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Ford Freestar Transmission Problems



  • FWIW I purchased a 2005 Mercury Monterey with 90,000 miles about a year ago before I found this site. Concerned about trans/converter failure during a long trip we planned, I decide to have the transmission fluid changed to find out one thing - whether there was any indication of upcoming failure. I asked the mechanic to carefully examine the old tranny fluid for metal particles - certainly an indicator of damage and potential failure. No metal particles found. This might be a method to determine upcoming failure.
    Any mechanics out there see any reason this doesn't make sense?
  • I have an 04 ford freestar as well it only has 57,000 miles on and gave no warnings of indications that the tranny was about to go. Anyway I was on my way back home from school and stop at a light at an intersection, when the light turned green to go my van moved a little and then left me stranded in the middle of the intersection on a busy highway. Being a mechanic I find it very unusual for the transmission to go out at this low of a mileage on any. vehicle. I take care of my car like it should be but it did not help with this design issue on Fords behalf
  • Not sure if we have had the same problem, but our 2006 Freestar seems to act up when it is raining now too. We had problems with other minivans from other companies so we finally went with a new van hoping there wouldn't be any issues, but that wasn't the case... We have had many issues and have had it back in the dealership many many times but they muraculously couldn't find anything wrong... Now this is a new thing, it seems to run very ruff, almost a chugging feeling when its raining. Paying alot of money for this vehicle & tired of the headaches. Know wonder why Ford stopped making vans...
  • Hi,

    How did this turn out for you? My 2005 Freestar with 51K miles failed last Saturday. The problem was found to the torque converter pump shaft. The converter has been replaced and now I have check transaxle light and check engine light on. The dealer says my PCM has moisture in it.

    Any advice on what to do with the PCM?

    Thanks! - Mike D
  • My Van is still sitting in my driveway, I have read that in many cases even after repairing the PCM or converter, the car died again less than a year later, obviously is the Ford parts that are faulty. I have purchased a new car, not a Ford, and plan on fixing the Van next year and selling it privately. I am so disgusted with Ford and still have a few payments on it.
  • I read your story about your Freestar. My girlfriend has the exact same van and I thought to myself, what is this guy doing driving my girlfriends van? Your problems are 100% identical to ours. Unbelievable!
  • On my way home from work during rush hour stop and go traffic my (deathtrap of a van) decided to create a dangerous situation for me. Let me pain this pretty picture, Rt 42 South, through a construction zone (which is a deathtrap in and of itself) heading toward Rt 55 all the way in the right lane next to the cattle shoots. Stop and go, noticed the RPM shooting up and the car not really going anywhere. Let off the gas then proceeded with the same response. As the lanes started to move faster, I didn't. The speed limit is 65 (we all know that is not what people travel at) but me in my mom van was only able to do 35 - 40 with the engine screaming. I pulled over several times, tried the trick of shift down into 3rd, didn't work. I had first and second gear but no third. I had to travel on this god forsaken road with my hazard lights on and only doing 35 mph with people passing me and honking.

    I make it to the daycare to pick up my one child and the car will not go into reverse. I had to put it in drive then in reverse.

    Also, I have been having this issue where it seems to studder at 40-45MPH and the whole car shakes. I had to follow my husband with the hazard lights on when we took it to the transmission place. He had it for a week, said he hooked it up to the computer and there was an error that he cleared, drove the car for 3 days and couldn't get it to do what it did to me. He said I still have the studder, he has no idea what that is but to drive it until it happens again. He also mentioned that this is a known problem with these vehicles.

    I will be getting in touch with the lawyers for the class action suit.

    Doesn't FORD realize this is a minivan - families are in these every single day. Do they really want this on their hands if a family is seriously injured or worse? It amazes me that these huge companies don't really care about the little people, they just want there big fat bonuses at the end of the year.

    When is enough, enough!? I don't know about all of you but I am sick and tired of being taken advantage of, taken for granted and lied to!

    Fix the problem or the problem will fix you! You need to re-evaluate your best business practices and customer service policies and procedures.

