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Ford Freestyle Maintenance and Repair



  • This is an interesting post because my wife told me a few days ago that she saw our Freestyle's headlights blinking on and off by themselves. I, of course, have never seen this (and we haven't had a dead battery issue) so I took that with a grain of salt. Actually, I thought she may have been seeing things. Now it's another electrial issue to keep my eye on. Yes, there are other electrical issues I have seen with our vehicle.

    Beeps from the info center for no apparent reason, failure of the cruise control to engage until the engine was turned off and restarted, and a radio that stopped putting out sound while playing a CD the other day. Just little stuff. I'm waiting for a big electrical crash one of these days. Oh, of course, the local Ford dealer can't find anything wrong......ever!
  • enricoenrico Posts: 3
    Actually,we had the same experience with the car not starting. The night after my daugther said she saw the light flickering, the car wouldn't start in the morning. The battery wasn't run down, just seemed like it wasn't getting fuel. I remembered that I had the Fuel strap recall done by the Dealer just the week before and wondered if I had shut the rear hatch too hard and the system thought the car had been hit and shut down the fuel flow so I pressed the fuel restart button that is up under the dash on the passenger side and the car started and hasn't had a problem since. I have witnessed the headlight flicker myself since then but have had no trouble with the car starting. We got the same story from the Dealer, they haven't heard of problem and would need to see it happen to be able to do anything about it. I keep you posted...
  • I had my radio quit playing once, too. Weird.

    Must be that CAN-Bus. LOL
  • pnewbypnewby Posts: 277
    Hve the dealer look at the following- :confuse:

    Publication Date: February 23, 2005

    FORD: 2005 Five Hundred, Freestyle
    MERCURY: 2005 Montego

    Some 2005 Freestyle, Five Hundred and Montego vehicles built before 2/21/2005 may exhibit the headlamps flickering intermittently, with no key in the ignition.

    Reprogram the smart junction box (SJB) to the latest calibration using WDS B36.0 or higher. Calibration files may also be obtained at The procedure to reprogram the SJB is virtually the same as reprogramming a powertrain control module (PCM), except when selecting the module to be programmed, select the SJB (WDS may refer to it as the GEM).

    Eligible Under Provisions Of New Vehicle Limited Warranty Coverage

    050501A 2005 Freestyle, Five Hundred, Montego: Check For Diagnostic Trouble Codes And Reprogram The Smart Junction Box (SJB) (Do Not Use With 12650D, 12650D84, 12651D, 12651D4) 0.4 Hr.

    14C184 04


    NOTE: The information in Technical Service Bulletins is intended for use by trained, professional technicians with the knowledge, tools, and equipment to do the job properly and safely. It informs these technicians of conditions that may occur on some vehicles, or provides information that could assist in proper vehicle service. The procedures should not be performed by "do-it-yourselfers". Do not assume that a condition described affects your car or truck. Contact a Ford, Lincoln, or Mercury dealership to determine whether the Bulletin applies to your vehicle. Warranty Policy and Extended Service Plan documentation determine Warranty and/or Extended Service Plan coverage unless stated otherwise in the TSB article. The information in this Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) was current at the time of printing. Ford Motor Company reserves the right to supercede this information with updates. The most recent information is available through Ford Motor Company's on-line technical resources.
  • Strange . . you'd *think* that the dealer would at least check the TSBs.

    I wonder what ELSE that Smart Junction Box controls?

    When I finally get around to getting my radio replaced on my Freestyle, I'll have them do that reprogramming . . . . just in case. Shouldn't hurt to have it done, I'd imagine.

    You'd think that ALL of the models before a certain time period would need this reprogramming . . and perhaps people simply haven't noticed the flickering of the lights.
  • nitromaxnitromax Posts: 641
    I'm wondering if it's wise to have Ford service technicians working on a "Smart Box".....I'd hate to have any "smart" rubbing off on the technicians.
    Or even worse...the other way around!

  • Thanks for the info.
  • enricoenrico Posts: 3
    Thanks, I spoke to the dealer again today before I saw your post and they still didn't know anything about this...
  • We haven't been able to close the doors on our 05 SEL on some cold (20 degree) mornings. The doors (both front and rear) just bounce back open, even when slammed. I think the door design may be allowing water to get onto the door latch mechanisms during a heavy rain, and then if it freezes overnight, the doors can be opened but not shut again until warmed up.

    This problem showed up recently this winter (three times so far) after rain followed by frost. I think this is a serious problem in our climate (CT). I have never experienced it in another car.

    Has anyone else seen this? Thanks...
  • nitromaxnitromax Posts: 641
    This same thing happened to me this past weekend. Rainstorm changing to snow and then single digit temps the next day. The Freestyles door just bounced back open like there was an obstruction. (seatbelt, ice) closed fine though if I held onto the door when closing.

