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Ford Freestyle Maintenance and Repair



  • saabturboidsaabturboid Posts: 178
    10,000 mile oil change intervals could indeed cause a failed engine, especially if the oil was not semi or full synthetic, was only the Ford recommended 5W20, was used for a lot of short stop and go driving, possibly in dusty/dirty conditions, and may have been a bit low.

    The big issue here that concerns me is Ford recommends 5W20. This is very thin oil that does not provide enough of a cushion for engine protection except for in perfect conditions. The reason Ford mandated 5W20 is because it allows marginally better fuel economy than the more traditional 5W30, but it doesn't offer as much protection. Ford swears up and down that the 5W20 oil is up to the task, but I believe there is no margin should you either have the wrong type of oil (non semi or full synthetic), or if you go beyond the recommend oil change intervals. I personally use 5W30 in my Freestyle because I know it is better for the engine and don't believe that a 1% increase in fuel economy is worth risking my engine. I also never go past 5,000 miles between changes. Those oil life monitors are wildly optimistic in my opinion. Some people think they actually test the oil, no, they just use a calculation to determine oil life based on best case scenario. If you'd rather go longer intervals (based on the oil monitor or not) that is your perogitave, however remember who foots the bill when your engine fails.

    - Chad
  • catmouracatmoura Posts: 29
    We had the same problem with the 60% side of the seat not wanting to go back to the upright position. After a few times to the dealer, it was found to be the insideportion of the mechanism not the outside part. Have your husband check that out. Oh and the part was replaced.
  • Yes, it is the same car, kind of. I love the CVT/smaller engine combo because I think the gas mileage is better. I'm trying to squeeze every bit out of it that I can at these current gas prices. I never felt like the car lacked power, not for my needs, anyway, so don't want to sacrifice mileage. Could be utterly wrong about this, of course.
  • I actually have the opposite problem: it goes up just fine, but then I can pull on that handle so hard that I wonder it doesn't break. I weight 120 lbs. and have wrist problems, so this HAS to get fixed somehow. I've actually hurt my wrist pretty badly trying to get the bugger down. My husband is very strong and he can barely do it by kneeling on the seat, facing toward the back of the car, yanking on the seat back and pulling the handle at the same time. Yeah, like I can pull that off!
  • cmunizcmuniz Posts: 604
    There might be a fix for the problem, but I have found the second row seats in both the Freestyle and Taurus X need to be forcefully slammed down to latch properly before the seatback can be put in the upright position. I always thought they required a little too much force but thought it was designed that way for safety reasons. The force required might explain why the mechanics at the dealership can get it to work, but female driver might not be able to without slamming it down hard.
  • bruneau1bruneau1 Posts: 468
    While the T-x has more power than the Freestyle, its steering is not as good, the CVT is more responsive than the new 6-spd. The best thing about the Freestyle is its CVT, despite the increased engine roar. You are right.
  • fordwrenchfordwrench Posts: 70
    The big issue is not the use of 5w20 oil!!! Ford and Honda along with other manufactures recommend 5w20 for various reasons like fuel millage but also for cold start protection where something like 80-90% of wear takes place. That Freestyle that needs an engine has a bigger story to tell. One oil change stretched to 10k miles does not break an engine, and there are probably 10s of thousands of police and Limos that use 5w20 exclusively with upwards of 300k miles with no major wear. The bigger problem comes from too long a TIME between oil changes. I've seen cars that only go 5k miles a year and get one oil change in that time, those are the ones sludged up & knocking & burning oil. Not because of the use of 5w20 oil.
  • jjlrn1jjlrn1 Posts: 5
    I found this information about the 5w20 recomendation:

    "Nay-sayers of 20 weight oil's ability to protect engines should note that typically, 30 weight oils shear down into the 20 weight range anyway. Most engine wear is during start-up and warm-up period, where the thinner 20 weight oil's flow is desirable. Overall, lab test results of the wear metals contained in used oil samples show low or lower wear with 20 weight than 30 in applications it is specified for."

  • fordwrenchfordwrench Posts: 70
    That's what I was trying to say!!! Thank you.
  • saabturboidsaabturboid Posts: 178
    "30 weight oils shear down into the 20 weight range anyway. "

    If this is true (which I don't believe it is with full synthetic oils) then what makes you believe that 20 weight oil doesn't shear down into the 10 weight category? Would you rather have a little extra protection or not enough? I'm on the hook if the engine fails so I'll take my chances with the higher weight oil.

    "Most engine wear is during start-up and warm-up period, where the thinner 20 weight oil's flow is desirable."

    This statement shows that the author doesn't know what they are talking about. The first number in an oil weight signifies the viscosity at startup, while the second number signifies the viscosity when the oil is hot and under pressure. A 5W20 oil has exactly the same startup properties as a 5W30. Only once the engine is warmed up does the latter number come into play. A 5W30 oil has more "viscosity modifiers" than a 5W20 oil which provides a thicker film between moving parts when under pressure, which is exactly when you want it.

    "Overall, lab test results of the wear metals contained in used oil samples show low or lower wear with 20 weight than 30 in applications it is specified for."

