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:
3 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
5 / 0
Average Mileage:
77,610 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2004 Ford Freestar Owner Comments (Page 10 of 25)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #315

Apr 282010

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 78,701 miles


While backing from a parking space, with no warning, my van just stop moving. I could not move back or go forward. Mechanic explained that there was a major failure in the torque converter. When he drop the transmission oil pan it was full of metal shavings. We had to purchase a new transmission.

- Chester, VA, USA

problem #314

Mar 152008


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated while driving uphill at speeds of 15 mph, the vehicle became stuck in neutral. The dealer advised the failure was due to transmission fluid contamination. The transmission fluid solenoids and fuel pump were replaced. The failure recurred within one year and the contact was unable to shift the gear shift selector in drive or reverse. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where they again, found transmission fluid contamination and the exact repairs were performed from the previous year. The failure did not persist however; the contact was concerned that the failure would recur. The failure mileage was 80,000 and the current mileage was 106,050.

- Anasco , PR, USA

problem #313

Mar 152008


  • 80,000 miles
TL- the contact owns a 2004 Ford free start. He experience transmission failure three times. Once while driving up hill at 15mph the gear stuck in neutral, one a year later the the gear will not change into drive, or reverse. The vehicle was towed to the garage twice. The diagnose located the transmission oil contaminated. The garage replaced the transmission fluid, solenoids, and the gas pump. The repair corrected the failure; however he feels that he could experience the failure again. The failure mileage was 80,000 and the current mileage was 106,050.

- Anasco , PR, USA

problem #312

May 132010

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 126,665 miles


My 2004 Freestar suddenly quit running last week. There was very little forward power and no reverse power. It also began sitting and sputtering terribly and would not start. I made it to the edge of traffic. It had been wet and rainy all week. Now that the weather is dry the van starts. This is an ongoing issue. I have already replaced the transmission once.

- Nowalk, WI, USA

problem #311

Jan 082010

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 76,000 miles
My 11year old son was with me when I was driving my 2004 Ford Freestar minivan on a interstate road at 40 miles an hour perfectly fine, when I went to accelerate on the gas pedal and nothing happen I pressed the pedal to the floor and the minivan would not accelerate there was no warning on the dash board, no warning sound, nothing to warn me that this would happen, I glided to a safe area and tried different gears and it wouldn't go in any gear. I had it in the dealer 4 days before this happen they didn't say anything was wrong. I had it towed to a Ford dealer, it turns out it was the torque converter-power train-automatic transmission, my minivan had 76,000 miles on it for the dealer fix it for $1,500 as I read on the internet this has happen a lot. I don't feel this van had that many miles on it for a transmission to fail and fail with out warning, my son and I could have been seriously hurt or died, it was very scary dangerous not being able to accelerate to get off the road out of other cars way.

- Fairview Park, OH, USA

problem #310

Apr 232010


  • 108,000 miles
The transmission just gave out. No prior symptoms or warning. I was driving with my foot on the gas and the car felt like it went into neutral. Good thing I wasn't on the highway because what is more dangerous than the brake not working is the gas not working when you are going on the highway.

- Richmond, WA, USA

problem #309

Apr 252010

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 73,465 miles


Transmission failed at 80 mph in the middle of I-85 in atlanta, ga. The car was hauled garage in laurencville, ga where a new transmission was installed at great expense. The old transmission was left at nobody's garage in laurenceville, ga.

- Legrand, IA, USA

problem #308

Apr 162010


  • 76,000 miles
Vehicle stopped in middle of road. Engine revved and would not go into gear, forward or reverse. Had to have towed home. Mechanic says its the torque converter. We previously had the transmission rebuilt back in 2008 when it went out.

- Micanopy , FL, USA

problem #307

Feb 202010

Freestar 8-cyl

  • 89,900 miles
I have a 2004 Ford Freestar. I recently had my transmission replaced at 89,900 miles. We were on the highway at night time with an 8 year old and 7 year old when the vehicle just started stopping. There no warning lights that came on for the transmission no signs. The rpms would go high / vehicle went would barely move. It was awful.

- Nederland, TX, USA

problem #306

May 012010

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 132,070 miles
2004 Ford Freestar - transmission went out without any warning - I was turning a corner and heard a loud noise - the check transaxle light came on and I could not get the car to move - took to auto garage and they said they would have to replace but that they have seen this over and over with the 04 Freestar. This went out in the middle of an intersection on a busy street with my 3 kids in the car. This is a dangerous problem that Ford should address!

- Asheboro, NC, USA

problem #305

Mar 262010

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 80,500 miles


2004 Ford Freestar: Vehicle would not go into reverse on March 26 and also had problems going forward. Vehicle would not go over 20 mph. Did not drive vehicle after this event and had towed to Ford dealer on April 6. PCM was replaced. Picked car up on April 19. Delay in pickup due to vacation. A week later (April 26), same problem returned after driving a total of about 110 miles. While driving in traffic, vehicle dropped to under 20 mph without warning. Vehicle failed at a busy intersection. This was a frightening experience and there was a child in the car. PCM was replaced a second time. Picked up repaired vehicle at Ford dealer on May 1 and on the way home from Ford dealer, drove vehicle 18 miles, when vehicle failed again. Vehicle shut down in traffic, no power steering or brakes available, barely missed hitting a house. Vehicle towed back to Ford dealer for 3rd time. Vehicle would not go in reverse when unloaded from tow truck. We were fortunate that no one got hurt in either of these incidents and we are very concerned that we will not be so fortunate the next time. We are afraid to drive this car.

