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 20 of 25)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #115

Mar 122009


  • 100,309 miles


On 3/12/09 my wife was driving on the highway when the transmission went out on her. 100,309 miles, 1,000 miles out of warranty. Didn't get it fixed yet because it happened today and I am trying to figure out where to get the money.

- Spring Hill, KS, USA

problem #114

Mar 042009


  • 61,121 miles
There were no prior events leading up to this failure, it just happened out of no where. No signs of failure or no warning signals indicating this malfunction. I own a 2004 Ford Freestar with 61,121 miles on it and I purchased an extended warranty on it. My warranty expired at 60,00 miles. My transmission went out on me and I will not pay $3,300 dollars to have it repaired. I called Ford and they told me that the warranty was purchased through a third party. I was unable to contact them and they haven't called me back. My vehicle was at the dealership and they did a full diagnosis on it and they couldn't find anything wrong with it, they were quick to assume it was the transmission. The engine light did not come on at all nor were there any signs of this happening. I've gone over my miles by 1,000 and I cant get help from the dealer I purchased my vehicle from but they were really fast on determining that it was the transmission. I as well as others seem to be having this problem and nothing seems to be happening to fix this problem. I did more research and found that some Ford dealerships have made repairs that do not need to be done. They are quick to take your money but they wont help U out when this occurs. I think I have made myself clear on this issue.

- Anaheim, CA, USA

problem #113

Feb 122009


  • 61,000 miles
Purchased a 2004 Ford Freestar (my father is retired from Ford so we have always owned Ford) so I was thrilled to be able to purchase another Ford. I have four dogs and go to dog shows, so the Freestar would (at least I hoped) serve my traveling needs. Well, I only had the van for a year and started having serious problems--windshield was not "sealed" and I had to have this serviced, but it did not correct the problem, and then had problems with the brakes. But, these were just minor problems to me. Now, two weeks ago, my van "locked" up on me and wouldn't go anywhere!!! had it towed to my house because I did not have a repairman at the time. Now, I discover by researching, that this has been a problem and Ford has known about it. A week after this happened to me, my sister-in-law's (who purchased her Ford Freestar new in 2004) van had the same thing happen. Cost her over $2000 to have it fixed--and my problem is that my van will be sitting for a long time, because I don't have the money to fix it. To make matters worse, I am still paying for a vehicle I can't drive now!!! all those years my father worked for Ford we have respected the company, and now I am disgusted because Ford hasn't done anything about this!! the company that I have always lived by and endorsed, is now ruined in my eye. Will probably never own another Ford, and I will have to continue to pay for one I will probably never drive again. In these economic times, we "little men" don't need these headaches. My husband is still driving a 2001 Ford Ranger--ready to tell him to trash that thing too!!!

- Elmira, NY, USA

problem #112

Feb 132009


  • 52,000 miles


Transmission failure in vehicle with only 52K miles. Vehicle is out of warranty. Had to have the transmission replaced to repair the problem.

- Montgomery , AL, USA

problem #111

Feb 182009


  • 69,000 miles
Leaving work one evening put the car in reverse backed up, put the car in drive and no movement. The van sounded like it was in neutral. Tried reverse again, no movement. There were no warning lights on, no noises prior, it just quit! the van has 69,000 and was purchased as a certified pre-owned vehicle from a Ford dealership. I spoke with a service tech yesterday and he stated he wasn't aware of this being a common problem, which is ironic to find so many of the same issues posted here and elsewhere. Said the van was only warranty for 3 years/36,000 miles under the powertrain warranty. Estimated cost to replace was 2,300 for Ford service center to rebuild(comes with 12mo/12,000 mile warranty) or 3,600 for a Ford manufactured rebuilt transmission(comes with 3year/36,000 mile warranty) the van has not been fixed as I don't have the money to repair.

- Tallmadge, OH, USA

problem #110

Feb 052008


  • 77,938 miles
I have a 2004 Ford Freestar that has 77,938miles on it and the torque converter went causing third gear to burn up in the transmission. It cost me $1600.

- New Lexington, OH, USA

problem #109

Jan 302009


  • 58,000 miles


My 2004 Ford Freestar had the transmission/torque convertor go out at 58,000 miles, costing a lot of money.

- Minot, ND, USA

problem #108

Feb 142009


  • 79,915 miles
Driving 2004 Ford Freestar transmission suddenly and without warning failed, leaving the car disabled. Transmission will need to be replaced at cost of over $2,000.

- Sparta, NJ, USA

problem #107

Feb 012009


  • 79,000 miles
Owner of a 2004 Freestar. Driving down the highway 65-70 mph and without warning the car will no long accelerate. I coasted to the side of the road and tried to calm my kids after we were almost in an accident. Towed into deal and we need a new transmission. Car has been regularly services and has 79,000 miles. No warning that this was going to happen.

- Barry, IL, USA

problem #106

Dec 222008


  • 74,000 miles
Ford Freestar, transmission, while driving home turning corner and motor revved but vehicle stopped moving forward, no warning nothing, when this happens and a car is following no tail lights will come on and a rear end collision is a total possibility. This happened 1000 miles past my extended warranty, at 74,000 miles.

