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Ford Freestyle Maintenance and Repair



  • bruneau1bruneau1 Posts: 468
    all freestyles whine a little, but if it very loud and it annoys you, stay clear. I doubt the dealer would fix it.
  • Good grief! Any drivetrain is going to make some noise at such high rpm's. The CVT transmission in the Freestyle is unique enough that this may simply be a case of you hearing sounds that are different than what you are accustomed to hearing with a more ordinary transmission.

    I've owned a Freestyle for over a year and a half, and I don't believe I have ever been over 2300RPM yet. Higher rpm's just don't occur in day to day driving.
  • bruneau1bruneau1 Posts: 468
    Never over 2300 rpms??? You must only drive around the block. My FWD works like a charm and its rpms have a wide range depending on speed and hilly conditions. In climbing a steep hill at 60, the rpms are around 3000, and for rapid passing, I take it to 4000-4500 which is the torque peak and it goes very well, The whine which all Freestyles have comes from the steel chain in the CVT. When anticipating purchase, i drove one with a loud whine. Ours does have a little whine, but is not annoying at all, and i know what it is.
  • nibyaknibyak Posts: 26
    I've only had my Freestyle for 11 Months and around 42,000 miles. But during my everyday commute with the cruise control set between 75 and 80, going through the hills of Northern Virginia, it routinely goes very near 5000 RPMs. When it's at WOT it will go up to about 5800 RPMs. The 3.0 liter Duratech likes to breath and with the torque limited CVT you will see much higher RPMs than with a transmission that can actually handle torque.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    I have the same miles as you and I've driven in many of the same hills of N.Va, and over the mountains to the west, and I too have had the RPMs in the 4000 range on the uphills. It does sound different than a manual or auto transmission, but not really any worse, just different. It does seem sort of loud around 4000rpm, but I'm not in that range enough to have it be a real bother. It's usually 3000 or less for normal driving. At 3000 when I'm merging on the freeway.
  • Thanks for the posts.. I may not have described it accurately. The service manager, who also is an owner, and I drove it, and he describes it as a whistle. It seems to eminate from the middle of the chassis. He acknowledged that it was unusual and it is being researched now, so far with no success. They don't think it is the CVT..
    I also own another Freestyle with over 30k, and have never heard this sound. Any ideas are welcome.
  • Greetings:

    I recently rotated the Goodyear Assurance tires on my 2005 FS AWD (front to back/back to front, crisscross) and I have noticed a vibration ever since. I checked the tire pressure and it is fine. I even swapped the front/rear back to their original sides but the rears are still on the front the the fronts are still on the rear (hope that makes sense). Anyway, I was wondering what might be causing this vibration which occurs at about 55mph and continues up to and sometimes over 65mph. When I got the new tires back in late August, the dealer did a 4-wheel alignment and the car was glass smooth until I did the rotation. Is is necessary to have the tires balanced and an alignment again just because the tires have changed location? I've got about 600 miles on the tires since the rotation and don't want to cause uneven wear since they have only about 6,700 miles on them.

    Thanks for any and all input.

    Regards - M. J. McCloskey
    2005 Freestyle AWD Limited
  • cmunizcmuniz Posts: 604
    It sounds like one or more of the tires needs to be re-balanced. It normally isn't necessary to balance them when you do a rotation, but in your case that's the first step in solving the problem. The good news is that most tire stores provide free lifetime balancing when you buy tires from them.
  • You know, there's a school of thought that says don't bother to rotate your tires. The extra mileage you get over not rotating them is offset by the cost of the rotations over their life.

    By not rotating them, you don't get into messes like this! :)

    Of course, if you've bought tires from a dealer who will rotate them for free, then this argument doesn't work...except for the part about not getting yourself into messes like this. THAT's still valid!
  • That school of thought is OK if you have a 2WD vehicle, but the Freestyle in question is AWD. You must rotate your tires on AWD vehicles to keep the front and rear tires the same circumference.

    Since the Haldex AWD system sends most of the power to the front tires under normal driving conditions the fronts will wear faster than the rears. If you never rotate your tires as time goes on the fronts will spin faster than the rear tires. This discrepancy of speed between the front and the rear will continue to increase as the tires wear and will cause excessive wear on the AWD system and could even cause a very expensive premature AWD system failure.

    So, if you have an AWD Freestyle please rotate your tires for the sake of your AWD system! For the same reason you must also purchase your tires in sets of 4 with an AWD vehicle, and never mix and match different tires on the front and the back.

