Ford Freestyle CVT Transmissions

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  • mrachedimrachedi Member Posts: 6
    This past week end we had wrench light came on. After restart light went off and we commenced to drive to different stops with no problems. Went to search engine and had two pages of hits on topic for manufacturer and model.

    Went to dealer first thing Monday. They did diagnosis since internal computer stores all errors even though car had restarts to clear symbol on dash. They found problems with the engine throttle. This must be a design problem since parts were all on back order. My dealer did find parts and after a 4 hour wait with 9926A Throttle Body Air Intake replace 9E926, two quick test diagnosis, and install 6F9Z 9E926 Throttle Control test and replace Throttle Body we had the problem fixed.

    We had about 73,198 miles on car and did have foresight to have extended warranty. Cost without warranty would have been close to $650 and only paid deduct of $50. Should be on a recall notice if parts are on back order indicating problem happens to many model owners.
  • joe288joe288 Member Posts: 1
    My 2005 Ford Freestyle transmission is failing at 54,000 miles. The dealer rebuilt it before the warranty went out, but that was obviously just a band-aid fix. Now that it is out of warranty, Ford says that the transmission needs to be totally replaced. They say it will cost us $6,000. They should have replaced the transmission while it was still under warranty. We had taken it in several times due to a strange noise. They used the electronic ears, but never pinpointed the problem until the rebuild.
  • dominicano51dominicano51 Member Posts: 11
    I heard this the cvt breaks less often than regular transmissions, but regular transmissions can be fix anyware and parts are low cost but cvt's cannot be fix by anyone and the parts are really expensive. ford made this mess and stop making more and that drive cost higher since they don't make it anymore. I pray jesus that somehow something happens to ford like a recall were they have to pay more than what they ever made on this cars. I spend 1800 dollars fixing mine and it lasted 1 month now the shop says that they are tired of trying to fix mine since now they cannot fix the problem. What should i do now ford??

    i am in the hole with this car. i wish i know someone in the media like cnn and invide them while i set this car on fired and be shown on prime time while the commentator says a Ford customer tired of being screw by ford.

    would like to see their reaction in the pr dept.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAMember Posts: 4,098
    edited July 2010
    "I spend 1800 dollars fixing mine and it lasted 1 month now the shop says that they are tired of trying to fix mine since now they cannot fix the problem. "

    Wait a minute, are you saying that your Ford dealer told you it can't be fixed? That just doesn't seem right. If you used an independent mechanic, I'm almost surprised it lasted even a month. The CVT is advanced technology and needs specialized service.

    I hope your situation works out. Keep us informed!
  • stevedebistevedebi LAMember Posts: 4,098
    "My 2005 Ford Freestyle transmission is failing at 54,000 miles. The dealer rebuilt it before the warranty went out, but that was obviously just a band-aid fix. Now that it is out of warranty, Ford says that the transmission needs to be totally replaced. They say it will cost us $6,000. They should have replaced the transmission while it was still under warranty. We had taken it in several times due to a strange noise. They used the electronic ears, but never pinpointed the problem until the rebuild. "

    How long ago was the warranty fix? Normally such fixes carry a 12 month warranty on the parts / labor.
  • mycar26mycar26 Member Posts: 1
    GREETINGS. I HAVE A 2007 FREESTYLE LIMITED. VERY NICE CAR, GREAT GAS MILEAGE. NOW HAS A LITTLE OVER 44700 MILES AND A PROBLEM JUST DEVELOPED.
    WHEN I ACCELERATE, THE CAR JERKS TO THE RIGHT AND THEN JUMPS OR JERKS BACK TO THE LEFT WHEN YOU LAYOFF THE PEDDLE. NO CODE LIGHTS COME ON. I THINK IT WILL STILL BE UNDER THE DRIVE TRAIN WARANTEE.

    ANY SUGGESTIONS? IS IT A TRACTION CONTROL ISSUE OR TRANY. THANKS.
  • mrkristofermrkristofer Member Posts: 1
    edited October 2010
    I have a 2005 freestyle. Bought it used from a dealer last summer (2009) it had 13,000 miles. Now its a year later and it has 24,000 miles. The CVT is making a nasty sound like a bearing is worn out. Plus, when coasting down hills it does not let the car freely accelerate.

