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Ford Freestyle Maintenance and Repair



  • Here's the scoop....the code on my bill is pretty much a generic operational code for this specific dealer for tranny flush/change.. What they actually do can be quite different from what appears on the invoice. The service tech did make a note that he did a "CVT tranny fluid." The service mgr was very good at explaining to me why the invoice says one thing, while all the work done was according to Ford specs. He showed me another invoice where the exact same code was used for tranny work on an F-150.

    So the best proof, short of watching them actually do the work, is to trust them that they actually did the proper work. (plus the tech's note). Even if I did watch them do the work, I wouldn't know if they were doing it correctly anyways.

    He also said that because they only used 6 qts of fluid is also a very good indicator that they did the correct thing because the tranny holds 13...which syncs with what I have read here.

    I learned something and thank you guys for helping me.
  • danallan, Glad it worked out. False alarm there with the tranny flush.

    If I do the CVT fluid/filter change myself with the FT178 Motorcraft kit, is it OK to just measure the amount of fluid that comes out and replace it with the exact same amount of new juice? The Workship Manual describes a temperature dependent fluid level measuring procedure with a dipstick, and I was wondering if its possible to ignore that and just put the same amount of fluid back in that came out.
  • The filter does require that the trans mount be removed to gain access to the filter housing. You will need to support the trans during the filter replacement. Putting in the same amount of fluid that came out will work, but that would assume the level was correct to begin with. Using the dipstick is not all that complicated, there are cold and hot marks to help get the level right. Personally I would let a pro do it.
  • That settles it. I will have a pro do it. I'm getting the part myself for cheap, but I'll see if one of the Ford dealerships will put the CVT kit o-rings/filter on for me. I know it upsets the dealership owner & parts dept. people for me to tote in my own Motorcraft parts. Dealership parts prices are so high, it drove me to where I got a $45 FT178 CVT kit. I think they will play ball though and just charge me labor and shop supplies at the dealer. (No BG flush kit!.... ;) )
  • tacomaguytacomaguy Eugene, OregonPosts: 41
    My wife's '05 Freestyle AWD has only 23,000 on it. She's not driving it to work any more so it sits in the garage except for trips to the store. Should I have the transmission fluid changed at her next oil change? Is it the mileage or the length of time that is important? At her last oil change, she only had 1,000 miles on the car after 6 months. Not one problem with the car in almost four years
  • tacomaguy, I looked at Maintenance schedule -- click here and also my Freestyle's paper guide, and nowhere in there does it say you have to change the CVT fluid based on time. Only at 60,000 miles. Only motor oil and engine coolant needs to be changed at time or mileage, whichever comes first. Everything else seems to be based on miles alone. That being said, I'd not let the CVT fluid change go past 6 years, myself, if you haven't made it to 60,000 in that amount of time.
  • tacomaguytacomaguy Eugene, OregonPosts: 41
    Our '05 Freestyle Limited has the digital readouts and the switches on the steering wheel. Following the instructions in the manual, I just go in circles when trying to reset the oil life. Any helpful hints? Also, I would like to program in my own oil life interval. Do I have to reset the present oil life to 100% before I can enter my own interval?
  • haulthault Columbus OhioPosts: 130
    The 2005 Freestyle reset oil is get percent display on, then hold button in until it resets. The oil life is simply a 5000 mile count down. Nothing fancy. I don't believe you can change the settings. Ford now has a 7500 mile oil change setting. I use Amsoil and Amsoil filter and change once a year. I have 37,000 miles. Rear brakes early on was the only major problem. MPG in normal driving stays right around 19.
  • The oil life monitor is simple, but it also takes into account time as well as mileage when showing percentage. It extrapolates based on time, and shows the lowest percent of the two (time and mileage).

