Ford Freestyle Maintenance and Repair



  • volfangaryvolfangary Member Posts: 105
    "except for an electrical relay that had to be replaced at 6K or so, and that didn't kill the car, just caused the turn signals to blink faster"

    Just curious if you remember where the relay was located and which relay it was? My Freestyle has had "fast turn signals" 3 times and bulbs are fine. Dealer cannot find any error codes showing what is causing it.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAMember Posts: 4,098
    "Just curious if you remember where the relay was located and which relay it was? My Freestyle has had "fast turn signals" 3 times and bulbs are fine. Dealer cannot find any error codes showing what is causing it."

    As I recall it was under the dash right below the steering column, based on what they told me.
  • jogumojogumo Member Posts: 8
    How about my cousin who is in Service Engineering Operations at Ford in Dearborn, Michigan? J.D. Power's is talking about Ford in general, NOT the Freestyle. I'll enjoy my Seqoia as I drive by you stuck on the side of the road in your Freesytle.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAMember Posts: 4,098
    "I'll enjoy my Seqoia as I drive by you stuck on the side of the road in your Freesytle."

    Can't speak for others, but my FS has never left me stranded... or even threatened.
  • passat_2002passat_2002 Member Posts: 468
    "I'll enjoy my Seqoia as I drive by you stuck on the side of the road in your Freesytle."

    Oh yeah.. that's a good one jogumo. Can't quite follow your logic here though. You see, I've owned my Freestyle for 30 months and 41,000 miles. Except for a little too much brake dust on the rear wheels, it's been flawless. The best vehicle I've owned.. and I've owned quite a few.

    But tell us.. are you going to buy a gas station at the same time you buy that Sequoia?
  • nibyaknibyak Member Posts: 26
    Let me begin by saying that I love the Freestyle, but My 06 was in the shop for about 9 weeks this year for CVT work. I wish that they had replaced it. Most of the time the car was in the shop it was waiting for parts or waiting for a tech to look at it. It does seem that they have identified the issues with the CVT and now when the dealerships call the Ford hotline they can tell them what to look for. Take a look at the parts list in TSB 06-11-4 CONTINUOUSLY VARIABLE TRANSAXLE (CVT) NOISE DIAGNOSIS. The main issues are with the input shaft and input shaft bearings. This works out to be about a $2,500.00 repair job. All of my CVT work was covered under my extended warranty. My car has about 75,000 miles on now and was about 67,000 in June when I first started having issues. I still think it’s a great car but the CVT was the main reason that I got the extended warranty. My service manager always covered the $100.00 deductible mostly because the car was in the shop for so many weeks at a time. Ford also told us that if the CVT fails again that we were to call Ford directly and not to call the dealership. I also got to test-drive a whole bunch of Ford products as loaners; I had a Mustang, a Taurus, an Escape, and a Fusion. I've had my car for over three weeks since the last repair and it's driving like new so I hope that it's fixed this time.
  • jogumojogumo Member Posts: 8
    Hey Passat 2002, it's nothing personal against you. I'm glad you haven't had issues with your Freestyle. You're lucky. If you read my first entry it starts, "We really liked our 2005 Freestyle..." Unfortunately, I am one of the many that have had major problems with my Freestyle.

    As far as the gas goes, I owned an Expedition before the Freestyle so I'm used to the gas stops. I hope brake dust is the worst issue you ever have.
  • freealfasfreealfas Member Posts: 652
    It's the "many" people having major problems you imply with no quantitative proof that most of us find unfounded. A few poster's on the internet having same/similar problems as you hardly proves the FS/500/CVT to be problematic considering 100+ thousand have been on the road with very happy owner's. It seems while you are part of the statistical average of problems for these cars and that is unpleasant for you and your family, by no means does that mean "many" in relative terms of those sold rather that would imply the "FEW" who have had major problems.
  • jjlrn1jjlrn1 Member Posts: 5
    Thanks nibyak,

