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Ford Freestar Transmission Problems



  • The same thng happened to mine. on the way from Florida to Buffalo. The worst part is other people in my family have the same car and its scary knowing the same thing will happen again soon wth no worry. it just stopped on a highway thankfully we got off safely. I'm assuming it s a torque converter. Hopefully since its a common thing they have the parts instock and can fix t soon. Unfortunatly it happened late on saturday so it wont get fixed until monday at the earliest. It is still under warranty by 16 MILES!!!!!!! So since it wasa a sunday/saturday we can't get a rental car or anything and are spending $100 dollars on a hotel for 2 possibly 3 nights. Worst of all we are going to miss a baseball game we bought tickets too for a total of $250. A complete waste of money the people seem to not care that we are stranded.
  • anabelanabel Posts: 21
    Unfortunately, this is going to happen to many more owners of these vans. I want to suggest that if you plan on keeping the vehicle, that you get some type of extended warranty that will cover the transmission. We broke down twice 5 months apart and now we are finding out that they are replacing the part that broke with refurbished parts and not only that, apparently Ford states a part number they can only replace that part with. So...It will happen again and again and again until that part is replaced with a part that is not defective. Just my suggestion, get a type of insurance that will cover your vehicle bumper to bumper and also can help cover towing and hotel stay and maybe even rental. There is insurance like this out there. At the time, we are looking into it.
  • shocked1shocked1 Posts: 85
    Tere is NOOOOOOO way im buying more insurance to cover FORD'S butt!!!!! mine blew up (tranny) in nov. 08 im going to fight along with others on here, such as the person that's notifying the TODAY SHOW. im notifying our news here in OHIO. FORD sucks on their concern for their trash they made , THE FREESTARS!!!!!!!!! BUYING MORE INSURANCE isn't going to save innocent lives in their trash!!!!!!! :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:
  • zzyxxrdzzyxxrd Posts: 4
    Reading all these posts--from the very first some years back--which is no quick task on a Blackberry, I can only come up with one response.
    WHY was it again that we ever thought anything could replace the horse-and-buggy or the good ol' bicycle????!!!!!
    Do you think the Amish are sitting in Ford dealer-ships,or broke down on the sides of roads !!!!
  • shocked1shocked1 Posts: 85
    DETROIT — The government’s so-called “cash for clunkers” program gave automakers a desperately needed sales boost in July, though their relief could be short-lived if the Senate does not vote to extend the trade-in program after it unexpectedly ran out of money.

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    Ford Motor Co

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    The Ford Motor Company said Monday that its United States sales rose 2.3 percent last month, marking the first year-over-year increase for any of the six largest carmakers since last August. Ford had not posted a monthly sales increase in nearly two years.

    Ford, which heavily promoted the government-sponsored rebate program at its dealerships, in television ads and on its Web site, sold 18 percent more cars and crossover vehicles than it did in July 2008, though sales of its trucks and sport-utility vehicles fell 18 percent. The company did not say how many of its sales were made to people who turned in a vehicle to be scrapped under the program.

    “We had another strong month in progress before the ‘cash for clunkers’ program started,” Ken Czubay, Ford’s vice president for marketing, sales and service in the United States, said in a statement. “Our products, our dealers and our advance preparation enabled us to leverage the program and drive traffic and sales to another level. In addition, we achieved a sales increase even though we decreased incentive spending in an increasingly competitive environment.”

    Other carmakers, including General Motors, Chrysler and Toyota, are scheduled to report their July sales later Monday.

    The government trade-in program, which began July 24, lets consumers give up an older, inefficient vehicle and receive a credit of up to $4,500 toward the purchase of a new vehicle with a higher fuel economy rating. Its unexpected popularity caused the program, formally known as the Car Allowance Rebate System, to quickly exhaust its initial budget of $1 billion, which was enough for about 200,000 people to take part.

    The House of Representatives voted Friday to provide $2 billion more, and approval from the Senate is needed to extend the program. Many dealers are now unsure whether to continue taking trade-ins under the program, not knowing if the government will reimburse them.

    Automakers welcomed the program at a time when high unemployment and low consumer confidence levels have pushed new-vehicle sales to their lowest level since the recession of the early 1980’s. Through the first half of this year, sales were down 35 percent compared to the first half of 2008.