    Here is a video of the car, you can hear the sound. Its 2x as loud outside the car.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5fCRg_uaQg

    Can anyone tell me what this is and what it will cost to fix? At 24,000 miles, worn out bearings mean either bad parts or too much torque or vibes (bad design).
  • bruneau1bruneau1 Member Posts: 468
    You may have a broken torque strut. It's in the engine compartment and is designed to keep the engine from moving too much. Just a guess- have it looked at.
  • bruneau1bruneau1 Member Posts: 468
    That sounds bad. A new transmission runs $6000-7000
  • stevedebistevedebi LAMember Posts: 4,098
    " Plus, when coasting down hills it does not let the car freely accelerate. "

    This may be the design. I have had several cars that had "downhill speed limiters", that acted sort of like engine braking. It's been a couple of years since I owned my FS, so I can't remember if mine acted the same.
  • dzimmermanndzimmermann Member Posts: 1
    Add me to the list

    2006 Freestyle 88000 miles Repairs this year
    4 years old. Still paying the note

    New Trans $4300.00
    New Air Compressor $1000.00
    Throttle Body/Surging $1200.00

    Ford could care less. First and last ford product. Going back to Toyota, Honda or Hyundai. Can't wait to get rid of this piece of junk
  • bobw3bobw3 Member Posts: 2,992
    edited October 2010
    Seems like a lot of those with Freestyle problems have only recently been members. Perhaps it's the same one individual looking to vent by creating more Edmunds userids and then posting "problems." Not necessarily true, but you never know.

    I've been posting for years, and while I don't have a Freestyle now, I owned one from 2005 until a few months ago and it was a great car. Other than routine maintenance, I didn't put in any of my own money for repairs (power steering pump under the extended warranty was the only repair). I sold the car with 86,000 miles one (I no longer needed such a large vehicle).

    If you look in Consumer's Reports, you'll find that the Freestyle has an average rating, which is much better than GM or Chrysler vehicles of a similar nature. I think anyone needing a vehicle that drives like a car, holds nearly as much as a minivan, and gets great MPG for a vehicle of its size should look at buying a used Freestyle. Due to depreciation, you can get one pretty cheap.

    Anyway, just don't let a few folks posting here ruin what really was a great car with high quality.
  • bruneau1bruneau1 Member Posts: 468
    We have a 2005 fwd Freestyle which we like very much. The throttle body was replaced under warranty before we had any bad driving situations. As for the CVT, it is my favorite thing about the vehicle. It is always doing the right thing, unlike the conventional transmissions in our other two cars. Granted, it's not as fast off the line. Sorry that many people are having problems. Hope our turn is not down the line.
  • sindersinder Member Posts: 37
    Surely you jest ? Someone actually creating mulitple ID's to complain about the Freeystyle CVT?
    You are most fortunate that you did not have any trouble with yours, but for those of that that have dropped 4-5-6K into a fairly young vehicle have to right to complain about it.

    Sorry, bobw3, but please do NOT suggest that anyone buy a used one....unless, of course the tranny has already been replaced with a remanned one.....('cause you can't buy a new one. :sick:
  • mbe3204mmbe3204m Member Posts: 2
    Most indie mechanics can handle Ford's "advanced" CVT. There are plenty of mechanics out there that can get through a tangled web of Benz, BMW, even Saab electrical issues and fix them for you at well below the cost a dealer will charge. I'm about to consider buying a Freestyle and with all the tranny problems on the CVT I may change my mind and not take the risk. Ford dropped the ball here based on all the awful experiences with this transmission; your blanket assumption about indie mechanics is misplaced.
  • mbe3204mmbe3204m Member Posts: 2
    sb, in what area of the country are you - curious if you work for a dealership that I'm getting a Freestyle checked out at soon.
  • bobw3bobw3 Member Posts: 2,992
    Sinder,

    The vast majority of folks have ZERO problems with the Freestyle's transmission, so my experience is the norm. And the vast majority of folks buying a used Freestyle will also have no problems with their Freestyle transmission, so I don't see anything wrong with me recommending this vehicle. I recently sold mine to someone who bought it because their parents have and love the one they currently own.

