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Ford Freestar Transmission Problems



  • How many times have I posted here in the past four months? OMG. I can't believe this. I just got my van back Tuesday after the seal around the computer was replaced. NOW, today, what 3 days later, I am driving home (after 5pm and the shop is closed for the weekend) when my transaxle and engine light go off. I was going home, but thought, "No, I will drop it off at the shop." I made it there, barely, and dropped my keys off in the drop-off box, and walked home. My insurance company has already paid for four tows--I saved them another $75!!! If they cannot get it fixed, I am going to park it and ride the bus everywhere. I am sick, sick, sick, siiiiiiiick of my FORD FREESTAR F-UP!!!! Ford needs to fix this!

    Sign me One Fed-Up Mom!
  • beckie2beckie2 Posts: 1
    Hi I also own this minivan...biggest mistake and sooo 2008 i had the tranny rebuilt and then in 2010 i had to have the torque converter replaced so yeah would be nice to b recalled...also have put thousands of dollars in too this van....
  • Who ever has a facebook account post this. I just did- we need to get the word out more. I am sure there are so many more people having problems but not posting.
  • Had transmission replaced on 2004 Freestar in Dec.2008 at 87,000 miles. Tranny is now slipping. No surprise here. I got out the paperwork for the 36 month/100,000 mile warranty. Do I really have to return it to the Ford dealer that replaced the transmission? It went out while on a road trip over 6 hours away from home. Anyone know the answer to this?
  • sberry13sberry13 Posts: 2
    It may not be the transmission. Have them check the computer system. I thought it was the tranny at first too, but these Freestars don't have good protection from wet weather for their computer systems. If the mechanic can figure out a way to protect it until you get home, have him do it! It cost me about $300 a visit to the tranny shop (3 visits = $900) and two new computers ($800 each) before I just gave up on this van. I wish you luck!
  • Hello all,

    My name is Seni with Ford Customer Service. I see that many of you are experiencing similar issues with your Freestar. Please keep in mind that Ford and the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) work together to proactively identify areas of concern through investigation of consumer and dealer feedback. During an investigation Ford co-operates fully with NHTSA. Ford does not speculate on the outcome of any current investigation or future actions. Due to our rigorous safety standards and constant testing, not all issues result in recall or Customer Satisfaction Programs. If a program is announced on a specific component, Ford will notify you by mail. Should you receive a letter we suggest you contact your selling dealer as soon as possible to schedule an appointment.

    Please log onto, at your convenience, to check for any possible recalls on your VIN specific Freestar. If you prefer to contact the Customer Relations Center, you may do so by calling 800-392-3673.

    Kind Regards,
    Ford Customer Service Division
  • we had all three issues with our 2005 freestar: water in computer module; failed torque converter; slipping transmission-traded it in before the next problem on a Chrysler T&C. So far this was the best thing we could have done-nice van and no tranny issues.
  • Well the question is, why are so many of us are having and issue with transmissions and cpu problems with our freestar vans? and what is Ford going to do about it before all of us start telling our freinds who are considering buying a new Ford Product not too! Why because Ford doesn't stand up behind their products. I'm a long time Ford customer, been buying Fords since I was 19, I'm now 63, I've owned in my liftime some where, over 20 Fords, thats like 1 every 2 years, but no more. And yes I had cpu problems and lost so far one transmission at 65,000 miles. Never lost a transmission before in any of my Ford cars previously. Had a Lincoln towncar I kept for 185,000 miles, never had a trans problem in the 5 years I owned it. Some would say it was a fluke I never lost one before but then I say, why are so many freestar owners loosing theirs? Remember Ford, every person here knows at least 244 other people they can Bad mouth a Ford too! And you have it would seem over a thousand here with the same issues!

  • Thank you for your info... I have to be honest. I am a bit surprised that Ford has not officially as a company done anything about this, even though there are countless reports of the exact same thing happening to the same vehicle. I got stranded in Maine last year, and I live in Ohio, and our local dealer did nothing to help.

