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Ford Freestyle Rear Brakes



  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    What Toyota are you looking at getting?
  • passat_2002passat_2002 Posts: 468
    I believe you've made the mistake of believing that the TSB applies to AWD models. It looks to me that the TSB you mention specifically excludes AWD.

    I don't know why some think it unusual that the brakes on a 4000+ lb. vehicle eventually require service. If you primarily drive your Freestyle in the city, then 34k is not an unreasonable figure for a first brake service. After all, it is how a vehicle is driven, and the conditions under which it is driven, day to day, that determines how quickly the brakes wear. The 34,000 mile figure by itself is pretty much meaningless.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    Freestyle rear brakes are a major problem. Just ask anyone in this forum or your Ford dealer mechanic.
  • passat_2002passat_2002 Posts: 468
    This Forum? C'mon now. This Forum is hardly a representative sampling of Freestyle owners. Besides, you can visit any Edmunds Forum you want and find people who complain about their brakes. It's just the nature of humans to vent their frustrations over a convenient outlet such as this one. But there certainly aren't enough of us here for it to be statistically meaningful. Not even close.

    Brakes are a wear item. Deal with it guys.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,457
    It's interesting that this is the only discussion that I can find on the whole site that deals exclusively with rear brake issues. (There's one in the archives that concerns rear ebrake pads and another that asks about swapping rear drums for discs).
  • Bob,

    You aren't dealing with newbies here. We can eyeball compare the rear brakes on Freebies and comparably-sized vehicles. This is the weak point on the 2005-2007 model Freestyles, which are the only ones there will ever be given the name change to Taurus X. And I've been one of the people here who likes the things.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    That is interesting, Steve! I went one step further and found that the text "rear brakes" occurs only 34 times in ALL of the active discussions. I was surprised.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    I agree...that's why I said that rear brakes are an issue with the Freestyle...I think you meant your comment to Passat.
  • theapemantheapeman Posts: 13
    the rear pads on my 2005 awd were completely worn and scraping the rotors at less than 8000 miles. they were completely worn again 11000 miles later. 8-11000 miles on a set of rear pads is not normal. the first time, the dealer replaced the pads and rotors for free. the second time, i replaced the pads myself with akebono ceramics. that was just a few weeks ago, but they seem to produce much less dust. the rear wheels were always covered with dust, instead of the fronts like on any other car.
  • pnewbypnewby Posts: 277
    I think the original post was correct. The reference to AWD only means that the date range given does not apply to the AWD, but the TSB does not. The (purposely?) unclear reference to not superseding the other clauses of warranty is the part that isn't clear to me. I think it is fuzzy to give FMC and dealers some wiggle room. I plan to see if my selling dealer is any good soon, and if not I'll try the next dealer in town and so forth.
  • tim156tim156 Posts: 308
    I recently traded my 05 SE for an 07 SEL. I didn't have any issues with the rear brakes on my 05. I had a little dust when the car was new but it went away after a couple of weeks or so. Each time I rotated the tires (3 times) the pads and disks were fine and showed normal wear. I drive mostly city and I'm pretty easy on the brakes. I try to anticipate having to stop by looking ahead, no need to hurry to the next red light you know. Every time I've washed my 07 there's been quite a bit more dust on the rear wheels. No change in my driving habits. My questions are, does anyone know if Ford has addressed and resolved the rear brake issue? Is anyone else out there having problems specifically with the 07 rear brakes? I've put on 685 miles so far, will the excessive dust eventually go away? I wouldn't have bought a new one if I didn't think the Freestyle was a great car. My 05 was hassle free, I want this one to be too.
  • barnstormer64barnstormer64 Posts: 1,106
    Freestyle rear brakes are a major problem. Just ask anyone in this forum

    Hope they don't aske ME. ;)
  • passat_2002passat_2002 Posts: 468
    Or me either.
  • pnewbypnewby Posts: 277
    Ditto. (apoligies to Rush)
  • volfangaryvolfangary Posts: 105
    Ditto Too!
  • mmccloskeymmccloskey Posts: 168

    With all this talk about problems with the rear brakes, I was wondering how can I visually inspect my rear brakes to determine the amount of pad that is left. I have a 2005 FS Limited/AWD with a bit over 36K miles (90% highway driving). The rear discs/rotors appear smooth with no pits or deep scoring which would indicate a problem (I think). I haven't noticed any unusual braking issues (vibration, noise, or pulling) so I guess they are still OK. I need to get my car inspected this month so I'm sure the dealership will alert me to any problems. A quick tip on how to check the amount of pad left would be greatly appreciated and would give me a bit of info to throw back at the service tech if he says my brakes are shot.

