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Ford Freestar/Mercury Monterey



  • 446pack446pack Posts: 7
    Not personally myself, but it shouldn't be too hard. Are you looking at a "Plain-Jane" aftermarket or a Ford unit? The Ford unit would look like factory installed without the "Tilt Wheel" feature. If Ford still offers that accessory
  • dthomasdthomas Posts: 8
    hi i have a constant pinging like bad gas. i have about 10,000 miles on my van. the dealership replace trany(they thought where noise was comming from) now back at the dealer 3 weeks out 11/2 days and then back. the trany shifts hard and hesitates. we took it foir a test drive with the tech and got out to switch places and you smelt a burning smell. i said what's burning he said your trannys hot. i know that's wrong. well weds i meet with ford rep any suggestions?
  • mlicarimlicari Posts: 4
    When we test drove one, there was a pinging/banging sound at highway speed (mostly when I let off the gas a bit) as well as a burning smell when we got back to the dealership. Turned out to be a fouled spark plug.
  • tjnbtjnb Posts: 26
    Some Freestar Ltd`s have a base of 32945 and some have a base of 33090? Does anyone know?
  • trainboytrainboy Posts: 66
    Hey, good luck and be persistent. Read back to my messages. We had a Freestar with bad paint and after numerous complaints, they took it back. They also spent half a day trying to figure out why the keyless entry had about 6" of range, instead of 35'.

    Be courteous, persistent and escalate. First the Ford zone rep offered to repaint our unit; then repaint and add more warranty (bogus value) and finally, they made an exchange. If you have trans problems, are they giving you new or rebuilt? If these guys are clueless, ask them to take an oil sample from each unit; engine, trans, etc. and sent it to an oil lab for analysis. They do this with big engines, planes, etc. The lab can tell which oil is being abused.

    If they find the final culprit and it does affects the trans, they should exchange it AGAIN, after they fix the problem.

    Push for a "discretionary replacement". This gets you a new unit. They will try to match the equipment and exchange at MSRP. We upgraded from a Freestar SE to a Merc Monterey. We had to kick in some bucks because the Merc was more, but we got a better overall deal. The Merc is sweet!

    Good Luck,
  • tjnbtjnb Posts: 26
    I got a Limited with the air curtain and active safety package 2. I really like it a lot. I have had no problems so far at 250 miles. Will check at 1000. Got A-Plan pricing and incetives($3000) with 0% interest for just under 28K plus taxes with MSRP of 35K. Much cheaper than the Sienna.
  • spartanmannspartanmann Posts: 197
    Rebates now at $5000 if you finance through Ford Motor Credit.
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    Congratulations to your new van!

    Would you like to share with us what exactly do you like/dislike? What did you expected and what did you get? Why did you choose the Freestar over any other minivan?
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    Edmunds says $5000, but only shows $4000. Who is right? We're considering buying a freestar S or SE. Do y'al think the rebates will get better now that GM offers $5000 loyalty rebates? Thanks! Trying to get a van for under $17000...
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    "Ford has increased cash rebates for Freestar minivans to $5,000. The offer is good to those who finance the van through Ford's credit arm"

    Channel Oklahoma

    Ford probably just hasn't updated the web page yet.

    Steve, Host
  • tjnbtjnb Posts: 26
    I had the following features I needed:

    1) Air Canopy
    2) Leather Seats
    3) Stability Control/AWD
    4) 5 Star Crash rating

    I had the following to choose from with these features:

    1) Toyota Sienna
    2) Ford Freestar/ Mercury Monterey
    3) Nissan Quest

    The 2005 Town & Country had the air canopy but
    it did not have the best crash ratings.

    I like the Quest exterior the best but I did not like the interior and my wife hated all of the colors, so we did not consider it after an initial test ride.

    The Sienna is extremely ugly on the exterior, but it has a great luxory feel on the inside. It drove well, but I did not really get to drive it much since there wasn't many on dealer lots. I was going to have to wait for it.

    The Freestar was great looking on the outside and very nice inside. With A-plan and incentives, it was around 7-8k cheaper than a Toyota. Once I figured that out, I had to go with the Ford. I considered the Monterey, but the Ford dealer is closer and we have bought there before.

    So far I like the message center, which tells us our gas mileage and miles to empty, the compass and temp above the rear view mirror and the audio controls on the steering wheel.

