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:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
90,148 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2004 Ford Freestar Owner Comments (Page 3 of 6)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #64

Mar 142013

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles


I drove my car to work in the morning. At 2pm, I tried to drive, but could not. The car started, but I could not move forward or backward. I had no symptoms that a problem was about to happen before this. When the tow guy came, he moved the car by hand with the engine running. He was able to drive it a tiny bit sometimes forward and sometimes back, but sometimes not at all. We towed it to medford Ford where it was diagnosed as needing a whole new computer brain. They said there was "moisture" on the computer. The estimate for repair is $1,042 plus tax. I told them we had the brain replaced 15 months ago (on 12/8/11); they said there is only a warranty for 12 months. They said that this vehicle is "notorious" for this problem. See my registered complaint on the 12/8/11 incident ( ODI no.: 10503670). I have totally broken down in this vehicle 5 times, each for major repairs. (see also, my ODI no.: 10397445 for my experience with torque converter failure.)

- Medford, NJ, USA

problem #63

Dec 082011

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 87,000 miles
I am writing about this 12/8/11 incident today, because this happened to me again! on 3/14/13 (I will enter a separate complaint the 3/14/13 event immediately after this one is registered). In both cases, the entire computer brain had to be replaced, each time costing over $1,000. 12/8/11 incident: While driving, I found the gas pedal was not responding to acceleration. A symbol lit up on the dashboard. Having experienced a torque converter failure 8 months before ( ODI no.: 10397445), I worried that this might be transmission related again. I was losing movement, but the engine still ran, and coasted into a vacant lot. While waiting for a tow, I found that I could sometimes drive forward or reverse a bit (a few feet), but sometimes I could not. The mechanic had to replace the computer brain. He bought the part from medford Ford, in New Jersey. I can locate the exact cost of the repair at a later time, but it was approximately $1,000. I had no significant symptoms ahead of time, which would lead me to believe that I was about to break down. I have totally broken down 5 times in this vehicle, each for major repairs.

- Medford, NJ, USA

problem #62

Dec 262012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 153,500 miles
Our 2004 Ford Freestar stalled, and then surged after accelerating from a stop. The next day the check engine light came on. We took it to a local Ford dealer, capital city Ford in indianapolis, who in indicated the code was for a fuel pump problem. We paid over $800 to have the fuel pump replaced on December 27th. In late February the van began to stall and surge again. We suspected the same problem. It continued to do this off and on for the next two weeks and on March 8th the check engine light came on again. We took it back to the same Ford dealer and they said the initial code was for the same error, but when another mechanic/technician checked the code it came up with a different problem. We were advised that the there was "moisture" getting into the PCM causing the problem and not only was it causing the engine to stall, but was giving wrong error codes. The replacement of the PCM was estimated to be a +$1,000 cost. We were advised that it "seemed to be" a design flaw in the location of the PCM in that it is in line with the waterflow from the windshield. After much research on the internet on this issue, it appears it is a long-standing issue with many owners of this vehicle and even with replacement of the PCM the problem will happen again due to the design flaw. The safety risk related to engine stalls due to the failure of the PCM is unacceptable. The failure of the dealership to identify this well-known problem and charge us for a repair (fuel pump) that was unnecessary is unconscionable.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #61

Nov 262012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 103,000 miles


Power train:automatic transmission:control module (tcm, PCM) vehicle speed control the PCM shorted out because it got wet through the cover of the hood. This appears to be a relatively wide-spread problem and if not addressed and repaired correctly, it could happen again.

- Hurricane, WV, USA

problem #60

Feb 202013


  • miles
Cpsc#I1320440. 2004 Ford Freestar. Consumer stated after driving the car in the rain, a few days afterwards the vehicle spurts and shakes violently. The consumer also stated the check engine light would come on and flash. The vehicle also jumped when accelerating and vibrated while at a stop. The consumer stated as soon as she drove the vehicle in the rain, the problem started again. The vehicle then stalled while in park.

- Waldorf, MD, USA

problem #59

Jan 202013

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 154,000 miles
2004 Ford Freestar ses I changed the rear brakes on 1/20/2013 noticed the left rear wheel was rusting out. Today 2/24/2013 went to install a car sear & noticed the bench seat in the back was rocking slightly. The anchor point on the left rear is rusted out and moving. Upon inspection I noticed that I can see down to the ground where the anchor point has rusted out. I have had to replace numerous parts on this van over the last two years. To date I have replaced: 3 ignition coils, (this is the main problem whenever heavy rain or snow has happened and I start to throw misfire codes), 3 camshaft position sensors, 2 driver side window controls & motors, (the window doesn't want to work half the time so we leave it cracked open with the rain guards), an egr valve, and a clockspring. I have never had so many problems with this vehicle in such a short amount of time.

