Ford Freestyle Maintenance and Repair



  • netgrousenetgrouse Member Posts: 2
    My A/C bangs too when going from hot to cold or cold to hot, I am not happy about it. The dealer says he has to tear the whole face of the dashboard off to fix it, we thought it would be better to listen to it rather than have them get their hands in there and mess up something else. Now, this morning, my husband hit a tree!!! Can't find parts anywhere, want to fix it ourselves, need a grill and drivers side fender. our driveway was glare ice, just to let everyone know - the front end is good and solid, the bumper and fender broke, but the nothing else budged. Anyone know where I can get cheap parts on line? I am sick over it, that car is my baby.
  • volfangaryvolfangary Member Posts: 105
    Check Ebay. There has been a guy selling replacement grills on there off and on. Maybe able to get a fender too.
  • reppepreppep Member Posts: 8
    I have a 2005 SE with 3100 miles. Today, both ABS & traction control lights came on at the same time. Just driving and noticed them. Anybody else have this problem? Called the dealer and he said they have to put it on the computer. Didn't want to hear that with a new car. Bought it for the snow. Live in Buffalo and we're supposed to get about a foot over the weekend. Don't need this.
  • echojonechojon Member Posts: 1
    Howdy, I'm new here and wanted to pass on some info that sounds somewhat related to what you're experiencing. I have an 06 FWD SEL that my wife and I have enjoyed for the past 2,500 miles we have on the odometer.

    Yesterday, the check engine light came on while she was driving. No noticeable difference with the car occurred. She took it in to the dealer this morning and they diagnosed it as a leak in the fuel system due to a faulty evaporator canister solenoid. They even said this is a common occurence on Fords in general and have replaced about 75 of them so far.
    The test code was P0455-P0457. A new part was shipped down from St. Louis and the car was ready this afternoon.
    Hope this helps.

    Nice forum.
  • minipearl1minipearl1 Member Posts: 3
    Did you ever resolve this problem? I have a 2005 Freestyle with almost 20,000 miles, and twice, in the last month, have had to have it towed to the dealership because it wouldn't start. Turned the key, engine turned over, but then didn't start. Tried again, but engine "flooded", acording to dealership. There is a strong gasoline smell, second time there is gas on the ground and continued to leak even in the bed of the tow truck two hours later (don't count on one hour road assistance, even if it is only 10 degrees). The circumstances were completely different both times, first time engine was cold, car was in heated garage. Second time engine was warm, car was outside in 10 degree weather. Would appreciate any input, if anyone has ideas.
  • minipearl1minipearl1 Member Posts: 3
    The only replacement blades we have found for our Freestyle was through the dealership, to the tune of almost $50.
  • indybellindybell Member Posts: 40
    Took the vehicle in for an oil change and reported these electrical glitches. Of course I got the "no trouble found" from the service advisor when I picked it up. Just wondering if anyone is seeing any of these things and did it lead to something more serious down the road.

    1. An intermittent single "beep" coming from the info center or so it seems to come from there. Like the low beep the "Reset" button makes when you hit it. Have seen this about 10 times or more over the course of 6 months.

    2. A failure of the cruise control to engage. Two occurences. Both times it took an engine shutdown to get it to engage.

    3. A strange behavior of the tach and speedo needle when the headlights shut off from the auto mode. Both needles drop below their resting points, flutter several times, then go back to their "normal" stop.

    4. Not an electrical problem (or maybe it is). A single occurence of the engine racing (to 3500 RPM) while cruising down a flat highway. Was running 55 MPH at 1750 RPM, didn't feel any acceleration, it was like the vehicle was out of gear. Stopped, shut the engine down, and then everything was behaved as normal.
  • cmunizcmuniz Member Posts: 604
    Can't explain the other three (2-4) but they sound like electrical problems to me. The first one might be the "oil Life" portion of the message center. When it gets close to "0" it will beep to remind you that an oil change is due. Some technicians forget to reset this to "100%" when they change the oil. I think it starts beeping around 30%. You might want to run through the sysstems check to see if that's the problem or if it indicates something else.
  • nitromaxnitromax Member Posts: 640
    My Freestyle is making that creaking noise that was mentioned by other posters here.
    Only when it nears the extreme of it's travel. I make sure the car is moving slightly so as not to overload the seering linkage/pump.
    I'll have it looked at soon.
  • magdadmagdad Member Posts: 21
    Check my post #190 - there was a factory defect in my MacPherson struts - the tops had to be replaced and now the creaking is gone.

