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 8 of 25)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #355

Aug 242010


  • 157,516 miles


Start vehicle, it dies. Again I start it, rev. The engine and manage to keep it going so I pull out of driveway and it dies while I am driving. From the info. I gather it is the torque converter. The same problem happened to me 3 months ago and we thought it was solved. I am now reading this is common occurrence. I contacted Ford and they told me there have been no reports of such things happening. No "programs" created(ongoing complaints to address the problems) or recalls in regards to the transmission or torque. I have two kids and both times they were in the vehicle with me. I am thankful we weren't hurt. I cannot believe Ford is not taking any ownership in this problem!!

- Russell, 00, USA

problem #354

Aug 142010


  • 88,100 miles
While driving on the highway the engine RPM raised and the vehicle lost power. After getting to the side of the road the vehicle had no transmission engagement. No reverse and no forward gears. Everything happened all of a sudden and without any warning.

- West Allis, WI, USA

problem #353

Aug 172010


  • 114,000 miles
Driving on highway and lost power pulled over once the vehicle cooled down I got to my destination. Took it in to Ford and it's the torque converter. 114,000 klms on van. I've heard this is very common.

- Calgary, 00, USA

problem #352

Aug 162010


  • 53,000 miles


2004 Ford Freestar transmission just died while driving on the highway at 60 mph. There was no warning. The vehicle is currently in the mechanic shop being repaired. This occurred in New York city.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #351

Aug 152010


  • 107,000 miles
We have a 2004 Ford Freestar minivan. Last night, without any warning, when we tried to accelerate the car from a slowing position, the RPM revved and the engine roared, but no movement. It was as if the van had popped out of gear. We were able to use the speed that we still had to maneuver off of the road and into a yard. When we were towed, we were told that these vans had a long list of complaints regarding the torque converter and transmission. I am having it towed today to start the process of determining the exact issue and have it repaired. After seeing all the complaints online of other owners, I felt compelled to also add mine to the list. This appears to be an issue that Ford needs to address before someone is killed from this happening.

- Madison, NC, USA

problem #350

Aug 122010


  • 80,000 miles
I was driving yesterday and all of a sudden my 2004 Ford Freestar sel lost power, transmission would not engage. I was lucky to move to the right-hand side of the road and was able to get away from heavy traffic. This is a dangerous and awful situation, someone can get run-over or get injured when you lose mobility in a highway. My engine is functioning well; transmission is dead....

- Sierra Vista, AZ, USA

problem #349

Aug 022010


  • miles


Transmission is starting to slip. I read thousands and thousands of complaints regarding this car and transmission problems, yet Ford refused to take any responsibility.

- Bushkill, PA, USA

problem #348

Feb 102010

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that while driving approximately 70 mph, the rpms suddenly increased, the accelerator pedal depressed to the floorboard and the vehicle suddenly decelerated. She was able to exit the freeway and the vehicle continued slowing down until it came to a complete stop. The vehicle was towed to an automotive center where the contact was informed that the torque converter had exploded into little pieces. The vehicle was repaired at that time. After the repair, the contact noticed that the vehicle began "stuttering" while she was driving at 50 mph. She took it to the repair shop where it was at the time of the complaint awaiting diagnosis. The contact had not spoken with the manufacturer at the time of the complaint. The current mileage was approximately 114,000. The failure mileage was approximately 105,000. Updated 02/10/11 updated 04/21/11

- Westfield, IN, USA

problem #347

Jul 302010


  • 62,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. While driving approximately 70 mph the vehicle would no longer accelerate. The vehicle decelerated and stopped and it was towed to an authorized dealer where the contact was informed that the transmission failed. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were 62,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Hamilton, OH, USA

problem #346

Aug 072010


  • 89,000 miles
2004 Ford Freestar w/89,000 miles had torque converter /transmission failure at 65mph on major highway with no advance warning.

- Avon, MA, USA

problem #345

Jul 302010


  • 70,892 miles


Traveling with my 3 children in my Ford Freestar 2004 minivan (~70K miles on it) at freeway speeds and lost all motive power to the wheels. Engine running fine, but no apparent connection to the wheels- as if engine power became unplugged from wheels. Was able to coast to shoulder and stop vehicle. Tested all gears, no forward or reverse gears tested would move the vehicle. Needed to call for tow and rental vehicle. Ford dealership removed transmission assembly and they said the fins of the torque converter had stripped out and would not pump transmission fluid. They had to replace the torque converter for total cost of $1400.

- West Chester, OH, USA

problem #344

Jul 312010


  • 105,000 miles
Transmission failure, out of the clear blue. No earlier indication. 2004 Ford Freestar. 105000 miles.

- Lakeland, FL, USA

problem #343

Jul 312010


  • 120,000 miles
There was no evidence nor warning that the transmission would stop shifting gears. I was leaving home heading to work when the vehicle suddenly stopped accelerating. I was able to pull over to a somewhat safe location only to find out that when I turned my van off and then back on it would not shift gears. It sounds like its stuck in neutral all the time. I live in North Texas and with the temp being over 105 today I was just a bit upset that this happened out of nowhere. I have not at this time had a repair man look at it, because I can not afford one. I did make sure that all the wiring was connected properly.