    My dealer got a CVT "specialist" to look at it. They found some error codes in the computer and they think they know what it is, but they wanted the light to come on again to be sure. We have been driving it around for a while no problem, but it finally did it again. So it goes back into the shop on Monday. Is yours resolved yet? If so what did they finally decided was the issue?
  • saabturboidsaabturboid Member Posts: 178
    nibyak wrote:

    "Take a look at the parts list in TSB 06-11-4 CONTINUOUSLY VARIABLE TRANSAXLE (CVT) NOISE DIAGNOSIS. The main issues are with the input shaft and input shaft bearings. This works out to be about a $2,500.00 repair job."


    What were the symptoms of the problem? I've noticed the CVT of our '05 Freestyle with 45k miles on it has started to whine. It is definitely the CVT as the tone changes in tandem with the RPMs. Since my Freebie is now out of warranty it would be a great hardship if the CVT needed a $2,500 repair. We still owe $14,000 on the car. Other than this concern we have been more than happy with the vehicle and hope for it to last for many years to come.

    - Chad
  • nibyaknibyak Member Posts: 26
    My symptoms did not include noise, at least not any that I heard. My problems were the wrench light and the traction control light coming on. This happened with cruise control on at highway speed when starting up a hill. This was accompanied by a pronounced downshift just like a regular transmission. The lights never came on when I wasn't using the cruise control. The traction control light blinked a few times and then went off. The wrench light stayed lit. The pronounced downshift happened with or without the cruise control. Since the repair, all is back to normal. Also, you can see the TSBs on the site. They may have just changed the name to Check in the forums under the TSB section. The TSB describes when the noise happens. My service manager told me that Ford told him specifically to check the integrity of the Input Shaft o-ring. My o-ring was toast, but I don't believe that this issue is bad o-rings but bad input shafts and bearings.
  • love2cruzlove2cruz Member Posts: 4
    We bought our Freestyle in late June. We noticed right away that it would have a strong gas smell when parked but thought maybe it was because we had just purchased gas. Right after we bought it we took it on a 3000 mile round trip and was getting about 20 mpg. Thought since it was new the mpg would get better. The gas smell got worse along with mpg. Took it in to the dealer in early August and told them we had been getting 17 mpg and that the gas smell was getting stronger. Strong enough that we are worried that if a cigarette came close it would ignite. Afraid to even start it for fear it will catch fire. Dealer said that looked over all the gas lines and found no leak. They said they couldnt smell anything. Last fill up we got 16 and most of the miles had been all highway. Gas smell is so strong when we pull into the garage that we have tp leave the door open for a few hours to air out the garage. On Saturday we backed out of the garage and the kids and I got in. Husband opended passenger door to get in the the gas smell was so strong we had to roll down all the windows to air out the cabin. Has ANYONE else had this problem? I'm ready to trade it in. We LOVE the car but are afraid to even drive it. Any suggestions on what else to have the dealer check? Even other family members can smell the strong gas smell when we visit them. Help PLEASE.
  • passat_2002passat_2002 Member Posts: 468
    There should never be a "gas smell" at any time, even after just filling up. Modern day fuel systems are sealed units that must meet EPA standards on evaporative emissions. The only thing that you can check is that you are seating the gas cap correctly after a fill-up. If you are, and the smell is still there, my advice is that you do not return to the dealer that said there was no leak. Take it to another dealer instead. Something is obviously wrong.

    In many cases, fuel leaks are not the fault of the manufacturer. Fuel lines, as well as the fuel tank itself, are on the underside of the vehicle and are therefore subject to being hit by road debris. It happened to me with my Freestyle a year ago. (Fuel tank rupture)
  • stmssstmss Member Posts: 206
    I have never had that problem on my 06 and never heard of it in any of the posts - something is up. Stay on the dealer till they fix this.

