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:
2 / 5
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
99,253 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 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2004 Ford Freestar Owner Comments (Page 3 of 13)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #211

May 012013


  • 90,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that the transmission failed due to water intrusion. The dealer replaced the clutch and torque converter, but the failure was not corrected. The vehicle was taken back to a dealer who stated that the water penetrated due to a failed car seal. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 90,000.

- Mansfield , OH, USA

problem #210

Aug 092014

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 113,000 miles
Driving at highway speed to halfway [xxx] for a picnic. All of a sudden the van lost all power. Barely had enough speed to coast to a safe spot. Even then there wasn't enough room on the shoulder. Driver side was hugging the white line...... information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Mifflinburg, PA, USA

problem #209

Jul 062014


  • 115,000 miles
Once again, Ford refuses to acknowledge their vehicle defects. Our third row rear seat will not lock in place. The floor latch is corroded and broken and our children can no longer safely ride in our only vehicle. Ford recalled many other Freestars for this exact same problem but refuses to include our vehicle despite the similarities. Our vehicle has now broken down on us numerous times due to power train issues (later recalled), transmission issues (later recalled), and now this safety issue. I am extremely disappointed that they continue to disregard safety for their customers.

- West Palm Beach, FL, USA

problem #208

Jul 182014


  • 140,000 miles


The transmission went out all of a sudden and we could have had a accident and get hurt..there has been a recall for our 2004 Freestar and we never got it because no one sent it out..we need this van fixed as soon as possible..we are retired and live on a fixed income and we have no way to get or meds or food or doctors appt..we need your help asap.

- Christiana, PA, USA

problem #207

Jul 172014

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 140,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that while attempting to park, the transmission failed without warning. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, who diagnosed that the torque did not pump the fluid, which caused the transmission to fail. The contact was made aware of a recall notification of NHTSA campaign number: 12V006000 (power train) however, the vehicle was not included. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 140,000. Updated 08/28/14 the consumer stated he did not receive the recall until after the transmission failed. The dealer replaced the torque but not the damaged transmission. 20 miles after the torque was replaced the transmission failed completely. The consumer stated the bad converter which caused the transmission to fail. Updated 09/17/2014

- Christiana, PA, USA

problem #206

Jul 162014

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
We replaced the torque converter about a year ago, on our own; we were not familiar with the recall on that part. The van started to exhibit same issues a few weeks later. We went to the dealer where we learned of the torque converter recall. Dealer stated that this time, it was a bad transmission, he informed us that due to us paying out of our own pocket for the torque converter, he would take that money off of the price of replacement transmission; we had issues with that deal. Now, about a year later, the van would not go into gear. We took it to a dealer who gave us a hard time with the three year warranty which came along with the replacement transmission; the van was at the dealer for over two weeks. Once we agreed to pay out of our own pocket, we were told that the wiring between computer and transmission was dirty; they stated that it was now fixed. Now three weeks later, same issue; we took it to a mechanic who found water in the computer.

- Mt. Arlington, NJ, USA

problem #205

Jun 082014


  • 172,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that the vehicle lunged forward violently and stalled. The contact mentioned that the vehicle failed to shift into reverse or drive. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician diagnosed that the torque converter needed to be replaced. The contact was not included in NHTSA campaign id number: 12V006000 (power train). The dealer stated that the repair was completed under the recall before the contact owned the vehicle, however the failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 172,000.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #204

Jun 272014


  • 96,000 miles
Car history: The transaxle light has gone before when we travel through vt mountains, but turning off the engine and letting it sit, and restarting it, the light would go off. Upon getting home safety, our mechanics didn't find anything to repair and so left it be, and would only sometimes see it when we traveled through the vt mountains, a few times a year. All recall repairs were up to date. There were no other symptoms. Incident: As we nearing the top of a mountain, the transaxle light came on. Unlike the other times, the transmission suddenly failed to be in the correct gear, so unlike the other times, we were very concerned. We pulled over immediately, and as we reached the shoulder smoke began pouring out of the vents. We quickly evacuated our kids, and as we were getting them out we noticed that there was already fire coming from under the hood, near the windshield, on the passenger side. We are so glad our kids were awake, and able to unlatch their own child carseats, and able to get out quickly. The fire spread to the entire van, consuming everything, at a great expense to us. (and others; our accident blocked a significant amount of traffic for about 3 hours.)

