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 14 of 25)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #235

Dec 092009


  • 138,000 miles


No prior transmission trouble; no warning of problem on the date of incident. Driving at highway speed on the approach to a narrow four-lane highway bridge. The vehicle's engine RPM suddenly raced while the forward momentum lagged; the engine continued to run fine, but the transmission no longer provided any forward power. The vehicle slowed rapidly due to the upward grade of the bridge, and there was no shoulder to pull off onto, with traffic bearing down at 60+ mph. This dangerous situation then caused a four-car accident. Defect vehicle was not badly damaged (only minor rear bumper crush) but after accident it still would not move in gear, even though engine ran fine. Has not been repaired as of this date.

- Yardley, PA, USA

problem #234

Dec 282009


  • 98,000 miles
I have a 2004 Freestar with over 100,000 miles. Last night while driving home in a pretty heavy snow storm my transmission failed (I will know for sure after Ford calls me). The odd thing is it went out completely no gears worked at all. I have had transmissions fail in the past but I always had a gear or two I could use, not this time the car just stopped. I was lucky along with my children that there was no traffic so we did not get hit.

- North Yarmouth, ME, USA

problem #233

Dec 282009


  • 64,000 miles
Complete sudden transmission failure without warning - no engine lights on 2004 Ford Freestar.

- Eldon, MO, USA

problem #232

Jun 102008


  • 125,000 miles


While driving on the highway, my 2004 Ford Freestar lost all drive power and I had to drift over to the breakdown lane. Upon inspection my mechanic discovered that the torque converter needed to be replaced. I had the torque converter replaced with factory original parts for $800. That was in 2008.

- Lexington, TN, USA

problem #231

Sep 262009


  • 70,800 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. While driving 50 mph the contact heard a popping sound under the vehicle. The vehicle began to slow down, however the rpms were increasing. The contact attempted to drive onto the emergency lane; however, the vehicle came to a complete stop in the middle of the road. The contact checked the transmission fluid and observed that it was full. The vehicle was towed to the contact's residence. A local mechanic stated that the transmission may be faulty. The failure mileage was 70,800.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #230

Nov 132009


  • 108,704 miles
I am the owner of a 2004 Ford Freestar. On Nov. 13 2009 while leaving my place of employment, I pulled out of my parking spot and put the vehicle in drive, the vehicle lurched forward and the transmission quit working. I was able to coast to a stop and with some assistance was able to push it into a parking space.after speaking with the dealership they advised me that the Freestars of that year had defective transmission pump and they had many coming in for repair.they also told me that Ford would only replace on vehicles still under warranty at no cost. Therefore the vehicle still has not been repaired due to the high price for the repair which involves rebuilding the transmission. Around $2500. So I have a disabled vehicle sitting in my driveway that I still make monthly payment on. As of this time I have been in touch with Ford regarding this matter several time and will continue my efforts until a resolution is reached.

- Wright City, MO, USA

problem #229

Dec 112009


  • 71,000 miles


I have a 2004 Ford Freestar, I am the original owner. The van has 70,000 miles. Was driving down the road and the engine revved up and the van coasted to a stop. Was told I need a new transmission. This occurred on December 11, 2009. Through research have found this may be a defect. I contacted Ford and they are not willing to help. Had no slippage or any other warning. Was told will cost me 3000 dollars which I do not have.

- Painesville, OH, USA

problem #228

Dec 192009


  • 75,000 miles
Backing out of the driveway, when I put the vehicle in drive nothing happened. The transmission would not engage. I had to wake up my neighbor and he helped me push the vehicle into the driveway. The vehicle ran fine the night before.

- Lake In The Hills, IL, USA

problem #227

Dec 152009


  • 55,000 miles
Without warning, sudden loss of motion in car - like it was shifted into neutral. Lost all control of forward/backwards motion. Ford body shop indicated that the torque converter was broken.

- Ypsilati, MI, USA

problem #226

Dec 152009


  • 90,000 miles
My 04 Freestar left me on the side of a rural road, next to a swamp with 6 " of fresh snow and an unplowed road shoulder. I had my 2 and 4 year old kids with me at the time and it was 7 am. This was a dangerous situation, especially considering that I had no warning that there was anything even remotely wrong with the van. Mechanic said that it's the torque converter. Only 90,000 km.

- Sauble Beach, 00, USA

problem #225

Dec 122009


  • 104,000 miles


Transmission in my 2004 Ford Freestar went out with no warning. Van was driving under normal circumstances and never mistreated. All scheduled services was done on time.

