We have an updated look. Click here for information on how to manage your settings. If you run into any issues, please email [email protected]

Ford Freestyle Maintenance and Repair



  • Jalon,

    Thanks for the message. The rear brakes are a huge issue. It is pathetic that it is taking Ford this long to do something about it. I am glad to hear you were warned before making the jump. It is an expensive proposition to replace the rear brakes every 25-30k miles. I know this is significantly more than most people get, but this is half of what I am used to getting on the life of FRONT brakes. Of course, my front brakes are going to last until 100k. Still, it is an expensive proposition.

    I wonder how many other people have decided to bail on Ford due to this issue. Again, its not the fact that it is an issue; it is the fact that Ford has buried their head in the sand when it comes to this issue.

    Sorry this is a rehash of what I have already said. It just gets me riled up.
  • tim156tim156 Posts: 308
    Yes it is a 2005. I searched for the TSB's on line and there is one electrical and three instrument panel TSB's. One refers to the instrument panel reset for vehicles built before 2/14/2005. Mine was built in 2/05 but unknown which day. The final 5 digits of the VIN indicates in what order it came off the assembly line but no clue how to decipher if the numbers indicate a day of manufacture. I'm taking mine to the dealer on Monday for the door latch recall and I'll try to find out a day and ask some questions about the instrument panel hiccup. For those who have not received a recall notice, it's for the doors not latching in cold weather.
  • I'm in California, who should I contact about my rear brakes. I've had one set of back brakes already on my 05 Freestyle. I'm onto 26,000 miles now and no problems with them. But I think the more noise owners make about them the better.
  • I just got a letter today from Ford about Safety Recall 06S45 which is about door latches which may not latch when operated in areas with temperatures significantly below freezing.......

    I'm in California and not one of the 31 states mentioned and all Canadian Provinces.

    Just wanted to share.....
  • Likely a defective instrument cluster. There is a TSB out on this exact problem. Happened to me on my 2005 SEL AWD, took it to dealer and new cluster was ordered and installed in less than 36 hours. Hope this helps. Good luck!
  • carp4carp4 Posts: 1
    Hello, I bought a 2005 freestyle and had the same thing happen several times. The sales person told me that this had been a problem with the freestyle. The service dept. told me that they had never seen this problem. The control panel was replaced and the problem has not happened after the repair was made. Hope this helps.
  • Greetings, my family just purchased a 2007 Freestyle Limited AWD and have loved it. I did however just notice that both my foglights are cracked and the vehicle only has 2300 miles on it. Dropped it off at the dealership this morning to have it looked into and am getting the typical answer, rocks. Hard to believe with only 2300 miles on the car that both would be broken by rocks already??? Was wondering if anyone else has noticed cracked/broken lenses on thier foglights. We live in Alaska and it has been -7 to +20 for the past week and I suspect this may have caused the glass to break. Not sure why Ford decided to go with glass anyway when there are far better "shatter proof" lenses out there.

    Happy Motoring :)
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "I just got a letter today from Ford about Safety Recall 06S45 which is about door latches which may not latch when operated in areas with temperatures significantly below freezing.......

    I'm in California and not one of the 31 states mentioned and all Canadian Provinces."

    I live in Los Angeles and I am getting the recall done for two reasons:

    1. I sometimes go into the mountains in winter, and don't particularly want to risk having a door fly open.

    2. If I resell the car, I want to be able to sell it to anyone, no matter where they live.

    The service person I spoke with gave me static ("CA isn't one of the states being recalled"), and I was bumped up to the supervisor, who promptly said "California has mountains too", and I am scheduled to have the recall done in early December.

    If you read the recall notice is says they are sending it to you in case you drive your FS into cold weather, in which case you need the recall.

