Ford Freestyle Maintenance and Repair



  • styxfsstyxfs Member Posts: 7
    Has anyone notice water streaming out of the exhaust? I notice on short runs of the engine, 5 to 10 minutes, that after the engine is turned off a small puddle of water forms under the exhaust pipe. Looked at it and it seems to be coming from the "front end" of the heat deflector of the muffler.
    Just curious.
  • dgulinodgulino Member Posts: 38
    Water is a normal product of the combustion of hydrocarbons, so your engine is always producing it. It's normally not seen because the exhaust system is hot enough to keep it as a vapor as it exits your car's tailpipe.

    But when the engine is first started, the exhaust system is not yet hot, and so, for the first few minutes, the water vapor coming out of the engine condenses in the exhaust system and drips out the tailpipe. This happens with every car with an internal combustion engine, but you never see the water because you're driving. If you start the engine and then let the car idle in one spot, you'll see a small puddle of water on the ground below the exit of the tailpipe.

    Did you ever notice in the winter time how much more visible the exhaust coming out of everyone's car seems to be, especially when you're all idling at a signal light? That's because the cold air condenses the water vapor in the exhaust, creating fog. So most of what you're seeing is steam, not smoke or soot.

    Getting back to your car, if the water is not coming from the end of the tailpipe, you might have a leak in the exhaust system somewhere, but it might also just be that the water is running down the pipe a bit before dripping off onto the ground.
  • nitromaxnitromax Member Posts: 640
    One more thing to note.

    Cars that perform frequent short trips as opposed to longer trips tend to have exhaust systems that rust out sooner. All due to the water vapor trapped in the exhaust system and not being vaporized.
  • georgejkgeorgejk Member Posts: 1
    I have 19,000 miles on my Freestyle with a problem of the rear brakes. I was just told that The rear rotors have to be replaced along with the ceramic pads. I find that this is not a warrantee issue as the warrantee ran out after 12,000 miles. I've owned an Explorer and Tribute with no hint of a rotor problem at 19,000 miles. Worse, the rotors can't be turned as there is not enough metal there. I talked to the regional office at Ford and they said "sorry the warrantee rant out" Now I am looking at a 2005 vehicle with a $400.00 brake job. I am not a happy camper!
  • bobw3bobw3 Member Posts: 2,989
    If this is the case with the water vapor, why is it that only some cars have the dripping from the exhaust pipes while others don't? Just curious, because I don't see too many today with dripping water coming from the exhaust, so when I do see one it makes me think that there's a problem somewhere in that car, since if it was "normal" than I'd think all cars would have the dripping water.???
  • nitromaxnitromax Member Posts: 640
    My only answer to that would be that maybe the cars that you don't see dripping water have faster warm-up times.

    Found this explanation on the web:
    Combustion of hydrocarbons generates carbon dioxide and water vapor. There is humidity in the incoming air, too, but it is small compared to the water of combustion.

    The water vapor condenses in the cold exhaust piping, just like a frosty beer mug sweats in the humid summer months. If you don't drive long enough for the piping to get hot (short trips), then it is completely normal to have water dribble out of the exhaust, usually at the intermediate and cat-back joint(s).
  • volfangaryvolfangary Member Posts: 105
    There should have been enough metal? Was the pads grinding into rotors?
  • brantybranty Member Posts: 53
    Interesting. Our Freestyle had 20,769 km (12,900 mi) and the front rotors had to be replaced (warped). The work was done completely under warranty. The fact that there was no metal left on your rotors suggests the pads were causing the wear well before your 19,000 miles.
    The "3-year bumper to bumper" warranty only covers normal wear and tear on brake pads and linings for 12 months or 12,000 miles.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 North Central OHMember Posts: 17,761
    if you look at the muffler and exhaust pipes, they have some weep holes built in, to drain out the condensation. it helps the exhaust system last a lot longer. it is normal.
    2020 Ford Explorer XLT, 91 Mustang GT vert
  • sandy_jsandy_j Member Posts: 6
    I have an 05 AWD SE with 23K miles, purchased in January 05.

