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 6 of 25)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #395

Nov 282010

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 82,000 miles


We own a 2004 Ford Freestar with a 4.2L motor. Thank god we bought an extended warranty when we bought the vehicle new in October 2004. At approximately 55,000 miles the vehicle stopped suddenly in traffic and needed to be towed. The transmission would not engage in any gear. I had the van towed to rodman Ford in foxboro MA where I was told the transmission fluid was contaminated with water. The warranty covered the entire repair except for a $50 deductible, also covered rental and the tow. Great, right. The only problem is that at 67,000 miles the same thing happened. Same coverage, paid for the whole thing again. Well here we are at 82,000 miles (no longer under 75,000 covered under warranty) and the tranny goes again. Now the last one was replaced last December at rodman Ford again. They are now trying to tell me that there is no coverage and a new tranny is going to cost me $3500 to replace. Huh" your kidding right" there seems to be another issue at play here. After reading some info on the web, I see there are several hundred reports of this same thing happening in this particular vehicle. There is an E-mail on line from stephen mchenry of the NHTSA stating that water has been getting into the PCM or transaxle vent. If this is a known problem then why is Ford not following the detailed repair instructions outlined in this E-mail. Why do they continue to replace transmissions several time in these vans when they know the cause of the problem. Are the service departments not busy enough and are they trying to create repeat customers. I am not going to pay a nickel toward this repair. I also have noticed several attorneys soliciting clients online for class action suits trying to get these other people their money back for the repairs that for them were not covered by an extended warranty. Thanks for your time.

- Randolph, MA, USA

problem #394

Dec 012010


  • 76,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. While driving approximately 55 mph, the transmission failed without warning and the vehicle began to hesitate. The dealer was not contacted. The manufacturer was not notified. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The current and failure mileages were approximately 76,000.

- Skokie, IL, USA

problem #393

Oct 152010


  • 129,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. She attempted to accelerate from a stop sign but the vehicle hesitated momentarily before accelerating. The vehicle picked up speed to approximately 45 mph when and began to lunge forward. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where the transmission was replaced. The failure recurred and the vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where the computer system was repaired. The failure continued to occur after the vehicle was repaired. The failure and current mileages were 129,000. The VIN was unavailable. Updated 01/11/11

- Tamaqua, PA, USA

problem #392

Nov 302010

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 137,000 miles


My wife was driving our 2004 Freestar down a busy road and she said it made a revving noise and then would not move. She coasted to the side of the road and the van would run but not move. We had to have it towed. She had kids in the car.

- Forest City, IA, USA

problem #391

Nov 262010

Freestar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,104 miles
11/26/2010: Ford Freestar 2004 minivan driving city street at about 30 mph lost power. Pulled over to side of street. Vehicle would not go into drive or reverse, if attempted, engine would race. Vehicle towed to Ford dealership - torque converter is said to be the failure. Bill est to be $3,900 to repair transmission. Updated IVOQ 12/30/10

- Oak Creek, WI, USA

problem #390

Nov 222010

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 81,000 miles
2004 Freestar lost all power driving home from errands in rush hour traffic. Thank god traffic was only going 35mph. My vehicle coasted to the side of the road. I can only imagine what could have happened under different circumstances. The loss of power came from transmission failure according to Ford dealer ship. Vehicle only has 80,000 miles on it. Looks like this is a common problem for this vehicle and Ford knows it.

- Powell, OH, USA

problem #389

Nov 222010


  • 89,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact stopped at a traffic light and when the accelerator was engaged, the rpms increased excessively but the vehicle did move. The vehicle was towed to a local mechanic who stated that the failure was caused by the torque converter in the transmission. The VIN was not available. The failure and current mileages were 89000.

- Marrietta, SC, USA

problem #388

Sep 252010


  • 110,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. While driving approximately 55 mph, the contact noticed that the vehicle would not move but the engine was still running. The vehicle was towed to a local repair shop where the transmission pump was replaced. The failure mileage was approximately 110,000.

- Edenton, NC, USA

problem #387

Nov 022010

Freestar 6-cyl

  • miles
Transmission went out without any warning! less than 70,000 miles.

