Ford Freestyle Maintenance and Repair
Discuss Freestyle problems and share solutions with other owners here.
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I, too, am happy with the Freestyle and am getting good mileage for a brand new car. 24 mpg on trips and 21 around town.
1. is there any way to program it to unlock the doors after you stop the engine? We have the limited, with the dealer-installed autostart, and the radio keeps playing after you remove the key, until you open a door...but is there a way to set it to unlock all the doors either when you remove the key or when you open one of the front doors?
2. I don't expect a solution to this, but I noticed that the sun visor doesn't move nearly far enough back when it's swung off to the side...I'm tall and have the seat back all the way, and there's about a foot of clear space between the visor and the column in the front window, when it's on the side!
The sun visor will slide back on the bar that holds it to the car. Swing it to the side window and then slide it back along the top bar. Not sure it will slide a foot, but at least some.
Probably not. I can't understand why you would want all the doors to unluck anyways. It seems to me it was designed to be somewhat of a safety feature. In fact, I have never heard of any car that unlocks all of the doors as you say.
I would think that if someone needs to exit the vehicle, they could always try pulling on the door handle. :-)
speaking of door handles...very nice....they appear to be real metal.....none of that cheap plastic plated to look like metal stuff
It's aggravating when, for example, you've got some packages in the back seat and want to open the rear door as soon as you step out. You've got to either pull out the key fob or re-open the front door and push the lock switch to unlock the rear doors.
Also, it isn't a simple matter to just pull on the door handle because the door still won't open from the inside unless the door lock button is actually pulled up. This was also true of our Sable and seems to be a regular feature in Ford vehicles. The position of the child safety lock switch on the door edge doesn't affect this. If there's a back-seat passenger, he/she has to pull up on the button by hand.
First (recommended), you can remove the battery and the battery carriage. There's one 5/16th "hold-down" screw you need to remove to pull out the battery (after you've disconnected the battery terminals, obviously). Then the battery carriage has four 10mm mounting screws you'll need to remove. There are a couple wire bundles attached to the carriage, just push the tabs out and remove the carriage. You should then be able to see the dipstick on the top of the transmission clearly. It will look like the charcoal canister is in the way, but it moves freely if you push it aside.
The second option would be to remove the air intake tube from the air cleaner housing to the throttle body... Taking this route would involve several clamps, electrical connections, etc... Nothing that can't be done easily... Just more work than taking out the battery, in my humble opinion... so take out the battery!
My CVT didn't have a "fill plug" anywhere near the dip stick... I went to the dealership and had a tech pull up the schematics for the CVT on their computer. They too found no fill plug and the mechanic said that his training indicated that the fluid should be added via the dip stick tube. There's a site glass near the dip stick, but of course, I forgot to ask exactly what I should be looking for... but it's there nonetheless...
Easy enough... well, so I thought... the dip stick tube is VERY narrow... more narrow than those on any of the transmissions I've ever worked with before... the standard transmission funnel won't fit... I used a turkey baster with the bulb pulled off and it worked perfectly (put another funnel into the top of the baster and added it that way). 10 quarts is the capacity and it's very slow going due to the very narrow tube. Ford says that anything else will damage the CVT and void the warranty... But, of course, none of the auto supply stores are carrying it yet (if ever), so you have to get it from the dealership... Funny thing though, my dealership had to actually order it from the plant (luckily located here in town)... so call ahead to be sure they have it if you're ever looking for it...
Hope this helps!
We were taking a 200 mile trip this weekend in our new Freestyle. Stopped for gas and found the "Check Transmission" light on when I restarted it. The car would drive OK, but was in a very low drive ratio. Sort of like driving a regular car in low gear. It was on a Sunday out in the middle of the boonies, so I did an instant panic.
Stopped the car for a few minutes and shut off the engine. When it restarted, the light went off and the car drove as normal. Now I'm nervous!!
Reading the manual, it would imply that such a thing might occur when the transaxle fluid is low. I suppose I could take it into the dealer to check out, but it is not very convenient for me to do that.
Would appreciate any suggestions.
In reading the owners forum I am amazed at the reported gas mileage. I feel that a lot of it is gross exageration. Since the car has an on-board mileage computer all you have to do is read it. There is no way this undersized engine with the vehicle gross weight is getting 25 to 27 MPG. After 5000 miles I am getting 18.5 locally and 21.4 hiway(interstate) I would be interested in what others are really getting.
I got 18.5, 19.2 and then 21.5 of all city driving with the air on.
Have not taken a long trip yet, but will in a few weeks....
I've only got 1250 miles, but I'm averaging about 22.5 mpg (combined)...
Sorry you're not thrilled with the new toy.
Best of luck!
My fist suggestion is that you should get into the dealer at your earliest convenience to at least get the issue on record with them... This is not only the first model year for the Freestyle, but also the fist year with an untested transmission (other than the Volvo stuff)... so get it in and at least make them aware of it...
