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 9 of 13)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #89

Feb 062012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 98,278 miles


Without any warning transmission fails. I take it to a Ford dealer, of course it is not under the recall. So I had to replace transmission out of pocket to a cost of $3327.

- Mountain Top, PA, USA

problem #88

Apr 052012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 87,133 miles
While driving my 2004 Ford Freestar 4.2 litre, at speed of 60mph on highway suddenly vehicle stalled, and I had to act fast and coasted vehicle 2 lanes over to hug shoulder of highway. Put vehicle in park turn ignition off turn the key over vehicle starts fine I drive back on the highway vehicle drives good like nothing occurred, my thought was fuel line problem, so had mechanic look at it he changed my fuel pump, fuel filter, fuel pressure sensor, so back on the road with vehicle, vehicle keeps stalling at 50-60mph and also stalls at traffic stop light while idling. Having done some research online my problem seems like Ford Motor Company has a defect problem in the PCM (powertrain control module)with the Ford Freestars/Mercury monterey models it sold. I believe now my vehicle is not safe to drive and endangers other drivers on the road. Please look into this systematic problem with Ford Freestars/monterey minivans.

- Anchorage , AK, USA

problem #87

Dec 122006


  • 75,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that the vehicle stalled numerous times. The transmission was replaced several times but the failure would recur. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign id number: 12V006000 (power train:automatic transmission), but was advised that the parts needed for the repair were not available. The manufacturer was notified, but denied any assistance with repair to the vehicle. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 75,000 and the current mileage was 179,000.

- Fenton, MI, USA

problem #86

Mar 312012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that while driving approximately 70 mph, the vehicle stopped accelerating. The contact was able to safely coast to a stop. The vehicle was pushed home by another vehicle. The contact examined the vehicle and noticed that the engine seized in addition to the transmission failure. The vehicle had not been inspected by a dealer, nor had it been repaired. The manufacturer had not been notified. The failure and current mileages were approximately 90,000. Updated 04/27/12 the consumer was informed, the transmission could not be looked at, until the engine was replaced. Updated 04/27/12

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #85

Mar 182009

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 180,000 miles
While driving on I20 the van lost power, while trying to pull over it pick back up and continued. After changing fuel filter and pump it is still doing the same thing. On going up hill or passing other vehicles it will still lose power. Too scared to drive it.

- Decatur, MS, USA

problem #84

Mar 122012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 99,500 miles
Transmission power failure- since it will not shift. I contacted Ford-was told to take it to dealer for recall repair.. they said converter replacement. But no parts- don't know when" bring 4-1-12 and leave it. I asked, what will you do? I said was running fine till this- what if converter doesn't fix? sorry; that's all we can do. I asked; w/ the trans out why wouldn't you fix it? well we don't have the trans out -our mech knows how to make the change w/O removing it! if it is not right -then what? then it might cost you $2,000 or more for a transmission! we are 80 plus years old- we live on little social security and public aid.. I am disabled with problems - our only means of transportation to doctors, ect frequently.. I can't pay for this faulty trans and can't be w/O car, waiting till ???" the local trans shops seem to have no trouble getting these parts at all. I just have no money to pay them!!please help if you can.

- Decatur, IL, USA

problem #83

Dec 132008

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 88,584 miles


Issues noticed with electrical systems within a year of purchasing brand new vehicle. Dealerships never found anything wrong. While driving down the road, vehicle would lose power. Radio would go out, all lights on dashboard would go out etc. Then all of a sudden they'd all come back on as if nothing happened. Noticed mostly during rainy and humid days. Then once in a while van would chug and act doggy. In December 2008, while driving down a busy city street, van just stopped "driving" and would rev. Didn't have money to fix until April of 2009 so it sat in our driveway. Had it towed to transmission shop after calling Ford dealership and was told it was double the cost for them to fix. Transmission shop told me that the splines stripped off the torque converter causing the transmission to fail. Repair cost for tranny rebuild #1: $1,830.97. Shortly after, the A/C stopped working (summer 2009). Replaced condenser for price of parts as neighbor who's a technician provided free labor. Van ran okay for about a year. Then in summer 2010, started running sluggishly again and still had issues with power loss (as stated in beginning). Found info online about everyone having issues with PCM so replaced that as well for $500. Worked for a couple months but then in December 2010 van started having issues with power loss again and chugging. Little did I know, this was the start of the tranny beginning to fail again! July 2, 2011 tranny failed again. Doing 50mph in road construction zone. Again, told by transmission shop (different shop as we were 9.5hrs from home), that the torque converter failed again and tranny needed to be rebuilt. Cost to rebuild tranny #2: $1,850. Still having issues with sluggishness, thinking water getting into pc still. Tire pressure lights have been on for years, having issues with sliding doors, back up sensors, A/C etc. I'm tired of this lemon!!!!!