    BTW, there is a Freestyle Tire discussion if anyone wants to discuss these issues further.

    - Chad
  • bruneau1bruneau1 Posts: 468
    It most likely is a balance problem, but i will tell you that I always rotate front to back only. My experience with any kind of X pattern has been negative, particularly if the rotation occurs after too many miles. My dealer agrees and says they do only front-back because of potential noise and vibration problems. Who knows??
  • Greetings all:

    Thanks to those that have provided their POV regarding my vibration issue. I have since put the tires back in their original postion before the rotation for now with no noticable vibration. I will make arrangements w/the Ford dealership to rotate and balance them in the near future. My intent on rotating them myself was to save the $22.95 the dealer charges (even though I got the tires from them) plus the time to/from the dealership plus waiting around. One would assume that changing the postion of the tires w/only 4K miles on them would not produce vibration. Apparently when installed, each tire was balanced on the car based on position, so moving them around would upset the balance. I invested several hours of my own time only to end up having to get the tires rotated at the dealer. The mileage since the rotation/vibration issue is low, so I feel there was no significant harm done to the tires. I've rotated tires on my other vehicles w/o issue in the past, but since AWD is part of the equation, I will be forced to have the dealership handle this task.

    With a bit over 31K miles I am still quite pleased with my FS and hope to accrue many more trouble (and vibration) free miles.

    Regards -

    M. J. McCloskey
  • pnewbypnewby Posts: 277
    Where is the Freestyle Tire discussion? Couldn't find it in the list of Freestyle forums. It did cause me to find I few I didn't know about though. :)
  • steverstever Posts: 52,457
    It's under "T" for tires in the Freestyle Group (sometimes the discussion list comes up in two pages, so it may have been on page 2 depending on how you landed at the Group page):

    Tires for the Freestyle

    Rumor has it that Costco is doing their Michelin tire coupon beginning in early January btw.
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    I would say $22.50 is high just to rotate, but if they are balancing the tires this is reasonable.

  • karahkarah Posts: 1
    2006 Freestyle LTD/AWD started severely vibrating at 65-75 mph after driving for 2 hours. It was though the pavement was wavy but it wasn't. The steering wheel was fine and felt good. I had the car towed back to the original dealer which was 80 mile. We couldn't continue on our trip not knowing what this was. They called today and are unable to find out what is wrong.

    Thats what they said about the a/c and persistence pays...after three times back and forth they found a pinhole size freon leak which worked once fixed.

    Any ideas?? Or has this happened to you.

    thank you...Kara
  • My '05 FS is making a whining sound after it has been running 30 min or so. It seems to follow the RPMs with a 1-2 second lag. Took it to the dealership while the car was making sound and was told it seems to be transmission related. Made appt. for a few days later and got "cannot reproduce problem". They reset computer, which did nothing. Sounds to me like the bearings in a pump getting ready to go. Anyone else with similar siuation? I heard others with CVT oil pump problems, but did not know symtoms. HELP only 500 miles of warranty left!
  • A CVT has an oil pump? That's news to me.
  • gbow1gbow1 Posts: 2
    Hello, all. This is my first post to Edmunds. I own a 2005 Limited AWD Freestyle that I am absolutely happy with. One problem, though, and I'm wondering if anyone else has had it come up for them. When I go to fill the tank, the pump keeps shutting off after less than a gallon of gas. I try changing the angle of the pump and adjust the flow of the gas going in, but it still stops the pump. It takes over 7 minutes to fill the tank. Any suggestions???
  • yoyo123yoyo123 Posts: 33
    My wife drives our Freestyle and she says (and I quote) "don't stick it in so far".
  • nat84nat84 Posts: 5
    I have had this problem a few times myself. Do you happen to live in a cold state? What I have to do is when I first start pumping I don't squeeze the fuel pump handle all the way and then after it gets going then I can set the pump latch. I think what it is in my case anyway (I live in Alaska) is that the different temp fuels makes the fuel fizzle or foam to much setting the safety switch off on the fuel handle. It was even so cold one day that my digital display thought that after driving about 20 miles I had not used any gas. Anyway, see if that works and please let me know!
  • Has anyone experienced the following or got this message on the info center:

    1/2 - E

    This is the second time I have experienced some wacky behavior with the fuel gauge. Both times while driving on the open highway with about a 1/4 tank or more showing on the gauge it suddenly drops to show completely empty!