- Prairie Village, KS, USA

problem #58

Dec 172012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 117,000 miles


The PCM internal computer is crashed and cause the veh to run poorly and not start, drained batter, etc - this is an issue with a lot of 2004 Freestars as I read online and was told to submit the info so that maybe they will do a recall and get this fixed. Thank god it did not happen while driving.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #57

Dec 312012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 130,600 miles
Returning from a 'dump run', I noticed the plastic cover for the 3rd row passenger seat, driver side, had been dislodged and was lying on the floor. I went to reconnect it and I found the latch 'floating'. it was no longer part of the vehicle. I could see out through the wheel well. After further inspection, I saw that the welded plate, that should be part of the van was no longer attached. I haven't looked at the tire for damage, yet. This is a design and manufacturing error, as the latch bracket used to secure the passenger seat in place, needs to be a permanent part of the vehicle. The van isn't too old, and should last many more years/miles and for this piece to come loose, is a safety issue as well as a quality issue. I'm afraid to take it to the local Ford dealer for fear of being gouged on the cost to repair, which should be at Ford's cost. If this was a pick up truck with exposure to the elements all the time, I could see a rust issue. This vehicle is lightly used and garaged nightly, so it shouldn't happen - ever. The other comments on this page are all similar to my experience with this part. Right now, I'm using a strap to hold the piece in place, stretching to the latch on the passenger side. Comment: This van has had too many quality issues since we purchased it in 2006 - torque converter replaced, driver seat heater replaced, transmission replaced, cruise control switch mech. Replaced, ignition replaced.

- West Hartford, CT, USA

problem #56

Dec 212012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 81,000 miles
Having this problem 4 days in a row, engine quits at any speed loss of steering and brakes, car will speed up without the accelerator being moved, Ford said water in the computer could cost 1,000 to 1,500. Checked on my computer found page after page of the same complaint and Ford Motor Company refuses to fix the problem!! has anybody been killed yet? when is the N.T.S.B going to act.

- Baden, PA, USA

problem #55

Oct 302012


  • 85,000 miles
The mirrors will only move down and in (toward the vehicle). Now the alarm starts blaring for no apparent reason. Cd player comes on at will. After reading through the forums, appears my A/C that quit in April 2011 could be connected to the other issues and the fact that the side doors continually open at will even while driving. The dealership says they fixed the doors and can no longer find an issue since they can not recreate the issues with the doors or cd player. These electrical issues are a potential hazard while driving. When Ford says that you should not drive the vehicle, then they know there is an issue and should be held responsible to provide alternate transportation. Even the measly refund/recall repair with the torque converter does not fix the entire issue.

- Spring, TX, USA

problem #54

Aug 202012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 127,000 miles


Vehicle shut off going down the road at slow speed after making loud squeaky sound. This has happened on many occasions since then and today 11/01/2012 it became more severe. My wife attempted to go to the local Ford dealership around August/September describing the problem and was told that since the vehicle was not currently experiencing the problems described that there was nothing they were able to do. The vehicle is very unsafe and I have called the Ford hotline because of the recall, the voice claims that the vehicle is still safe because the steering remains functional, this is not the case for my vehicle. After, one of the many "incidents", often the van will lose complete power and the power steering will disengage and the steering wheel becomes very difficult to turn even for a large male. We bought the van as a family vehicle, as most do, which makes it even more problematic and disturbing. I am disgusted with Ford for their negligence.

- Derby, KS, USA

problem #53

Oct 302012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 88,000 miles
After a major rain storm, tried to start my car and it would start, but would quickly stall. Had to have car towed. Did not have reverse gear. Garage told me I needed a new transmission. Did have a recall notice to replace a faulty torque converter, but died before I was able to get scheduled. I believe the problem started with the PCM board getting wet. Towed to a Ford garage for repairs. Hoping that I get treated fairly. I believe Ford should pay for entire repair bill - new transmission and new PCM board - after all their faulty parts were the reason for the failure! not able to 'populate' above "affected parts".

- Bridgeville, PA, USA

problem #52

Sep 202012


  • 165,000 miles
At 147000 miles, I needed a complete transmission rebuild. This cost me $2800 due to the fact that there were additional parts not common to a standard rebuild. This was Sept. 2011. In January, I am able to note online that there is a torque converter recall for this model. I call Ford, I'm told there is nothing they can do until the recall is officially released in the 2nd quarter. Wait until 2nd quarter, no notice in the mail. I call Ford in August and tell them this, I am told that Ford will fix the car, it will take approx. 4 days and that no rental car is available during this period. If I suffer a total loss, maybe. Basically, I have to be stranded on the side of the road with my two young children before I can get any help with their issue. After rebuild, I start having issues with cylinder 3 misfire. I replace all plugs and wires, still a cylinder 3 misfire as well as overheating and egr valve. Replace egr valve, complete radiator change, coil pack, still issues with misfiring and overheating. I understand that this could be a computer issue, however Ford fails to realize this and therefore will not issue a recall. Not that would help since if they took it into the shop to fix it, I would not be able to get to work in the interim.

