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 23 of 25)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #55

Jul 132008


  • 108,000 miles


After replacing all brakes and hardware my Freestar developed tranny shudder. Upon investigating on the internet, I found it is a persistent problem with Freestars. It is expensive to fix. Without looking my local Ford dealer said it was the tranny or torque convertor. This shows that Ford is aware of the problem and should help consumers cover the cost. They wouldn't even take it as a trade-in. I still owe $5800 on it and it's almost worthless.

- Jamesrown, NY, USA

problem #54

Jul 182008


  • 90,000 miles
I was driving down the road when the transmission started to slip. I continued to my home (less than 1 mile away) where I then checked the transmission fluid level (it was normal) and looked to see if there were any leaks (none). I then started the engine and it made a clicking and grinding noise in park. The noise stopped after 2-3 seconds and then I attempted to back out of the drive. It slipped again, and when I shifted into drive, I there was no response except for the increase in RPM's. the vehicle is currently at the local Ford dealer to asses the repair bill.

- Okemos, MI, USA

problem #53

Jun 262008


  • 83,000 miles
I was driving down the street with 5 children and my mother in the van, and the torque converter went out and the car went into neutral and wouldn't respond to gear changes. Luckily, we were going downhill and were able to coast into an apartment complex to avoid an accident. We were, however, blocking the entrance to complex and had to wait there for a tow. It was horrible. Ford should be held responsible for this defect with the car. It is obviously something that is defective with the car.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #52

Jul 122008


  • 87,000 miles


I was just driving on the highway at about 3 in the afternoon 58-60 mph and then nothing. No transmission, tach went up and down but no speed change had to get towed no gears forward or reverse.

- Kill Devil Hills, NC, USA

problem #51

Jun 282008


  • 84,000 miles
I am writing about the problem with the 2004 Ford Freestar transmission. On 6/28/08 with only 84,000 mile on the way home from tn with no warning I lose my transmission on a busy highway. Thank god I we were able to get over to the shoulder. I have read many comets left on the internet on other websites about the same issue. I can not believe Ford is not doing anything about this or is anyone else. There is no reason that a veh that is properly maintenance should have problems like this with such low mileage. Hope something is done soon about this before someone gets hurt or killed. As of right now I am unable to get it fixed so as for now we have to try to figure out how to get around in a 3 seater truck with 5 members in a household.

- Frederick , MD, USA

problem #50

Jun 042008


  • 39,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. While driving 45 mph uphill, the transmission failed. The contact depressed the accelerator pedal, but the vehicle did not move. There were no warning lights illuminated prior to the failure. The vehicle was towed to an auto shop. The manufacturer wanted her to have the vehicle towed to a dealer an hour away, but the contact refused because it would cost nearly $300 in towing costs. The manufacturer also stated that she should have purchased an extended warranty on the vehicle. The contact was informed that the transmission repair would cost approximately $3,000. She stated that the vehicle underwent regular oil changes and maintenance; therefore, she could not understand why the failure occurred so suddenly. The VIN was unknown. The current and failure mileages were 39,000.

- Otisville, NY, USA

problem #49

Jun 062008


  • 46,000 miles


My 2004 Freestar, gave no warning..the transmission slipped into low gear and then it was done. I called Ford Motor Co, found out because I chose to have it repaired at a private / non Ford dealer they wouldn't even begin to assist me. I have approx 46,000 on the vehicle. Both the repair facility and the tow truck driver informed us this was a common problem with these transmissions. And after researching online I soon discovered they couldn't be any more right. Now its cost me $2500 to have it rebuilt.

- Westland, MI, USA

problem #48

May 152008

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 83,000 miles
Failure of cam sensor, then complete failure of transmission 2 weeks later.

- Trenton, OH, USA

problem #47

Mar 182008

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 85,426 miles
Vehicle suddenly would not go forward on highway. Vehicle was towed approximately 35 miles to auto repair shop. Transmission failure was diagnosed, specifically torque converter failure. A rebuilt transmission was installed and vehicle now runs normally.

- Livonia, MI, USA

problem #46

May 302008

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 61,500 miles
Automatic transmission died without warning.