    What happens is that when someone has a problem with their car, they search google and find other's with the same problem on Edmunds, and then they start posting their problems. too. It's pretty rare for someone with no problems to post here, just those with problems. That's why something can appear to be a "huge" problems when in reality it's a pretty isolated group having a problem. It's the same with any of these car forums.
  • tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
    The vast majority of folks have ZERO problems with the Freestyle's transmission, so my experience is the norm.

    That may be but it does not in any way diminish the severity of the problem to those who experience it.

    Consider this. The overwhelming majority of swimmers never get attacked by sharks but would you be as dismissive of people who recommend against swimming at the beach where they were attacked? After all, the norm is that swimmers don't get attacked. Just a thought. :)

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • sindersinder Member Posts: 37
    I did NOT go looking for a forum to post in. I merely went searching for what the problem could be with my vehicle, when I was damn near, in what would have been a brutal accident because of the tranny's malfunction.

    You keep talking about YOUR experience, but GUESS WHAT ???, my experience and many others are quite different from yours and we have the absolute right to say so.

    Unless you've been conducting some sort of study of Freestyle CVT from 05-08, then how can you speak of the vast majority ? And if it is so "RARE" for someone with no problems to post here.......why are you ?

    I assure you that if you had to dump an extra 5-6K into a vehicle with less than 65K, you too might find that a little painful. And for the record, I would NEVER recommend the 05-08 Freestyle to anyone and I would sooner set it ablaze then to hand it down to a family member. :lemon:
  • stevedebistevedebi LAMember Posts: 4,098
    edited October 2010
    I leased a FS SEL in early 2006. I had no trouble with the CVT or anything else. I went to a hybrid at the end of the lease, but I considered purchasing my FS. However the lease had set the residual too high for the resale value, so it wasn't worth it. It is still the most comfortable vehicle I've ever owned, and had the most utility.

    I don't devalue those who have had a bad experience, but these forums do tend to draw people together who have had issues, and the internet search engines point here.

    Personally I think there were some bad CVT units manufactured, rather that it being a design flaw.
  • bobw3bobw3 Member Posts: 2,992
    I was simply responding to the point Sinder's point that I should not be recommending a Freestyle to anyone. Just because he doesn't want to recommend a Freestyle, doesn't mean that I can't. And based on the reliability of the Freestyle (including transmission), I think my recommendation holds more merit that his.

    Again, Consumer Reports shows that that Freestyle (including the transmission) has at least average reliability, so it's on par with other similar vehicles. The only "black circle" area was in the brakes, which is a problem I had (and was paid for by Ford).

    I've also read posts from folks who say they'll never buy/recommend another Honda or another Toyota because they had some big problem too with their vehicle, so this type of emotional post isn't new to the Freestyle.

    And I'm not sure if the "shark attack" analogy can be made to some bad Freestyle transmissions. It would be better to use that analogy for avoiding a recalled vehicle where the nature of the recall actually led to deaths.
  • stickman4stickman4 Member Posts: 2
    My brother and I bought bought 2005 Freestyles as company vehicles in June 2005. I have 122,000 miles on mine and he has about 117,000. Have done no service on the CVT and have had no problems with it at all. I had to replace the alternator at about 60,000 and it was expensive - rear AC and all that - at $1,200. The problem that we both have had almost simultaneously is the AC. Mine went out in August 2010 and his went out in September 2010.

