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 6 of 13)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #151

Sep 032012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles


Had the recall work done on the torque converter end of August beginning of September 2012, upon return of vehicle have had nothing but problems. Last Thursday April 4 the vehicle suddenly lost power while going through an intersection. Friday did the same thing 3 times in less than 20 minutes of driving. Replaced alternator, belt tensioner and belt. Mechanic asked what it did, then said it might be the torque converter. He checked power steering, and water pump they are fine. Not sure how a part less than year old could go bad. When my vehicle went in for recall was perfectly fine, since it's return is has been running horrible and nothing seems to really fix it.

- Aurora, IL, USA

problem #150

Mar 182013

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
This is the fourth time power train control module has gone out during rain event. This time was on a highway traveling at 45mph with passengers. The result was intermittent engine shutdown, loss of steering, and forward motion. This module has been replaced 3 other times. Two times in 2011, and two months ago in 2013.

- Wilmington, DE, USA

problem #149

Sep 012012


  • 194,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that he received notification of NHTSA campaign id number 12V006000 (power train) and took the vehicle to the dealer for the completion of recall repairs. The dealer performed a diagnostic test and advised that the recalled component had been repaired. One month later, the vehicle became hesitate between shifting gears. The manufacturer was contacted and offered no assistance. The failure mileage was unknown. The current mileage was approximately 194,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- West Bloomfield , MI, USA

problem #148

Nov 262012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 103,000 miles


Power train:automatic transmission:control module (tcm, PCM) vehicle speed control the PCM shorted out because it got wet through the cover of the hood. This appears to be a relatively wide-spread problem and if not addressed and repaired correctly, it could happen again.

- Hurricane, WV, USA

problem #147

Mar 012013


  • 155,452 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The vehicle was included in and repaired under NHTSA campaign id number: 12V006000 (power train). The contact stated that after the repair was performed while driving approximately 35 mph, she heard a loud rattling noise. The contact inspected the vehicle and noticed transmission fluid was leaking. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for diagnosis. The technician stated that the torque converter had caused damage to the transmission. The transmission would have to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 155,452.

- Hampton, GA, USA

problem #146

Jan 102013


  • 165,000 miles
Afte rparking van nose in, attempted to reverse with no response from vehicle after multiple attempts to back up was finally able to reverse very slowly with minimal power. When placed in drive took several attempts at acceleration to move forward. Transmission fluid checked by myself and advance auto parts employee and found to be at proper fluid level.drove vehicle 30 miles when it cut off completely, was able to get vehicle to side of road(it was raining heavily and foggy as well). Was again able to get van going and made it another 15 miles before it cut off on me again and was again difficult to take off and required once again multiple attempts to get it moving. Finally made it another 5 miles home and parked vehicle. Had received notice 2 months earlier from Ford re a recall related to torque converter. Mechanic at magic city Ford in roanoke, va. Said problem with my transmission had nothing to do with torque converter without driving or working on vehicle.

- Salem, VA, USA

problem #145

Jan 072013

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 57,000 miles


Car lurched forward at a stop. After that check engine light came on. Further diagnoses by Ford indicated transmission was damaged. This is 5 months after torque converter was replaced as part of a recall. Obviously transmission was damaged due to faulty torque converter. Lots of people on-line reporting similar incidents.

- South Colby, WA, USA

problem #144

Jan 032013

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 150,000 miles
I had my van in park while I dropped my kids off to the sitter..came back out the van had died..I tried to start and it would not even turn. Though maybe battery..put a knew one in and still nothing. Had to have towed to a shop and they said it was the PCM where it was corroded due to water leaking in. A total of a little over $1200 for part and labor. Very lucky I was parked and not driving at the time when the vehicle died. This part needs to be recalled. There is a flaw in the design that is allowing water to get into the PCM and causing it to go bad. There have been numerous complaints about the same part with other owners.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #143

Dec 172012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 117,000 miles
The PCM internal computer is crashed and cause the veh to run poorly and not start, drained batter, etc - this is an issue with a lot of 2004 Freestars as I read online and was told to submit the info so that maybe they will do a recall and get this fixed. Thank god it did not happen while driving.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #142

Dec 232012


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact was driving approximately 30 mph when the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The technician advised the contact that the power train control module and the transmission would have to be replaced. The vehicle was included and repaired under NHTSA campaign id number: 12V006000 (power train:automatic transmission). The contact stated that the recall repair was related to the transmission failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 80,000.