    If it is strong enough to have to air every thing out and you are concerned of a fire, please park it outside until it is fixed. If there is a leak you don't want that in your garage.
  • sweetbee_mnsweetbee_mn Member Posts: 1
    I have a 05 freestyle and bought it 1 year ago since then it has been in 15 times. 4 of them regarding the gas tank. Mine did have the gas smell as well.... they kept telling me "we didn't smell anything." After the 3rd time they took a close look and found out that my gas line had a crack in it. I was driving it everyday with my kids in the car! How safe is that! Be persistant!
  • danallandanallan Member Posts: 32
    I know this has been beaten to death here, but I has 26k on my 2007 SEL Freestyle, went to a Lincoln dealer (as suggested over a Ford dealer on this forum) to see if they would fix the brakes. They were well aware of the problem. Booked me for the next morning. A couple of hours later, I drove away safe and sound. No bill, no worries. I will get them re-checked around 35k to see if the problem has re-surfaced.

    This forum helped me prepare for any argument with dealer, but it wasn't necessary. I am very pleased with Ford. This is the first Ford I have ever owned (I'm 48) and it won't be my last thanks to this wonderful vehicle and some pretty good service. (I'm so used to getting bad service, no matter who the dealer/manufacturer is....)
  • freealfasfreealfas Member Posts: 652
    glad I could help with the Lincoln dealer idea and it worked out, I'll be getting to mine before the end of the month.
  • scakatscakat Member Posts: 2
    Hi Karen,
    I have a 2006 Ford Freestyle with 22K miles. It has been trouble free until this morning. I put it in the garage last night, and this morning it would turn over, but not fire. The only unusual thing I can think of is that before I started it last night to put it in the garage, I used the key to open it manually (habit from my older car), and it set the alarm off. I pushed the keyless entry pad to shut off the alarm, it started normally, and I moved it into the garage and shut it off. Any ideas?
  • danallandanallan Member Posts: 32
    I'd tell the dealer to jump in when you can smell the gas, and they can't, and feel free to light up a cigarette. If they are so sure that there is no gas smell, then they'll light up and you'll get a new car for sure!
  • jjlrn1jjlrn1 Member Posts: 5
    I have been having the same problems as you. I am up to the 7th or 8th visit to the dealer. They have been replacing transmission parts, but have finally decided to replace the whole CVT. I hope that works, I hope to get the car with new CVT back tomorrow. Like you, the dealer has had the car for a long time waiting for parts and even longer waiting for the new CVT. The first thing they replaced was an ABS module. It didn't work and it cost me about $600 because it isn't part of the drive train so it isn't covered under the extended warranty. I'm still waiting for my money back on that. If they don't produce a check soon, I'll produce a lawyer!
  • janetzjanetz Member Posts: 4
    I too (actually husband was driving) had problems with the transmission. We were driving on the freeway, husband had on the cruise control, the car seemed to make a hard shift, then the wrench light and traction control light came on. We lost all movement with the vehicle- had to get it towed to the dealership- on Christmas Eve. Took the dealer a while to diagnose. They stated that the shaft to the transmission sheared. I got my car back on Jan 14th. Took it back in Jan 17th because it was leaking transmission fluid. They stated one of the new axle seals was faulty. Got my car back on the 18th. Drove it today, got home noticed new spots on my driveway- hope it was from the company we had, I moved my car so I can be sure. I did luck out though, car was 200 miles from the warranty expiring when the transmission broke.
  • hypnosis44hypnosis44 Member Posts: 483
    Hi Janetz and Husband

    What year is your Freestyle? Did you but it new? Was it the regular warranty or the extended warranty that was about to expire?