    Fords we have owned in the past:
    Freestar - horrible
    Focus - had a transmission problem
    Bronco - 2
    91 mustang
    95 Cobra
    F150 - 2
    Escort - caught fire

    We have always been a ford family - this will be changing.
  • 2005 - 80K miles, all previous maintenance done by Ford. Shot Transmission just 3-4 weeks ago. 1st it all of a sudden started running terrible, then lost reverse by the time AAMCO started working on it. AAMCO came and got it for free. Ultimately had it rebuilt, running fine now with a 3yr warranty, $2200 later. AAMCO says water had leaked down into the computer area on the front passenger side (just under the rt. corner dash), and they had to re-harness the computer as part of the diag to rid the computer of check engine alerts.. whatever, they fixed it (it seems). Had it towed again a wk later due to failed TPS sensor. 1st FORD TPS sensor failed, 2nd FORD TPS Sensor working, so far.. Hopefully, it'll last me another year. Oh yeah, had the A/C replaced about 6 months ago. I'll be back to this forum later, when I have a chance to read through.....
  • oh, and just took it to Ford for an 80K mile check up. All good they say. I asked about the transmission problems, the guys said "All Transmissions fail eventually". I said, "yeah, but at 80K miles?" He said, "yes, even so, and told me to go ask Toyota bout their trans problem experiences"...

    I've owned many types of vehicles over 120K miles, including Toyotas, don't recall ever having such transmission problems with any of those, especially at 80K miles...
  • Just had my Freestar towed to the shop. I was on the interstate doing 70 when the motor started racing, but losing speed. Pulled over to the side as far as I could. I tried all gears, but none worked. Called AAA for a tow truck to take me back home. Tow bill was $90 and have not heard yet from the shop as to what the problem is, but guessing by posts here it is either the PCM or the transmission or both. If Ford does not take care of all these bad transmissions, its time to start a petition on to if something can get done. I just paid my van off in August and cannot afford to replace it or even fix it at this time, first brand new Ford I have ever bought. My brother built Fords for the Claycomo plant in Missouri for many years. He is probably turning over in his grave to see how Ford treats its customers. I have had Fords all my life and it is time to buy something else.
  • I have had this van 3 weeks , from a NY used car dealer, my first time with this transmission problem was on the thanksgiving weekend, I returned the van to the dealer because is covered for 60 days or 3000 miles warranty, they said is fixed. It was running perfect until yesterday the experience was worst than before, began taking the exit from the highway, I was lucky, blocking traffic and being insulted is not painful, could be worst. I want to Know is this temporary or persistent problem?
  • I got a call from my mechanic, he said it is my transmission and it will cost me $2800 for a Jasper rebuilt transmission with 100,000 mile warranty. I had no prior knowledge of the issues with the Freestar transmissions and mine gave me no warning, it just went out. It only had 63,000 miles on it and was well taken care of. I am keeping all my paperwork in regards to this incident in case Ford ever owns up to the problem and compensates its customers. I wish I had of sold my Freestar when I had the chance.
  • ABout a month ago, I received a call from the NHTSA following up on my complaint. He essentially wanted to hear first hand what the issue was. I only needed to say "Without warning and while engine still running the transmission gave out." He said that's exactly what he's hearing from others and told me to keep our $1,700.00 receipt for transmission work in the event there is a recall.