    In August (at 15K miles) it started acting like the transmission was slipping and the Throttle Control/Transmission light (the wrench) came on. It took forever to reach 55MPH and when I took my foot off the gas it slowed down sharply.

    I took it to my dealer and they determined it was an issue with the transmission electronics. They replaced the transmission control module and I haven't had any problems since then with it. The service order shows it as replacing the Mechatronic/Mechatronix and they reprogramed the PCM and TCM.

    Maybe this will help? :confuse:
  • mas23mas23 Member Posts: 38
    Well, I took my Freestyle into the dealer for the second time this past Saturday for the AWD Malfunction warning. They looked at it for about an hour but said everything looked normal. I was told to bring it back during weekdays so they can contact Ford Engineers for troubleshooting tips. At least they fixed the recall issue with the fuel tank strap.
  • nitromaxnitromax Member Posts: 640
    wow, they already have the replacement fuel tank straps?

    Now if we can only get them to design some mud flaps for this thing.
  • vtbaileyvtbailey Member Posts: 1
    I'm having difficulty finding snow tires for my 2005 Freestyle AWD SEL. Do I need them in VT? What size and make have other owners used?
  • brettkaufmanbrettkaufman Member Posts: 3
    Polarized sunglasses -- you won't believe the difference
  • brantybranty Member Posts: 53
    I recently got winter tires for my AWD LTD. I decided to go with Pirelli Sotozero winter tires in the original 18" size that comes on the LTD model(this was the only winter tire that I could find in the 225 60R18 size).
    I could have gone with 17" tires but I did not want to purchase extra rims. There were several 17" tires available (Michelin Latitude X-Ice; Bridgestone Blizzak LM50 or WS-50; Dunlop Grand Tek SJ6; Pirelli Winter 210; Toyo Observe Go-2Plus). I think Continenal may have a winter tire in the 17" size as well.
    Do you need them? I guess that depends on how much snow and/or ice you get in Vermont (I assume lots). If your tires don't have too many miles on them yet the tread may be OK for the first winter but if you are going into your second winter with your Freestyle (like we are) the grip may not be as good.
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  • bobb5bobb5 Member Posts: 3

    Ford authoriized a new engine (long block)!!!

    Apparently coolant had been slowly seeping into a cyl. (cyls?).
    This was causing WATER OUT the Exhaust and increasing poor acceleration. ( I wonder if some other post re: water out exhausts maybe Head gaskets?

    It runs great now (fingers crossed).

    I dont recall signing any "no rental" contracts and the dealership said they would provide a rental if I bought the car from them; but I couldn't because they didn't have one in stock to buy at the time.

    In Calif. years ago they use to have a Arbitration program between Ford the Better Business Bureau and the consumer. Awards were binding on Ford but not on the consumer. Rental reimbursement / Loss of use was allowed to be claimed but not often awarded unless the car was almost new or the problem history started early on and was not fixed. I'll check it out here and advise. I lost almost a month with no vehicle I'll buy the extended warranty now for sure.

    Good Luck to all and keep posting
  • jschreiberjschreiber Member Posts: 50
    Well I weathered one winter here in Minnesota with an AWD SE with all season radials--did very well terrific traction and AWD system--better than my Jeep, never had a problem--that said, my next round of tires will have a more aggressive tread
    because as the all season get worn I suspect they will be much less efficient in the snow
  • freestylefreestyle Member Posts: 1
    I have the same problem. A 2005 Freestyle AWD SEL. My problem started at about 3000 miles. Please post info if you get any progress. I'll post progress if I get any.
  • bedfordmikebedfordmike Member Posts: 1
    We bought our 2005 Ford Freestyle in April. We like it a lot. However, today we noticed a knocking sound towards the rear. We never noticed it before. The knocking isn't limited to roadways that have a poor surface; it is happening on roads with good surfaces.

    Could it be a suspension/shock issue? We don't even have 6000 miles on the car. I should note that today was the first day where the temperature did not get out of the 40s. I'm not sure, but maybe that has something to do with the problem.

