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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 5
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
98,944 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 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2004 Ford Freestar Owner Comments (Page 11 of 13)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #49

Aug 272010

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 88,142 miles


I had arrived at my brothers house after a 8-9 hour drive, unloaded the vehicle & visited for a few hours. We decided then to go out to dinner & would take my Freestar. My brother has ms so I had to pull forward & try to back in to get passenger door closest to his exit from the house. When I put it in reverse to back the van barely started to move & then wouldn't move. I then let it roll down to the street & tried forward & reverse, but the van never moved again. I had it towed to a Ford dealer & was told the transmission was gone. I had them put in a form reman unit. I had to drive my brothers van back home & come back for mine the next weekend.

- North Kingstown, RI, USA

problem #48

Oct 042011

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 93,000 miles
When driving my car, it was hard to shift and when I came to a stop, it had a hard time shifting gears. I brought it to my mechanic who diagnosed the torque converter had gone bad. He replaced the torque converter and I had the car back for a week and the car died again while driving. The car is now diagnosed with a bad PCM and that will need to be replaced.

- New Hampton, NY, USA

problem #47

Jul 252011


  • 90,000 miles
Transmission warning light appeared while on vacation. Stopped at a dealer said we were ok to continue. Car has felt weird since. Auto shop just told us we need a new transmission.

- Lees Summt, MO, USA

problem #46

Oct 152011


  • 130,000 miles


Going to work with my kids in the car 2004 Freestar. Going to drop them off at family's house went to give gas lost all power no warning no indication there was a problem coasting in middle of main road very lucky its a busy road could have been bad. Needs to be solved before there is a fatality. No money to get it fixed right now with 3 kids and christmas round the corner.

- Bessemer, AL, USA

problem #45

Sep 032011

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 88,000 miles
Transmission issues had to be replace, check engine light will not turn off. I have read many reports online about issues with the transmission in the 2004 Ford Freestar, sensor light issues, tracking light issues. No warning transmission just died 200 miles from home.

- Gloucester, MA, USA

problem #44

Sep 242011

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 82,682 miles
My wife was driving the van when the transmission gave out, no propulsion but motor still running, and it coasted to a stop. Only she and I (driving instructor and safety officer) have carefully driven and maintained this vehicle since it was factory ordered and delivered from the dealer in 2004. Majority of mileage was on the open highway. Today we picked it up from the shop it was towed to and where it underwent major repair for four days. They rebuilt the transmission and replaced the valve body and torque converter. The total cost of this repair including towing and tax was $3499.

- Rhinebeck, NY, USA

problem #43

Aug 202011


  • 112,000 miles


I have a 2004 Ford Freestar. I was on my way to the store with my 2 young sons. I stopped at the stop sign and when I went to turn, I lost any power that I had, without any warning my transmission went. I didn't have 1st, 3rd or reverse, I had to get my van towed home arrange for a ride. This is very dangerous and needs to be taken care of. Now my van is in the shop and $2000 later hopefully I can get a year out of this.

- Taylor, MI, USA

problem #42

Sep 282011

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 89,966 miles
2004 Ford Freestar transmission quit for no reason while driving, just cut out while traveling 25 mph up a hill in heavy traffic.

- Hamilton , OH, USA

problem #41

Dec 122007

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
Engine misfires, will not go into gear, nor move, sometimes driveing down the road engine will shut off, Ford dealer told us the transmission was bad, I took van to another repair shop, they found water in the PCM, replaced PCM, cost 1300 dollars, and still have same problem every time it rains.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #40

Sep 212011

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 140,002 miles
Pulling away from a stop sign on a busy two lane highway, vehicle stop accelerating and engine revved freely. No shoulder and vehicle could not move under own power. Pulled over a little but vehicle was still in lane of travel, at night, with no street lights and small children in car!

- Cedar Springs, MI, USA

problem #39

Apr 202011

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 100,553 miles


2004 Ford Freestar RPM's 3000 at idle. Diagnosed as water intrusion in original PCM (powertrain control module) in April of 2011. Water intrusion occurred on replacement PCM as well within 3 months because rain kit per service bulletin ( # tsb-06-14-10) was not installed at the Ford dealer. Second incident occurred with the replacement (new) PCM on 9/8/11. On 9/8/11 vehicle stalled out while in traffic. Replacement PCM diagnosed as water intrusion as well by different Ford. Second dealer noted rain kit had not been installed by 1st dealer when new PCM was put in. Second dealer installed kit, but vehicle stalled out in traffic once again on 9/17/11. Replacement (new) PCM had been contaminated prior to rain kit installation. Vehicle is now at the Ford dealer (that installed tsb rain kit) for 3rd PCM unit. Contact was made with the original dealer that installed the replacement PCM as well as Ford warranty department, and as of this date of 9/23/11 neither has accepted responsibility for failure to install the recommended tsb rain kit that caused the replacement (new) PCM failure. We were very fortunate that no one was hurt during the 2 incidents when the vehicle stalled out while in traffic. We will continue to pursue action to make the first Ford dealer / Ford Motor Company financially responsible for neglecting to install the rain kit per Ford service bulletin upon installation of the first new PCM unit.