  • jetawayjetaway Posts: 14
    I have been in the transmission business for 23 years.I have rebuilt more Freestar,Windstar and Taurus transmissions than i could possibly count.These 3 cars basically all have slightly different versions of the same transmission.Starting in the mid to late 80's they had a problem with planetary gears self destructing due to lack of lubrication.{im pretty sure there was a law suit over that} Over the years various updates were tried by Ford as well as aftermarket parts manufacturers with limited success.That problem occurred regularly until approximately 2000-2001.After that it was not as common.The tourqe convertor slines stripping was always an occasional occurrence but started getting more frequent in the late 90's and got really bad in 2004's In the early 90's they started making the input shafts thicker with more splines but as the engines got stronger the problem worsened.Over the years this by far was the most common trans in the shop.What really kills me is this would not be a difficult problem to prevent in the future.All that really needs to be done is make the splines out of a stronger hardened steel or make the shaft thicker with more teeth.The latter would require much design and retooling.A recall for this problem would be so costly that i doubt you will ever see one.
  • nadinebnadineb Posts: 190
    Not having a mechanical background, I really appreciate the explanation about these transmissions, but Ford should extend the warranties on all of these transmissions. The PCM issue should be examined, recalled and resolved. Our government has a duty to remove vehicles with this much potential of being lethal and force Ford to either issue the recall on vehicles or get them off the roadways.

    Why should we have to bear the cost of having our families at such a high risk of serious injury and the financial expense of repairs when Ford should be held responsible as required by the law?

    Anyone know why the same vehicle sold in Canada has a larger transmission and longer warranty?
  • shocked1shocked1 Posts: 85
    :lemon: Thank you Nadineb. And, I totally agree with you. There's no amount of $$$$ that could replace my 1 yr.old grand girl!!!! Ford's responsibility is to get these junks off the highways!!! come on Ford...ownup before someone's killed in your incorrect built junks!!!! :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon:
  • jetawayjetaway Posts: 14
    There is no" larger transmission" that i ever heard of .I dont know about the warranty but if its longer i suspect the Canadian government requires it.
  • nadinebnadineb Posts: 190
    According to Wikipedia, "In the United States, the Freestar was available with two different gasoline-powered V6 engines. The smaller 3.9 L (available only in the United States) develop a maximum power of 193 hp (144 kW) at 4500 rpm and 240 lb·ft (325 N·m) of torque at 3750 rpm, while the larger 4.2 L produces 201 hp (150 kW) at 4,250 rpm and 263 lb·ft (357 N·m) of torque at 3650 rpm. While the smaller engine came on the base model in the United States, the larger 4.2 L engine is standard on all models in Canada and Mexico."

    CanadianDriver, January 23, 2004, "In the U.S. the base Freestar comes with a 193 horsepower 3.9 litre V6, but in Canada all Freestars have a 201 horsepower 4.2 litre V6 engine (replacing the 200 horsepower 3.8 litre V6), a 4-speed automatic transmission, Powertrain Warranty 5 years/100,000 km "
  • I took my 04 FREESTAR into dealer to have them look at it. I got a call stating that the gears 2 and 3 are gone. The old transmission was under warranty; but the dealer said that they weren't sure if the warranty would cover this repair. it may be cheaper to "REPAIR" gears 2 and 3. HOW IN THE HELL DO YOU REPAIR ANY GEARS IN A TRANSMISSION WITHOUT REPLACING THE WHOLE UNIT...?
    Any help on this issue would be greatly appreciated... :confuse:
  • jetawayjetaway Posts: 14
    To repair 2nd and 3rd gear clutches you would have to remove and disassemble the transmission.If you have a drive train warranty that is still valid it should be covered.Dealers dont like to deal with aftermarket warranty companies because they scrutinize the cost and procedure.If you have the trans done make sure the tourqe convertor is replaced.
  • pbologpbolog Posts: 1
    my wife, taking our 3 and 6 year old girls to the beach lost all ability while trying to merge into traffic, talk about scary!, experienceing all the same problems described here , simply no go. were from philly so towing will be at least 75 miles , so now i wait for the verdict from the shop while doing research and finding all of your common stories. ill give all the details later . by the way its an 04 freestar with 65,000 miles on it. not exactly new but not ready for this.
  • shocked1shocked1 Posts: 85
    Be sure you notify NASH, (sorry, wrong letters) anyway correct ones are on here. We're trying to get a recall or reimbursements. Ours went out in Nov. 08. And, 9 mo. later at 78000 miles, it's "slipping" . NO WARNING FIRST TIME... We're so fed up with FORD'S trash! First time it was at 65000 miles. Mechanic said could happen again. Thank God we were exiting an interstate. Im so scared to take it anywhere now. Just wanted to let you know, you're not alone.
    :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon:
  • jouzieljouziel Posts: 3
    mY 05 Freestar transmission just failed yesterday evening in the same way described by so many posters in this furum - after only 41K miles. I was rolling along on cruise control on I-90 in Eastern WA at about 70mph when the engine just started revving like mad. By the time I put the car into neutral and pulled over (by some unbelievable stroke of luck, I was able to coast onto an exit ramp, since I had my wife and 4 kids ages 12, 10, 6 and 2 with me) I had realized I had lost all my gears. I was towed to a nearby hotel and had a chance to find this forum while staying there. I'm making arragements this morning to have it towed to the nearest dealer, but from what I'm reading, looks like I have the classic symptoms of torque converter failure and that I'll be SOL with the dealership and wil probably be out upwards of $3K when this is over.