- Prentiss, MS, USA

problem #224

Nov 172009


  • 79,000 miles
Going about 55 mph on highway, van revved up and then slowed down while going up a hill, similar to taking it out of gear and coasting. No lights came on the dash or warning signals of any kind. No noise, oil or smoke of any kind, just complete loss of power but the engine continued to run. Van had never been serviced anywhere but dealership where it was purchased so they had full service history. No warning of van failure, it had been running without any problems up to he time it suffered the loss of power. Had already been driven approximately 70 miles prior to failure on that day. Was stuck on side of road and had to have van towed to dealer as it would not move at all. Found it was the torque converter and was replaced at a cost to us of $1,250. Had approximately 79,000 miles and no prior history of transmission problems.

- Calvert City, KY, USA

problem #223

Dec 092009


  • 68,880 miles
I have a 2004 Ford Freestar which has had regular maintenance with no problems. I currently have 68,000 miles on it and yesterday (Dec. 9, 2009) my transmission failed. The repair shop said it is completely shot with no hopes of repair.

- Duluth, GA, USA

problem #222

Nov 292009


  • 126,479 miles
Pulled out into a busy intersection. Turned the corner and the RPM revved up but the 2004 Ford Freestar would not move. It goes into park but will not move in any other gear. It gave no warning and has not been abused and maintenance is up to date. Had to get out and push the van onto a side road so we would not get hit.

- Bloomville, OH, USA

problem #221

Nov 072009


  • 50,000 miles
After accelerating around a corner noticed no power to the accelerator. We drifted to the side on the road, still in a travel lane as there was no shoulder. There was no warning or indication we were going to have a problem. Just pressed on the gas and nothing. Had to call the police to protect the car and our safety since we were still in a travel lane. Several cars nearly ran into us. After having the van towed to the dealership we were advised it was the transmission and would need to have it replaced. This van only has 50,000 miles on it.

- Glen Allen, VA, USA

problem #220

Dec 032009


  • 85,000 miles
12/03/09 transmission went out on 101 freeway 5:30 pm rush hour traffic in L.a. city was towed to aamco repair shop repair coast $1,700 to $2,000 less then 85K miles on Ford van 2004 Freestar.

- Solvang, CA, USA

problem #219

Oct 242009


  • 54,000 miles
My wife was driving to fairborn Ohio from cincinnati in our 2004 Ford Freestar. This was purchased new by us. Warranty was 3 year/36,000 miles. The van has 54,000 miles & while traveling on October 24th, 2009 Ohio, the van would not go above 30 mph on the highway. The transaxle light came on & started flashing. We ended up getting the van towed from fairborn to our home. The technician that tested the van for codes & said the "torque converter clutch was stuck in the shut position & caused the fluid to overheat". long story short, we needed a new transmission. The transmission was serviced at 30,000 miles per the maintenance log at our dealership. This could of caused a severe accident while traveling on the highway at that slow speed. A vehicle regardless of make should not have a major mechanical failure of this with only 54,000 miles on it. The thing that rattles my cage is this is supposed to be our "reliable" vehicle. I'm thankful my kids were not in the van. So $2300 later we have a transmission & our holiday goals are shot to !@#$%. this transmission style needs a recall !!! plain and simple. After this happened to us, I researched the issue & I am not alone. Many people that have the same make, model year & transmission issues that I have. So thanks to this issue our "holiday spirit" is gone.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #218

Nov 272009


  • 106,000 miles
2004 Ford Freestar the transmission worked fine and then without any notice it does not work (11-27-09). I move the shifter to reverse or drive and nothing happens, I give it gas and the engine just revs. I am taking it in to a mechanic this coming week.

- Perham, MN, USA

problem #217

Nov 252009


  • 101,312 miles
I was taking my wife and two children to massachussettes for thanksgiving. We were on the New Jersey turnpike traveling at 70mph when the engine revs increased dramatically and my vehicle lost power. I was able to move over to the shoulder but only after almost being hit by oncoming traffic...this was thanksgiving break. The engine remained running but the vehicle would not go into any gears. I had to wait 1.5 hours for help, then had to have the van towed back to Delaware. I was researching what it could be and was surprised to find that numerous complaints were being filed for the same problem. I can not afford to have it fixed and had to borrow money to get it towed. I hope someone forces Ford to man up and take care of this problem before someone gets killed.

- Wyoming, DE, USA

problem #216

Nov 232009


  • 48,500 miles
Experienced a sudden loss of motive power to the engine on 2004 Freestar while driving in bad weather and heavy traffic. Air bag light came on as well. Towed to dealer. Told transmission and air bag module needed to be replaced. Cost $4000. Freestar has 48,589 miles. Extended warranty expired in August. Had car in to dealer 4 times during the summer for traction control issues and failure of backup sensors. 2006 had to be towed to dealer due to engine stopped running 3 times in less than 2 miles. Trade in value $5700(minus $4000 in transmission and airbag module replacement)

- Ballwin, MO, USA

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