Doesn't really sound like a low fluid condition to me... If it was, it would be more like the transmission was slipping (revving high but not going), or taking too long to actually engage... and it would be persistent, not something that would just go away...
Could have been a mechanical issue with the linkage (that connects the gear shift to the transmission)... but again, that's not something that would be intermittent... it would simply not shift/engage as you moved the gearshift through its range...
Could have been an issue with a sensor or the ECM (computer)... but I'd be throwing darts at a board at this point to try to ascertain what was going on... but that leads me to another reason to take it in to the dealer... if your "check" light came on, it's likely that the ECM recorded the event and the dealer could pull the fault code to see exactly what happened. You could probably go to Autozone (big parts store chain here) and they could pull the code for you... but, whatever the problem is, it should be under warranty at this point so just let the dealer figure it out.
Worst case, you could have something wrong with the CVT... better to get it in and get it looked at then to be in the middle of your next trip and have it go out...
Sorry this was probably of no help at all... Best of luck!
On the MPG issue, I am very satisfied with my mileage - better than the 2002 Highlander I traded in. Right now in mixed driving on mountain roads I'm getting 21.6 according to the message center. On a highway trip I got around 24 mpg according to the computer and I've only got 1,850 miles on the odometer so it should get better than that with time.
As for a solution, first of all use good polarized sunglasses for daytime driving. I bought a pair and they really help. I would estimate an 80% reduction. I am presently looking for some product that I can affix to the top of the dash that will eliminate or(reduce) the reflection. I am thinking of something along the lines of kitchen cabinet contact paper in a black (or dark brown) matte finish. It could then be cut neatly to fit and still allow use of the dash top storage compartment. The contact paper might have a bonding problem.
Thats all I can suggest right now. If I hit on something I will post it. Good Luck.
I am eager to know if your problem has been resolved. Please let us know the status. Thanks!
We have had it since mid March 05. It has 6,900 or so miles on it. This is the only problem we have had with it. I hope that it isn't nothing major. Has anyone else had this type of problem? Mine is a SEL FWD.
nothing else on the keychain at all. Just the key and the the control for the car.
I am dropping it at the dealer tonight and they will look at it tomorrow. With any luck they can duplicate the problem and repair it in one day! I will post once I get it back and let everyone know what the problem was.
My concern is that this may be a band-aid for bigger electrical problems in the car. Is this a reasonable concern? To my way of thinking two things could have happened to cause the computer to malfunction: 1) the computer was bad to begin with, 2) the computer was good but other electrical problems (surges or shorts for example) caused it to malfunction and could cause other problems in the car down the road. I'd appreciate any feedback or suggestions you might have. I don't want to get rid of the car, but I know electrical problems are sort of a black hole and something that I don't want to deal with over the life of the car.
Thanks for any advice.
Aside from all that, your Freestyle's electrical system is completely independent from whatever problems you might have with a transmission "computer". Rest easy. Your baby's OK.
I just got done washing my Freestyle and there was some grease splattered along the lower gray plastic cladding. It was in front of the right rear tire so it must have been thrown up from the right front tire. I'm sure the grease was on the road and it was just driven over. It's on the section where the wheel flare starts to bulge out for the tire.
The problem is that when I washed the grease off with standard car wash soap, the gray had been dis-colored to a blue color....most likely the actual color of the plastic. (theres a rectangular section of molded plastic that almost looks like it doesn't belong there..kind of weird actually) The strange thing is that the grease is on the other parts of the plastic cladding but it didn't discolor any other areas...only the rectangular section.
Any suggestions on what my options might be?
1. live with it
2. ask dealer if there is any way of getting this fixed. I have never seen a car exterior react to anything thrown up from the road as easily as this did and I've been driving for 22 years with 8 different cars/trucks under my belt (6 of those being Fords)
3. Put a Sponge Bob Square Pants sticker over it. :-)
I had an '02 Explorer and the roof rails started to flake after 1 year. I asked the dealer to recommend a way to paint/fix and I picked it up with brand new rails that never flaked right up to trade-in time.
Option #3 is second choice but I'd buy 4 to match up all sides
The area in question appears to be a rectangular area in front of the rear tires on the side moulding. It looks to be a stone guard and maybe even a stick-on stone guard.
I had the service guys look at it today and they were perplexed as to why it discolored. They also said that they didn't think that it could be removed and have a new sticker (or whatever it is) installed.
According to them, since it was caused by something flinging up from the road, it wouldn't be covered by warranty. I bit my tongue when he told me that.
What amazes me the most is that these Ford dealers/service people STILL know nothing about the vehicle. They couldn't tell me what that area was or how to fix it. Their suggestion was to hit it with some paint. I'll get some pictures of the area in question soon so everyone can understand what I'm talking about.
If I encounter a similar problem I'll let you know what the dealer says up here.