    Changing oil once a year is a good idea. However, the Ford Racing Parts CM-6731-FL820 has 250 sq. inches of filter surface area (synthetic blend media), while your Amsoil EAO11 has only 109 sq. inches. Also, look at bypass valve location and consider the Amsoil will flush dirt directly into your engine when bypass occurs, while the Ford Racing Parts one won't. For one-year oil changes, I go with the larger surface area and correct bypass valve location.
  • haulthault Columbus OhioPosts: 130
    Ford dealer is the one that told me the oil life monitor on the 2005 was simply 5000 miles. I have checked it myself at least three times and the dealer was correct. I don't know about the oil filter stuff. Each person and/or company has its own ideas as to what makes a good filter. I decided to go with the Amsoil filter to match their oil. I saw the stuff about the Ford Racing filter, but figured if it was superior to the regular long life filters they would use it on their cars. Does Ford recommend using the race filter on regular cars? I would switch if Ford said it was good for 6-12 month use. Let me know. I constantly strive for the best products. Thanks for the insight.
  • hualt, I know what you mean. I used the EAO11 in the past, and its good, although the Ford Racing Parts CM-6731-FL820 does seem to be the most heavy-duty, synthetic blend media, silicon antidrainback valve, correct location for bypass valve, most surface area filter media, oil filter you can buy. A car nut (God bless them) did a thorough analysis and has web pages to show one torn apart and analyzed at CM-6731-FL820 analysis/pictures -- click here. His main web page where he compares a bunch of filters is at: comparison -- click here
    I agree with the statement made by the oil filter web page guy: "If you are looking for the "best" filter for your Ford, regardless of cost, then in my opinion, this is the one. "

    Bottom line, the Ford Racing Parts oil filter is a direct replacement for the standard Motorcraft FL820S, as Ford themselves recommends.
  • The oil change message is triggered by either 5000 miles or 6 months.
  • tacomaguytacomaguy Eugene, OregonPosts: 41
    That is correct, bruneau1, my "Oil Life" message came on after 6 months. We have only put 1,700 miles on the car since the last oil change. The manual says you can re-program the interval but I haven't figured out how to get to those options. Did get the oil life to re-set after an hour of sitting in the car and trying various combinations of button pushing. It seems that I had to "push and hold" the reset button fairly quickly in order for it to "catch". If I paused a little, it wouldn't take.
  • 5 days out of warranty - yes five days - and my lift gate struts gave up. Dealer would not bend so I just bought the struts to change out. Has anyone done this yet? Just want to be sure to remove and replace without damaging anything. The parts counter wasn't much help. I realize it is a ball and socket but how do you get it off the ball? It looks like a built-in clip system but I do not want to force anything.

    Any help is appreciated.

  • jwm5jwm5 Posts: 3
    I had to do this a couple of months ago. It is really easy.
    You will need a second person to hold up the liftgate for you while you replace them. It is actually pretty heavy without the supports in place.

    They just attach to balls attached to the frame of the car.
    It takes a little effort, but just pop the old ones off, working one connection at a time. Don't worry, you won't break anything.

