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 9 of 25)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #335

Jul 082010


  • 85,000 miles


While driving my daughters 2004 Ford Freestar in wet conditions, its like the transmission slipped out and would no longer engage any gears. This was quite dangerous as we were in rush hour coasting to a stop on a busy road.

- Justin, TX, USA

problem #334

Jul 052010


  • 77,000 miles
2004 Ford Freestar van transmission failed without warning. Cruising at 50mph and started up incline, no noises, no warning and transmission failed leaving me without power. Luckily was able to coast to a safe spot.

- Franklin, PA, USA

problem #333

May 012010

Freestar 8-cyl

  • 95,000 miles
We recently purchased a 2004 Ford Freestar and have had nothing but problems with it. Let it be clear from the start that I am in fact a Ford guy! but what has transpired is absolutely ridiculous and I am to the point where I do not know if I will purchase another Ford. So a week after purchasing the vehicle, the transmission + computer went out. My wife tried starting it and it would not go anywhere. I towed it to macke Ford and had them fix it. Paid $3800 for them to fix these two things. A week later it rained extremely hard and the van failed on my wife as she was driving and was luckily on a gravel road with no one around her. She was able to coast to a complete stop but again the van would not go into reverse or drive. Had it towed to macke Ford in coon rapids, ia again and they thought it was a bad PCM. I made it clear to the service dept that I thought water was getting into the PCM compartment due to other people complaining about this on the internet and the fact that it had rained extremely hard that morning. They did not think this was the case and put another PCM in and sent the other one back to Ford as they thought they received a bad PCM. Took it home and the next morning it would not start and the battery was dead. Tested and found that the radio was turning on by itself and draining the battery...even w/out the key in the ignition. Macke tried fixing it for the next 2 months and even after denying water was getting into it..finally called and said they found water in the PCM compartment and it was a Ford engineering problem. They wanted me to pay for the computer this time since Ford would not cover the water damage!! another $700. With all the internet complaints about there about water getting into the computer this should be recalled and our money returned!

- Bayard, IA, USA

problem #332

Jun 212010

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 123,000 miles


I have a 2004 Ford Freestar sel minivan. The original transmission was replaced at approx. 56K miles due to torque converter failure (so I was told by the dealer service advisor). Now the van has 123K miles on it and the transmission light came on again. The fault code is P0732 gear 2 incorrect ratio. The transmission will hold 1st gear and not shift unless forced to. The problem is intermittent, at this time, but when the ambient temp is above 85F, the problem occurs. Ford has advised me that 2nd gear has failed. I do not tow with this vehicle. It is used specially for transporting my family and is not abused. I find this performance very unacceptable!! a transmission should last a lot longer than 60K miles!! I have read multiple complaints with the same characteristics. I would like to know if this problem is under investigation and if Ford is being forced to address this. Is Ford issuing a recall? currently my van is operable until the transmission failure light illuminates. I can tell the problem is getting worse and I'm sure it will be inoperable soon.

- Richmond, VA, USA

problem #331

Apr 292010

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 79,279 miles
While driving on busy highway rt 76 near akron Ohio my 2004 Ford Freestar which only had 79,279 miles began losing speed and black smoke was coming out the back and engulfed the entire van which had my 2 children and wife in. We managed to pull off to the side of highway and called for tow, we had to replace the transmission at a cost of $3,002.07 dollars and wait a week for repair to bec completed. I had van at preston Ford dealership in sharon pa previously because transaxle light would sometimes come on after driving more than 20 miles but it would go off after turned off and restarted. Dealership was not able to determine the cause.

- Brookfield, OH, USA

problem #330

Dec 312009


  • 104,000 miles
Was entering the freeway attempting to accelerate to 70 mph when the vehicle suddenly lost drive power. Engine was running, pressing the pedal would cause the RPM's to increase, but with no power. Had to pull over to the side of the road going 40mph while traffic behind me was oncoming at 70mph+. had vehicle towed to mechanic where it was determined that the torque converter had failed, there was no internal oil pressure in the transmission and that a transmission replacement was required. Paid $3,000+ to replace transmission on a vehicle with about 100,000 miles. A quick google search for "Freestar transmission failure" comes up with numerous results of the torque converter failing right around 100,000 miles. The mechanic I took it to made the comment that this happens with about every Freestar he's worked on and it's in input shaft that fails on this specific transmission.

- Kyle, TX, USA

problem #329

Jun 262010


  • 57,000 miles


I have a 2004 Ford Freestar with 57,000 miles on it. After driving on the thruway and paying a toll the car just started to roll and not go into gear. Luckily I was able to get to the side of the road. I had my two children in the car with me. There was no warning at all that there was anything wrong with my vehicle. I was an hour away from home. I had to have my van towed to the dealer where I am waiting to hear how much the torque converter is going to be to fix.

