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:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
40,978 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 brakes problems

brakes problem

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2004 Ford Freestar Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #22

Feb 012012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 115,000 miles


ABS warning light comes on and then sometimes it goes out. Is ABS system not working properly or electrical?

- Chino, CA, USA

problem #21

Sep 142011


  • 77,566 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that while driving between 35-60 mph, the brakes were applied but the brake pedal was abnormally depressed into the floorboard. The traction control warning light was illuminated at the time of the failure. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where they advised that the traction control module needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not completely repaired. The failure mileage 77,566 was and the current mileage was 81,000.

- Joliet, IL, USA

problem #20

Jan 312012


  • 81,401 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that the ABS light remained illuminated. The contact had not experienced a failure while braking, but the light constantly illuminated. The vehicle was taken to a local mechanic and the mechanic stated that the ABS sensor failed. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and stated that the failure could not be corrected because that sensor was no longer available. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were 81,401.

- Titusville , FL, USA

problem #19

May 132010


  • 61,000 miles


This has been on an on going problem for several years now (this is the 4th time Ford serviced the vehicle). After a rain storm my Freestar does not start or will start & stall. Today, after raining all night, I was driving my 3 kids to school apx 0800hrs, as I was turning onto rochelle ave from chestnut St in rochelle park, NJ the vehicle stalled in the middle of the intersection with loss of all power including the brakes which caused me to roll into on coming traffic. Luckily the garbage truck was able to stop before hitting my vehicle. I have found that you had an open case under id number PE10033 the PCM has been changed 3 times and repaired once, on the following dates at the following locations: 5/13/2010 all american Ford, 520 river street, hackensack, NJ 3/19/2011, 12/13/2011 & 1/13/2012 all american Ford, 375 rt 17 South, paramus, NJ on all these occasions it was water from rain that effected the PCM.

- Rochelle Park, NJ, USA

problem #18

Oct 202011


  • 123,000 miles
Driving and the car shut down: No power steering, no power brakes, nothing worked. There were no warning lights or other indication of failure. Was able to steer to the side of the road and stop vehicle using emergency brakes.

- Sykesville, MD, USA

problem #17

Mar 102011

Freestar 6-cyl

  • miles
My mini van is making a weird noise and when I drive it on the highway the steering weal shakes a lot.

- Irving, TX, USA

problem #16

Jan 142010


  • 15,000 miles


The brake proportioning system (front/rear) does not function properly causing premature failure of the rear brakes. This allows the calipers to overextend and freeze causing rear brake failure and hydraulic fluid loss. This requires the replacement of the rear calipers every 15K miles this has occurred several times at approximately 15K intervals. This is the reverse of most vehicles that do the majority of their stopping with the front brakes.

- Saint Marys, GA, USA

problem #15

Jun 102005


  • 100 miles
For the first 16 months of ownership my Ford 2004 Freestar sel was in the shop 15 times for electrical failures. Even the dealership tried to get the van returned under the lemon law and Ford refused. I had also complained about vibration at highway speeds, and told all was normal until I demanded they check the front brake and then was told they were bad. At about 65,000 miles my transmission suddenly and without any warning went out. I was just leaving the intersection and fortunately I was not rear ended. Now just last month, December 2009 it was discovered my right rear brake caliber has been dragging for some time as the inside brake pad was worn down to the metal. Left side was fine.

- Grayslake, IL, USA

problem #14

Mar 102009


  • miles
I purchased a 2004 Ford Freestar. Within 1 year after purchase, I heard grinding noises from the rear brakes. The brakes would also "squeal" while I was driving down the road. In 2007, I had the rear rotors replaced by a dealship because of gouging and pitting that they felt was not normal wear and tear. I had 29,600 miles on the vehicle at the time. Now, from the day I drove it home from being repaired, I would have the same squealing and grinding noises. I took the van in to have the brakes inspected again and was told that the rotors or extremely ground down due to excessive pitting and gouging. I now have 50,000 miles on the vehicle and only 20,000 miles on these rotors. The dealership would not replace them at no charge because they are not under warranty and said that this is due to normal wear and tear. I should not have to replace the rear brakes every 20,000 miles or so. I have followed up with Ford corporate and they refuse to acknowledge that this is a problem or to do anything about it.