  • pdbhawkpdbhawk Member Posts: 1
    My wife went out last night to start the 05 Freestyle and immediately came back in saying the car was acting crazy. There was no key in the ignition, but the lights and switches in the dashboard were all flickering and there was a loud ticking noise. The headlights and dome lights flickered for a while. The CD player sounds like it is moving from disc to disc. It all dies down after a while, but if you put the key in and try to start the engine the entire electric symphony starts again. I have seen others talking about similar problems on this forum, but haven't heard of any solutions yet. Does the instrument cluster need to be replaced, or is this a simple battery issue? We had snow and ice last night, so there is a tow ban. I'm stuck here today with a possessed car. Any one have ideas?
  • passat_2002passat_2002 Member Posts: 468
    I believe there are several tsb's on the 2005 Freebie Instrument panel. See your dealer.
  • jmpowiejmpowie Member Posts: 1
    My wife bought a 2005 awd Ford freestyle with 36k. On the highway driving at a steady speed from 55-65 the engine surges like 500 rpms it makes me feel car sick. It will do it for as long as you dont speed up or let off the gas. The car has been doing it for the 3 months she has owned it. We have brought it back to the dealer 3 times and they could make it do it and said there is a problem but could not find what the problem is because there is no code. They took it to a diffent dealership and they could not fix it so now they are saying its maybe bad gas or something. does anyone have any ideas? :confuse:
  • mike138mike138 Member Posts: 4
    See all my messages about what might be a similar problem. I had the dealer upgrade the software, but in the end, the problem was that the mechatronic unit in the CVT trransmission needed to be replaced. Message #579 has my final post, message #468 was the first message that explains what the symptoms were.

    We have had no problem with the car since this issue was finally fixed.
  • mmendickmmendick Member Posts: 4
    Saw some earlier posts on tires. My Pirelli P6's are shot after 35K and I'm looking to replace them with another tire. Looking at Tire Rack they seem to recommend
    Avon Tech M550 A/S, Firestone Firehawk GT, and Yokohama AVID H4S.

    Does anyone have experience with any of the above on their Freestyle? I thought I saw someone on an earlier post say they purchase Goodyear Comfort Treads but they don't seem to come in 225/60-18.
  • jogumojogumo Member Posts: 8
    Not sure where you live but Discount Tire (also called America's Tire) has the Yokohama YK520. They have a 60K mile warranty, HR speed rating, and the UTQG is 520AA. They cost a little more than the P6 but less than the other options. I've had them on for 10K miles. Smooth ride, no noise, and did great in the snow.
  • saabturboidsaabturboid Member Posts: 178
    "My wife bought a 2005 awd Ford freestyle with 36k. On the highway driving at a steady speed from 55-65 the engine surges like 500 rpms it makes me feel car sick. It will do it for as long as you dont speed up or let off the gas."

    It is a bit difficult to tell what exactly is happening from your description but it may just be normal behavior for a CVT equipped vehicle. On a regular automatic transmission the car will speed up and slow down with engine speed because the gear is fixed to the engine speed/gear. With a CVT equipped vehicle like the Freestyle the engine is free to increase or decrease RPMs as necessary independent from the speed of the car. This shouldn't make you feel car sick as the car itself isn't speeding up or slowing down.

    For example, if you are cruising at 60mph and the car is running at 1,800 RPM, then you hit a slight incline or increased head wind you may see the tach move up to 2,500 RPM (or more) even though the car isn't going any faster. Likewise the engine may decrease 500 RPM if you encounter a slight decline or tail wind. You may just need to get used to the operation of the CVT. If I am totally missing what you are trying to describe please describe in more detail.

    - Chad
  • mmendickmmendick Member Posts: 4
    Thanks. Forgot to mention I live in Upstate NY and drive often to VT. The Freestyle is our ski mobile and while I wouldn't drive in a heavy snowstorm I was looking for a tire that lasted longer and did better in light snow than the P6's. I take a look at the Yokahoma's and will probably buy them from Tirerack.
  • stmssstmss Member Posts: 206
    I replaced the P6 with the Goodyear. This on my Limited (18" tire). The selection in Canada for 18" is not great. I was looking for a Michelin option but none available. If you are considering Goodyear, I can get some more info on what was installed.

