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 4 of 13)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #189

Sep 102012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,945 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that the vehicle was repaired under NHTSA campaign id number 12V006000 (power train). The contact stated that after the repairs and attempting to shift into drive, there was a sudden loss of engine power. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing, who stated that the transmission failed due to a faulty torque converter. The failure was reported to the manufacturer. The approximate failure mileage was 90,945. The consumer stated the replacement torque converter failed. He stated there were no problems, prior to the replacement. Updated 02/05/14..updated 02/06/14 updated 02/10/14 updated 2/12/14

- Rhinelander, WI, USA

problem #188

Oct 252013


  • 145,000 miles
Took van into dealership per recall for torque converter. Received vehicle back 3 weeks later. Heard a ticking noise that progressively got worst. Made a appointment to return vehicle to dealer and the transmission completely went out as described in recall. No gear engagement in any gear forward or reverse. Of course the dealer said there was no relation to the recall and the recall was performed. Even the symptoms were exactly as described in the recall description of what would occur if the recall was not performed. Ford denied any assistance. The dealership offered us a labor discount if we purchased a transmission yet no warranty for the work unless it was a Ford remanufactured transmission at $1800.

- Orange City, FL, USA

problem #187

Dec 052011

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 15,000 miles
Purchased used vehicle from marshall used cars in sacramento, ca, where reside currently. Purchased 05/2011, paid full no loan at time of purchase. Purchased add. Ext. Warranty which was 6months. From the dos til present date; I have paid, and was mislead in all the insurance covering major defects, owner(me) had came out of pocket paying for service to fix warranty parts. Now this is the current and serious issue. I am disabled, I have a disable child. My vehicle was reported under VIN to Ford corporate to notate for service to be check and worked on at local Ford dealer. Complained about multiple (4) issues. Dealership mislead me, and did not perform work. Only work they did was replace 1 recall 10/12. After recall service I (owner) recall manufac. Made claim, again and then went to dealer. I was turned away...and told to do normal maintenance before putting a service claim in. This is a problem. I am not ignorant to the anatomy of a vehicle. I am very literate on understanding vehicle operations as well as maintaining maintenance. I can say this because I believe I should be aware of every issue so I wont have a disabled vehicle. Vehicle mileage applied from the date recall replaced 5800 within the time til I made another claim in Oct 2013. Took vehicle in, told to check everything. Did. Brought vehicle back and vehicle was in service dept for week which rolled over to Nov 1, 2013. Vehicle was dx and found to be the same thing I made a claim about. Vehicle has a defected recall part. Part was not replaced. And owner is now left with a defect recall part, plus more damage on other parts related to torque converter, fuel line, 3rd bench, front R-wheel hub. I have multiple health appts to maintain for me and my child's disability. My children need to get to school, and I missed legal appt dates from court.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #186

Dec 052013

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 137,748 miles


Vehicle began to lurch, and lose pulling power. Engine continued to run, but vehicle had moments of loss of pulling power. RPM continued to remain the same.

- Bowling Green , KY, USA

problem #185

Nov 022013


  • 55,572 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that while driving approximately 25 mph, the vehicle independently engaged into neutral causing the vehicle to stall without warning. The failure was recurring. The vehicle was towed to the contact's residence and had not been inspected or repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 55,572.

- Maples, FL, USA

problem #184

Oct 142013

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 76,956 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that while driving approximately 5 mph, the transmission failed without warning. The vehicle was towed to an independent transmission specialist, who informed the contact that the torque converter was defective. The vehicle was repaired. The vehicle was also previously repaired under NHTSA campaign id number 12V006000 (power train) however, six months after the remedy was performed the failure recurred. The recall repair failed to correct the problem. The manufacturer was notified of the defect. The approximate failure mileage was 76,956...updated 01-10-14 the consumer stated the dealer installed a faulty torque converter, or didn't install it correctly, per the recall notice. The transmission failed five months after the replacement of the torque converter. Updated 01/15/14

- Las Cruces, NM, USA

problem #183

Nov 042013


  • 145,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that the trans axle warning lamp illuminated. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, who diagnosed that the torque converter clutch solenoid was defective. As a result, the transmission needed to be rebuilt and the torque converter needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 145,000.