- Waverly, OH, USA

problem #141

Dec 312012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 130,600 miles


Returning from a 'dump run', I noticed the plastic cover for the 3rd row passenger seat, driver side, had been dislodged and was lying on the floor. I went to reconnect it and I found the latch 'floating'. it was no longer part of the vehicle. I could see out through the wheel well. After further inspection, I saw that the welded plate, that should be part of the van was no longer attached. I haven't looked at the tire for damage, yet. This is a design and manufacturing error, as the latch bracket used to secure the passenger seat in place, needs to be a permanent part of the vehicle. The van isn't too old, and should last many more years/miles and for this piece to come loose, is a safety issue as well as a quality issue. I'm afraid to take it to the local Ford dealer for fear of being gouged on the cost to repair, which should be at Ford's cost. If this was a pick up truck with exposure to the elements all the time, I could see a rust issue. This vehicle is lightly used and garaged nightly, so it shouldn't happen - ever. The other comments on this page are all similar to my experience with this part. Right now, I'm using a strap to hold the piece in place, stretching to the latch on the passenger side. Comment: This van has had too many quality issues since we purchased it in 2006 - torque converter replaced, driver seat heater replaced, transmission replaced, cruise control switch mech. Replaced, ignition replaced.

- West Hartford, CT, USA

problem #140

Nov 012011

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 87,000 miles
The transmission has been rebuilt twice. Both times the mechanic found water in the transmission. The vehicle's radiator has been changed and the torque converter was changed, as possible culprits, but that did not alleviate the issue at hand, as the water returned to the transmission. The car is now at the mechanic for the third time within the year, with water in the transmission. The mechanic is stumped as to what the cause of the water may be.

- Mt. Arlington, NJ, USA

problem #139

Apr 222011

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 96,000 miles
Power train automatic transmission. My wife while driving with children on a secondary highway lost forward motion while traveling up a hill. Was lucky she was able to brake and steer off highway and no vehicles behind her. It has been a nightmare ever since. Had the vehicle towed to a german Ford dealership that quoted us a $10,000 dollar repair to replace the transmission. Found a reputable transmission shop that repaired it for about $4,000, but now the vehicle had multiple error codes, (transaxle, and check engine lite). Replaced multiple sensors trying to solve problem and bounced back and forth between the transmission shop and a different Ford dealership that guaranteed they could fix and repair any problem on an american Ford. Thought I had a power train control module problem affected because of the tsb (06-14-10). I was assured this was not the problem. In between this, Ford issued the recall (NHTSA id 12V006000, action number EA09016, recall number 11S25). My vehicle had to sit from January-July 2012 waiting on the recall to be issued on my particular vehicle. After replacing the torque converter under the recall, the german Ford dealership still had the transaxle lite come back on, so replaced a sensor. Following this work, the oil pressure lite came on. The german Ford dealership replaced the sensor. Now the vehicle will not even start. The vehicle has not been able to be test driven to determine if the transmission is good or not, and the german Ford dealership is refusing to do additional work on the vehicle. They do not know what is wrong andmy vehicle continues to just sit there. I have not had this vehicle operational for almost 19 months.

- Heidelberg, AE, USA

problem #138

Oct 302012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 88,000 miles
After a major rain storm, tried to start my car and it would start, but would quickly stall. Had to have car towed. Did not have reverse gear. Garage told me I needed a new transmission. Did have a recall notice to replace a faulty torque converter, but died before I was able to get scheduled. I believe the problem started with the PCM board getting wet. Towed to a Ford garage for repairs. Hoping that I get treated fairly. I believe Ford should pay for entire repair bill - new transmission and new PCM board - after all their faulty parts were the reason for the failure! not able to 'populate' above "affected parts".

