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Ford Freestyle Maintenance and Repair

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Comments

  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    I just got a third key for my SEL. Purchased on E-bay for $16, then had it cut to match my other key for $2. Programming it takes about 30 seconds. :shades:

    If you have two working keys, you can program up to 6 additional keys. If you lose one of your keys and have only one key, you have to go to the dealer, who will charge around $150 for a new key and re-programming.

    The lesson: get your spare key made now, so that if you lose a key you won't pay big buck$.

    The remotes can be programmed as well, but there is no minimum number requirement, so I didn't buy a spare FOB.
  • dram615dram615 Posts: 4
    As those who have power seating might know, you can program the remotes so that it will automatically send a command to move the driver's seat to your setting anytime you hit the button. In my case my wife's seating is set to 1 and mine to 2. We only use one remote and it is programmed to set to hers (position 1). I would like for the remote not to send a command at all. How do I do that?
  • ghodgesghodges Posts: 15
    When you use the word IF YOU HAVE REALLY, I guess you doubt what I say. I don't really care if you do either way. We travel for different reasons a lot, and stay very happy after 41 years of marriage, so I guess I am able to be happy, out side of being unhappy with Ford.
  • bruneau1bruneau1 Posts: 468
    I feel for all the people having significant problems with their Freestyles. There is nothing more disheartening in the auto world than learning to hate a vehicle you loved. I have done that with some past cars. It is apparent from this forum and from Consumer Reports that there are serious reliability issues with the Freestyle, especially the AWD. Let's hope Ford can correct these and stand behind their vehicles, otherwise they deserve to shrink and die.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "As those who have power seating might know, you can program the remotes so that it will automatically send a command to move the driver's seat to your setting anytime you hit the button. In my case my wife's seating is set to 1 and mine to 2. We only use one remote and it is programmed to set to hers (position 1). I would like for the remote not to send a command at all. How do I do that?"

    Reading the owners manual, it indicates that when re-programming the remotes, the first one is set to driver 1 and the second one is set to driver 2. You might try getting a third remote, programming it, and see what happens. Logically it would be a driver 1, but maybe Ford does not set the vehicle auto-seats with the third remote. The programming would be in the vehicle, not the remote, so it is a possibility.

    I've seen the remotes on E-Bay for about $15.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "As much as a like my Freestyle, at this point i would not recommend it to any of my friends until Ford solves the many reliability issues with this vehicle, especially the AWD. It's a little hard to understand what's going on since the 500-Montego, which use many of the same major components, are doing much better. For new potential buyers, stick to the FWD. And yes, I know that many of us have had great experience with the Freebie, but facts are facts."

    As it happens, I did buy the FWD, but mostly because I wanted better MPG and didn't see the need for AWD in my situation.

    Looking through the forum, I find only about a dozen total posts with AWD problems (out of 450 or so posts), with several posts by the same people - i.e., not separate problems.

    That doesn't seem very significant in terms of raw numbers. Not that this is much consolation if you happen to be one of the people with trouble. It is also possible that CR numbers are skewed - I think they get their poll results from members, which is not a stastically balanced audience. Time will tell if Ford has long term issues with the AWD systems.

    I tend to agree with you on the Ford 500 - only the AWD 500 is CVT, so it should have identical reliability.
  • barnstormer64barnstormer64 Posts: 1,106
    Time will tell if Ford has long term issues with the AWD systems.

    Actually, it's the Haldex AWD system used on Volvo's . . so that's where I'd look for any long-term reliability issues with it.

    only the AWD 500 is CVT, so it should have identical reliability.

    Actually, you could get the CVT without getting AWD. But, getting AWD does ensure you'll get the CVT.
  • passat_2002passat_2002 Posts: 468
    "It is apparent from this forum and from Consumer Reports that there are serious reliability issues with the Freestyle, especially the AWD."

    C'mon bruneau. Nothing of the sort is "apparent" from this forum. The people who post here hardly represent an accurate cross-sampling of Freestyle owners, most of whom (like me) have had no problems and are more than likely delighted with their vehicle.

