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Ford Freestyle Rear Brakes



  • I have a 2006 Freestyle with 21,000 miles. At the 15,000 mile service, I mentioned the TSB to the service dept at the Ford dealer. He asked me if the brakes make a squeaking sound. They don't but there is a lot of black dust on the rears. He told me the brake problem was for 2005s and they fixed the problem for 2006. I took my car in for the 20,000 mile service and they said brakes are fine. Yesterday my husband took the car to a tire dealer to replace a tire and they said the brakes needed to be replaced immediately or the rotors will be damaged. The mechanic showed my husband the pads and they were extremely worn. I immediately called the service manager at the Ford dealer to complain. He claims the tire place is just trying to sell me new brake pads but to bring the car in for him to look at the brakes. I think they stalled enough for my 18,000 warranty to expire. The dealer said that won't cover the cost of the pads now that I have 21,000 miles on them. He said that I need to write to Ford and file a grievance. I am angry because I had the TSB and concerns at 15,000 miles and they said there was no problem. I smell a rat!!
  • When you had your 15,000 mile service the TSB did not apply to 2006 models. (Your dealer was correct about that.) But the TSB has since then been updated to include 2006 models as well, and even some 2007. Here is the newer TSB that addresses the problem.

    Make sure your dealer is aware of the updated version and tell them again that you had noticed a lot of brake dust on the rear wheels leading up to the 15,000 mile service and that you had stated so at the time. Good luck.

    People need to remember that a TSB is not a recall and therefore does not necessarily give you a free fix. They are issued to dealers to assist them in diagnosing problems that are often common to a particular vehicle type. There are literally hundreds (if not thousands) of TSB's issued by car manufacturer's every week.
  • Thank you for the helpful information. I had printed out that TSB and was referring to that when I called the dealer. Let's hope we see eye to eye when I take the car to him tomorrow morning:)
    Merry Christmas!
  • Update! I had my Freestyle at the dealer's this morning. The service manager agreed to cover the cost of the new pads and labor even though the brakes were out of warranty. I was armed with documentation of TSBs and my visits and conversations concerning excessive brake dust. He told me he didn't not have a legal obligation to cover the cost but a moral one. Ford has issued new, more expensive brake pads but they are just a band-aid to cover a bigger problem. The rear braking system is flawed and the service manager feels Ford should do a recall on them.

  • Is there anyone with the AWD have the same rear brake problem? I wonder why the TSB only mentioned the FWD version, but not AWD version. Please raise your hand if you have the same rear brake problem with AWD. :lemon:
  • dn006dn006 Posts: 6
    Yes, but mine is a 2005 AWD. My brakes were shot at only 18,000 miles. The dealer offered nothing to help.
  • Mine is also the 2005 AWD. :lemon:
  • 2005 AWD Brakes and rotors replaced at 11598 miles. No charge.
  • dn006dn006 Posts: 6
    My dealer said that after 12,000 miles brakes are not covered. Glad yours were replaced free.
  • same here. Dealer said only cover the first 12 month and 18k miles. mine was over 12 month, although only 8.5k miles when got the rear brakes replaced, including rotors. :lemon:
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    Just curious...why are the rotors being replaced. It seems like the brake pads would have to be really bad (down to bare metal) for them to be really digging into the rotors, and there would be a lot of noise back there before that happens I'd think. Just wondering if the rotors are really bad. You can look through the wheels and see them easily to tell if there are grooves in them.
  • Because the dealer was unable to resurface the rotor! Now my car is closing to 17k, I just wonder if it is time to check the rear brake again or the dealer already put in the new type rotor/pad last time in June, 2006. :lemon: :sick:
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    There isn't enough thickness left when they are resurfaced.

  • yes I paid to have new rear brakes and rotors fixed at about 19,000 on my 05 AWD FreeStyle. And about 5 months and 8,000 miles later again I have the rear brakes grinding. Well, I got new rear brake pads again and a brand new rotor this time. Tech said they can't explain why this is happening.... Oh and I wasn't charged for this job. She said there was no TSB or recall on it yet. I keep waiting. This last brake job was done early Dec.
  • I just had my 2005 AWD Freestyle in for the 'freezing door' recall. While there, I had them check the rear brakes. They found no excessive pad or rotor wear in the back or front. Can't explain it but I'm not complaining.

