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Ford Freestar Transmission Problems



  • I think you have it partially right, there is Toyota America, run by americans, and there is world Toyota HQ in Japan. I have a 2009 Camry (made in USA) which I am trying to get Toyota USA to fix under their warranty and have already gone to don't fool yourself, its all about money.....
  • Today I received follow-up survey questionnaire regarding their phone call to me on Jan. 19,2010. Needless to say I plan to give them an ear full on explanations to several questions as well as marking "Completely Dissatisfied" on others. Also, I am in the process of composing a letter to Mulally and copy all major news channels (national and local) concerning my previous letters and phone calls to Ford but not having my questions answered. I am sure this follow-up survey is pure routine and that my answers do not mean anything to them but it lets me at least vent. I am not giving up on this as I feel I have been treated pretty shabby. As a long-time loyal Ford customer my husband and I have owned 28 vehicles over the years for personal and business uses.

    Many years ago I owned a Plymouth wagon which had many problems early on. The local dealer would not do a thing so I wrote Plymouth CEO and within a week the district manager met me at the dealership and they fixed everything on my list. That was then and this is now but what a difference "corporate greed" makes.
  • nadinebnadineb Posts: 190
    CNN Alan Mulally

    Talk about speaking with a forked tongue. Mr. Mulally needs to drive a Ford Freestar!
  • You are correct. The difference here is that the CEO of Toyota himself, who's last name is Toyoda, issued a statement accepting responsibility for the sudden acceleration issue and, in traditional honorable fashion, "fell on his sword." It reminds me of when Chrysler got caught tampering w/ odometers on executive vehicles to sell them as new. Instead of denying it and turning away from it like the cowards at Ford, then chairman Lee Iacocca, went public admitting the seemingly inexplicable action and accepted full responsibilty for it. He actually described the behavior as "Stupid." The difference here is honor.

    I teach my kids every day that, at the end of the day, honor and integrity are all that you have. Once you lose either in the eyes of your family, teachers, friends, public, etc., you can never get it back.

    Ford has demonstrated, clearly, that they don't have either honesty or integrity and likely never will. As for Toyota, your situation not withstanding, they have taken the first step in what will likely be a long journey back. The key is that they took the step. I intend to be one of many who will take that journey with them.

    In contrast, Ford came to that very same crossroads and decided to to take a quick left turn and bailed out, slithering off into the darkness.

    We have said over and over in this forum, what a different end this story could have had. Instead of a classic tale of redemption and lessons in honor to pass on to future generations, it is a tale of hubris, greed, and fraud.

    What a shame.

    Jim Genovese
    Annapolis, MD
  • I doubt Mr Mulally has ever had to drive himself or his family anywhere. What I have heard from him so far has been unimpressive, to be kind. That's OK. It is just a matter of time before this story gets picked up. If handled correctly, it could easily make some enterprising reporter or anchor's entire career, especially now, against the backdrop of Toyota's situation.

    Again, however they got here, Toyota is stepping up in a HUGE way.

    Ford, in stark contrast, has not.

    Jim Genovese
    Annapolis, MD
  • Hello. I have a 2004 Freestar with about 75K miles. I have had issues for months now with the error message "Check Trac Control" and then "Check Tires" coming up. I have read many of the posts here and did see that a few times but am wondering if anyone else has had this diagnosed at the Hydraulic Control Unit?

    Sometimes the car runs fine - other times I feel like I am fighting it will everything! Feels like the car is "tripping" if that makes sense...

    We had some mechanics look at it - try replacing sensors etc - and they finally said that the dealer needed to run diagnostic. They told me it is the Hydraulic Control Unit and it has to be replaced (of course not covered on my powertrain warrantee) for about $2700-$3000.

    My car did once just turn off while I was driving last fall (not raining at the time) and I was basically told it was a fluke. It started back up but VERY scary! I am afraid I am going to experience what some others have posted here!
  • nadinebnadineb Posts: 190
    Look at the PCM. If water got on the computer, it can cause all types of issues.

    Good luck.
  • I too have had problems with lights popping on my dash - traction control and tires. Took this LEMON back to the dealership many times with no fix. After my warranty ran out, I gave out. Will have to ask about the hydraulic control unit.
  • I to live in Newport News Virginia area and my 2004 Ford Freestar Transmission failed without warning on Jan. 10th (79,500 miles) as I was slowly pulling away from a stop light at about 15 mph.