- Union City , MI, USA

problem #182

Oct 012013

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 205,000 miles
I currently own a 2004 Ford Freestar minivan. I have been experiencing start problems for a couple of weeks now. I drove the car about 10 miles to get gas. I turned the engine off to fuel up. I attempted to start the vehicle and it would not start. I called my husband to try to jump start the vehicle and it worked. Drove the car 1/4 mile down the road to autozone to have the battery tested. The battery needed to be replaced. The vehicle seemed to be repaired after the battery was replaced. About 5 days after the battery was replaced the vehicle would not start after several attempts. I called aaa to have it towed to the Ford dealership for repairs. The aaa mechanic tried to start it before just towing it. He moved the shifter to neutral and back and started to vehicle right up. Maybe I did not have the shifter in the proper position? since then, the vehicle has not started up quite a few random times, over the last few days. I was stranded at the doctors office with a no start. Called aaa again for a tow again. However, right before aaa got to me....the vehicle started right up. I cancelled the aaa call and drove straight to the dealership for repair. The Ford dealership can not find any problem as to why the vehicle will not start. It starts every time for them. The alternator and the starter are fine. The battery has been replaced and there are no transmission error codes being emitted.I have a hunch that this is an electrical problem. It isn't anything else. The Ford dealership explained that they took a look at the PCM but could not see any water corrosion. So they did not replace it. So now, I am faced with picking up the vehicle and not knowing when I'll be stranded again because the vehicle will not start.

- Oswego, NY, USA

problem #181

Apr 052013

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 170,000 miles
Multiple times since April 2013 this vehicle has started stalling at stop signs and traffic lights, when shifting gears the vehicle's gas would have to be slightly accelerated first and then it would move in its gear with force. Starting in July all the vehicle's power would cut off at traffic lights and stop signs and would have to be restarted. After receiving notice of the 2013 recall for the torque converter and taking it to a Ford dealership, it was then told by a dealership service rep that the transmission would need to be replaced due to excessive fluids from the torque converter affecting the transmission and damaging it. This has taken place Sept. 2013.

- Lithonia, GA, USA

problem #180

Apr 092013


  • 87,520 miles
On the way home from a day trip about 20 miles from home we go thru a busy intersection, about halfway thru we lose all power like it has come out of gear. We are luckily able to coast thru. When we stop engine runs but have no forward or reverse gear. We take it for the recall and they haphazardly fix transmission, now less than 1500 miles later there is all kinds of noise and highway vibration from drivetrain. Ford says its not related, but how can that be. I feel its a matter of time before the transmission falls out again. Its not right that Ford has a known transmission problem with these vehicles but are not fixing them properly. It feels like a scam, they do as little as possible on their recall fix so they can soak you when you have to bring it back.

- Midlothian, VA, USA

problem #179

Sep 182013

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 46,774 miles


I was leaving my residence in my 2004 Freestar when it all of a sudden just cut off. It started right back up and shut off again, started back up drove about 100 yards shut off again. I drove it back to my house as I had barely gotten out of my drive. However to drive it back to the house I had to continually restart the vehicle. Next day got in it and it would not go in reverse and in neutral the engine idled up very high. I put it in drive it moved, put it back in reverse nothing repeated this action, heard a loud click and van went in reverse. After a few minutes it seemed to change gears sitting in the drive. I haven't driven it any where, scared to. Also we just purchased this van used 10 days ago. Dealer said bring it in has a 30 day warranty. Did I mention it rained Sunday and I didn't attempt to drive it until Wednesday and all this started. Read on this sight about all the PCM problems after rain.

- Colquitt, GA, USA

problem #178

Sep 072013


  • 160,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated while driving 75 mph the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was restarted after 2 hours but did not operate as designed. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who confirmed that a failed seal was allowing water to leak into the trans-axle vent causing a failure to the PCM. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 160,000.

- Englewood, FL, USA

problem #177

Sep 062013

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 110,500 miles
I lost power all of a sudden through the torque converter. There is a recall on specific Freestars, but not mine. I have the same issue as the others. I almost was hit pulling onto the highway by a larger truck.

- Bloomington, IN, USA

problem #176

Sep 042013


  • 171,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that while driving 65 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis where it was stated that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired and the manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 171,000.

