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 7 of 25)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #375

Oct 032010

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles


While driving in a residential area our 2004 Ford Freestar the vehicle suddenly lost all driver power. I had to coast to a safe spot on the side of the road. The vehicle could not be put into any gear and had to be towed. We are facing a $3200 repair bill to have the transmission replaced. The vehicle has been well maintained and had less than 80,000 miles logged. The vehicle had recently been in for the 70,000 mile check-up, at which no problems were detected.

- Yardley, PA, USA

problem #374

May 132010

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 80,586 miles
2004 Ford Freestar. While leaving a parking lot, the van had trouble finding reverse. After getting backed up enough to turn out going forward, my wife experienced high revving, jerky movements going forward until the van wouldn't move anymore. I had to call my mother to watch the kids while I went to my wife and gave her the truck while I stayed and had the van towed to my independent mechanic. All this happened with no warning. He then had it taken to his transmission specialist, where it was determined that the torque converter failed. The transmission and torque converter had to be rebuilt and it also needed a new transmission range sensor. The vehicle only had 80,586km and was purchased from a Ford dealer with 56,605 km on it.

- Kitchener, 00, USA

problem #373

Sep 282010


  • 89,030 miles
On Sept 28, 2010 my 2004 Ford Freestar suddenly and with zero warning stopped 'pulling'. was in passing lane of 4 lane highway going 60mph and we barely avoided being run over and killed or seriously injured ( a less experienced driver would not have survived I am sure). Ford certified garage later told us the torque converter had basically 'exploded' and transmission was ruined. Repair quoted at $3961.82 cents. Forced to purchase new vehicle as we were stranded 2 hours from home and could not justify spending that much for a $6,000. Book value vehicle, plus would never trust replacement of transmission with same faulty system. Received zero help from Ford, and received zero trade in value on Freestar. 89,030 miles on Freestar plus I had installed all new brake system, new battery, 4 new tires, new fuel filter, new points, and a certified Ford garage tune up in summer of 2010.

- Dunnville, KY, USA

problem #372

Sep 292010


  • 68,000 miles


On September 29, 2010, I was driving with my wife and three children on I-75 at 70 mph (speed limit). There was a slight rev in the engine and then all power to the wheels was gone, leaving me in the middle lane of very heavy and fast moving traffic. We barely avoided getting rear ended by a large semi and feel fortunate that I was able to make it to the side of the road, both myself and my wife were terrified for the safety of our children. Being far away from home, stranded in unfamiliar territory we were at the mercy of the tow truck driver and the local mechanic. Upon inspecting the vehicle the mechanic stated the transmission was gone and that this was a very common problem with this vehicle and it would cost $3,000 to fix. Many hours later, after finally getting my tired and weary family home, I researched this problem on line and was absolutely appalled to see so many complaints and the fact no action has been taken by Ford or the NHTSA to correct or even communicate this problem to the consumers unlucky enough to own this vehicle. I seriously can not believe that so many people have been put in this extremely dangerous situation and nothing in being done, has the importance of human life become that insignificant?

- North Port, FL, USA

problem #371

Sep 252010


  • 89,689 miles
I was driving my 2004 Ford Freestar without any prior problems, going about 40 mph and it just started revving up and lost power. I was lucky it wasn't hit from behind and was able to turn into a parking lot and park. It hasn't moved since. Waiting for transmission business to open to get quotes. I know what the problem is though, the torque converter.

- Omaha, NE, USA

problem #370

Sep 032010


  • 45,100 miles
Put van into reverse and backed up but then when I put into drive, it would not engage. Took van in for repair - required transmission rebuilding.

- South Bend, IN, USA

problem #369

Sep 172010


  • 110,000 miles


2004 Ford Freestar transmission failed while driving in I-85 in atlanta.

- Newnan , GA, USA

problem #368

Sep 182010


  • 52,543 miles
While 2000 miles from home, transmission suddenly failed without warning, (52,000 original ml.)in our 2004 Ford Freestar van while sitting @a busy California 4 lane intersection. As cars sped by on all sides, we had to manually push vehicle through the intersection putting ourselves in dangerous, scary situation. The results are a complete transmission failure requiring new replacement at a cost of $3500 for parts and labor. 7 day delay to returning home as vehicle sits in the shop waiting for parts ordered. Stranded 2000 mls fr home with no vehicle.

- Bettendorf, IA, USA

problem #367

Sep 122010


  • 64,000 miles
Bought 2004 Freestar used and have had it for almost 2 years with no problems. While traveling, I stopped at an intersection. Upon acceleration, the van went about 10 yards and failed to go any further. I had to coast across oncoming traffic into the convenience store parking lot where the van has sat overnight. The van will have to be towed to my mechanic's shop. There are numerous posts regarding this same complaint. When is Ford going to do a recall!!!! this is absolutely ridiculous. It is time for Ford to step up and correct this before somebody gets killed and they really have a lawsuit on their hands!

