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:
121,597 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 suspension problems

suspension problem

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2004 Ford Freestar Owner Comments

problem #16

May 212016


  • 16,462 miles


Problem #1 the passenger side window will not work. It's controll module was replaced it worked one time and stopped working again. Problem #2 the drive axle broke in traffic luckily we were stopping and were only going about 5 mph. Problem #3 today after a night of heavy rain when the van was unlocked the radio came on before the key was even in the ignition. Which brings us to problem #4 the biggest and no doubt most expensive. The van started and was running kind of sluggish but ran fine in reverse but if you shift to drive the van shuts off. You cannot start it in neutral either. I have had 2 independent mechanics look at it today both say it is the torque converter. I looked it up and there is a recall but of course it's the weekend and I can't call to see if it's covered.

- Lancaster, OH, USA

problem #15

Jan 302016


  • miles
The front subframe is severely corroded. Mechanic says it's unsafe to drive. Ford recalled 425,000 1998-2003 Ford Windstar for the same problem. It doesn't appear the problem was corrected.I don't want to wait for it to fail before it's reported and I can't, in good conscience, sell it someone else. Is there anything I do to rectify this?

- Owosso, MI, USA

problem #14

Jan 192015


  • 185,600 miles
As I proceeded to make a left hand turn, @ a permittible speed 25 M.P.H. I could hear noise emanating from the rt. Frt. Side of the veh. Fuel sys. Further ck'ing needed.

- Tulsa, OK, USA

problem #13

Aug 282013


  • 141,000 miles


First crack in U shaped steel channel noticed when I took this van in for other recall repairs at yucca valley Ford. They notified me and I had it welded. A few months later crack was back had it rewelded and gussets added to restrengthen both sides. Lasted six months till I took to tire shop to have front end aligned and two new tires put on. Left next day for gig broke one mile from home just past the weld. This van has always been a California car to my knowledge. No rust. Same rear axel as Windstar. Bad design. Van is heavy little sh*t steel channel to hold all that weight is stupid. Couldn't believe it was built that way. How come no recall for same axel design on Freestar. People apt to die from this stupid design.

- Twentynine Palms, CA, USA

problem #12

Dec 012014


  • 155,000 miles
TL-the contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that while an independent mechanic was servicing the vehicle, it was discovered that there were cracks on the rear axle. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 155,000. Djr

- Edison, NJ, USA

problem #11

May 032014


  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that there was a loud abnormal noise coming from the front end of the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, who replaced the stabilizer arm and the front brakes but the failure persisted. The vehicle was taken for a state inspection when it was noticed that the bushings around the ball joint was cracked and the bolt fractured within the lower control arm. The inspector also indicated that the frame needed to be replaced and the vehicle was unsafe to drive. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 120,000. Updated 08/19/14

- Sanford, ME, USA

problem #10

May 162014


  • 76,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. While the vehicle was parked, the contact noticed that the front passenger side wheel was positioned inward. The vehicle was towed to a mechanic, who stated that the front lower control arm became completely detached from the vehicle. The vehicle was being repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The VIN was unavailable. The approximate failure mileage was 76,000.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #9

May 212012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 170,214 miles
I had my vehicle to the Ford dealership on a recall for the third row latch/corrosion issue. While in the process of doing the repair, the service dept. Found massive undercarriage corrosion, in which other parts of my car were disintegrating & falling apart, such as the starter and the engine mounts, as well as parts of my exhaust system. While my car was on the premises there were also two other Freestars with similar amounts of massive corrosion on the body of the vehicle, particularly all of the doors. My vehicle is only 9 years old and has been taken care of with regular maintenance and should not look 20 years old with the corrosion that it has accumulated. I also have a large, visible crack in my wheel well in the rear passenger area caused by corrosion and my vehicle may not pass inspection. I have been in touch with Ford Motor Co. And they seemed only casually interested, but did give me a case file # [xxx]. they report that there is currently no recall on any of the peripheral corrosion problems and could not guarantee that there would be a recall on this. The supervisor at the dealership expressed to me that he has seen at least 6-8 other Freestars with the same corrosion in the same places. My car is rotting from the inside...presently when it rains, my front passenger door accumulates water inside, which eventually drains itself out through the corrosion underneath that panel. Please help me to force a recall on this issue so that I can get my car repaired in an appropriate manner and feel safe in driving without worrying that my vehicle will disintegrate underneath me from this massive corrosion problem. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Northfield, MA, USA

