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 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
98,177 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2004 Ford Freestar Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #53

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 #52

Jul 122016


  • 130,000 miles
Whenever it rains or is humid the van sputters, dies, struggles to speed up and shift. My family was nearly hit when our van died in the middle of an intersection during a rain storm.

- Eau Claire, WI, USA

problem #51

Mar 082016


  • 260,000 miles
The 2004 Freestar is shorting out all the sensors are shorting out U took it to be put on machine and it cane back with 17 sensors malfunction going on and it's the only vechele I own and I've googled the problem and I see 100000 other people are having the same problem what should I do I might be driving down the road and the vraje sensor is going and I can't stop I'm not rich I cantvgo buy another van please help

- Union City, PA, USA

problem #50

Jan 122016


  • 87,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. While driving approximately 70 mph and suddenly on an elevation, the vehicle shook, decelerated, and lost power without warning. The contact pulled into an independent mechanic's shop where the technician changed the fuel filter. The failure recurred a few days later. The check engine light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to another independent mechanic who did not diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and stated that there was no recall. The VIN was unknown. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 87,000.

- Poughkeepsie, NY, USA

problem #49

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 #48

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 #47

Jul 302015


  • 62 miles


I was driving the vehicle and it was raining outside and as I was driving all of a sudden my car just died in the middle of the freeway no warning, no nothing just died I almost was rear ended, I took it to a mechanic who said the PCM is not sealed properly and got wet and fried out this is unbelievable that Ford would see tons of these complaints like I have seen online same problems and put people lives and their childrens lives in danger with this poor manufacturing. What can I do "?" thank you brandi R berger

- San Bernardino, CA, USA

problem #46

Jul 102015


  • 156,000 miles
Started sputtering, jerking, and stalling PCM was wet causing all kinds of havic lost power going into a turn and almost went into a ditch Ford needs to recall this ongoing problem and get it fixed before something major happens alot of people are complaining and Ford knows it is there fault and they have a problem but refuses to take care of it.

- Albion, IN, USA

problem #45

May 072015


  • 162,801 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. While driving approximately 30 mph, the accelerator pedal was applied and there was no engine power. The vehicle was towed to the contact's residence. In 2013, the vehicle was repaired under NHTSA campaign number: 12V006000 (power train), but the failure recurred recently because the remedy was insufficient. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 162,801.

- Wheatfield, IN, USA

problem #44

Jan 162015

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 180,000 miles
Turns out there was a recall on the 2004 Ford Freestar in 2012 regarding the torque converter. Here it is two years later and it goes out again. This should not happen. There needs to be another recall on the torque converter and it needs to be fixed properly this time before there is a death from the incident. I had two kids under the age of 3 with me at the time and sitting in the pouring rain, in chilly weather, waiting for a ride home was not fun. Fix it Ford!!!

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #43

Jul 152014


  • 150,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that while driving at 70 mph, the engine stalled. The failure occurred several times. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 150,000.

- Center Valley , PA, USA

problem #42

Jun 112014

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 95,000 miles
After a rain van stalled in the middle of heavy traffic and would not restart.after several hours van would not start.I had van towed to a repair shop, PCM was replaced.@present headlights not working properly, air conditioning, horn, seat belt chimes not working at all.local dealership unable to repair.van continues to run rough.

- Prichard, AL, USA

problem #41

Jan 012013


  • 74,000 miles
. in addition to causing an engine to stall, which may or may not then restart, transmission shift poorly, the vehicle has had erratic power, almost every time there is an inability to shift the vehicle into either forward or reverse. On start up no matter the temp of vehicle the idle RPM is higher than normal in park ! it has been service many many times.. now our transmission fluid looks like pepto bismol !!

- Lima, OH, USA

problem #40

Jul 122014

Freestar 6-cyl

  • miles
I just purchased a 2004 Ford Freestar from a private seller and I was getting the vehicle ready for inspection and subsequently tag by replacing front and rear brakes, tie end rod and tires. On highway 495 heading back to mechanic shop, the engine cutting off without warning and vehicle stalled and engine stopped running on lane next to fastest lane and many vehicles behind me kept blowing horns and missed hitting me at last minute as this happened suddenly on busiest highway. End of report.

- Bowie, MD, USA

problem #39

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 #38

Jun 112014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stated while driving 70 mph, the check engine and trans axle lights illuminated on the instrument panel. Immediately after, the vehicle stalled and was not able to be restarted. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic. The technician was unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Eight Mile , AL, USA

problem #37

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 #36

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 #35

May 202013

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 139,300 miles
While driving the motor stalls, twice is cut off, the other 2 times is sputtered and jerked but finally started back to normal. Almost got hit twice because of motor stalling. Our charity ( bought the car in Feb 2014, since then there has been a loud gurgling sound coming from the dash board, never stops. Car does not overheat at all.

- Lancaster, PA, USA

problem #34

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

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