    Can you update me on what you were able to accomplish through the Virginia Attorney General's office?

    Thanks in advance?
  • Don't forget NHTSA and the Center for Auto Safety! Each report is crucial.

    Jim Genovese
    Annapolis, MD
  • nadinebnadineb Posts: 190
    Ford should receive a letter of complaint. If you feel that your safety was jeopardized, you should make that statement loudly. The letter Ford submitted to NHTSA makes the point that safety is not the issue, money is the source of the complaint. While money is a part of the complaint, I believe that safety is the bigger issue.

    Ford and NHTSA need to get the message!
  • Can everyone posting under this forum give the date of your last dealership service/repair visit PRIOR to the date of your transmission failure OR pronounced transmission operation? Why am I asking for this information? With slow U.S. auto sales over the past 5 years or so, I honestly believe their are some dealership technicians THAT WILL "TWEEK YOUR FREESTAR" in a different area (most cases their repair or service work is warranted for 12 months) so as to cause a failure in the near future THUS ENSURING THEY ARE KEPT BUSY (job security) as the dealership continues to make money on maintenance repairs or trade-ins. Would you say transmission work is the probably the #1 or #2 most expensive work next to major engine repairs or replacements? So again in closing, can everyone go back and correlate the last dealership repair/service visit date with the date of the transmission failure or pronounced transmission abnormal operation?
  • nadinebnadineb Posts: 190
    We purchased our van in 2008. It was almost a year to the date when the back hatch would not open, and from there the vehicle went downhill fast (no pun intended).

    This is an interesting question, but I personally do not think that it was the technicians tweaking the vehicle. My problem with the vehicle has been documented in other vehicles, except other manufactures have repaired the defect in order to prevent crashes unlike Ford.

    I believe that if I had taken my vehicle to the dealership first instead of my trusted mechanic, then I would have a new transmission. Instead, taking it to the dealership, I received an abundance amount of emotional stress fearing for my safety, large bills for unsatisfactory repairs, and towing costs, too.
  • Well-maintained '05 Freestar with 53k miles. Van has been in the shop 3 times during the past 3 weeks. Problem with water getting into the PCM, then a PCM replacement, now a stutter in the transmission at low speeds (35-40 mph). I'm sure a complete tranny rebuild isn't too far away as the stutter almost certainly points to the torque converter.

    I'm a web developer and I'm currently developing a website to take action against Ford by making other Freestar and Monterey owners aware of this problem and pointing them where to go to write Ford, the NHTSA, their congressional leaders, etc. Anyone willing to help put a website together by providing links or news, articles or even a quote or story about your situation can email me at
  • Wow, aren't you a trusting soul.

    I never took my 2005 ford freestar to a ford dealership for any kind of work. All my work was done by 3 or 4 different shops or stations.

    Never the less, my transmission failed one bright sunny 100+ degree August day, during a slight drought period, at about 75K miles, on the entrance ramp for the 70 MPH Dallas Tollway.

    Have a little more faith in your fellow man. I don't think a dealer wants to go to jail, and ruin sales for the ford products he sells, just to make a few hundred bucks. Why should he take the risk... the transmission's will fail anyway, without his taking any risk!
  • "ER1457",
    In my opinion, unless you have a close friend at a dealership or auto repair shop,
    there will be times when SOMEONE there will lie to you about what was wrong with your car JUST TO MAKE THEIR MORTGAGE/RENT MONEY FOR THE WEEK.
    60 minutes has ,on record, lots of investigative reports that show how their hidden cameras have caught mechanics "TWEAKING" cars to make the customers think something is really wrong with their car. IT'S CALLED THE SURVIAL GAME OR GREED, and it happens even more during rough economic times.
    Again, in my opinion, IF YOU TAKE YOUR CAR ANYWHERE, and that mechanic has not made enough money to pay the mortgage or the utility bill due the next day then I bet you over 50% of them would NOT TELL YOU YOUR FUEL PUMP FUSE WAS BLOWN. 50% of them would tell you they had to replace your fuel pump for a total cost $450.00.
    Do you own test. Take your good car WITH NO PROBLEMS to several shops and tell them it over-heated three times last week and now it won't start after you drive it for a while and it gets hot. See how many check it out and tell you nothing is wrong. If none of them are your close friends, I'll bet you more than 50% of them will tell you "It's a Blown Head Gasket, which is MAJOR MAINTENANCE, and will cost you anywhere between $1000 and $2000 depending on they type of vehicle and what they think you can afford.
    This same principle drives this country to lead the world in unnecessary surgeries. A surgeon can NOT make his money to support the lifestyle he/she is used to if they always tell you what pill or natural herb to take to cure the problem. In their biased opinion, surgery will always be the recommendation in most cases.
    So, in summary, it is my opinion, that all the FREESTAR transmission failures ARE NOT ALWAYS A MAJOR COMPONENT FAILURE. I'll bet most of them are simple things like broken linkages, clogged filters, blown fuses, bad PCMS. But to demand $3000 to $4000 they will most likely tell you it was a MAJOR FAILURE!
  • sunburnsunburn Posts: 319
    My Freestar was only in for service at the dealer at 22K miles and 35K miles. The torque converter failed at 49K miles, 13 months after the last visit to the dealer. So, no correlation.