    I dislike the gas mileage the most. I have been driving mostly around town and I get about 14-15 mpg. Not that good, but ok. Acceleration is great and handling and ride are exceptional. The third row seats are small and cramped but we try to only have the kids back there. The second row is very comfortable.
    The driver and passenger seats are great. Visability is exceptional as well.

    to sum up:

    Drive, ride and handling
    Audio Controls on steering wheel
    front 4 seat comfort
    message center

    small 3rd row seats
    gas mileage
  • tjnbtjnb Posts: 26
    look at, they have all of the rebates as well as ordering guides.
  • tjnbtjnb Posts: 26
    The Quest drove the most like a car and seem to have the best ride. Here is my ratings:

    1) Quest
    2) Freestar/ Town& country
    3) Sienna

    Interior Space:
    1) Town & Country
    2) Sienna
    3) Quest
    4) Freestar

    1) Town & Country
    2) Sienna
    3) Freestar
    4) Quest

    Ease of Use
    1) Freestar
    2) Town & Country
    3) Sienna
    4) Quest

    Exterior Attractiveness:
    1) Quest
    2) Freestar
    3) Town & Country
    4) Sienna

    1) Sienna
    2) Town & Country/Freestar
    4) Quest (Distant)

    1) Quest
    2) Freestar
    3) Town & Country
    4) SIenna

    At least that is the way I saw in my limited exposure to the T&C, Quest and Sienna versus the Freestar

    1) Freestar ( Pricing helps here )
    2) Sienna
    3) T&C
    4) Quest
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    Thanks everybody for the rebate information!

    tjnb: Could you tell me what price you got with the A plan, e.g. a certain amount below invoice? I'm qualified for the X-plan. Don't know if they work the same but would like to have a rough idea. Is this discount on top of the regular rebates? Thanks!

    Again, does anybody have a guess if the rebates will increase after this round?
  • tjnbtjnb Posts: 26
    was 4.4% below innvoice.
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    tjnb. Was that in addition to the regular rebates?
  • spartanmannspartanmann Posts: 197
    Apparently you didn't need the AWD as only the Sienna has it.
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    what are those A and X plans? Who are qualified for it?
  • tjnbtjnb Posts: 26
    A Plan is for current employees
    Z Plan for retirees( same price as A plan )

    X Plan is for suppliers and dealers/salesmen. has eligibility requirements.

    Also my 4.4% below invoice is before any incentives. Plus I got an extra thousand in incentives.
  • tjnbtjnb Posts: 26
    I wanted either Stability Control or AWD. I know that the Sienna is the only one with AWD, since Chrysler dropped for lack of sales. ( the Venture and other GM minivans may as well, but they lacked other features I wanted )
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    with the canopy is hard to find here in the midwest. My dealer found none! IS this true throughout the country or just a regional phenominon?
  • tjnbtjnb Posts: 26
    I requested it on my Limited. The dealer in my town had mostly safety canopy installed Freestars, but they did not have one with the canopy in the color we wanted. It took them about 4 or 5 days to find one. I am in the Chicago area and it seemed like a lot of the dealers had them installed on the remaining units.
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    I'm in northern Indiana 100 miles from Chicago. My dealer said he didn't find even one in the nearby 5 states. Maybe Ford figures people who want the base model prolly won't spend more for the canopy.
  • I have a Freestar Ltd. Just recently my wife noticed the engine seems much louder while excellerating and the sound comes from behind the left (drivers side) vent. Has anyone experienced this? We have 2k miles on the Freestar. Otherwise, great minivan.
  • vulawgradvulawgrad Posts: 13
    you think Freestar has better handling than the Sienna? We have the Sienna LE and it turns on a dime and handles much better than the Fords we've owned (Merc Sables) which have turning radiuses like large trucks. We're getting 21-22 mpg driving around local area! we got the safety package (stability control, traction control and canopy airbag) all for $28,9. No leather but we preferred that.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    Turning circle radius is not the same as handling. I am sure tjnb is referring to typical Toyota design to bias toward soft suspensions for smooth ride which causes them to have generally poorer handling characteritics-ie they tend to lean in high speed turns and wallow over wavy roads.

    Tight turning circle is only beneficial when you are making slow speed maneuvers in parking lots, parallel parking and U-turns. It has nothing to do with what people refer to as handling.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Any recent buyers in Michigan feel free to reply:

    A newspaper reporter would like to talk with recent minivan buyers who live in Michigan. Please respond to [email protected] or [email protected] with your daytime phone number by Thursday, June 17, 2004. Thanks,

    Jeannine Fallon, PR Director

    Steve, Host
  • vulawgradvulawgrad Posts: 13
    First - who makes high speed turns? Other than lane changes, most "turns" are at low speed.
    Second- "turning radius is only beneficial when you are making slow speed maneuvers in parking lots, parallel parking and U-turns." Since 80% of our minivan driving is done around town, this is a lot more useful than high speed turns.
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    I'm sorry, but you're not answering on the question asked. True, tight turning circle is great, but that does NOT stay for handling. They're 2 different things. When somebody says something about a vehicles handling, it does not include turning circle information.