- Roanoke, TX, USA

problem #342

Jul 312010

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 79,898 miles
2004 Ford Freestar 4.2 engine. Traveling down the highway with the kids in the car no response to the accelerator, I was passing a truck which almost took me and the kids completely off the road due to the power loss. The truck driver stopped to help and knew there was something wrong. The transmission went out engine running great, but no torque. No drive, reverse nothing but a winning sound. The vehicle is at 79,000 miles. Have not got it fixed yet due to finance. Truck driver said he had a Freestar that did the same thing. When I went online to see if other people had the same problem I read for hours. If so many people have the same problem there should be a recall. Staff sergeant us army active duty.

- Garden City, MI, USA

problem #341

Jul 212010


  • 93,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. While driving at 25 mph, the vehicle began losing power but the engine did not shut off. The contact depressed the accelerator pedal and there was an abnormal noise. The vehicle would not respond. The vehicle was towed to the dealer who stated the problem was the automatic transmission. The vehicle was left with the dealer where the contact was awaiting a formal diagnostic. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure and current mileage was 93,000.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #340

Sep 012007

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 36,200 miles
We purchased a 2004 Ford Freestar limited mini-van with 36,000 miles in June 2007 from the local Ford dealership. Three months later while driving on the interstate headed for vacation, the van lost power without warning and we coasted to a stop on the shoulder of the highway. Fortunately, we had only gotten about 15 miles outside of our home city. Unfortunately, after having the vehicle towed to the dealership where we purchased the van, we learned that the transmission went out. Owned for approximately 3 months, just over 36,000 miles, two small children in the van traveling at close to 70mph and packed with luggage for a family vacation...all I can say is I was very disappointed. Ford did pay for half the cost, however, I still paid $1,500 out of pocket to fix the transmission, $ for towing, and $ to rent another van while this one was being fixed. Ford told me that the 3 year warranty had already expired. We still own the van and have had many other problems, of which some are still not fixed. We are now closing in on 70,000 miles and I'm very concerned that we will soon experience another transmission problem. I would get rid of this vehicle in a heartbeat, but I'm still upside down as this purchase will easily go down as the worst decision I will make when it comes to buying a vehicle in my lifetime.

- Shawnee, KS, USA

problem #339

Jun 202010

Freestar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. While driving approximately 65 mph up hill he heard a noise as if the vehicle was in neutral gear. He stated that the vehicle lost power. The contact took the vehicle to a local repair shop. The local repair shop stated that the vehicle needed a transmission. The contact stated that fluid spilled onto the manifold he stopped. A police report was filed. The vehicle was towed to another repair shop near his home. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure and current mileages were 75,000. Updated 9/22/10 the consumer stated a fire erupted and fire trucks were called to the scene.. updated 09/24/10

- Conneaut Lake , PA, USA

problem #338

Jul 092010


  • 52,000 miles
How long will it be before NHTSA holds Ford company responsible for the costs of repairs to Ford Freestar minivans experiencing torque converter and subsequent transmission defects. This is a dangerous defect. Do we need to wait until a child, mother or father is killed. This is primarily a family vehicle or handicapped accessible vehicle, therefore it is an urgent matter, my daughters 2004 Freestar lost gear engagement while she was leaving for work. Thankfully she was only in the driveway. 2 miles further and she would have been on a major interstate and traveling at speeds of 55-65 mph with other vehicles. Her van suddenly stopped moving forward, and instead the engine revved as she was accelerating. The van rolled backward as if in neutral. We were unable to engage any gears. Only park engaged. It was towed to a Ford dealership for diagnosis. We were told it needed a new transmission and there were "pieces" all over the inside of the transmission. There was no explanation as to what those pieces were. After reading all the complaints on Freestar torque converters and transmissions, I am convinced those pieces are the splies from the torque converter. There were no warnings, no prior operational issues or performance symptoms typical of transmission problems - no slipping, no slamming. This sudden loss of momentum is a serious, life threatening problem. If it occurs on a highway, there is the potential of another vehicle slamming into the back of it at a high rate of speed. Ford needs to be responsible for this defect by issuing an immediate recall and replacing all torque converters and transmissions on these vehicles and reimbursement for those already replaced. Unfortunately until the source of the torque converter problem is addressed, those who have already replaced them face the possibility of future failure.they are being replaced with the same poor quality part. Step up NHTSA and address this immediately with Ford before a life is lost.

- Roaring Brook Twp, PA, USA

problem #337

Jul 152010


  • 74,800 miles
I had just pulled up to a traffic light. When the light changed, I tried to go but all the engine did was rev up. I had no warning that it quit. I put the shift lever in all the gears, but nothing happened. It is being towed home as I type this. It only has 75,000 miles on it, with regular service that is required.

- La Monte, MO, USA

problem #336

Aug 312007


  • 78,360 miles
Complete and sudden loss of power on 2004 Ford Freestar. This occurred in heavy traffic on interstate 81 just before crossing the susquehanna river bridge in harrisburg, pa. My wife and infant daughter were in the Freestar. They coasted down an exit ramp to a stop. Had the exit ramp not been there, they would have been stalled in 3 lanes of traffic on the bridge. The Freestar was fine up until this sudden failure. The van was towed to a Ford dealership in harrisburg and repaired under the extended warranty, which I had purchased with the new vehicle. The cause of the problem was a failed torque converter. The Freestar had 78360 miles at the time of the torque converter failure.

- Rockwood, PA, USA

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