    I've seen other posts on brake noise and wanted to add my 2 cents - my brakes were squealing so i took it in. The service advisor told me there was a fine discolored glaze on the front rotors that appeared to have come from the factory. He turned a fine layer off of the rotors and the noise stopped. This was at 8k, and now at 9800k I keep thinking I can hear it again but I am probably imagining it.

    Going to go to Amsoil this weekend.
  • kberrykberry Member Posts: 2
    A friend of mine works at Volvo and has for about 20 years. I asked him about the CVT tranny in the Freestyle and he stated they very very rarely see that tranny come back from the dealer. In fact he can not remember any off hand. He did mention others coming back from Mercedes and others. :)
  • nitromaxnitromax Member Posts: 640
    thanks, I'll look into it.

    I noticed in your post #190 that you were using Mobil 1 at that time. Now you're switching to Amsoil?
    Why the switch?
  • dzdncnfzddzdncnfzd Member Posts: 34
    Here are some ideas.

    1. The beep could be several things including the oil life as another poster pointed out. It could also be the directional light reminder or a seat belt reminder.

    2. Haven't experienced this.

    3. I see this all of the time. I have attributed it to a calibration of the needles by going backwards to some set point.

    4. Haven't seen this.
  • nitromaxnitromax Member Posts: 640
    As soon as the weather warmed up from the near 0 temps and back into the 30's and 40's, the creaking has dissapeared.
  • indybellindybell Member Posts: 40
    I kinda' know it's not an oil reminder 'cause I always reset the oil life myself (at the last oil change by the dealer, they actually did the reset themselves!!). Evidently the beep isn't "life threatening" - just weird!

    The needles going backward when the lights automatically shut down (doesn't do it when you physically shut them off) is common behavior for this vehicle and the 500 and Montego according to the service manager. Don't know if I actually buy that explanation and even if it is "common" for them them too,it's pretty weird behavior.

    Got the same explanation for the steering creaking. Normal. Actually they said it was the steering stops making the noise. Mine, also, does not make the noise when it is warm.

    They couldn't duplicate any of the other symptoms. As for "normal" and "common", like I said, I'm not sure I buy all that stuff. Seems like the usual explanations from techies when they're too dumb or too lazy to really diagnose the problem.
  • indygalindygal Member Posts: 2
    I have an AWD LTD with 22K and have a similiar problem...only worse!

    My husband drove the car to work after an 8 inch snow storm. He experience the slipping, stuttering and lack of power and traction you mentioned. The wrench light as well as the check engine light both came on. He got it directly to the dealer where it has been for the last 3 wks!

    Currently they are rebuilding the transmission. I have waited 2 weeks on the first set of parts, but am still waiting for them to receive a torque converter. Ford has provided a rental Freestar van while I'm without my wheels.

    Of course, I'm pretty disappointed about this. I called the Ford Customer Service line to see if they would cover an extended warantee on the transmission, but no deal. I would say they were no help at all.

    I hope you have better luck! I love my Freestyle, but don't know if I have much confidence in the CVT.
  • mwarrenmwarren Member Posts: 6
    My wife bought me a satellite radio for the Freestyle; luckily it comes with built in FM transmitter as I have the DVD player option. Is there any type of splitter cord you can use to directly connect the satellite to the AUX? It is possible to plug the satellite into the inputs on the DVD; but it would be a real hassle to run the wires back etc.


  • barnstormer64barnstormer64 Member Posts: 1,106
    You can get a car stereo installation place to run the RCA cables back to the DVD player for inputs. That's what I did.

    MUCH better quality than the FM transmitter.
  • mwarrenmwarren Member Posts: 6
    That might be the best strategy of all. Do you leave them plugged in all the time; and does that affect the function of the DVD at all?