- Brandon, FL, USA

problem #105

Jan 182009


  • 53,000 miles


Transmission failure - 2004 Ford Freestar with 53,000 miles - transmission failed with no prior indication of a problem - the vehicle is in otherwise excellent condition with no excessive road wear (one driver) excellent maintenance schedule. I'm lead T believe that Ford Motor Company is aware of early transmission failure problems yet seems to be unwilling to make any corrections to said problems or make any concessions to consumers with vehicle transmission repairs. I.e. extend mileage warranty or monetary compensation for early repairs.

- Pound Ridge, NY, USA

problem #104

Jan 162009


  • 66,000 miles
Torque converter went bad and transmission had to be replaced. This vehicle has 66,000 miles and is no longer covered under for warranty. I also have has a continuous noise in the right front wheel, trac light always come on and no finds a problem, the rear door opens at times when the front door is closed.

- Valley Park, MO, USA

problem #103

Jan 082009


  • 81,800 miles
My wife drives the van. No long distance driving. She was going to pick up our son from school when the transmission completely failed. No warning, no slippage or squealing. Just stopped working. As a result I had to have the car towed from the middle of the street. I also had to interrupt a family member to go get my son from school on a very cold winter day. I had the transmission fixed by a certified mechanic. Final cost was $3098 not including car rental for the 8 days it took to get the work done. Very upsetting. Many complaints on the internet yet nothing has been done yet. I would like some kind of restitution.

- Monee, IL, USA

problem #102

Dec 012008


  • 65,000 miles
At approx. 60K miles, while driving at steady speeds between 40-45mph and 55-65 mph, the engine will stutter/hesitate for less than a second. The occurs at random but seems to be increasing in frequency and intensity lately. From the hundreds of complaints, the most logical in my view are a failed coil pack; the PCM module or a transmission sensor. My research alerted me to the hundreds of unexpected transmission failures that occurred without any prior warning. We are senior citizens and live and commute in a very rural area. If we had a transmission failure as has been reported/described repeatedly, our safety and welfare would be seriously at risk. We don't have another $30K to replace this van, so we are having the transmission rebuilt as a "pre-emtive" measure. We are also replacing the coil pack at this time. The dealer is to evaluate the other suspect components and replace as needed. The cost of these repairs and rental car is estimated to be about $3K. Ford Motor Company will lose a bigger market share by ignoring these complaints. We have been a Ford customer for decades.

- Lore City, OH, USA

problem #101

Dec 312007


  • 42,464 miles
2004 Ford Freestar mini-van on 12/31/2008, I was driving about 45 mph and the transmission quit, rpms went very high, since I was pressing the gas pedal. Of course it was new years eve, so it could not be looked at until Jan 2, 2008. I only had about 42,000 miles, so not much passed the warranty. I had it towed to lenawee transmission in adrian, Michigan since that were I was out of town visiting my mother. It costs $1,200 to get the torque converter and pump to the transmission replaced. Lt mentioned that is a known problem with Ford Freestar minivans. Now guess what the transmission is starting to slip again and I am going to get it checked on Jan. 10, 2009. I cannot afford another transmission repair for this van. I have sent three emails to whitman Ford in temperance, mi regarding this van where I purchased it and did not receive a response. Thanks

- Toledo, OH, USA

problem #100

Dec 302008


  • 72,000 miles
My wife was driving. She was braking around a slight turn. When she went to press the gas pedal to continue moving forward nothing happened. She could no longer go forward. This occurred with no warning. Thankfully she was not crossing an intersection. She had both of our children in the vehicle at the time and luckily no one was hurt. We then had to have our vehicle towed. We found out that our 2004 Ford Freestar transmission had to be replaced.

- Bloomsburg, PA, USA

problem #99

Nov 092008


  • 79,975 miles
While driving off the interstate onto an exit ramp, the transmission stopped working. The engine revved as I came to the stop sign, and when I tried to go again, the van would not move. It acted like it was in neutral -- it would not go either forward or back. A tow truck was called and the vehicle towed. The shop diagnosed the problem as transmission failure, requiring replacement. The van was just 255 miles past the extended warranty, and Ford will not accept any responsibility.

- Potomac, MD, USA

problem #98

Jan 022009


  • 59,500 miles
While driving on the interstate, my 2004 Ford Freestar had a complete and sudden transmission failure. The RPM's shot up and it coasted to the side of the road. The van would not go into any gear; the engine would just rev. There was no pre-warning of the problem.

- Noblesville, IN, USA

problem #97

Jan 012009


  • 62,000 miles
Transmission went out on my 2004 Ford freestyle. There was no warning. I was only adult the car with my three children and the car stopped on the highway.

- Hamilton, OH, USA

problem #96

Dec 302008


  • 72,000 miles
While parking my 2004 Ford Freestar my transmission went out without warning, I was in busy downtown traffic and the vehicle would not move, this put me in a very dangerous situation of having to push my van on a busy road. It was later towed and now we are in need of a transmission replacement.

- Fountaintown, IN, USA

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