    I have heard of the fuel tank strap recall, and intend to get that fixed in the next week or so. I don't think that has anything to do with what were are hearing.
  • volfangaryvolfangary Member Posts: 105
    The knocking sounds very much like a suspension problem. Another possibility is the frame support structure. I have read that there are a lot of rubber components on the frame and with colder weather the rubber may be making some noise. I would have them check it out when you go in for recall.
  • tonymaisonettonymaisonet Member Posts: 1
    About the gas mileage I have to say that after 6,300 miles on my Freestyle the mileage is dissapointing and the on-board computer keeps reading 14.2 miles per gallon even if I reset again and again, it goes back the next day to 13.4 mpg or 14.2 mpg :confuse:
    I also find myself making trips the gas station very often, way more than what I expected.
    When calling the dealer they suggested me to wait untill I hit the 7,500 miles the they will connect it to their shop computer to see what is the problem :confuse:
    I do not have much hope for gas mileage improvement :(
  • volfangaryvolfangary Member Posts: 105
    Sounds like your computer needs reprogramed. Others on this board and other boards have had similiar issues till computer was reprogramed.
  • skovatchskovatch Member Posts: 24
    Has anyone found an aftermarket winter blade that can be installed on the Freestyle? I bought two Anco winter blades over Thanksgiving, and couldn't figure out how to attach them to the Freestyle's unique wiper mount. We drove from Cleveland to Dayton last Wednesday, and had a lot of problems with blade chattering and poor wiping.

    On the plus side, I've never had a car that had wiper blades that could be changed this easily! It gave me a temporary fix by taking the blades off the car and bringing them in to the warm hotel room, which fixed things nicely the next morning, but I'd prefer a sturdier blade while driving. The 'official' Ford blades appear to be relatively reasonable, but I don't want to go to the dealer every time I need blades.
  • sandy_jsandy_j Member Posts: 6
    I just wanted to add that I've gotten a lot of comments on the front wiper blades. When I go into a gas station and they clean the windshield they usually comment about how strange the blades look. I really like the "extra curve" because they really hug the windshield. That's important as I live in Portland, Oregon & it rains a lot. :D
  • bobw3bobw3 Member Posts: 2,989
    Wow...they actually clean your windshield! ;)
  • tauritauri Member Posts: 2
    Hi all,

    New to the forum, but have happily been researching here for quite some time.

    We are the happy owners (Aug 2005) of a silver 2005 Freestyle AWD SE w/ safety, convenience group, and aux. climate control. Love the "car/wagon/SUV/whatever you want to call it" - it's handled all our loads and passengers with aplomb and comfort. A big step up from our previous Focus and Escort.

    We have noticed one particular (peculiar?) issue with our vehicle, and I wanted to get additional data. With the cooler weather, we've noticed that the rear air vents on the floor are not distributing warm air equally. The vents below the rear passenger seats were not heating, but the rear driver's side seats had no shortage of heat.

    This led to a vicious feedback loop between my wife in the back seat with my infant daughter, myself in the front seat, and the thermostats, resulting in me roasting and my wife freezing. (She was on the passenger side, turning up the heat and fan in the back, blowing more heat up front, and I was turning down the temperature up front, blowing colder air back at her through the center console) An uncomfortable situation all around!

    We finally figured out what was going on (and eased back on the temperature adjustments), but haven't had a chance to talk to the dealer about it. Anyone else experience similar issues with the rear climate control?

    Thanks for all of the input and advice I've received so far already! Hopefully someone will get some utility (or entertainment) from this.
  • kayetkayet Member Posts: 1
    We're having the same problem. We just purchased our freestyle (Haven't even made the first payment on it), and have less than 2000 miles on it. About 2 weeks ago, the fuel gauge dropped to zero and then the check engine light came on. My husband immediately took it to the Ford Dealer and was told this was a known problem with many of the Ford cars since the Government released fuel from the reserve and loosened some of the EPA restrictions. They told him to put in a fuel additive each time we filled up (costing $12.00 at the dealer), or use Chevron Gas with Technoline. We've done that, and still the check engine light is on. The dealer assures us that this is the issue and the engine needs to be "cleaned out"...whatever that means.