  • cmunizcmuniz Member Posts: 604
    I would be interested in finding out what the dealer did to fix the problem when you get the car back. I would be surprised if the problem is mechanical, ie, with defective transmission parts. Most transmission problems nowadays are electrical. With a series of sensors, computer processors, etc that try to figure out what is going on and actually signal the CVT what to do accordingly. When something goes wrong with the electrical parts, the vehicle automatically goes into "limp home" mode which allows you to continue driving, but very slowly. That sounds a like what happened to your husband when the dash warning lights went on. Anyway, it would be intereting to find out whether the problem was mechanical or electrical? Thanks for posting and for keeping us informed.
  • barnstormer64barnstormer64 Member Posts: 1,106
    I leave the RCA inputs from the iPod / XM Radio setup plugged into the DVD player all the time.

    As far as I know, this doesn't affect the DVD player. But then again, I never use the darned thing, so I wouldn't really know. LOL

    One thing I have noticed: About every second or third time I start the vehicle, the AUX inputs of the DVD will no longer be selected. Instead, it'll be on FM. And if I try to select the AUX inputs, I can't (I get a NO AUX INPUT error message).

    The way I fixed this was to leave a DVD in the DVD player all the time. Now, when the system switches to FM radio every second or third start, I have to press AUX twice: The first time selects the DVD player, the second time selects the AUX inputs on the DVD player.

    I don't know why this happens, and would be curious to see if you (or others) have this same issue.
  • lafrancislafrancis Member Posts: 1
    I've just had an oil change and they forgot to reset the monitor; I've read and re-read the manual and tried every combination to try to reset this feature. Can anyone offer some help, please? It's driving me crazy! :cry:
  • puckyhuddlepuckyhuddle Member Posts: 52
    I believe its as simple pressing the odometer until you see the oil %, and then holding the odometer button in for 5 seconds until it beeps and resets. Maybe you have a problem, since you say you've tried every combination. I have to imagine you tried the method I described.
  • carolzcarolz Member Posts: 1
    REF: intermittent "clunk" I have experienced the same thing especially on a slight incline and acclerate from a stop. I had it to the service dept. the tech. also heard the clunk but they could not find anything wrong.
  • nousernamenousername Member Posts: 1
    My wife had exactly the same problem when trying to play her ipod through the aux inputs. Thanks for the tip about putting the dvd in the player. We were pulling our hair out trying to figure out how to get the NO AUX INPUT message to go away.
  • indygalindygal Member Posts: 2
    I just got my Freestyle back after exactly one month in :blush: the shop. The transmission problem was mechanical. They did a rebuild on the transmission and we had to wait to several different parts. I can't tell you exactly what parts were replaced, but I know they did replace the tourque converter. They told me there was metal shavings in it, and Ford wanted to completely replace it. I'm glad to finally have my vehicle back. It seems to be running fine. Since this was the first CVT job our local dealer had done, I'm really keeping my fingers crossed that it all went back together correctly!!
  • enricoenrico Member Posts: 3
    I noticed that when my 2005 Freestyle AWD has been parked for a few hours, the headlights would flash repeatedly by them selves. No problems otherwise. Anybody have an idea what is going on?
  • cmunizcmuniz Member Posts: 604
    Thanks very much for your update. I'm glad to know that you have it back and that it's running fine. I am surprised it is a mechanical problem, although that happens from time to time. There are so many electronic components in automatic transmissions now that even a bad battery can sometimes cause what looks like a problem with the transmission. Again, thanks for keeping us informed.
  • bigred13bigred13 Member Posts: 25
    This is interesting. We have been having trouble with our Freebie not starting in the morning. (something draining the battery) It has happened 4 times in the last month. When we were visiting Canada recently my wife said that she saw the headlights flickering by themselves. The car had been off for hours.

    When we returned, We took it to the dealer for the Fuel Tank Recall and had them check this mysterious concern. Of course because it wasn't happening at the time, they couldn't find anything. The next time it happens, we have been instructed to have it towed to the dealer so that they can run tests while it is dead. Hmmmmm!

    Anyway, this isn't very convenient for us. If you learn of anything new regarding this, please let us know and we will do the same...
  • barnstormer64barnstormer64 Member Posts: 1,106
    I would leave the vehicle with Ford Service, and have them hook up one of their code-readers to it.

    There are STILL some codes that don't get stored in new vehicles, but they do show up if you can "catch it in the act".