    As for CR, I canceled my subscription 7 years ago because they always seemed to find fault with just about everything on the planet. I'm sure they still do.
  • styxfsstyxfs Posts: 7
    Thanks!
    Found an uphill grade and slowly backed up the grade and could make it happen. Took it to the Ford dealer and told him how to re-create it. They were able to re-create it and seemed to have fixed it (re-programmed CVT???). Can't make it happen anymore.

    Love this car...
  • styxfsstyxfs Posts: 7
    This summer we are driving our 2005 FS on what will probably be a 3 week 4,000 + mile vacation out west (from PA). No trailer or car top cargo carrier. Just 3 of us and some suit cases. Part of our trip will be along the continental divide in Wyoming, Idaho, and Colorado high mountains areas. I was wondering about the car's performance in high altitude. Gas mileage, engine rpms, ...
    Any of you FS owners in the mountains have any comments or advice?
  • ghodgesghodges Posts: 15
    Yes, Ford does deserve to shrink. As anyone can tell by my postings, I am a very unhappy Freestyle owner, who has got out from under ours because Ford would not fix it or even attend the arbitration meeting held on our behalf by the BBB Auto Line. They sent paper work on recalls of our Freestyle, F150s and F250s, why I don't know. Our six month old main problems had nothing to do with recalls.
    I guess it doesn't make Ford much difference about the Freestyle problems due to the fact that they are not planning on making them after 06' (from what we've read).
  • bruneau1bruneau1 Posts: 468
    When you combine the limited anecdotal evidence from this forum with the CR report, it does not make a good picture. In fact, the detailed report of the AWD Freestyle mirrors comments made in the Freestyle forums. Granted, reliability standards are much higher these days, and I too often have issues with CR, but it gives one reason to think. Mine has performed flawlessly so far, but I did get some incompetent and potentially harmful service from my dealer. In today's market, there is not much room for questionable reliability, especially among the American brands that have a spotted history and are therefore not forgiven easily. Let's hope for the best.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    " I guess it doesn't make Ford much difference about the Freestyle problems due to the fact that they are not planning on making them after 06' (from what we've read)."

    Not true, they are updating the sheet metal in the 2007 model.

    If they would just advertise the darn thing, it would sell well...
  • volfangaryvolfangary Posts: 105
    I'm sorry your's didn't work out for you, but every car or product ever made has a few lemons slip through. I have owned a Nissan and a Chevy that were lemons and only Nissan would do anything about it. Freestyle is a great car as most owners have stated and I'm sorry Ford didn't work with you. I own a FWD 2005 with 11,000 and no peoblems so far. Best car I have owned and I have owned many as I usually trade in one of our three cars every 2 years since 1970.
  • coldcrankercoldcranker Posts: 877
    The false rumors about Freestyles ending after 2007 are still out there. However, it does seem a little strange to have the Edge coming, when it seems pretty close to the Freestyle's class. Anyway, it looks like, with the Edge AND the Freestyle, Ford is the cross-over SUV headquarters. A customer really has a great choice right at the Ford dealer.
  • vicenacvicenac Posts: 229
    Mine does the same, but I think it is not a manufacturing defect. The cladding on the rear door simply extends out of the door much more then in the front. You could blame it on design.
  • mike138mike138 Posts: 4
    Picked up my new Freestyle couple of weeks ago and as I drove out of the dealership accelerating the revs went up to 4000 then down to around 3200, then bounced around between these until I took my foot off the gas. Thought it might have been some kind of fluke, so continued driving home. Happened once again on the highway as I was accelerating. :cry:

    Took it back the next day, they checked, found nothing, gave it a software update, and off I went. Same problem a couple of days later. Could create the problem fairly often - driving steady 50 on highway at 1500 rpm, then accelerate up to 4000 then the revs bounce around even thought my foot is giving the same pressure on the gas pedal. Took it back, then tested it with a flight recorder to give them data as it happened. They said the error code they saw meant it needed a new processor. They put that in.

    Two days later, same problem. :mad: It's back with the dealer, who has said they have never seen this kind of problem, and Ford has nothing on it, but they are trying some more things.