- Cheektowaga, NY, USA

problem #328

Jun 212010


  • 112,000 miles
2004 Freestar with a 4.2 liter engine. Transmission failed without warning ie dashboard light, noises, etc. Failure applied to all forward gears as well as reverse. The engine would rev when gas applied but no pull whatsoever. This happened at 39K while the vehicle was still under warrant and again at 112 K.

- Lexington, KY, USA

problem #327

Jun 122010

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
While driving home from a family wedding at 10:00 at night, in the pouring rain, on a dark, busy main road, the transmission of my 2004 Ford Freestar gave out with no warning. This left us, with our two year old stranded at the side of the road until help came. I am just glad we were not on the highway traveling at 65 mph as we had been moments before this happened. After doing some research on this, I am disgusted at the number of people that the same exact thing has happened to. Even once I get this van fixed (which will not be right away because we have two children and cannot afford to fix it right now, yet we will have to continue to make payments on a van we can't drive) I will never feel safe again. If this is a known problem, which, from what I understand the NHTSA is investigating, it needs to be rectified now!

- Medway, MA, USA

problem #326

Jun 082010

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 62,020 miles
My wife was driving our 2004 Ford Freestar with 62000 miles on it when it all of a sudden stopped going forward. I towed it to a transmission shop and they replaced the torque converter for $2200. According to the forums and consumers digest this has been a continual failure with these vehicles. Are you going to wait until someone gets killed before putting pressure on Ford to recall these vehicles.

- Haverhill, MA, USA

problem #325

Jun 082010

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 115,000 miles


2004 Ford Freestar sudden loss of power while pulling into traffic. Appears to be related to power train failure. Car would not move forward or backward under its own power after the failure although the engine continued to run.

- Carmel, IN, USA

problem #324

Jun 112010


  • 108,000 miles
Driving to an appointment when the transmission failed unexpectedly. Fortunately, I was not driving very fast, and the brakes worked. The repair facility sent a tow truck to pick up the van. The transmission and torque converter will have to be replaced.

- Sykesville, MD, USA

problem #323

Jun 082010

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
My wife was driving down the highway at appx 60 mph. The engine suddenly, without warning, revved the rpms and lost power to the wheels. She coasted the van to the shoulder and called for help. The transmission would not engage into any gear, it would only rev. Checked fluid and it was fine. Luckily, no one was injured and cars were able to swerve around her as she took the shoulder. Had van towed to shop who told us transmission is shot. Options are: New transmission will cost $2800, rebuilding the old will cost $1700. Van is a 2004 Ford Freestar with only 75,000 miles.

- Festus, MO, USA

problem #322

Jun 082010

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 79,141 miles
Our 2004 Ford Freestar transmission failed while driving down the road at 45 mph. Luckily we were able to 'coast' to the side of the road without getting hit by traffic. Apparent torque converter failure. We need tc and transmission replaced at an estimated $3000 for the repair.

- Elkton, MD, USA

problem #321

May 122010

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 74,000 miles
I have a 2004 Ford Freestar and without notice the transmission suddenly stopped working while driving. A mechanic evaluated the problem and found the torque converter had failed. The mechanic had to remove the transmission and replaced the torque converter.

- Fremont, MI, USA

problem #320

Jun 022010


  • 54,662 miles
2004 Ford Freestar transmission going with less that 56000 miles on wife was driving on a main road when the transmission just stopped working... in research this problem is happening due to cheap material used in the torque converters.

- Southington, CT, USA

problem #319

May 292010

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
This weekend, we were driving the 2004 Ford Freestar (w/ about 75,000 miles), and the transmission completely failed without warning. We were able to coast to the side of the road safely, but this could have been very dangerous if there had been more traffic. The car had its annual safety inspection less than a month earlier, and no problems were found.

- Falls Church, VA, USA

problem #318

May 312010


  • 80,000 miles
04 Ford Freestar 80, 000 miles lost tranny going up hill state rt 14 coming out of washingtonville in Ohio. Van just stopped on a busy 55mph highway two lanes. Had to back down 500 ft or so and swing into a driveway where I called a tow truck.van had no for. Or rev. Gears at all! if my wife was driving the van I don't think she could have backed down the hill with on coming traffic coming at her.she would have just sat on the side of the hill and waited 1 1/2 hr for the tow truck. I was told that the torque converters go out at anytime with out any warning. And Ford knows about the problem and has not informed owners that it could happen at anytime at any speed. Not a safe thing to have happen!

- New Waterford, OH, USA

problem #317

May 222010

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 95,000 miles
2004 Ford Freestar. The transmission just went out all of a sudden. I was driving down the road and all of a sudden the gas wouldn't move the car, it just kept revving up. This is the first problem ever and I love my car, but this is ridiculous.

- Iowa City, IA, USA

problem #316

Apr 302010


  • 110,000 miles
2004 Ford Freestar. Going down the road and the van ran fine but could not go any more. Had to get towed and find it is the transmission and will be at least 1600 dollars to fix. No warning or slipping or anything and I see on the forums that Ford is having way too much trouble with these vans. What are we to do for there problem. It is crippling families like ours with big bills.

- Niles, OH, USA

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