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Ford Freestyle Maintenance and Repair



  • catmouracatmoura Posts: 29
    isn't the traction control a push button operation?
  • yoyo123yoyo123 Posts: 33
    Check out the forums at Do a search on "AWD malfunction" and you will find quite a few posts on the subject. This will lead you to do a search on CVT to find out how much it costs to replace.

    In short, I had the problem and because of it, I no longer own the vehicle. I paid $500 for a fix that didn't work that came directly out of the ford manual. The second fix was $4700, which included the differential module and everything it controls. I was in Florida when this was happening so I called my dealer in Illinois and they said they had 2 500's that had the same exact problem. They had been in contact with Ford and the determined that the CVT was the source of the problem and it needed to be replaced for a cost of $7000. Replacing it with a rebuilt CVT would be $5000.

    My suggestion would be to get rid of it while the problem is still intermittent. We were able to trade it in without the dealer realizing it had a problem. I didn't like doing it and I am sure others will criticize me for doing it. I rationalized it by buying a car from a company that was owned by Ford.

    Actually, before you go to that step, I would suggest calling Ford customer service. Eventually, if they get enough complaints about this problem, they might finally decide to help. This problem seems to start happening after 60,000 miles. I didn't have any luck and worse yet, Ford was very difficult to deal with. Not returning phone calls, giving me a different story every time I called, etc. It was very frustrating as you can imagine.

    So much for Ford having quality as good as Toyota... Oh that's right, that is only initial quality not quality at 60,000 miles. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

    To be fair, I have a Focus that has 118,000 miles on it and it has no problems. Just tires, oil, transmission fluid, Antifreeze, brakes, etc. Just basic maintenance for the most part. Only problems have been a broken trunk lock because it got frozen and a small leak of antifreeze that I still need to get fixed.
  • passat_2002passat_2002 Posts: 468
    By it's very nature, an AWD vehicle adds a level of complexity that other vehicles don't have. Because of this, I think they are more prone to require maintenance and suffer more transmission issues. Probably true of most, if not all, vehicle makes.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "So much for Ford having quality as good as Toyota... Oh that's right, that is only initial quality not quality at 60,000 miles. Good luck with whatever you decide to do. "

    Not to be too harsh, but that is a 2005 FS, which was the early version. I think later models are more reliable.
  • fordwrenchfordwrench Posts: 70
    I have been a Ford technician for the past 18 years. I know of nothing on the Freestyle that "happens" at about 60k miles! Take the car to a reputable FORD DEALERSHIP and have a diagnosis done. The CVT has nothing to do with the AWD system. There are a couple of issues that are somewhat common with the AWD but none cost $5000-7000. Most of the problems I've read here are not because of a bad car design but of poor service from uneducated techs. Find a good shop & stick with them, & be careful of independent shops, they just can't keep up with the new products.
  • cmunizcmuniz Posts: 604
    My experience tracks with what fordwrench is saying. The Freestyle is a low volume seller and and with the CVT a unique design for Ford the individual dealer knowledge and experience in servicing them is all over the map. Some dealers I have gone to don't have any experience servicing the Freestyle and instead of taking time to study the TSBs, etc they take an "educated" guess.For example the early 05 Freestyles were having a problem with the CD changer that had to be replaced. It was done incorrectly twice by my dealer before I took a copy of the TSB to the dealer to show them what had to be done to "reprogram" the new unit. It was done in minutes while I waited once they knew what to do. That happened to several others on this forum. You would think an audio unit would be a simple fix so you can imagine what happens when you are dealing with the complex electronic modules that control the CVT and other unique Freestyle parts.

    As much as I liked my Freestyle and the CVT, I traded for a more conventional 08 Taurus X in part to prevent those kind of servicing issues as time goes by and the limited servicing knowledge that exists today dwindles - not to mention parts.
  • saabturboidsaabturboid Posts: 178
    My '05 Freestyle is approaching 60k miles. I'm a maintenance freak because I tend to keep my vehicles a long time and am wondering about the CVT fluid. I typically go with full synthetic fluids when I can and am wondering if there is a full synthetic fluid option for the CVT or if the only option is the standard Ford CVT fluid?

    Also, is there anything unique about changing the CVT fluid? For example, with a traditional automatic transmission you can drain and fill (which doesn't get all of the old fluid out), or you can use a machine that exchanges all of the old fluid. Which method do the Ford dealers use with the CVT or does it vary?

    Any other CVT maintenance tips since I plan to keep this car a long time?
  • yoyo123yoyo123 Posts: 33
    fordwrench: If you look around reports on the internet and you will see that there are many reports of major problems between 60-70k miles. Maybe "happens" was a poor choice of words.