    Both our mileage is about half high congested suburbs and half highway; and we have averaged 22 MPG. We service them every 5,000 miles and haven't been particularly gentle with them since we don't have a pickup truck. Plan to trade sometime in 2011 and the only reason I wouldn't buy again is boredom. Six years and nearly 150,000 is long enough and I miss my F150.
  • woxofohwoxofoh Member Posts: 3
    Mr Cranker:
    I have the CVT in the AWD 500 ('07). bought used from nationwide Ins. Exec. In my research i found Ford was not satisfied with the reliability of the the German ZF CVT. They elected to build their own, I think they made the right decision. Take a look at the Audi transmission forums. Also don't waste your time (not you Mr rank) on having anybody but Ford "fix" your CVT. Shops just buy it from Ford and put it in. Same with the Audi tranny. Replacing with a used one would be OK from a trusted mech. Oil and filter change @ 60,000 by a Ford dealer critical. I realize some of you have had these issues before 60K. Oil is $12 per qt. and takes 10 qts. and it needs an INTERNAL filter replaced. Before purchase I talked to a transmission shop that has been in business for over 40 years. They had not (2008) had any of the Ford CVTs in for repair. or heard of any issues. 6 speed auto is Aiesen (sp?) from Japan.
  • woxofohwoxofoh Member Posts: 3
    Possibilities are infinite but the programming is not. There are a finite number of ratios in the program.
  • woxofohwoxofoh Member Posts: 3
    OK guys. Sit in your car. Look down and to your right. What is that big metal shaft that falls so readily into your right hand? Is it not a "shifter"? Does it not "shift your CVT from hi to lo range? OK that's one "gear". Ever feel your CVT "down shift" when coasting down a hill? So let's call it a 2 speed with benefits. Only Jesus and his Old Man are infinite.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAMember Posts: 4,098
    "Possibilities are infinite but the programming is not. There are a finite number of ratios in the program. "

    Do you have some inside source on this? Also, how do you know it isn't some kind of adaptive algorithm that changes based on driver behavior? That would kind of preclude specific shift points.

    Regardless of programming the CVT itself has an infinite number of ratios between it's top and bottom numbers.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAMember Posts: 4,098
    edited November 2010
    "OK guys. Sit in your car. Look down and to your right. What is that big metal shaft that falls so readily into your right hand? Is it not a "shifter"? Does it not "shift your CVT from hi to lo range? OK that's one "gear". Ever feel your CVT "down shift" when coasting down a hill? So let's call it a 2 speed with benefits. Only Jesus and his Old Man are infinite. "

    My current ride is a FEH, which also has a CVT. That "low range" tells the computer to lock the CVT at a particular ratio for the current circumstances. Yes, it is a "shifter" - so you can get out of park, neutral, and reverse - and artificially let the computer engage engine braking by selecting speed specific ratios from the infinite range of ratios available. But the transmission itself, unlike conventional transmissions, is not bound by 5 - 6 - or even 7 specific shift points.
  • john489john489 Member Posts: 1
    We have a 2005 Freestyle. Under 60k miles. CVT transmission just went. $5K+ to fix or trade it in w/ a value of $5k. Car worked well for 60k miles which may be all you can expect from a Ford. Had Nissan's in the past and 200k is the norm. Like an earlier post, not happy.
  • katycatkatycat Member Posts: 2
  • dnashdnash Member Posts: 35
    “Consider this. The overwhelming majority of swimmers never get attacked by sharks but would you be as dismissive of people who recommend against swimming at the beach where they were attacked? After all, the norm is that swimmers don't get attacked. Just a thought.”

    I believe the problem with this analogy is the availability of the sample size from which to gather opinions from. I can probably find 100 people to ask about going to the beach in Florida and it would be very unlikely that I would talk to one of the 73 that were attacked by sharks there in the last three years. So I probably end up with 100 positive opinions (at least in relation to shark safety) and can make a logical decision. To get a similar sample of Freestyle owners, the only place I am going to find that number easily is on a message board like this where someone is much more likely to post when they have problems rather than just to say I have 100k miles with no issues. If I could get a random 100 Freestyle owners, I believe that I would here a rosier picture.

    On another note, to help with the sample, I am at 100k miles with an AWD and the only problems I have had are a bad rear liftgate shock, a need to add some power steering fluid to eliminate whine, and the rear brake issues (which is why I am on here now after a couple of year absence). I get 24-25 on the highway at 70-75 and about 18-19 around town.
  • sindersinder Member Posts: 37
    Consider this:

    When you do run into that once enchanted beach lover that WAS attacked, please be certain and return here to post.
    Let us all know how difficult it was to NOT stare at a missing limb, missing flesh, massive scars, or obvious permanent disfigurement as you listen to their story of THAT day. Let us know if YOU felt lucky not to be in the water that day.