    Then pop the new ones on.
    I would suggest changing both at the same time.
  • red27red27 Posts: 2
    When I used Koons Ford on Rockville Pike it was wonderful. Arrive, hand keys over, serviced and out in 45 minutes.
    Not so at Lindsay Ford. First time I was booked in at 8.00am and did not get away until 1.00 pm. They took drive-ins before me and then lied that the car was being worked on when clearly it had not moved from the parking spot.
    Second time I booked in again, 9.00am this time and called beforehand to discuss my needs. Arrived at 9.00 and was told it would be two hours!! Just about to go back at 11.00am and got a call saying the rear brake pads needed to be replaced under the Ford recall scheme. So they had not even started on it anywhere near 9.00am. When I complained during the phone call the service manager got uppity with me.
    I am now told that it will be ready at 12.00. Another morning of missed work and appointments. Terrible old fashioned service mentality - we have you in a bind attitude - so they have just lost my custom and I am going to complain to Ford.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,457
    Please submit a review about your service experience in Dealer Ratings & Reviews too.
  • Our ck battery light has been on for 5000 miles. Initially it went on intermittently. I finally replaced the battery, which should have been done earlier cause it was pretty shot according to Pep boys. Then the light went back on, and stayed on. Probably an alternator will cure the light, but I shouldn't have to pay $400plus just to turn out a light. As I said, everything works fine except....the batt light stays on.
  • Well, I have a long, ongoing problem with my 60% seat not wanting to go back up. I took it to the dealer 3 times, but of course, they could get it to work. They denied ever seeing a TSB on it. I took it in to show them, then they magically pulled it up on their own. The seat went from being an intermittent issue to a permanent inability to basically use the seat for the purpose for which it was designed. People have gotten trapped in the back, etc. I asked the dealer that since I took it in 3 times before it was out of warranty and the TSB said that the parts needed to be replaced, even for an intermittent problems, would they fix it for free or a reduced price. They said no, of course, and quoted my $410 to fix it. Is that a reasonable price? And do I have a leg to stand on that they should have fixed it when I brought it in 3 times before the warranty was up and after the TSB came out? They said that unless it's recalled, they can't fix it for free. What say you smart and kind folks out there?
  • cmunizcmuniz Posts: 604
    I would elevate it up the chain at the dealership as far as the owner/manager (if you haven't already) and then ask for an appointment with the Ford Regional Service Manager. If that doesn't work I would contact the Ford customer service number and file a formal complaint against the dealer. I would also file a complaint with the local Better Business Bureau. There is no reason why that should not be a warranty fix since you brought it in multiple times for repair prior to the warranty expiring. In the current poor business climate I can't imagine a dealer or Ford alienating one of their customers. Fight this one to the bitter end - you deserve better from Ford.
  • I have an 05 FWD Freestyle that has treated me very well thus far. 37K miles. Rear Brakes done at 20K - pads and rotors.

    Recently it has begun to exhibit hard starting behavior. Occaisionally it will catch, only sputter for a cescond or two and die. Attempts to restart are always successful but follow a longer than usual cranking interval.

    More common (not quite routine) is that the car will start but idle around 500-600 RPM for 15 seconds or so, smooth out an run higher than normal say 1500 RPM for 30+ seconds and then gradually slows to normal.

    Car runs great otherwise and gas mileage has not changed, 21-23 in mixed use depending on how impatient I am...

    It can do this cold or warm - much more frequently on the first start of the day.

    It has never given a CEL.

    Anyone esle experience this or have ideas?

  • It seems like we have a good case for a free repair, but when he said that since it wasn't recalled (and why not? I had to drag someone out of the back hatch--doesn't seem very safe to me), they couldn't repair it gratis. We were going to eat the $400 and then sue them in small claims court, even if it's just to ruin their day. We are in a small town and I'm surprised that they can even survive here at all. So, I think I will go up the chain of command on this. Thanks for the kind of verifying what I was already feeling: that this isn't right and that they can do better.
  • tim156tim156 Posts: 308
    If you took the car in while it was still under warranty and you have documentation of the service visit, (they will have a record in their system) I would argue that it should have been fixed at that time under warranty and go from there.
  • a few weeks ago the right front wheel bearing on our 05 FS Ltd. (47kmls) started to make a loud klicking noise when turning. It was replaced under the extended warranty. Car is less noisy now (i thought the noise came only from the tires which are noisy too) and to my surprise the mpg went up significantly. Initially we had the usual 21-22mpg in mixed driving and 25-28mpg highway. In the last say half year it dropped down to 18-19 and 23-25mpg, respectively. I wondered about that and cleaned the air flow sensor a few times. That boosted the mpg by about 1mpg but only for a short time. Now with the new bearing it's back again where it was, monitored over 3 tank fills. Obviously the bearing caused alot of drag. Surprising to me because the car still rolled easily in neutral out of the garage from standstill. I am monitoring that behaviour because the car once had the dragging rear brake pads which i noticed that way. Anyways, maybe something to inspect if mpg is unusually low.
  • jsr1jsr1 Posts: 5
    A similar thing happened to my 05 Freestyle. The probleme only happened occasionally and only when the engine was cold. When I brough it at the dealer the problem didn't occur (because the engine was already warmed up) so I left the car there and came back in the morning and had the mecanic try it out when the engine was cold. Fortunately it happened again. He took it in and couldn't find anything wrong and just changed the oil (thinking maybe the engine had been flooded and that this affected how the car was starting). But it didn't fix the issue. After a bit of research we discovered that this problem had been already identified and that there was a TSB on it. They reprogrammed the car or CVT computer (can't remember for sure) and it solved the issue. It has been over one year since then and the problem has never re-occured. I hope this helps.
  • vrmvrm Posts: 309
    I am in the market to buy a 2006 Limited AWD:

    1) Besides the rear brakes, are there any other known problems with the 2006 models?