    Anyone experienced anything like this or got any ideas before I end up invoking the lemon law? Of course we got this vehicle so my wife would have something more reliable than her 10 year old Dodge minivan!
  • passat_2002passat_2002 Posts: 468
    Is this happening on level ground, or are you going up a fairly steep incline when it occurs. If you're going up a fairly steep incline, then it's just the CVT doing what it's supposed to do.
  • mike138mike138 Posts: 4
    Level ground. So the result is I can't trust the car when accelerating to overtake another vehicle, or when accelerating to move from a ramp onto the highway. Clearly this is a defect with the vehicle. Any other ideas?
  • passat_2002passat_2002 Posts: 468
    Yes. First off, have you familiarized yourself with how a CVT transmission works? It's not like any automatic you may have driven in the past. It's designed to keep the engine's speed in it's "sweet spot" to deliver the torque that's being called for at any given moment. If you're being just a little bit "lead-footed" with it, you could conceivably see the high RPM's that you're reporting. If that's the case, there are no "defects". It's merely responding to what you are asking it to do. Try driving with a "lighter" foot. It takes a while to get used to a CVT. You will notice, for instance, that the Freestyle will "coast" (foot off the gas) very well in city type driving situations. Thats a feature of it's CVT. Your salesman should have gone over this with you on delivery day. Unfortunately.. few do.

    I think your dealer may be trying keep you happy by trying to fix what isn't broken. Just my 2 cents worth.

    On the other hand... If you are not being "lead-footed" at all.. and you're seeing engine RPM's up around 4000 for no apparent cause (like going up a pretty steep hill) then I would say that a component controlling the CVT is amiss and needs changing out. Good luck and let us know how you do.
  • lumber2lumber2 Posts: 184
    Low Coolant level
  • Well remember this site is designed to catch anyone with a problem. I have a Freestyle that now has 20,500 miles, bought early last year. Has been in for oil changes only. Had one bad tank of gas that put on engine light which went away after switching to no ethanol gas for a few tanks. Car performs flawlessly with excellent AWD especially for MN winters. started every time even at 10 below zero not in a garage and drives with an nimble feel hard to beleive it is as big as it is.

    So keep perspective--I had a van with a nissan engine where the engine was recalled and they replaced the entire engine at 5000 miles--talk about ridiculous. Ford is on the right trajectory with much improved products--no problems would be great I agree, but CR says overall they are the best for the americans and have alot less problems than european cars.
  • bruneau1bruneau1 Posts: 468
    I will just reinforce what the other person said. Even on level ground, the tach may rise if you go into heavy winds, and it will climb even without pushing more on the accelerator when climbing hills. Mine works wonderfully, it's almost like a cruise control. If the tach is all over the place for no reason, or you sense surging for no reason, then something is amiss. My tach ranges from 1600 rpms when cruising around 60 without slops or wind to about 4500 when I accelerate hard. Flooring it will take it to a constant 5800, but it don't do that.
  • I'm approaching the 3000 mile first dealer service, and the only problem I've experienced with my 2006 Freestyle SE (FWD) is that the front windshield defroster can't be turned off. The only way to turn it off is to turn the automatic climate on, and then turn it off.

    This is true whether the defroster is the only thing turned on, or when the automatic climate control is turned on. Once the defroster is turned on, the only way to turn it off is to turn the entire system off.

    This is at worst a minor problem, and is probably easily fixed. So far my Freebie seems to be a fine vehicle.
  • bobnu75bobnu75 Posts: 21
    That's the way mine works also. Would be interested to hear your experience at the dealer whether this is by design or is a problem.
  • tacomaguytacomaguy Eugene, OregonPosts: 41
    "Poking the trip button" only works to reset the oil interval on NON-Electronic readout models. On Electronic models, you have to fiddle with the levers on the lower-right side of the steering wheel. (The trip button is non-functional.)
  • prof100prof100 Posts: 1
    I just took out 2005 Freestyle to the dealer at 21,000 miles for the left CV joint popping, stuck headrests, grinding brakes, and a trans whine. The car was bought in May of 2005 and has been super the whole time. The headrest was stuck the day we bought it, we just never took the time to take it in. At about 18,000, we noticed the brakes were starting to grind a little like they were wore out and there was a slight whine somewhere. Last Friday we noticed a loud popping when you turn all the way left. I have replaced CV joints before and thought that was what it was. We carried in it yesterday and they called and said there was no popping sound and that they had never replaced a CV joint on a Freestyle. I argued with them and then they agreed today and ordered a new shaft. They turned the rotors, which fixed the brakes, but I still have the trans whine. It seems to be when you coast down a hill that it is the loudest. Any other time it is fine. I'll see what they say about it. Overall, I still like it. I am a Ford guy and this is my first brand-new Ford I have ever bought. As long as the trans will hold up, I'm not worried about anything else.

