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 7 of 13)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #129

Sep 012012


  • 86,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that while driving 55 mph smoke emitted into the vehicle. The contact was able to maneuver to the shoulder when she noticed that flames were coming from under the vehicle right before it was completely engulf in flames. The police and fire department were contacted. The dealer was contacted who stated that the failure might had been cause by the torque converter and offered no assistance. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who filed a report and did not offer any further assistance. The failure and current mileage was 86,000.

- Watervliet, NY, USA

problem #128

May 122010

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 74,212 miles
Many issues with the van & they continue. Purchased from 1 previous owner, Jan '09 around 60K May 2010, 74K miles- replaced spark plugs & wires, fuel system cleaner: Rough idle $432.23 Dec 2010, 83K miles - replaced front axle & sway bar links: $822.89 April 2011, ? miles, - replaced plugs & wires, coil pack: Rough idle $700.85 Jan 2012, 100K miles - replaced pvc evap hose, R&R fuel filter, fuel injector cleaner: Rough idle $228.40 Aug 15 2012, 106K miles - recall, torque converter replaced: Costing me $162.14 to replace seals & transmission filter Aug 16 2012, 106K miles - replaced egr valve: Rough idle & engine light on after recall fix $135.95 (dealership was kind enough to only charge for labor) Aug 31, 2012, 107K miles - engine is still running rough, piercing noise while driving, sometimes it goes away when I am turning.

- Charleston, WV, USA

problem #127

Aug 162012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
Vehicle lost power while driving. There was no power steering or power brakes and the engine stopped running. There was no warning before the power failure. Vehicle was able to be started up after power failure. The same evening, starting up the vehicle, the idle was rough and the power failed in about 1 minute. Vehicle was brought to a Ford dealer the next morning and they could not replicate the problem and no engine codes were present. About 1 week later, after a rain storm, the power failed again while driving at 30 mph. It was possible to start the vehicle after the power failure. A Ford dealer looked at the vehicle after the latest power failure and could not replicate the problem and there were no engine codes. In April 2010, I experienced a similar problem which was caused by water getting into the PCM. Within a month in 2010, the PCM was replaced twice.

- West Grove, PA, USA

problem #126

Jun 012012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 160,000 miles


Had the torque converter replced under recall after receiving the recall notice. Transmission light was going off and on. After having it replaced, the light was still going off and on. Had paul miller Ford in lexington, ky look at the transmission. They stated it need a total transmission replacement for $3100. Took it to a local transmission shop and they replaced the pump shaft and bearing. Light is still going off and on as if nothing had ever been touched.

- Richmond, KY, USA

problem #125

Aug 112012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 69,000 miles
While driving the van would shut down completely. We had to stop in the middle of the road with traffic where we almost were rear ended, put it in park just to restart it. Started moving again and the van did it again, this time I was able to pull off on the side of the road so I would not get hit. Called the Ford dealership here in palm coast and they told me the transmission torque convertor was recalled and they would fix it free of charge. They replaced the torque convertor, however informed me that my transmission needed to be replaced. I told them I could not afford to do that and that the torque convertor was what had caused the transmission failure. I was then informed I could purchase a new vehicle from them and use the van as a trade in. I see their are many other people just like me online that Ford refuses to help with the issue. Now wonder why they did not take any bailout money, they are getting it from the consumer who buys their low grade products.

- Palm Coast, FL, USA

problem #124

Jul 072012


  • 115,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that after the vehicle was repair under NHTSA campaign id number: 12V006000 (power train:automatic transmission:torque converter) he noticed a grinding noise while driving approximately 65 mph. The contact mentioned that the vehicle decelerated and the check engine warning lamp illuminated. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The contact mentioned that the vehicle would decelerate prior to the repairs but it had become more persistent over time. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 115,000.

- Inglewood, CA, USA

problem #123

Jul 272012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,600 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that the check engine light illuminated and the vehicle began to shake uncontrollably. The failure recurred at various speeds. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer and the contact was informed that the failure was due to water penetrating the PCM. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 52,600. Updated 10/10/12 updated 10/15/2012

- Brewer, ME, USA

problem #122

Jan 132012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 125,000 miles
As I was taking off from a red light, I noticed that my car would not accelerate. I pulled to the side of the road and tried changing gears but it still would not go. Took it to the local Ford dealership and they changed out the torque converter. Six months later on July 14th, it starts doing the same thing but I still had first gear. Took it back to Ford and they said that it was the transmission this time. Come to find out when they changed the part they did not change the filter, fluid, or blow out the lines. They will not take responsibility for their actions on this. I will never buy another Ford or use the Ford place for repairs.