- Little Bowl , MA, USA

problem #175

Oct 152012


  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that after having the vehicle repaired under NHTSA campaign number: 12V006000 (power train), the vehicle leaked transmission fluid. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis where the dealer repaired the vehicle transmission again. The contact also stated that the vehicle continued to leak transmission fluid after the second repair. The manufacturer was notified. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 120,000.

- Silver Spring , MD, USA

problem #174

Dec 242012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
Ford issued a recall for loss of forward power due to a torque converter issue. My vehicle did not exhibit the symptoms but I decided it would be a good idea to have it done, I was planning to keep the vehicle for a while. The dealership said it would take 2 days. They had vehicle over a week. That was December 2012. They had a problem; they did not tell me. Not long after getting the car back, I knew something was different, I could not put my finger on it. Sometime in April/May 2013 time frame, I had a couple of incidents where the car would not go forward. I stopped, put the car in park, then drive and I was ok. I thought it was a linkage adjustment issue. Then in June, it failed while going up a hill on a very busy road. I turned into a driveway, back out, and went down the hill and limped to the dealership. My car was exhibiting the exact same symptoms of the recall. The dealership said it was due to a rotted dipstick housing assembly and that my repair bill was over $3500. I let car sit because I don't have money. After stewing about this for many weeks, I contacted Ford to complain. In December, the mechanics who worked on the transmission would have had to disconnect the dip stick housing. They had to know it was rusty and may have even damaged it to the point of allowing water in. They ignored that danger. Since the symptoms of the issue are exactly the same as described in the recall, there is the possibility that Ford is not being honest about the real source of the problem. Additionally, how many of their model lines use the same material for their dip stick housing. If this happens on a heavy interstate, this could result in a multi car pileup and death.

- Marcy, NY, USA

problem #173

Aug 192013


  • 178,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that while the vehicle was unoccupied and in park, it erroneously rolled away and crashed into a house. There were no injuries and a police report was not filed. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was contacted about the failure. The failure mileage was 178,000.

- Springfield, MO, USA

problem #172

Jul 312013


  • 160,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that while driving 55 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis where it was stated that the torque converter needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired and the manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 160,000.

- Duluth, MN, USA

problem #171

Aug 112013


  • 52,490 miles
Van started running poorly suddenly, then would not run at all. After shutting down and allowing cool down time, restarted van and it would not go into gear. Ran well in park or neutral, but shifting into any gear would "clunk" and the engine would immediately quit. After 5 days of troubleshooting, traced trouble to engine PCM after reading in on-line forums about it. Found PCM wet and pins on PCM and contacts on wire harness corroded and green due to water leaking past cowl-to-body seal. The PCM connector is not sealed, so if water does drip on it, it is dripping directly onto back side of the contacts and Ford did release a tsb about this issue but not a recall. Tsb says to remove some plugs from body (my van is severely rusted in one of those 2 spots), seal around clips that hold plastic cowl to body with silicone sealant and add additional weather stripping on the outer edges of cowl to try to prevent water. I had to replace my PCM. Had my wife been on the highway when this happened, there would have most certainly been an accident or injury.

- Clifton, NJ, USA

problem #170

Jun 242009

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 105,495 miles
Ford Motor Company appears not wanting to honor its own recall letter 11S25 torque converter replacement. On June 2009, I took my vehicle to a repair shop and they replaced the transmission, it was unfortunate as my extended warranty has expired. Fortunate for me at the end of last year I received that recall letter which at least would cover part of my cost. I took the letter Ford Motor Company had sent me along with repair shop invoice totaling $2,228, replaced transmission warranty and receipt slips to a local Ford service center on May 2013 and still by Aug 2013; there had been no check issued as the service man told me or calls until I got with Ford national 1-800 number. Only then and more than 60 days later I received a call from the local service center asking for more documentation. Now Ford local service center told me that it was up to Ford Motor Company to work with the issue and Ford Motor Company told me it was my Ford local service center. I am confuse thought they both work for each other I do not know what is going on here. But certainly want to get this resolve. Can you help? ///// my problem with the power train started on June 2009 while I was driving my son, for a scheduled outpatient operation. It happen on a two lane portion of the street at about 400 fts or so from a traffic light, my mini-van all of the sudden loss power train, the engine was still on and with the vehicle momentum I drove it to the side off the street. The engine was on, electrical ok, but no moving forward or reverse, it felt like it was in "neutral". we had it towed to a reputable auto repair shop on the same street were the vehicle left us.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

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