- West Grove, PA, USA

problem #304

Apr 292010


  • 40,000 miles
I have a 2004 Ford Freestar. We are the original owners and just yesterday the transmission went out. We were driving and all of a sudden the car would not shift into gear. Our van has 40,000 miles on it. I've been reading that this is a common problem with these vans and hope that Ford will do something about it.

- Wailuku, HI, USA

problem #303

Apr 302010


  • 104,000 miles
2004 Ford Freestar, going down road fine, engine rev, speed declined and would not move. Transmission locked due to bad torque converter. Had to replace transmission.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #302

Nov 202009


  • 100,000 miles
I bought a 2004 Ford Freestar with 16000 miles indicated on the odometer in 2005. The transmission failed at approximately 100,000 miles. I paid to have a used transmission installed at a cost of $2100 in 2009. The used transmission also failed after a period of approximately 4 months and I am left with a useless pile of parts. I have researched this situation through the internet and have found that many other owners of Ford Freestar minivans have experienced the same problems. Is the NHTSA planning any investigation on this issue? thanks for your assistance.

- Harrison, AR, USA

problem #301

Apr 102010

Freestar 4WD 8-cyl

  • 92,395 miles
Sudden transmission failure due to torque converter. Driving home from out of state vacation. Traveling 60 mph in passing lane when vehicle began to rapidly decelerate. Coasted across inside lane through traffic to shoulder of highway. Transmission fluid level was good. Towed to transmission shop and family and I waited several days for transmission to be repaired and rebuilt at cost exceeding $2600.

- Johnstown, NY, USA

problem #300

Apr 242010


  • miles
My Ford Freestar 2004 suddenly stopped as I was driving. The car was revving but car seemed to be in neutral. Luckily I was driving slow on a quiet Suburban street when it occurred and I was able to pull into a side street. Obviously, I was very shaken up. I called the Ford service center, but instead of acknowledging that this is an incident that they have been aware of, they told me that I should get it towed into service and get a diagnostic for $115. Then he told me that most likely I needed a new transmission for anywhere between $3000 - 4000. The guys from Ford were not only playing dumb, but were also trying to take advantage of their defective transmission by making even more money. No wonder they were the only car manufacturer that didn't ask for a government loan. They just steal what they need from the consumer. How easy is that. Now I want to know how smart they would be if indeed someone died from this deficiency. Perhaps Mr. Ford would like to call Mr. Toyota to ask for some advice in advance. With all the complaints just on this one site, this is proof that they have been ignoring this problem. They are well aware of the situation. This makes for more evidence when there is a class action lawsuit.

- Vancouver, Bc, 00, USA

problem #299

Apr 232010

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 33,358 miles
Transmission bucks when in overdrive, delays engagement in reverse, took van to trans shop and was told codes showed defective torque converter. I'm in the process of having it fixed.

- Lehighton, PA, USA

problem #298

Apr 212010

Freestar 8-cyl

  • 56,231 miles
I own a 2004 Ford Freestar. Without warning or any other previous problems, the transmission stopped working and would not respond in any gear. The vehicle continues to not respond and subsequently had to be towed to a garage. Currently, the Ford garage (purvis Ford, fredericksburg va) has the vehicle and they are telling me that they need to break open the case to investigate further. There are no outer signs of the problem.

- Stafford, VA, USA

problem #297

Apr 182010

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 777,770 miles
Hello, I am another victim of the 2004 Ford Freestar transmission (torque converter) failures. I had no warning at all that something was wrong, there was not lights or sounds even when it completely failed there were still not a single light or noise. I am very concerned about this because I have seen where a whole lot of other people have had the same problem and I do not understand why Ford is not recalling this. Are they waiting for someone to get killed if it has not already happened. I had my 3 sons in the van and was on our way home when all of a sudden when we turned the corner the van would not move anymore, the engine would just rev like we were in neutral. I was almost rear ended by three different cars and my children were scared to death. As of right now my van is at glen burnie transmissions (who knew exactly what the problem was when I told them the type of vehicle) getting fixed and is going to cost me anywhere from $1500 to 2500 dollars. When I had it towed to the shop they (glen burnie transmissions) had stated that they have seen so many of these vans with the same problem. I am not understanding why this has not been recalled because everyone who drives a 2004 Freestar are not doing something wrong to cause this to happen. I just like to see something done before someone really gets hurt if it has not happened yet.

- Glen Burnie, MD, USA

problem #296

Jul 202009


  • miles
Transmission on 2004 Ford Freestar failed during normal driving, no warning whatsoever. Mileage was just over 70000. Transmission had to be replaced at a cost of $2500. Oil and fluids had been changed regularly.

- Lillington, NC, USA

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