- Avon Lake, OH, USA

problem #13

Aug 052005


  • 250 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact started the ignition and placed the gear shifter into drive. The engine began to rev and the transmission immediately locked up. The contact had to make several attempts before the vehicle would operate. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer for diagnostic testing. The technician repaired the vehicle. In addition, the rear brake assembly failed, which was not covered under the warranty. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for repairs. On a separate occasion, the vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for identical failures. The vehicle also experienced electrical failures relating to the exterior lighting. The technician recommended that the transmission be rebuilt or replaced. The vehicle has not been repaired. The failure mileage was 250 and current mileage was 52,000.

- Fort Meade, MD, USA

problem #12

Jan 182008


  • 44,000 miles


We own a 2004 Freestar that has had the transmission replaced in Feb 2008 with less than 43,000 miles on it. In July 2008 we spend $450 on repairing part of the breaking system, and this week the van would not go into reverse and did not have any pull to it when it finally did after several attempts. Once I got out of the parking space, I got an estimate of a block and onto a busy highway, only to have the van stall on me, almost causing a wreck. The dealership and Ford paid for the transmission to be replaced, we paid for the caliper, drum, rotor, and break pad to be replaced on the front driver side brake. When having the van checked out this week, we were told yesterday that they did diagnostics on it, and the only thing that came back was a cam sensor and that there was probably moisture involved that would cause the stalling. Nothing was repaired, and this could happen again, esp during the winter months, when winter driving is already dangerous. There is also an issue with the track control. It works most of the time but not all of the time. The light comes on at least 2 time per month. The reason can't be found for it. Ford needs to be made to do recalls on these vans for the safety of the owners.

- Tell City, IN, USA

problem #11

Dec 242006


  • miles
Does anyone read these? my daughter posted a complaint over a year ago. I just read through a number of complaints about the 2004 Ford Freestar's transmission problems. My son-in-law purchased this van for my daughter for mother's day of 2006 because they were expecting another son and outgrowing their Jeep Grand Cherokee. In the winter of 2006 it started acting up. We had to go get them on christmas eve as they were broke down on the side of a country road on their way to our house for christmas. It was diagnosed a crank shaft sensor. After coming up with the money to replace that, it worked fine for a while. Started again. They were told they most have got a faulty crank shaft sensor and replaced it again. Some time later, it started again. They took it to a transmission specialist that replaced some more sensors. It ran fine all summer. Winter of 2007 started again. Replacing more sensors. Again this winter, it is doing the same thing. This time it was diagnosed as the ABS box on the undercarriage of the van. $400 for the part alone. My daughter was so excited because it ran better than it ever had and they thought they figured out the problem. Now it is doing it again. It sometimes will not go in reverse. Acts like it is taking off in 3rd gear. Stalls out. This is their only vehicle. He is laid off. She is on the verge of losing her job due to attendance as a result of transportation issues. They are struggling like the rest of us to keep their home our foreclosure and their utilities on. The sad thing, they are still paying payments on this van! someone have a heart here! do something! it is the first Ford they have ever owned. My son-in-law says he will buy foreign from now on. I own a Ford also, I will never own another one either. They have contacted the Ford dealership as well as the manufacturer and got no response. This is how they treat their customers. I guess they deserve to go in bankrupt in this economy!