- Covington, GA, USA

problem #366

Jun 012009

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
I bought the vehicle used in 2008. When traveling at approximately 60-70 mph the vehicle will suddenly jerk as if it's turned off and back on. This occurs 2-3 times on every highway trip of 15-20 miles. This also happens on shorter trips 2-3 times a week. When I start the vehicle the radio automatically turns on and resets the stations and digital clock. The battery seems to have trouble keeping a charge. Overnight the battery may weaken and the vehicle will fail to start. After the failed start all the needles on the control panel dials will vibrate and create a "clicking/ticking" noise which ends after 3-6 seconds. Subsequently, a jump-start is required to start the vehicle. I cannot afford expensive diagnostics so I simply keep jumper cables handy and plan around trips that may leave us stranded without assistance. I have maintained routine service like oil/fluid changes and have not had any reports on a defective battery. All indications point to a defective PCM (powertrain control module). I've done some personal research and found this to be an underlying problem for many issues affecting the 2004 Ford Freestar minivans. This problem has not been fixed. Due to the projected cost estimates of more than $1000 to diagnose and resolve, I cannot afford to have a mechanic work on it.

- Lagrange, KY, USA

problem #365

Sep 102010


  • 86,000 miles


Slowed down while driving on interstate, went to accelerate off of interstate, and nothing. No forward or reverse gears, and I rolled out into the road with no way to pick up speed. Had transmission looked at, and torque converter was bad. Searched the internet, and found out that no one should own one of these vehicles, as its a common, and dangerous situation, not being able to accelerate out of a situation.

- Lancaster, MN, USA

problem #364

Sep 062010


  • 76,634 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated while driving at 45mph he attempted to pass a vehicle and his vehicle didnt moved forward, instead it reversed. The vehicle was towed to the dealer.the diagnostic test located the failure at the transmission. The dealer advised they could replace some parts on the transmission, the valve body, the pump shaft, and the converter, or replace the entire transmission.the transmission will be replaced. The manufacturer was contacted, they advised the contact he will received a call back from an engineer. The failure and the current mileage were 76,634.

- Greenville, NC, USA

problem #363

Sep 032010


  • 110,000 miles
We were driving on the highway when our 2004 Ford Freestar died. Fortunatley we were able to get to the side of the road before the car stopped coasting, but my wife and I and OU4 4 young children were stranded on the side of a very busy highway for 45 minutes. I was told the transmission is shot and it would cost 3,000 to repair. Myu brother-in-law is a mecahnic and said this is an ongoing problem with the Freestar for some time. Why no recall then?transmission.

- Willoughby Hills, OH, USA

problem #362

Mar 102007


  • 86,000 miles
Bought a 2004 Ford Freestar with 25,000 miles on it. Drove fine until 86,000 miles when without warning and at 55 mph the transmission just went out and had to coast to the edge of the highway. Had the vehicle towed to transmission shop and paid $1,800 to have it overhauled. Then 70,000 miles later it went out again, only this time it was in the driveway. I was told it was the torque converter and $600 later it was replaced. Then about 3000 miles later the transmission again went out on the highway and I coasted to a stop and had it towed and again was told it was a complete overhaul needed. Told that there was water in the transmission. Paid $1,800 again and about 1500 miles later having hard shifting issues and the mechanic cannot figure it out. Says that he has gone through the transmission and it is good. But still hard shifts and transaxle light flashes.

- Cleburne, TX, USA

problem #361

Jun 262010

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 69,000 miles
2004 Ford Freestar transmission failure. Mileage at around 69000. While on an entrance ramp to highway, transmission totally failed. Had to quickly pull over to avoid getting rearended. Had vehicle towed to dealership. Torque converter had gone out. Vehicle was used as family passenger van, never towed anything and had current maintenance. Only grateful wife and family was not operating vehicle at the time. Please look into this as I understand many people have had problems with this part being defective. Thank you

- Lees Summit, MO, USA

problem #360

Feb 262010

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 139,000 miles
I bought a 2004 Ford Freestar van and three weeks after I bought it while driving down the road I went to accelerate and the van just revved, come to find out the transmission has went out and now we have been without a car since February of 2010 and we have three small children and I wish there was something that could be done about this defect in the van.

- Kingsport, TN, USA

problem #359

Sep 022010

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 69,000 miles
My 2004 Ford Freestar was just in for service 2 days ago they said everything was good my wife got in the van today to go to work she made it to the thruway and the van lost total power the engine did not shut off but the transmission just stopped working she was lucky enough to be able to coast over to the side of the road. I had the car towed over to our local Ford dealer and they told me that the torque converter output shaft was shot and I needed a transmission overhaul I do not think this is fair with the van only having 69,000 miles on it and I follow all the maintenance on the car. Now I am out $3000 I have never abused the car or used it for towing. So I want to file a complaint there was no sign of something going wrong the car the day before ran fine.

- Elma, NY, USA

problem #358

Aug 272010


  • 120,000 miles
I have a 2004 Ford Freestar. I was heading to atlanta, my van stopped in the middle of the interstate called tow truck took it to the repair shop, guy said it was my torque converter it was going to cost me $1500, I didn't have the money to fix it so my dad got a car transporter picked me up and took me 8 hours back home to Florida.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #357

Apr 152010


  • 70,500 miles
I own a 2004 Ford Freestar. In April 2010 with just over 70K miles the entire transmission failed. The vehicle suddenly lost all power after making a loud high pitched noise. The engine would start but would not go into gear. This resulted in the entire transmission having to be replaced at the cost of $2800.

- Midlothian, VA, USA

problem #356

Aug 192010

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 82,000 miles
While on interstate hwy, transmission gave out. Luckily I was in the right lane of three lane interstate. Had to have transmission replaced.

- Tampa, FL, USA

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