    I always park and set the parking brake, but I don't think the parking brake uses the regular brake calipers, so that may have no affect on the rear brake wear. :shades:
  • pnewbypnewby Posts: 277
    :confuse: Also have a '05 AWD Freestyle, 28K, per local tire store, about 40% left on rear brakes and 60% on front. I would say I am an aggressive driver.
  • My rear brakes had to be replaced at just under 20K miles as well. I have an 05 Freestlye and I the dealer said to expect to continue replacing the brakes. I have filed a complaint with the NHTSA. I would suggest that everyone do this so that Ford will be faced to deal with this issue. The site is http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/ go to vehicles and there is a link to file a complaint. I have also contacted Ford (who seems to have no interest in listening to one consumer). Maybe we will all get this resolved if Ford is forced to deal with it via the govt.
  • I'm for filing a complaint. The one thing to watch if is this happens again to you.. I'm on the second brake job and a new rotor this time. The second one was free since it was less than 6 months. I'm curious, what area do you all live in.... My car came from Texas I believe. I live in CA It's an 05 AWD one.
  • rick2456rick2456 Posts: 320
    It is interesting that the TSB seems to be for front wheel drive FS's only. Mine is an AWD 05, SEL, but I only have 11000 miles on it. Maybe I should talk to my service manager?
  • Hi, I just purchased a 2006 Freestyle on 1/3/2007 with 11,000 miles on it and I had to have the dealer replace front and rear brakes as well as machine the rotors as the brakes were gone. I am concerned as every used Freestyle I looked at, both 2005 and 2006 all had the same problems, major issues with mainly the rear brakes. i have filed a complaint on the gov't website a previous poster provided, I think everyone shoul do this so that we can get some pressure on Ford to do the correct thing and issue a re-call on these lousy brakes. Hopefully the new brake job will make it past 11,000 more miles.
  • I own an '05 SEL FWD built in April 2005. I have over 19,000 mostly city miles on it's odometer with no brake problems whatsoever. It still stops on a dime and in a straight line as well. Instead of blaming the manufacturer for the condition of the used vehicle that you bought.. why don't you try asking some questions about how it was treated during that first 11,000 miles with it's first owner. They must have mis-treated it pretty badly I'd say.
  • lanbabalanbaba Posts: 45
    What are you talking about? Do you think all the users complaining here have their brakes (especially rear ones) pressed hard during the brake or abused the rear brakes? That is a DESIGN flaw, like or not. And We all need to report that to that gov site. It is a lemon. :lemon:
  • Sorry baba. No lemons here. Just Lemonade. And you should stop looking for government to solve your problems. You bought a used vehicle whose previous owner might well have abused it, or simply drove around a couple of times with the parking brake engaged. People do that you know. If it was a fleet car from a rental company, you can be sure it was abused. The point is that you're blaming Ford for what is almost certainly other people's mischief. There are around 200,000 Freestyle's on the road today. Five or six people complaining on this board about early brake wear is not a trend I'm afaid. If it were.. then almost every vehicle on the road today would be - by your definition - a lemon.
  • I'm the original driver of my Freestyle, which had to have the brakes replaced at about 15,000 miles, the earliest ever in a vehicle I've owned. In the fleet at our company, approximately 5 - 10% of Freestyles have had premature rear brake replacement, including some that got so hot the wheel bearings needed replacement too. That's a lot.
  • lanbabalanbaba Posts: 45
    What about all the people reporting rear brake issues? Even someone wants to abuse the brakes, how can you abuse the rear ones but not affect the front ones? a few thousands miles and the rear brake is gone, even the rear rotor?
    BTW, mine is a new 2005 awd limited, rear sets(pad & rotor) have to be replaced at 8.5k.
    I don't think hand brakes is associated with normal brakes.
    My accord's brakes lasted over 75k before replacement.
    :sick: :P :lemon:
  • I'm the original owner too.. No problem with the front brakes and 2 brake jobs and one new rotor in less than 1 yr... It's not easy to drive with your emergency brake on in that car... It's got the readout infront of you if nothing else.
    I'm going to file a complaint.. If we don't let Ford know what's going on how will they know....
  • "...how can you abuse the rear ones but not affect the front ones?"