    And if you get a chance, let us know if you were able to talk to anyone that witnessed the attack. How were they affected, how might it have changed them.

    Of course, this is ONLY if you get the chance because some of those that WERE attacked by the rare shark are not alive to talk about it.

    What a crappy analogy!
    Sinder
  • notfreestylenotfreestyle Member Posts: 2
    The day after Christmas this year we made the same trip in the same freestyle that we did last year when the transmission decided to die. Looking back at the incident a year later I came out of it with a little more knowledge.
    1. I am not a car guy but will be more educated about what I buy in the future. After talking to a car guy or two the weight of the freestyle is to much for that type of transmission, in my oppionion.
    2. Although at the time I was focusing my disgust at Ford and the dealer my dealer has treated me very well through that process as well as through others. I will probably buy there in the future or at least look at what they have to offer.

    Did this issue really affect me other than the time I was out of a car? It did cost me about $6K that I certainly could have put towards paying off a credit card so its hard to say no it did not affect me but I guess I am fortunate enough that it didn't affect me more.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAMember Posts: 4,098
    I think the CVT was adequate to the size and weight. One reason they dropped it was that they could not add a more powerful engine with that CVT. So they went to the six speed. The other reason it was discontinued was cost - the steel chain at the core of the transmission was German made and very expensive.

    Also, I think people just didn't like the CVT - they missed the shifting of the normal transmission.
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    Your FEH does NOT use a CVT in the traditional sense. The PSD it does use is completely different conceptually and mechanically.
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    No, the FreeStyle is unusually large and heavy for CVT use.
  • cab2005cab2005 Member Posts: 1
    edited February 2011
    The transmission in my 2005 Freestyle went two days ago. $5,500 to fix it or $1500. trade in value. I'm sick to think my car with 66,500 miles is basiclly junk. With just 6000 miles over warranty, there is no recourse. Are cars becoming disposable now too? That's a lot of money for me to cough up for a repair. I'm mad as hell and feel stuck dealing with Ford.
  • bruneau1bruneau1 Member Posts: 468
    Sorry for your trouble. Is yours fwd or awd? Did you have the transmission serviced before the failure?
  • snoop95snoop95 Member Posts: 1
    I own a 2006 freestyle with 11800 k miles on it and I had no problems out of the car now, I am haveing problems with the transmission makeing a tapping noise and the dealer said that the inside of the transmission is falling apart and it would cost me 5800 to replace, I have checked around with some transmission shops to have it rebuilt and everyone perty much walks away so good luck with yours and I hope you dont have any problems anyone know of a good transmission shop in the DC area
  • madsdad03madsdad03 Member Posts: 1
    Our 2005 freestyle went down. Out of 5 local transmission shops only 1 would do anything. We got a salvage tranny installed for $3000K. After 6 months no problems.
  • paullpaull Member Posts: 2
    I would like to change the CVT fluid at the 60,000 mile interval on my 2005 FS. Where can I get the dipstick required to check the fluid level after changing it?
  • queetqueet Member Posts: 1
    I own a 2005 freestyle and having the same issues with transmission, the same nocking noise and the out put shaft was bad. I have been searching just about every where to get parts for this transmission and cannot find them, I even bought a used trans. for core and the dam parts were bad in it. So my question is can you tell me where and from whome you got the parts from, I would love to get this car fixed, I have been dealing with this for 2 months now. Any help would be appreciated
  • brmeadowsbrmeadows Member Posts: 1
    Another CVT problem with the 2005 Freestyle transmission. The car blew a 7" hole in the transmission on the Interstate out of Colorado Springs. It was a wonder that we were not killed in the traffic as the car stalled and began to smoke. Quotes to fix the problem from nearby dealerships were in the neighborhood of $5000 to $5500. We called the Ford main customer service #1-800-392-3673 to no avail. Even though this transmission was discontinued after only one year, they would not stand behind their product as being defective, or even deserving of a recall. Members of our family have been loyal customers since the 1940's. In my opinion, customer service and quality assurance of these Ford vehicles sold today are not goals that they aspire to and value as an important part of their present day business plan.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAMember Posts: 4,098
    Actually, I believe the CVT was used for three model years, 2005-2007. The 2008 model went to the 6 speed because it was cheaper to produce.
  • sindersinder Member Posts: 37
    @ brmeadows -- I ended up paying $5,800.00 to have mine replaced and with a remanned one because they don't make them anymore.
    I called Ford directly and they could really care less. I tried everything to hold them accountable to no avail.