    Example: The new Nissan Quest - it has the best handling of all minivans (much better than Sienna, and similar to Ody), and the Quest have a very big turning circle.
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    Not to say handling is not important, but I feel this thing is being exagerated out of proportion, for all cars not just the Freestar. In real life who makes turns like an idiot (e.g. an auto journalist) at even 30 mph in a car he actually makes payments on? And what're the odds with mom's minivan? Today's cars are more than adequate for emergency lane change under NORMAL circumstances. The car magazine writers have to find things to comment on. That's their job. For us the average consumers, there're more important issues to consider than handling.
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    Handling is most important during emergencies, like you see an object in the middle of the freeway, and you need to avoid it, etc. But you always benefit from good handling even on everyday use.

    I know, that's not what minivans are for, but you will feel much better in any vehicle with good handling at any turn, at any curve, etc.

    And that does not include turning radius.
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    We're in the market for a minivan and are considering all vans. We have quite a few acquaintences who own Windstars and are very happy with them. We kinda like its (and Freestar's) exterior styling and strong safety features. However from my online research, my impression is the Windstar/Freestar don't seem to commend much respect. One on-line car site doesn't even bother to list it. Although the Freestar could use a little bit better build quality and 4 mpg jump in fuel economy, overall I think it's a very decent van, particularly considering the 5-star crash test rating and canopy. I just don't get why so many (e.g. Edmunds) love to hate it. I do think though, Ford needs to lower the Freestar's prices dramatically to compete with the imports, or even the upcoming new GM vans. Case in point, an Odessey LX can be had for $22k now.
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    I agree, I rented the Freestar last week for 2 days, and I was almost impressed. I own a 2002 Windstar, so I was impressed what Ford did to improve it. Much quieter and more controlled, and even though you'll still feel bumps sharply, it's not as hard as my Windstar. The ride is very smooth and handling not bad.

    And the interior setup is also much better than Windstar's, though not up to Toyota standards. Everything feels smoothly, and it's kinda nice layout. Although I prefer the Windstars larger controls for many functions, and so are the gauges, much smaller typefaces than Windstar.

    The only real drawback is the rear seat. It's really small, and you can't have adults on them for more than a couple of minutes. But Ford had to do it, in order to offer the folding seat. I don't want to think how bad Ford would be bashed all over for not offering a folding-into-floor seat. While actually the Windstars rear seat was very comfy.

    Then you can think about poor gas mileage, and old-tech engine, but that engine is now much more reliable then ever, and that transmission is super smooth. NVH is also much better than Windstar.

    The stereo is also much improved, especially the bass is much deeper. And the tri-mode climate system is also very good.

    So I also think that the Freestar isn't that bad at all, especially if it will have a better reliability rating than Windstar. But since it's not up to Toyota's or new Nissan's vans, they are rated as trash. It's definitely not true. It's the Ford name that people don't like.

    You can get a Freestar SE for below $22K after all rebates, and I've seen last week at one of the dealers in my area a fully loaded Limited (MSRP at $35,500 something) for $28,400. So I think it's reasonable priced.
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    Thanks for your informative comments. I definitely second your evaluation of the 3rd row seats's lack of space. I'm not real picky with type of engine, be it OHC or OHV, as long as it has good power/torque and fuel economy. I believe OHV engines are overly bashed.

    We got a quote from a local dealer on an SE for $20K after the $5k rebates and X-plan pricing. It's a very good deal which would look irristable if not for the competetion. It'll be hard for us to opt for the Freestar when the Quest and Odessey can be had for not much more. It'll take a killer deal for us to make the plunge. We'll wait till the end of the year after the new GM and Honda vans come out and all hell breaks loose.
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    Suggestion to ford: You can design a seat elevator for the 3rd row, something like a booster seat for larger children, maybe you can design something for adults, too... so they can sit at a higher position, and giving them more leg room.

