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

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2004 Ford Freestar:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2004 Ford Freestar Owner Comments (Page 1 of 13)

problem #251

Dec 252016


  • 121,950 miles


Vehicle was stationary and when started would not continue to run, finally did run but when put in reverse vehicle would not move, shifted into neutral and engine RPM picked up for no reason, put into drive and vehicle slightly moved and engine died. Earlier in day had driven vehicle with no problem.

- Prescott Valley, AZ, USA

problem #250

Jun 102016


  • 153,599 miles
Had the recall for the torque converter done and now my vehicle shakes, sputters. Won't accelerate, the rpms jump up high, very loud noises coming from underneath vehicle. Sometimes it will stall out. Can't go past 25-30 mph if it even gets up to that! my vehicle ran perfect before taking it into the Ford dealership and ever since I got it back we have had this problem. Took it back to Ford and they tried to say it was throttle cable so had that fixed and it still is doing the same things as it did after the torque converter was replaced. Can't drive the vehicle because when I go to accelerate it doesn't go or get up to the correct mph. The whole vehicle shakes really bad and the noises it makes are very loud and sound like something is going to blow up. I think the torque converter they replaced it with is bad and they need to fix this problem and man up and quit trying to blame it on other things. They messed up and need to fix it.

- Normal, IL, USA

problem #249

Sep 092016


  • 71,423 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. While driving 30 mph, the vehicle lost power. In addition, the accelerator pedal was depressed, but the vehicle failed to accelerate and increased in rpms. The vehicle was towed to a parking lot and was not diagnosed or repaired. The vehicle was previously repaired per NHTSA campaign number: 12V006000 (power train). The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 71,423.

- Mount Shasta, CA, USA

problem #248

Aug 132016


  • 157,698 miles


Driving at highway speeds, the engine remained at 2000 RPM but the mph continuously dropped to below 30 mph until vehicle was stopped on shoulder of highway. The torque converter was under recall and replaced previously. This is the same situation that occurred again. I believe the replacement torque converter was also defective.

- Portage, IN, USA

problem #247

Aug 092016


  • 150,000 miles
When we bought this vehicle we loved it but it steadily went down hill. We got notification of recall about 6 months after purchase and tried several times to get into the dealer. Finally got it in March 2016 and now here I am paying on a vehicle that the torque converter went out on. Prior to repair the transmission would roughly shift and jerk/lurch into selected gear and at higher rates of speeds would shutter and trans light would come on. Now it doesn't respond to the gas pedal right away and then the engine shakes/shudders and the dipstick has a substance on it and when driving today it just coasted like in neutral! I have 4 children and this does not give me faith in Ford and it is my 3rd generation star van and my 6th Ford vehicle in general.

- Valparaiso, IN, USA

problem #246

Jul 182016


  • 160,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. While driving 50 mph, the transmission slipped without warning. In addition, the gears would only shift after the vehicle reached 30 mph or above. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 160,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Fairfield, CT, USA

problem #245

May 012016


  • 110,000 miles


Transmission get lost while driving Ford Freestar 2004 van; driving back from church, stop in traffic light the van could not start again, pushed to the nearest gas stations, towed to the dealer, was advised that since they cannot do any diagnosis without turning on the vehicle and knows what is wrong with the van, they need a new computer to reprogram the car. Paid $2500 for computer replacement and reprogramming(receipts attached). I was told all the issue will be gone. During the drop-off I told the service specialist that while I am driving the van sometime while increasing the speed, or just in the steady motion I do experience condition like stuck back and forth, and then move; the process repeat sometime. Twice the car lost power in the middle of the highway this year, and was helped by other driver to stop it and push it away from the highway, lucky due to constructions the traffic was very slow. When I took the car from the dealer after reprogramming I still have exactly the same problem, and now backseat door can be open manually only; dealer told me it is torque converter issue, when I google I found out that this is known issue (recall number 12V006000) for Ford free star 2004-2006 for torque converter replacement, when I call the dealer I was told yes that recall existed, but my VIN number was not listed for that recall hence they cannot help me. I cold Ford customer service, they gave me the same answer that since my VIN number was not listed they cannot help me but I should call the dealership and see what they can do to replace torque converter. At this time I left the van to the dealership but they are doing nothing on it until I make a payment, I can¿T drive that vehicle very scary condition. What can I do to have my VIN number get included in the list for that recall? stuck issue has been there since I bought this van never thought aout it any help

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #244

May 212016


  • 16,462 miles
Problem #1 the passenger side window will not work. It's controll module was replaced it worked one time and stopped working again. Problem #2 the drive axle broke in traffic luckily we were stopping and were only going about 5 mph. Problem #3 today after a night of heavy rain when the van was unlocked the radio came on before the key was even in the ignition. Which brings us to problem #4 the biggest and no doubt most expensive. The van started and was running kind of sluggish but ran fine in reverse but if you shift to drive the van shuts off. You cannot start it in neutral either. I have had 2 independent mechanics look at it today both say it is the torque converter. I looked it up and there is a recall but of course it's the weekend and I can't call to see if it's covered.

- Lancaster, OH, USA

problem #243

May 152016


  • 225,000 miles
Despite the recall of the torque converter and replacement of part, it failed again. The vehicle lost ability to use it after a soccer game. It started, but wouldn't drive before loosing all power. It woudn't go in reverse and had to be towed. This is the 2nd vehicle of the same model to do it that I owned. This could have led to an accident, since I was heading to the interstate with my children in the car. I am concerned the part should be replaced again due to either a faulty part or the way it works with other parts. This is a financial burden on people that own these vehicles.