    I don't mind at all though.....My Acura I couldn't even get into until I poured boiling salty water into the door jams. And even now the automatic door locks will not function. Nasty storm!
  • We have a 05 freestyle limited we got in june and have been very happy up until now. About 5 times now on cold mornings, the car would not start. It acted like cars used to when they were flooded, so I held the gas pedal to the floor and it finally started. It smoked just like it was flooded. Dealer says he has had 5 complaints about this but Ford does not have a fix yet. Luckily we have had a mild winter so problem has not been severe. I don't like having to start a cold vehicle at full throttle. Dealer says it could also happen during the day if the vehicle gets cold enough.
  • Sounds like water in your fuel. Try buying gas elsewhere.
  • Thanks so much for the info.....I'm really starting to get ticked with the Dealer. This will be the 2nd time that we're telling them how to fix something, the first being the 6 disk changer.

    Are we the only ones privy to the TSB's. Are the Ford tech's banned from accessing this info???? Jeeeez!!!!
  • nitromaxnitromax Posts: 641
    bigred13, didn't you say that you lived in the Wilmington area of Massachusetts?

    Just curious which Ford dealer you have been going to.

  • dweihedweihe Posts: 1
    where did you hook up the rca plugs for the use of the AUX? Did you have to remove the stereo from the dash board?
  • gnedgned Posts: 2
    The radio (6 CD) in our 05 SEL freebie has been replaced. The replaced radio's controls do not light up at night. The clock and status display does not dim w/ the dash light control and is too bright and is distracting at night. The sad part is I cannot remember if the original radio had the same condition or not, but I do not remember the display being too bright. Has any one had similar condition?
  • pnewbypnewby Posts: 277
    Most of us that had a replacement have had this. There is a TSB for replacing the radio that gives express instructions on programmng the radio to prevent this. I'm sure that you now have no speed volume either. If you can't find the TSB, I'll try to locate a copy for you later.
  • pnewbypnewby Posts: 277
    Most of us that had a replacement have had this. There is a TSB for replacing the radio that gives express instructions on programmng the radio to prevent this. I'm sure that you now have no speed volume either. If you can't find the TSB, I'll try to locate a copy for you later.
  • My Freestyle just got towed in because the gear shift wouldn't shift. Started sticking on Monday. Today, stuck in drive. Turned it off, but couldn't move the vehicle and couldn't move the gear shift.

    Anyone have this problem? Has Ford reported this problem?
    Thanks for your response
  • We purchased our Freebie and have been dealing with Bonnell Ford in Winchester because we had horrible experiences with 128 Ford/Isuzu (Wakefield) with our 01 Rodeo. We also passed on Stoneham Ford because they were affiliated with 128.

    We also spoke with people that have used Bonnell in the past and have consistently received good reviews.

    With that said, I asked one of the service writers today why it is that we have to tell them about TSB's and asked him why they can't look them up themselves. His answer was that "there were too many to keep up with". Great! That gives me loads of confidence in having bought a Ford product!
  • This happened to me but it was related to a bad tank of gas--after switching to no ethanol gas for 2 tanks and then going back to regular never happened again--might give it a try
  • blue05blue05 Posts: 42
    I haven't had any problems with my Freestyle ,but it happen to my Escape a while back . It was not a trans problem but a switch called a inter-lock it works when you press on the brake pedal you can shift out of park . So it may be a failed switch .
  • cmunizcmuniz Posts: 604
    To my knowledge this is the first report of a stuck gearshift.
  • cmunizcmuniz Posts: 604
    The TSB# is 05-10-19. They forgot to do the "programmable module installation (PMI) in order to upload the neccesary information into the new radio. It only takes a few minutes to do it if you take it back to the dealer and they will be embarrased that their customers are smarter than their service personnel.
  • blue05blue05 Posts: 42
    I just want to tell you to open your owner's guide to page 197 it explains what to do .
  • gnedgned Posts: 2
    Thank you, I really appreciate the help and offer. I called the dealer after I read you post and they could not find the TSB. Thanks again.
  • cmunizcmuniz Posts: 604
    Go to post# 3705 dated Jul 6, 05 in the "Ford Freestyle" forum and print out the TSB text. I had to take a copy to the dealer and highlight the sentence for them and they apologized and fixed it in a few minutes.
  • I had the same problem dealer loaned me another Freestyle to drive they replaced the shift lever assembly They said it was the first problem they seen. Mine is an 05.
    Great vehicle no other problems since.
  • We have had dramatic changes in temp in Pennsylvania this January. I noticed on occassion the rear passenger door wouldn't open after coming to a stop-placed in park. I manually hit the unlock to let the passenger out, except that didn't work. I had to go outside to let them out. thought it was child-safety related, but it wasn't. Then one morning it wouldn't go closed, just as you described. But I can't blame the kids for this! Dealer has order the new door locks on Jan16, but no call back. Hmmmm . . . a computer virus that hit us at the same time??? Very odd, but this thread makes me want to do more research.
    Otherwise, we have enjoyed our SEL AWD in the snow and the sun!
  • vicenacvicenac Posts: 229
    Unfortunately, the Freestyle has only one big hot air feed for the rear seats. It's behind the 2nd raw on the left side. No right side! I gues it is intended to heat the vehicle as a hole.
    Now, you could make your own choises on where the air is comming from in the front. By default, in Auto mode the hot air is comming at your feet. You can change that. I would direct it through the central vents in the dash.
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