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Ford Freestar Transmission Problems



  • I too received a "response"for more information on my "junk" issue from NHTSA. It's been over a year ago, since then I had tranny repaired, AND garauntee has ran out and hear it's bout time for tranny crap to go out again. Still nothing done. The president's planning on putting us USA people in a JAIL CELL FOR NO HEALTH INS. But he can't enforce FORD to be honest with this JUNK issue? Are we in AMERICA?
  • I for one will never recommend a Ford again, I have a 5.0 '93 Mustang as well with no problems but then again I hardly drive it, only has 49,000 miles on it and I'm the original owner. Since 1967 I have owned 15 Ford vehicles, but becausae of the way they have handled this problem with my Free Star, never again. Even the Ford dealer tried to get my Free Star returned under the lemon law, Ford refused!But I think there are 2 keys to long life in the Free Star, check that right rear disc brake caliper. Mine has been dragging since I owned the vehicle and Ford said the scraping sound was normal, I think the constant drag is what killed the tranny in mine and also cost gas milage especially local driving. Since I replaced the right rear caliper it also rides smoother, my mechanic says it was probably dragging the wheel so when I hit bumps, that why it sounded like I hit a rail road ty. Now it actually rides better and is quieter, and I have 115,000 miles on mine. Incidently we just last week changed the caliper. Also the other big killer is the computers. I had constant electrical problems for the first 15 months of ownership till my Ford dealer replaced all 3 of the PCMs at one time, like a miracle, all electrical problems dissappeared and have never come back! And that was about 2 years ago. They said they got a TSB on it and had to order the PCM's thru the TSB.
  • Add me to the list who will never buy another Ford. I have had Fords for 20 + years. Many great cars but because of how I was treated at the Ford dealership because of their lemon I will never be back again.

    Thank you so much for mentioning the caliper. I have had a scrapping noise on the drivers side tire for quite some time. "When it was under warranty I had it in twice and they said they couldn't see anything wrong and couldn't hear it. Yet, every time someone drove with me at low speeds they could hear it. I will have it checked out. Of course I'm out of warranty now.

    There are 3 PCM's????? I had one fixed about a year and a half ago and have been having no issues since. I didn't realize there were others that could be leaking too. Great!

    On a positive note I put some new tires on last night and it is riding much better and actually can move on ice and snow. That is until the tranny goes.
  • I don't think there are actually 3 PCM's that leak. There are 2 other computers in addition to the PCM & I read about people having a problem with a virus of some sort. The leak problem is the PCM under the passenger side dash. I don't really know how you tell if you have the virus or not (haven't really seen much talk about it) mainly just the soggy PCM & transmission problems. My understanding is that the PCM is the main 'brain'--the other 2 computers have more specific duties. If you have the virus & don't change out all three computers at the same time the electrical 'gremlins' can come back. If anyone can explain more about this I would love to understand it all better!
  • dc1967dc1967 Posts: 2
    Just received news from the Ford dealer that our transmission is gone. My wife got the flashing transmission warning light. She also noticed some hesitation while accelerating. She pulled into our local dealer and they told her the computer code said the torque converter was slipping. Replacement would be around $1300. When the transmission tech finally got in to look at it, he said the fluid had a slight burnt smell and was darker than it should be. He advised us to replace the entire transmission at $2500.

    I came across this forum some months ago and was reading all the posts on these failures. I convinced myself since we were keeping up with 30,000 mile transmission service we shouldn't have any problems. We really wanted this van to last. Now I'm convinced all the maintenance in the world won't help these transmissions!! We've wasted over $450 dollars maintaining this transmission. I hope the replacement is more reliable than the original. I don't see how Ford can expect people to continue buying their vehicles. It's obvious they don't care about their customers safety. Bragging that you build a safe and quality vehicle is one thing. Backing up and fixing your mistake is even better.

    I submitted a report with NHTSA and contacted Ford. I'm hoping some good will come out of the NHTSA investigation before something terrible happens.
  • nadinebnadineb Posts: 190
    Well stated.

    If Ford would of stood behind their product, I would still be a Ford customer. However, Ford has lost more than one person as a customer, and all those customers will add up to a large sum of lost sales ($$$$).
  • I wish that you were right about the maintenance. My husband is a former mechanic and is meticulous with our vehicles. We did the maintenance as well and we lost our trans.
    Then we had it replaced, and that one went!!! We're still 1/12 years out on the loan so we're stuck with this trash. I honestly don't know how these people at Ford sleep at night. They would gain so much more by doing the recall before being forced to do so. Forget their gain, acting now may save loss of life. Unfortunately, in this country, we're a dime a dozen. Business calls the shots.
  • nadinebnadineb Posts: 190
    We are a dime a dozen, but there are many of us. Also, we can see how this group has grown.