    Thanks for any/all responses. Over and out for now.

    Regards -

    M. J. McCloskey
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    Okay, Okay I stand corrected, but how many other forums out there have a lot of folks with their rear brakes going bad at less thatn 20K miles. I was at the Ford dealer a couple of weeks ago to get some sensors recalibrated, and I brought up the subject of brakes to the service manager and he said that he had a lot of people have been coming in for rear brake work under a TSB.

    My rear brakes are just about needing replacement at 43K of mostly highway driving, while the front ones are fine. The fact that the rear ones are wearing faster than the front for a FWD vehicle tells me something is wrong. Maybe because I've never used the emergency brake they've lasted longer.
  • freealfasfreealfas Posts: 652
    There's nothing ideaologically "wrong", they have more rear brake bias to allow the rear brakes to do more of the braking of the vehicle and manage nose dive a little better and making the vehicle more stable under braking than if they didn't.

    Unfortunately with that the rears wear faster than people are used to(yes I will be talking to ford as mine are gone at 16k which is unacceptable). It seems they could have managed the pad material, bias, size of components, something to get better wear out of the rear brakes than this. All this talk of the emergency brake being involved is silly as the only way they could affect teh rears is if you were driving around with it engaged.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    All this talk of the emergency brake being involved is silly as the only way they could affect teh rears is if you were driving around with it engaged.

    Or if it wasn't fully disengaging.
  • bruneau1bruneau1 Posts: 468
    At 36,000 miles, you don't have one of the affected vehicles. There is some problem, but nobody knows what % of Freestyles is affected. I keep checking mine every 5,000 miles. That is about all we can do.
  • viamedeviamede Posts: 26
    It is a shame about this brake issue. I test drove a few used Freestyles on the weekend and liked many things the car offers. The brake issue has me backing off. I do not want to look at annual $500.00 brake work. If there is a long term fix with new pads and rotors I would reconsider.
  • freealfasfreealfas Posts: 652
    Ford has addressed it on the '06/'07, I would consider those and not an '05.
  • passat_2002passat_2002 Posts: 468
    "I do not want to look at annual $500.00 brake work."

    Holy cow! It's extremely unlikely that you would have to. I've been driving an '05 SEL for two years with no brake problems whatsoever. A friend in another city has an '06 with 30k miles with zero problems as well. This issue has been blown way out of proportion to it's relevance, mostly by those who don't know any better. Besides, if you're buying used.. it's a bit of a crapshoot no matter what you get because you never know how the vehicle was driven and treated by it's owner.
  • freealfasfreealfas Posts: 652
    I thought that too and I find my rears are shot at 16k on my '05 LTD(i.e. unacceptable), I'm not one to jump on bad press bandwagons but I think there is more to the '05 rear brake issue than is being let on. I suspect on the '06/'07 they have addressed the pad compund at the very least to help this problem anything more than that I'm not aware of.
  • viamedeviamede Posts: 26
    There are a number of people on this thread with 06's with the same problem and Ford's own TSB covers 05-07, so it does not seem to have been addressed. I haven't been able to determine a pattern of why some people have the problem and others do not. Ford should have fixed it in the design in 06 but seems to have not bothered. Perhaps because most people just pay for the brake work as it usually not covered as a warranty item.
  • saabturboidsaabturboid Posts: 178
    '05 AWD SEL Freestyle - Now at 37,500 miles. NO REAR BRAKE PROBLEMS. A couple of months ago I had an independent brake dealer inspect the rear brakes. He said there was at least 10,000 miles left on the pads.

    Does anyone know if the parking brake locks the rear brakes on the Freestyle? If so, a sticking or partially disengaged parking brake could certainly be the culprit for those experiencing the problems. I live in flat Minnesota where we rarely use the parking brake.

    - Chad
  • mrdinmnmrdinmn Posts: 9
    Parking brakes on the FS are a small internal drum, according my dealerships service rep, and not related to the disc pads. Parking brakes can get stuck (mine did).