    The dealer service department is where the real money is made at a dealership. It's not on the sale of vehicles. As a business, the service manager has financial goals that they need to meet. There are unscrupulous ones out there that will try to sell you items and service you don't really need. Unfortunately, these people survive because most people are ignorant when it comes to their vehicles.

    Last fall I had my truck in to the dealer for a whining sound from the rear end. They could have stuck me with a $2K-$3K bill for a new rear axle. However, they said it was most likely the tires. I replaced the tires about a month later, and the noise was gone. A couple of weeks ago I had the same vehicle into the dealer for what I thought was a squeaky serpentine belt, but could have been the belt tensioner as well. So, I had them take a look. I told them that if was the belt, not to do anything, since that was something I could easily do on my own. They said the tensioner was fine and that it was just the belt. Again, they could have nailed me for a $200-$300 repair, but didn't.

    So, they aren't all crooks.
  • nadinebnadineb Posts: 190
    I believe that the barriers here belong to Ford Motor Company and not the dealerships. The corporation is being lead by a weak and sick management team that is attempting to deny the message the customers are sending. Instead of looking for the opportunity to correct the situation and produce a stronger product, Ford's denial will lead them to their demise taking the dealerships with them.

    When you start losing your customer base, you will lose the company. Strong product, strong company.
  • Our Monterey's transmission failed a few months ago. Our dealer suggested a rebuilt transmission, rather than a repair, as the cost could end up the same, and the rebuilt comes with a full warranty. So I shelled out the 3K and had it done. I then made a report to DOT, and got an inquiry back from them asking about how/when/where it happened, and the cost of repair. I also reported it to Ford. With all the problems there have been, I'm sure it will eventually be recalled. SO...keep your receipts, as you would get reimbursed for the work, or the transmission repaired if it has not failed.

    (Especially for Ted) I know it is frustrating (and at times dangerous) when these things happen. But everytime you get in your car you take on some risk. I think you can't dwell on it, and you can't avoid it. If you dump the van, you may get something that has another the toyota that keeps going! Every car has it's issues, but most of the time it is the driver that causes the worst accidents. We were lucky, ours failed on a city street, coasted to the side and towed it to the dealer.

    I realize that Ford is a business, and they didn't do this to us on purpose. Things have to run their course, and go through the proper investigations and decisions. I used to work at the highway department, and guard rails wer not placed until the 3rd fatality. I know that sounds harsh, but they can't afford to place them everywhere, so depending on the traffic, etc., there are "standards". My brother died in an accident, and after his, a guard rail appeared. The accident had nothing to do with vehicle failure. It can happen. If you worried about everything, you'd never leave your home......and then a plane can land on your home. Just be aware if you loose the transmission, instead of breaking, coast to a safe spot. Once it happens, you have no power. And then, make the report, repair your car, and keep the receipt!