    Simple. Just drive around with the parking brake on. Unfortunately, people do it all the time. It only has to happen once to basically ruin the rear-wheel brakes. Two or three miles would do it. Some people are easily capable of driving that far before paying attention to what might be wrong. Might also explain the overheated rear-wheel bearings someone mentioned. It's not the sort of thing that people will admit to. It's easier to blame the manufacturer.

    As I said before, I have 19,143 mostly city miles on my '05 SEL FWD. The braking feel and performance is no different now than the day I bought it with 4 miles on the odometer.
  • passat... I agree with you! 23000 on my 2005 FWD and brakes are still good. Had it checked at 20000 and still have over 50% left on years and more on front. :)
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    I have 43,000 miles on my FWD Freestyle with the original brakes and tires and they're both fine. However, I do believe there is a problem with the rear brakes and a few other URls I found on a Google search indicate there are those outside of this forum with problems. I did notice a lot more brake dust on my rear brakes, but maybe since I do a lot of highway driving and I'm pretty light on the brakes, mine have lasted so long.



  • lanbabalanbaba Posts: 45
    The problem is, freestyle's hand brake is so tight that you have to step on gas pretty hard to get the car moving if the hand brake is on. And the hand brake light is so obvious to see. Maybe there is something with the hand brake indicators? Or something else? :sick: :lemon: :P
  • In the fleet at our company, approximately 5 - 10% of Freestyles have had premature rear brake replacement, including some that got so hot the wheel bearings needed replacement too. That's a lot.

    That doesn't sound like a DESIGN problem, then. More like defective pads?
  • Not sure how a defective pad would get that hot in normal use. Sounds more like a continuous drag to me.
  • I could buy "continous drag", as well.

    But with "only" 5% experiencing it, I'd be inclined to say it's more "user error" than a design defect. Unless the design is such that it's easy to end up with drag and not notice it for very long periods of time.
  • 2006 Ford Freestyle AWD had rear brakes worn to metal with no warning at 11,000 miles. Dealer replaced pads and turned rotors for $450.
  • Does anybody know how the parking brake works? Does it use the same rotors and pads as the main rear brakes? If so, then parking brake release issues (mechanical defect/design) might be an explanation. If not, then I have no idea why the brakes would drag and a driver be unaware.
  • Hi,

    I had my car in for a scheduled rear brake replacement on 12/21. Dealer gave me the car back and said that the new pads were on order even though I had given them a week's advance notice. I thought maybe they were trying to brush me off since another local dealer said they would not do the work on Freestyles with more than 18k mi. To my surprise they called back the first week of 2007 and had me schedule a time to replace the pads. Dealer told me he used the pads recommended in TSB 06-22-17 and mine was the first Freestyle he did with those pads. My 05 Freestyle SEL had 25200 at the time and the service and parts were free of charge because I was under 3 yr. 36k miles. I have a long commute (in the 'burbs heading toward NYC) and I'm always in heavy highway traffic but I am also among those who feel that there's a defect of workmanship rather than my driving habits that are to blame.
  • My 2005 is coming up to 1yr/18K miles so I have looked at my rear pad driver side only and it looks like 40% left. I have read passenger side my be worse so I need to check it also.

    I have studied pads for this and find high-end ceramics available (Akebomo, EBC RedStuff, etc.), and low cost ceramics (Raybesto, Satisfied, Durlast, etc.).

    A big surprise is the Motorcraft* pads are listed to be ORGANIC, 'not' ceramic and maybe not even semi-metallic. I don't think I have used pure organic pads in 30 years.

    *I don't know if Ford P/N is same as MC part. This could certainly explain the short life.
  • The parking brake does use the same caliper, pad, and rotor as the service brakes. One thing different is the rt. caliper uses a left hand thread to compress the piston back into the caliper when the pads are replaced. What I've noticed during the repair of these is this: the cars driven "harder" are going further on the rear pads than the ones being driven "lightly". I surmise that during harder braking the front brakes are stopping the cars faster without useing the rears, whereas on slow stops the rear brakes are being activated longer & thus wearing down? Also, just today I checked on part numbers on pads and rotors for FWD and AWD both Ford and Motorcraft, all #s are the same so why is the new TSB for brake wear only for FWD?
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    Maybe it has more to do with the piston not fully releasing the rear brake pads. I believe that you need a special tool to push in and rotate the piston, so maybe during normal driving the piston isn't releasing properly. The pads/rotors may not be the problem, especially if after replacing them you're getting the same problem 10,000 miles later.
  • I've been following this brake thread with interest. We have an AWD '05 SEL built 11/04. After 33,000 miles we've never had any brake problems. Recently we've heard the brakes squeak on a few occasions so instead of bringing our Freebie to the Ford dealer I brought it to a local brake mechanic that I trust for his professional independent opinion.