    I took my Freestyle to 2 Ford dealerships and got different answers. The first one in Southwest Florida is the biggest in the area and I think I remember reading that they are the biggest in Florida. Also, the dealership in the Chicago area is one of the biggest if not one of the biggest in the Chicago area and have an extremely high customer satisfaction rate. I considered both to be reputable. I still think the one in Chicago is, but the one in Florida is not in my opinion.

    The Florida dealer said it would cost $4300 for the AWD rear assembly which included the DEM. After I requested to show me where they were getting the information, they showed me the manual from Ford. They said they believed the problem to be in the DEM, but you couldn't buy only the DEM. You had to buy the whole rear Haldex AWD system. With labor, the cost was $4700.

    The Chicago dealer had said they were talking to Ford about 2 other vehicles (500's) with the exact same problem as mine and that Ford had told them that it was related to the CVT. The dealer didn't figure this out on their own; they got the info from Ford. Why would they lie to me? They knew I wasn't going to pay for the fix and was either going to try to trade it in on a non-Ford vehicle or Ford was going to help me out. They wanted the vehicle because they felt it would give them more leverage with Ford. I took the other route after Ford customer service treated me poorly (not returning phone calls, giving a different story every time, etc.); I traded it in on a non-Ford vehicle. Considering, I have buying Ford's on A or Z plan for 18 years, you can only imagine how angry I was at Ford to buy a non-Ford vehicle and forgo the A plan pricing.

    Also, from my reading of problems, the 2005 2 wheel drive Freestyle should be a great car and I wish I had purchased that instead. The 2 systems in the 2005 Freestyle that are the most expensive to fix and most likely to fail are the Haldex AWD system and the CVT. Ford has removed the CVT from the design. I think that speaks loads to its problems with longevity. I am not aware of any redesign of the Haldex, but its problems could have been related to its integration with the CVT so I hesitate to criticize it by itself.

    Fordwrench, other than asking if they have techs certified on the Haldex and/or the CVT, what else can we do to make sure the dealers have techs that are certified? I was told by both dealers that they had certified techs, but I have no idea if they were telling my the truth and no reason to doubt them.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "It was done incorrectly twice by my dealer before I took a copy of the TSB to the dealer to show them what had to be done to "reprogram" the new unit. It was done in minutes while I waited once they knew what to do. "

    Ditto that here. I wanted to get DRL on my 2006, and I knew it was just a matter of changing a setting in the software. I had to take in the detailed description of how to do it before the dealer was able to turn on my DRL.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    " Ford has removed the CVT from the design. I think that speaks loads to its problems with longevity."

    Nope, from my reading it was a matter of cost. The steel timing belt was made in Germany - actual German steel - and it was very expensive. When GM and Ford decided to joint manufacture a 6 speed AT, it just wasn't worth the $$ for Ford to continue with the CVT.

    There were other issues - the CVT wasn't rated to the full HP of the 3.5L engine, so they would have either had to de-tune the engine or re-design the CVT. Either was a less economic choice than simply shifting :P to the 6 speed that had already been developed.
  • passat_2002passat_2002 Posts: 468
    You hit the nail on the head stevedebi. Those are exactly the reasons. But I don't think you meant to say "timing belt".
  • saabturboidsaabturboid Posts: 178
    Right, it is actually a drive belt. All of the power from the engine is going through that belt before it gets sent to the drive wheels. The belt rides up and down conical shaped cylinders to determine the engine and drive speed for any given situation.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "You hit the nail on the head stevedebi. Those are exactly the reasons. But I don't think you meant to say "timing belt"."

    Ulp, how can I get out of this one. Maybe the engine does use a steel timing belt on the OHC? :surprise:

    Oh well, yeah, I goofed, I meant drive belt. :blush:
  • baethkebaethke Posts: 8
    I have an 05 AWD Freestyle that is used for delivery on a daily basis. It has 134k on it and for the last 30k it will just stall for no reason. It can be stopped or moving at any speed or in park and just stall. No bad idle or chugging just stops. I have changed air and fuel filter and plugs with no change. But problem is random. It might do it several times in a day or not for several weeks. And no trouble lights come on or code on computer. After stalling it starts back up like nothing is wrong??
  • hypnosis44hypnosis44 Posts: 483
    Sounds like the engine management module is failing intermittently. This is identical to a problem it took me months to isolate on an older Ford model. This happens to other cars as well.
  • ct2ctct2ct Posts: 5
    I have 2006 FS. 40,000 miles and it needs to be replaced. Long story. :sick: Obviously out of warranty. Dealer states they can replace for $6,000 and that a big chunk of that is that it takes abour 25 hrs of labor. Can anyone tell me if $6000 is out of line for pricing? Can i do better?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    A friend of mine got a crate engine for his older F-150 a few months ago. It's a Ford crate engine and came with a 5 year warranty. He got an independent garage to install it and the total was around $5,000.