    I too could have been killed because right while I was accelerating to cross a busy road, the wrench light came on and I stopped moving. I pushed the accelerator to the floor and NOTHING. I shut the car off and restarted it quickly and it BOLTED across the intersection.

    It is pretty sad they fewer companies stand behind their products. Especially with Ford....which ftr is likely the ONLY place that can fix this for you.
  • gajedigajedi Member Posts: 4
    :sick: I have been so pleased with this vehicle since we bought it. The CVT was new, but we gave it a shot and loved the way it performed. The service center at our dealership has been great. This is the first time we have been comfortable going to the dealer for regular service.

    :sick: We got the EasyCare for what was supposed to be 7 year/120K miles, but the paperwork got screwed up and was only written for 100K. We had the CVT serviced at 90K, and now, at 102K, the @$@% thing started whining. Took it in, and now they say the "internal planetary" is failing, and have quoted up a cost of almost $6,000 to replace the tranny. The service writer we have always worked with has "gone to bat" with the service manager, but they have only gone down to just under $5,000. I'm still paying on this thing, and this is really starting to turn me off.

    :sick: We are trying to figure out if there are any other options/programs out there to help. That is the cost of a used car, which we were hoping to get as soon as this is paid off in 10 months, but if we have to spend that NOW, there is no way we will be getting another car there, or anywhere else, for another 2 years. Anyone have any ideas what we could do, who we could talk to? If Ford would stand behind this and acknowledge that a tranny should not be failing at the point of the engine's first expected tune-up, we would be willing to stay. I would love it if they would jut say, "Yeah, that is not right." and let us trade it in. I'd even be willing to get two cars if they would give us a good trade value, but it sounds like they won't give anything...

    :mad: Very disappointed...
  • gajedigajedi Member Posts: 4
    No, it is not a "shifter", but a "selector" to "select" the driving mode for the transmission (Drive, Park, Neutral, Reverse, Low...)

    just chiming in to vent some frustrations at the moment...not personal! ;)
  • stevedebistevedebi LAMember Posts: 4,098
    "No, it is not a "shifter", but a "selector" to "select" the driving mode for the transmission (Drive, Park, Neutral, Reverse, Low...)

    just chiming in to vent some frustrations at the moment...not personal!

    facebook connect

    "

    I don't really care what it is called, Selector is OK by me.
  • sindersinder Member Posts: 37
    Sadly, you are stuck like the rest of us. I was close to paying mine off as well, until I had the $5,800.00 tranny replacement.
    FORD could care less. I went as high up the corporate ladder as I could. I had hoped they would stand behind their product especially when this "event" is terribly dangerous. :sick:

    I always kept my vehicle serviced as well. Now the a/c has gone, the top motor mount needs to be repaired and I will need my 3rd set of brakes.

    Hell, I could be driving a Mercedes for all I put into this FORD product ! :lemon:
  • sindersinder Member Posts: 37
    A class action lawsuit was filed in May against Ford regarding the throttle body issues on the Freestyle...hoping they also tack on transmission issues...both have caused accidents. You can go to www.girardgibbs.com for more information.

    The more the attorney hears from us the better the chance they will add the transmissions issues to the suit. They are expensive to repair and parts makers are no...
  • stickman4stickman4 Member Posts: 2
    I'm beginning to think that I'm the only one with a 2005 Freestyle that has not had transmission trouble. We have two of them - bought new in June 2005 -with about 130,000 on each and the CVT's have never been serviced. Still knocking about 22.2 MPH for mixed driving.

    I do plan, however, to have it towed to the dealer for trade in on another vehicle when the CVT does go out. Doesn't make much sense to but $6,000 into a car with this many miles.

    Not on this exact subject, but I had a 1992 Ford F150 with about 100M when the dealer serviced the transmission. The transmission AND rear end went out within 2,000 miles. Coincidence?
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