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:
3 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
5 / 0
Average Mileage:
77,610 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2004 Ford Freestar Owner Comments (Page 12 of 25)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #275

May 082008

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 41,000 miles


My 2004 Freestar transmission failure had about 39,000 or 41,000 miles on vehicle had just gotten into passing lane on highway to pass truck, when without and warning the trans just quit no power to wheels at all, luckily I was able to coast into the median of road between divided highways. I want to report because like hundreds of others I made no reports because vehicle was just over the 36,000 mile warranty so I had to just pay the bill and have vehicle fixed there were no recalls according to repair shop.

- Shelby, MI, USA

problem #274

Nov 092007

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 82,426 miles
We have a 2004 Ford Freestar (bought used in 2006 with 46,000 miles on it) with 82,426 miles on it. My wife came home from work on Friday November 9, 2007, parked the van. When she went to leave for work on Monday the 12th the van wouldn't move. We had the transmission power flushed and fluid changed at the dealer at 70,000 miles. We haven't had the money to get the transmission replaced so we have a very expensive, nice looking, driveway ornament that we're still making payments on and insuring. From the thousand of post I've read complaining about these transmission failures, I can only be thankful that ours failed in the driveway at home and not in the middle of downtown traffic.

- Clinton, ME, USA

problem #273

Mar 152010


  • 76,500 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. While driving at approximate speeds of 20 mph the vehicle exhibited transmission failure. A passerby assisted with moving the vehicle from the highway. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where a diagnostic test was performed and it was verified that the transmission needed to be replaced. The approximate failure and current mileages were 76,500.

- Debary, FL, USA

problem #272

Feb 272010


  • 72,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. While driving approximately 20 mph on wet road conditions, the engine stalled without warning. He was able to coast onto the emergency lane until the vehicle came to a stop. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic but the technician recommended that the vehicle be inspected by an authorized dealer. The dealer stated that the catalytic converter needed to be replaced and also advised the contact to replace the transmission. There were no repairs made to the transmission and the failure persisted. The current mileage was unknown and the failure mileage was 72,000.

- Valley Stream, NY, USA

problem #271

Mar 092010

Freestar 6-cyl

  • miles
My wife was driving our 2004 Ford Freestar home with the kids on board. Without any warnings, she suddenly realized that even though she was giving the engine gas, the van was unresponsive and was simply coasting down the road. Unfortunately, there were no side streets or a shoulder to pull off onto, so the van eventually came to a stop mostly in a traffic lane. It had to be towed to a transmission repair service, where it was shown to have a faulty torque converter, with a repair costing about $2200. Upon doing some internet research, it seems that this is a common problem with this model. Fortunately, the road my wife was driving on was not particularly busy at the time. I con only imagine what might have happened if she was driving on the freeway in heavier traffic.

- Kenosha, WI, USA

problem #270

Aug 012009

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 76,000 miles
8/09, 76000 miles-transmission temperature light came on and trans began making whining noise while towing a trailer (trailer weight under rated capacity). Ford dealer determined torque converter was bad and replaced transmission under warranty( transmission was provided by the aftermarket extended warrant company because they didn't want to pay for the transmission from Ford). 3/10, 85000 miles- transmission began making a loud whining noise after an 800 mile trip (no towing). Today the Ford dealer says the whining was the trans. Pump and the fluid is full of metal, indicating an internal failure, requiring transmission replacement. The dealer is hoping the warranty company will just send a new transmission, this work has not been completed yet.

- Dekalb, IL, USA

problem #269

Apr 192009

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 63,000 miles


2004 Ford Freestar transmission failure at 63,000 miles no warning -- transmission would not engage - van was in motion - thank god I was not on a highway and was able to coast to the side of the road. Reviewing all the complaints this is a huge safety issue -- someone needs to address this before someone is killed because of the defective transmissions in these vehicles!

- Bellingham, WA, USA

problem #268

Feb 262010


  • 110,000 miles
Without warning, our 2004 Ford Freestar lost all forward and reverse power in rush-hour traffic. I was traveling about 25 mph when engine seemed to surge. Coasted to a stop and tried all gears. Nothing. Mechanic says torque converter spun itself loose inside transmission; quoted a repair price of $2,100. Also called it the Freestar's achilles heel.

- Lincoln, NE, USA

problem #267

Feb 252010


  • 77,000 miles
Vehicle driving normally, speeds up to 60mph. Stopped at traffic signal. At green, began to accelerate -- vehicle reaches almost 30mph when the engine revs and the vehicle ceases to engage in a forward motion. The vehicle was able to coast onto the shoulder and barely into a parking lot. No sign of problem, nothing to indicate the vehicle would cease moving. Towed to Ford repair. Result was a complete rebuild of the transmission. Though no one was hurt (amazing for end-of-day rush traffic) it might have been quite the opposite as the next day I was to travel on major highways. I am still shuddering at the idea this could happen at anytime without any warning - perhaps with my 4 children in the car while passing a semi-truck on the highway. As it is, we are without our family vehicle. At this time it appears we will be without the vehicle for perhaps 2 - 3 weeks.