- Barrington, NH, USA

problem #203

Oct 172012


  • 97,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated while driving approximately 25 mph, the engine stalled without warning. The vehicle restarted and functioned normally however, the failure occurred twice. The vehicle was repaired under NHTSA campaign id number 12V006000 ( power train) but the remedy did not correct the failure. Additionally, after the vehicle was repaired fluid was leaking from the transmission. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 97,000.

- Clifton, NJ, USA

problem #202

Aug 292012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • miles
2004 Ford Freestar. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle torque converter recall notice. The consumer stated the transmission failed, as she was driving. The vehicle had to be towed to the dealer. After the work was completed, the transmission light continued to come on and go off. Also, the transmission was slipping when the converter was engaged. The consumer then received a recall notice in the mail, regarding a problem with the torque converter. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer for the recall work. However, in the winter of 2013, the transmission failed again. The vehicle was to a local repair shop, where they kept the vehicle for three weeks. The mechanic stated the original converter, was still in the vehicle.

- Weston, MO, USA

problem #201

Jun 022014


  • 130,000 miles


Hello my wife and I were driving on a highway at 55 mph, and out of nowhere the transmission failed I:E no notice just quit working.wehad to have it towed back to the nearest town and to spend $3900 to have it repaired!!!@ months later it went out again"/Ford needs to step up to the plate and repair this transmission at no cost to the owners.I did alot of checking on this problem on the internet and found hundreds of articles about other people having this same problem wit there 2004 and 2005 I have any recourse in this matter " [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Sequim, WA, USA

problem #200

May 052014


  • 180,000 miles
In good weather without warning the engine stalled in traffic. Restarted, but the engine ran extremely rough. Also the transmission would not go into reverse. Managed to get to a independent service shop. There the technician found water in the PCM. Dried out PCM and car ran fine. Then the transmission light came on. Now they found water in the transmission connector. Two weeks later the car would often not start, and when it did the transmission would not shift out of first gear. On our third visit they replaced the throttle position sensor (tps). One week later same symptoms, this time tps and mass airflow sensors have failed. The problems are all related to the wet PCM! recall this car, now!!!!!

- South Lyon, MI, USA

problem #199

May 152014

Freestar 6-cyl

  • miles
First time;while driving around a curve going approximately 40 miles per hour, the engine shut off, and lost power, and steering. Engine light came on 2nd time; engine bucked at about 40 miles to 50 miles per hour, then the engine shut off, and lost power and steering. Engine light came on 3rd time; same as the second time, engine light came on. Went to a mechanic who stated that ran the engine on computer, and the code:PO741 came up, tcc clutch performance. Was told to go to Ford for this because of current recall. Went online to Ford, and our VIN came up for torque converter replacement. Awaiting appointment on Tuesday, June 3rd. At Ford dealer.

- Hillsborough, NJ, USA

problem #198

May 142014

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 165,000 miles
RPM's surge, loss of power while driving, already had recalls done and still having problems, trans axle light comes on when doing highway speeds., I think the recall needs to be on the electrical system and where the main computer is located. The main computer is right beneath the awning for the wiper assembly...lots of potential water damage and many unhappy customers. This is supposed to be a family vehicle and it is more like driving a ticking time bomb. I would hate to be on the highway and the vehicle just suddenly stop. Not good Ford!!! not good!

