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:
81,671 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2004 Ford Freestar Owner Comments

problem #20

Jan 162015

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 180,000 miles


Turns out there was a recall on the 2004 Ford Freestar in 2012 regarding the torque converter. Here it is two years later and it goes out again. This should not happen. There needs to be another recall on the torque converter and it needs to be fixed properly this time before there is a death from the incident. I had two kids under the age of 3 with me at the time and sitting in the pouring rain, in chilly weather, waiting for a ride home was not fun. Fix it Ford!!!

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #19

Jul 022014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. While driving at various speeds, the steering wheel would momentarily become very difficult to turn. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was unavailable.

- Waco, TX, USA

problem #18

Aug 072014


  • 92,238 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. While driving various speeds and attempting to make a turn, the vehicle independently veered in the opposite direction. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic. The technician stated that the lower steering shaft needed to be repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was 92,238.

- Manahawkin, NJ, USA

problem #17

May 152014

Freestar 6-cyl

  • miles


First time;while driving around a curve going approximately 40 miles per hour, the engine shut off, and lost power, and steering. Engine light came on 2nd time; engine bucked at about 40 miles to 50 miles per hour, then the engine shut off, and lost power and steering. Engine light came on 3rd time; same as the second time, engine light came on. Went to a mechanic who stated that ran the engine on computer, and the code:PO741 came up, tcc clutch performance. Was told to go to Ford for this because of current recall. Went online to Ford, and our VIN came up for torque converter replacement. Awaiting appointment on Tuesday, June 3rd. At Ford dealer.

- Hillsborough, NJ, USA

problem #16

Jul 242013


  • 125,600 miles
Was driving about 35 miles and hour when I turned and went up a slight incline...engine sputtered a bit then I turned into parking lot, heard a loud noise like engine revving up and then it just died. Lost all control of vehicle and luckily coasted to a spot where no cars were. I let it sit for a moment, started back up and it was revving up again and RPM's were going up drastically. Tried to put in reverse and it would not go, shifted to park again and it revved back up. Turned off let sit again...then started, was able to reverse but with loud noise and revving of RPM's. drive a small amount and it died again and would not start back. Had PCM replaced about one year ago. Not sure of problem. Still waiting to get it towed.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #15

Apr 132013

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 68,000 miles
Bought this van at 37106 miles. Van serviced for steering rack, struts, swaybar links and springs at approx 68000 miles. The steering rack needed to be replaced twice. Spent over $2000. Miles now are 70015 and steering problems have resurfaced. I had a Dodge Caravan that gave me over 86000 miles with minimal repairs. I will never purchase a Ford product again.

- Worcester, MA, USA

problem #14

Mar 012013


  • 174,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that the steering wheel became increasingly difficult as the vehicle abnormally pulled to the right. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for diagnosis and the contact was informed that there was probably something wrong with the front end suspension. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 174,000.

- Black River Falls, WI, USA

problem #13

Apr 112013

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 98,000 miles
While driving my son to school, vehicle stalled at 45 mph and engine died. Got vehicle started again, died again, managed to get vehicle back home. This issue has been happening intermittently ever since with no warning engine will die while driving vehicle. I have been advised by a mechanic that this is due to the PCM getting wet repeatedly. After researching issue on-line, this appears to be a design issue that Ford should address immediately before it results in a fatality.

- Mundelein, IL, USA

problem #12

May 172013

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 62,000 miles
Hi I am [xxx] was out Friday at about 5.30 when my 2004 free star van started acting up it cut off 3 time right at a light this is [xxx] just got the van 6 mos ago for 9,300 at a Ford dealer in lexington nc.maybe going to quit buying Ford ect car van what ever had to call my dad to come help me the van would not run or start because of the PCM box had water on in Ford don't want to do a [xxx] thing but make me pay more money just got the van for 9,300 now got to pay 1,2600 at a Ford dealer in whiteville nc I don't have the money but my dad and bother is going to pay for it to get fix this time maybe sale the [xxx] 2004 free star van soon I don't want to but if I don't sale it may happen again to me.Ford need to recall this [xxx]now before someone get killed I when down the road and could not control my van and now I have brakes went out to "???"look Ford send me my money back 1,12200 to me in whiteville nc 2872 to [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Whiteville , NC, USA

problem #11

Mar 182013

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
This is the fourth time power train control module has gone out during rain event. This time was on a highway traveling at 45mph with passengers. The result was intermittent engine shutdown, loss of steering, and forward motion. This module has been replaced 3 other times. Two times in 2011, and two months ago in 2013.

- Wilmington, DE, USA

problem #10

Jul 082012


  • 69,075 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact that while driving 60 mph, the power steering failed. The contact stated there was no warning prior to the failure. The steering wheel started squealing whenever the contact tried to make a turn. The vehicle had not been inspected or repaired. The VIN was not accepted. The failure and current mileages were 69,075.

- Fraser, MI, USA

problem #9

Oct 202011


  • 123,000 miles
Driving and the car shut down: No power steering, no power brakes, nothing worked. There were no warning lights or other indication of failure. Was able to steer to the side of the road and stop vehicle using emergency brakes.

- Sykesville, MD, USA

problem #8

Aug 262010

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 200,000 miles
Power steering hose leaking and causing smoke and loss of turning power. Power steering fluid leaks out of the low pressure line and on to the exhaust manifold. Corrected in February 2011 by replacing the rack and pinion, power steering pump and low pressure hose to the cooler.

