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:
84,244 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 #26

Jun 102014


  • 130,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that while driving at 60 mph, the vehicle suddenly decelerated and failed to accelerate when depressing the accelerator pedal. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure and current mileage was 130,000.

- Scranton, PA, USA

problem #25

Mar 292014

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 84,200 miles
I was driving on the interstate when suddenly without warning the transmission was no longer engaged and it resulted in complete loss of power and I had to coast to a stop in freeway traffic and try to get to the side of the road in time. Semi trucks were whizzing past me at 75 mph. I bought this vehicle from the Ford dealership in abilene, tx about one month ago and was not told about any recalls to the torque converter. This could have easily resulted in my death. I am highly pissed. Why the hell didn't the dealership replace this before selling me this vehicle for 7K? and what will be done about dealerships letting vehicles drive off the lot like this when they knew about the recall and did nothing and said nothing.

- Baird, TX, USA

problem #24

Jun 082012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 117,000 miles
Just purchased this used 2004 Freestar. Within days the engine would fail while driving. Transmission shifting issues. Not starting. Etc.. had transmission replaced before knowing of recall on that item. Still had the issues. Pulled out PCM and it was filled with water. Installed new one. I live in Florida. Rainy season. Issues happened again within a week. New PCM removed and was filled with water. I myself found the service bulletin about the issue as well as several complaints by owners on the internet. My local dealership walker Ford swept the issue under the rug and wanted to charge $900 to find the leak. I showed them the bulletin that they were un aware of. They would not replace my PCM without charging me again. Went to another dealership and paid for new PCM and told them to perforce service bulletin. Seemed fine until last 6 months. Starting to stall a lot. High hum when accelerating and turning. More research online and I found 2 more recalls on vehicle. The PCM issue should be a recall. Find out how to permanently fix the issue and perform it for free with a new PCM.

- Clearwater, FL, USA

problem #23

Dec 232013


  • 112,000 miles


I received recall on my Freestar in 2012, on the torque converter, it was fixed but had started to slip shortly after getting it fixed. 16 months later I found myself without any power. I took it to shop and was told it was on recall but since I had it fixed 16 months prior that it no longer was warranted. If they replaced the torque converter with a "fixed" one then I should not have had trouble so soon. Ford is wanting me to pay 1800 to fix their mess up.. I wonder what my rights are?

- Taylorville, IL, USA

problem #22

Nov 112013


  • 100,000 miles
Almost every time we start the van, the odometer has all dashes through the reading and the speedometer will not work. After restarting the van sometimes several times it fixes itself. The problem has been getting progressively worse. I have been seeing a lot of information in forums about water getting on the PCM due to a manufacture error, but have not seen a recall for the issue. After removal of the air damn to do minor maintenance to the vehicle water is able to seep pass a misplaced spot weld and drip on top of the PCM unit. Damage to the unit causes several issues including the problem I am facing with my van.

- Bloomfield, IA, USA

problem #21

Oct 012013

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 205,000 miles
I currently own a 2004 Ford Freestar minivan. I have been experiencing start problems for a couple of weeks now. I drove the car about 10 miles to get gas. I turned the engine off to fuel up. I attempted to start the vehicle and it would not start. I called my husband to try to jump start the vehicle and it worked. Drove the car 1/4 mile down the road to autozone to have the battery tested. The battery needed to be replaced. The vehicle seemed to be repaired after the battery was replaced. About 5 days after the battery was replaced the vehicle would not start after several attempts. I called aaa to have it towed to the Ford dealership for repairs. The aaa mechanic tried to start it before just towing it. He moved the shifter to neutral and back and started to vehicle right up. Maybe I did not have the shifter in the proper position? since then, the vehicle has not started up quite a few random times, over the last few days. I was stranded at the doctors office with a no start. Called aaa again for a tow again. However, right before aaa got to me....the vehicle started right up. I cancelled the aaa call and drove straight to the dealership for repair. The Ford dealership can not find any problem as to why the vehicle will not start. It starts every time for them. The alternator and the starter are fine. The battery has been replaced and there are no transmission error codes being emitted.I have a hunch that this is an electrical problem. It isn't anything else. The Ford dealership explained that they took a look at the PCM but could not see any water corrosion. So they did not replace it. So now, I am faced with picking up the vehicle and not knowing when I'll be stranded again because the vehicle will not start.

- Oswego, NY, USA

problem #20

Aug 182013

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles


Was driving with cruise control and vehicle started lurching while driving. While in park rpms go up and down. Feel like vehicle is struggling. Had recall issue taken care of last month. Doors also lock when they want to and sometimes windows don't work. Always happens after rain.

- Newberry, FL, USA

problem #19

Jul 182012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that while driving 50 mph with the cruise control activated, the cruise control failed to disengage. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis where it was advised to the contact that the cruise control switch needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired but the problem persisted. The manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 80,000.