- Des Moines, IA, USA

problem #242

Feb 032016


  • miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. While driving at various speeds, the vehicle stalled without warning in a major intersection. The vehicle was able to restart shortly after and be driven for a couple minutes, but the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the transmission failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired; however, the failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown. Updated 05/17/16

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #241

Feb 242016


  • 123,000 miles


I bought this car in 2014. It stranded me on the side of the road it wouldn't go in reverse or drive. Finally after 4 hrs I got it to where I could drive it home. Took it to a shop and they said nothing was wrong they had to see it act up. Even though the check engine soon light was on and the light for the transaxle was on the shop said they put it on a diagnostic machine and it showed nothing. So I took it home and it when I drive it it jerks and the RPM's go to about 4000 RPM's before it shifts. I have had it 4 times at a shop and the same thing happened they couldn't find anything wrong. Now it has really gone bad. It no longer shifts you cant get it past 35 miles per hours because the engine would probably blow. I can't take it on the freeway but every shop I took it to said nothing is wrong. I have a year to go on payments on a vehicle I couldn't even drive if I knew this was going to happen I wouldn't of bought it. The dealer I bought it from didn't even tell me that this van had this problem now I don't know what to do. I don't even know if this van is on the recall list or not or is it too late to get it fixed. I started having this problem 6 months after I bought it in July of 2014.

- Arlington, WA, USA

problem #240

Jan 022016


  • 125,000 miles
Van just lost all power without any warning while driving down the interstate at 70 mph. After calling Ford I was informed that the recall for the torque converter was done in 2011 and now it looks like the same problem again.

- Jackson, MO, USA

problem #239

Jan 112016


  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that the vehicle was taken to the dealer to be repaired under NHTSA campaign number: 12V006000 (power train) however, the dealer refused to remedy the vehicle. The contact was then informed that the transmission needed to be replaced. The contact declined. The contact stated that after leaving the dealer, and driving at 25 mph, smoke filled the cabin of the vehicle. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 120,000.

- Gainesboro, TN, USA

problem #238

Aug 192015


  • 170,000 miles
My van suddenly went out of gear and the van lurched forward, while driving at about 35 mph. Thankfully we were in town, and not going a faster speed or on a major hwy! after coasting to a safe place, we finally managed to get it to go back into gear for a short time. After several attempts, we managed to get it home. It refuses to go into gear now and has been parked since then. I know there has been a recall on the torque converter for this make and model, and those customers have experianced the exact same symptoms as my van. This is obviously a problem with a lot more vans than originally thought and the recall needs to be extended to other VIN #S, including mine.

- Craig, CO, USA

problem #237

Oct 232015


  • 219,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer to have it repaired according to NHTSA campaign number: 13V081000 (seat belts); however, it was repaired according to NHTSA campaign number: 12V006000 (power train). After the recall was performed, the transmission fluid leaked and the gear shift hesitated. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission failed and needed to be repaired. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 219,000.

- North Bellmore, NY, USA

problem #236

Dec 102015


  • miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. While driving at any speed, the vehicle jerked back and forth without warning. The contacted received notification of NHTSA campaign number: 12V006000 (power train) and the vehicle was repaired; however, the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who insisted that the recall repair was performed. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and stated that the recall repair was performed. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was not provided.

- Trenton, GA, USA

problem #235

Oct 252015


  • 142,004 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. While driving 55 mph, the vehicle failed to accelerate when the accelerator pedal was depressed. The failure recurred intermittently. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The contact discovered that the vehicle was repaired under NHTSA campaign number: 12V006000 (power train). The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 142,004.

- Sheridan, OR, USA

problem #234

Aug 082015


  • 83,000 miles
My car has spent 10 days at Ford to be serviced after having the safety recall service for the torque converter performed. The vehicle was behaving unpredictably, sometimes stalling out while idled, stalling out while in motion, sometimes idling with high or low rpms. The dealership took it back in to check the torque converter, they then said it wasn't the torque converter but the throttle body, they then cleaned that and said it's not the throttle body, it's the PCM. The PCM is taking on water from a flawed design of the above PCM where water is retained and eventually leaks on to the connector. This of course is not covered by Ford, and can cost up to $1200 to replace. This issue creates a number of different symptoms making it hard to identify the origin of the problem. Causing extended stays for maintenance. This should be rectified by Ford and not it's customers as there's no way this flaw can be caused by user error, it's a design flaw that should not exist.

- Bayonne, NJ, USA

problem #233

Aug 072015


  • 154,970 miles
2nd time that this has happened. Was driving when the van started bucking/sputtering/surging. It would die and then fire right back up just to do it once again. Soaked PCM connector was to blame both times. This is obviously a design flaw by Ford and needs to be taken care of. I'm glad I was not on the interstate or in the middle of an intersection.

- Jetersville, VA, USA

problem #232

Jul 222015


  • 83,230 miles
Following the safety recall replacement of my 2004 Ford Freestar's torque converter my van lost all power while approaching an intersection going approximately 15mph. The vehicle was in motion and there were no indications of a problem (no lights on the dashboard, no odd noises, nothing). The vehicle just lost all power and came to a stop, luckily I was just shy of the cross-traffic. There are major problems with the transmission of this vehicle if it dies after getting the problem part, the torque converter, replaced as a result of a safety recall. Upon bringing it back to a Ford dealership to have the replacement part reinspected, I was told there are no codes being throw by the computer and the car is fine. Clearly the car is not fine if it's stalling out without warning while in motion. I'm very frustrated.

- Bayonne, NJ, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?