Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety. Notes: The Freestar was introduced in 2004, but it was essentially just a rebranded Windstar. While there was a redesign of the interior and exterior, the Freestar still inherited some of the design flaws of its predecessor.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
32,095 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2004 Ford Freestar brakes problems

brakes problem

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2004 Ford Freestar Owner Comments

problem #10

May 272008


  • 73,941 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The dealer took the vehicle to be inspected and passed. The very next day, while driving 20 mph, the vehicle failed at 73,941 miles. The contact took the vehicle to a tire and auto garage for inspection, in which the vehicle did not pass due to the failure with the rotors. The technician stated that the stamp that is on the rotors indicated that it was shaved below the minimum tolerance, and is now a safety issue. The dealer attempted to repair the rotors, but shaved them too low without replacing them with new rotors. The dealer will not repair the failure. The failure mileage was 73,941.

- Freemansburg, PA, USA

problem #9

Jun 172007

Freestar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,600 miles
While on vacation, grinding noise was heard from the left rear brakes, brought van to a local Ford dealer. It was determined that the inner brake pads wore uneven and were metal to metal on the rotors. New pads were installed and rotors turned at a cost of $215 and loss of a vacation day with family.

- Beacon Falls, CT, USA

problem #8

Apr 112007

Freestar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 22,651 miles
On 4/11/07 Ford service department. Informed me the rear brakes & rotors on the 04 Freestar were shot and needed immediate replacement at a cost of $575.I thought they were lying to me because I had more than 20 different cars, trucks, & vans, but never had factory installed brake pads wear out at 20000 miles, and especially rotor damage so bad that they had to be replaced. Also there was no warning signs like a grinding noise or a pulsating brake pedal. Nothing. So I mentioned the 3/36 bumper 2 bumper warranty, and the 6/75000 esp plus deluxe extended warranty w/$0 deductible, and I was told this was a wear item, and was not covered. They said I probably rode the brake pedal or drove with the parking brake on. I didn't drive with 2 feet and never used the parking brake. I asked how long were the brakes designed to last under normal use, .they didn't know. So I left the dealer, and went to an independant ex Ford mechanic, who determined to find a frozen caliper or something else defective.what we found was not what I was expecting.the calipers were not frozen, and the pads were not completely worn down although the outer pads were twice as worn as the inner pads, there was no metal to metal contact(rivets or pad backing).it seems that the metallic or semi-metallic pads themselves would rust a bit and since the front brakes do most of the stopping, T he rust on the rear pads never completely wore off each day and the pads and rotors never heated up enough to built up the glaze like the front the rotors were gouged by the rust build up on the pads. When examined closely, the deep gouges on the rotors lined up with the rust build up on the pads.

- Islip Terrace, NY, USA

problem #7

Feb 182007

Freestar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,966 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. While driving at 5 mph the contact heard a grinding noise in the rear of the vehicle when ever the brake were depressed. The mechanic stated that the grinding noise was due to the rear brakes. The mechanic replaced the rear brake pads, rotors, and calipers. There have not been any occurrences since the repair. The failure and current mileage was 40,000. Updated 05/04/07.

- Schertz, TX, USA

problem #6

Jan 152007


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Failure of rear brake rotors.

- Sykesville, MD, USA

problem #5

Sep 252006

Freestar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,684 miles
: the contact stated upon purchase, it was noticed the rotors were scratched; the rotors and pads were replaced. The vehicle was taken to the dealership 3,000 miles later for an oil change, where it was then determined the rotors needed to be turned. The brakes shook while stopping and when the vehicle was taken in for an oil change, the rotors were replaced. The vehicle continued to shake while stopping.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #4

Jun 062006

Freestar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles


Started to notice grinding noises and excessive wear to rear pads and rotors. Took car into local dealer for inspection. Was told that yes, the rear needed new pads and rotors and since it was normal wear (approximately. 40K miles) it was not covered under vehicle extended warranty. Took vehicle to ind. Repair shop for repair. Front brakes have been trouble free so far.

- Mckinney, TX, USA

problem #3

Jun 182006

Freestar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 31,000 miles
: the contact stated there was a popping and grinding noise heard coming from the front passenger side area. Prior to taking a trip, the dealership replaced the brake pads on the front passenger side. When the contact returned from the trip, there was roaring noise coming from the rear of the vehicle. The dealership determined the rear brakes needed shoes and rotors.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #2

Jun 012004

Freestar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
This is a general compliant about my 2004 Ford Freestar. The problems started almost immediately after driving the car away from the dealer. 1. I was at a stop light and the rubber cover fell off of the brake pedal. 2. the next thing was the keyless remote worked about 50% of the time to open the passenger doors. 3. then after about the first 500 miles of driving, the steering wheel oscillated in my hands when coming to a stop. 4. also when driving there were several annoying sounds. 5 finally, and this is the most annoying of all, I can't run the heater in the cold weather because excessive hot air comes from the defrost vents even though I have the control set to 'floor vents' only. Now what has the Ford dealers done about the problems? 1. I replaced the rubber cover on the brake pedal. 2. the dealers refuse to fix the keyless remote problem. They claim it is working fine even though I took it to independent alarm tech who told me the 'unlock all' receiver needs to be replaced. 3. the oscillation of the steering wheel while stopping was ' fixed' by one dealer by grinding down a warped brake rotor. This repair, which I objected to Ford not replacing the rotor with a new rotor, only lasted a few thousand miles and the problem recurred. I took it to another dealer who replaced the bad rotor. 4. one of the annoying sounds was fixed by one dealer but not all of the sounds. I took it to another dealer and all were fixed. 5. the dealers refuse to fix the problem of excessive hot air coming from the defrost vent. I have to duct tape over the defrost vent to be able run the heater. Then I have to pull the duct tape away if the windshield fogs over inside the car. In general I think the quality of this car is the worst that I have ever owned and I have owned several new cars in my almost 70 years of age.

- Newtown, PA, USA

problem #1

Jun 072005

Freestar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,106 miles
Grinding noise in rear pass side wheel. Caliper failed, caused the pad to slip and ate through the rotor causing the wheel to lock up completely. Took vehicle to Ford dealer, they advised the whole brake system needed to be replaced, which we did. Caliper, rotor, and pad replaced on rear pass side brake system, and pad replaced on rear driver's side.

- Mechanicsville, MD, USA

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