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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
96,598 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.

2006 Ford Freestar drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2006 Ford Freestar Owner Comments (Page 7 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #44

Aug 092010

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 85,000 miles


I was driving approximately 45 mph on busy highway, my Ford Freestar would no longer accelerate. Looking in the rear view mirror, there was smoke coming from my vehicle. The engine light came on after I noticed the smoke, then my thermostat went all the way from C to hot in a split second. No warning, car smoking and my brakes and gas was not working. I tried to pull over safely and get out of the vehicle quickly. My van was engulfed with smoke, an ambulance pulled over to assist me. The car fire was put out and towed to a Ford dealer. It was my transmission that blew. It was covered by warranty and fixed. I was told it was a bad transmission. One year and two weeks later, my Ford Freestar was not shifting gears, I was getting stuck, in reverse. When I shift to drive, it does not go forward. My car had to be towed again to the same Ford dealer. I was told my transmission was filled with water and the 1 year warranty I purchased the year before was shorted by two weeks. Ford would not honor my warranty due to it being over by 2 weeks time frame. So, I then purchased another transmission with another warranty. Now in 2012, a year later, my transmission that I purchased last year is doing the same thing, getting stuck in gears, when I accelerate, my Freestar jumps. Every time it rains, this car stalls. When I took to my mechanic, he says this is a horrible car. Poorly made and it should have been recalled. Apparently it stalls in the rain due to the sealing from Ford" why and how is this possible? this vehicle is a horrible safety problem. I am fortunate my children were not with me in the first car fire. When is Ford or the safety council going to investigate this car" so in my vehicle, Ford thinks there is nothing wrong with their customer having to replace a transmission 3 years in a row. No safety warnings or engine light warnings at all.

- Langhorne, PA, USA

problem #43

Aug 262012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 78,331 miles
I was driving down a city street, stopped at a light, when it turned green I pushed on the pedal gently (someone was in front of me) and it made a huge jerk and clank clank clank. It then started to go. At this point it had the "powertrain malfunction light on". I drove it to Ford and the car wouldn't go into reverse at all and wouldn't drive with out jerking. It also wouldn't go back in neutral when the key was turned on. No warning, drove fine before this.

- Garfield Heights, OH, USA

problem #42

Aug 202012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 106,000 miles
Driving down the road the van just lost forward motion, like it went into neutral. Coasted to side of road, tried all gears and had nothing no drive or reverse.

- West Palm Beach Fl, FL, USA

problem #41

Jul 162012


  • 84,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that the vehicle would not accelerate. The contact was able to see that the engine and tachometer continued running however the vehicle would not respond to acceleration attempts. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for inspection where it was determined that the torque converter failed. The vehicle was repaired by replacing the torque converter. The manufacturer was not made aware of the issue. The current and failure mileage was 84,000.

- Leesburg, FL, USA

problem #40

Nov 162011

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
I have filed a complaint before on this website about my frod Freestar suddenly not moving. Going up a ramp in the dark when car just stopped going forward. Same complaint as many others here. I have emailed Ford several times to find out if the 2006 will be recalled like the 04 and 05 models with the same exact problem. Just kept getting the standard we aren't responsible answer. I called Ford 2 days ago to verbally file a complaint. I was told that 1) rebuilt parts are better than new parts, so that's why I have a rebuilt transmission in my van now and 2) that Ford won't respond about a recall unless they start getting phone calls from people with the same complaint. So do letters an emails about the problem not count? don't know if anyone is following the complaints on here but I thought I would share just in case. I paid $2600 to get a rebuilt transmission put in my car by Ford and I really want my money back and faith once again in my vehicle.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #39

Nov 042010

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 111,847 miles
1) sudden unexpected loss of power and all gears. Occurred while normally accelerating from a stop. Vehicle towed to Ford dealer. Dealer stated to replace entire transmission at cost of $2900 plus credit card interest. 2) sudden loss of power. Dealer replaced PCM at cost of $900. 3) powering steering fluid leak. 4) coolant leak. 5) persistent loss of air from wheel after replacing tire.

- Flovilla, GA, USA

problem #38

Mar 012012


  • 116,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that the vehicle jerked while shifting gears. The contact also stated that the vehicle stalled while driving at various speeds. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic but he was unable to diagnose the failure. The contact stated that she also had to have the vehicle towed on a few occasions. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified and offered no assistance. The failure mileage was 116,000.