- Ironwood, MI, USA

problem #82

Jun 012010

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 96,000 miles
While driving up a very steep hill my power train/ tourqe converter let go. I know this because I had it towed to my local Ford dealer and it had to be replaced. At this time there was not a recall. Now its 2012 and there is a recall notice. I paid over $1500 to repair and replace. I think that the Ford dealer that repaired my 2004 Ford Freestar SE should pay me back.

- Caribou, ME, USA

problem #81

Dec 012009


  • miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that while driving 60 mph, the vehicle stopped accelerating. The contact safely coasted to a stop where the vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic. The torque converter was replaced by the mechanic however, the failure recurred eleven months later. The vehicle was towed back to the mechanic where the torque converter was replaced a second time. The same failure recurred approximately one year later. The vehicle was in the process of being towed back to the mechanic for a third repair. The manufacturer was made aware and offered no assistance. The failure mileage was unknown. The VIN was not available.

- Brandon, MS, USA

problem #80

Mar 122012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 74,000 miles
1) we now have transmission failure. The cost to repair equals most of the vehicle's value. 2) driver-side passenger door closes and opens again continually. We get out and do that manually. 3) with foot off accelerator, going down hills, the Freestar transmission has "chugged" for a couple of years now, reproduce-able at dealer last year but they could not find cause (we ran out of money letting them study it).... we now know these things are all related. Research online shows other owners have found wet PCM to be promulgating cause for door sensors and the cause for premature failure of transmission due to damage caused by PCM over time. To put PCM below windshield, without proper waterproof housing, this is a design error that causes very, very expensive damage and repairs that will be required again, without PCM being touched. Dealers repair damage (not cause) under warranty, but most of us are now out of warranty. We've only got 74000 very well-cared for miles. Problem is the vehicle is now not drivable; transmission is shot. Ford refuses to make good for us. The schedule recall for the trans axle will be our next repair, but it won't replace the transmission! see:!make=Ford&model=Freestar&ed_makeindex=.F0fb94A.

- Burlington, VT, USA

problem #79

Mar 152012


  • 178,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The vehicle was repaired under NHTSA campaign id number: 12V006000 (power train:automatic transmission:torque converter). Once the vehicle was repaired, the contact noticed that the transmission warning light would illuminate sporadically. The dealer and the manufacturer were notified of the failure, but denied any assistance with repairs to the vehicle. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact stated that there should be an amendment to the recall stating that when the torque converter fails while driving, all of the transmission fluid should be flushed out to mend the broken components. The failure and the current mileage was 178,000.

- Richmond, VA, USA

problem #78

Feb 222012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 82,000 miles
The vehicle will begin to act like it is going to stall at high speeds or going up hill. We notice it more when we accelerate really fast like an on ramp to the highway, but it also happens when it needs the extra power going up hill. I have taken it in and I was told it was water getting into the PCM causing electrical problems with read outs on temperatures and other things. We have already had to get the torque converter replaced a few years ago and I was told that it may have been to issues with the PCM.

- Mason, OH, USA

problem #77

Feb 102012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 84,560 miles
While on the highway, at about 35 mph, my 2004 Ford Freestar died. I was able to coast into a side street without power. After about 10 minutes, I was able to restart the vehicle, but it ran roughly for several minutes and then behaved normally until two days later when the transmission would not engage in any gear. I thought it was a transmission problem. The vehicle was towed home and the tow truck driver said it was behaving like there was a problem with the computer. Apparently he has seen this problem before. Examination of the computer (PCM) and the attachment plug showed significant water entry. Water actually ran out of the plug and there was water in the PCM enclosure. After several days of drying time, the PCM was put back into the vehicle and the vehicle ran normally. Ford has issued a tsb that covers the problem of water getting into the PCM and cable, so I am sure it is a common occurrence. I believe that if the vehicle is allowed to set idle for a number of days, the PCM will dry out by itself and then run normally until the next rain storm. No doubt, many transmissions have been replaced in error, and the problem reoccurs when the PCM again gets wet. Loss of power on the highway means no power steering or power brakes, which can lead to loss of control of the vehicle. The location of the PCM lends itself to water entry and appears to me to be a design defect that Ford should address more forcefully than just to issue a technical service bulletin.