- Bridgeport, CT, USA

problem #7

Nov 142006


  • 35,000 miles
Very high pitched squealing noise coming from front wheels. Noise begins approximately 15 minutes after beginning driving. Noise is intermittent but very irritating to passers by and other drivers. Noise "lightens" or lessens when brakes are applied and when slightly turning the steering wheel. I believe it to be wheel bearings/hub bearings. Very similar description to complaints I have read and I believe it is related to the recall #04S24. My vehicle was produced at the Oakville assembly plant, but was produced before the dates listed in the current form of the recall. My vehicle only has 66,000 miles on it and is very well maintained. I request that this recall be expanded immediately and that remedy is offered swiftly.

- Marysville, OH, USA

problem #6

Dec 012009


  • 64,000 miles
I have a 2004 Ford Freestar. The power steering line has cracked so badly that it needs to be filled daily or I lose power steering (which is very dangerous now in the winter weather. It will take 6 weeks to get the new part in, I understand that the economy has caused a problem in getting the part manufactured, but I was told by a Ford parts tech that it is also because of back orders. Why are so many of these parts needed. The mechanic that is going to do my repair says that this should not have happened to the part, that it is defective. I put 2 and 2 together, my part is defective, there is a back order for this part, seems like alot of people have a defective part. This could be very dangerous if power steering is suddenly lost.

- Sandwich, IL, USA

problem #5

Oct 242009


  • 55,000 miles
Leaking power steering fluid hose creates fire hazard.

- Ralston, NE, USA

problem #4

Mar 292009


  • 23,500 miles
Purchased a Ford Freestar in 2004. Last July, I noticed puddles of oil in my driveway and a kick in the wheel when turning. Proceeded to my mechanic, on an emergency basis, and found out that it had to be fixed immediately. It turned out to be the rack and pinion. I checked the recall list with NHTSA and found that Ford recalled approximately 34,000 cars with the problem. The report indicated that the linking fluid good cause smoke. My VIN number did not match the recall list. Just recently(March,2009),I started hearing screeching sounds coming from the car. It would subside when going around curbs etc..turning the wheel slightly -would eliminate the sound. Again, I checked recalls and found recalls for hub problems. If not fixed the wheel attached to the axle would caused steering difficulty and a possible crash. Checked recall VIN number and it did not match. Contacted Ford problem bureau and registered a complaint. I have presently 23,500 miles. I have registered a complaint with the federal trade commission. I believe that there are other 2004 Ford Freestars with the same problem. The car cannot be driven for fear of an immediate mechanical break down. Ford should step forward and correct the situation for those owners who have spent money to repair the problems. I cannot sell the vehicle. How can I imposition others!I 'm glad there wasn't a negative occurrence where injuries existed. As a senior citizen, cost of continuous repairs and the safety issue prevails.

- Florham Park, NJ, USA

problem #3

Jan 272009


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. While driving between 35-40 mph on normal road conditions, the contact heard a noise coming from the steering column. The failure occurred without warning. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for inspection and they stated that power steering fluid was leaking. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for a second opinion and they indicated that the power steering low-pressure line contributed to the power steering fluid leak. The dealer discovered NHTSA campaign id number 03V457000 (steering:hydraulic power assist:hose, piping, and connections); however, the recall remedy was not performed due to the unavailability of the part required for the repair. There is a massive national back order on the part and the contact was placed on a waiting list. The technician recommended that the vehicle not be driven due to the safety risk involved. The failure and current mileages were 80,000.

- Matthews, NC, USA

problem #2

Apr 152007

Freestar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. There is a restriction that prevents the steering wheel from turning left or right properly. On August 31, 2007, the vehicle was taken to the dealer and they stated that nothing was wrong with the steering wheel; however, the wheel has become even harder to turn. The contact has not taken the vehicle back to the dealer. The current mileage was 102,000 and failure mileage was 94,000.

- Mesa, AZ, USA

problem #1

Jun 012004

Freestar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
This is a general compliant about my 2004 Ford Freestar. The problems started almost immediately after driving the car away from the dealer. 1. I was at a stop light and the rubber cover fell off of the brake pedal. 2. the next thing was the keyless remote worked about 50% of the time to open the passenger doors. 3. then after about the first 500 miles of driving, the steering wheel oscillated in my hands when coming to a stop. 4. also when driving there were several annoying sounds. 5 finally, and this is the most annoying of all, I can't run the heater in the cold weather because excessive hot air comes from the defrost vents even though I have the control set to 'floor vents' only. Now what has the Ford dealers done about the problems? 1. I replaced the rubber cover on the brake pedal. 2. the dealers refuse to fix the keyless remote problem. They claim it is working fine even though I took it to independent alarm tech who told me the 'unlock all' receiver needs to be replaced. 3. the oscillation of the steering wheel while stopping was ' fixed' by one dealer by grinding down a warped brake rotor. This repair, which I objected to Ford not replacing the rotor with a new rotor, only lasted a few thousand miles and the problem recurred. I took it to another dealer who replaced the bad rotor. 4. one of the annoying sounds was fixed by one dealer but not all of the sounds. I took it to another dealer and all were fixed. 5. the dealers refuse to fix the problem of excessive hot air coming from the defrost vent. I have to duct tape over the defrost vent to be able run the heater. Then I have to pull the duct tape away if the windshield fogs over inside the car. In general I think the quality of this car is the worst that I have ever owned and I have owned several new cars in my almost 70 years of age.

- Newtown, PA, USA

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