- Beltsville, MD, USA

problem #197

Jan 032005

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
Problems with engine since 2005 with jerking, sputtering, engine lockup. Transmission locks and jerks, airconditioner stopped cooling and won't hold freon. Electrical issues also......has a mind of its own! several trip to the Ford dealership, was told "could not diagnose, bring it back if it does it again, we can't find anything wrong with it". the issues are sporadic. Drives fine one minute, next thing you know you are stalled on busy hwy. Not enough space to list "expensive" problems. Extended warranty? that's a joke, waste of $. scariest issue is when it locked up while driving. Lost complete control of steering, acceleration, etc. Was stranded in middle of road. Have disability, very scary & frustrating especially since my husband bought it only a year old so kids and I would have a "safe" vehicle. Did not take back to dealership since they'd probably say " can't diagnose". purchased a rebuilt engine had small town mechanic put it in. Problems still going on. Since there are still so many problems with engine, transmission, electrical, and no air conditioning, I'm afraid to drive it more than 5 miles. It is a very expensive lawn ornament. Fyi, my husband had just had to replace the engine in his Ford vehicle a month before mine went out, had to sell his vacation time for 2 years in a row just to keep those Ford running for our family...he's a public safety officer. Ford sold be ashamed. (dates are approximate, paperwork packed up from a move....sorry:-) )

- Wetumpka, AL, USA

problem #196

Nov 012013

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
In November of 2013, our 2004 Ford Freestar quit working. Yes, we had the torque converter recalled and put on back when they had that recall. November was the first time we had this happen to our car. It was raining, and our car would not go into gear, it quit working. What made this bad is that it was on the freeway! my husband put it into neutral, but we still did not have steering capabilities and managed to get us over to the shoulder. We had to be towed to a dealership. The dealership then stated that many people were having the same issue with the electronics getting wet, so he dried it, then let it set for a couple days and caulked it. We thought that would end those problems. Not. (note: This had cost us 450.00) then less than 2 months, the same exact thing happens, only this time we are stuck in a shopping center and could not get our car into gear again. We took it back to the dealership to which they replied that we needed a new electric module. How much" $1500!!! in less than 2 months, we spent almost 2,000.00! this was done in February. Here it is now April and guess what" the same exact problem is taking place again!! we are not alone, there are many people facing the same problems we have had, look around at the boards online and you will see that everyone has the same issues!! some investigations need to be opened or reopened as this is not resolved and lawsuits will be filed if someone gets hurt.

- Gig Harbor, WA, USA

problem #195

Oct 042010

Freestar 6-cyl

  • miles
2004 Ford Freestar. Consumer writes in regards to transmission torque converter recall notice. The consumer stated prior to the recall, the torque converter failed. The repair cost was $1,180.83. The consumer requested reimbursement. The consumer asked the dealer was the part installed defective, and he stated it probably was. The consumer received a refund check. However, he was concerned about the part being defective.

- Ann Arbor, MI, USA

problem #194

Mar 062014

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 166,000 miles
Wife went to make a left turn at 2 state highway intersection. Upon accelerating the van failed to move causing her to be stranded in the middle of this busy intersection. Several attempts of shifting finally made it into parking lot. Towed vehicle to transmission shop to be told it is the torque converter probably a broken spline. Of course this VIN# is not part of the original recall even though it has the exact same symptoms and result.

- Greentown, IN, USA

problem #193

Mar 292014

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 84,200 miles
I was driving on the interstate when suddenly without warning the transmission was no longer engaged and it resulted in complete loss of power and I had to coast to a stop in freeway traffic and try to get to the side of the road in time. Semi trucks were whizzing past me at 75 mph. I bought this vehicle from the Ford dealership in abilene, tx about one month ago and was not told about any recalls to the torque converter. This could have easily resulted in my death. I am highly pissed. Why the hell didn't the dealership replace this before selling me this vehicle for 7K? and what will be done about dealerships letting vehicles drive off the lot like this when they knew about the recall and did nothing and said nothing.

- Baird, TX, USA

problem #192

Feb 032014

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 126,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that the transmission would independently switch gears. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, who stated that the transmission would need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was contacted. The approximate failure mileage was 126,000.

- Mansfeild, OH, USA

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