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 18 of 25)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #155

Jul 292009


  • 69,000 miles


We have a 2004 Ford Freestar with 69,000 miles and the transmission suddenly stopped working with no warning. We were driving down the road at 35mph and then the motor started to rev hi. Pulled to the side of the road and tried all the gears and there was nothing.

- Marengo, IN, USA

problem #154

Jun 182009


  • 83,295 miles
Transmission started popping hard going out of first gear. Then at times it would stick and not change up. Finally in June when I went to accelerate it shifted into neutral. The only way to get it home was to turn it off and the transmission would reset but every time any stress is put on the transmission it goes into neutral. Mechanic says this is a common occurrence with the 2004 Freestar.

- Indiana, PA, USA

problem #153

Jul 262009


  • 59,403 miles
Transmission failure. After I had completed a U turn I put the van gear back into drive and the van would not move. I made sure that I had it in the right gear and it was but still no movement.

- Lawrenceville , NJ, USA

problem #152

Jul 222009


  • 91,068 miles


Transmission went out without any warning on my 2004 Ford Freestar with only 91,000 miles on it leaving my wife and three kids stranded on the side of a busy interstate.

- Jasper, TN, USA

problem #151

Jul 222009


  • 115,000 miles
2004 Ford Freestar stopped dead in the middle of the road with me (9mths pregnant) and my son. Had to have towed to repair shop to find out that the torque converter is stripped in the transmission and must be replaced.

- Callahan, FL, USA

problem #150

Jul 042009


  • 84,000 miles
Two transmission failures without warnings in our 2004 Ford Freestar. No accidents just exhaustion and sunburns due to 112 in the mojave desert for 6 hours of waiting for tow truck to tow 5 family members to closest transmission repair place.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #149

Jul 182009


  • 119,200 miles


I have a 2004 Ford Freestar van and this vehicle continues to stall unexpectedly even after a certified rebuilt transmission was installed by a Ford dealer 2 1/2 months ago. It continues to happen and the dealer said they can not find the problem after having the vehicle for over a week. This vehicle has stalled out at least 5 different times I.e., from a start to a go and/or just in a cruise mode going down the highway. It is certainly a safety risk because you never know when it will occur again and whether or not you can get it to a shoulder of the road to exit traffic. I have been on several websites and have seen numerous consumer complaints about this kind of Ford Freestar model defect I.e., unexpectedly stalling out. The vehicle did it again today and it is unsafe. I recommend a recall for this defect.

- Sterlington, LA, USA

problem #148

Jul 102009


  • 90,000 miles
Have had no problems with the van and had no warnings. The van was driven approximately 25 minutes on a major interstate and all of the sudden the driver tried to accelerate and nothing happened. The car stayed running however it would not move. The van needed to be towed to a garage where it was discovered the transmission went. The van was under 100,000 mi and it was well taken care of. If you do some googling you will find many other owners with Freestars from 30,000 to 100,000 mi that had the exact same thing happen. This should not happen, I have to pay close to 3,000 to have a new one, I have to pay for towing, and on top of this I am a teacher who doesn't get paid during the summer so now I need to find someone willing to give me money I don't have to fix this. Ford says they are sorry it happened but cant help me. This should have been recalled way before this happened to me.

- Newport News, VA, USA

problem #147

Jun 192009


  • 80,000 miles
I have a 2004 Ford Freestar and the tranny went out. It only has 80,000 miles.

- Marysville, WA, USA

problem #146

Jun 262009


  • 85,000 miles
I have a 2004 Ford Freestar with 85,000 miles. I was driving 65 miles an hour down interstate 485 in charlotte, nc and all of a sudden my vehicle just started losing speed. The transmission was not engaging. I was able to make it to the shoulder of the road. I have contacted my mechanic and he said that the transmission was bad.

- Matthews, NC, USA

problem #145

Jun 202009


  • 73,000 miles


Car just won't go!! mechanic says its the transmission. I only have 73,000 miles on it.

- Ormond Beach, FL, USA

problem #144

Jun 212009


  • 128,458 miles
Took family to pittsburgh zoo. Just started through tunnel and the van had no power and then just stopped in the middle of the tunnel. Wouldn't change into any gears or all of a sudden event..had daughter who is handicapped in van with us..was a very scary thing being stuck in the tunnel.

- Barrackville, WV, USA

problem #143

Apr 232009


  • 46,000 miles
With no warning, the van began running rough and the RPM's would increase but the speed would not. Ford dealership diagnosed loss of 3rd gear, problem with valve body & solenoid. No financial help from either dealership or Ford. (no warranty) took van to transmission specialist, diagnosis: Water from radiator leaked into transmission (manufacturers defect?) it will need new transmission and possibly radiator. Repairs have not yet been made.