    For the people, by the people. As a collective group, I believe that we need to push our legislators to strengthen consumer protection laws. Federal laws need to be written to stop this type of scams by corporate America.

    "Let them crash and burn" may be Fords philosophy, but they can only push it onto us if we let this stand.

    We do need to act because the life we save may be our own.
  • dc1967dc1967 Posts: 2
    I was doing some playing around on the KBB site looking at trade in values. I put in the info for our 2004 Freestar SES with 95,000 miles in good condition. Only $2950. This van had a sticker price almost $31,000.

    Then I put in the info for our 2004 Tacoma truck. A two door, two wheel drive, extra cab, automatic with manual locks and windows. Truck has just under 95,000 miles and had a sticker price of $17,000. Trade in value is $5400. A $14,000 difference when new. Now the truck is worth more than the van? It really says alot about Toyota.
  • nadinebnadineb Posts: 190
    I received this response from Ford Motor Company Customer Relationship Center with the interest to submit a formal complaint letter.

    Please forward a letter to the Ford corporate offices at the following address for
    further review.

    Ford Motor Company
    Product Claims Department
    P.O. Box 70
    Dearborn, Michigan 48121-0070
  • jgenovesejgenovese Posts: 220
    Nadine and everyone else,

    What more do they need to know? What a bunch of nitwits! I wonder how many more families will be put in harm's way while Ford conducts "Further reviews." Unfortunately, this is how this game is played. The corporation drags its feet, conducts "reviews", stonewalls the authorities and delays action, voluntary or otherwise as long as possible. In the meantime, families like ours continue to be in grave danger. Don't they understand that, the longer they stall and treat us like we're stupid, the more resolved we become to see this through?

    Keep up the good work, everybody. We have the momentum now.

    Jim Genovese
    Annapolis, MD
  • jgenovesejgenovese Posts: 220
    Wow. I take 2 things away from this story;

    1.) Ford must be feeling some heat because, obviously, the dealer first tried to give you the party line but when you let them know that you know better, the dealer got defensive, and,

    2.) Ford still doesn't get it and they are sticking with their inexplicably arrogant and short sighted approach to this issue.

    Nadine was so right when she postulated that, instead of being a story of corporate greed and arrogance, this could be a story of integrity and redemption.

    Hey Ford, how do you want this story to end?
  • nadinebnadineb Posts: 190
    Ford does not need to know anything else. They already know that this vehicle has major issues. Having well over 70 Technical Service Bulletins on this vehicle, they know the problems. The only issue that Ford does not know is the resolve of the people who they wrong, the will and determination of those for justice. Keep telling everyone your story, and shame on Ford, again!

    Does Ford really care how this story ends? When I tell people my story, they know the Pinto one - Let'em crash and burn. So, does Ford really care? I think not because they would have already corrected this situation. I believe that they do not care how much it cost hard working Americans. I believe that they do not care if it cost people the safety of their families. There has already been one accident on a bridge where three have been injured.

    There is an old saying - what goes around comes around.

    I was just listening to a piece on NPR that stated that in the next several years, the car manufacturing business will have well over nine major companies. No longer will it be the big three (Ford, Chrysler, and Chevrolet). Too bad for America because we will all be driving foreign vehicles. Where will our manufacturing base come from in this country? Where will our jobs be in the future?
  • er1457er1457 Posts: 8
    Within two weeks of my transmission failure, I swore off any more ford's, and traded in my POS 2005 freestar for a Hyundai. Nice car, good value for the $$$.

    In 1980 gm had done me wrong, and I swore never to buy another gm product. A promise I've kept so far. Too bad ford... I tend to keep my word... no more fords!

    Fortunately, many of the foriegn car companies are building plants in this country to meet the sales needs of former gm, ford and Chrysler customers.
  • nadinebnadineb Posts: 190
    So many of my friends drive foreign vehicles, and they usually have good things to say about the them. It is true that many are building the good products here, but still the majority of the profits from the sales are sent back to the mother country.

    The amount of debt we owe to other countries will sink us and the next generations for years to come. We need better quality American products, now!
  • I totaled my 2004 Freestar just before Thanksgiving. Nothing due to the transmission just my dumb luck. However, I gave my insurance company the bill for the refurbished transmission that I put in July for $3000 and the prorated it and reimbursed me in the processing of my claim.