    Not a bad idea IMO. Maybe it's not safe or what?
  • tjnbtjnb Posts: 26
    I drove a Sienna XLE, that was fairly loaded. It drove to me like a bus. The Ford drove less like a bus. I was actually in the Sienna twice. The second time I was a passenger in an XLE AWD. To me the Sienna drove like a big bus. Acceleration was good, but not that much better than the Ford. THe Quest really handle well, but i did not take it on the highway. I took the Sienna, Town & Country, Mercury Monterey and Freestar on the highway. Acceleration was okay on each for a minivan. Now, since this was a test drive, I didn't try to run a slalom course in these vans, and did not race them either. I did not like the dash board shifter in the Sienna and maybe that threw me off on it.
  • tjnbtjnb Posts: 26
    Rear seat is small, but my kids love it.
  • dthomasdthomas Posts: 8
    i have a pinging sound at exceleration. i have 13000 miles dealer says the gas. i tryed may i think they don't want to fix it
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Usually a pinging engine means you have bad gas. The octane isn't as high as it should be, so your hearing the result of "detonation". Try an Octane Booster gas tank treatment you may buy at your regular Auto Part Discount store, and see if that helps remove it. If it doesn't, then waste the gas you currently have on your tank. Then fill it up with a higher grade gas (Supreme from another gas station) and see if that cures it.

    When your done with that gas tank, then go back to regular. If it doesn't occur again, it was probably bad gas. If it does continue, return and we'll move on to another possibility.
  • guodguod Posts: 10
    Dealer did not look very hard here is one in Dayton Ohio. But yes there are not many around. I would buy one but I need Cruise control.
    Also the Nissan Dealer in Dayton is selling Quests with Side curtain airbags and more options for $21,999 archinventory/vehicledetailsnew.asp?orgid=2283&vin=2FMDA50664- BA30197#
  • tamu2002tamu2002 Posts: 758
    Thanks! Like you said, the Quest is priced comparable (to the basic Freestar S model!) and has side airbags standard. I think unless we can get the Freestar for at least $4k less, we won't buy it. As of right now an S model with the canopy and privacy glass runs just above $20k after rebates. That's not good enough, especally considering our fondness of the Quest's styling.
  • trainboytrainboy Posts: 66
    Hi Sam, glad you tried the Freestar. I really agree with you about the 3rd row seat being small, but we always have a car seat or two back there. Kids live it. We have 21k miles on my Freestar and 8k on the Monterey. No complaints except an occasional motor mount pop and a bit of radio amnesia.

    Parents with kids in carseats, car seats are real easy to install in the Freestar/Monterey back seat. You come in from the back door, tilt the seat back like tailgate position, throw in the car seat. Tip the seat back forward, latch it and run the belt through the carseat and tighten WITH THE REAR SEAT RECLINED. Tighten up the belt, then STRAIGHTEN UP/UN RECLINE THE SEAT BACK. Everything is nice and tight and you didn't crawl over the middle seat.
  • jvp06jvp06 Posts: 12
    The Freestar is pathetic!. No------ power lifgate, split third row seat, 5 speed auto, refined v6, upgraded stereo, moonroof, AWD option, 8 pas option, second row windows that go down, safe window buttons, good fit and finish, new looks, impressive horsepower, good fuel economy, CREAtive name- hahahha--- Must I go on? Its a disgrace to the minivan market!!! Even edminds agress with me. Hell, the 6 model year old ody beat it !-
  • dthomasdthomas Posts: 8
    hi i have try that with gas it doesn't work. the dealer says it the gas we run in az. they tok it off factory setting stopped pinning and then was powere less. i put it back to factory setting and still pining down the road please help
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    I agree, Freestar is far behind the competitors. But, you missed a few things, and trying to compare all good features into one minivan is not fair. Let's see:

    Power liftgate - only Chrysler & Toyota do have them now, and Ford Freestar also supposed to have it, it just delayed to the 2005 model year.

    Split third row seat - also just Chrysler & Toyota. Most other have a single piece bench, or nothing (GM).

    5-Speed auto - neither of the domestic minivans have a 5-speed, and Ford's 4-speed on the Freestar is extremely smooth - While in the early models of the Sienna most customers complained about the transmission. And let's not talk on Honda's 5-speed transmission which had a recall recently.

    Refined V-6 - here you hit the nail, but still, the engine is more refined then ever, and very reliable, and much smoother & quieter than ever. The ride and quietness of the Freestar surpass the Odyssey, though the Ody has much better handling.

    Upgraded stereo - The Freestar has a wonderful stereo, and they manage very well with just 4 speakers. It was even rated very good in Edmunds minivan comparison. I think it's very competitive with almost any other minivan. Especially the Ody have a very poor stereo.

    Moonroof - again, just Chrysler and Sienna have them, and the new Quest beats them all with the moonroof plus sky-view roof.

    AWD option - Chrysler dropped the AWD models because most people would not buy it (I have a '02 Windstar without stability control and never had a problem even in deep snow with regular all-season tires), and today, with traction and stability control and good tires, 95% people would not need AWD.

    8-passenger option - would be a plus, But so far also only Toyota & GM offers it on their minivans, and GM will drop it in 2005.