    I had to do this with a vehicle that had an alarm that kept going off.

    You've probably got a bad component somewhere.
  • indybellindybell Member Posts: 40
    This is an interesting post because my wife told me a few days ago that she saw our Freestyle's headlights blinking on and off by themselves. I, of course, have never seen this (and we haven't had a dead battery issue) so I took that with a grain of salt. Actually, I thought she may have been seeing things. Now it's another electrial issue to keep my eye on. Yes, there are other electrical issues I have seen with our vehicle.

    Beeps from the info center for no apparent reason, failure of the cruise control to engage until the engine was turned off and restarted, and a radio that stopped putting out sound while playing a CD the other day. Just little stuff. I'm waiting for a big electrical crash one of these days. Oh, of course, the local Ford dealer can't find anything wrong......ever!
  • enricoenrico Member Posts: 3
    Actually,we had the same experience with the car not starting. The night after my daugther said she saw the light flickering, the car wouldn't start in the morning. The battery wasn't run down, just seemed like it wasn't getting fuel. I remembered that I had the Fuel strap recall done by the Dealer just the week before and wondered if I had shut the rear hatch too hard and the system thought the car had been hit and shut down the fuel flow so I pressed the fuel restart button that is up under the dash on the passenger side and the car started and hasn't had a problem since. I have witnessed the headlight flicker myself since then but have had no trouble with the car starting. We got the same story from the Dealer, they haven't heard of problem and would need to see it happen to be able to do anything about it. I keep you posted...
  • barnstormer64barnstormer64 Member Posts: 1,106
    I had my radio quit playing once, too. Weird.

    Must be that CAN-Bus. LOL
  • pnewbypnewby Member Posts: 277
    Hve the dealer look at the following- :confuse:

    Publication Date: February 23, 2005

    FORD: 2005 Five Hundred, Freestyle
    MERCURY: 2005 Montego

    Some 2005 Freestyle, Five Hundred and Montego vehicles built before 2/21/2005 may exhibit the headlamps flickering intermittently, with no key in the ignition.

    Reprogram the smart junction box (SJB) to the latest calibration using WDS B36.0 or higher. Calibration files may also be obtained at The procedure to reprogram the SJB is virtually the same as reprogramming a powertrain control module (PCM), except when selecting the module to be programmed, select the SJB (WDS may refer to it as the GEM).

    Eligible Under Provisions Of New Vehicle Limited Warranty Coverage

    050501A 2005 Freestyle, Five Hundred, Montego: Check For Diagnostic Trouble Codes And Reprogram The Smart Junction Box (SJB) (Do Not Use With 12650D, 12650D84, 12651D, 12651D4) 0.4 Hr.

    14C184 04


    NOTE: The information in Technical Service Bulletins is intended for use by trained, professional technicians with the knowledge, tools, and equipment to do the job properly and safely. It informs these technicians of conditions that may occur on some vehicles, or provides information that could assist in proper vehicle service. The procedures should not be performed by "do-it-yourselfers". Do not assume that a condition described affects your car or truck. Contact a Ford, Lincoln, or Mercury dealership to determine whether the Bulletin applies to your vehicle. Warranty Policy and Extended Service Plan documentation determine Warranty and/or Extended Service Plan coverage unless stated otherwise in the TSB article. The information in this Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) was current at the time of printing. Ford Motor Company reserves the right to supercede this information with updates. The most recent information is available through Ford Motor Company's on-line technical resources.
  • barnstormer64barnstormer64 Member Posts: 1,106
    Strange . . you'd *think* that the dealer would at least check the TSBs.

    I wonder what ELSE that Smart Junction Box controls?

    When I finally get around to getting my radio replaced on my Freestyle, I'll have them do that reprogramming . . . . just in case. Shouldn't hurt to have it done, I'd imagine.

    You'd think that ALL of the models before a certain time period would need this reprogramming . . and perhaps people simply haven't noticed the flickering of the lights.
  • nitromaxnitromax Member Posts: 640
    I'm wondering if it's wise to have Ford service technicians working on a "Smart Box".....I'd hate to have any "smart" rubbing off on the technicians.
    Or even worse...the other way around!