- Troy, NY, USA

problem #38

Aug 182011

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 78,000 miles
My husband was driving on a 4 lane hwy in pensacola, fl when my 2004 Ford Freestar suddenly stopped pulling. No forward, no backwards, neutral, nothing and the rpms went extremely high. Zero warnings, and in heavy rush hour traffic. It is only due to my husbands race car driving experience and quick reaction time that he was immediately able to get the van on the side of the hwy. My husband and our two boys thankfully were safe but they were stranded in intense Florida heat. I have had a lean fuel, various electrical, coil pack and PCM issues since I got the van June 2007. The Ford dealership, and the easterns dealership I purchased the van from, could not figure out the problems. While under warranty, easterns worked on it but none of the issues were ever able to be fixed. I choose the Freestar for its safety features so I knew I had a safe way to Transport my children. This is no longer the case, I do not trust Ford to take care of their defective products and I will not purchase another Ford.

- Milton, FL, USA

problem #37

May 212009

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 53,000 miles
2004 Ford Freestar was driving home on a residential street came to a stop and went to take off from stop sign and all that happened was the rpms increased and the car rolled out in the intersection. This was at 10pm and I had a newborn baby in the van I pushed the van out of the way and we walked the mile to our house.took it to a repair shop and they said it was the pump shaft and torque converter it cost $1700 to repair it we drove it another 4000 miles and same thing but we don't have the finances to repair it this time because no one will repair it they will not touch it unless I pay to have a new transmission put in and they say it is 3500-5000.00.

- Rock Springs, WY, USA

problem #36

Aug 172011


  • 93,646 miles
Tranmission grinding and loss of power...

- Pickerington, OH, USA

problem #35

Oct 072009

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 69,000 miles
We purchased a 04 Ford Freestar in February 2009 thought we were getting a great deal. In October of 2009 we had to put a rebuilt transmission in it thank god it was covered under a warranty we purchased with the used car company. In may of 2011 guess what same problem and this time needed a brand new transmission at the cost of $3100. Now we are currently having reverse problems with our vehicle. I am looking for help here with getting my transmission and new repairs paid for due to I have a family of six and barely getting by. I am still paying payments on this vehicle. This problem with Ford has got to be solved somehow....

- Rising Sun, MD, USA

problem #34

Jun 252011

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 70,458 miles
Just exited interstate, van simply stopped moving forward, needed to replace transmission spline, cost $1385.76 plus towing. Front window also stopped working, various electric problems including battery draining for no reason, locks work sporadically, damp weather causes problems with electrical, chugging of engine ect.

- Wausau, WI, USA

problem #33

Aug 292011

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 101,468 miles
As I started crossing a 5 lane intersection to turn on a side street, the van lost all drive power. Motor was still running. Had to avoid cross traffic coming at me as I slowly glided through the intersection to find a safe place to stop. Had the vehicle repaired and it was a bad torque converter and was told a very common problem with this vehicle. Very upset about the cost as well as my children were in the car when it lost power.

- Eastlake, OH, USA

problem #32

Sep 022011

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 104,997 miles
Driving at freeway speed (65mph) the transmission lost power. Vehicle will not engage in drive or reverse. Coasted to shoulder of the freeway and had to get a tow truck. Transmission needs to be replaced at a cost of over $3,000 dollars. NHTSA investigation number EA09016.

- Cottage Grove, MN, USA

problem #31

Sep 022011


  • 75,381 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. While driving 45 mph, there was an increase in engine rpms. The vehicle received no response from the transmission and slowly decelerated. The dealer diagnosed the vehicle with a faulty torque converter and advised having it replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. No repairs were performed. The current and failure mileages were 75,381.

- Pine Hill, NJ, USA

problem #30

Sep 022011

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 86,211 miles
Transmission went out while driving. Thankfully we were not on the highway. No grinding or slipping, the engine just revved and would vehicle would not move. Had 3 children in the car at the time. Very dangerous to trust this car. Got the car to a parking lot, now it has been towed to a mechanic to be checked out. We previously had problems with something in the ignition or something where the car would just sputter and die while driving. Replaced driver side window motor, but passenger side does not work either. Please get these off the road!

- Tulsa, OK, USA

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