really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
113,164 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.

2005 Ford Freestar drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2005 Ford Freestar Owner Comments (Page 5 of 11)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #132

Jan 012010

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 130,000 miles


Difficult to diagnose! symptoms of a wet PCM module manifests itself in many forms. We've experienced most of them by this point in our ~3 year battle with our Freestar. Randomly, our van would not: Start, go into reverse, give warning lights, drive forward without stalling, allow certain systems to function properly. In other situations, it would: Run roughly, break down, rev up unexpectedly, create transmission issues, etc. Seals wear down and allows water to enter into the computer, due to its location under the windshield. One of the greatest problems of all is the lack of diagnostics for this issue. We've had our vehicle towed in, only to find diagnostic codes did not show up when the van was checked out. Surprisingly, the car would usually start up and drive without a problem after being towed into the mechanic. After several towing experiences, we simply decided to leave our car stranded for a day or two if possible and return later to drive it away without a problem. We've replaced pumps, coils, transmission components, plugs, wires.. in an effort to get the van to work properly. Finally, one mechanic did on-line research and found the PCM problem with the 2005 Freestar. After finding water in the computer housing, he suggested that we buy a rebuilt one (Ford does not supply PCM's for this van anymore) to see if that would solve the problems. However, the Ford dealership had to install the computer so that the programming could be completed. Otherwise, the original keys would not work. In summary, the PCM did solve the problems, until the next weather event. Then, the problems started all over again. We have now had the computer replaced, dried, and/or sealed several times, but water keeps getting inside. The local Ford dealership and other mechanics have been working diligently in an effort to seal the PCM. Recall and class action needed!

- Jasper, GA, USA

problem #131

Jan 192010

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 102,455 miles
Engine stutters, won't run steady, idles over 2000rpm in neutral, continually dies, when engine dies steering hard(naturally), won't go in reverse, this problem causes numerous problems that are not safe when it does it on the road. The problem is apparently in moisture in the PCM. Torque converter was replaced in 2012. Has not done the problem for a year and did it again today( has not rained in more than a week) just going down the road and starts cutting out and dies! has done this many times since 2010. Ford knows about it! information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Broken Arrow, OK, USA

problem #130

Oct 122011


  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that while driving 65 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the technician diagnosed that the torque converter needed to be replaced and that the vehicle was included in NHTSA campaign id number: 12V006000 (power train:automatic transmission:torque converter). The vehicle was repaired under the recall however, the repair failed to remedy the problem. The technician inspected the vehicle again and advised the contact that the transmission needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and did not offer any assistance since the vehicle was not included in any other recalls. The vehicle was not further repaired. The failure mileage was 90,000 and the current mileage was 118,000.

- S. Attleboro, MA, USA

problem #129

Jun 042012


  • 68,000 miles


This information is a collection of incidents that ultimately fit together. I have notice that the floor board of my van was wet. Since I have 3 kids I just shrugged it off. This past week I notice the floor mats weren't wet only the carpet beneath it was soaked. My kids don't spill just under the mats. The water must be entering from the outside in. The van was acting weird on and off -no check engine light until it started happen more frequently. June 2012, I got the P1340 code that the camshaft position sensor had gone bad, I replaced it, went out again, I was told it could have been a faulty part, changed it again, went out again, decided this is beyond me. I took it to the dealership and they "fixed" the camshaft position sensor and another part that was causing the camshaft position sensor not to work. ($900) it broke again because the part they put in was defective. They replaced the defective part and the check engine light came back on again. After they had the car for 2 weeks they found another small problem. ($130) I insisted at the time that they didn't make the proper repairs. They assured me that it all still needed to be done. (caught some double talk) I experienced a few more issues with the van losing power. (July, September, October -check engine light did not turn on.) I:N December the car turned off and I was only able to get about 25ft per restart and the light came on. I've noticed other features not working properly or working intermittently. (power locks, power windows, radio, power doors, key remote...) I have learned that other 2005 Freestar owners have experienced similar incidents caused by water leaking into the car through the windshield wiper blades and running down the wire harness causing multiple parts to short out from time to time. Please look into this. I have 3 children and no more money for "let's try this repairs".

- Yorktown, VA, USA

problem #128

Dec 242012


  • 85,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that while driving 45 mph, the vehicle began to loose power without warning. The contact stated that the vehicle would decelerate rapidly and then was able to continue driving. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for inspection. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified and stated that there were no recalls on the vehicle. The failure mileage was 85,000.

