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 3 of 25)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #455

Jun 162011

Freestar 6-cyl

  • miles


My daughter's boyfriend was driving our 2004 Ford Freestar home from his work on interstate 70 yesterday. He had it set on cruise and suddenly the RPM shot up to max and the vehicle was not being propelled any longer. He immediately pulled out of traffic and stopped on the side of the interstate. When he did it, the shifter would move, but no gear, including reverse would engage. I have read many complaints of the very same issue today and I'm just adding ours to the list. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Terre Haute, IN, USA

problem #454

Jun 042011


  • 81,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact was driving approximately 65 mph when the transmission failed and the vehicle would no longer accelerate. The vehicle coasted to a stop before being towed to an independent repair shop where the torque converter was replaced. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 81,000.

- Troy, NY, USA

problem #453

May 282011

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
While driving with our two daughters in the car on memorial day weekend, my wife was 30 miles from home, made a right turn at an intersection and car just stopped driving. Vehicle engine remained running but unable to make the car drive. Waited two hours for aaa to show up and tow her to a garage. Three days later we were told that the garage could not fix the van because it was a transmission issue and they were not a transmission shop. Called aaa again to have vehicle towed 30 miles to our local shop. I was aware to not bring it to a Ford dealership to have it fixed because they will put the same bad part in the transmission again and would have another failure. Rebuilt transmission was installed with better torque converter than a Ford dealership would put in. Rebuilt transmission has a 4 year/100,000 mile guarantee. I have been aware of the ongoing torque converter issues with these vans and had expected this one to break as well. I sent an email to NHTSA last year with my concerns and got no response from them. This van had 80000 miles on it. This problem needs to be addressed with Ford. Luckily noone has been seriously injured in these break downs but it is only a matter of time. There has been a serious failure of oversight into Ford Motor Company by NHTSA not to make Ford recall these vehicles considering there has been so many with the same problems.

- Beacon Falls, CT, USA

problem #452

Jun 052011


  • 93,000 miles


2004 Ford Freestar transmission failure with 93,000 miles. The transmission just stopped working while driving on I-895, a major interstate through baltimore, md. The van had to be abandoned, but caused two other accidents while we waited for a tow truck. This seriously put my family and the safety others in jeopardy.

- Aberdeen, MD, USA

problem #451

May 302011


  • 98,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that when first starting the vehicle, the gear shifter would not shift into gear. The vehicle was inspected by the owner who discovered that the failure could potentially have been caused by the transmission. The vehicle was not inspected by a dealer nor repaired. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure mileage was approximately 98,000.

- Hagerstown, MD, USA

problem #450

Jun 012011


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Letter from senator graham on behalf of constituent re the transmission failure in his 2004 Ford Freestar

- Marietta, SC, USA

problem #449

Apr 252011

Freestar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that the while driving out of a parking lot she put the vehicle into drive and it would not move forward. The vehicle was taken to a local mechanic who diagnosed that the transmission needed to be replaced. Forty five days after the repairs were done the transmission failed again. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 76,000 and current mileage was 77,000. Updated 07/08/11 the consumer was informed the torque converter in the transmission needed to be replaced. Two weeks later, there was a loud screeching noise coming from under the vehicle. When the consumer attempted to put the vehicle in reverse, the engine just revved. It was determined it was the same problem as before. Updated 09/01/11

- Lincoln Park, MI, USA

problem #448

May 012011

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 126,172 miles
Transmission failure 2004 Freestar.

- Gig Harbor, WA, USA

problem #447

May 182011


  • 92,000 miles
Started Freestar and right away sputtering and didn't want to accelerate when given gas, would stall but start back up and do the same thing when trying to accelerate, sputter and stall out and lose power. First shop says its the transmission, had it towed to another shop for 2nd opinion and currently waiting on their word.

- Eastpointe, MI, USA

problem #446

May 112008


  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact was driving 50 mph when the accelerator pedal was depressed yet the vehicle began to decelerate independently. The contact moved the vehicle from the roadway and depressed the accelerator with extreme force. The vehicle began to jerk forward abnormally before engaging into gear and accelerating as normal. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who advised the contact that the transmission would need replacing. The manufacturer was contacted and a claim was filed but no other assistance was provided. The vehicle was not repaired. In addition, the contact stated that the torque converter failed twice. The failure mileage was 40,000 and the current mileage was 105,000.