- Anniston, AL, USA

problem #121

Jan 012012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • miles
In January 2012 as per recall notice that was on cnn news, Ford advised us in March 2012 that our 2004 Freestar was being recalled for a faulty torque converter. If this part were to fail, the vehicle will cease to function. The Ford website states that the part is still not available and will not be until the 2nd half of 2012 which we are already in. Ford states that the vehicle will not lose electrical function so that we can use our directional signals and coast to a safe stop. How can this be possible if you are driving on a highway at 70 mph and the vehicle suddenly loses all power to go forward or backwards and you happen to be in a lane that is not alongside a median" we received a phone call a couple of days ago telling us to contact our local dealership as the part may be available. When we did make contact we were told yet again that the part is still unavailable. I cannot fathom how this part can take so long to be manufactured and sent to dealerships. Doesn't the Ford Motor Company value life" I find it inexcusable for them to take so much time to remedy a situation, a situation that puts my families life in peril everytime we take it out on the road. There is nothing that they can use as a defense when they have known for such a long time that this problem has existed. Listening to the phone information on the # that Ford lists is utterly ridiculous. They tell you not to worry, just pull off to the side of the road when your vehicle will not go in forward or reverse...but it will coast to a safe stop...that is if someone doesn't crash into you as you are making the attempt to get off the road.

- Coral Springs, FL, USA

problem #120

Dec 122011

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 64,116 miles
While driving vehicle, I lost all power to the drive train. Engine continued to run fine, but would not move vehicle forward or reverse. Had it towed to repair shop and was advised that the transmission had failed due to being full of metal shavings from the torque converter. Had to replace complete transmission at a cost of $3039. Several months later I got a letter from Ford Motor Company about a problem with the torque causing the transmission to fail. They said they would send more information later. So far I have no further information from Ford.

- Bernville , PA, USA

problem #119

May 052012


  • 198,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that the transmission overheated while driving 60 mph. The failure occurred while driving at any speed. The vehicle was taken to a private mechanic, who stated that the torque converter was not supplying fluid to the transmission. The vehicle was repaired. The dealer and manufacturer were not notified. The failure mileage was 198,000 and the current mileage was 201,000.

- Fontena, CA, USA

problem #118

Mar 012012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 94,000 miles
March of 2012 I received a recall on my van. I contacted Ford and was told that the parts(torque converter) were not available and I would receive a second letter when they do. It is now near the end of July and after several phone calls to Ford I as of yet have not received any information on getting this fixed. A friend also has a Freestar and has already received her letter and has appointment to get her's fixed and has no problems with her van. Mine has already been diagnosed by an ase certified mechanic that the torque converter is going and is a danger to drive anywhere but in town (5 mile long island with no hills). Seems to me that after several phone calls, Ford would put those that are having problems with their vehicles at the top of their list and not go in whatever order they have deemed fit.

- Marathon, FL, USA

problem #117

Feb 132012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 125,000 miles
Started in Feb 2012 with the torque converter - then the PCM which lead to different electrical issues - from dash lights staying on running the battery dead - a Ford dealer said the PCM was getting wet because of a manufacturing issue or design flaw - there fix from corporate Ford was to redirect the water away from the PCM by laying down a bead of chalk ( that's Ford rain kit service bulletin #tsb-06-14-10 ) - but by that time I was told the PCM could already be damaged - here it is July 18 2012 my Freestar is again at a Ford dealership - I am thinking the only way to resolve this is to include the attorney general.

- Newport, NC, USA

problem #116

Jul 022012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 81,000 miles
Had powertrain symptoms related to Ford tsb 06-14-10, for engine/transmission driveablity. Had vehicle towed because I had no reverse & forward engagement, and high idle in neutral. Ford dealer, fixed transaxle per safety recall 11S25, and tsb 06-14-10, for water entering the PCM. Dealer returned our vehicle on July 10th, everything appeared okay. One July 11th, the van began have shift issues, and then stall going down the road at 20-25mph. If the PCM is damaged from water, then why don't they require replacement in the tsb. This is a serious safety issued, especially at 70mph on a freeway. This tsb should be reconsidered as a safety recall. How many people should be injured or killed due to this condition? one is to many!

