posts: 1
    I just had the throttle body on my '05 Freestyle replaced (90k miles). I do understand that regular mechanical maintainence is required of all vehicles. That being said... I've spend hours now on the web researching this issue with Freestyles. After 5 days of waiting for the part, and $1000 later, I drove my car from the dealership where it was serviced and within 20 miles, the engine light came on. - found after calling several dealerships that I was given an answer almost recited verbatim about the throttle body issues. This makes me think that Ford, obviously fully aware of these existing issues, has given their dealerships and technicians a monologue about what to say to aggravated customers. I don't so much take issue with the cost of repairs, or even the fact that they need to happen. What I do take issue with is the fact that Ford representatives are so willing to "misrepresent" the truth in what is a major expense, and most importantly a major safety issue.
  • I am a mechanic and let me tell you, the best thing anyone that owns a freestyle from 05 to 07 is to get rid off that piece of junk. Ford knows the junk and mess they made but they are too big to shake so they don't care is cheaper to settle a suit than issuing a recall. The company that made the Transmission is closed and the throttle body is another junk. Good luck, mine is gone and that was the best day in 2010.
  • I am having issues with automatic transaxle. I purchased this vehicle used and up till today have not had any issues with the CVT. I have 131790 miles and I have not added nor am I sure how to add the fluid. I typically do my own maintenance on my vehicles but in this case, I'm not sure what I am dealing with. The owners manuel says refer to the Scheduled Maintenance Guide but all that gives me is a log not how or what I'm looking for. The owners manuel also gives very little info other than have someone qualified to do it. Even my husband, who's worked for Toyota for 22 years and is very intelligent about cars, is saying the same thing. Is this really true or can someone direct me to do this on my own? Thanks.
  • Sell now before. Is too late. 500 dollars for that transmission oil change..... And if get any contamination while is being change it will ruin the transmission.

    Now that is running good is when you can get more for it.
  • sindersinder Posts: 37
    Agreed...........Sell it now and get out if you can :lemon:
  • It is only $200 if you change the transmission fluid yourself rather than $500 the dealership will charge, that is, if you can find a reputable dealer that doesn't charge $200 for a typical transmission flush. The $200 includes tools, fluid, and parts.

    You can find many references on the web. Yes, you do have to take the front left tire off, jack up the transmission, drain, remove the mount, remove the filter cover from behind the mount, remove old parts, add new rubber bands and filter and plastic tube, reinstall filter, reinstall mount, add fluid, etc...

    The problem with a CVT is that it doesn't really buy you greater MPG. It will get over 30 MPG highway but only 14 mpg city where the infinite gearing is exercised, even keeping revs under 2000 rpm. It actually seems better when getting it up to speed quicker because it excels in slowing down very slowly which in city traffic normally means newer brakes sooner.
  • I just bought an 06 Freestyle and have had it less than 2 weeks. I replaced the Map sensor last week and today it left my wife and kids stranded in a parking lot from what I am sure is transmission problems. Have you had any luck with that attorney? I will take the car to a service dept tomorrow and make sure. I am just reading about a lot of people having the same problem and am hoping there is a chance for justice. Thanks
  • Can you get me Bills number? I am trying to figure out what is wrong with mine. I am pretty sure it's the same thing you went through. I just bought the car used less than 2 weeks ago and am having these problems. Thanks
  • meyersdmeyersd Posts: 3
    edited January 2012
    The lunging is not a transmission problem, but more likely dirty throttle body plate. I actually had mine replaced, because ti was an electrical problem The Government's investigation of the problem came up withthe same findings, and their books are closed. There were no recalls. Volvo had a similar problem on their XC90 SUV's. Like all used cars, an extended warranty is crucial.

    The problem with most people buying these cars used is they assume the dealer or whomever they bought it from has properly performed the services on the car without even asking. In most cases, a service person will drive the car, and if it drives good, they wash it and put a " for sale" sign on it. There are also those dealers that actually go through the process of doing a full diagnostic on the vehicle, and that's where problems are discovered and fixed. Dealers do " certify" used cars, at an additional cost, but in the long run, that cost may save you thousands of dollars. If any mechanic tells you the Freestyle is junk, I wouldn't go anywhere near that guy's business. That only means he doesn't know what he's talking about.

    Freestyle owners are at a disadvantage, because the tramission was only manuafactured for 3 model years. The transmission however also appeared in the Ford Five Hundred and Mercury Montego, which are both sedans. Any Ford dealer should be able to service the transmission or at least tell you who can service it. The CVT transmissions used in the Freestyle/Five Hunfdred/Montego were discontinued because of cost, and fact it would not be able to handle the increased horsepower from upcoming V6's.