    After everything I've read here I fully expected to need a full brake job. After his inspection he said that the rear brakes were fine and I had at least 10,000 miles to go before needing pad replacement. He suspected the squeaks were just some sand or salt getting in the brakes.

    Interestingly he did say that the pads that were on there appeared to be organic but his computer specified ceramic. I suspect Ford has changed the spec to address this issue.

    - Chad
  • kpevavkpevav Posts: 41
    In October, I bought a used 2006 Freestyle FWD with 17,900 miles on it that had clunky braking in the test drive. The Mercury dealer replaced the rotors, calipers (at least one), and pads, and I have put about 2,500 miles on the new brakes. So, you might imagine that I am concerned about the potential for this vehicle to have fast-wearing rear brakes.

    I have been following this brake discussion for some time, and it sounds as though there might be multiple factors in the brake problems people report. The design of the brake system may be rear brake-oriented (at least some people have stated that),some are defective, some have sticking pistons or handbrakes, etc.

    How about the CVT transmission, though, as it seems to provide far less braking effect than a regular automatic transmission? Therefore, for someone who drives in crowded conditions or with many lights and so brakes often, the cumulative effect would be for much quicker wear. Combined with the design towards more rear braking, that could lead to fast wear out.

    Just a thought.
  • bruneau1bruneau1 Posts: 468
    The Ford CVT provides excellent slowing action descending hills. far better than my other car with a 4sp auto.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    It still sounds to me like a piston that isn't fully releasing. Have any of you with brake problems also have poor mpg?? Or what you can try to do is put it in neutral on a flat surface, like in your garage, and get out and see how easy it is to push. I know with mine, when it's in neutral it's pretty easy for me to get it moving by myself, but if you can't get it moving by yourself, something must be sticking.
  • kpevavkpevav Posts: 41
    Interesting, as my Freestyle has noticeably weaker deceleration than any vehicle I have owned (in about twenty of owning automatic transmissions). My experience with it has been almost solely on fairly flat pavement here in central Florida, though, so I haven't been descending hills of any note. :)
  • I would like to hear from anyone whom had to PAY for a rear brake job on their Freestyle. I drove mainly city and at 19,000 am told rear brakes are almost to the metal. I did not replace brakes in my Nissan van till 60k so know it is not my driving. Does anyone feel this is a safety issue with their Freestyle? I am aware Nissan had a similar situation with the Armada (put to small of a braking system in the rear) and did a recall last year. I would love anyones input as this bill today is over $500 for 20k service and brakes. :cry:
  • How did you get your dealership to pay for the brakes? Mine is charging be and I have owned it for 16 months and only 19k for the mileage. Please reply as 500 dollars is not in my budget but I have to get them done. Thank you, Upsetincali
  • bruneau1bruneau1 Posts: 468
    The hill calibration in our FWD works like a charm. I am on the brakes far less when descending grades than in either of our other two cars which have conventional autos. When following others cars, i notice their brake lights on while I am not braking. This is the way the transmission was designed.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "The hill calibration in our FWD works like a charm. I am on the brakes far less when descending grades than in either of our other two cars which have conventional autos. When following others cars, i notice their brake lights on while I am not braking. This is the way the transmission was designed."

    This is true of highway speeds, but I have noticed that on city streets at around 35 - 40 MPH, if you let off of the accelerator, the FS just wants to keep going - it takes a long time to slow down.
  • I have a question for you....regarding the "new TSB for brake wear only for FWD". What is TSB referring too? I just replaced my rear brakes on my 2005 SEL FWD and paid about $500, mileage is 19k. Please let me know.
  • My rear brakes failed 11,000 miles. I filed a compliant with NHTSA. I suggest others do the same.
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