    2) Do the FWD models also use the same CVT transmission? Is the FWD a better bet in terms of service and dealer maint. costs?

  • polo3polo3 Posts: 2

    Did you ever find out what was wrong with your transmission? My '05 freestyle makes a kind of low pitch droning sound at exactly 2400 rpm. I'm trying to figure out if this is a defect or if thats just how they drive.
  • from polo3: "My '05 freestyle makes a kind of low pitch droning sound at exactly 2400 rpm. I'm trying to figure out if this is a defect or if thats just how they drive. "

    I'll drive my '05 Freestyle today to see if it does that. I'll need to watch out for the highway patrol on this stretch of highway I'm about to go on, because 2400 RPM steady is about 80 or 85 mph I think. I know I do about 2000 RPM at 70 mph.

    I'd say its probably a structural harmonic resonance in the tires/chassis that you are hearing, just guessing. All vehicles have a certain speed (frequency) that excites a major vibration mode. My specialty a few years ago was mechanical engineering, noise-vibration-harshness (NVH).
  • vrmvrm Posts: 309
    The CVT does have advantages over the 5 and 6 speed transmissions.
    However, it is clear that Ford is not committed to the CVT. As far as I know, they are not using the CVT in any other vehicles.

    Compare this with Nissan. They are committed to the CVT and are introducing this in different product lines.
  • polo3 said "My '05 freestyle makes a kind of low pitch droning sound at exactly 2400 rpm. I'm trying to figure out if this is a defect or if thats just how they drive. "

    Today, while out and about in my '05 Freestyle, I accelerated 0-60 mph at a steady 2400 RPM, and I also cruised on the freeway (nobody near me) at a stead 2400 RPM. No extra odd sounds of any kind. Usually the kinds of sounds you experience are due to something a little loose, maybe the intake manifold or exhaust manifold, or possibly just imbalanced wheels/tires.
  • vrm said: "However, it is clear that Ford is not committed to the CVT. As far as I know, they are not using the CVT in any other vehicles. "

    I've heard the steel belt used in the CVT, from ZF and used in Audi cars as well, was one of the things that drives the cost of the CVT up compared to a 6-speed, and Ford decided to drop it. Also, it seems some people thought the CVT was strange in some way, and trashed it in the media repeatedly. I've read many reviews by magazines and websites in the past few years and most of them have something nasty to say about the CVT. I don't understand that, as the CVT always finds the optimal RPM for the conditions, period. Thats a good thing in my book.
  • Driving down the highway with no other cars near me, my sunroof shattered. It made a very loud noise and looks like a meteor landed on it. No rocks or other objects found in with the glass pieces. Anybody ever heard of this? It was a very cold day, 30 degrees with colder windchill. My mechanic said he has never seen anything like it.
  • tim156tim156 Posts: 308
    I believe the Escape Hybrid uses a CVT.
  • tim156tim156 Posts: 308
    I'm not sure it the two are related but the full length glass panel in my back door at home suddenly exploded last winter, scared the crap out of me. The fellow at the home center said this sometimes happens. Now, where I'm from 30 degrees is not cold. Last night I went to my Mom's under ground garage to wash my Freestyle, the temp outside was 10 degrees. I used warm water with no affect on the moonroof or windows. I get a little nervous when it's below zero so I wash it with cooler water. In the three years I've been washing once a week in the winter I've never experienced any affect on the glass.
  • Never use an automatic car wash when its cold. I had to replace the windshield in my Freestyle because of that. I heard of others with that problem due to that, too.
  • tim156 said: "I believe the Escape Hybrid uses a CVT. "