    David Willingham
  • marksermarkser Posts: 16
    We have had our FS for about a month and a half now and really like it. We have a SEL with the six passenger option and also had a center console installed after delivery. Was just curious if anyone else has noticed this problem. If you open the rear hatch and look at the very bottom edge of the door, you can see where the clearcoat is bubbling and chipping away. Not a majoor thing...yet. This also happened on my dad's FS Limited. He took his in and said it took them about an hour or so to fix. Sort of bugs me though as I now wonder if there are any other problem areas like this on the car. This also bothers me because I just picked up my 06 Mustang GT 2 weeks ago and am hoping this is not a problem accross all of Ford.
  • bruneau1bruneau1 Posts: 468
    Is the whine a recent thing- louder? All Ford CVTs whine, this is probably from the intricate chain used in the transmission. If it has become suddenly louder, have it checked out, but don't expect it to be totally silent; some whine is normal.
  • ghodgesghodges Posts: 15
    I'm not sure they are. But by someone saying that they are upgrading the sheet metal tells me why mine had dents every time someone touched it.
    I also noticed that the dealer where I bought my Freestyle at no longer keeps any on his car lot. He use to keep three or four. When I see that, I think of the V 10 and the Excursion, of how my dealer stop keeping them. It is not a good sign for the Freestyle and the same stands for the 500, on what I have noticed.
  • passat_2002passat_2002 Posts: 468
    I "touch" my Freestyle all the time. So far no dents. Go figure.
  • nitromaxnitromax Posts: 641
    Interesting...I'll keep an eye on it. I'm always grabbing the edge when closing the hatch and I guess I could see how this could wear prematurely.

    Perhaps some sort of clear stick-on protector would work?
  • marksermarkser Posts: 16
    Yes, but the car is only 6 weeks old to us.....it is a 2005 model though....It is mostly at the left hand edge of the door skin.....
  • nitromaxnitromax Posts: 641
    I agree. Six weeks old is way too early for any wear and tear to start showing.
  • saabturboidsaabturboid Posts: 178
    Regarding the sheetmetal, yes it is thin. I wish Ford would have spent the few extra dollars per car to have a slightly thicker gauge sheet metal rather than try and pinch pennies everywhere they can. They tend to use the absolutely thinnest sheetmetal they can get away with. This does help with vehicle weight and fuel economy, but does nothing for helping the vehicle stand up against daily door dings, hail, and other oopses. Even though the Freestyle is based on a Volvo chassis, I can guarantee they are not using the same thickness metal as a Volvo.
  • passat_2002passat_2002 Posts: 468
    You misinterpreted my comments. My post was tongue-in-cheek and in response to another post.
  • gnellgnell Posts: 1
    Had the same problem. Car would stutter and stop at start up. Not idle properly during warmup especially in cold but I had the problem in warmer weather. I had it towed a few time to the ford dealership (on their tab) when it wouldn't start right a few times and they finally took me serious.
    After alittle checking ford found an advisory. Why they didn't find this the first few times I complained? They reprogrammed the computer with a new version and no problems. Took an hour in the shop and runs great now.
  • passat_2002passat_2002 Posts: 468
    Do you know the approx. build date of your vehicle? What month and year? It's given on the decal thats inside of the drivers door. Also on the window sticker if you still have it.
  • coldcrankercoldcranker Posts: 877
    Technical Service Bulletins (TSB) are problem reports the manufacturer writes to spread the word about common problems. The problem is, the dealer rarely has time to read through them! A consumer can actually get their hands on the collection of TSB "news" bulletins on their own, and then tell the dealer the number if you find one you think applies. The web has lists of them, and the other day I found a site that made public the contents (not just the titles) of each one. I don't know what the URL was. I'd google words like: TSB ford freestyle
  • coldcrankercoldcranker Posts: 877
    One web address for TSBs is:
    http://www.ford-trucks.com/tsb/tsb.php/m-FORD that someone else posted earlier, although I've seen a better one that told you the contents of the TSB.
  • The front defroster can only be turned off by pushing one of the buttons on the second row of climate control buttons (the individual vent controls), or by turning the whole environmental system off. Pressing the front defroster button a second or more times won't turn it off, unlike the rear defroster which can be turned off that way.