    I will follow up this post after my ordeal is over.
  • nadinebnadineb Posts: 190
    Since NHTSA has two investigations, I would contact them and see if they want the transmission parts before the dealership disposes of them. I would also contact Ford for financial refund on the repairs, a total replacement of the transmission to one that is not going to fail after 40K miles, and reimbursement of hotel and towing fees. If they give you a hard time (which more than likely they will, I would speak to a supervisor).

    Secretary La Hood has not responded to my request for a public hearing so I will be writing to ask about this issue.

    Franklin Delano Roosevelt," The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than the democratic state itself. That in its essence is fascism: ownership of the government by an individual, by a group or any controlling private power."

    Good luck.
  • anabelanabel Posts: 21
    And just to reiterate, I broke down twice after an entire rebuild of the transmission. 4 months apart. I haven't been able to trade the Ford in because I am alittle upside down on it. 2,000.00$. Not much, but it hurts on a sole salary. I am just waiting for another breakdown since they put in it the same parts that are defective in the first place. I have three small children and I understand your concern. When I broke down they were all with me. It was not a good ordeal. As told before, Please follow up with a NHTSA claim. Good Luck.
  • Our van broke down last wednesday while my wife was on her way to work. The van lost tranny power and she ended up stopping in the middle of the road with traffic having to go around her. I researched the history of the van and found alot of info on this site. It is time something is done and stand up to Ford for building crap and charging way too much for it. Any wonder why they almost went under? I am furious about this situation, my wife could have been in a serious accident. Our van is now sitting at the dealership while we try to find a way to come up with the $1300.00 to fix it. I have filed a case with the NHTSA and I have already heard back from them asking more information and also a copy of the repair work needed. I also sent an email to the Ford executive office.

    I am not backing off of this either. I see it as a serious threat to our safety. I have had recalls on other vehicles for things less dangerous than this. How can it be allowed to have a vehicle's transmission just give out like that? :mad:
  • blandowblandow Posts: 1
    It sure didn't take long on Google to find these horror stories. This past weekend, the 2004 Freestar was running great on the way back from vacation....You guessed it: RPM's shot up and no gears engaging. IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE with 3 little kids on the way back from a final summer getaway. Semis whoosing by on a narrow shoulder. Had to call family to drive 2 hours each way to pick us up the next morning after getting a hotel room. Freestar sitting at a mechanic shop 120 miles away from home and they say I need a new Transmission. No symptoms prior, and the van was just tuned up. I plan on filing the same complaints everyone else is. I have no idea where I am going to get the cash for this repair. Depressed in St.Louis...
  • lhatchellhatchel Posts: 15
    I had to increase the limit on three credit cards and then max them out to pay the $3000 it took to repair my Ford Freestar. They put in a refurbished transmission but it still does not drive right. It has 3 year 100,000 mile warranty. Why would they put a longer warranty on a refurb tanny than the original tranny...go figure. I will certainly have the tranny checked out before this warranty runs out. FORD...FESS UP! :mad: :cry:
  • jouzieljouziel Posts: 3
    I just got a reply back from the NHTSA and am following up my claim with details of my ordeal, and I hope it comes to something. Just to finish my story, I got towed 60 miles to a dealer in Spokane, WA. Two days and $2K later, I was back on the road. The guy said it was a failed torque converter (surprise) but that fortunately the splines were still intact, otherwise it would have been more $$$.