    I hope all failures are like ours, flat land and not much traffic!
  • please also go to the NHSTA site and file a complaint with them. There has been a very active investigation going that I am hoping will lead to a recall. Ford has been of absolutely no help other than to admit there is a problem. I expect they will have to act when a recall is issued.
  • There is a lot of sensitivity with recalls (Toyota) in congress right now and the spot light is on the NHTSA, so now is the time to write your congress man/woman via internet or mail make sure you ask for a response from your congress man/woman, not one of their support staff even a phone call might work, just google their name. Tell them that they a being put on report and they will have blood on their hands if they don't do anything. This is a "family" vechile not a sports car....and people have already been injured and luckily no family has been killed.....we need you to push this issue to a head now, its time to pile on!
  • Tell them that they are being put on report and they will have blood on their hands if they don't do anything.
  • YOU CAN ADD MY FAMILY TO THE LIST!! Driving my kids to school in our 2005 Freestar, going uphill and no forward drive. I pulled over to the side of the road and tried every gear, nothing engaged. No check engine light or anything. I called the local shop where my vehicles are maintained and they towed it in and inspected it, needs a new transmission or rebuild. The van has 63K miles on it! I filed the complaint with NHTSA and called Ford. I explained that I am a loyal Ford owner and currently own SIX Fords, (we have 10 kids). They said there is nothing they can do! I was just seeking some help with the $2500 repair bill, they are willing to lose a loyal customer like myself and not admit that there are serious issues with this van. I will be selling my Fords and will never buy another! Unfortunately, I will have to fix my SLAVE-star to trade it in. :sick:
  • YOU CAN ADD MY FAMILY TO THE LIST!! Driving my kids to school in our 2005 Freestar, going uphill and no forward drive. I pulled over to the side of the road and tried every gear, nothing engaged. No check engine light or anything. I called the local shop where my vehicles are maintained and they towed it in and inspected it, needs a new transmission or rebuild. The van has 63K miles on it! I filed the complaint with NHTSA and called Ford. I explained that I am a loyal Ford owner and currently own SIX Fords, (we have 10 kids). They said there is nothing they can do! I was just seeking some help with the $2500 repair bill, they are willing to lose a loyal customer like myself and not admit that there are serious issues with this van. I will be selling my Fords and will never buy another! Unfortunately, I will have to fix my SLAVE-star to trade it in. :sick:
  • Today I officially filed my complaint on the NHTSA/ODI website. We all need to DO THIS NOW and KEEP THE PRESSURE ON FORD MOTOR COMPANY TO DO A RECALL! More later!
  • nadinebnadineb Posts: 190
    Searching the website for NHTSA, as of today there are 461 complaints on the 2004 Model, 247 complaints on the 2005 Model, 42 complaints on the 2006 Model, and 4 complaints on the 2007 Model.

    Please do file a complaint with The Center for Auto Safety. They ask if you want to be a part of a class action suit. Make it easier for the attorneys to find you!!!
  • My husband and I purchases a 2005 Ford Freestar eight months ago and have had nothing but problems since the getgo. It's been in the shop five times from water leaking into the spark plugs. No matter what they do, they can't seem to stop it. It will be driving just fine and the engine will cut off out of the blue. This thing is a total lemon. We also had the back latch break within the first frew months of owning it. I'm so fed up with it and the money it has cost us. Unfortunately it is our only vehicle. We've had to pay for a rental car all week while the transmission people have been looking it over. They said there was nothing wrong with the transmission, it just needs a new computer box because of the water damage. We are going to try to trade it for something else, but we will see what happens. Wish us luck. :lemon:
  • Today, per suggestion from a previous post I filed a complaint with The Center for Auto Safety concerning the failure of the transmission while enroute home on the interstate (alone and miles and miles from home). If there is something else I need to do please let me know. Thank you.
  • The NHTSA as well as Ford is well aware of the problems with the transmissions on the make and model vehicle as well as the F-150 pick-up trucks. According to several sources, the same transmission that is used in the Ford taurus was used in these two vehicles. The Taurus weighs approximately 2,000 pounds less than the Freestar or the F-150. It is widely considered that the transmission is too small to adequately last for an acceptable period of time without failing. Ford has also used its warranty limits for getting out of paying for repairs; no fluid changes every 30,000 miles or the transmission fails after the mileage limit expires. What a coincidence that in many cases most failures are right after the warranty expires. Unfortunately, and maybe because the government now has a vested interest in the motor industry, the NHSTB fails to recognize this common problem as a defect. There have been thousands of complaints lodged, all with basically the same reply; they feel there is not sufficient evidence at this time to force a recall. :mad: :mad: :mad:
  • sunburnsunburn Posts: 319
    While the Freestar and Taurus used the same transmission (or transmission family), the F-150 does not. The Freestar and Taurus transmission is only for front wheel drive vehicles. The F-150 transmission is a rear wheel drive transmission that is common between the 4.2L V-6, 4.6L and 5.4L V-8s. While the base F-150 had the same 4.2L V-6 as the Freestar, they did not share transmissions.
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