    This statement is meaningless. Unless you test your exact vehicle, under your normal driving conditions, with both a 5W20 and a 5W30 oil there is no way to make an accurate statement. As one who has performed oil testing on my own vehicles I can state that I have always had excellent results from the full-synthetic 5W30 oils I use so I will continue to do so.

    - Chad
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    A friend of mine is one of those, Amsoil dealers, and he told me one time that Amsoil's molecular tails shear in about 3,000 miles.

    If y'all want to get down to the molecular level, you may want to take this over to Engine Oil - A slippery subject Part 2.
  • riddybearriddybear Posts: 3
    HELP! Hi, I have a 2007 Freestyle and can not figure out what is going on with it. I have two seperate issues. The first is when I put it in reverse, it will surge then I have to slam on my brakes and the car dies and the service engine light comes on, but when I restart it, the service engine light does not stay on. When I start driving, there is absolutely no acceleration in the vehicle. The second is when I am at a stop light or sign, if I take my foot off the brake, it takes off on its own. It is incredible scary. I have read the posts and it always happens on level ground, so thats not it. On some days, when I go to start my car, I hear a load roar when I turn it on. I have 51K miles and I have an extended warranty until 60K, but Ford can't get it to do it again. They said if they can't get it to do it again, they can't fix it. I have taken it to them six times. HELP please.
  • jogumojogumo Posts: 8
    It may be an issue with the transmission (CVT). When during the day and how often do the issues occur? Does it usually occur when you first start it in the morning? If so, leave it overnight at the dealer and have them test drive it first thing in the morning. It's critical they identify it within your warranty period otherwise it will cost you thousands of dollars to fix. The good thing is that it's on record that you let them know the issues within the warranty period. You may want to have it checked at a different Ford dealer.
  • jrmustjrmust Posts: 17
    I've been having identical problems. You are describing my 2006 Ford Freestyle perfectly. Mine started at 28,000 miles. (when I bought it) Same issues randomly stalling at any speed or in park. No bad idle or chugging. Dealer has had on and off for the last 18 months and can't find anything. The instrument cluster has been changed and a new PCM but has not fixed the issue. They cannot get it to duplicate. They had it for 2 days and nothing. I picked it up and drove 11 miles and it cut off. There is a data recorder in it now and am trying to get images. Again no trouble lights or codes. Would love to have an update on your progress. I read posts #1128 from hypnosis44 and immediately faxed the info to the Dealer. The Engine Management Module is the next thing we are going to try.
  • coldcrankercoldcranker Posts: 877
    Isn't the Engine Management Module the same thing as the PCM you mentioned you already replaced? PCM stands for Powertrain Control Module, meaning it is a computer that controls the engine and transmission together.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    And you can get the PCM changed for free under the emissions warranty that goes for 80,000 miles.
  • lanbabalanbaba Posts: 45
    My 05 freestyle started to leak at the sunroof area after heavy rain, and the car parked at an incline. I took a look at the leak place and notice that the water is coming out of the third row seatbelt harness area (driver side). I did some research and found out that there is a TSB out there: 07-03-6. The reason is the rear drain hose is not routed properly. Anyone know where I can find the detail about this TSB, if I want to do it myself, since it is already out of warrenty. Here are some links I found:
  • jrmustjrmust Posts: 17
    Yes, apparently the PCM and EMM are the same thing. I guess now we will have to move to a ground fault or bad sensor causing the issues. I was able to collect images with the data recorder that the dealer installed in my car. So, hopefully they will get a good read or some kind of error code and can correct the problem. Any other ideas or suggestions anyone can offer to this "stalling" issue are appreciated.
  • coldcrankercoldcranker Posts: 877
    This almost certainly has to be the CVT transmission's problem, just hearing the evidence so far. Since problems happen when you put it in reverse, and the loud noise you sometimes hear, and the lack of acceleration sometimes, that indicates to me there is something wrong with the CVT's torque convertor clutch controls and/or hydraulics associated with that. The CVT uses a small torque convertor with a clutch to control launch from a standing start, until a direct mechanical link can be established with the CVT cones acting as continuous gearing. Also, remember that the OBDII problem codes mostly have to do with engine/emission problems, and there are no OBDII codes illuminating the way here, so it seems to indicate even more that this is a solenoid, sensor, and/or hydraulic problem in the CVT, not the engine.
  • coldcrankercoldcranker Posts: 877
    Doing some research on our Freestyle ZF-designed CVT, I ran across a statement about the Mini Cooper version (a PDF file posted online that came from ZF) that said fuel economy depended somewhat on the main belt tension being correct. As an engineer myself, that makes sense to me. How is tension controlled precisely? Would Fordwrench know the answer to that? I am wondering if a CVT owner such as myself depends on a mechanic setting the tension (or hydraulic clamping force on the belt), or if there is some sort of automatic, internal method used to get just the right tension from the belt without human intervention. Is the tension set at the factory? Can it be checked? Occasionally, on Freestyle forums, someone writes about unusually low fuel economy on a CVT Freestyle, while most of us get excellent fuel economy. This may be something to look into. fordwrench, or anyone else know?
    The referenced CVT article (to a similar ZF CVT on a Mini Cooper) is at Click Here for the PDF file...., page 21
  • coldcrankercoldcranker Posts: 877
    One more thing to add:

    I communicated this question to the son of the engineer who led the original development for the basic ZF design, and he is asking his dad about this. I'll post his answer later should I get it and compare it with the brainiacs who might answer this here. I'm certainly going to learn something here, and hope you all will too.

