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Ford Freestyle CVT Transmissions



  • $7,000 is crazy talk for a transmission rebuild. Are CVTs really that expensive to rebuild or are we paying three times the cost of a traditional transmission rebuild because CVT owners are stuck without any other options? I was under the impression that CVTs were rather simple transmissions without many parts (at least compared to a standard automatic). This should translate into a less expensive rebuild process, not more.

    As far as Ford acronyms go I prefer Finest Operating Road Device or First On Race Day. Fortunately your transmission problem is not common and Consumer Reports rates Freestyles as better than average for reliability.

    - Chad
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,719
    "The lease is for 3 years. The warranty is for 3 years or 36,0000 miles. The tranny failed at 50,000 miles. "

    As I recall, the FS has a 5 year, 50K warranty on the engine and transmission? This is different from the overall 3 year 36K warranty. You might want to check if the car was actually in warranty. If it was only a little past the warranty, contact the regional or national Ford representative and see if they will offer to cover part or all of the problem. After that, find another dealer, because THEY should have thought of that.

    As for cost, the entire reason that Ford went away from the CVT for the Taurus X was the cost of the transmission parts. So I'm not surprised it is expensive.

    I am sorry for the cost you have incurred. The question I have is if there is an issue with the CVT as a design or if this is a problem specific to your car. I think yours is one of only 2 or 3 reported as being a problem in the Edmunds forums. There is a fair possibiltiy that it is just a case of mechanical failure.

    I was simply making a suggestion for future leases with any car company. When I lease, I'm very careful to accurately estimate the actual miles to be driven, and then get an extended warranty to cover those miles. My last lease was 39 months, and I had a 45K, 42 month extended warranty, so that I would be covered for the duration of the lease.
  • I read this posting on CVT transmissions as well as others. I was buying a used Freestyle with 20 k on it and was concearned of the negative bloggs. I decided to see if this many complaints where happening with this trans along with other complaints.

    I went to someone I know that is a mechanic for Ford at a big dealership. I asked him whats the deal with CVT breakdowns and he said up front that they really dont get many problems at all on the CVT in fact he does not re- call any major problems as of yet in his shop. Thats in Northern Jersey. He did say they recommend changing the trans fluid every 30k of two years( Ford every 60k) Runs about 200.. He said the fluid thats changed is dirty black so it makes a difference and Ford is the only place to get the fluid. But he said they seem to be holding up fine as far as he can see.

    He said they had break problems that they where changing breaks and rotors and fixing the problem a while back. But Ford was picking up the bill for the work done.

    Then I went to a high performance tranny place that is a specialist on high tech trannys, A top rate place that deals with foreign and domestic and race cars.
    I talked to the owner about my concerns the CVT. His 1st reaction was that is a great tranny system and said as long as you change the fluid every 2 years you will be fine. He said he loved the entire CVT concept and it makes so much more sense for millage and less MOVABLE parts to breakdown. He went on to say only Ford is where he can get the trans fluid. So thats 2 direct exact answers. Then he went on to say he just got back from Fords unveiling of the 2009 F150s . He said Ford REPS said they will be implementing the CVT in other cars in the near future.

    He did say failures can be caused by people not being trained and using other type fluids cause failures. He said some mechanics should not get into areas they have no idea of the tech that makes them work. Anything new will start people talking negative. He said everyone will be going to CVT in the neat future because the great marriage with gas mirage that can't be over looked . Nissan going 100% in all their cars now.
    I love the Freestyle and I do get a honest 28 to 29 mpg hwy and 24 on country roads for which I drive on. I will as I do keep up on maintence and run mobile 1 and change the fluid in the CVT with Ford CVT fluid every 2 years.
  • It was previously said "...$7,000 is crazy talk for a transmission rebuild. Are CVTs really that expensive to rebuild or are we paying three times the cost of a traditional transmission rebuild because CVT owners are stuck without any other options?..." has the CVT going for $5,000 (just the part), retail. Give generous labor and a few other small parts totaling $2,000, and you've got a dealership making more money off car repairs/parts than the profit on selling new vehicles, a scenario typical around the U.S..... It is probably true that the cost is extra high because other tranny repair shops won't go near our CVT, from what I've heard. I'll check Aamco to see if they will repair it.
  • Consumer Reports contacted hundreds of random Freestyle owners, and they say collectively that the CVT is failing at lower rates than the average automatic tranny out there, so that does corroborate what the Ford mechanic is saying. Our CVT has above average reliability. When it does fail, people suddenly naturally feel motivated to call Henry Ford a jerk on forums on the web. When the CVT does just fine, it is ignored and there is no motivation to write about it on forums.
  • I am having similar problems. The car seems to run at very high RPM but only goes 40 MPH. It also bucks. The yellow warning light comes on that shows a slippery road with a car. That's probably just from the bucking but not sure. The Ford dealership has had my car 5 weeks with still no resolution. My car is from a Lease company as this is a company car. The lease company though told me that it is covered under warranty because the powertrain warranty is 60,000 miles. I have 54,000 miles on the car. That may be a special deal for the Lease company but I would double check to make sure it isn't covered under warranty. Call somebody else besides the dealer. I found the dealer lying to me on several itmes so don't trust what they say.
  • I checked FORD website and they list a warranty of 5 year 60,000 miles on 2007 and on 2006 with a $100 deductible. Seems to me you shouldn't be paying the $7,000 as it is in the coverage area. Go higher on the food chain at FORD.
  • We went around and around with the dealership and with "customer service" representatives at Ford regarding the tranny failure at 50K. I suddenly realized that we have a 5 year 60K warranty on the powertrain. We faxed the new vehicle sticker to the dealership (Thank God my fiancee kept it) and the dealer is now (hopefully) repairing it under this warranty. I am thankful that we didn't lay out 7 large to fix it, and then have to go after them to get it back. A lot of weeping and gnashing of teeth could have been avoided if the dealer or the cs reps just said "Oh, you're covered under our powertain warranty". We haven't gotten the car back yet, so I'm reserving judgment until then
  • I would watch that dealer. Probably they were going to charge you 7K and then turn around and enter a warranty claim with FORD and get another 7K. They work that deal all of the time. Glad you don't have to shell out 7k. Good luck on the car. I'd sell and buy a Chevy.
  • I apologize for the length but if any can share any info I'd truly appreciate it.

