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 5 of 6)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #24

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 #23

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

problem #22

Jun 272011

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
Rear window popped / shattered while parked. No vandalism. Car was running and rear defroster was on. Weather was 60 degrees and cloudy.

- Rochester, IN, USA

problem #21

Jun 242011

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 46,800 miles


My 2004 Ford Freestar engine light and other lights came on, and the minivan started to stall, each time I would have to restart and drive with hazards on trying to get home, it became dangerous and had to take my chance and pull off the road into a business driveway, and leave the van. The brakes would not work, they stiffened up as did the steering wheel. I was lucky I wasn't in an accident as it started out of the blue. It had been sitting in my driveway for two days and the weather had been rainy for those two days, and I think it was caused due to some water leakage into the transmission area. I had a similar issue a few years ago and took it to the Ford dealer where I bought the van and they said it was a water getting into the system and they fixed the problem at the time. Now I am being told that I have to have it put onto a machine and pay 85 dollars to have it checked out. I know this is an issue with these minivans and I don't feel I should have to fork out a lot of money to get it fixed when it is a problem with the model, and Ford should do something about it. It is a safety issue and one day someone will get hurt or worse from this. Someone needs to issue a recall so that these concerns are dealt with!!!

- Feeding Hills, MA, USA

problem #20

Feb 162011

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 91,000 miles
I to own a 2004 Ford Freestar. I never had any trouble with the van until febuary 2011. I was pulling out in an intersection the van started to go but decided not to. I tried to put the van in reverse to get out of traffic and it wouldn't go. Then all of a sudden it decided to go in a big hurry squealing tires. I was pretty happy there wasn't another car at the stop sign waiting to get out. I finally got the van home and it wouldn't stay running. We towed it over to a local dealer. He finally looked at the computer and dumped water out of it. He had called the Ford dealer parts department and they told him it was a common problem with the Freestar vans. I ended up taking it to the same Ford dealer and I was told they had never seen this problem. They put a new computer in it and a wiring harness. $1,800 dollars of work. They test drove it and it threw 2 more sensors. That would be another $500 to fix that and they wouldn't guarantee that if I fixed that it wouldn't happen again on another sensor. Apparently the water from the computer and down the wiring harness and followed down to the sensors and corroded most of them. They suggested I just hurry and get rid of my van. Of course, after I pay them the $1,800. I called Ford, the manager at the Ford dealership and they are really sorry but there is nothing they can do to help me. I paid $26,000 for this van and I had it for 7 years and Ford just basically said get rid of it. I have the van back with the 2 sensors still bad it runs alright now but they said it wouldn't for long.

- Colon, MI, USA

problem #19

Apr 042011


  • 88,842 miles
This is the second issue I have had with water getting into the PCM(computer). The first occurrence (03/10) I had the car towed to the Ford dealership and was advises per the obdb scan codes that the transmission needed an overhaul. I told the dealership that I had just pulled the car out of my driveway and had no reverse and had slippage in other gears, it was raining very heavily that day- I asked the dealership if it could be an issue of moisture getting into PCM(computer), the dealership said that that was not the issue. I then had the car towed to a reputable transmission repair shop, there I was told that my car was the third to Freestar to have been brought in with an issue of water getting into the PCM(computer). The owner of the transmission shop was able to let the PCM dry out for three days and reinstall with no transmission issues. The second event (04/11) happened after several days of rain; while driving to work the instrument panel displayed the following lights: Check engine, brakes, ABS, fuel, battery, and trans axle light. The vehicle stalled out in the middle of traffic, and I had the car towed back to my mechanic who advised that the fuel pump and fuel pump module was defective and replaced. However, the trans axle light was still appearing intermittently. I took the vehicle back to transmission shop for second time, and through careful trouble isolation, they determined that the pcu was telling the torque converter to shift into fourth gear while coming to a stop. They allowed the pcu to dry out, but then determined that the transmission module had shorted out and that it need to be brought to dealership to reprogram pcu. I contacted the dealership who stated that they are not aware of any moisture/water issues with Freestars and I advised them that I am filing a complaint NHTSA and will also forward letter to Ford Motor Company.

- Cheltenham, PA, USA

problem #18

Apr 132011


  • 88,820 miles


Repeated problems with moisture/rain getting into PCM(computer). Car is back at transmission shop again due to car stalling during braking. I have had fuel pump/module replaced in error, due to false check engine codes due to moisture/rain getting into PCM, owner of transmission said issue is with water in PCM causing torque converter to engage during braking.

