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 15 of 25)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #215

Nov 172009

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 61,000 miles


No one returned my call from I have a 2004 Freestar 4.2 liter V-6 with 61,000 miles and had a complete torque converter failure. We have always done prescribed maintenance and this failure was inexplicable. I saw on your website reference # PE 09033 and it describes our problem completely. We had the vehicle towed and repaired by a highly reputable service provider. Our repair bill was $1700 plus dollars and we feel Ford and/or its suppliers should be held accountable. Also 10295342 smch

- Winnsboro, SC, USA

problem #214

Nov 142009


  • 39,200 miles
Complete transmission failure, with no warning or any precursor problem of any kind. Fortunately this occurred at low speed on a residential street. The failure could have been extremely dangerous had it occurred at high speed and heavy traffic. Torque converter stripped, had to be replaced.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #213

Feb 012009


  • 118,000 miles
Transmission failure.

- Warren, MI, USA

problem #212

Nov 162009


  • 77,000 miles


While driving approx. 35mph, my 2004 Ford Freestar without warning suddenly lost power as the rpms went way up. Was on an incline and able to coast to a parking lot. Car is awaiting replacement of torque converter / transmission.

- Joplin, MO, USA

problem #211

Nov 192009


  • 39,000 miles
On November 19, 2009 at 0640 in the morning. I was driving on the interstate to work around 70 mph when my 2004 Ford Freestar van, all of a sudden, without any prior warning, started to lose power. When I stepped on the gas the RPM would increase but the vehicle came to a stop. I tried all the different gears, but was unable to move forward or in reverse. This could have been a huge safety problem, but I was lucky. I was already in the far lane and thankfully at that time no one was directly behind me. If there would have been a semi or some trailing to close I would have been hit in the rear. It was that dramatic of a slow down. The vehicle was towed to the dealership and I was informed that it was the torque converter that needed to be replaced. Ford refuses to assist in any form, the vehicle only has 39, 000 miles. I am now out over 1600 dollars to have this faulty piece of equipment replaced. I believe this to be a huge safety issue and something needs to be done. I contacted the Ford corporation and they basically just ignored me and said there is nothing they can do to assist me.

- Omaha, NE, USA

problem #210

Nov 232009


  • 100,135 miles
My 2004 Ford free star van quit in the middle of a busy intersection. With no warning what so ever it was like the van was in neutral. My wife and I were stranded in the middle of the intersection during heavy traffic. The local police were contacted due to the heavy traffic in the area. We are now told of the issues with Ford free star and it's transmissions. The repair we were told will be upward of $3000. Ford Motor Company seems to know of the issues why has a recall not been issued. This is a huge safety issue with this vehicle.

- Ilion, NY, USA

problem #209

Nov 132009


  • 133,654 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. While driving 35 to 40 mph the spline fell off of the shaft which is connected to the torque converter causing the transmission to fail. The transmission was replaced by a local mechanic. The contact is aware of the safety risk since the transmission failed without any warning and could have potentially caused a crash to occur. The current and failure mileages were 133,654.

- St. Marie, IL, USA

problem #208

Nov 112009


  • 57,690 miles
I was leaving my work and pulled out onto a very busy highway. I or my passenger did not notice any strange noises or hesitation in the engine. Upon gradual acceleration to traffic speed; the vehicle began to move and then didn't. I managed to coast to the side of the road and put it in park and the engine began to whine. I then put the it back into drive and the transmission made no noise going into gear. I then tied each of the gears and again nothing. I then turned the vehicle off and waited and tried again with same results. I would think having only 57 thousand miles on a 2004 vehicle it would not be having transmission issues such as this. I have had a mechanic listen to the noises and give his best guess. He informed me that based on not going into gear and the noises that it is making and until a complete in-shop check can be made, we will have to replace the transmission. Estimated cost $2500 to $3500 dollars.

- Indianapolis , IN, USA

problem #207

Oct 012009


  • 85,000 miles
Yes purchased a 04 Ford Freestar with 55,000 miles from a used car dealer. Like everyone else had complete transmission failure at 85,000 miles. Threw further research on the vehicle. I discovered this was the second transmission this piece of junk has required. I will never go the domestic route again, when purchasing. No wonder they needed a bail out.

- Lexington, SC, USA

problem #206

Oct 212009


  • 67,236 miles
Transmission failed. Had it towed to a garage. Mechanic removed it and found the torque gears stripped and the shaft defective.. testing indicated the torque gears were not hardened thereby reducing the life of it. He is replacing the parts with better quality parts and saving the damaged ones for review.

- Easley, SC, USA

problem #205

Oct 202009


  • 76,754 miles


On Oct 20, 2009, I left home in my 2004 Ford Freestar sel at 7:30am to take my son to his leukemia doctor. While driving on a 2 lane highway, through the town of vanceboro, nc. When I went to speed up from 35mph to 55mph, my Freestar wasn't getting any power to the wheels. I pulled off as far as I could go of the road, which left my vehicle about 2 feet off the 55mph road. I had it towed to the nearest dealership, cella Ford in new bern, nc. It was diagnosed as a transmission issue, (torque converter striped). I have read alot of other complaints surfing the internet, and seems this is a really big issue for the Ford Freestar/Mercury monterey mini-vans. If this issue would have happened on say, a busy interstate, or busy freeway, and I wasn't able to get my vehicle off to the side, my family lives could have been in danger. I would really like Ford to place time and effort in researching the cause of these transmission issues, and put out a recall to fixed to ill fated transmissions they put in Freestar/monterey mini-vans before someone gets hurt and or killed. Also, this issue has put my family and I in a financial hardship due to the $3210.56 repair bill and on top of having a child being treated for leukemia.

