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 5 of 13)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #171

Aug 112013


  • 52,490 miles


Van started running poorly suddenly, then would not run at all. After shutting down and allowing cool down time, restarted van and it would not go into gear. Ran well in park or neutral, but shifting into any gear would "clunk" and the engine would immediately quit. After 5 days of troubleshooting, traced trouble to engine PCM after reading in on-line forums about it. Found PCM wet and pins on PCM and contacts on wire harness corroded and green due to water leaking past cowl-to-body seal. The PCM connector is not sealed, so if water does drip on it, it is dripping directly onto back side of the contacts and Ford did release a tsb about this issue but not a recall. Tsb says to remove some plugs from body (my van is severely rusted in one of those 2 spots), seal around clips that hold plastic cowl to body with silicone sealant and add additional weather stripping on the outer edges of cowl to try to prevent water. I had to replace my PCM. Had my wife been on the highway when this happened, there would have most certainly been an accident or injury.

- Clifton, NJ, USA

problem #170

Jun 242009

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 105,495 miles
Ford Motor Company appears not wanting to honor its own recall letter 11S25 torque converter replacement. On June 2009, I took my vehicle to a repair shop and they replaced the transmission, it was unfortunate as my extended warranty has expired. Fortunate for me at the end of last year I received that recall letter which at least would cover part of my cost. I took the letter Ford Motor Company had sent me along with repair shop invoice totaling $2,228, replaced transmission warranty and receipt slips to a local Ford service center on May 2013 and still by Aug 2013; there had been no check issued as the service man told me or calls until I got with Ford national 1-800 number. Only then and more than 60 days later I received a call from the local service center asking for more documentation. Now Ford local service center told me that it was up to Ford Motor Company to work with the issue and Ford Motor Company told me it was my Ford local service center. I am confuse thought they both work for each other I do not know what is going on here. But certainly want to get this resolve. Can you help? ///// my problem with the power train started on June 2009 while I was driving my son, for a scheduled outpatient operation. It happen on a two lane portion of the street at about 400 fts or so from a traffic light, my mini-van all of the sudden loss power train, the engine was still on and with the vehicle momentum I drove it to the side off the street. The engine was on, electrical ok, but no moving forward or reverse, it felt like it was in "neutral". we had it towed to a reputable auto repair shop on the same street were the vehicle left us.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #169

Jun 012013

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 99,400 miles
Have chatter coming from transmission ayear ago the input shaft failed and we had a recall repair made it is doing the same thing again there needs too be a recall on the transmission S in these vehicles immediately.

- Chouteau, OK, USA

problem #168

Jul 312013

Freestar 6-cyl

  • miles


In September 2012 I took my 2004 free star into Ford dealership to have the torque converter replaced due to a recall. Now I get a transmission chatter. I took it once again into the dealership for a recall on the 3rd row seat and asked them after completing the recall if they would check out the chatter. They at first told me it was a misfire...that possibly the plugs and/or wires needed replaced. I obtained a cost for that and then asked them to complete the job. They called me back in an hour or so and told me that my problem was a much bigger problem. They said my transmission had water in it. My husband checked the fluid and yes it has a milky appearance. The dealership is the only ones who have removed my transmission when they done the torque converter recall the previous fall. Now I learn that there is some sort of seal in which water can seep into the transmission. What's up with that and why hasn't there been a recall on this seal.

- Shoals , IN, USA

problem #167

Nov 262012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 58,866 miles
Bought car Nov 2012 from truck junction and from the day we bought it the car stalled ran ruff wouldn't start. Gave us the run around while under warranty now Ford says PCM wet N ruined from day one. I've had a broken van in my drive for 8 months what the [xxx]how can Ford make a product that is this bad with no recall [xxx] american products this is [xxx]. information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Sarasota, FL, USA

problem #166

Apr 282006

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 37,570 miles
On April 28th 2006 I was on my way to work, stopped at a red light, proceeded to make a left turn, my van would not move forward of backward. I had to call for a tow to take my van to a dealership. The dealership told me I had to pay $75 in order for them to tell me what was wrong with my van. They diagnosed the problem and told me it was my transmission, that the torque converter had played out.the total charge was $2817.38 + $75 dollars.I made a call to Ford Motor Co. To see if there was a recall on the transmission of the Ford free-star, they told me no.