    We are replacing the entire computer module now. This vehicle is just packed with defects, it would be better for Ford to bite the bullet and pay for a lot of these repairs. It's gotten ridiculous.

    Maybe the class action lawsuit currently in action is preventing that.
  • er1457er1457 Posts: 8
    Seni it is very kind of you to respond to the numerous complaints regarding the Ford Freestar problems. I do not believe Ford will address this issue until the NHTSA takes action. I am not very optimistic this will happen until someone is killed. If Ford was concerned about customer safety, action would be taken by now considering the minivan is a family vehicle (children are passengers). Since I needed a vehicle to transport my grandchildren, I immediately got rid of my Freestar as soon as the transmission was replaced. Everytime I see a Freestar on the rode, I feel like I should warn the driver that at any time the vehicle can just come to a stop with no warning as mine did as I approached a major interstate. As far as contacting the Customer Care Center, many of us did with no satisfaction. I also wrote to the Ford CEO and never received a response.
  • misty10misty10 Posts: 23
    Well Seni, if you read ALL the post on here you'd know that the Freestar has a major torque converter problem...with mine replaced twice already. We are trying to all get a class action lawsuit going and bring it to media attention like they did with Toyota. Ford does NOT stand by their products and I just love it when you brag on TV on how big your profits have been this past yr. So, Seni, we hope to ALL see Ford in court soon.
  • aliciasalicias Posts: 1
    Last week the transmission went out on my 2004 ford freestar with 73,000 miles on it. I was driving in the city with my children when it stopped without warning. When they said it was the transmission, I thought thank God I still have a warranty. When I bought my car I got the certified pre owned with a 6 year 750000 mile warranty. I had NO idea that the used car warranty I got with the van started 2 years before I bought it. So it is expired.
  • doodlealldaydoodleallday Posts: 31
    edited March 2011
    I have written Ford Motor Co. 4 times. After the 3rd time they wrote me and said they would not be communicating with me any more as my 2005 Freestar was out of warranty. I have written to NHTSA and Center for Auto Safety several times as well. I was told that Ford would have to initiate the recall. When my transmission went out I was on a busy interstate passing an 18-wheeler. Luckily I had the good sense to let my van coast to the side of the road. Thank goodness I was not hit and could maneuver my van to safety. I cannot afford a new vehicle so must pray each day I have to drive my van that I will return safely home. With hundreds of Freestar owners posting on this website I cannot imagine that Ford Motor Co. can sit back and do nothing - this defect is a tragedy waiting to happen. I hope that all at Ford will be able to look at themselves and sleep well at night when a death occurs as a result of a faulty transmission failing without any warning. I want to warn every Freestar and Mercury Monterey owner about this defect. I love my van but I am afraid this is my last Ford product.
  • This is starting to be getting ridiculous with this Freestar. Last week I went to my mechanic and he said he can't find anything wrong with the steering. Wanted my mechanic to just check it out- maybe I was just looking for something else to go wrong and was overexadderating. When you turn the steering wheel right to left-left to right I felt something abnormal. Today I realized I was not looking for something else to go wrong with this damn car- there is definitely something wrong. And also when I turn, I lose the steering just a little bit but has gotten worse so it has to go back in the shop AGAIN.

    #### I am 37 and have loved my fords have never had any problems. - 94 aerostar with 180,000+ miles a 96 ford windstar with 170,000+ 97 f150 with about 88,000+ 00' Lincoln navigator with over 100,000 and 2002 ford e350 super duty oh and I had a 82 ford mustang gt.

    Oh wait; I forgot to mention about my 04 Freestar that I own

    Not one of them did I have any problems like I have have with Freestar.

    I would love to get rid of this ford but I owe a lot more than it's worth especially after putting a new transmission in the damn thing.