    Thank goodness that I had not dropped the collision insurance off of the van. My torque converter failed in June with only one more payment to go. I made the last payment while it was sitting at the Ford dealership being repaired.

    I decided to invest $1700 servicing my 1993 Honda Accord with 250,000 miles instead of buying a new car and having a car payment. I know it is dependable.

    Good luck you guys. Hopefully you will get a recall soon.
  • Well, I signed up for this forum specifically for the Ford Freestar Transmission issues. Reading this forum has given me nightmares, and finally yesterday, my transmission went out in my Freestar. Luckily I wasn't on the road when it went out, but I had the same issues as the other people - the vehicle starts up just fine, but wont shift into any gear. It's at the transmission shop now, so we'll see how much I'm going to get reamed here in a few hours.....
  • I found this forum a few days ago after the transmission in my 2006 Ford Freestar died as I was driving up a hill. It just dropped out of drive and that was the end. No drive or reverse. I wish I found this information before I bought the van. I got it used with 54,000 miles. I haven't even owned it 1 year. The dealer quoted the new transmission for $3000 with a 36mth/36,000 mile warranty. What choice do I have but to fix it.
  • nadinebnadineb Posts: 190
    File a complaint with NHTSA and the Center for Auto Safety. Write Ford a letter of complaint, too.
  • I have, but I'm afraid that nothing can be done for me. Just got off the phone with the transmission shop, I'm out at least $1800
  • jgenovesejgenovese Posts: 220
    Thank you for filing the reports. Each report is CRITICAL to the cause. Think of our cause as a brick wall that we are trying to build and each report as a brick in that wall. The higher and wider our wall becomes, the harder it is to ignore.

    Keep us posted on your repairs.

    Jim Genovese
    Annapolis, MD
  • well about got my 04 fixed most of these probl;ems sound like mine it was the torque converter. it stripped out the pump splines and after talking to a local transmission guy he said it wont burn the tranny up so everyone be sure to ask what exactly was wrong dont let someone charge you so much for just a converter. i got an aftermarket one my guy says he has not seen any com back. total cost on mine is under $400 cause i pulled it and replaced myself but ford wants that for just the converter.
  • Got my 2006 Ford Freestar out of the transmission shop today, the total damage was $2013, plus taxes. Good thing I'm rich, or else I'd be broke! (can you smell the sarcasm?)

    Thanks to the Ford Motor Company, I am broke. I had to take out savings to pay for this, and since I still owe more money than it's worth, I had to pay for it - I didn't have a choice. Normally it wouldn't bother me, but this is obviously a known (and ignored) issue.

    I will NEVER buy another Ford vehicle, EVER!

    As a side note, I found out that FORD is actually an acronym. Found On Road Dead. LOL
  • nadinebnadineb Posts: 190
    There is a facebook group - Ford Sucks. They have the Ford emblem on the page and below it the statement - Well.....At least they circled the problem....

    Adrian Jara posted a poem, "Go to ford, buy the best, drive a mile, then walk the rest!"

    FORD spelled in reverse-Driver returns on foot

    I am sure that we all can come up with some other select word that we use when we speak of Ford.
  • I passed this truck on the interstate and it said they manufacture torque converters and transmissions, so I called them….they said they make harden turbine blades in the torque converter and also harden spline shaft which comes out of the transmission into the torque converter which I believe are the failures in the Ford design. At least you are getting a different product then Ford is still offering. Company's name is ETX Inc Dacco Inc, DACCO's International Headquarters is located in Cookeville, Tennessee
  • Our story is exactly the same as the others, luckily I was not on the road. No notice, no advance warning, Started the car in the driveway and the car started with no problem but no gears. This happened about 10 months ago. I found it hard to believe that transmissions would just die like that they usually start slipping, etc. ahead of dying.

    We immedialy went to the web, found this forum and many other postings and were furious. My mechanically inclined husband decided to investigate the PCM based on the posts here. Foud the TSB with detailed instructions. Took it apart and it was full of water. We dried it out with an air compressor and put it back together. The car started and ran like a dream for about two weeks (and several rain storms later) no slipping, etc. It then sputtered and died on the road. We had it towed to the dealer. Same story there acting like they never heard of this .We came prepared with the TSB on the PCM part and insisted they investigate the PCM (if it were tranny, we may not have had it working perfectly after drying the PCM). They said they wouldn't know if the problem was the PCM or the transmission unless they worked on/replaced either. They found it hard to believe the PCM would cause this issue even though the TSB clearly says this affects the transmission. We insisted they try replacing the PCM first (only a couple hundred dollar repair - small compared to a tranny) and we would go from there. They replaced it and performed the TSB procedure and the car ran like a dream and has been for 10 months (through the snow, rain, etc.). There is no guarantee that this will be a long term fix but it has been good so far.