    I find Goodyear is better than the P6 in snow but like most all season tires, only when the temperatures are moderate. Neither tire performed well at lower temperatures or on icy roads. Whenever it looks like road conditions are bad or whenever I go to the mountains in winter, we take our 99Volvo as it has proper winter tires. The Freestyle is a lease and being returned soon so I don't want the expense of winter tires for it - if I was keeping it - it would have winter tires.
  • mmendickmmendick Member Posts: 4
    Would you know the type of Goodyear? I like Goodyears and have the Triple Tread on another vehicle which is great tire but I don't believe they come in 18"
  • stmssstmss Member Posts: 206
    Goodyear Assurance Comfortread
    700 A B

    My P6 lasted less than 50k km. I have about 35k km on the Goodyears and 'appear' to be holding up better for tread life than the P6. At the time of purchase the only models in stock where I live were P6, Continentals or the Goodyear. Having owned two sets of P6 and continentals in the recent past, I went with Goodyear by default as I needed some tires.
  • mmendickmmendick Member Posts: 4
    Just bought them. Thanks for your reply. Looking at Tirerack the Goodyear Comfortread scored better in almost every category than the tires I mentioned in my first post. As I said I already have the Assurance Tripletread on another vehicle and love them. Wish they came in 18"'s. Hopefully I'm as happy with the Comfortread.
  • theblackholetheblackhole Member Posts: 62
    I'm considering buying a 2005 Freestyle SE FWD 27K miles, $14K. Other than the seat back issues, front tire wear/allignment issues, should I have any concerns that are commom problems with the Freestyle?

    THANX for your time!
  • cmunizcmuniz Member Posts: 604
    I had an 05 and really liked it - it's a great vehicle. I traded it for an 08 Taurus X because Ford got away from the CVT and that would be my only concern for you. Although I liked the transmission some have had problems with it (see earlier posts) and getting repairs may be a problem in the future
  • passat_2002passat_2002 Member Posts: 468
    Some have had problems with transmissions in all vehicles. There is nothing that suggests' that the CVT in the Freestyle is any more a problem than other tranmissions on other vehicles.
  • hypnosis44hypnosis44 Member Posts: 483
    Consumer Reports shows the Freestyle as an average used car bet for reliability - which is not bad at all - audio systems being the weakest area. The ratings are for only two years so far so bear that in mind. The transmission problems show only average for all makes - which does not distract from the total failures of some reported here. It seem to be a transmission that works great for most everyone, but fails completely for a few.

    In any event, and for any car you consider, buy an extended warranty through a Ford dealership - not through a broker - they are going belly up like fish in a cesspool. You can shop around at several dealers for the extended warranty price as they are market driven. Check the Edmunds discussion board under the Extended Warranty discussion,
  • hypnosis44hypnosis44 Member Posts: 483
    I misstated in the previous post that the 2005 Freestyle, based on reliability, was an Average Choice by Consumer Reports - that is incorrect - it is stated as a Below Average choice for a used car. The Key states that that means it may not be a bad car, but that it has a higher problem rate than the average model. At the right price and with an extended Ford warranty it still seems a reasonable choice to me.
  • passat_2002passat_2002 Member Posts: 468
    Here we go with Consumer Reports again. CU's "reliability" data is subject to question because they poll only their own subscribers to obtain it. Only a small percentage return the survey. From this they make large and often erroneous conclusions. It's hardly a scientific sampling of automobile owners.

    Save for the rear-brake early wear issue (fixed for free by Ford) my '05 FWD Freestyle SEL has been flawless since the day I bought it in May 2005. But since I don't subscribe to CU, I don't recieve a survey from them to be included in their data. I suspect there are many like me who are very satisfied Freestyle owners that don't waste their time or money on needless subscriptions to CU.
  • sxv839sxv839 Member Posts: 4
    My 06 FS is in having CVT work done... having PCM replaced (control module & solenoid from my understanding) for surging (multiple times, like running out of gas), loss of power (was revving 4,000 RPM at 20 kMh with no acceleration) with associated wrench light (stays on until engine turned off then resets) and traction control light. Hooked up to diagnostic computer but no error codes. Dealer is doing a TSB but not this one from appearances... I have had it in a couple of times for what I thought was brakes squealing (had recall done and they say there is lots of rotor & pad wear left) so wondering if squealing could be from input shaft bearing from this TSB or what symptoms would be noticable with regards to "noise"? Thanks!
  • hypnosis44hypnosis44 Member Posts: 483
    No vehicle that does not receive at least 200 responses gets a listing in the CR charts -most receive many multiples of that amount. You have probably seen the lines where it reads "Insufficient Data". When you then consider that the surveys run year year on year for ten years you end with many thousands of responses for the same vehicles.