    My 05 SEL FWD has 57,750 miles on it. A week ago I got the wrench light. I pulled over shut down and looked up the meaning of the light in my manual. It says to contact my dealer immediately. I turned the car on and the light was gone I did a system check and got the message that the transmission was OK. Drove it like that for 2 days then the light came on again but the car drove fine - no noticeable problem with power, noise, or vibration. I took it to a buddy with a code reader to diagnose it but we could get any info. I made an appointment with a dealer in the town where I work and before I could get it there the light came on again this time accompanied with high engine revving and a noticeable loss of power. I had it towed to a transmission shop closer to home and they got a reader for a "turbine speed sensor". Apparently the sensor can't be replaced because it comes attached to a valve cover that it can't be separated from. So I need to buy a part and was quoted a price of $1000.00

    Anyone out there ever heard of this? Also, if previous posts are true and they're not using this transmission anymore are they going to make the replacement parts when this happens to me/or someone else again?

  • I actually dealt with Ford a total of 8 weeks to get my car repaired. I have a 2007 model and I ended up taking it to another Ford garage because the first one didn't repair it after 61/2 weeks. The second garage had it 1 1/2 weeks, rebuilt the transmission and it seems to work OK. All work was covered by the powertrain warranty. Don't know if the 05 is covered by the 60,000 mile warratny but I would check it out with Ford before I paid thre transmission shop. The symptoms were exactly the same as yours and seemed to get worse if It was hot and I was running at 65 MPH. The speed sensor is probably because the car was running at high RPM and low MPH. That's what mine was doing. I didn't have any problem with spped sensor just transmission. Check your warranty coverage and then get it to a Ford garage if covered instead of dealing with a local transmission shop.
  • My freestyle went in for the 4th time. The first time the codes didn't jive with the problem of the car not moving. The second time the tranny was worked on and a seal was shredded. The third time the torque converter was rebuilt. The last time, the tranny was completely rebuilt under Ford's blessing. The dealer had the car for 3 weeks, because Ford wanted the dealer to try and capture the problem. It's been a month now and there seems to be ratcheting sound at low speeds- 25 mph and less. Guess what, the car is going back in. There's no light at this time, but the dealer wants the car to check on the noise.
    Previously, I only had problems at low speeds. The light would come on and there was a lack of power.
  • It would seem that when there is trouble with the transmission on these Ford has no experience repairing them and they aren't very sucessful. Good luck with yours.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    Look under the Emissions Warranty which runs for 80,000 miles to see if your part is covered there. There are quite a few modules that are covered.
  • Thank bobw3, its worth a try.

    bellaspop :confuse:
  • Hi rmcwilliams,

    Thanks for taking the time. Unfortuantely the 05 has a 3/36,000 as standard coverage and I didn't opt for extending. Guess I was hoping I wouldn't jinx myself :cry: It looks like with parts and labor it's going to be about $1300.00 Ford customer service was no help. :mad: But, I guess if you don't pay for extra coverage you don't get extra coverage.
  • Right before I took the Freestyle in to the dealer, I was accelerating in traffic a very loud bang occurred. At first I thought someone had run into my car. Then I realized the engine had over revved and then the tranny engaged with a bang. Of course when I looked at the dash, the yellow wrench light was on.

    I've informed the dealer that it's time for Ford to step up. So hopefully we can come to an agreement without invoking the lemon law.
  • hey drewmimi

    Good luck with Ford. They turned me back to the dealership and said it would be their call as to whether I could get my car fixed at no/little cost out of pocket. In these financial times I coudn't find anyone ( 2 closest dealerships) who could charge me money based on my warranty coverage but were willing to opt not to. Can't really blame them but only 57k miles. I was hoping to have the car for 200k! Icontinue to check back to see how your story plays out. Good Luck.
  • With only 28,000, it's still under warranty, but now I can't trust the car. In Iowa, the lemon law qualifies the first 24,000 with the first owner. I surpassed that by 887 miles. Also the car is upside down, so I doubt even if Ford offered me the moon, I wouldn't come out ahead.
  • Yeah I can empathize with the trust issue. I've had to bum a few rides over the past two weeks and everyone says buying any car is a crapshoot. I kept reading about how Ford was making such and effort to improve the quality of their vehicles... We're going to cut our losses and start shopping this weekend - for a Honda. I commute 50 miles round trip daily and I take my two daughters to school as part of my trip. We need a car that's going to hold up for more than 57,000 miles!

    Again I wish you the best.
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