problem #8

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 #7

Feb 012013


  • 130,000 miles
The problem is the same that is described in EA12003. The attaching bracket for the rear seat fell out while the seat was folded into the floor. It became lodged in the inner portion of the rear wheel assembly. If this would have happened at high speeds, somebody could have easily been killed, by the rear wheel becoming restricted or this heavy plate bouncing down the road at another vehicle. The bracket is a U bracket attached to a plate that is welded flush to comprise part of the wheel well. To temporarily keep from losing the bracket, I held the bracket in place while setting the seats upright again so that the seat itself is holding the bracket in. There is now water from the road getting up into the passenger compartment. I hope that Ford issues a recall or offers a bolt on replacement soon. I've been mostly happy with this vehicle otherwise. (there are no other prices rusting or falling off obviously).

- Newbury , OH, USA

problem #6

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 #5

Mar 302012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,308 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. While traveling 30 mph, the contact noticed that the front suspension and axle had suddenly separated from the vehicle, causing the vehicle to crash into a parked vehicle. No one was injured during the crash. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired for the failure. The current and the failure mileages were 87,308. Updated 05/10/12 the consumer stated while driving, the right tire on the passenger side of his vehicle simply collapsed. There was a loud bang as the front side dropped gouging the hub cap and the metal wheel into the asphalt leaving a narrow strip in between my wheel and the another vehicle that was double parked. His vehicle continued to gouge the asphalt and then stopped. The collapsed tire did rub the left lower side sport trim of the other vehicle which left black rubber marks on the double parked vehicle. The consumer stated his speed was about 25 mph and as held the steering wheel, the air bag deployed, with such great force it shattered the windshield. The vehicle was totaled. The consumer stated the police refused to make a report as there were no injuries. Updated 07/12/12

- Hollywood, CA, USA

problem #4

Dec 112010


  • 114,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that the front axle assembly detached from the vehicle while in a residential driveway. The vehicle had not been involved in a collision or road hazard. The vehicle was towed to a local mechanic who repaired the vehicle. Later, the rear cargo door latch became inoperable. The vehicle was taken to the dealer but was not repaired. The manufacturer was contacted who offered no assistance. The failure mileage was 114,000.

- Hawthorn Woods , IL, USA

problem #3

Apr 102010


  • 580,752 miles
I have a high pitch noise coming from the left side of my van check the brakes they are fine the problem is bad wheel bearing [xxx]. information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Northridgeville, OH, USA

problem #2

Mar 042006

Freestar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 13,000 miles
Experienced a very loud squealing noise that appeared to be coming from the front wheels - this usually occurred at speeds >60 mph. When the steering wheel was turned slightly to the right, the noise would cease. When the wheels were straightened again, the noise would continue. Took the vehicle to the dealer with no issues found. I had suggested at that time that the problem appeared to be front wheel bearing related or something of that nature - no issues found with the vehicle at that time. The problem continued. Took the vehicle back 2 months later - reported that this was a known issue for the bearings to be replaced (and some other non-specific work with the hubs). This is listed in the recall section for this vehicle as a known issue since 2004!! why was this not taken care of previously under a recall and why did they not see the bulletin on this the first time I took the vehicle in?

- Beaverton, OR, USA

problem #1

Aug 112005

Freestar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 14,000 miles
Clicking noise once gas pedal was touched-dealer stated was front end control arm problem-very unsafe to drive -could cause crash or even death-they repair both control arms and performed wheel alignment-internet site showed recall been sent to customer concerning this problem, I never received recall notification. I own a 2004 Ford Freestar that at this time it has 14,000 miles on it.

- Belleville , NJ, USA

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