    I'm glad they followed up and feel good about the potential reimbursement.
  • so sorry to hear of your problems as for the update on my ford freestar well I finally got it back on November 11 th after it had been in the shop since August 1st it cost me 3300.00 less than I had expected but I still say Ford was responsible for the repairs .... so...I was on the road to a friends house when the engine light went on and stayed on solid light so I called the service center at Ford dealership where I bought the car the next day and he said that if I had gotten gas the gas cap may have not been put back on all the way or twisted or something >? I should not worry as it might just be that the computer chip in the car thinks something is wrong with the engine and I should just check the gas cap and drive the car for a while and it should reset and the light will go off.... I did and I am driving the car and I am wondering when the engine will fall out .....................................I have a loan out to pay for having bought this headache in the first place and now I am paying for the repairs and I should not worry ????? I wish you well my fellow Ford van owners but more to the point I wish us all justice and the way to recoup our losses and feel safe on the road ahead I know for myself it will take me years to pay this van but when it is, I will dump this thing and never get a Ford again
  • The transmission on my 2006 Freestart just failed a few weeks ago. I only had 60K miles and was less than 1 month out of warranty. Now I'm on the hook for a new transmission for over $3,000. I had experienced twice in the past the van would randomly "lunge" forward out of nowhere. It only happened twice before and there were no warning signs leading up to or after. Of course bringing it in to have the technician look at it they couldn't reproduce the random symptoms and didn't even bother to check the transmission for issues. Then all of a sudden one day I'm at a stop light. I hit the gas and the engine revs (making a terrible noise) but the van doesn't move. Technician says there are metal shavings in the pan everywhere and it's not worth repairing. I only found this to be a widespread issue after it happened to me and I started searching and found I'm not the only one. Hopefully they get enough complaints for a recall. I know I'm not done complaining yet.
  • Hate to be the bearer of bad news but compaints will go nowhere. I tried several times, dealer doesnt care, Class action suit was dismissed. I havent fixed mine yet, bought a Honda Accord instead. May fix it this spring and sell it privately. 2000 pund paperwieght in my driveway and Im pissed.
  • Anytime someone says the first thing they are going to do is sue a company, I have doubts. Did you take you vehicle to Ford dealership and have them look at the problem, or are you just going off what one person says? You have to remember, all vehicles break down. They are machines. Does that mean that companies should not be help responsible for known defaults? No. Did this mechanic you took it to, did he tell you if their was a recall on the transmission? Did you contact Ford yourself (a dealership) and checked to see if there is a service bulletin on this make and model? Again, anytime someone goes straight to "I will be getting in touch with the lawyers for the class action suit." that throws up red flags. First of all, why a class action? You know that lets just say you do win a class action lawsuit, the amount of money you receive will be very minimal. The lawyers get the majority of it. I have owned nothing but Ford's my whole life, starting with a Ford LTD and currently I have a Focus. The problems I have had with all my vehicles have been routine maintenance issues or issue dealing with high mileage of the vehicle. What are the miles on your Freestar? The last Freestar came out in Nov. of 2006 so you vehicle is going to at least be 5 years old, so I am going to guess and say over 100 thousand miles. Did you buy it brand new, or used? If used, do you know the maintenance history of it? If new, have you been doing the the required maintenance at the scheduled intervals? Did you know that there is a transmission flush on just about all Fords between 100 and 120,000 miles that needs to be done? (It is in the manual that came with your car when you bought it, if brand new). You can not put the 100 percent blame on Ford if (and I am guessing by the fact you so want to sue someone) you never once took your vehicle in to have the services down which are required to be done. I see you claim to of owned a lot of Fords in your life, so you should of know (or should know about) Ford's maintenance intervals. I believe they are pretty slandered through most of their fleet. I am guessing you are the type of person that would sue Big O or some other tire company if you got a flat. If you do not like Ford so much than quite buying them, quite complaining about them. I am going to call BS on your situation, I am sure it may of happened, but you are not telling the full story. And again, I am just guessing... ;)