    BTW, count me as one of the unlucky 05 owners who needed brake pads and new rotors at 25K. At least my dealership covered most of it.
  • theapemantheapeman Posts: 13
    Parking brakes on the FS are NOT a small internal drum. the parking brake operates mechanically on the rear disc brakes. i would say you were one of the LUCKY ones if your rear brakes lasted 25,000 miles, and the dealer still paid for some of the repair cost. i've noted here before that my rear rotors were damaged at only 8000 miles because of worn pads, and again 11,000 miles later. the parking brake design may be the problem. BTW, my 1980 BMW (and all my later model BMWs) had pad wear sensors to warn when pads would soon need replacement. this avoids a dangerous situation and saves the additional cost of replacing or refacing damaged rotors. the FS has no such system.
  • barnstormer64barnstormer64 Posts: 1,106
    I know for sure that I don't use the parking brakes at all (it's flat here in Houston), and have had only about 10% wear on the front brakes and 20% wear on the rear brakes at 15k miles.

    I'm beginning to suspect a hanging parking brake for the problem.

    We need a poll to find out!
  • fordchrisfordchris Posts: 10
    is this problem only been found on the fwd cause i have a awd and ive had no problem 05 10k they say the breaks are where their suppose to be at
  • I have a 2005 Frestyle and my pads and rotors are shot at 25987. They've been making noise for a thousand or so miles, perhaps more. I just paid nearly 600 to put on new parts. They tell me the front pads have only about 10,000 miles left on them. I have never had a car last only these few miles on brakes.
  • That makes no sense. The AWD should be even worse since the vehicle is 400 pounds heavier than the Front Wheel Drive.
  • theapemantheapeman Posts: 13
    my 05 is AWD with the rear pads worn at 8,000 and then 11,000 miles later. the dealer always claims they perform a multi point inspection when oil changes are done, including a brake pad check, but they couldn't have actually checked the brakes because my pads were completely worn and damaging the rotors shortly after an oil change. the dealer paid the total cost for pads and rotor replacement at the 8000 mile repair, but i changed the pads myself the next time they were worn.
  • barnstormer64barnstormer64 Posts: 1,106
    While it may make no sense, I also have the AWD version . . and my brakes are only 20% worn on back (10% on front) at 15k miles.
  • kpevavkpevav Posts: 41
    I bought a used 2006 FWD Freestyle SE in October, 2006 (put into service in September, 2005) and it needed pad, rotor, and caliper replacements with 17,900 miles on it. The Mercury dealer did all that before delivery. No wear indication in the first oil change, and waiting to see if the replacement materials are better than the original.
  • angelpahangelpah Posts: 5
    You would think the folks at Ford would be looking at all these posts and replying... And if they don't know, is there any suggestions on letting them know about this forum?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,457
    The Autoweek article referred to is apparently defunct but check out this post:

    previousamigo, "Buick Rainier, Chevy TrailBlazer, GMC Envoy" #7080, 26 Jul 2002 6:16 am

    Note that the post is almost 5 years old now. :shades:
  • angelpahangelpah Posts: 5
    Thanks Steve, I wounder if Ford will act and correct the problem on the cars out there now.
  • mrdinmnmrdinmn Posts: 9
    On what do you base your assertion? The brake mechanic who worked on my 05 FS at the Ford dealership told me they were separate systems. And - when my parking brake didn't fully release, I could tell the difference in the parking brake travel, but not the regular brake pedal operation.
  • nibyaknibyak Posts: 26
    You need to find another "Brake Mechanic" then. The parking brake is not a separate system. On some vehicles there is a small drum brake inside the back of the rotor. That is not the case on your Freestyle. The parking brake engages the disk brake with a cable. That’s one of the reasons you need to rotate the pistons to retract them.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    That’s one of the reasons you need to rotate the pistons to retract them.

    I believe you need to do that for the front brakes too.
  • saabturboidsaabturboid Posts: 178
    I have no inside knowledge of the cause of the rear brake problems but I think we can take the evidence presented here and based on the facts make some conclusions:

    Fact: Not all Freestyles exhibit this problem.

    Fact: The problem is limited to the rear brakes.

    Fact: The parking brakes are actuated on the rear brakes.

    Fact: It takes excessive usage and/or dragging of the pads on the rotors to wear out brake pad material prematurely.