    I have a 2 and a 4 year old.........I will own ford if anything happens to my kids.
  • 72stick72stick Posts: 2
    edited March 2011
    Seni and all,

    It is a sad day when Ford doesn’t want to admit there’s an issue with their torque converter in the 2005 Freestar. Their own documentation to the NHTSA shows they knew about the issues. The documentation by NHTSA is very compelling. The poor storage and shipping of the converter drive plates along with the poor welding techniques and sloppy assembly line installation all contributed to the short input-shaft spline life.

    We own a 2005 Freestar and the transmission failed on March 11, 2011. Thankfully, the wife was not hurt while maneuvering off to the side of the road traveling by herself in the daylight with time to make a phone call for help before dark. The night before, we were returned home from ST Louis. That was a 4 hour drive. Had it failed on the hwy or Interstate at night, the story might have had a different ending.

    I didn’t have my cell phone with me when she broke down, so I didn’t find out about the problem till just before dark. I had 30 minutes of daylight; just enough time to take a car dolly and retrieve the van. I used a come-a-long hooked to my truck to wench it on the dolly. Lucky for me I’m an old mechanic and I’ve retrieved many broken down cars before, although it’s been many years since I’ve done it.

    When I got it home I started it up and checked the tranny oil level. It was overfull, and with the engine up to operating temp, the tranny oil was still cold. The high oil level and low oil temperature indicated to me that the transmission oil pump wasn’t turning. I fired up the home computer and WOW, was I surprised to see so many problems with the Freestar torque converter.

    The next Monday I called my friend at the local community college Votech School. He’s an instructor in their Mechanical Power Technology department. He used to be a Ford mechanic and told me he knew exactly what’s wrong with the Freestar. I asked him if he wanted to take a crack at fixing the van. He just finished teaching the transmission class last month, but talked the school into letting the students fix our van for real world practical experience. They only charge for the new parts installed to fix the problem and only ask for a donation to the school. Fair as fair can be. He’s class started working on the van today and promised to take lots of pictures as it is taken a part.

    Seni & Ford, are you reading this? You have missed a big opportunity! Instead of burying your collective heads in the sand and paying the big $ to your lawyers to defend the company, you could have said – Hey, we don’t admit there’s a defect but for the vans out of warranty we’ll donate the parts to your local vocational technology school and let them get some real world experience fixing the problem; A WIN- WIN proposition for all involved. The students get the experience they need to succeed in the work place and the van owners get their van fixed at a fraction on the cost. Is something like this even possible in today’s litigious society? When I was a young man, this would have been a no brainer. :cry:
  • momx6momx6 Posts: 5
    edited March 2011
    I have been following this thread for years since the transmission on our 2004 Ford Freestar went out, at highway speed, on a four lane highway, during rush hour, with my four young children in the van...Lucky for us no one was injured.

    I have seen a number of postings that reference class action suits in other states but have not seen anything about Wisconsin. Has anyone initiated a suit here? Is anyone interested?

  • momx6momx6 Posts: 5

    REALLY! This is your reply to years and years of complaints? This is your response to putting my family in danger when Ford knew that there was an issue with these vans! REALLY…THIS IS THE BEST THAT YOU AND FORD CAN DO? SHAME ON YOU! :mad:

    With much disgust,

    A terrified mother of six and lifelong Ford owner (who will never buy a Ford again)
  • 72stick,

    In your response, you refer to the documentation that Ford supplied to the NHTSA. I have not been able to get any information from the NHTSA about the investigation beyond their request to Ford from Nov 2010. Could you tell me how you got it, or, better yet, where I can find it?

    To all who are reading,

    I am also a lifelong Ford owner. I can say with certainty that if I do not receive at a minimum full reimbursement for my expenses for both times my torque converter failed, I will never buy another Ford. This is completely irresponsible of Ford. I'm furious!

    I am interested in a lawsuit, but am unfamiliar with the process. I live in NH. Does it need to be done by state, or can we combine nationally? If anyone is initiating, count me in.
  • 72stick72stick Posts: 2
    edited March 2011
    You have to go to,
    -then vehicle owners,
    -defect investigations,

    You'll then drill down by selecting:
    -then model year,
    -then make,
    -then model, and finally

    One of the selections is power train:
    -Automatic transmission: torque converter

    Use that selection, but don't put a check in the check box for ....see full summary.....
    It takes way too long.