- Pine Bluff, AR, USA

problem #165

Jul 052013

Freestar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that the vehicle was included in and repaired under NHTSA campaign id number 12V006000 (power train). The contact stated that while the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact had to stop and wait some time before being able to restart the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostics, who stated that the transmission failed due to a faulty torque converter. The failure was reported to the manufacturer. The failure and current mileage was 98,000. Updated 8/26/13 the consumer stated the problems started after the dealer worked on the vehicle. Updated 09/05/13

- Belton , MO, USA

problem #164

Jul 072013


  • 125,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that while driving 65 mph, the vehicle began to decelerate. The contact noticed smoke from under the hood. The contact stopped at a side and noticed transmission fluid was leaking. The vehicle was towed to the dealer, who stated that the transmission failed. The contact referenced NHTSA campaign id number: 12V006000 (power train) for which the vehicle had been repaired under in 2012. The failure and current mileage was 125,000.

- Midlothian , VA, USA

problem #163

May 262013

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
The transmission is slipping in and out and very sluggish and no power, backfiring and smells very strong of gas fumes. Has been going on for a few weeks. I was driving on the highway and it slipped out of drive and lost power. I had to slow myself down at a pace to turn the van into a safe area off the highway I was traveling at the speed of 60..very scary...the van would not move. I had the van towed by a friend at the cost of $65 (he saved me a lot of money ) which was not offered back to me from the dealership.... I didn't know abt the recall or the PCM problem until I was looking for info on ytube..I called my dealer where I had bought the van( and it is paid for) when I talked with an advisor he said for me to have it towed to the dealership and they would look at it. I refused to pay for the tow (they did do that at least) he called me and said that the torque converter was under a recall and they would replace that part...3 days later I went to pick the van up and it still wasn't driving right. Still loosing power and gas smell and it felt as if the transmission was slipping still. It was a Saturday and the lady helping me knew nothing couldn't even find my paperwork and had to call the advisor. She said to call him back on Monday so needless to say I tried to drive the van and it just wasn't drivable so I parked it.. was afraid it might do more damage if I didn't. on Monday I called and spoke to the advisor and he informed me that they only did the recall part as I had requested to be done. He also said the tech told him that the van needed a lot of work. I in return ask why they didn't check out all of the problems and his answer was we did the recall and that's all we can do unless I wanted to pay $100 for a needless to say my van sits until I can pay or Ford does something to make this right. The ball is N your park Ford.

- Newport, NC, USA

problem #162

Jun 012013


  • 127,857 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that while driving 65 mph, the engine rpms raced as the vehicle began to decelerate independently before stalling. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where the torque converter was replaced under NHTSA campaign id number: 12V006000 (power train). The failure was not corrected and the vehicle remained inoperable. The failure was reported to the manufacturer. The VIN was not available. The failure and current mileage was 127,857.

- Tiverton , RI, USA

problem #161

Dec 282009

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 64,858 miles


Purchased car in Nov 08. In Dec 09 had transmission rebuilt (remanufactured by Ford) in June of 2013 needs transmission again!! went in to Ford dealership and asked for all paperwork. Found out this will be the 4th total transmission in the life of my very well maintained car! warranty history stated Nov 07 overhauled transmission 43085 mi Dec 09 rebuilt remanufactured transmission 64858 mi June 2013 torque converter recall done 88658 mi dealership called Ford recall line, did not fix neutralizing problem with transmission. Ford stated it must be an internal transmission problem not covered by recall. So I called Ford Motor Company and they will not do anything!!!!!! recall the unsafe bad transmissions made by Ford Motor Company!!