- Cheltenahm, PA, USA

problem #17

Jul 172010


  • 87,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that the vehicle would stall without warning when driving various speeds. The vehicle would restart sporadically or the contact would have the vehicle towed. In addition, the vehicle would also start independently without the key being in the ignition. The vehicle was taken to a local mechanic who advised that water had entered the computer corroded the system which caused the failure. The contact confirmed that the failure would most recur when there was rainy weather. The manufacturer was contacted who offered no assistance. The vehicle was not repaired. The current mileage was approximately 90,000 and the failure mileage was approximately 87,000.

- Garden Prairie, IL, USA

problem #16

Oct 172010

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 48,000 miles
While driving the traction control disingages for no apparant reason. Also the cruise control will be working fine and after the traction control disinages the cruise control also stops then sometimes after you press resume it reingages and sometimes in doesen't if you shut off the car and restart it the traction control liight goes off again. It may come on again a few miles later or it may not problem seems to be intermitttent same with the cruise control. There are also times that the radio controls in the steering wheel work fine other times if you press the volume control it will change the stations. Van purchased in July of 2010 problem bagan sometime in October of 2010.

- Wallingford, CT, USA

problem #15

Jun 252010


  • 95,000 miles
When driving our van it started to jerk and the engine light started flashing. It then stalled out on us. It was raining that day and it continued to do this. The next day when the rain stopped it quit and ran fine, but started again the minute we hit any moisture. The computer in the van also started sending error messages constantly, check brake fluid, check oil, check rear brake lights, check traction control, check doors and so on when these things were checked there were no problems with them. The engine light continued to flash so we had someone look at it and fix it. They told us the coil pak was bad and replaced it for us. The van ran fine for 1 week and then this started again. So when I went online to do some research on this I found a site on topix, complaints about Ford Freestar that had 100's of complaints about this van. Alot of people were having the same promblems and they took it to garages where they said it is a design flaw by Ford that water gets up under the engine into the PCM (computer) shorts it out and then eventually messes up the coil. We continue to have all these problems with the van, it stalls out on me in rain or any moisture. I have had the van stall while turning onto a road and my van be stuck across the road right above a dangerous curve with my youngest child and I alone in the vehicle.

- Morehead , KY, USA

problem #14

Dec 012010


  • 65,000 miles


2004 Ford Freestar engine control module computer die @ about 80000 miles tranmission fail at about 65000 miles defective oe conformal coating is removed from the entire ECM board including underneath chips and replaced with upgraded conformal coating; corrects an oe design flaw and ensure chips will not lift from the board causing the unit to fail.

- Lawrence, MA, USA

problem #13

Jan 152010

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 95,000 miles
While driving in the rain the van started to jerk and cut out. Stalling on occasion. We had the coil pack replaced and this repair lasted for 1 week then it started all over again. When it is dry outside the check engine light stays on but the van drives fine. As soon as it starts to rain or we hit any moisture or mud puddle the van starts jerking again and sometimes back fires or even stalls out while driving and has to be restarted. We have found that this is a problem that alot of 2004 Freestar owners are having that the PCM or computer gets wet and causes this problem due to a flaw in the design.

- Morehead, KY, USA

problem #12

Jun 012009

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
I bought the vehicle used in 2008. When traveling at approximately 60-70 mph the vehicle will suddenly jerk as if it's turned off and back on. This occurs 2-3 times on every highway trip of 15-20 miles. This also happens on shorter trips 2-3 times a week. When I start the vehicle the radio automatically turns on and resets the stations and digital clock. The battery seems to have trouble keeping a charge. Overnight the battery may weaken and the vehicle will fail to start. After the failed start all the needles on the control panel dials will vibrate and create a "clicking/ticking" noise which ends after 3-6 seconds. Subsequently, a jump-start is required to start the vehicle. I cannot afford expensive diagnostics so I simply keep jumper cables handy and plan around trips that may leave us stranded without assistance. I have maintained routine service like oil/fluid changes and have not had any reports on a defective battery. All indications point to a defective PCM (powertrain control module). I've done some personal research and found this to be an underlying problem for many issues affecting the 2004 Ford Freestar minivans. This problem has not been fixed. Due to the projected cost estimates of more than $1000 to diagnose and resolve, I cannot afford to have a mechanic work on it.