- Somerset, NJ, USA

problem #45

Feb 062008


  • 45,000 miles


I have a 2004 Ford Freestar whose transmission failed without warning in the middle of the road while my husband was coming to pick me up from the hospital right after I had a baby. The transmission was totally gone and needed to be replaced. There were only 45000 miles on the vehicle at the time. This could have been a very dangerous situation if there were cars nearby, and even worse if I was in the car with him and our newborn when the transmission failed, to be stranded somewhere with a 2 day old baby. I can't imagine the transmission failing at 45000 miles on a vehicle that you think is reliable.

- Mddleboro, MA, USA

problem #44

Jan 212008

Freestar 6-cyl

  • miles
Since January 21, 2008 we have been experiencing problems with our Ford Freestar. On several occasions our vehicle has stopped working/stalled on major road ways in Pennsylvania including a major expressway in the city of philadelphia. Our family car has been back the dealerships autoshop for over 68 days since January 2008. Presently we have been without our vehicle since May 13, 2008 without a contact from the dealership, keyer miller in collegeville, regarding any specific problems with our car. The dealership has not offered us anything to reconcile this situation.

- Collegeville, PA, USA

problem #43

May 202008


  • 40,877 miles
On May 20 2008 while driving a 2004 Ford Freestar on vacation. With 2 other adults and 3 dogs in the minivan the transmission with only about 40,000 miles without warning quit. The engine accelerated but nothing was happening. At 73mph in the left lane allot of traffic the transmission of the vehicle failed without any warning. I was able to safely roll onto the left shoulder of the I-23 expressway. But while sitting waiting for help to arrive I sure thought of many situations that the outcome could have been alot different. What if we had been on a bridge overpass and nowhere to pullover to? the vehicle has been towed to a transmission repair shop and that is all so far. But looking at other wed sites about the Ford Freestar minivan, it looks like I am not the only one to have a fairly low mileage transmission to just suddenly quit.

- Maybee, MI, USA

problem #42

Apr 012007


  • 70,000 miles
Automatic transmission failed when vehicle was just 3 years old, 70,000 miles. Automatic transmission failed again after just another 13,000 miles, less than one year later.

- Dayton, OH, USA

problem #41

May 072008

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
Transmission failure.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #40

Apr 282008


  • 45,000 miles
I'd like to add my complaint to the list of unhappy Ford consumers who've had problems with their transmissions on the Ford Freestar minivans. I have a 2004 Ford Freestar and it has a little over 44,000 miles on it. We were going down the highway and suddenly we had no power to go anywhere, the RPM indicator would move up but we had no power, it basically died. We had no forward or reverse, we were just coasting with no power. Luckily we were able to pull over to the side of the road and call a tow truck. Took it to the Ford garage and was told it was the torque converter that went out. We had it fixed and thankfully it was under warranty yet. I know you've had numerous complaints about the Ford Freestar vans...come on people do something before someone gets hurt. We had no power to go anywhere.

- Fond Du Lac, WI, USA

problem #39

Apr 302007

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 94,000 miles
2004 Ford Freestar (minivan).

- Westerville, OH, USA

problem #38

May 072008

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 57,000 miles
Driving on a busy highway(rte 422 -Ohio) in moderate to heavy traffic. Stopped for a school bus and the cars made a pop then would not go forward or reverse. Had to be towed, took two hours and caused some traffic congestion. Transmission failure.

- New Castle, PA, USA

problem #37

Apr 302008

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 47,000 miles
Transmission failure at 47,000 miles of use. Vehicle was serviced at required mileage by dealer. Transmission repair shop states that failure may be torque converter. Cost to confirm will be $350. Repair will be additional.

- Paris, TN, USA

problem #36

Apr 152008

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 148,000 miles
2004 Ford Freestar transmission failed while driving. Towed to Ford dealership and needed torque converter replaced because of failed spline. Inspection of spline showed it was worn away yet other gears remained in good shape. Review of internet complaints of this problem were numerous. Some of the failures were with children in vehicle while driving on busy highways. Fortunately my transmission failure was on a empty country road I just coasted to a stop ( I was only going about 10 mph at the time ) without incident.

- Port Dover, 00, USA

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