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.


definitely annoying
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
67,000 miles
Total Complaints:
1 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace wheel hub assembly (1 reports)
2004 Ford Freestar wheels / hubs problems

wheels / hubs problem

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2004 Ford Freestar Owner Comments

problem #1

Apr 012011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,000 miles


I have always found driving a mini-van kind of annoying. They are neither cool looking or fun to drive. Then about 4 months ago, my mini-van began squealing more than Ned Beatty in the movie Deliverance. When the car would reach about 35 to 40 MPH, there would be a high pitched, metallic squealing noise that reminded me of a brake pad scraper scraping against the rotor. The noise would go away when I would turn the steering wheel even the slightest bit.

I tore apart the brakes and found the brake pads had no scrapers on them. Hmmm….

I then took it to a local auto shop where a very nice mechanic misdiagnosed the issue as wind noise, despite the metallic sound of the squeak and the fact it would go away when the wheels were turned. After going over the front end of the vehicle checking for cracks, loose trim, and anything that might cause noise, both the mechanic and myself were left saying “hmmm….” as nothing was found.

Meanwhile, the noise in the mini-van made driving about as much fun as listening to Yoko Ono sing, not to mention I was beginning to question the safety of the vehicle as the problem seemed associated with the steering.

After talking with the auto repair teacher at the local junior college and discussing the issue with a mechanic from Nissan, it seems the problem might be with the wheel hub assembly.

The noise was isolated to the passenger side of the car and seeing that the wheel bearing hub assembly is only held in by 3 screws, I figure how hard could it be to replace. As the OEM Ford part did not seem too reliable, I headed to AutoZone and got a Timken brand hub assembly, which needed to be special ordered.

I had no idea I was about to embark on 2 weeks of frustration that involved multiple runs for tools I did not have, defective parts that had to be special ordered again, and enough swearing to make a sailor in the Navy blush.

Once the wheel bearing hub assembly was replaced, I was rewarded with the sweet sound of silence. This was promptly replaced by the much less annoying screams and whining of children.

If you do plan on replacing the front wheel bearing hub assembly yourself, might I suggest making sure you have the following tools (not all inclusive, but these are what stick in my mind and came in quite handy): T-50 Torx bit (for removing front rotor), a breaker bar (the bolts holding the brake caliper mount are quite tight), 29mm axle nut socket, metric sockets, socket extension bar set (getting at the wheel hub assembly bolts is much easier with a set of extension bars), a slide hammer (after 8 years of corrosion, that wheel hub assembly just didn’t want to come off), thread lock compound, and a torque wrench.

If all the proper tools are handy and replacement parts are defect free, replacement of the hub was less than 2 hours, even for a mediocre mechanic like me.

- , Plainfield, IL, USA

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