    To the credit of the Gus Johnson service dept. in Spokane, they did all they could to expedite the repair and provide my family with shuttle service (Ford ended the loaner car program a couple years ago). It's a darn shame about this since I've been otherwise generally happy with this car.
  • shocked1shocked1 Posts: 85
    I received my 2nd e-mail from Emily Reichard today. you can go to Type in investigation # PE 09033. Check on 'OUR' investigations!!!!! :) May starting to look up for us Jim....
  • From National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the US Department of Transportation

    Dear Freestar/Monterey Owners,

    This is Emily Reichard again with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the US Department of Transportation. As some of you may already know, an investigation has opened on the 2004-2005 Ford Freestar and Mercury Monterey vehicles for transmission failure. This can be viewed on our website at under investigation #PE09-033. After this week I will no longer be in this office and my e-mail will be phased out. Therefore, if you have any other responses or questions, please contact principal investigator Stephen McHenry . Thank you so much for all of your time and information. Have a great day.

    NHTSA Action Number : PE09033 NHTSA Recall Campaign Number : N/A
    Make / Models : Model/Build Years:
    FORD / FREESTAR 2004-2005

    MERCURY / MONTEREY 2004-2005

    Manufacturer : FORD MOTOR COMPANY
    Component :

    Date Investigation Opened : July 15, 2009
    Date Investigation Closed : Open
  • momx6momx6 Posts: 5
    Has anyone else had any trouble after the transmission repair? My cruise control is now only working intermittently since I got my van back a week and a half ago.
  • Well, our van was bought in August of 2006 and now, in August 2009, the transmission has gone. The van is at the dealership and they told us the internal planetary gear has disintergrated. Great. The van only has 45,000 miles. We have always performed all the necessary oil changes and whatnot. This was so unexpected. Now the dealership is stating that they have to contact Ford and will let us know the price. I am like, what the heck? We purchased the extended warranty, even more than a powertrain and now they are saying they may not cover it? Very unhappy with Ford right now and I truly wish the van would just go away.
  • Please join the ranks of us and file a complaint with the NHTSA. If we get enough complaints submitted I believe this will really open their eyes even more. I have filed mine and they want to see the diagnostic sheet from Ford. We have asked for it and they said they would fax it to us. They did fax it, but its a parts order sheet listing how much the torque converter is and transmission fluid exchange, basically what it was going to cost to have it repaired. So, I have to call them AGAIN. :sick:
  • On another note, we called around to see if we could find a better price to get the van repaired. CarX said they would do the repaire for $896 and some change. Ford was going to charge use about $1300. We called Ford back with the info and that we were going to have someone else do the repair. They immediately dropped thier price to the same amount, but said they would not offer a warranty. Well CarX also had a warranty.

    If you are having a problem with your van please file a complaint with NHTSA so we can overload them reports. Let's see how long Ford will sit on their hands once they get some real pressure.
  • mwirtmwirt Posts: 1
    Hello everybody!
    Our 2004 Freestar (79k miles) came to a rolling stop today, making a load whining sound (similar to low fluid in a power steering pump) from the trans. The ESP Warranty ended at 75k miles.

    Beginning at 55k miles, it became slow in engaging from Reverse to Drive and occasionally shuttered. A local dealership found nothing wrong and after servicing it, gave it a clean bill of health. Slow shifting started again and now, we're stuck. A local trans technician experienced in rebuilding these beasts diagnosed it as likely the planetary unit(?). Isn't it considered a clunker now??? :sick:
  • nadinebnadineb Posts: 190
    I think they were a clunker the day they came off the assembly line.

    Hope you file a complaint with NHTSA.
    Good luck.
  • shocked1shocked1 Posts: 85
    Sure they were junk in the factory!!!!! They didn't make the tranny large enough for the engines, we were told. I tell everyone driving a FREESTAR, to turn complaints into NHTSA. I also get ill when I see children in them. COME ON FORD..... FESS UP... YOU MADE A DEADLY MISTAKE..... FIX IT FAIRLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :confuse:
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