  • indybellindybell Member Posts: 40
    Thanks for the info.
  • enricoenrico Member Posts: 3
    Thanks, I spoke to the dealer again today before I saw your post and they still didn't know anything about this...
  • preston4preston4 Member Posts: 1
    We haven't been able to close the doors on our 05 SEL on some cold (20 degree) mornings. The doors (both front and rear) just bounce back open, even when slammed. I think the door design may be allowing water to get onto the door latch mechanisms during a heavy rain, and then if it freezes overnight, the doors can be opened but not shut again until warmed up.

    This problem showed up recently this winter (three times so far) after rain followed by frost. I think this is a serious problem in our climate (CT). I have never experienced it in another car.

    Has anyone else seen this? Thanks...
  • nitromaxnitromax Member Posts: 640
    This same thing happened to me this past weekend. Rainstorm changing to snow and then single digit temps the next day. The Freestyles door just bounced back open like there was an obstruction. (seatbelt, ice) closed fine though if I held onto the door when closing.

    I don't mind at all though.....My Acura I couldn't even get into until I poured boiling salty water into the door jams. And even now the automatic door locks will not function. Nasty storm!
  • kbbbmallardkbbbmallard Member Posts: 7
    We have a 05 freestyle limited we got in june and have been very happy up until now. About 5 times now on cold mornings, the car would not start. It acted like cars used to when they were flooded, so I held the gas pedal to the floor and it finally started. It smoked just like it was flooded. Dealer says he has had 5 complaints about this but Ford does not have a fix yet. Luckily we have had a mild winter so problem has not been severe. I don't like having to start a cold vehicle at full throttle. Dealer says it could also happen during the day if the vehicle gets cold enough.
  • passat_2002passat_2002 Member Posts: 468
    Sounds like water in your fuel. Try buying gas elsewhere.
  • bigred13bigred13 Member Posts: 25
    Thanks so much for the info.....I'm really starting to get ticked with the Dealer. This will be the 2nd time that we're telling them how to fix something, the first being the 6 disk changer.

    Are we the only ones privy to the TSB's. Are the Ford tech's banned from accessing this info???? Jeeeez!!!!
  • nitromaxnitromax Member Posts: 640
    bigred13, didn't you say that you lived in the Wilmington area of Massachusetts?

    Just curious which Ford dealer you have been going to.

  • dweihedweihe Member Posts: 1
    where did you hook up the rca plugs for the use of the AUX? Did you have to remove the stereo from the dash board?
  • gnedgned Member Posts: 2
    The radio (6 CD) in our 05 SEL freebie has been replaced. The replaced radio's controls do not light up at night. The clock and status display does not dim w/ the dash light control and is too bright and is distracting at night. The sad part is I cannot remember if the original radio had the same condition or not, but I do not remember the display being too bright. Has any one had similar condition?
  • pnewbypnewby Member Posts: 277
    Most of us that had a replacement have had this. There is a TSB for replacing the radio that gives express instructions on programmng the radio to prevent this. I'm sure that you now have no speed volume either. If you can't find the TSB, I'll try to locate a copy for you later.
  • pnewbypnewby Member Posts: 277
    Most of us that had a replacement have had this. There is a TSB for replacing the radio that gives express instructions on programmng the radio to prevent this. I'm sure that you now have no speed volume either. If you can't find the TSB, I'll try to locate a copy for you later.
  • icelandiceland Member Posts: 1
    My Freestyle just got towed in because the gear shift wouldn't shift. Started sticking on Monday. Today, stuck in drive. Turned it off, but couldn't move the vehicle and couldn't move the gear shift.

    Anyone have this problem? Has Ford reported this problem?
    Thanks for your response
  • bigred13bigred13 Member Posts: 25
    We purchased our Freebie and have been dealing with Bonnell Ford in Winchester because we had horrible experiences with 128 Ford/Isuzu (Wakefield) with our 01 Rodeo. We also passed on Stoneham Ford because they were affiliated with 128.

    We also spoke with people that have used Bonnell in the past and have consistently received good reviews.

    With that said, I asked one of the service writers today why it is that we have to tell them about TSB's and asked him why they can't look them up themselves. His answer was that "there were too many to keep up with". Great! That gives me loads of confidence in having bought a Ford product!
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