- Holbrook, NY, USA

problem #127

Dec 242012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 87,000 miles
This vehicle has a continuing problem with the PCM shorting out due to water entering the wiring harness through the windshield wipers. Once the PCM short circuits the transmission does not function causing the car to loose its' motion. This occurs without warning and places the occupants of the vehicle at greater risk of being involved in an accident as the car simple ceases to work. The company has currently recalled this make and model to replace a defective torque converter. Although this seems to solve the problem initially, the long term problem of water seeping into the PCM will cause the transmission to fail time and time again.

- Holbrook, NY, USA

problem #126

Jun 202012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 38,000 miles


Transmission seemed to be acting up trying to maintain highway cruising speeds, 55-65 mph. Kept shuttering and vibrating. Balise Ford in hyannis MA found a problem in the transmission. They had the vehicle for approximately 60 days time. During that time they removed the transmission under the direction of Ford esp extended warranty center approximately 8 times, replacing a new and different part each time they removed the transmission and reinstalled it. After the repair "attempt" exceeded the replaced value, Ford esp extended warranty program decided to replace the entire transmission with a Ford factory rebuilt transmission. After the transmission was replaced the vehicle started doing the same thing all over again. We then got a recall on the vehicle and inquired. Come to find out the torque converter was the problem and the rebuilt transmission from Ford factory had one of the bad converters and that needed to replaced as soon as parts were available. The new converter came in and was installed in the vehicle approximately August 2012. Late November 2012 the vehicle, now with 46,000 one owner pampered miles on it is doing the same thing. The vehicle shutters when floating in and out of gears when trying to maintain highway speeds, 55 - 65 mph. When this occurs you can feel the rumble in the vehicle and the tachometer needle jumps around. This vehicle is my mother's only means of transportation and she is a 72 year old woman who has had 2 total knees replacements. I purchased this vehicle brand new for her thinking it would be a dependable vehicle, and with her low amount of miles driven year, assumed it would last an easy 10 years. Not the case. I am afraid to have her use this vehicle and Ford needs to step up to the plate and fix it once and for all or replace the vehicle for us.

- Dennis, MA, USA

problem #125

Nov 192012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 168,181 miles
Received recall for torque converter- had it replaced on Aug 20, 2012. On Nov. 19th the van wouldn't go pass 20 mph. Drove slow approx. 3 miles to destination. Had it towed to dealership to check out problem at initial contact was told they knew of no problems relating to torque converter replacement. After checking van out was told that we needed a new transmission, at second contact was told they were aware of torque recall issues but nothing would be done for us. We had not had any problems with transmission prior to Nov 19th. When asked, was also told that they did not flush and replace fluids with the torque converter recall service as this extra cost was not part of the recall. We were told by an independent mechanic that if fluids were not changed that it could cause the transmission to fail which it did. Was quoted a high cost to replace transmission, ended up using disabled vehicle as a trade 'as is' to purchase a working vehicle. Other issues with vehicle prior to last incident were electrical functions not working, sliding doors would reopen upon closing, had to turn off auto doors, backup warning quit working, traction control button didn't work, dvd player would start running on its own.

- Amberg, WI, USA

problem #124

Oct 232012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 56,000 miles
I had a torque converter replaced 4 days ago on my van due to a recall and 4 days after repair my car shuts down in the middle of driving. Now the Ford dealer is telling me it has nothing to do with the torque converter which I find impossible since I haven't had any other issues before with my car just your basic brake repairs.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #123

Jun 062012


  • 135,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that she received notification of NHTSA campaign id number: 12V006000 (power train:automatic transmission:torque converter) and attempted to have the vehicle repaired in June 2012. The dealer informed her that she had to order the recall part and that she should receive notification when the part became available. The contact received the letter and contacted the dealer who then stated that they did not have the part available and that she would have to be added to the waiting list. The vehicle was never repaired. The failure mileage was 135,000.

- Bayville, NJ, USA

problem #122

Jun 012012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 106,000 miles


The PCM went bad on our van. When replaced by Ford water was reported inside the PCM noting a water leak somewhere that finds its way to the computer (PCM). We were told to get a new windshield. We did at our expense. About a month later same issues with car. Again PCM was bad. Water leaked inside it again. Ford told me that could cost up to $900 to find leak and repair. Through my own investigation online I found service bulletin tsb 06-14-10 stating that during repair procedures of a PCM inspect for water damage and if present perform the following service procedure. The bulletin goes on to describe in detail how to fix water leak. This was not done on my vehicle resulting in a brand new but now useless PCM. I went all the way to the top at this local Ford dealership and was treated poorly, condescendingly, and was told that the service bulletin did not mean anything. I have a useless van in my driveway.