    The transmissions were a joint venture between ZF Transmission and Ford. The 2005-2007 Freestyle engine was a 3.0 liter V6, rated at 203HP/ 207ft lbs of torque. For the 2008 & 2009 model years Ford increased the V6 to 3.5 liters/ 249 ft lbs of torque. Ford also had it's Ecoboost motor coming, and the CVT would not be a good match for it. Ford had already decided after 2007 to go back to a conventional 6 speed tranny, as they were cheaper to produce than the CVT The 2008-2009 Taurus X got the 6 speed tranny and the 3.5 liter motor. The Flex replaced the Freestyle, however it is the same D3 platform. The new Explorer also rides on a stretched version of the D3. Take a look at the interiors of the Flex and Explorer, and you will see some similarities to the Freestyle. So in reality, the Freestyle never actually went away. It was continually upgraded, from Taurus X to Flex and Explorer.
  • Tranmission fluid change is CVT fluid only, which is why you can't cross contaminate fluids. The cost to drain and fill the transmission (CVT's can't be power flushed) should not be more than $275.00. The fill and flush also involves changing the exterior filter on the tranmission. The CVT has 2 filters, one inside and one outside. The interior filter does not have to be replaced. CVT's do not have any more or less failure than a conventional transmission. They don't make them anymore, because ZF and Ford only agreed to make them for 3 model years, and the cost to make each transmission was too high. Ford decided in 2008 to drop the CVT for a 6 speed auto, and swap out the 3.0 to a 3.5. The Freestyle got a name change also in 2008, to Taurus X. The same drivetrain & platform that was in the Taurus x is in the current Ford Flex. The new Ford Explorer runs on a stretched version of the same D3 platform, using the same tranny and the Ecoboost engine.
  • haulthault Posts: 124
    My Freestyle I bought new in 2005 recently had the no start/difficult start occur. I researched TSB's on ALL DATA and found 2. One 10-24-5 was fairly new and superceded previous ones. It shows removing and cleaning the throttle body. And the same one or another one showed resetting the PCM with some "updated" settings. I cleaned my throttle body w/o removing it. I haven't drove it yet so I don't know if cleaning did anything. Will post results later. I have 65,000 miles. Paid almost $600 for the trans service at Ford. Never had any major issues other than the recalls and brake upgrade.
  • Hi Please send me Bill's phone number. I am on my second throttle body for a 2007 Ford Freestyle and was told I need another one. I have asked if this is a computer problem and was told no. But everytime the throttle body needs replacement, the main computer has given a different error code. If you are not comfortable giving Bill's number would you provide the corrective measures taken to fix the main computer?
    Thanks Linda
  • haulthault Posts: 124
    Well it's now Feb 13th and our 2005 Freestyle is running fine. For those of you having major problems and/or reoccurring problems. 1) keep paperwork w/diagnosis and repair costs. Mention using the FORD tsb's related to your problem. 2) give them a second chance to fix it for free or parts only. 3) Write FORD directly cc dealership about the problem. 4) File small claims against the dealership and FORD for the maximum allowed in your state. I thought there was some law that the car company had to supply replacement parts for a certain amount of years. I thought it was around 7 years.
  • i have a 05 ford freestyle and i took it to my transmission shop and they said it could be internal or electrical, does anyone know what electrical problem they may have with the CVT trans? the wrench light came on and the trans started not shifting when the engieng temp got to normal.
  • haulthault Posts: 124
    Have the Ford dealership use TSB's related to your problem. Ford has an update to the computer software that may help your problem. Good luck!
  • i'm not having the same lunging problems i have read about. i bought my 2006 freestlye last april. i had the car less than a week when i was going up the interstate and suddenly my rpm's were going way up and my car was getting no power and the speed was dropping. i pulled off the side and cut the car off. like others of you the car reset itself and drove ok. i called the dealership and luckily because i bought my car as a certified pre-owned ford the repair was covered. I can't remember what they did, but i know the part had to be ordered and it had something to do with the transmission. now it is 11 months after i bought the car and had it repaired and guess what. same problem all over again. each time the throttle control/transmission light and the traction control active light comes on. the traction light will go off but the throttle light stays on until the car is cut off and restarted. now my check engine light comes on and stays on. i really am beginning to hate this car!!!! i wish i had seen this before i bought the car. and of course i owe more than the car is worth! any suggestions?
  • haulthault Posts: 124
    What was the original repair?
  • freejenns06freejenns06 Posts: 2
    edited March 2012
    i couldn't remember the name of the part, only that they had to order it. we are trying to get in touch with the service department at the dealership to get all of that info. whatever it was it was done to fix the traction control light and throttle light(wrench) light problems and now i'm having them again. the dealership gave us the run around the first time so trying to find a reputable service department to take it to this time. I had purchased an extended warranty that covered the problem the first time but that has ran out, so i'm going to hate to see how much this is going to cost me. and this time the check engine light has come on and stayed on so i'm pretty sure it has done some major damage.
  • haulthault Posts: 124
    I was reading my warranty booklet. The computers PCM, ECU, TCM are covered by 8 years 80,000 miles. If your vehicle is continuing to set off idiot lights and having problems it may be one of these computers failing and/or a connection issue. Usually the only way to verify a computer issue is to put another computer in it.
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