    The latest was a week or so ago. I left to visit my daughter with a 1/2 tank and while returning I looked down to see the gauge, which was on 1/4 tank, suddenly drop to completely empty. I tried to memorize the exact wording of the warning and I'm sure of everything except whether it was "gauge" and not "level". (My memory is about as long as my......Hold up, that's a story for a different forum!)

    In any case, I reset the message so I could check how many gallons I had used since the last fillup and it was 10.6 so I knew I had plenty of gas since the tank capacity is 19 gallons. I stopped and filled up when I got home and it took almost 12 gallons but I had driven quite a while to get home and I knew I was "safe" to do so. The info center only reported low fuel level after that and said I had 5 miles left to empty.

    I checked the owner's manual to see if that message is listed and it's not. And, I haven't taken it to the dealer since my guys can't seem to find or duplicate any intermittent condition and certainly not one now that it has gas in it. Too bad it never happens when I can drive directly to the dealer so I can leave the message up on the info center.

    I was just wondering if anyone else has seen this happen or knows of any TSB on the fuel gauge.

  • There have been others who have posted problems related to gages. Your service department should be able to retrieve an error code from the computer for this type of problem. You will need to have it checked soon as these error codes do not stay in memory long. Let us know what you find out.
  • maxdrawmaxdraw Posts: 21
    Yes, there is a TSB out on this problem. I had the same problem and the dealer changed out a part and fixed it.
  • tim156tim156 Posts: 308
    I experienced an instrument cluster problem and yes, there is a TSB for this issue. The ICC module was replaced. I'm guessing it's the Instrument Control Cluster Module. The work was covered under warranty, my dealer kept the car overnight and gave me a free rental. No problems since, and the only problem I've had in 22 months and 16,685 miles.
  • I've starting having a problem whereby I'm hearing a whistling sound inside my car from the heating system. It happens when I put the fan on high and I'm driving. The recirculation is off, so I'm not sure why this is happening. Has anyone had this problem?
  • Try opening the overhead vents in the second row seats.
  • nat84nat84 Posts: 5
    How can I find out what TSB's are out on the FS? Is there a web site I can go to or do I have to take it to the dealer? Also has anyone else noticed the following. I live in Alaska and snow gets packed down between the door handle and the latch. I know there was something out there similar to this but I thought it was just about the rear doors. Every morning when I leave work (I work at night so the car sits outside all night)I have to scrape ice and snow out. It doesn't seem to be affecting the door latching but it makes the door handle stick out some and not sit flat.
  • Thanks barnstormer. I'm at work right now, but i will try this when I get home. I sounds possible as this only started recently and my 2 boys were recently messing with the vents in the second row.
  • tim156tim156 Posts: 308
    Do a Google search for ford technical service bulletins and click on the mycarstats.com site. You'll have to navigate through but you'll find Freestyle. They're all there. You may also find them at blueovalnews.com. Can't help you on the other matter. Thanks to global warming, it hasn't been very cold and we've had very little snow here in Minnesota.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,457
    Edmunds has TSB summaries too but not full text (link). Anchorage sounds crazy with the snow this winter; I don't miss shoveling my roof like I had to up there. :P
  • My 2005 FS FWD has 53k on it. I had the tires replaced at about 40k and I asked them to look at the brakes. No problem with them. Well, I finally heard that sound--you know the one--where you know it's time to get the brakes fixed. I heard that noise coming from the back, my husband said, no, it's definitely coming from the front. Whatever, I took the car in. My front brakes were still good and the back ones needed the pads replaced, that's it. How is that possible? Is anyone else having great wear in your brakes? I don't drive like a little old lady, I haul lotsa stuff around, drive hills, etc. Is there something in the design of the car that would be easier on the brakes? I think about a Volvo I once had--new brakes every 20K, I swear.
  • freestylegal, The rear brakes are often cited on this forum and in Ford Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs) as being a quick-wearing item. That said, your 53k miles for rear brakes is very good, and the fact that you haven't changed your front brakes in that time is very good. My Freestyle has 23k miles with no brake issues yet.
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    Ford is using organic brake pads on some models to cut costs. If you do need to replace your brakes, ask for the price of after market ceramic pads. You will get longer life for not a lot more money. Someone here even posted that it was cheaper than the factory pads.