    Finally, you'll see search results and a couple of records displayed.
    Click on the document search button at the bottom of the record.

    You'll see a file matrix and just click on the files and start reading.
    Some are just engineering results but the good stuff is in there somewhere.

    Start from this link:

    Good luck! :surprise:
  • nadinebnadineb Posts: 190
    OK. I could not figure out why a Ford Customer Service Rep. was posting, but after searching the complaints on NHTSA, now I know. Read below.

    A car jack, part number 3F2Z17080AB, that comes standard with 2004 Ford Freestar Minivans, bent while supporting the van causing the vehicle to fall, crush and kill the owner that was under the vehicle doing repairs in the right front wheel well.
  • nadinebnadineb Posts: 190
    Why did you post on this site?
  • nadinebnadineb Posts: 190
    Join the Recall Ford Freestars page on Facebook.
  • msq1224msq1224 Posts: 16
    I haven't posted in a very long time...the failure on my 2004 Freestar is described way back in the 100's in this forum. I wanted everyone to understand that Ford claims that our failures weren't dangerous because engine power, breaking and steering were not lost! We could just gently glide to the side of the road...just like floating on a cloud. I think those of us traveling on Interstates and highways when this happened would beg to differ! I thought we were going to lose our lives the night mine went out at 65 mph on I-65! I wish someone at Ford would try driving in the left lane on an Interstate going 65 mpg with cars and trucks all around...and then just take their foot off the gas and see how close the truck behind them gets! Oh, actually they couldn't even try it because they would know what was going on, while the rest of us found out the hard way! It has been 3 years since my failure and I tell everyone I know, every chance I get. This was after 20 years of buying nothing but Fords...not any more!!!
  • mgcoopmgcoop Posts: 2
    WOW the exact same thing happened to the jack on my 2005 Freestar, thank God I was not directly under the van while I was changing a flat on my right front tire. The lugs were off but the tire stopped the van from hitting the ground. I have replaced my torque converter and have most the problems listed on this page. I to have owned many Fords my very first car was an LTD. I think this is also my last.
  • jdee77jdee77 Posts: 2
    I thought my Trans had gone out 2 weeks ago when I posted but as it turns out it was water in the pcm and it started shifting erratically, Well It dried out and everything was fine except ever since then at about 40-45mph when it shifts it seems a little rough, I know its only a matter of time till I have the torque converter problem as well because It seems to me that If you own one of these vans you will have the problem at some point no matter what. I am in the position that I have to drive it for at least 6 more months and that means that everytime im in this thing I drive in the slow lane in case I have to try to pull over, I dont cross traffic unless there are no cars coming for miles , Im having to drive this thing like it could kill me at any time because If you get stuck in the roadway because it fails someone can hit you. Ford makes it seem like you can coast forever once it fails, but obviously its only going to coast as far as it can before it stops whether thats in the middle of traffic or not. They are treating us like we are idiots who are just unhappy with our vehicles, and thats not true we are unhappy with our vehicles because they built a vehicle with a well documented problem that they refuse to take responsibility for. I am so irate over how they are handling this and I do tell at least one person a day about this and I will never stop. Does anyone know if there is a facebook page relating to this?
  • Thanks.

    I see that there is a lot of information from Ford for the initial PE09033. That was closed in Nov 2010, at which time EA09016 was opened and remains open. The last document I see is the ODI's request to Ford for data in Nov 2010.

    Is there anything more recent? Ford was requested to respond by Jan 2011. Does anybody know if they did?
  • blenertzblenertz Posts: 2
    Can't find the page you reference on Facebook - can you provide a link?

  • According to Mr. McHenry (the NHTSA investigator), Ford did respond and now the NHTSA has to go through all of the paperwork, etc.
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