- Cedar Springs, MI, USA

problem #386

Nov 142010


  • 146,018 miles
2004 Ford Freestar sel transmission problem. Problems with shifting, not going into gear or banging into gear, dark fluid(which usually means burnt out).same as the other complaints. Do not see a recall yet.

- Cranston, RI, USA

problem #385

Nov 132010

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 61,000 miles


Traveling East on interstate 80 toward lake Tahoe, about 70 miles from home. Rpms suddenly increased while losing forward propulsion and speed. Pulled over and much smoke was coming from under engine. Myself, wife & 2 children in vehicle. Luckily we have aaa and were rescued. We are original owners on this regularly, and well maintained 2004 Freestar - and it has only 61,000 miles! expect $3,000+ bill to fix transmission.

- Elk Grove, CA, USA

problem #384

Oct 282010


  • miles
No events leading up to the transmission failing at about 90,000 miles on the highway. $3500. Repair for radiator and full re-build of trans.

- Haskell, NJ, USA

problem #383

Oct 302010

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
2004 Ford Freestar ltd, took possession on 7/6/2004 and now have 70K miles. Its used for my three mile commute to/from work, some longer drives to relatives every other month. On 10/30/2010 experienced torque converter failure. $1200 to replace the torque converter or $2500 for a rebuilt transmission.

- Mahwah, NJ, USA

problem #382

Oct 302010

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 87,420 miles
Transmission in 2004 Ford Freestar failed without warning in freeway traffic endangering my self and my young grandchildren. Ford is aware of transmission defects and is choosing not to remedy the problem. This is presenting a danger to the driver/passengers of said vehicle and the other drivers on the road.

- Owosso, MI, USA

problem #381

Jul 092010

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 108,985 miles
1. no event leading up to failure. 2. transmission (all gears) failed while traveling on highway approaching busy intersection. 3. torque converter, filter kit, front seal replaced by certified transmission company. Vehicle operated for 35 days, and then the transmission failed again while traveling up a street incline within city almost causing a crash. Old torque converter not available. The transmission on this vehicle has severe defects and must be recalled!

- Wellman, IA, USA

problem #380

Oct 212010

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 100,213 miles
Our 2004 Ford Freestar's transmission locked up while driving and we lost forward acceleration. The vehicle has 100,213 miles on it.

- Buena Vista, VA, USA

problem #379

Oct 122010

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 10,108 miles
My van while going up an incline would not move. I pulled over and put it in park. From there it would not move. I could go into drive and reverse, but it did nothing. I had it towed to a shop and was told it was the transmission. The mechanic took it apart and found a problem with the torque converter. It was shattered. I had to pay around 1850 with tow. Thank god that no one was hurt, but they could have been.

- North Ridgeville, OH, USA

problem #378

Oct 182010


  • 104,000 miles
Van suddenly lost transmission power when accelerating. No warning lights, no nothing. Turned a corner accelerated and then slowly slowed to complete stop. No gears not even reverse. Van has run rough in rain for a while. Have had it tuned up to no avail. Narrowly avoided being rear ended when this happened.

- Lockport, IL, USA

problem #377

Sep 202010

Freestar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,516 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Freestar. The contact was unable to shift the vehicle in reverse or put it in drive. The vehicle would not respond. The dealer was informed of the failure and they advised the contact to replace the transmission. The vehicle was repaired at owners expense. The failure and current mileage was 72,516. Updated 12/29/10 updated 01/04/11

- Killingworth, CT, USA

problem #376

Oct 012010

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 83,000 miles
I drove my Ford 2004 Freestar to church on Saturday about 15 miles from home. After finishing services, I could not take the family home because the van refuse to move without any warning, and none of the gear selection engaged. I called technician to check, and I was told the transmission failed at 83,000 mile just like that. I checked the complaints about this problem, and it was astronomically stoning. My expenses for repairing this is estimated @ $2,250. I thank god it happened in the church premises. Ford authorities are not going to help either, and I do not know what to do. It is absurd for all this problem in a van that conveys the whole family. What a shame!

- Germantown, MD, USA

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