    I suggest everyone get the recall done.
  • arcticfreestyl,
    Alaska, very cool. Is Mobil 1 0w-20 popular up there? (It gets my Freestyle through the Colorado winters.) The glass you mentioned is unusual, since glass is heavy as well as brittle.
  • tim156tim156 Posts: 308
    I mentioned the instrument panel when I brought my car in for the door latch recall. They ordered the part and I'm having the instrument cluster replaced next Monday. The tech said it would take three to four hours to change. As far as I could see the extent of the door latch recall is a plastic insert that surrounds the latch mechanism. It took about an hour. Unfortunetly my dealer didn't have an Edge on the show floor. I wanted to check one out.
  • coldcranker,
    Haven't heard of many people using Mobil up here, I use AMSOIL Synthetic and will be changing over to it when the first oil change is due.
    As for the foglight issue, Ford has come back and decided to replace both units after reviewing the claim. We'll see how long these last? Hopefully this will be it for a while.
  • stmssstmss Posts: 206
    Well, I have one fog light out after year 1. I live in Alberta and broken front windshields and fog lights are common due to the road sanding (stoning?) practices. Fog lights next to useless here anyway. Windshields are almost always cracked after the first winter. My Saab had both fog lights taken out in year 1 and at $500 replacement they were still out 4 yrs later when I sold the car. My Volvo and Saab each had one headlight cover taken out but Freestyle okay so far.
  • I have a very hard time seeing the instrument panel on my 2005 Ford Freestyle in daylight. The letters are white and if the sun is overhead or in front then it is a struggle to see the speedometer and other gauges. I have no problem at night when the panel is lighted up. Is there a fix for this? :(
  • Amsoil is good, but Mobil 1 0w-20 flows the fastest cold. I saw some detailed low-temp viscosity charts and was surprised that the "0w-" doesn't mean all oils flow the same cold. For example, Castrol 0w-30 is on the thick side compared to Mobil 1 0w-20, important when cold. The Mobil 1 0w-40 looked about like the Castrol 0w-30 cold. The 0w-20 stuff exceeds the Freestyle's Ford WSS-M2C930-A spec as well as the tough ACEA A1/B1 specs.
  • nat84nat84 Posts: 5
    I live in Alaska and am a mechanic in the Air Force. We don't really have issues with oil and never change from the standard 30W oil in all of our equipment. The oil doesn't seem to be a problem because oil is going to get cold no matter what type and it's just a matter of how long it takes to warm up so that it runs well in the engine. I have to say that the main problem I see with cold weather is batteries. We change out so many batteries it's not even funny. Besides that almost everyone has auto start on their vehicles up here (I unfortunetly do not because I can not get an answer of how it will affect my warranty etc.). On some what of the same note does anyone else that lives in a cold state have trouble starting their freestyle? It starts I just have noticed that it cranks a lot longer before turning over then it did this summer.
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    Ford makes remote starts for use in Ford vehicles...ok they don't actually make them but they are OEM parts from Code Alarm.

    Ask around and find someone that uses the OEM parts. Code Alarm is the best anyway. These are also the only units that install without you having to come up with another programed ignition key.

    OEM parts are covered by warranty from Ford. Ford will only deny warranty coverage if a covered part is damaged by a non-covered nonFord part.

  • steverstever Posts: 52,457
    Are you at EAF in Anchorage or up in Fairbanks (or in the real boonies somewhere?).

    Yikes, a Ford in Alaska - did you go see Cal? :shades:
  • "...cranks a lot longer before turning over .."

    There was a Tech Service Bulletin for the Freestyle on that subject, I seem to remember. Ah yes, I found it:

    Number 06-12-7 JUN 06 -- Give that number to a Ford dealership.
    "Cold-starting problems: The engine may be slow to start (long cranking time) in cold weather, requiring reprogramming the PCM. (2005-06)"
  • My 2005 Freestyle is at Goodyear right now
    for a $270 rear brake job, needs rotors and
    pads. Brakes went right down to metal on rotors
    and started to "Grind". 25,000 miles mostly highway.

    Front brakes are at 50% life left. OK. The only
    thing the tech could figure is maybe parking brake
    was dragging just enough depression to not make
    brake light go on. I will check this out when I
    get the car back. Seems Ford has a REAL problem
    here. There is no TSB I can find to address this.
    I do not even want to think about going to Ford
    dealer for this work, they are so expensive.

    I am more than a little upset. I never had to have a rear brake job on a car until 50,000 miles or so, front always
    go first. I also own a 2004 Ford F-150 and did have Ford
    do a TSB front brake free pads and rotors at 30,000 miles.
    This was AFTER local Ford dealer quoted $350 and did not
    mention the TSB.

    I do recommend all Freesyle owners pull the parking brake
    lever, stick your foot under the pedal and pull toward you
    just to make sure this is not the problem. To save you a
    rear brake job. First warning is grinding metal, then is too late.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    I never park on steep hills, so I've never even used the parking brake since I've had the car. Maybe that's why I have over 40,000 miles and the brakes still look fine.
  • rav4man,

    Ford knows they have an "issue". The Ford regional rep told me that the brake system is programed to put the load on the rear brakes more than the front in order to minimize nose dive. This causes the rear brakes to go out VERY early. Ford refuses to address this "issue". That is what they call it. It is a BIG problem costing Freestyle customers big bucks in repairs.

    $270 is a good price for 2 new rotors and pads, so at least you have that going for ya. I got one rotor (my other rotor was fine) and new pads at the ford dealer for $260 which matched my lowest estimate.

    I swear Ford is trying to kill this car. I hear all the time that they are going to cancel the car. Well, if they keep ignoring their customers that buy this car, then the car will be cancelled due to bad quality and unhappy customers.