- Chester, MD, USA

problem #51

Sep 082012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 107,812 miles
Van won't start thought it was fuel pump had it towed & replaced cost $500 van starts then shuts off mechanic said PCM malfunction dealer should fix it! help Ford stand by there vehicle! complain.

- Sewell, NJ, USA

problem #50

Sep 022008

Freestar 6-cyl

  • miles
The electrical has been wiggy ever since --just after the factory warranty ran out. This includes: Back-up safety sensors stopped working, heated drivers seat stopped working(passenger still works), the stereo system doesn't have all of it's functions, passenger airbag light is on, van very noisy when backing up--we call it the moose. Had to replace transmission and then we get re-call notice! and, it still doesn't feel 100% still waiting for a refund(?) brakes are squishy--even after replacement of front end everything! side electric doors will sometimes open and close several times until we just have to manually force them to stay closed.

- Warrenville, IL, USA

problem #49

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 #48

Aug 032010

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 72,400 miles
There have been random electrical occurrences happening to my vehicle. While the vehicle is parked in my driveway at night, the exterior lights would come on. I went out to turn them off and discovered that the gps screen and radio were also on. This is without the keys in the ignition. I found out that a lot of 2004 Ford Freestar owners were having similar issues, and after spending thousands of dollars on repair attempts it has been determined that water in the PCM is the issue. This make/model's PCM is located in line with the waterflow from the windshield. When it rains, the water will make its way past the plastic, sun warped cowling and soaks the PCM. I have had the PCM removed, and several teaspoons of water drained out of the PCM. I have done this several times since the first electrical issues started. Every time water would get in the PCM a different electrical issue would occur, like electric windows not working, door locks not working, and the last issue was everything would work, but the van would not drive smoothly, had sudden power surges and then loss of power, and at night, when the vehicle is parked, the battery would be dead the next morning, this has happened several times. I just had my PCM replaced at a Ford dealership yesterday. I drove the van home, and a few hours later, after washing my van, I tried to start it, all the dash lights came on but no engine turn over. I thought the battery might need replaced since it sat for several months, so I bought a new battery. All the dash lights will come on, but no engine turn over at all. This is a major design flaw from Ford motor, and there are hundreds of owners that are spending thousands of dollars trying to get this problem fixed. Even if I do actually get my van running, I feel it is not safe or reliable enough for me to drive it.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #47

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 #46

Jun 172012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 42,442 miles
Upon exiting the freeway onto secondary street the vehicle stalled out completely. We lost all driving function, power steering etc in an instant. Luckily it was later in the evening and not much traffic was behind us as this road is typically very congested. We were able to glide into a turn lane and off of the main road. The vehicle would not start and had to be towed. Local Ford dealer concluded the PCM shorted out and there was a blown ignition coil. We had car towed for second opinion as we could not believe that at 40,000 miles the entire computer that controls the engine would short for no apparent reason. Our regular auto shop agreed that the PCM had shorted causing ignition coil to fail and both had to be replaced resulting in $1200 in fees/services and a week without our vehicle since the part (according to the service shop) should never go bad and they don't keep them in stock. We feel as if Ford should be held responsible for their faulty manufacturing as we did nothing to aid in the failing of this part and minimal mileage/ wear and tear has occurred to the vehicle. We were merely a family driving home (with two toddlers) from a father's day dinner who ended up at significant safety risk when our van just stopped moving, thank goodness for the slow traffic flow that evening!

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #45

Jun 042012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles
I left work, got 3 parking spots away, lost steering, brakes and gas. Engine was still running. Transaxle light came on, shut off van, tried again and it drove maybe a few feet and it was as if it was in neutral. Engine light, battery light and oil light came on. Shut it down tried again, drove about 10 feet and it died. Had it towed to vip who had no answers, towed to Ford who said it there was water in the PCM. They dried it out and said give it a go. Got it home drove it one day and the next(after raining) it would not move out of driveway. It would go into gear but hitting the gas was again like in neutral. It would move maybe a few inches and then no longer. The engine light came back on and the van bucked some. Towed to Ford again and they said it is defiantly water getting in the PCM. I have been searching online and I see many people complaining about this issue. I am worried because there is another recall coming in a month or so for the torque converter and I have 2 small children that rely on that van. I can't trade it in cause they are only will to give us $1000 when we owe 6. we are without vehicle again, with my husband and I having jobs and two kids. I feel unsafe in my van, even if we are to get it fixed, we have to hope the torque converter does not go while we are driving before the recall.

- Sanford , ME, USA

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