- Mazon, IL, USA

problem #445

Jul 202010


  • 56,000 miles


Transmission failed in my 2004 Ford Freestar sel with 56,000 miles. Had to pay Ford $3,000 to replace it. Also had rotor problems and had to replace brake calibers.

- Manassas, VA, USA

problem #444

May 202011


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. While driving approximately 60 mph, the transmission failed to respond. The failure occurred three times. The vehicle was towed to an independent transmission repair shop where the transmission was rebuilt on two separate occasions. The vehicle had not been diagnosed or repaired for the most recent transmission failure. The manufacturer was not made aware of the problem. The failure mileage was approximately 100,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Kevin , MT, USA

problem #443

Mar 212011


  • miles
2004 Freestar van going down road at 60 miles and car lost power transmission failed. Now we need a new transmission because Ford built a faulty design and won't recall them.

- Salem, MO, USA

problem #442

May 162011


  • 68,000 miles
While driving approx 40 on a Suburban road car began to surge forward and I found it would not accelerate past 40 and then not at all. Then it surge again and drove for a bit and repeated the cycle. I had my toddler in the car and was almost to the sitters so I slowly made it near their home when I got stuck at a light. While stopped it began to violently shake and the battery light was flashing. It also began to smell as if something was burning. It shook a little longer and died. It started back up after a few tries and I was able to drop her off and get it to the shop. I bought this used 3 months ago and have already replaced all door contacts, the wiring in the steering column, all wiring in the heating system, the rear power windows, the horn and other small things. Now this. I will never buy another Ford and want something done about this monstrosity Ford put out on the road.

- Bedford, OH, USA

problem #441

May 052011

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 88,000 miles
Transmission failure at 88,000 miles. This is apparently a known issue with these vehicles and there is a class action pending. No indication of any problem then suddenly the car will not go into gear and is dead in the water even though engine is running.

- Wake Forest, NC, USA

problem #440

May 042011


  • 113,000 miles
Driving a Ford 2004 Freestar 113K miles no previous transmission issue. Backed car out of driveway, lost gears when shifting into drive. Could not recover gear. No slipping gears or other symptom prior to failure. No prior history of transmission related problems at all. Towed to mechanics shop, recommended replace transmission. Replaced with used trans, $1800.

- Worcester, MA, USA

problem #439

Apr 222011

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 104,000 miles
2004 Ford Freestar sel traveling @ 60 mph. As I was proceeding up a hill, I noticed that the rpms were increasing but the car was not accelerating. I tried to moved to the shoulder but the car slowed to a stop before I could get completely off the road. After rolling it off the roadway, my husband who was following us arrived. After several attempts to shift into different gears it was apparent there nothing happening in the transmission. We are getting the transmission repaired/rebuilt as we speak. Mileage, 104,000.

- Hickory, NC, USA

problem #438

Apr 242011

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
My 2004 Ford Freestar suddenly would not accelerate or maintain speed while I was driving. I was able to coast a few feet to a safe place to leave the car. The car was running, but would not move in any gear. There was no indication of anything wrong with the car before then. When the failure occurred, I did hear a sound lasting maybe 5 seconds, a bit like hissing. The dealership repair guy told me the input shaft to the transmission snapped. The cost to repair is estimated at $3,200. This occurred on April 24, 2011.

- Medford, NJ, USA

problem #437

Apr 232011

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 82,517 miles
We were driving eastbound on highway 26 in the state of Oregon. We were driving up the hill when there was a odd sound, then the RPM of the vehicle went over 3000. We were able to pull the vehicle off the high way barely past the white line. I let off the brake and tried to drive the RPM revved but the car drifted backwards. We put the vehicle in park and then tried again in 1, 3 and drive and again same result. We drifted the car backwards further off the road and contacted a tow. If we were not lucky enough to have had no traffic behind us and have a large enough side bar on the road we would have likely been in an accident.

- Vancouver, WA, USA

problem #436

Apr 232011

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 77,050 miles
Transmission failed at highway speeds (55mph). Total loss of motive power. After coasting to a stop I was unable to get the car to move in any gear (drive, reverse, 1, 2, etc.)

- Ringoes, NJ, USA

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