- Southside, AL, USA

problem #18

May 212013

Freestar 6-cyl

  • miles
While my husband was on his way home from work he came upon a red light. When the light turned green again he attempted to accelerate but the van would not move. He turned the ignition off and then on again and the van still would not move. All of this occurred without any warning, no lights flashing or any kind of unusual sounds. After having it towed to the dealer we purchased the vehicle from we were told that the van had an electrical problem that needed to be handled at the Ford dealer. Now what I have been told is that the electronic computer module was the problem and needed to be replaced. This repair cost us $1200 dollars after having the van for just under five months. We are paying close to $13,000 for this van and were not able to drive it safely for at least six months without repair. Someone should protect the consumer a little better than they are. This is devastating for my family considering this is our first vehicle and we are still inexperienced with the was dealers prey on their potential customers, Ford should be ashamed of how they treat the people who are the one's who keep them in business. I think people should take a stand to refrain from purchasing Ford vehicles until they take consumer safety seriously. There should also be a law which states that any used car dealer disclose recall information to the potential buyer before a contract is entered into. The type of problem that we have could have ended in serious injury or death had this happened on the highway.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #17

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 #16

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 #15

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 #14

Mar 012012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 86,000 miles
Last Thursday around 3:00pm I was driving 55 mph in the highway when suddenly I heard a strange whinning noise every time I tried to accelerate the car. After a few seconds, I realized that the car was slowing down in the middle of the highway so I immediately drove all the way to the emergency lane with the momentum that the car had left. The car was not responding to the shifting gears but the engine was running and the signals were working. Later I found out that it was the transmission. But what I thought was strange was that it never gave me a warning. That was a scary experience with fully loaded trucks going over 70mph next to my van, which was shaking with their speed. I thought that was my end.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #13

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 #12

Jan 092012


  • miles
I was driving on the highway and began to exit when the car alerted to "check traction." It started to make a loud noise, then began to decelerate and no matter if I pressed on the accelerator the car began to slow down until it eventually stopped. I was able to get myself to a safe area before it lost its ability to drive. I had it towed and was told by the auto repair person that it was my transmission.

- Orono, ME, USA

problem #11

Oct 212011


  • 119,494 miles
It started with my driver side window working erratically. Simultaneously, the buttons on my radio quit working, although it randomly kept trying to reprogram "preset 2". without warning, at 65mph on a busy road, I abruptly lost power and could not maintain speed or accelerate. I also experienced erratic RPM. Currently vehicle will chronically not start due to power failure, even though battery and alternator have been checked and are functioning properly. The sudden and unexpected loss of acceleration and erratic RPM is dangerous. I am unable to drive this vehicle because I fear for my safety.

- Lafayette, CO, USA

problem #10

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 #9

Apr 202011

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 100,553 miles
2004 Ford Freestar RPM's 3000 at idle. Diagnosed as water intrusion in original PCM (powertrain control module) in April of 2011. Water intrusion occurred on replacement PCM as well within 3 months because rain kit per service bulletin ( # tsb-06-14-10) was not installed at the Ford dealer. Second incident occurred with the replacement (new) PCM on 9/8/11. On 9/8/11 vehicle stalled out while in traffic. Replacement PCM diagnosed as water intrusion as well by different Ford. Second dealer noted rain kit had not been installed by 1st dealer when new PCM was put in. Second dealer installed kit, but vehicle stalled out in traffic once again on 9/17/11. Replacement (new) PCM had been contaminated prior to rain kit installation. Vehicle is now at the Ford dealer (that installed tsb rain kit) for 3rd PCM unit. Contact was made with the original dealer that installed the replacement PCM as well as Ford warranty department, and as of this date of 9/23/11 neither has accepted responsibility for failure to install the recommended tsb rain kit that caused the replacement (new) PCM failure. We were very fortunate that no one was hurt during the 2 incidents when the vehicle stalled out while in traffic. We will continue to pursue action to make the first Ford dealer / Ford Motor Company financially responsible for neglecting to install the rain kit per Ford service bulletin upon installation of the first new PCM unit.

- Troy, NY, USA

problem #8

Jun 272011


  • 116,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated the vehicle suddenly stalled immediately after it stopped. The vehicle was towed to the contacts home. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The vehicle was not repaired. There was an open investigation under NHTSA action number: PE10033 (vehicle speed control power, train:automatic transmission control module (tcm, PCM)) that may be related to the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 116,000.

- Cleveland, OH, USA

problem #7

Aug 072010


  • 78,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that while driving uphill approximately 45 mph, the vehicle became resistant to the contacts attempts to accelerate. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer where they contact was informed that the torque converter would need to be replaced. The torque converter was replaced. Approximately six months later, the failure recurred while the contact was attempting to accelerate from a traffic stop. As the vehicle began to increase in speed to 25 mph, it then stalled without warning. The vehicle was towed to the contacts residence and was not examined for the cause of failure or repaired. The failure mileage was 78,000 and the current mileage was 80,000.

- Newell, WV, USA

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