    I learned this during the first, 3000 mile, service of my 2006 Freestyle.
  • :) I ALSO HAVE A 2005 FREESTYLE. I HAVE HAD PROBLEMS WITH THE 2ND ROW SEAT ALSO. I HAVE TAKEN MY FREESTYLE TO THE DEALER SHIP AROUND 5 OR 6 TIMES FOR THIS REASON. THEY HAD TO REPLACE EACH SEAT WITH A NEW CABLE. TIME WILL TELL HOW LONG THE SEATS LAST BEFORE JAMMING UP AGAIN. HOPEFULLY THIS IS A FIX. :cry: I JUST RETURNED WITH THE SERVICE DEPT. FIXING THE SEAT AND THE OWNER ASKED WHAT I WAS DOING THERE AGAIN. I TOLD HIM ABOUT THE PROBLEMS I AM HAVING AND HE SAID THAT HE WOULD CONTACT FORD AND LET THEM KNOW ABOUT THIS SITUATION WITH ME. HE Hasn't HEARD OF ANYONE ELSE WITH THIS PROBLEM. GUESS I'M THE LUCKY ONE!! ANYWAY, HE GAVE ME A CAR WASH AND SWEPT OUT MY CAR WHILE I WAS THERE FOR THE TROUBLE I HAVE BEEN HAVING. ;)
    I ALSO AM HAVING TROUBLE WITH THE STAINS IN MY SEATS. I THOUGHT THEY WERE SCOTCH GUARDED?? THE DEALERSHIP GAVE ME SOME UPHOLSTERY CLEANER :surprise: ....HOPEFULLY THAT WILL WORK...BUT DON'T HAVE MY HOPES UP.
    OTHER THAN WHAT I HAVE MENTIONED, THE FREESTYLE IS A GREAT CAR FOR A BIGGER FAMILY. WE CALL IT OUR CRUCK...BECAUSE IT IS A CAR AND TRUCK :D ....NOT A MINIVAN!!!
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Welcome aboard!

    I suggest turning off your CAPS LOCK. People tend to ignore postings typed in ALL CAPS.

    tidester, host
  • vicenacvicenac Posts: 229
    I thought that's how it is supposed to work. Press the OFF button to turn it OFF or another button to change the function (like AUTO).
  • vicenacvicenac Posts: 229
    I noticed that if I change to neutral while the car is in motion the needle moves up and down between 1000 and 2000 RPM. One cycle takes about one second.
    I can't hear if the engine is really "dancing" or it is just the instrument.
    Is this normal? Or is it a symptom of...?

    Sorry to bring these problems here, but I lost all my trust in Ford dealers. I would not be bothered by this car's little or big problems if I would find a dealer willing to fix them
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    My guess is that the computer is confused, but why would you put it into N when the car is driving down the road?
  • passat_2002passat_2002 Posts: 468
    "I noticed that if I change to neutral while the car is in motion the needle moves up and down between 1000 and 2000 RPM. One cycle takes about one second.
    I can't hear if the engine is really "dancing" or it is just the instrument.
    Is this normal? Or is it a symptom of...?"


    Is this with your foot completely off the gas pedal when switching to neutral?
  • sorry about my caps last post......didn'n mean to be yelling!
  • coldcrankercoldcranker Posts: 877
    "I noticed that if I change to neutral while the car is in motion the needle moves up and down between 1000 and 2000 RPM. One cycle takes about one second."

    Yes. I've done this and it happens. I doubt if its a real problem, but its a little strange.
  • passat_2002passat_2002 Posts: 468
    I'm not sure, but I think he may only be referring to the fact that the Freestyle will match it's engine speed to actual vehicle speed even in neutral. This prevents a sudden (and thus possibly harmful) transition when the CVT is re-engaged while in motion. Instead you have a smooth and basically seamless return to a "geared" drive situation. (Excuse my use of the word "gear", seeing as how the Freestyle has none of those old-fashioned things.)
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