- Fowlerville, MI, USA

problem #115

Jul 092012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 179,000 miles
While driving at 65mph, the transmission went out with no problem in the engine and the vehicle coasted to a stop on the highway in front of a red light. The car would not go forward, it would not reverse, even though the lever from the engine to the transmission moved back and forth fine. The car cost me a large sum to tow, and the Ford dealer then charged me $100 for a diagnostic that was performed apparently without moving the car from the parking spot where the tow truck had dropped it off. They now want $500 to do a diagnostic on the transmission itself, and if they do the work, that will be included into the total. The dealer did not mention any recall, and were instead trying to persuade me to get a new factory rebuilt transmission for $3500.. I found out about the recall for the torque converter on a forum, and the malfunction of that piece of equipment explains exactly the symptoms my car had. I understand that Ford is only going to pay $1450 to replace the torque converter, and take no responsibility for the transmission that is now full of shavings. Every mechanic I've talked to, says on principal and for safety reasons, the entire transmission needs replaced. Ford is saying that just replacing the torque converter for $1450 while leaving the shavings inside the transmission, is all that is necessary; the transmission will function normally ever after. Who is right?

- Newark, DE, USA

problem #114

Sep 272011

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
I was stopped at a red light. I then proceeded to cross the intersection when the light turned green and my van just stopped without any warning. Had it towed and was told I needed a new transmission and torque converter.

- Aldan, PA, USA

problem #113

Jul 012012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • miles
Request update status on safety recall notice 11S25 NHTSA recall 12V-006, worn spines in transmission torque converter. I contacted Ford customer relationship center per their March 2012 recall letter. I want to take my 2004 Freestar to a local san antonio dealer to implement this recall before any fatal accidents occur with my vehicle. Ford representative stated they had until 2nd quarter 2012 to begin this recall. My local dealers refuse to even check my transmission or order replacement parts until they receive a second letter from Ford corporate headquarters. Because it is now 3rd quarter 2012, Ford Motor Company is in non-compliance with your recall. If possible, please provide me with an update status (if any) on this recall and note the inaction and insensitive response by Ford Motor Company regarding this vital safety recall. Thank you for your time and assistance.

- San Antonio , TX, USA

problem #112

Mar 012012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 33,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that he received notification of NHTSA campaign id number 12V006000 (power train:automatic transmission:torque converter). An authorized dealer was notified and the contact was informed that the parts needed to complete the recall repair were not available and possibly would not become available for approximately three years. The manufacturer was notified and provided no assistance. The contact stated that the parts were supposed to be available at the current time and was not being honored within a reasonable time frame. The contact had not experienced a failure. Updated 08/08/2012

- Springfield, PA, USA

problem #111

Jun 172012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 79,056 miles
Traveling in town on fathers day with 8 yr old son and 8 month old daughter, lost forward power traveling at 30 mph, almost caused accident. Finally made it to side of road, could not get forward/reverse power. Had to have it towed.

- Decatur, AL, USA

problem #110

Jun 042012


  • 145,000 miles
I was driving my Ford Freestar on a highway at 65mph. All of a sudden it lost power and made an odd noise. Drove as best I could to an exit. Stopped and it would not go forward or backward. Luckily there was no accident as I lost power. Towed to local Ford dealer. They replaced torque converter, but said they could not get it in 4th gear. The van had been running fine previously.Ford covered cost of converter only. Received call that the transmission was shot and it must have been going bad. I questioned that there were not previous problems and have always had it serviced every 3000 miles. Even had the transmission fluid replaced last year. Previous problems with air conditioning compressor. That was over 1000 dollars and now the latest is over 1800 dollars. We get the vehicle serviced regularly to prevent expensive repairs, but obviously this must not be of any help. Very unhappy with treatment by service dealer and Ford (they hung up on me). It is possible that it may have coincidental, but not thoroughly convinced. It should have been running poorly if that was the case. I believe they should have split the difference in the cost since they did not previously find a problem.

- Bryan, OH, USA

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