- Telford, PA, USA

problem #76

Feb 142012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 56,655 miles
Drove vehicle to store, went in to do shopping came out to leave vehicle would start but wouldn't accelerate. Two days before incident it had been raining in grand junction Colorado. Had vehicle towed to Ford and was told today that the pmc is full of water! it's going to cost me over $1500 to fix this! what would of happened had it decided to go out as I was driving down the road with my two kids in the car" or when rushing my severe asthmatic to hospital"

- Grand Junction , CO, USA

problem #75

Feb 052012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 111,006 miles
I purchased this vehicle in 2009. Had it in the shop 3 times in the first year for suspected transmission problems while under dealer warranty. Each time I was told there was no issue and the tranny was strong. Have had issues since the beginning. During a recent trip to the grocery store the transmission seemed to slip out of gear with top speeds reaching 23 mph. Luckily I was able to make it home. Parked the van. Next morning when I went to start it, it wouldn't even turn over. I put a new battery in it and it ran. Continued transmission problems. I took it back to the Ford dealer and was told I needed a new transmission to the tune of $3500. They didn't even inspect it. I was told there was a recall but mine needed more than the torque converter so I would be responsible. This is crazy. Ford needs to fix these vans. I still owe on this vehicle. How am I supposed to continue making payments as well as dump another $3500 into the transmission" what is going to go out next on it"

- Janesville, WI, USA

problem #74

May 282009

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 85,613 miles
Driveing down road lost complety transmission failure, had vehicle towed to transmission shop convert spline failed, payed for new transmission, contacted Ford and was told thats normal wear would not pay a dime.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #73

Jul 132010

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 136,577 miles
Traveling steady at highway speed on interstate highway, vehicle suddenly stopped moving. Safely pulled to side. Unable to get van to move forward or backward. No other symptoms or failures. Transmission shop found metal shavings throughout transmission and rebuilt torque converter for total cost of $2236.47. Experienced the same failure under same conditions on January 25, 2012 with approximately 189,700 miles. Ford dealer verified torque converter output shaft is stripped and torque converter is again filled with metal shavings. They are working with Ford for authorization to repair at Ford's cost under the forthcoming torque converter output shaft recall.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #72

Dec 222011


  • 126,000 miles
Fire in engine. Mechanical assessment right now is transmission failure. Don't have specifics outside of that, but I see transmission failures this month by Ford for my vehicle, and I'm naturally concerned.

- Swampscott, MA, USA

problem #71

Jan 202012


  • miles
2004 Ford Freestar: 18 months ago, transmission went out; van had less than 100 miles on it. New transmission put in but again my transmission is acting up. Power loss is very clear! today, I called the Ford company to address my concern because my van again lost power. Transporting four children on a daily basis in dangerous winter temperatures is a great reason for concern! a Ford representative told me that my vehicle is part of the "power train torque" recall and called my local Ford dealerships (1-2 hours away) to see if they could fix my van, they were unable because they don't have the parts in but would have the parts in (early-mid) spring. I asked the representative what I should do as I can not wait until spring, she advised me to not have it fixed by an independent mechanic because Ford may not cover the costs. Also, wondered if Ford would be responsible for the transmission cost based on this recall. "no"! this is suppose to be a "family" vehicle, why do I have to put my family in danger until spring (when the part arrives)? I feel that Ford should be responsible for the cost of my transmission and they should fix my vehicle at the time that it's now (not spring)!

- Caledonia, MN, USA

problem #70

Oct 212011


  • 47,146 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that while at a stop sign, the vehicle failed to accelerate. The vehicle was towed to a local repair shop where it was confirmed that the torque converter failed and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was contacted and the vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was 47,146 and the current mileage was 48,000.

- Spring Lake, NJ, USA

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