    15 years ASE Ford Technician
  • You're kidding right???? I've owned Fords and haven't had any problems...UNTIL the FREESTAR! My torque converter keeps going out and my husband is a spare me the maintenance crap. I need you to explain on how ALL OF US experienced the same problem. Yes, there has been articles written about this problem with the Freestar so maybe you had better catch up. The only logical thing I see here with you is you must be a kid...20 something??? First job maybe???? So, please start reading on page 1....and get back to me and explain on how this wasn't a design flaw on Ford's part???? Also at OUR EXPENSE!!! So come on now...start reading and get back to us....ALL OF US that is!
  • sjtdadsjtdad Posts: 11
    to the 15 year ASE Ford Technician,
    First of all, allow me to say I posted my situation on this board nearly 2 years ago and have posted nothing since. However, I saw yours and I thought it needed a response. I too am an ASE certified tech, for almost 30 years. I have a college degree in automotive technology. I have been a Ford owner all my life: Pinto, Mustang, Torino, LTD, F-100, F-150, Ranger, Aerostar, Bronco II, Mercury Monterey, Fairlane 500, Cougar XR-7, maybe more. I will buy Fords again. I have never had any major problems with a Ford before--water pumps, a starter or two, a heater core maybe--otherwise just maintenance stuff that I've done right by the book. Fords have done great by me...Until my Freestar. I still love this van: the space, the seating, the power, the looks. It's a 2005 SES. I bought it new and gave it great care, it got maintenance at the dealer right by the book. As for the transmission, it got it serviced at 34,000 miles just as recommended by Ford. At 52,000 miles the torque converter shaft disintegrated, sending metal throughout the tranny, destroying everything. The dealer claimed total ignorance of any problems with this tranny at all, which I found later to be a lie. I paid $3400 for a rebuilt Ford tranny in order to get the 3 year, 100,000 mile warranty. The van now has 81,000 miles on it. This transmission has always rolled backwards on even the slightest hill, yet they say there is no problem, normal they say. Sorry Mr. 15 Year Tech, but we are not all boobs out here. We are not all out to sue Ford, we just want the truth. We have done the proper maintenance. We do know what we are talking about. I have loved Fords and will buy Fords again BUT, BUT this transmission in this van is JUNK, is a bad design, and should be recalled. I do know what I'm talking about. I was doing this 15 years before you were, probably driving Fords when you were in kindergarten, so don't pontificate to me. Why don't you 'fess up about all the Freestar transmissions you've been paid to replace or repair?
  • nadinebnadineb Posts: 190
    Thank you for your well stated comments.

    Ford is quite aware of the situation with these vans, but refuses to take corrective action. I believe that those who travel in these vans risk their life or the life of others. A vehicle should be road safe, but these vehicle fail without any warning leaving those in them in jeopardy.

    Children should not be in these vans. Your family should not be in these vans. Ford should take corrective action, but if they do not, NHTSA needs to make them do the right and just corrective action. Lawsuits seem to be the only action that this company understands. Ford had made the statement," It's cheaper to let them crash and burn," in regards to the Pinto. I believe that the are appling the same police to these vehicles.

    Accountablity even in the corporate world should be the standard. Not corporate greed. If this was the FDA or any other government agency, we would expect corrective action.

    Personally, I will never own another Ford vehicle. If Chevy or any other vehicle manufacturer produced such an unsafe vehicle, I would certainly expect high safety standards from them. I feel that Ford has placed their customers and their families at risk.
  • You are not alone! My second transmission just got installed today and they mentioned thT they found trace of water in the transmission. They asked if I have had any problems with the radiator or had it replaced recently. My van has 137k miles but has been well maintained as long as I have had it. The first was replaced at 109k the summer before last. I have been in the mechanical field for the better part of my life up until 8 years ago so I know how to maintain and care for a car. There will be a complaint call to the NHTSA tomorrow. This will actually be my second call in two weeks. My first was a safety issue regarding the rear bench seat locks bars on the walls of the van. The left hook I found recently is about 80% completely rusted off at the base behind the panel. So bad that when I grab it, it wobbles all over. It has completely rusted through only on the one side where I can see the ground plain as day! I called Ford about the issue and they could have cared less because it is 8 years old and out of warantee. Built ford tough huh? Good luck.
  • In fact, the first transmission went out when we were on the interstate coming home from vacation and we were five hours from home. Out of nowhere the transmission just went. My wife went to accelerate and it jsut acted as if it were in nuetral. So we were now stuck with our three kids and unfamiliar territory. I was to be back to work the next day and I am the only income in the house. Luckily I had some sick time to use and my older brother lived 2 hours away. We were able to stay there for the rest of the week while a shop replaced the transmission. I am with the above gentleman, NEVER BUYING ANOTHER FORD AGAIN!! Especially after the way their customer support team handles customers. Why even have that department. Just don't answer the phone.
  • It's been just about 1 year since the second torque converter failure on my 05 and since I posted on this forum. Both failures gave absolutely no warning and both times I was carrying kids - the second time on the interstate late at night far from home.

