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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
68,927 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2004 Ford Freestar Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #34

May 102011


  • miles


The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that the air conditioning would not cool the inside of the vehicle. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer and the dealer added freon, but it did not correct the problem. The dealer also stated that the compressor was operating properly. The contact stated that the air conditioning did not seem to truly start working until the vehicle speed was at 40 mph and above. The vehicle was not further repaired.the VIN was not available. The failure mileage was unknown, but the current mileage was 140,000.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #33

Jan 102012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 37,000 miles
When the vehicle is wet the system seems to short circuit itself. It causes it to shimmy and shake and it wont accelerate. We noticed it several times and took it in where we were told it was the camshaft sensor but after having it replaced twice it is still having the issue. The check engine light is contiguously on and it blinks erratically when ever any water is present. I've been told the sensor can go faulty do to a coil issue allowing water to leak on things it shouldn't.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #32

Oct 102012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 87,000 miles
The car was driving fine all of a sudden the Freestar lost power, I was doing T most 40 mph because it was during rush hour on the I15 hwy by hesperia everything was fine and all of a sudden my car lost power and began to feel like it was loosing power and then I saw it go from forty to slower mpg and I had my foot on the accelerator I immediately pulled over as soon as I could and there was smoke and then there was fire my 1car was burnt a total loss my daughter and I barely escaped with our lives minutes before the van exploded someone had put us in her car and drove us forward saving our lives when the fire department arrived I walked back to my car and the fire had expanded far past where me and my daughter were standing. My daughter is still traumatized by the experience and so am I. we would of been severely burnt or died when the car exploded and everything caught on fire past the spot my daughter and I were standing the firemen could not believe that the fire had been so extensive. We lost everything my daughter loved, all her most precious material things we went from driving on a happy trip to the realization we could of died by the fire. If the passerby would not had put us in her car and drove us to safety.

- Bell, CA, USA

problem #31

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 #30

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 #29

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 #28

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 #27

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 #26

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 #25

Jan 122012


  • miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that the vehicle would stall without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and a cover was placed over the computer to keep water from getting entering and damaging the computer but the repair did not correct the failure. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer where the dealer added sealant to the cover that was protecting the computer. The VIN was not available. The current mileage was 103,000 and the failure mileage was unknown. Updated 03/27/12 the consumer stated the computer is located directly under the windshield, allowing water to drip on the computer.

- Pasadena, MD, USA

problem #24

Dec 272011


  • 150,000 miles


Came out from work, went to start my Ford Freestar, the car turned on but could not move it. The wheels would turn, attempt to reverse or drive and nothing would happen. Was initially told by a mechanic about the torque converter, then had to replace the transmission.

- Louisburg, NC, USA

problem #23

Nov 262011

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 141,486 miles
Driving on freeway at 60mph the van just stopped accelerating, the RPM acted crazy. We pulled too side of road and would not move in any gear. I have had routine oil changes and maintenance, there was no signs or warning of any transmission problems. Vehicle towed. I have been told my van needs new transmission.

- Bloomington, MN, USA

problem #22

Oct 052011

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 94,000 miles
2004 Ford Freestar lost all acceleration and stopped on major roadway. No previous signs of trouble from transmission. Class action filed in us district court August 2010 declaring faulty manufacturing. Ford refusing to repair without full payment of $3200. Current mileage 94,000. How many must get robbed before this is addressed?

- Saylorsburg, PA, USA

problem #21

May 212011

Freestar 6-cyl

  • miles
I was driving down the road and the vehicle dropped out of gear and loss acceleration. It would not go back into gear.

- Battleboro, NC, USA

problem #20

Sep 032011

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 88,000 miles
Transmission issues had to be replace, check engine light will not turn off. I have read many reports online about issues with the transmission in the 2004 Ford Freestar, sensor light issues, tracking light issues. No warning transmission just died 200 miles from home.

- Gloucester, MA, USA

problem #19

Sep 152011

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
The main engine computer (ECM, PCM, aka eec) constantly gets wet due to a design flaw. Water drips down on the computer and will cause the engine just to die while driving the car on the highway. This causes a very dangerous situation!

- Valley Cottage, NY, USA

problem #18

May 282011


  • 80,700 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated while driving at various speeds, the vehicle suddenly stalled without any warning. The vehicle would not restart and was towed to the residence home. The vehicle was not inspected by a dealer nor had it been repaired. The manufacturer was contacted and advised him that they were unaware of this failure with his year, make and model vehicle. The VIN was not available. The failure and current mileage was approximately 80,700.

- Durnham, NC, 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

Jun 012009


  • miles
TL-the contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that when driving in inclement weather the water enters into the electriacl system and stalls the vehicle. This failure has occurred on 7 different occasions. The vehicle was inspected by a dealer and they would get the water out and blow dry the wet area. They also advised her that there was no other solution. The manufacturer was contacted and offered no assistance and are not aware of this occurring in other vehicles. The failure mileage was unknown. The VIN was unavailable.

- Fall River, MA, 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

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