    Now that some American cars are beginning to last more than just around the block, and are moving up in the ratings as well, and while Toyota suffers from too rapid growth pains and moves down in the ratings - those who once rejected the statistical model used by CR are, not surprisingly becoming new converts to the ratings.

    As an auto mechanic for many years in the past I was able to see the direct correspondence between CR ratings and actual failures of cars relative to other vehicles.

    As I have stated here and elsewhere - I once owned a Ford Pinto which I drove very hard and maintained poorly, and which I sold for more than I paid for it used with over 100K miles on it (all original with only one minor off schedule repair). I still know from working on them and dealing with the owners of them that it was a junk car to be avoided - just as CR stated at the time.
  • freealfasfreealfas Member Posts: 652
    wow, CR validated by the vaunted pinto, that's pretty funny, ironic, and silly as it really didn't take CR's process to flush out the pinto's inadequacies it did that all by itself.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    We do have a dedicated discussion for the age-old Consumer Reports debate:

    Comments: Consumer Reports/JD Power Rankings
  • hypnosis44hypnosis44 Member Posts: 483
    Thank you.
  • freestylistfreestylist Member Posts: 3
    Hi! I have 05 freestyle AWD that I bought 4 months ago. I keep hearing a very low rubbing sound somewhere in the front end. To me it sounds like tire rubbing against something. It's not continuous and I can only hear it when driving very slowly and especially when turning. I've taken it to Midas and to Ford dealer and they say they can't hear anything.... and can't find anything wrong with the car. I have alingment,rotation everything done and the sound is still there. Also I bought new continental tires and they only lasted about 10000 miles (front ones). Is this normal?
  • jjlrn1jjlrn1 Member Posts: 5
    I had the same problem (See my post #1049). It was intermittent, but I began to notice a pattern. I was most often driving at highway speeds and going up a slight grade or embankment. Then the wrench light and the traction control light would pop on and l would loose power but the engine was still working. They finally replaced my CVT after seven or so visits to the shop. On the second or third they replaced the anti-lock brake module, but that did nothing except cost me $600 (I'm still waiting for that refund!). After they replaced the CVT everything has been fine.
  • naffynaffy Member Posts: 9
    We have a 2006 Limited with 57,000 miles. The rear passenger side captain's seat will not stay latched in the down position. We took it to the dealer and he couldn't figure out why it won't latch. Said he will have to order a new part --to the tune of $200!! Anyone have any ideas on how to fix this without spending $200 on the part plus labor?
  • ahermannahermann Member Posts: 1
    Hi, We bought a 2005 freestyle back in august 2006 and just last week, the words AWD malfunction appeared in the little info center in the gages. Also the traction control light lit up. When you start the car it initially doesn't say anything, but after about a minute of driving, the words pop up. As far as we can tell the car drives the same, but I'm a little worried about the severity of this issue. The car has about 45000 miles on it and other than this issue it has been a great car. So has anyone experienced this problem and what did you or the dealer have to do to fix it? Thanks.
  • catmouracatmoura Member Posts: 29
    We have an 05 Freestyle and had problem with the middle 40/60 seat on one side not latching. Finally after a few trys with the dealer, it was figured out that it wasn't the latch on the outside part of the seat that was broken but the inside part. So make sure it is the one they want to order a part for and not the other part of the seat latch
Sign In or Register to comment.