    From the Mini Cooper CVT transmission article PDF file to download here..., page 21

    "Pressure is supplied to the secondary pulley to ensure that there is always adequate clamping force onto the belt for all load conditions. A solenoid valve influences the secondary pressure control valve, optimising the pressure and hence the clamping force.
    Optimisation of this pressure improves fuel consumption.
    The working valves in this area are the secondary valve, the exhaust secondary valve, and a PWM solenoid secondary valve."
  • saabturboidsaabturboid Posts: 178
    Ok boys and girls, my '05 Freestyle is almost to 60,000 miles. Typically I don't go to the new car dealers for service unless I have to, but I've decided for the 60,000 mile service I had better go to a Ford dealer because of the special nature of the CVT, which requires a fluid change at 60,000 miles.

    One of the reasons I eschew dealers for these types of services is they tend to pad the list of things needed to be done so you walk out of there paying for things the manufacturer doesn't even call for.

    Would anyone who has had their 60,000 mile service be willing to share what was done and what the total cost was? I want to go into the dealer armed with as much accurate info as possible because I suspect they may try and slip a few extra services past me.

    Thank you,

  • jrmustjrmust Posts: 17

    Just got a call from my Dealer on the stalling and cutting off issue. According to the data recorded information I collected, the diagnostic tests show that just a split second before the incident happens, it loses a connection/contact with the sensor in the accelator causing it to either stall or shut off all together. Unfortunately not covered by my warranty but in this case the cutting off and stalling is far more dangerous for me and my family than a few hundred bucks. In the 18th months I've had this Freestyle and had this issue, this is the first time I've had to fork out money. Thus far, the instrument cluster, and 3 coils have been replaced trying to resolve this issue all on Ford. Hope this resolves my issue.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    The Edmunds Maintenance Guide will estimate what your service should cost for your zip code.

    And you can always tell the dealer to do the things on your list - if you say "do the 60k service", you'll wind up with a $1,000+ bill, summer air in the tires, shiny new lug nuts, waxed headrests and a headliner cleaning!
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    Here's all you need: Change the transmission fluid and fuel filter (you can do the air filter yourself). Now where you might get ripped off is when they do their free inspections of everything else and tell you that something else needs replacing. But it should cost more than $150 to get the transmission fluid and fuel filter replaced.

    Change transmission fluid and high pressure case filter (CVT)
    Inspect automatic transmission fluid level (if equipped with underhood dipstick)
    Replace fuel filter
    Replace engine air filter

    Perform multi-point inspection
    Inspect and lubricate all non-sealed steering linkage,ball joints,suspension joints,half and drive-shafts and u-joints
    Inspect brake pads/shoes/rotors/drums, brake lines and hoses, and parking brake system
    Inspect complete exhaust system and heat shields
    Inspect engine cooling system and hoses
    Change engine oil and replace oil filter (Up to 5 quarts of oil. Perform at specified mileage interval or every 6 months, whichever occurs first)
    Rotate and inspect tires; check wheel end play and turning noise
  • saabturboidsaabturboid Posts: 178
    Thanks bobw3 and steve. By the way, my local Ford dealer is having a special this month on re-calibrated piston return springs and re-packed muffler bearings. I'm just glad they said they'll top off the blinker fluid for free.... ;)

    - Chad
  • coldcrankercoldcranker Posts: 877
    Does anybody out there know if it is easy to drain and refill the CVT fluid DIY-style? Also, is the CVT filter easy to get to and replace? Somebody with access to a Ford CVT shop manual might know.
  • coldcrankercoldcranker Posts: 877
    Shouldn't they fix it on warranty? You have had this problem for over a year (assuming your mileage was under 36,000 when you first reported it), and they have been fumbling the diagnosis since. I would ask the Ford zone office for consideration in paying for this. The new non-mechanical, all electric throttle pedal is to blame (if that is the case), and it is Ford's fault for not fixing it sooner when you first reported it.
  • bruneau1bruneau1 Posts: 468
    i would not attempt to service the CVT myself. The procedure is much more complicated than a regular automatic. Get the complete procedure from Ford and you will see. And more than the filter and fluid must be changed and specific tools are required. I even have doubts about Ford dealers under the current conditions, but that is your best bet especially if you go to a dealer who has done it.
  • coldcrankercoldcranker Posts: 877
    Anybody out there have the shop manual steps for a CVT fluid+filter change (the 60,000 mile service one)? I hope they didn't make it difficult.

    If you're not convinced the Ford techs are good enough, similar ZF-brand CVTs are in Audi and Mini-Cooper (BMW) cars. Those dealerships should have the best mechanics around, and could likely service the Freestyle version of the ZF-designed CVT.
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