- Marlborough, MA, USA

problem #160

Apr 242013

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 126,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that while driving approximately 35 mph, there was a sudden loss of motive power with no warning. The vehicle was towed to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the torque converter and the transmission pump needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failure and stated that the vehicle was included in NHTSA campaign number: 12V006000 (power train) but the repairs did not include the transmission pump. The vehicle was repaired. The approximate failure and current mileage was 126,000.

- Millburry , MA, USA

problem #159

Jun 142013

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
Recently had the transmission torque converter changed under recall. Today it was running rough, and would stall out. It was a dangerous situation as I was in heavy traffic at the time. It seems that this problem. Has happened to many other owners of the same car.

- Plattsburgh, NY, USA

problem #158

May 162013

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 141,625 miles
Was going to accelerate and when I did the vehicle just stopped going, the vehicle did stay on no lights no warning I coasted to side of road. Stopped then tried to go again and the transmission would not engage. Tried all the gears and nothing would engage had to call tow truck to come get it now waiting on mechanic to tell me what is going on!

- Bluffton, IN, USA

problem #157

May 312012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 146,000 miles
My van would not go in reverse, when it finally did it kept dying. Took to Ford dealership the problem was the computer brain cost 1100. 2days later the exact same thing. The problem is sudden leaving U stranded with no warnings.

- Sheridan, IN, USA

problem #156

May 012013

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 170,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that the transmission would sporadically slip and the vehicle would stall sporadically. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign id number: 12V006000 (power train) and took the vehicle to the dealer for the fulfillment of the recall service. The torque converter was replaced however, the repair did not correct the failure. The dealer stated that the transmission fluid was burned and the gears were affected by the failure. The vehicle was not repaired a second time to correct the initial failure. The current mileage was 170,000 and the failure mileage was unknown.

- Hertford, NC, USA

problem #155

Sep 052012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 152,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that after starting the vehicle he was unable to shift out of park. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 152,000 and the current mileage was 158,000.

- Fulton , NY, USA

problem #154

Apr 182013

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 125,000 miles
My wife was driving kids to school on the highway and without warning the car vibrated excessively and died. There were no injuries although all were very shaken. I had the vehicle towed to jackson Ford where there was a recall on the torque converter. Jackson replaced the torque converter and test drove the vehicle. They contacted me to tell me that the recall work was complete and that they had another repair for a cam positioner to do but they had to order the part. The next day I was informed the part had came in but as they were pulling the vehicle in the shop it lost forward movement again. I asked them if they were going to repair this and I was told that they thought it was an internal issue and it was not their responsibility. If I wanted it repaired it would cost $3800. I contacted Ford Motor Company and their representative also said that the torque converter was what was recalled not any internal issues with the transmission. Ford Motor Company also told me that any further repair would be my responsibility. My argument was that the vehicle loosing power while driving at highway speeds and vibrating aggressively is what most likely caused any other damage. Ford Motor Company and the jackson Ford dealership disagree.

- Latham, IL, USA

problem #153

Apr 192013

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 139,369 miles
Traveling at 55 mph, vehicle suddenly lost forward motive power in traffic. Vehicle would not shift into reverse or drive. Vehicle was stalled in neutral. Had to shut off the vehicle and restart after several minutes. Drive engaged for two minutes, then lost power again. Vehicle had to be towed to Ford Motor Company where the torque converter was replaced per recall. Vehicle will still not engage in forward or reverse. Ford technicians said they are unsure of the problem, that the recalled part should have fixed the issue.

- Pine Grove, LA, USA

problem #152

Apr 082013

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 184,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that while driving 10 mph, the transmission became seized in neutral. The vehicle was towed to the dealer. The technician confirmed that the failure specified on NHTSA campaign number: 12V006000 (power train) was not the problem the vehicle was experiencing and was unable to diagnosed the failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure but did not offer any assistance. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 184,000.

- Hurley , NY, USA

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