- Bridgeville, PA, USA

problem #137

Oct 112012


  • 94,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that while driving 19 mph the check engine light illuminated and immediatelly after the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for diagnosis and the torque converter was replaced. After the repair had been completed the contact picked up the vehicle and on the way home the failure recurred. The dealer was made aware of the failure who advised the contact to bring the vehicle back in order for them to run a diagnostic test. The failure and current mileage was 94,000.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #136

May 012009

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 89,000 miles
The vehicle loose power will stall with engine running other times engine would stall 2-4 seconds the jump back on happen alot when plgs wires are fine it rains, get engine light also. Resets, but will resume on the next start with emission codes and PCM errors.

- Cleveland, OH, USA

problem #135

Oct 072012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 80,215 miles
On 7 Oct. 2012, Sunday while driving to kleber kaserne U.S. army base in kaiserslautern, germany with my wife my 2004 Ford, Freestar suddenly lost power. The road was wet from rain. I was in light traffic in the slow lane and this proved to be fortunate. I pushed the hazard lights as soon as I realized I had lost the ability to accelerate and was slowing down in a coast on the highway. I steered the car to the side of the road and stopped. My car was still running and the brakes worked. The engine would show an increase in RPM on the display when I touched the gas after I stopped but there was absolutely no power to the drive train. I called my adac auto club, germany for a tow truck and they arrived soon after. The day before this I had driving to frankfurt, germany and wiesbaden, germany on a rainy day and returned that evening. This is a round trip of about 200 miles on the autobahn. The autobahn I take to frankfurt has sections with no speed limits and the traffic is very fast. I am thankful that this didn't occur on the autobahn in heavy traffic. For anyone else this happens too, stay calm and look for a place to get off the road immediately. If a person is in fast traffic such as the fast lanes here in germany this would have been very dangerous because it is common to pass cars here in the autobahn in the slow lane at 70 to 80 miles per hour while watching the rear view mirror for cars in the fast lane that often are traveling in the 90 to 110mph speed. In my Ford Freestar I often watch out for the high speed german car traffic. End.

- Apo, AE, USA

problem #134

Sep 202012


  • 165,000 miles
At 147000 miles, I needed a complete transmission rebuild. This cost me $2800 due to the fact that there were additional parts not common to a standard rebuild. This was Sept. 2011. In January, I am able to note online that there is a torque converter recall for this model. I call Ford, I'm told there is nothing they can do until the recall is officially released in the 2nd quarter. Wait until 2nd quarter, no notice in the mail. I call Ford in August and tell them this, I am told that Ford will fix the car, it will take approx. 4 days and that no rental car is available during this period. If I suffer a total loss, maybe. Basically, I have to be stranded on the side of the road with my two young children before I can get any help with their issue. After rebuild, I start having issues with cylinder 3 misfire. I replace all plugs and wires, still a cylinder 3 misfire as well as overheating and egr valve. Replace egr valve, complete radiator change, coil pack, still issues with misfiring and overheating. I understand that this could be a computer issue, however Ford fails to realize this and therefore will not issue a recall. Not that would help since if they took it into the shop to fix it, I would not be able to get to work in the interim.

- Chester, MD, USA

problem #133

Sep 132012


  • 150,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that the vehicle was taken to the dealer for repairs under NHTSA campaign id number: 12V006000 (power train: Automatic transmission: Torque converter). The vehicle was repaired however, after the repairs the vehicle would not respond when shifted into first gear or reverse. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 150,000.

- Sunbury , PA, USA

problem #132

Aug 272012


  • 59,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that after having the vehicle serviced under NHTSA campaign id number: 12V006000 (power train:automatic transmission:torque converter) the transmission failed. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who diagnosed that the transmission became defective due to the oil not being replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who did not offer any assistance. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 59,000.

- Norton , VA, USA

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