    I think the Escape hybrid's CVT is a planetary gearset like what the Prius uses. Not at all remotely like the ZF-sourced CVT in the '05-'07 Freestyle and Ford500. A similar ZF brand CVT is used in MiniCoopers and Audi's.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "I think the Escape hybrid's CVT is a planetary gearset like what the Prius uses. Not at all remotely like the ZF-sourced CVT in the '05-'07 Freestyle and Ford500. A similar ZF brand CVT is used in MiniCoopers and Audi's. "

    This is correct. It is needed for the Ford system because the transmission has to put power back into the battery when decelerating, and to spin up the engine to get the ICE going; the Escape Hybrid has no starter motor. This kind of thing is not possible with a conventional CVT.
  • I have a 2005 freestyle and need to do some breakwork on it. Anyone know if there is a haynes manual in existence for that year?? I found a 2006 CD manual on e-bay, but nothing for 2005....
  • No Haynes (or Chilton). I got the Helms official Ford service manual set off Ebay. Recommend doing that.
  • tim156tim156 Posts: 308
    I don't use an automatic car wash. It's a hose and bucket operation, the way I like it.
  • Hello,
    We purchased an '06 Limited last week and love it so far. Have a few questions though. Is the chime supposed to sound whenever you open the driver door? This happens even when the key is not in the ignition. It is kind of annoying, is there any way to change this? Also, the cruise control has been turning itself off on the highway occasionally. I didn't find anything in the owner's manual about this. Are there certain road conditions where this will occur?
    Thank you!
  • There is no chime when opening the drivers side door on my '05 SE model.
    The cruise control will turn itself off if it can't hold speed. That is typically very rare, though, like when going up a steep hill.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    Maybe your lights are on.
  • Hi folks, just changed the air filter in my "new" 05 Freestyle.....held it up to the sun and the old one (must have been a fram - orange) was a medium white and barely could see thru it. Now my question is, it was fairly hard to get the clips in on the bottom of the filter fox when I put the new one in. Does anybody have an easier way because I don't know honestly how I get it back.

    PS - Anybody know where to get those H13 Silverstar Ultra? Advanced Auto parts didnt have them in stock :(
  • I had the same problem, but managed to just undo the top clips and pivot the whole cover back leaving the bottom ones on. You should be able to pivot it enough to get the old one out and slide the new one in.
  • You know what? I didn't even see those clips at the bottom until it was too late. Good idea! The water pump hose is right to the left of the filter box, and obstructs the view a bit from the bottom clips. This one was ALOT less difficult than my 2003 Lesabre, as I had to remove the entire filter assembly from the manifold!
  • @ 40K miles my local Ford dealer tells me I need rear brakes and rotors - again. Hmmm, why wasn't this mentioned @ 35K???

    Regardless, I am out of the extended warranty period and have had it with these obviously inferior parts. I know some of you have gone aftermarket and was wondering what you found to work best and more importantly, what to avoid. Any suggestions are appreciated.

  • My dad has 05 500....over 110k on the rear brakes - he went to Firestone.
  • curtis63, Are you saying you only got 5,000 miles on the new rear brake pads? If thats the case, maybe the rear brakes are dragging. Even the worst pads in the world on the rear should get 20,000 miles minimum. With a rear wheel off the ground, it should rotate freely (car in neutral, chocks on all wheels, level ground, safety precautions met). Thats for front wheel drive models only. The AWD differential in back will interfere with this method. Also, you get a second opinion at a brake shop.

    I've at great luck with Duralast (Autozone) pads on the front, and the recall Motorcraft pads are on the rear. No problems here.
  • No, no, no. I am only saying they could have pointed out a problem 5K miles ago so it would have been covered under the extended warratny. My rear pads and rotors were done @ 21K and now need it again @ 40K. This is a load of [email protected] Rear brakes should not go t!ts up this quickly. The front pads are still golden - I drive very smoothly with mainly highway driving.

    I am looking for aftermarket alternatives for rotors and pads to try and combat this problem. If it is an overall brake design flaw and has nothing to do with materials I will buy the cheapest pads and Chinese rotors I can find. In reality, I am hoping to put good quality parts on and forget about it. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

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