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 16 of 25)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #195

Oct 032009


  • 100,000 miles


I have a 2004 Freestar passenger van. I was driving down road at approximately 65-70 mph. And van lost all forward momentum with no indication at all. No dashboard indication or vehicle showing irregular momentum or slippage. I have been unable to have vehicle repaired. I put sensor sw-6012 but that didn't fix problem..when car is running vehicle makes loud whining sound..not quite a I screech. I am glad when I lost power there were no cars behind me. Thank god I have been advised that it is the transmission.

- Bellmead, TX, USA

problem #194

Oct 042009


  • 46,000 miles
The 2004 Ford Freestar van was entering the on-ramp to the qew highway and would no longer drive. The engine was still working but when you pushed the gas petal it would only rev up and not drive. I have taken it to the local oakland Ford dealership in Oakville and have been told it is the torque converter/transmission. My wife that was driving the car had to wait on the on-ramp until a tow truck arrived. She was very close to being hit from behind on many occassions. If this occurred 1 minute later she would have been on the highway. The vehicle only has 75,000km on it and this should not occur with such low mileage.

- Oakville, 00, USA

problem #193

Sep 022009


  • 80,400 miles
While traveling on highway 140 between canton & waleska, ga my 2004 Ford Freestar suddenly went to neutral forcing me to stop in the middle of a busy two lane highway during rush hour. Lucky for me this was covered by my carmax extended warranty program, but it cost me 200 for a tow and put my life and others at risk. I was almost rearended as the person behind me didn't know I was slowing down until I pressed the brake pedal to make others aware I was stopping. My torque converter was stripped and this doesn't seem to be an uncommon problem on this van.

- Acworth, GA, USA

problem #192

Sep 262009


  • miles


Torque converter stopped working on 2004 Ford Freestar on I35 interstate. No warning that anything was wrong.

- Burnet, TX, USA

problem #191

Sep 292009


  • 104,000 miles
Transaxle warning light comes on even after transmission replacement. 2004 Ford Freestar had transmission replaced at 104K because of transaxle light continually on and van stuttering, jerking. Light continues to come on. Transmission shop says transmission is fine. Light goes off when key is removed and engine restarted:however, comes back on with distance and speed driving (around one hour at 60+).

- Navarre, FL, USA

problem #190

Sep 262009


  • 122,000 miles
I was driving on the road going about 55 miles per hour when with no warning at all the transmission in my 2004 Ford Freestar failed. This left me with no momentum or ability to move forward, fortunately I was able to coast to the side of the road and my four children and I were safe, but shaken. We could have been killed! I have always had regular maintenance performed on my van, and have the records to prove it. This is very disappointing to me since I have learned that Ford is aware of this problem and does nothing to take care of it. I am angry that they would knowingly put their consumers lives at risk with faulty parts.

- Reynoldsburg, OH, USA

problem #189

Sep 192009


  • 119,864 miles


While driving at highway speed, my 2004 Ford Freestar suddenly lost all power to the wheels. The engine worked ok but the transmission shift lever appeared to have no effect. Had this happened other than on a rural road as it did, all vehicles in proximity would have been endangered by the sudden loss of power in this vehicle. This failure occurred without warning or any preceding indication that anything was amiss.

- Crane, IN, USA

problem #188

Sep 182009


  • 84,000 miles
On Sept 18, 2009 my wife was driving home from work when the our 2004 Ford Freestar had a sudden loss of power. There was no indication of any problem. Our mechanic has indicated that the transmission failed and would require a complete rebuild, replacing the torque converter, transmission pump assembly and various items in the overhaul kit. Cost $1807.92.

- Brownstown, MI, USA

problem #187

Sep 062009


  • 118,000 miles
The vehicle (2004 Ford Freestar) in traffic when the transmission suddenly failed, leaving us with no option but to coast off to the side of the road. I had my wife an teenage son in the car with me, and we were very fortunate not to have been injured or killed. If the transmission had failed a few minutes earlier, we could have easily been rear-ended on the interstate. We had to have the transmission replaced at a cost of $3400.

- Charlottesville, VA, USA

problem #186

Apr 102009


  • 64,296 miles
2004 Freestar without warning no motion F-or R saw hundreds of same on web...needs to be recalled billion dollar Corp should man up.