- Havelock, NC, USA

problem #204

Jun 122008


  • 83,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. When attempting to drive, he cold not shift the vehicle into any of the gears. Prior to the failure he heard a very peculiar noise. The dealer was notified, but because the warranty expired he was not provided with any assistance. The failure mileage was 83,000.

- Cochran, GA, USA

problem #203

Oct 312009


  • 78,000 miles
After a day of family festivities, 2 1/2 hours away from home, I packed my husband, two daughters, son-in-law, granddaughter and myself into my 2004 Ford Freestar van. I was driving down a very rural two lane road, in total darkness when it started. I was leaving a very very small town and accelerated from 30 to 55. Everything was fine until I reached 62 mph. The van seemed to misfire and lunged. Everyone asked was it was. I had let off the gas a bit and tried not to go over 60. As we continued, the van lunged again, but now I was only going 55, and then again and again, going slower and slower. My husband assumed I had a problem with the gasoline and told me to blow it out but I told him when I pushed on the gas, there was no response. The check engine light went on and then it got bad. I could see headlights coming up in my rear view mirror. I thought about pulling off to the side, but as the van started to loose power, I realized that there was no shoulder and that there was a ravine. I was pumping the gas pedal and the van would intermittently respond by lunging forward and then pausing, just like a bucking Bronco. The movement was so thrusting it woke up my granddaughter from a sound sleep. I managed to put my flashers on but I couldn't get off the road. I realized that I needed to make it to the next town, as being stranded in that area would be very dangerous for anyone getting out of the vehicle or anyone being left behind in the vehicle. I am amazed that no one got killed because the van would totally loose power and shut off. I was dropping to neutral to restart it, only to have the same thing happen again, pumping the gas, making it a little way and then the engine losing power. This happened four or five times until I made it into the next town, where I drove down hill with no engine, steering or brakes, and coasted into a gas station. It would not go into reverse and was left 2 hours from home, awaiting arrangements to picked up.

- Crystal Lake, IL, USA

problem #202

Apr 142009


  • 67,500 miles
April 2009, the 2004 Ford Freestar van was parked in our driveway. It had been outside for a while, not being driven, and it had been wet outside. My husband needed to move the cars around and went to move the van. It would not catch. He continued to crank it and the engine would catch but immediately bog and die out. This continue so long, I was surprised the battery didn't die out. When the engine did catch, the idle would rev way high up and would not go down until it would just plunge and the engine would die. While it was arching, he attempted to put the van in gear but it would not reverse or go forward. The dealer was called and a tow truck came that Saturday. When it was looked at on Monday, the van started right up, apparently put on the computer and the diagnosis was "it's a non-issue."

- Crystal Lake, IL, USA

problem #201

Oct 192009


  • 89,000 miles
Near/miss accident my spouse was driving to work. We live on a dirt road and we drive slow no more than 20 mph. The road takes you directly to the a busy freeway. She turn onto the highway and started accelerating and before it was too late she notice the 2004 Ford Freestar wouldn't shift into 2nd gear and was almost rear ended by a semi-truck. Come to find out the trans had to be rebuilt, there is only 89,000 miles on it. The trans mechanic told me that it happens alot on these vans it cost alot of money.

- Fowlerville, MI, USA

problem #200

Oct 212009


  • 81,000 miles
My transmission failed on the 2004 Ford Freestar minivan at only 81,000 miles.

- Signal Mtn., TN, USA

problem #199

Oct 232009


  • 67,000 miles
My husband and I were driving from the store going home... just turned off a busy street on a side road when all of a sudden the car just lost power why we were in drive so we rolled to the side of the road... my husband put it in park... then he started the car again put it in gear press the gas and we did not move just the engine made noise so he tried another gear and same thing not moving just engine making noise... I am sure glad that we just turned off the busy street no telling what would of happen and we did not have our four children in the car either thank god... well we have it towed to a local Ford dealer... they tell us that it is the torque converter and the price to fix it $1800 I think that Ford needs to fix the problems... before some one gets seriously hurt or dies... to top it off we live in a small town that has no bus or cab transportation with or for kids living pay check to pay check do not even know what to do we just made 2 car payments and we do not have the money to get it fixed.

- Brenham, TX, USA

problem #198

Oct 162009


  • 89,000 miles
I was leaving the school parking lot when all of a sudden my car stalled out. Luckily there was no traffic coming. It would start then stall. This happened several times. I had it towed to the Ford dealer and was told that I need a new transmission. The torque converter is defective in this vehicle. I have contacted Ford regarding this incident. It is horrifying to think that these family vehicles are defective and nothing is being done by Ford to ensure the safety of their customers. After doing research, I learned that numerous people have had close calls with potentially fatal circumstances and still no recall. Do people have to be seriously injured or killed before something is done"?"

- Canton, NY, USA

problem #197

Oct 232009

Freestar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,555 miles
I was driving my 2004 Ford Freestar down the road and all of a sudden no power like it was put into neutral so I have it in shop. Updated IVOQ 12/21/10.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #196

Oct 052009


  • 84,000 miles
While making a turn in a very busy intersection my 04 Freestar simply stopped moving forward. The engine would rev but it wouldn't move in any gear. I was stuck in the middle of the road blocking traffic. This could have ended in tragedy if this had happened at a different time of the day when traffic gets really heavy. The problem has been diagnosed by more than one transmission expert to be the torque converter. I've been doing some research and this seem to be a very common problem with this vehicle. With this complaint I'm also requesting more information on this problem. Thank you, jorge

- Orlando, FL, USA

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