- Centerburg, OH, USA

problem #10

Oct 112008


  • 106,000 miles
Last week, in order to prepare for a trip away I had my 2004 Ford Freestar serviced and got new tires, etc., and then the mechanic said I needed new brakes and rotors and spent $1,000 on parts and labor (including the tires). He showed me the rotors and explained how bad of shape they were in, there were deep grooves in them. At least feeling confident that all this work was completed and I was ready for my trip, off I went. Then all of a sudden driving at 70 mph on the pa turnpike I realized the power had gone from the gas pedal and the van would not go forward. I quickly pulled to the side and turned vehicle off, then tried again, it would not go in drive or reverse or any lower gear. My van is now in the transmission shop and the mechanic has just informed me that the torque converter is totally shot and he explained to me that this seems to be a problem with these vehicles and now I have to spend another $1,000 or more to have this problem fixed. So within one week, I have now spent $2,000 on this vehicle. If it was an old piece of junk I would have just bought a new vehicle. But it's only four years old. This is totally unacceptable and I will never buy a Ford again.

- Susquehanna, PA, USA

problem #9

Jul 252008


  • 80,000 miles
In addition to the complaint submitted earlier today. I was contacted by the service repair dept at our Ford dealership and was told that we are in need of brakes. This will be the second time that they will have been replaced and adjusted. They tacked on an additionally $540 min. And the vehicle will not be finished until possibly tomorrow morning. They have had the vehicle since early Monday morning. We are so very disappointed with the overall function and reliability of this vehicle. Thankfully, when we were driving it, it was not full of children.

- Glen Arm, MD, USA

problem #8

Apr 252005


  • 13,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The brakes and rotors were replaced three times. The front end was shaking and the vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic. The hub was squealing and was taken to another independent mechanic. The brakes were replaced a second time. The hub was found faulty and NHTSA campaign id number 04V446000 (wheels:cap/cover/hub) was discovered for that year, make, and model vehicle; however, the manufacturer stated that her VIN was not included in the recall. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was 13,000 and current mileage was 36,050.

- Highland Lakes, NJ, USA

problem #7

Apr 012005


  • 45,000 miles
Right rear brake caliper frozen after just one year.

- Dayton, OH, USA

problem #6

Oct 212006

Freestar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,300 miles
The vehicle I own is a 2004 Ford Freestar van. I purchased in 2003. It has 35,698 miles on it. At approximately 35,000 miles the rear brakes started making a grinding noise when the brakes were applied. I took it to the dealer where it was purchased- the brakes had to be replaced-including rotors and pads. Thg rotors were so worn there was no way to turn them-they had to be replaced. A total cost of $447. Why did these brakes wear out so severely with only 34,00 miles on them? and why not the front brakes-this was on the rear brakes! I've never had a brake job on it so far- until this!

- East Falmouth, MA, USA

problem #5

Feb 272006

Freestar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,000 miles
: the contact stated the brake pedal went to the floor twice while attempting to stop. This occurred at 30 mph. The first time, there was no damage. The dealership was unable to determine a problem, but replaced the master cylinder. The second time, while approaching an intersection, the contact depressed the brake pedal. The vehicle did not slow down; the vehicle was steered to the right over a curb into a parking lot. The vehicle did not slow down and crossed a three lane highway into another parking lot where the vehicle was stopped by shrubs. This caused a tire to blow out and minor damage to the bumper. The vehicle was towed to the dealership, but the dealership was unable to determine a problem.

- New Port Richey, FL, USA

problem #4

Dec 022005

Freestar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,973 miles
A rear brake caliper stuck which caused the brake pad to grind down to zero pad and into my rotor. I had to have the pads and rotors replaced due to the failure of the caliper. The caliper is a covered part under the warranty. The dealer and Ford refuses to cover the resulting damage to the rotors even though the warranty clearly states that it would do so. I want reimbursed for my repair.

- Pelham, AL, USA

problem #3

Jul 062005

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 37,500 miles
On July 6 2005 the consumer took the vehicle in for inspection and while inspecting it, the dealer stated that there was a problem. The dealer reported the brake pads and rotors needed to replaced. The consumer thinks this is unfair because this car was inspected and checked regularly. There were no warnings from the vehicle that there was a problem. The consumer stated it was the caliper that originally caused the problem. Vehicle has not been repaired yet.

- Tuscon, AZ, USA

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