- Agawam, MA, USA

problem #185

Sep 052009


  • 66,000 miles


While I was on the highway, driving about 65mph, with 4 kids in the van, my rpms spiked, a loud moaning sound started and I completely lost acceleration, I was able to coast off an exit and pull over. My older boys were able to push the van into a parking lot of a national tire and battery. The guys there told me that more than likely the transmission went out, nothing could be done because of the holiday weekend, so I would have to wait until Tuesday for any kind of quote to begin repairs. I had to call family 50 miles away to come pick us up, my vehicle is stranded in another town 40 miles away, and I am told the repairs could cost at least $2000 and could take a week! this vehicle only has approximately 66,000 miles on it.

- Madisonville, TX, USA

problem #184

Aug 302009


  • 98,000 miles
2004 Ford free star transmission quit without warning while riding on main street in nicholasville, ky. The van stays in neutral even though the gear is in the drive or reverse position. Had the van towed to our house because it is not able to drive.

- Nicholasville, KY, USA

problem #183

Mar 112008


  • 104,252 miles
Driving down the road and lost all forward motion due to no pulling power. I can hear the transmission going into gear put my foot on gas and the moto reves but the transmission and the engine are not working together.

- Festus, MO, USA

problem #182

Aug 302009


  • 40,000 miles
Transmission failure of 2004 Ford Freestar that matches current investigation number PE09-033.

- Hillsdale, NJ, USA

problem #181

Aug 102009


  • 52,693 miles
We were driving our 2004 Ford Freestar on I-90 outside elgin, il on August 10, 2009. I thought I heard a pop or engine noise and the car suddenly started losing acceleration and started coasting. We pulled the car over to the side of the road and turned off and checked the engine. The car would not move in forward or reverse when you pressed the gas. We towed the car to arlington heights Ford in arlington heights, il. They checked and told us that the transmission was shot and it would need a new transmission. We needed the car so we paid $3158.43 for the repair ($2119.29 for parts and $1039.14 for labor). We did not receive the old part.

- Arlington Heights, IL, USA

problem #180

Aug 282009


  • 84,784 miles
On my way to work, I was driving 55mph when all of a sudden the van threw me back as if the van was thrown into park. I had no acceleration and the van shut off and coasted to a stop. After starting the van again, when I attempted to accelerate, the RPM's would rise very high, however the van would not move. This was in drive or reverse. I had to have the van towed back home. I am currently reviewing my options as I am still paying on this van and can not afford an expensive repair. This seems to be a very common problem with this make and model. Fortunately for me, this occurred in the early morning hours where there was not much traffic on the express way. Had this happened a couple hours later during rush hour, this could have turned out to be a fatal incident.

- Chicago Heights, IL, USA

problem #179

Aug 272009


  • 59,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. While driving approximately 55 mph she lost complete power accompanied by gear failure without any prior warnings. She was able to safely move the vehicle to the side of the road in which the vehicle was towed to her house. She contacted the dealer in which a technician speculated that she would have to replace the transmission at an expense of $4500. As of current date the vehicle has not been repaired. The current and failure mileages were 59,000. (cc)

- Bridgeport, NY, USA

problem #178

Aug 092009


  • 50,770 miles
Vehicle stopped moving in left lane of interstate I270 S on upward incline toward RT85 with no warning. The vehicle was only able to coast off the left side of the road by about 1 foot. This occurred while driving for about 400 miles from boston that day. The dealer said the splines for the torque converter shaft sheared off causing the vehicle to stop moving. Auto trans had to be replaced due to this at 50770 miles on 8/10/2009.

- Gaithersburg, MD, USA

problem #177

Aug 252009


  • 79,090 miles
Beginning at 55K miles, the transaxle has been slow shifting between reverse and drive with occasional shuttering, even jumping out of gear after stopping. Took it to a local transmission shop in March 2008 but "problem could not be duplicated" was their diagnosis. The vehicle would also "clunk" back into gear after stopping. After a local dealership completed the 60K mile transaxle service, the problem appeared to have been fixed. The slow shifting started again last week and the transaxle quit yesterday while in traffic (4K miles after the extended service plan expired). It won't move and loudly whines like a power steering pump low on fluid. This same dealership that serviced it says its too bad the warranty expired but they'll gladly diagnose the problem for $135. The team leader said it'll likely need to be replaced with a "remanufactured unit" (3 year, 100K mile warranty), but didn't know the cost, saying it needs to be diagnosed first. So, I have to pay first before they'll talk price?

- Chesapeake, VA, USA

problem #176

Aug 252009


  • 91,000 miles
2004 Ford Freestar lost power from the engine to the wheels. Driving along a state road and with the engine running fine, lost power and coasted to the side of the road. Transmission has no motion in any gear. Fluid level is overfull while running indicating a converter failure.

- Bloomfield, NY, USA

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