- Peter Park, TX, USA

problem #37

May 072012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 110,500 miles
05/07/12 as the brake was applied to turn a corner in traffic, the car just quit forward motion! turned engine off and restarted engine, and was then able to drive forward. 05/21/12 started parked van, put it in reverse, applied accelerator, the engine revved up, but no reverse motion(car rolled backwards as was parked on an incline), put it in drive, applied accelerator, and again the engine revved up, but no forward motion drive(again van rolled backwards). Van was towed to garage. Assumed that it was the torque converter problem that a recall was issued for 2004 and 2005 Ford Freestars. Diagnosis was indeed a bad torque converter in our 2006 Ford Freestar(not currently recalled for the torque converter like the 2004 and 2005 Ford Freestars).

- Coconut Creek, FL, USA

problem #36

May 072012


  • 146,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Ford Freestar. While traveling 55 mph, the contact noticed that the vehicle had suddenly shifted out of gear, as if the vehicle was shifted into neutral. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, where the contact was informed that NHTSA campaign id number: 12V006000 (power train:automatic transmission:torque converter) did not apply to his VIN. The vehicle had not been repaired. The current and failure mileages were 146,000.

- Elkhart Lake, WI, USA

problem #35

Apr 022012


  • 115,000 miles
Without warning and at various speeds the transmission on our 2006 Ford Freestar will lose power. I would describe it as a hiccup effect were power is lost and gained several times in a 15-30 second time period (switching gears?). consistently this will happen between the speeds of 55 -60 mph, and almost all the time this will happen when the engine requires more power going up hills. We are taking it to our second repair shop in one month today.

- Big Flats, NY, USA

problem #34

Apr 232012


  • 27,116 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Ford Freestar. While the contact was driving approximately 45 mph, the wrench warning indicator began to illuminate on the instrument panel. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for diagnosis. The technician stated that the transmission would need to be replaced. The vehicle had not been repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure and stated that there was not a recall related to the malfunction. The approximate failure mileage was 27,116.

- Dillsburg, PA, USA

problem #33

Apr 142012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
Driving with my two young daughters in the vehicle. Had just driven about 50 miles at 60 mph. Luckily had just gotten off the highway when the vehicle felt like I had shifted into neutral. The engine sounded like it was revving but I had absolutely no power. It's now going to cost me $2500 for a new transmission. I wouldn't even give it a second thought if I hadn't just read that the 2004-5 Freestars have been recalled because of transmission problems. I'm wondering why the 2006 wasn't included since I'm guessing the transmissions are identical. We were incredibally lucky since I had just gotten off the highway, but 5 minutes earlier would have been a different story.

- Fox Point, WI, USA

problem #32

Nov 142011

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
Driving home on tollraod at night going up on ramp. Van gave no warning, no lights, no issues. Engine still on but van would not move. Was able to roll back down ramp partway and get on to small houlder area. This ramp was curved and we were in a blind spot with a carfull of people and the cat. Had to wait for hctra to tow us to a safe location, then had to wait another 2 hours for a tow truck. Couls not get a rental from Ford nor did we get any help replacing the transmission. $2600 later we have a erbulit transmission. I drive 2 hours to and from work. The van has all of its maintence done on time. Ford has recalled the 04 nad O5 Freestar for the same exact problem but will not acknowledge the issue with the 2006. Very frustrating.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #31

Jan 012012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 124,900 miles
Recurrent intermittent problems with slipping transmission. Problem has become increasingly worse. Waiting for catastrophic failure with this known Ford transmission problem. I will probably die, when this(transmission) fails and puts me in the path of a speeding vehicle; giving me no chance to get out of the way. A 6 year old vehicle should not have this problem.

- Fulton, NY, USA

problem #30

Dec 022011

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 98,066 miles
I had just left home and turned out onto major highway - I was picking up speed and it was like I put my van into neutral - I just pulled off highway and it would not go into any gear. Had to tow it and have it repaired. Torque converter went out -- had to have transmission rebuilt. Aamco rebuilt transmission and they told us it had a 2005 transmission in it. I feel like the 2006 Ford Freestars should be placed in the same recall as the 2004 and 2005 Ford Freestars as some were actually made in 2005.