    The garage had a non-OEM crate engine they would have have put in for $4,000, but the warranty on it was one year (don't recall the details but I assume it was one year/12,000 mile warranty on the aftermarket and 5/60 on the Ford one).
  • passat_2002passat_2002 Posts: 468
    Good grief man. What did you do to your engine? These 3.0L Duratec's are pretty darn good powerplants.
  • baethkebaethke Posts: 8
    Do I have to go through ford to get an engine management module? And does anyone know how much it might cost?
  • hypnosis44hypnosis44 Posts: 483
    They can be pricey, and I don't know of any after market sources. Someone else here may have better info. Some people have done very well by finding a salvaged module, as they do not fail in large numbers. Compare the prices of new and used and any warranty on the salvaged item. You can usually get a warranty that is long enough to determine if the salvaged module has any intermittent problems.
  • lanbabalanbaba Posts: 45
    I have the 05 AWD model and the the turn signal assembly quit on me, well, not totally. The problem is that the high beams will not stay in the position (I can still get the high beam, but have to pull the switch all the time, instead of lock itself in the second detent). Anyone know what the part number is for the assembly? I tried google and has little luck. And does anyone have clues on how to replace it, like steps? :sick:
  • ct2ctct2ct Posts: 5
    The oil did not get changed for 10,000 miles. It is a Freestyle CVT V-6 engine. That is what happened to the engine, supposedly. I am having a hard time believing that but that is what the dealer is saying. Also saying it will cost $6000 for the replacement engine and take 25 hrs. An independent shop said it will take about 10 hrs. Not sure who to believe.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "The oil did not get changed for 10,000 miles. "

    Were you following the built in maintenance minder?
  • passat_2002passat_2002 Posts: 468
    Not such a long story after all. But I sincerely doubt that not changing the oil for a 10k interval just once would ruin an engine... as long as the oil level itself did not get too low. Actually, some car manufacturer's have gone to a suggested 10k interval between oil changes.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    They've been running those kinds of intervals for years (decades?) in Europe. I've gone that long a couple of times in my minivan (with 124k on it now), but mostly do the recommended 7,500 mile interval. Just check the oil regularly (like every fill-up or so).
  • arthanarthan Posts: 1
    Hello, looks like I have same problem as yours - front end rubbing sound. I will take my car to dealer this weekend. Hopefully they can at least figure out the source.
  • tim156tim156 Posts: 308
    I have a vibration sound that occurres at 1450 RPM's. Not at 1400 or 1500 RPM's only at 1450. When I'm accelerating it does not make the sound as it revs past 1450 (or I don't hear it), when I take off from a stop and as the gear ratio drops, when it passes 1450 the vibration sound happens and stops after dropping below 1450. If I drive and hold the RPM's at 1450 the vibration sound is continuous. I put the car on ramps and tightened the bolts holding the metal exhaust heat shield and it didn't stop. Then I inserted some rubber washers between the heat shield and the underside of the car and it also didn't help. I looked and there doesn't seem to be any other bolts that could be loose. Any thoughts or ideas on what's going on.
  • I did a search through the threads and couldn't find what I was looking for. It might be there, so I'm sorry if I'm missing it. I've got a 2005 Freestyle, 85K, and the best car I've ever owned. If they were still making it, I'd buy another one. EXCEPT for the 40/60 seat issue. The 60% side gets stuck in the up position. My husband is a mechanic, and he has torn that thing apart and can't find anything wrong. He can get it to work by kneeling all of the 220 lbs. on the seat and doing heaven-know-what, but he's in a sweat by the time he's done. I've taken it to the dealer 4 times, and the stupid thing works, then I get it home and it doesn't. It's embarrassing! The mechanic says his buddy's wife's Freestyle is having the same problem. It's absolutely maddening because I haul equipment, use all three rows all the time, and I can't get it to work on my own. Oh brilliant people--can you help me???
  • bdymentbdyment Posts: 569
    They are still making it. Ford has changed the name to Taurus X. The engine has been enlarged to 3.5 Litres and the transmission is now a six speed instead of the CVT, but otherwise it is the same vehicle. Same size, etc.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "I've taken it to the dealer 4 times, and the stupid thing works, then I get it home and it doesn't. "

    I found that I had to slam it down, you can't just push it. Obviously there should be no debris under the latch (I always had this due to my messy offspring)! It didn't take a HUGE slam, but a definite push from the upright position.

    The darn thing wouldn't go down at all if one just dropped it gently.
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