- Lagrange, KY, USA

problem #11

May 012010

Freestar 8-cyl

  • 95,000 miles
We recently purchased a 2004 Ford Freestar and have had nothing but problems with it. Let it be clear from the start that I am in fact a Ford guy! but what has transpired is absolutely ridiculous and I am to the point where I do not know if I will purchase another Ford. So a week after purchasing the vehicle, the transmission + computer went out. My wife tried starting it and it would not go anywhere. I towed it to macke Ford and had them fix it. Paid $3800 for them to fix these two things. A week later it rained extremely hard and the van failed on my wife as she was driving and was luckily on a gravel road with no one around her. She was able to coast to a complete stop but again the van would not go into reverse or drive. Had it towed to macke Ford in coon rapids, ia again and they thought it was a bad PCM. I made it clear to the service dept that I thought water was getting into the PCM compartment due to other people complaining about this on the internet and the fact that it had rained extremely hard that morning. They did not think this was the case and put another PCM in and sent the other one back to Ford as they thought they received a bad PCM. Took it home and the next morning it would not start and the battery was dead. Tested and found that the radio was turning on by itself and draining the battery...even w/out the key in the ignition. Macke tried fixing it for the next 2 months and even after denying water was getting into it..finally called and said they found water in the PCM compartment and it was a Ford engineering problem. They wanted me to pay for the computer this time since Ford would not cover the water damage!! another $700. With all the internet complaints about there about water getting into the computer this should be recalled and our money returned!

- Bayard, IA, USA

problem #10

Mar 202010


  • 98,700 miles
Purchased this 2004 Ford Freestar 6 months ago with 98,000 miles on it from oak motors on w. 3th street in indianapolis. Every time it rains, the vehicle stopped on me. Finally, I suggested that this dealership take the vehicle to a Ford dealer to diagnose the problem as the selling dealership did not know how. I also suggested my fear in going through a car wash. The Ford dealer takes the car through a car wash and determines it is the #1 and #3 coil pack, plugs and wires. While trying to take the vehicle back in for the repair after haggling with the selling dealer about who should pay, the vehicle demonstrated what seemed like transmission failure. The selling dealership today told me that a transmission specialist informed them today that it is not a transmission problem but they think it is a problem with the van's computer system. It will not go forward or backwards but it is not a transmission problem. Also, every time it rains, the breaks squeak but when the weather is dry, breaks demonstrate no problem. Almost phantom problems. Please help. Ongoing problem since less than 30 days after purchase date of 9/31/2009.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #9

Jun 102005


  • 100 miles
For the first 16 months of ownership my Ford 2004 Freestar sel was in the shop 15 times for electrical failures. Even the dealership tried to get the van returned under the lemon law and Ford refused. I had also complained about vibration at highway speeds, and told all was normal until I demanded they check the front brake and then was told they were bad. At about 65,000 miles my transmission suddenly and without any warning went out. I was just leaving the intersection and fortunately I was not rear ended. Now just last month, December 2009 it was discovered my right rear brake caliber has been dragging for some time as the inside brake pad was worn down to the metal. Left side was fine.

- Grayslake, IL, USA

problem #8

Jan 102007


  • 30,000 miles
Electrical system had to be replace, Ford said it was a design flaw.

- Petersburg, NJ, USA

problem #7

Dec 032009


  • 135,000 miles
Vehicle purchased used with 62,000 miles in May 2006. Frequent & random dash warning lights coming on & off for no reason--including transaxle, brake, emissions system light, etc. Radio will turn on & off without the keys in the vehicle. Mechanic says that there was some moisture in PCM & that PCM does not look original. Vehicle has lost power without warning while driving several times & then 'recovered' with no warning lights on. Transmission 'went' in driveway without warning. Needed approx. $1500 in repairs to transmission. Mechanic says failing part includes pump shaft & veins. Also reconditioned pump slide & seals.

- North East, PA, USA

problem #6

Oct 022009


  • 70,000 miles
Engine stalling, electrical problems, traction control system disengages, and cruise control will not engage. All problems are intermittent and occur during or after rain. Problems linked to PCM water intrusion. Today entire electrical system failure.

- Franklin, TN, USA

problem #5

Apr 042009


  • 58,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. While driving approximately 35 mph on normal road conditions, the idle speed increased and the vehicle accelerated unexpectedly. Suddenly, the vehicle stalled. The engine restarted and resumed normal operation. In addition, the vehicle failed to operate intermittently when shifted into reverse. The engine warning light illuminated on the instrument panel and remained lit until the engine was turned off. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for inspection and they stated that water was leaking from the front windshield, which damaged the computerized system. The vehicle was repaired. On a separate occasion, the vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer and independent mechanic for identical failures. The vehicle is in the process of being repaired. The failure and current mileages were 58,000.

- Milddletown, DE, USA

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