    Conclusions: Since not all Freestyles have this issue (mine is at 37k miles with no brake problems), then something is different between vehicles. Since only the brake pad making contact with the rotors can wear out the pads then one potential cause is the rear brakes are under designed or over utilized. I have read this claim from some here. I believe this is very unlikely because if this were the case ALL Freestyles would be affected.

    I believe there must be another problem causing the brake pads to drag on the rotors. The two potential causes for brake pad drag are either the calipers used during normal braking or the parking brake not fully releasing after usage.

    Since all Freestyles have the same exact design, the problem is not found in every Freestyle, and EVERYONE uses the brakes but not everyone uses the parking brake, I contend the most likely cause is the parking brake not releasing.

    Am I 100% certain? No, but one can logically come to this conclusion based on the facts.

    - Chad
  • gi_mechgi_mech Posts: 5
    I just learned that my 2006 FWD needs rear pads and rotors at 28K miles. Just had them inspected three months ago and was told they were fine! Anyway, my dealer won't pay and Ford CS says it's up to each dealership to decide if they want to pay for rotors or not. I'm going to contact other dealers. Whether it's defective pads (are they too small?) or defective parking brake, it seems clear that this is a manufacturing defect and Ford should be taking responsibility! I've NEVER had a car or SUV go through brake pads this early! I am contacting BBB Autoline next and I will be telling them of this discussion (as well as the same one at ford-forums.com).

    I'd be glad to partner with others to call this to the attention of Ford. :mad:
  • tim156tim156 Posts: 308
    I didn't have any problems with the rear brakes on my 2005 SE. I was a bit concerned about brake dust when I traded up to an 2007 SEL. I now have 970 miles on my 07 and the dust has pretty much disappeared. I have another theory. Since not everyone is having problems and not everyone has the same driving habits, perhaps the cause is over use of the brakes. Driving too fast and racing to stop signs and lights. Driving too fast and tailgating, and when traffic ahead comes to a slow or stop, the brakes have to be applied hard. Riding the brake in stop and go traffic. Not anticipating having to stop and allowing the car to coast and slow for a distance before reaching the stop. Once again, this is just a theory and I did not intend it to offend anyone. Some thought about how the brakes are used may delay the need for service.
  • viamedeviamede Posts: 26
    Perhaps they should open up two spots in the floorboard so you can put your Fred Flintstone supplemental brake system to work. ;)

    I think there are far too many reports of problems to pin this on driver habits. Most people seem to be long time drivers who haven't had this issue on previous vehicles. I don't think the Freestyle is the type of vehicle people tear from stop sign to stop sign in. I would expect most drivers to be moderate...if you want fast your in the wrong car.

    I think Chad had a good analysis above. Someone somewhere likely knows if he is correct...but they are not saying.
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    the chatter here is hardly a measure of whether there is a pervasive problem.

    The media tends to blow things way way out of proportion to the danger. Check out this chart.


    Thats right, I have a 1 in 5 chance of dieing from heart disease, yet here I sit typing away instead of getting some real exercise.

  • freealfasfreealfas Posts: 652
    I would not complain at 30k rears gone nearly like I am now that I am at 16k and metal to metal in the rear. When you talk to your service manager and he says he has seen a rash of 500's & FS's coming in for premature brake wear you can surmise it's not driving habits. Ford has also posted a TSB on the situation and has changed pad material to address as a running change so it is indeed something engineering/manufacturing related. It could also have been a bad batch of pad material that didn't meet spec or some other manufacturing defect, but this is not driver related.
  • gi_mechgi_mech Posts: 5
    I just called a different dealer and he has offered to replace the brake pads and rotors at no charge. :) Said he had dealt with this before. I'm filing a BBB Autoline complaint against Ford and I encourage others to do so as well. Ford should not be making customers and dealers pay for this pervasive problem.

    Cheers! :shades:
  • nibyaknibyak Posts: 26
    No, the fronts don't need to be rotated. They just need to be compressed. Here is a note from the Rear Brake TSB that sort of explains why the rears need to be rotated.

  • barnstormer64barnstormer64 Posts: 1,106
    Thats right, I have a 1 in 5 chance of dieing from heart disease

    It's worse than that . . I guarantee you have a 100% chance of dying . . . I just can't say when or how. ;)
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