    I wanted to respond to let everybody know that the NHTSA investigation of this failure is still open (EA09016), and to strongly encourage you, if you haven't already, to file a complaint with the Office of Defect Investigations! The more complaints on record the better the chances of a proper resolution.

    As of November 2011, Ford has supplied the requested data, so now the NHTSA is looking it over.

    BTW - Never buying a Ford again!
  • It seems like at least 2-3 times a week someone new posts a story of what happened to them!

    Mine was in August 2010. Tranny failed, going 70mph in heavy traffic in Maine, 15 hours from home. Didn't get my van back for 37 days. Over $3,700.00 to repair. Then in the Spring, the computer module went out about 3 times, which was a normal design flaw in the thing. My mechanic talked to his friend who works at a local Ford Dealer's service dept., and the guy says he fixes about 3 of those per month! That cost a total of about another 500+ bucks. Van has been running well since then, but I have passed a year and 3 months through the 3-year, 100,000 mile warantee on the new tranny. It's amazing that this is still going on - I wonder when the NHTSA will get this resolved...
  • Same thing happened to me with my Monterey(Mercury Freestar clone). I lucky to have had a safe place to stop and I did not have my kids in the car. I had the converter replaced, I just hope the transmission flush got all the metal from the failed gear. I have put a complaint in with the NHTSA I hope Ford stands up and provides some type of help here.
  • Ford has issued a recall on the Freestar transmission torque converters. More information is available the NHTSA public website,, under Recalls. You can use the recall number, 12V006000, or search by recalls issued in January 2012, or by Ford Freestar vehicles for model years 2004 and 2005.
    Under the "Vehicle Owners" tab at the website there is a link to a booklet, "Investigation and Recall Process Booklet: The purpose of this booklet is to answer the most commonly asked questions about complaints, investigations, and recalls, and to inform consumers of their rights and responsibilities when a vehicle or item of motor vehicle equipment is recalled."
  • ftfclubftfclub Posts: 14
    Do you know anything about the 2006 Freestar being recalled for the same problem? I spent 3000.00 for a new transmission...with the same exact problem as the 2004 and 2005! Thank you
  • motheyemotheye Posts: 17
    Hope someone can help me out. 2004 Freestar, same thing happened to me a month ago. Going down the road, just stopped, couldn't go in any gear forward or reverse. Towed to Ford dealer and after charging me a few hundred bucks to check the main board (thought it might be water) they decided it was the transmission. Rebuild the transmission with a bill that had a single line item "rebuilt transmission-$2800". No details on exactly what it was. They did not mention the torque converter. So, while I was hoping for Ford to do something it looks like the are recalling the torque converter. Was my problem truly just the transmission? Given the exact same story/event as everyone else--it seems like my problem falls into this same category. Not a mechanic--any suggestions on questions I should ask? Was my problem a case of something that just broke in the transmission that is unrelated to all these complaints?
  • Hmmm, guess my question would be about the same at motheye's - the service tech told us at the time that our problem was the torque converter, replaced our whole transmission at $3000, but don't remember if he specifically wrote "torque converter" on receipt. Will have to check that.

    Also - I was reading the information in the booklet, and it indicates that you can possibly be reimbursed if you have already replaced the torque converter. However, if I am reading it right - it's only for one year prior to the manufacturer's date of notification. We had to replace ours in March 2009. Looks like we are just out of luck. :-( Oh well, hopefully this recall will help others to not endure what we have. I am taking my vehicle to the shop this afternoon because the transmssion has started jerking really bad. If they tell me I need a new transmission, this will be my fourth in this van. Yes, I plan to get rid of it soon as I can!!
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