- Canton, NY, USA

problem #266

Feb 272010


  • 900,000 miles
Twice driving heavy rain my 2004 free star staled out leaving a stop light. Upon restart would buck and stop running. Would not go into reverse without being put into park. Both times was towed to the dealer, was told the computer was water logged. The first time they took care or it this time they told me it is 825 plus tax and what ever time it took to find water leak. This same van also stop running in heavy rain around 58,000 miles with my wife driving and she almost was rear ended that time is was a transmission failure.

- Bristol, CT, USA

problem #265

Feb 272010

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 94,513 miles


My husband and I just purchased a 2004 Ford Freestar. Granted it is used with 94,000 miles, but we had it for exactly one week and the transmission went out as my husband, myself and our four children were going 70 mph down an interstate. No warnings or anything....lord only knows how much its going to cost to replace and no money to really fix it. We were traveling down interstate 71 in Ohio going to my father's. I had the cruise control set and hit the accelerator button on the steering wheel to speed up a bit. Once I did that, my RPM's shot up and I lost "control". I turned off my cruise control but was unable to accelerate using the gas pedal.

- Washington Court House, OH, USA

problem #264

Feb 212010

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 124,800 miles
There are 2 incidences of transmission failure with our 2004 Ford Freestar, first time in March,2008, 2nd time in February, 2010.

- Riverview, MI, USA

problem #263

Mar 152008

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 75,500 miles
The have been 2 incidences of transmission failure with our 2004 Ford Freestar. Transmission failed without warning in March 2008, again in February 2010.

- Riverview, MI, USA

problem #262

Feb 242010


  • 75,000 miles
2004 Ford Freestar transmission failure. After talking with Ford service they didn't seem surprised by this. Now I'm stuck with replacing the transmission in my vehicle for something that it appears Ford and many other people are aware of. I would appreciate action be taken against Ford to get me and other consumers money back.

- Ankeny, IA, USA

problem #261

Jul 042008

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 87,421 miles
Serviced at the Ford dealer-la mesa last 05/27/2008. And on 07/05/2008 the transmission broke down and replaced at the Ford dealer-pasadena. Went back to la mesa to complain & said whatever visible was performed on the multi point inspection only. And they can't tell what's inside the transmission.

- Lemon Grove, CA, USA

problem #260

Feb 122010

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
2004 Ford free star, van was in drive but failed to move on highway. Took to shop they said it is the transmission.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #259

Feb 082010


  • 63,486 miles
2004 Ford Freestar 'died' completely unexpectedly and without warning on the freeway (I-94 eastbound, clinton twp. Mi). My husband was very fortunate to have been so near an off ramp that he could coast down. The problem was the transmission, which we've had to have rebuilt after only 62,000 miles. I have since found out that there have been hundreds of complaints about this problem, as it seems to be an issue with the 2004 Freestar. It cost us $2000 to have repaired...a hardship in this tough economy. I do not have the old parts.

- St. Clair Shores, MI, USA

problem #258

Feb 032010


  • miles
My wife was driving her 2004 Ford Freestar on a rainy morning. It happened to be during rush hour. While waiting for traffic to start flowing, the van failed to move, leaving her and my daughters in the middle of the highway. After being pushed off the highway by a sapd officer, and waiting for a tow truck, we found out the transmission was bad. There was no prior indication of transmission problems or trouble. The transmission had to be rebuilt along with replacement of torque converter and other internal parts.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #257

Jan 082010


  • 79,500 miles
On Saturday, January 8, 2010 I was slowly pulling away from a stop light at the intersection of J clyde morris and harpersville road, newport news, Virginia, when I heard a mild ┐ka thump┐ sound then the vehicle (2004 Ford Freestar with approx. 79, 500 miles) quit pulling and I coasted into the closet business parking lot. The vehicle would not move forward or backward at all. I had the vehicle towed back home (3 miles away) where it is still parked pending a recall of these high failures with Ford Freestars

- Hampton, VA, USA

problem #256

May 012009


  • 80,000 miles
After exiting interstate 12, transmission died. After exiting, I was at a stop sign. Hit the gas and nothing happened. There was no warning or signs that this was going to happen. Aaa sent a tow truck and had van towed to a transmission shop in hammond, la. That shop rebuilt the transmission. Several months later, van began to jerk and trouble accelerating. Took it to auto repair shop, which ran a diagnostics. A code came back indicating an issue with transmission sensor. Van would not shift into gear, so we had it towed to same transmission shop that rebuilt the transmission. They replaced a temperature sensor, got van working again. However, they found water in transmission control module (??). they dried it out, but said there was no guarantee how long the van would continue to operate B/C of potential damage the water could have caused the tcm.

- Covington, LA, USA

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