    The dealership may not be aware of the impact of the PCM on the transmission or even know to check it, Go prepared to discuss. They may be quick to say transmission when in fact they may not know.

    Keeping my fingers crossed :).
  • My '04 Freestar had the same problem. In December I broke down on the highway at 1:30 A.M. and had to tow it to dealer to the sum of $160.00.
    The next day I was told that the transmission converter pump shaft was damaged and would be about $2500.00 to repair, but he suggested if I was keeping the car a rebuilt trans was a better choice because of the 36 mo./100,000 mi warranty, After looking into any possible Ford warranty coverage I learned that the '04 models were only covered by a 3 year /36.000 mi warranty. ( no additional power train warranty ) My car had 80,000 mi.
    Like others have posted I still owed 2 payments on a car that was worthless unless I fixed it!I dont know how a finance company can lend money on a car that wont last the term of the loan.

    I then tried to find some one at Ford to listen to my online complaint, thats when I stumbled on this forum and all of you fellow screweeez!

    I am sending a letter to Ford and to the NHTSA. I dont know how much good it will do , but like a previous post said its just another brick in the wall....

    Keep you posted.
  • "ENGINE/TRANSMISSION DRIVEABILITY ISSUES TECHNICAL SERVICE BULLETIN Reference Number(s): 06-14-10, Date of Issue: July 24, 2006 Superceded Bulletin(s): 05-23-7, Date of Issue: November 28, 2005 Related Ref Number(s): 05-23-7, 06-14-10 ARTICLE BEGINNING ISSUE Some 1999-2003 Windstar and 2004-2007 Freestar / Monterey vehicles built prior to 6/22/2006 may exhibit engine / transmission driveability issues due to water entering the powertrain control module (PCM) or transaxle vent. Symptoms may include various diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs), harsh or delayed transmission shifts / engagements, no reverse engagement, engine overheat, engine lean condition causing a misfire (possibly leading to melted electrodes on the spark plugs), and rough idle. The water leakage may be due to the PCM connector cover not seating completely and water leaking down from the cowl panel grille (cowl top vent panel) area. ACTION During normal diagnostic and repair procedures, inspect for evidence of water damage at the PCM, PCM connector, and/or transaxle. If present, inspect the sealing area of the PCM cover, seal the water leak path in the cowl panel grill area, and service the PCM as needed per the following Service Procedure. SERVICE PROCEDURE Disconnect the PCM connector. Remove the PCM cover from the studs in the bulkhead. ( Fig. 1 ) Fig. 1: PCM Connector Inspect the body sealant on the bulkhead to ensure it is not protruding out causing the cover not to seal properly in that area. ( Fig. 2 ) If sealant is interfering with the PCM cover, remove excess with a sharp tool. Reinstall the PCM cover ensuring the cover seals and is flush with the bulkhead. Fig. 2: Body Sealant On Bulkhead 1. Remove the wiper pivot arm. ( Fig. 3 ) a. Release pivot arm nut cover. b. Remove the pivot arm nut. FORD: 1999-2003 Windstar; 2004-2007 Freestar MERCURY: 2004-2007 Monterey NOTE: This article supersedes TSB 05-23-7 to update the Service Procedure and model years. Page 1 of 4 ENGINE/TRANSMISSION DRIVEABILITY ISSUES -2004 Mercury Monterey 8/3/2008 "
  • Got my van back with a new transmission on Wednesday. Total cost was $3300 and change. They also found broken studs for the exhaust...Which they convienently fix and charged me for. I've also started having problems with the automatic locks and only the driver side sliding door not unlocking and the control panel in the ceiling over the middle seat will not stay up in the ceiling and is now hanging. I think that happened when the dealer had to replace the blower motor for the back heat/ac back in June 2009. What next!
  • jgenovesejgenovese Posts: 220

    Please file an online complaint w/ NHTSA and also the Center for Auto Safety. We need as many bricks as possible in our wall. Good luck and stay safe!

    Jim Genovese
    Annapolis, MD
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