    I'm very disappointed as we really do love the car, and it's perfect for our family. I needed something that could seat 7, but had a low wheelbase so that I could move my mother-in-law who is wheelchair bound. I can get her in and out of this car, but not a minivan. We have a 1996 Ford Escort with almost 300,000 miles on it, and have loved it. Has anyone else heard about this, or is the dealer just jerking us around?

    Thanks in advance.
  • manasotamanasota Member Posts: 28
    We had the 5K mile service due so we scheduled the recall work to be done as well. Another item of concern was a clunking noise from the front end when the wheels are turned hard left or right while parking.

    The whole service and repair took only an hour! On a hot car! The tech claimed the clunking was normal and he lubed the wheel stops so it should clunk less. LOL Clunking 32k car. :(

    Everybody run out to your car and turn the wheel all the way to the left and right please and tell me if you hear any clunks. If you's normal.
  • volfangaryvolfangary Member Posts: 105
    I don't have a clunk when turning wheels, but I do have a clunk when shifting in forward or reverse gear. I had another car that did this and was told it was just a normal noise of the drive train. Does anyone else have a clunk noise when shifting into drive or reverse? Thanks! :confuse:
  • barnstormer64barnstormer64 Member Posts: 1,106
    I seem to notice a very quiet "clunking sound" (for lack of a better description) when I shift into gear. I don't worry much about it.
  • nitromaxnitromax Member Posts: 640
    Everybody run out to your car and turn the wheel all the way to the left and right please and tell me if you hear any clunks. If you's normal.

    That's one good way to ruin your steering linkage. You should never turn your wheels without the car moving.
  • nitromaxnitromax Member Posts: 640
    I don't have a clunk when turning wheels, but I do have a clunk when shifting in forward or reverse gear. I had another car that did this and was told it was just a normal noise of the drive train. Does anyone else have a clunk noise when shifting into drive or reverse?

    A clunk shifting into drive or reverse is normal. Try to imagine the mechanism that is rotating your driveshaft having to change direction or start to rotate. There is going to be some movement of the car (clunking). A extremly loud clunk or shudder would be bad though.
  • vwcarcrazyvwcarcrazy Member Posts: 52
    Also make sure you are coming to a complete stop before moving the shift lever. I did not really notice that I was still moving slightly until my wife pointed it out. The same way you tend to not come to a complete stop at a stop sign. Yes, you will sometimes get a clunking noise from the drivetrain - the level tends to be in proportion to the amount of driveline momentum (take your foot off the brake at a dead stop and the the car will move because even at idle there is torque on the drivetrain). When the car is cold, it tends to idle a little faster and the clunk is louder. I have no to little clunk when the car is warmed up and at higher outdoor temps - louder when drivetrain is cold and at winter temps. Also, I have noticed at colder winter temps or when cool and wet - I get a clunk sometimes when turning the wheel to back into my parking ramp slot (yes, turning the wheel when at a dead stop - sometimes you have no choice).
  • volfangaryvolfangary Member Posts: 105
    Thanks to everyone for their reply concerning the clunking noise when shifting into drive or reverse. Sounds like this is normal for everyone. :shades:
  • tourist1234tourist1234 Member Posts: 30
    By no means am I an expert but the story sounds very suspicious to me. When I read what the dealer told you about the fuel released from the reserve all of my alarms went off. It just does not add up. There are several other posts about this problem in several of the Freestyle forum categories and they were before Katrina. I for the life of me can't see how fuel (dirty, lower octane, different formula) would affect the fuel tank capacity sensor. It sounds more like a faulty tank sensor or computer program glitch.
  • cmunizcmuniz Member Posts: 604
    I agree....
  • bill_2005bill_2005 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2005 Freestyle and want to get a computer code scanner. I prefer one that connects to a laptop computer. Has anyone bought one? I'm looking for all input good and bad.
  • jschreiberjschreiber Member Posts: 50
    Well my mileage dramatically improved to 20-22 stop and go and 25-26 hiway with AWD SE at 5000. Have you checked to see that the computer is correct--it is a cumulative average--I'd suggest zero out the trip odometer and fill up and then manually track the mielage when you refill--I bet it is better than the computer is saying. If not then the dealer should run a diagnostic and don't buy that everything is OK. Final issue--alot of ethanol in gas this winter--also cuts mileage--might try ethanol free and see if it improves
  • wookieedaddieewookieedaddiee Member Posts: 4
    I have an SE AWD, and a continuing transmission problem.