  • jsr1jsr1 Posts: 5
    Hi all,

    I've been a happy Freestyle (05) user for a year and a half (30 000 km) but the car is at the dealer right now and they can't find the problem.
    It started a few days ago, when turning the ignition key the RPM would rise to about 1000 and then immediately drop down to 2-300 and choke and die. This happens only when the engine is cold (which is about - 5 celcius right now).
    No warning light was on on the dash and so it is harder for them to pinpoint the problem. They did some adjustment on the cam (whatever that is) and changed the oil but nothing improved. They seem a little perplexed...image?
    Thanks in advance for your help!
  • blue05blue05 Posts: 42
    The problem sounds like your Idle Air Control valve is bad ,the part usually located around throttle plate . The IAC gets coated with carbon and causes stalling .
  • jsr1jsr1 Posts: 5
    Thanks for your input blue05.
    I just got the car back and didn't need to suggest the IAC.
    I guess there was a TBS for this problem which simply required reprograming (re-booting?) the computer to fix the problem.
    Sounds kinda funny doesn't it? Like a regular computer that suddenly doesn't respond so you do a restart.
  • jsr1,
    Not a "re-boot". They actually gave you an updated version of the software for the engine computer. The new software may be able to command a compensation for the malfunction.
  • Just for a little info, there is no IAC anymore. With electronic throttle, no cable, the PCM now controls all the idle speeds. There is mapping in the PCM for cold start idle, a/c load, p/s load etc. And yes there is a reprogram for start and stall cold, I've done quite a few lately since the temp. dropped -15f last week.
  • 1. The headlights... we live out in the country so need decent lights when driving home at night. But the lowbeams only seem to illuminate out to 50 feet at most; the highbeams only go to about 80 feet. That isn't much when you're driving on curvy and hilly roads at 55mph in pitch darkness. Has anyone else noticed that, or do you think mine are incorrectly aimed (hard to believe they would be on a brand new vehicle). Is it difficult to readjust the aim to improve this situation?
  • I also live in the country and agree on the low output but don't think it is an alignment problem as mine is the same. I have read that the after market bulbs like sylvania silver stars are much brighter. I also read that you have to be careful that you get the right after market bulbs so they don't run to hot. So I haven't changed and not sure I will.
  • kpevavkpevav Posts: 41
    I have the opposite problem: the passenger air bag light goes on and off when someone who is about 68 pounds is sitting in the front seat. The air bag is supposed to be deactivated (that is, the light is supposed to be on saying the air bag is off) until about 80 lbs.

    A local dealer said they checked it out, performed a passenger seat zero procedure, and said that everything checks out normal. When the same thing kept happening, and I followed up to ask why, the service manager said the sensor is not very exact, its just a general setting and can be 10% or more off.

    Couldn't they replace the sensor or otherwise correct this problem? Should I go to another dealer?
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757

  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    Service adjustments are covered for 12 months/12,000 miles.

  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    I had to pay $235 to get several modules calibrated. The problem was that it wouldn't start (just kept turning over, but wouldn't start), so I had to get it towed to the dealer. I have 43K miles and the Extra Care Ford ESP to 100K miles/5 years, but it didn't cover these module calibrations according to the dealer.

    My Freestyle is only 2 years old and this is my first problem, but I'm frustrated that the ESP wouldn't cover any part of the repairs, even though they were severe enough that I needed to be towed to the dealer. At least the tow was free.

    Any comments? Was I cheated?
  • The cost to recalibrate the PCM and the TCM should not be more than one hour of labor. So even if the labor rate is $120 then the bill would be $120. Also if the car is in the US you might want to check if recal is covered for the 8 years 80k miles that the PCM has on it. ESP does not cover recals. I have done these repairs both as customer repair and as 8-80 warrantee. I don't know what criteria is followed to determine who pays, possibly going back to the selling dealer? Also TSBs are not extended warrantees, they are there just to help the tech with common problems and their fixes.
  • rick2456rick2456 Posts: 320
    I also have the extended warranty coverage. Sounds like it isn't worth the paper it is printed on. As for the towing, most insurance plans cover that. No wonder Ford is being known more and more as customer no service.

    I would however make them show you the exclusion in the extended warranty that negates them paying for the repair. If it is not specifically mentioned, I would raise hell. Good luck.
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    You shouldn't have to pay for a tow.

  • 5-60 roadside is for '06 and up.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    Thanks for the advice. I asked about the 8yr/80K miles warranty for the PCM and at first, they said it would only cover the repair if it caused an emission problem, but then the service manager called ford and they told them that it also covered the calibration even though there wasn't any emsissions problems (the original problem was that the car wouldn't start). I'm now waiting for the dealer to submit the warranty bill to Ford and once paid, they'll reimburse me.
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