    Ford just doesn't care. [sarcasm on] Good thing that Fusion is such a great car because it is flying off the shelves [sarcasm off]. The Fusion is a great car, but it is competing in a class with a number of great cars. The Freestyle is unique. It provide good mpg, hauls up to 7 and doesn't look like a minivan or a wagon and hauls a lot of stuff. And the ride is sweet.

    Ford has a good product; it's a shame that they can't take care of their customers and fix the problem.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    Yeah, the Freestyle was ahead of its time. Now we're starting to see the CX-9, GMC Acadia, Saturn Outlook, Buick Enclave, and some more CUVs with three rows for adults. If only Ford had advertised the Freestyle better or made the styling a little flashier it might have been a big hit.
  • I never use my parking brake and I had to replace my rear brakes and rotors at 28K miles. Cost me close to $400 and no help from Ford. :(
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    Maybe another thing is that right after I bought the Freestyle, I noticed that I was getting a lot more brake dust on the rear brakes, which is strange because usually you'll see more on the front. So I took it in and they said everything was adjusted properly, but maybe the did do something.
  • i've posted that before a few months ago. We took our Freestyle (Limited FWD June 05) to the 15k service a few months ago and they found the brake pads worn and one rotor damaged. Pads and rotor were replaced for free, no discussion, no question asked. We hadn't noticed anything wrong with the brakes so far. That was at MacHaik Ford here in Houston and we are and have been more than happy with their service.

  • So it seems that quite a few people have rear brake problems- including me. NOW how do we get Ford to see there is a problem? Is there a general email or phone number to call to get some action? :confuse:
  • The NHTSA website has a complaint channel. I used it once a few years ago and nothing happened. However, if enough people complain, .....
  • nat84nat84 Posts: 5
    Thank you so much! I definetly do not want to wait any longer it is already reaching -20 sometimes and I'm worried. I did not even know about it you would think that Ford would let all owners know about these things. Hey coldcranker do you know anything about the windows? If I have my window down (drivers) but not all the way and then try to put it up with the auto up it goes down before going going up. Just wondering if you had heard anything about it. I'm getting a little flustered about all the problems with the FS. It's a great car in theory but Ford needs to get on top of these problems. I kind of wish I could sell it now and at least get what I owe so I won't have to deal with any other problems.
  • You are lucky, My 2005 Freestyle is at Frontier Ford (San Jose, CA) and they will charge ~$500 to replace both rear rotors and the pads. Mileage 24,500. Front side 50%.
    The saga started about 8-10 months ago with "dragging" and vibrating rear breaks. The explanation by the dealership was; do not worry the vehicle is safe, Ford is aware of this problem and working on a new rear pad since they identified that the problem is with the rear pad material. The new pads would be available in September.
    Well, September came and gone nothing, October...nothing, in the mean time my rear breaks got worse and worse until today. When I have asked the service "why does Ford not picking up at least the repair cost" the simple answer was you are out of warranty. So what about the cost of the new redesigned pads - if they ever will be available - same answer; you have to pay for it.
    Even if I like the Freestyle and hardly can find any other problems with the car after 15 months of everyday use, my trust is eroding fast. The lack of response and the delaying tactics by Ford are just too much.
  • Greetings:

    I've been reading that several FS owners are having issues with their rear brakes (rotors/pads). I have a 2005 FS Limited AWD (build date 3/05) w/nearly 30K miles and have no problems with braking. The car was inspected by the local Ford dealer in April and all was well. I live in a rather hilly area and drive in a somewhat spirted manner (vehicle dynamics permitting) and the brakes have yet to let me down. The only issue I've had with the car were the tires which I replaced with Goodyear Comfortreads in August. Could it be that when the vehicle was manufactured and/or the driving style is the cause of these worn pad/rotor issues? Regardless, I am very pleased with my FS and always speak highly of the car to those who ask about it.

    Regards -

    M. J. McCloskey
  • tim156tim156 Posts: 308
    Greetings to you M. J.
    I too have been reading all the reports about problems with the rear brakes. I have 16300 on my 2005 SE (build date 2/05) and have had no problems. There was a little dust on the rear wheels when it was new but none since. I rotated my tires last weekend, inspected the pads and there is at least 3/8 to 1/2 inch remaining on the rear pads. On the other hand, my neighbor has a 05 Limited and his rear wheels are filthy with dust. (He doesn't obsess over keeping his clean like I do). I was at my dealer and asked the tech about any rear brake issues and she quickly answered... no! I wondered why she answered me so quickly. There does seem to be a problem out there that Ford needs to address. Although, I too wonder how much is caused by driving habits. I try to anticipate having to stop and use the transmission as much as possible. It helps I'm never in that big a hurry.
  • "..do you know anything about the windows?..."