- Hyde, PA, USA

problem #142

Jun 152009

Freestar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. While driving approximately 70 mph with the cruise control activated, the engine began to rev excessively high. The contact deactivated the cruise control and depressed the accelerator pedal, but there was no response. The vehicle was coasted to the side of the road. There were no warning lights illuminated on the instrument panel. Roadside assistance was called to the scene and the vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer for diagnostic testing. They stated that the transmission intake shaft was cracked. The transmission was replaced. The failure and current mileages were 103,000. Updated 08/04/09 updated 08/05/09.

- Canton, GA, USA

problem #141

Jun 132009


  • 83,845 miles
While driving on a two lane road at 35 mph my 2004 Ford Freestar without any warning suddenly acted like it shifted into neutral. Luckily I was able to pull down a side road and into a parking lot where I found that the van would not go into any gear forward or reverse. I called for help and was able to pull the van back to my home where it sits today waiting to figure out how to get it fixed. This event happened at around 6:00 in the evening. The van was driven earlier around town and on the highway at highway speeds with no problems at all. It scares me to death to think what might have happened if my wife or teenage daughter (who only has her temps and was driving the van earlier at those highway speeds) had been driving and couldn't get off the road. I have been reading on the internet that this is not an isolated incident. There are a lot and I mean a lot of people who having the exact same transmission problem. This is a tragedy waiting to happen. Like I said this happened without any warning. If this would have happened on a crowded city street or a busy rush hour traffic highway we would have been powerless to do anything but try to coast the car as best we could to a safe place without getting killed! it also would have been unsafe for anyone else on the road who was trying to avoid hitting us! I work for this car company and will be in contact with them on Monday to try and find some answers. I just wanted to file my complaint with you and have it on the record. We were very very lucky! thank you.

- North Ridgeville, OH, USA

problem #140

Jun 062009


  • 65,368 miles
While driving on a main road, my 2004 Ford Freestar transmission failed. As in all the other reports there was no warning whatsoever. Park engages however no other gear does. Vehicle is at transmission shop as I write this. Ford states there is no issue, and because I am out of the extended warranty by 5,000 miles there is nothing they can do for me.

- Revere, MA, USA

problem #139

May 162009


  • 67,893 miles
On May 16, 2009 I was leaving houston in heavy Saturday afternoon traffic. I was driving my 2004 Freestar in the number one lane at the 65 mph speed limit when suddenly, with no warning, I was in neutral with the engine revving. For several heart stopping minutes I couldn't get cars to let me over to the shoulder, and, by the time they did, I was barely coasting. I was able to immediately exit and rolled to a stop on the access road. I discovered the car wouldn't engage in any gear. After an hour and a half wait for a tow truck in 95 degree weather, it was towed to the nearest Ford dealer. The vehicle was in the shop for a week. The service advisor reported that the torque converter pump shaft splines had stripped and had taken out the transmission. The repair bill came to $3493.71. The rental car costs to get me home to waco, Texas and back after the car was repaired $466.90. When I picked up my van, I talked with the service manager, showing him the myriad complaints to NHTSA about the same problem in the 2004 Freestar. Although he was sympathetic, he was also non committal about the issue. I asked him if the rebuilt transmission had the same torque converter as the original. He said "yes" that they could only replace parts with the parts that were indicated for that specific vehicle. I am a 65 year old woman and had another senior friend and two dogs with me when the car died. The very real threat of being hit on a busy highway following a problem like this was scary enough, but the realization that it could have happened an hour later on a two lane road while passing a semi almost did me in.

- Woodway, TX, USA

problem #138

May 272009


  • 60,000 miles
2004 Freestar minivan was driving and revved up and would not go anymore guess transmission went out only 60,000 miles.

- Williamstown, KY, USA

problem #137

May 102009


  • 50,132 miles
2004 Ford Freestar trans failed at 50K miles while driving 70mph on the express way, lucky not to have gotten in an accident. Ford said they would not help. This makes all the Ford owners with this problem, not want to buy Ford again.

- Sand Lake, MI, USA

problem #136

May 142009


  • 48,351 miles
Transmission would not move in any gear. I purchase this 2004 Ford Freestar brand new on 9/25/2004. The car has 48,351 miles. Never had any failures before this incident. The transmission was got messed up. I took it to the Ford dealership because I have warranty. I am a bit concern because the dealership replaced the transmission with a Ford swap. The other transmission has 78,863 miles. What should I do in this case because I mainly drive the family in this vehicle? the replaced transmission sounds very forceful when driven.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

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