- Shady Grove, FL, USA

problem #29

Feb 012012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 67,600 miles
Every time it rained, my engine would shudder, shake, sometimes knock, the transmission would shift for no good reason, and I stalled out in traffic once. The vehicle became non-drivable when it rained (and only when it rained). I took the vehicle to my Ford dealer (schults Ford of harmarville, pa), where technician pat sand indicated that this is a known problem with Ford Freestars, and said a Ford service bulletin indicates that because of a manufacturing problem (incorrect sealer application to the PCM and poor position of PCM in relation to windshield run-off) water leakage into the program control module causes it to issue random commands and errors. They followed the Ford bulletin and by simply better sealing against moisture / blocking the water flow, resolved the problem. This is a safety issue and a known manufacturing defect.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #28

Mar 092012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 102,000 miles
Yesterday while traveling on interstate 30, our 2006 Ford Freestar suddenly made a loud revving up noise with the rpms shooting up for a second and then I had no propulsion. The motor was running, but all I could do was coast as far as I could to get to the shoulder. My husband and three young children were with us, and it was very scary to lose power like that and then to sit on the shoulder being shaken by every big rig that came by. We had to be towed to the nearest Ford dealership and rent a vehicle to drive the 100 miles home. Once home last night, we found info about the same thing happening to many other Freestars and that Ford is voluntarily recalling '04 and '05 models to replace the torque converters. What about the '06 models this is happening to" we were amazed at the stories we found identical to ours. Will the 2006 models be addressed as well" when I heard the automated message from Ford concerning the '04 and '05 models and how this issue does not affect safety because a vehicle can be coasted to safety, I was appalled. I wonder if they have tried that in interstate traffic consisting to a large degree of 18-wheelers barreling downhill on you as you try to get past a bridge to the shoulder while carrying your husband and three kids! and then to sit there not able to move one way or the other while more 18-wheelers fly by, feeling relief each time they don't hit you, trying to decide if we'd all be safer standing in the ditch! didn't feel so safe to me!

- Texarkana, TX, USA

problem #27

May 122010

Freestar 6-cyl

  • miles
While driving home from work on a rural single lane highway with no shoulder, my 2006 Ford Freestar mini-van completely lost acceleration. I was traveling 70 mph and going up a large hill when everything just shut down. There was absolutely no warning, no lights, nothing! when pushing the gas to the floor, the RPM's revved but I had no acceleration. I coasted to a stop at the top of the hill, trying to maneuver the van off the road and out of the way of the 18 wheeler that was not far behind me. After trying repeatedly to get the transmission to engage, I had it towed to a Ford dealership and was told the transmission needed to be replaced at a cost of over $3000. I had to take it back to this dealership twice to have them fix small things that they had not properly put back together. Less than a year later, the powertrain warning light for the transmission came on and I had to take it back to a different Ford dealership. I was told it was the transmission again, and because it was thankfully still under warranty I wasn't out any money, but I was without my primary vehicle for our family of 5 for almost two weeks. The transmission feels like it is starting to slip again, and I have taken it back to the dealership twice to have them look for the problem before it goes out, but I keep getting told it is nothing. When my husband rode with the mechanic to see if it would slip, the torque converter started shuddering, but the mechanic said, "it's just the torque converter shuddering, don't worry about it". now I am reading that a faulty torque converter may lead to more transmission trouble, but I feel the Ford dealership is just waiting for the warranty to go out again so they won't have to fix it yet again. This is the only vehicle we have that will Transport our whole family, and I'm not sure how safe it is for me to continue to drive it.

- Mt Enterprise, TX, USA

problem #26

Apr 042008


  • 73,971 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to start. The vehicle was towed the dealer where the dealer confirmed that the torque converter needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was contacted. The vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was 73,971 and the current mileage was 190,000.

- Liberty, MO, USA

problem #25

Dec 212011

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
While driving on the highway the torque converter would malfunction causing the vehicle to hesitate and make a rumbling sound. The right front wheel makes tapping sounds when turning to the right or left. The Ford mechanic and my personal mechanic have said the torque converter, cv joints and drive shafts will have to be replaced, and that the transmission may have to be rebuilt or replaced. I purchased the van form Ford in 2007. I am looking forward to hearing for the NHTSA board on these issues.

- Cartersville, GA, USA

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