    Safe window buttons - maybe Toyota is safer, but Fords are illuminated and no Toyota model is. I like the illuminated controls very much. Ford have in the Freestar illuminated controls for power windows, door locks, cruise, and audio. While Toyota has audio only, and Honda nothing.

    Second row windows that go down - is a plus, but people are not crazy about it. I need yet to see the person who chose the Sienna over any competitors because of the second row windows which goes down.

    Good fit and finish - Only Toyota & Honda have them, and Freestar is very competitive with the rest - did you try the Freestar yourself or just reading other posts?

    New looks - I prefer the looks of the Freestar much more over the new looks of the Sienna and Quest, They're both ugly, and the Freestar with the restyled nose is a simple classic minivan, just boring - same as the Ody.

    Impressive horsepower - You're right, Ford is very behind in engines compared to others (although they work now on a brand new with about 250 hp which will compete well), but the Freestar do offer impressive pound-feet of torque - actually best in class.

    Fuel economy is really not that good, but keep in mind that Sienna requires (OK, recommends) premium fuel, while Freestar uses regular, and also have a huge fuel tank (26 gallon vs. most others 20).

    After all, most Freestar customers are very happy, especially after all these huge rebates. Very little complaints so far.

    For 2 years ago, you could bash the Sienna the same way. They had nothing special to offer, besides a smooth engine. No horsepower, no power liftgate, no roll down windows in 2nd row, no seat folding in floor at all, no new looks, no 8-pass. option, poorly designed interior, no room (small model) and bla bla bla... Then they copied all the good stuff from other makes (including many from Ford, like the rearview conversation mirror, stepwell lamps at the sliding doors, and more), and now they are on top.

    Just give Ford a little time and they will catch up (like always, a little late).
  • jvp06jvp06 Posts: 12
    Ok i agree with you on some of your points. By safe window buttons i mean ones that are not "cradle" the ones found in the freestar. these pose as a hazard when a child leans against the buttons and the window chokes them. the sienna as well as all foreign vans have buttons that u pull up to make the window go up and push down for the window to go down.- much safer. Also when u said give ford a chance to catch up- WhAt are they waiting for????? The power lifgate was introduced in 2001 with dodge. the 2nd row windows were introduced in 2000, split third row seat was brought out in the sienna which came out before the freestar. In my opinion the designers for the freestar must have been locked up in a room without any communication or tv for the past 4 years in order to bring out the freestar the way it is. The only "ONLY" inovative feature they came out with was the third row seat- and thats in a billion other vans right now to. I chose the sienna over other vans caus of the lifgate, third seat and YES the second row windows that go down.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Dthomas, did you try using a full tank of premium gas? And that still didn't do it?
  • jvp06jvp06 Posts: 12
    My 99 Windstar had a pinging sound- bad news is that after several times getting it fixed it still hasnt gone away. See SAMNOE my point has been made- the freestar will never be up to the high standards a sienna or ody is--- sorry DTHOMAS your pinging problem will never leave you. Ford just makes crappy engines thats all!!!!
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    I take offense to that... Ford does make great engines, ironically it's I6 from way back when, the Windsor 5.0L are one of the highest rated dependable engines Ford has built and continue to impress today for it's durability. And currently, the Triton engines are receiving similar praise, and will continue to impress 10-20 years from now for their durability.

    The 3.8L (now 3.9L) and cousin 4.2L have had their history, and it's been rectified, although lags behind other offerings.

    And while we blame the engine for the pinging, there's a 5% chance it's the engine itself. As in, it's the components that supply the fuel are to blame, not the actual design of the engine.

    Could be programming of the computer, fuel injection, fuel line, fuel tank. If the pinging continues, CONTINUE to pester them about it. If they say it's fuel, try different fuel stations, brands, etc. If they still can't figure it out, speak to the service manager, the dealership manager. Then you want names to you district representative that works for Ford. Call Ford's Customer service and explain the issue to them and how the dealership hasn't been able to resolve it.

    BTW, keep your gasoline receipts as you will need proof as you go along.

    And do not add (or admit it to them) any additives to the engine or gas, as they might use it as an excuse to void your warranty.
  • jvp06jvp06 Posts: 12
    the funny thing is that it is completely ridiculous that u even have to do all that just to get rid of the pinging. it shoulnt be doin it in the 1st place. Not to mention pretty much all Windstars do it and soon all freestars, so its not like its an uncommon problem. U dont see honda and toyota consumers naggin sales manager- caus they hav no need to - ford sucks PERIOD i dont give what u say. Admit it. Sorry if this is an offense but its true. The only thing they got goin 4 them is safety
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