    Hadn't heard anything about the windows being a problem. For what its worth, my Freestyle has been trouble-free so far, although I'm starting to look at the rear brakes with unusual attention, as others have seen a real problem there.
  • I suppose only Ford knows what percentage of people are having brake problems, and they aren't talking. Mine is trouble free so far at 21,000 miles, 1.3 years. Build date on mine is June, 2005, 2WD model.
  • I've got 35,000+ miles on my '05 SE (FWD), purchased in June of 2005, and I've had no problems with the brakes. The dealer has told me at each tire rotation how much life is left in them, and I'll need new pads by around 40,000 miles, but I can't complain about that. Admittedly, with this many miles in less than 1.5 years (over 23,000 per year), one would assume that many of the miles are highway, and that's true, but still, one uses the brakes a lot in 35,000 miles no matter how you drive.
  • I have about 37,000 miles on my Freestyle and it was built sometime before 11/04 as that was when I bought it. I am pretty sure it was built in October of 2004. 40k on rear brakes is OK with you? I guess I expect a bit more out of my cars. I have never had to replace brakes in any of my cars before 60,000 miles. Is there any reason why brakes should be wearing out faster on new cars? I have always had one small car and one SUV so the size of the car is similar, and the driving habits haven't changed, although we do a little more highway driving than we used to and put more miles on our cars in a years time. This should increase the life of the brakes, not decrease.
  • Your early build Freestyle would have the original brake pad that was used up until mid-February '05. An improved pad was used after that point. People like yourself with the early builds have experienced early rear-brake wear. Ask your dealer if Ford is helping out in replacing these pads.
  • bruneau1bruneau1 Posts: 468
    What size Comfortreads? And how do you like them for ride, noise, steering, etc? Thanks for the input.
  • Greetings Bruneau1:

    I got the same size tires (P225/60R18) that came with the car. I am extremely pleased with the Goodyear Assurance tires - quiet, handle about the same, no difference in steering effort. Nothing negative about them in nearly 4K miles. The treadwear is 700 so they should last much longer than the Pirelli P6 tires. I obtained them through my local Ford dealer and they installed them. Hope this info is of help.

    Regards -

    M.J. McCloskey
  • Anybody tried any tire in 225/65-17 instead of the standard 215/65-17 size? I think those will fit.
  • haulthault Columbus OhioPosts: 130
    I did not wait for metal to metal contact. I purchased "ceramic" pads and had them installed. 1)to end the brake dust problem and 2)to avoid an early expensive brake job. I could not believe how small the rear pads are. They looked like something you would find on a motorcycle or go kart.
  • going to -34 on Wed. and looked under hood at front and sides of engine compartment and can't seem to see block heater plug... know it came with one...
  • I just had mine done at 18,000 kM and the service dept. had a technical bulletin and ordered in replacement kit.
  • found it... didn't look under grille on front, there it was!
  • I had rear brakes and rotors done about 19,000 miles and now after this long holiday weekend of traveling, I hear grinding when applying the brakes.... rear brake grind AGAIN :mad: . I'm at 27000 miles now. Any advice on how to deal with the Ford repair dept?
  • bruneau1bruneau1 Posts: 468
    This what I intend to do. There is very little difference in radius between it and the 225/60/18 on the Limited, so space should not be a problem. Does anyone think the difference between the 215/65/17 and the 225/65/17 might upset the ABS?
  • bruneau1,
    ABS won't care. It only cares about differences in tire rotation speeds, not the speed itself.

    Tire diameters given on www.tirerack.com show similar diameters. I'll do it next time around.
  • Our 06 freestyle has been in the shop for a couple of weeks now with the mysterious "150 yard" startup clunk or clink. It occurs every time now after the car sits for awhile. Usually louder the longer the cooling off period. Coming from somewhere in the front. Does not seem to be dependent on brakes, acceleration, steering, accessories - just resting time. Sometimes louder and can be felt thru the accelerator pedal. Started occurring after the initial oil change/rotation but not improved after the second one.
    Does anyone know of a resolution?
  • So at about 27000 miles and 5 months later I needed a new set of rear brakes (pad and new rotors too). I got these for free. I think there is problem here.
  • You say it happens every time? There is a start up noise that comes from the a/c compressor but only if the compressor is "on", if the hvac is set for defrost, bilevel, or of coarse a/c or max. The noise is a clunk type noise & there is no fix, it's normal & causes no ill effects. The other thing is the ABS goes through a self check & energizes the ABS pump, that noise is more like a motor running but could make a clunk noise too. Let us know what is found.
  • We are looking at a used Freestyle, and notice a very high pitched whine associated with rpms from about 2700 to 3500. Does anyone have any experience with having this condition and can it be fixed (as a condition of the sale..).
    Thanks for any info.
Sign In or Register to comment.