    It started about two weeks ago, when I took the family out shopping and we also had our first real snow fall. I noticed that the car seemed to be "slipping" or "stuttering", like it was either stalling or couldn't get traction. After a couple of these incidents, the AWD/Transmission light (wrench) came on. followed by the check engine light. After sitting (shopping) for a couple hours, I restarted the car, and no lights, but the same scenario happened on the way home, and while the wrench light went out, the check engine light stayted on for a couple restarts.

    Took it to the dealer, and they said that they hadn't seen those codes before, and after talking with Ford adjusted the software that controlled the transmission - my appologies if this is vague, I got lost in some of the jargon. Well this last Saturday, we had some fresh snow, and while my wife was driving, the wrench and check engine lights came back on, the car started "slipping", and she had almost no acceleration from a complete stop.

    I'm headed back to the dealer tonight, but wondered if anyone had this same problem, or any other advice.

  • nitromaxnitromax Member Posts: 640
    How long have you had your Freestyle? Do you know the build date of it?
  • dgulinodgulino Member Posts: 38
    The fuel-gauge-dropping-to-zero problem has not returned since that one incident, and I still think it had something to do with the tank being filled to the brim AND driving up a very steep hill. However, whatever the cause, as I mentioned in my previous post, disconnecting and reconnecting the battery caused the check engine light to go out and stay out. It hasn't come back on since.

    We have put about 2000 miles on the car since this episode, including a 1200-mile, three-day road trip, so there have been several tank fill-ups in there. We had a routine oil change done during those 2000 miles as well, and I didn't bother to mention the problem to the dealer, figuring I would leave well enough alone.

    We have our fingers crossed that this was a one-time glitch. The car, which we bought in early June, now has almost 14,000 miles on it (it is a FWD SE), and we have had no other problems with it. It has been a pleasure to own. We hope it stays this way!
  • wookieedaddieewookieedaddiee Member Posts: 4
    The build date is the last week in Feb. I believe I took possesion of the vehicle the third week of March, right before Easter.
  • sandy_jsandy_j Member Posts: 6
    It sounds similar to a problem I had-check msg 261-it may be the same. I put in all of the "jargon" from my service report. :D

    Good Luck
  • cmunizcmuniz Member Posts: 604
    Great post, Sandy...I'll bet that's the same problem.
  • mets31lovermets31lover Member Posts: 1
    I bought my Freestyle in Jan of 2005, and had a similar problem twice last year - and now twice this year--both times when the roads had some snow/ice on them. It felt like the car "slipped", so after removing my foot from the gas, then putting my foot back on the gas, the car almost seemed to hesitate, and then the LCD displayed "Engine Failsafe Mode". After turning the car off, then turning it back on, the warning went away. From what I remember of last year's problem, when I took it in to one dealer (where I purchased the vehicle), they couldn't find a problem. However, I moved, and took the car into a different dealer, and they determined that there was some kind of software problem, which they "fixed" at that time. I hadn't had another problem with it until the first snowfall this year. I have an appointment for this afternoon to check this problem out again.
  • wookieedaddieewookieedaddiee Member Posts: 4
    Thanks for your post Sandy, and everyone else - I'm still waiting for a response from the service manager from the dealership. I'll update when I have more info.
  • wookieedaddieewookieedaddiee Member Posts: 4
    Off the phone with the Service Manager from the dealership. They are replacing the throttle body, and have updated software to newest versions.

    Should have the car back tonight and will post again if problems continue.

    Anyone had a throttle body replaced?
  • kjnormankjnorman Member Posts: 243
    I discovered that the front end of our 2005 Limited AWD was clunking on hard left and right turns over the weekend. Out car has about 6-7K miles on it, and I noticed the clunking for the first time in sub freezing temperatures.

    It may have clunked before but its is mostly driven by my wife so I would not have noticed and she never notices such things....

    Incidentally our car does not clunk when changing gears...
  • bobnu75bobnu75 Member Posts: 21
    See post #212 - that might be your solution.
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