- Clearwater, FL, USA

problem #121

Oct 132011


  • 150,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that while driving 55 mph, the vehicle failed to accelerate and independently came to a complete stop. The vehicle was towed from the scene and later taken to the dealer for inspection. The dealer stated that torque needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired however, the dealer also discovered shavings in the transmission from the torque converter failing. The manufacturer was notified and stated that they would replace the torque converter at their expense but would not cover any of the additional damages. The failure mileage was 150,000.

- Hartwell , GA, USA

problem #120

Aug 302011

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
Was traveling from California to Washington. Stopped on rest area.my free* did have only rear gear on. Couldn't move for several hours until transmission cooled down. Drove very carefully, trying not hit the brakes, because as soon as I push brake pedal tranny stops working until completely cooled down. (had to spend many hours on the road because it is impossible to cross 2 states and not hit the brakes) Ford issued recall in March 2012, but dealers does not have parts till now.

- Custer, WA, USA

problem #119

Jul 122012


  • miles
Shortly after the recall for the torque converter the transmission started acting up. It was stalling, not letting me go into reverse, and many other things. The transmission is disengaging and reengaging which is a safety issue. This problem is because of the torque converter they had to recall contaminated the transmission. I do not understand why there is still no recall. This is a huge safety issue!

- Glastonbury, CT, USA

problem #118

Dec 142010


  • 104,392 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Ford Freestar. The contact stated that while traveling 10 mph the vehicle failed to accelerate when the accelerator pedal was depressed. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was not contacted. The vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was 104,392 and the current mileage was 119,000.

- Atlanta, MI, USA

problem #117

Jul 162012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • miles
Add-on info for complaint #10472027. The date stated for the problem with the PCM was merely an arbitrary start date for our problems, which was required to proceed with the complaint. We have had continual problems for at least near 2 years with the vehicle, but no mechanic (including Ford's) has been able to accurately confirm the basis of such issues. Our assessment of a damaged PCM is based on research of on-line complaints from other Freestar owners which seem to almost perfectly match our situation, as well as the fact that our mechanic had to remove water from the computer compartment. Currently, we are in search of a replacement computer, but they are almost impossible to find.

- Jasper, GA, USA

problem #116

Apr 052011


  • miles
2005 Ford Freestar PCM problems. Symptoms include intermittent incidences including vehicle's failure to start, running rough, improperly accelerating, refusing to move forward/backward, and other random problems. The fuel system components/camshaft sensor/etc, as well as the transmission have been replaced on the vehicle, but all of these issues still exist. Codes do not show up on mechanic's diagnostic computers unless the car is actively having the problem, which seems to rarely happen. Mechanics, including the local Ford dealership, has not been able to confirm the problem with the PCM; however, our mechanic did find water in the computer module. He dried it out and resealed it, in hopes of resolving the issues we were having. The problems have continued though and despite lack of codes, all indications are that the computer is no longer good. Another problem is the fact that getting a replacement PCM is nearly impossible. The demand for Freestar reconditioned computers is so high that we've not been able to find one to replace the bad unit in the van. (apparently, new PCM's are not available at all.) after seeing the massive number of on-line complaints which are so similar to ours, I cannot believe that Ford shut the case regarding the computer problem. If the diagnosis of failed PCM's is almost impossible to achieve, Ford simply chooses to ignore the obvious. (read all of the complaints on NHTSA.dot.gov.) poor placement of the PCM on the back of the vehicle wall has allowed water to run off of the windshield into the unit, but Ford will not take ownership in this problem. How many people have to risk having a wreck and possibly dying due to water-damaged components? it is unfortunate and unnecessary. One last question... is it possible that the transmission problems (currently on recall) be related to the water-damaged PCM's?

- Jasper, GA, USA

problem #115

Aug 202012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 173,460 miles
As I was driving, the vehicle (2005 Ford Freestar) begin to jerk as if the transmission was constantly disengaging and reengaging. Also, the rpms would escalate during this problem. After about six jerks, the vehicle lost power to the wheels. I coasted to the side of the road and turned the vehicle off. I waited for a few minutes and I started the vehicle up and I was able to drive home. The vehicle still jerks. I looked up the problem with a mechanic and the diagnostic computer readout stated it was the torque converter output shaft speed sensor. I looked the information up online and discovered it was involved with a recall. This recall (#12V006000) was supposedly repaired on my vehicle a month ago. I called Ford and they said that the recall was already performed and they can not do anything else.

- Wilmer, AL, USA

problem #114

Feb 242012


  • 89,847 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Ford Freestar wagon. While driving approximately 55 mph, the transmission suddenly became inoperative. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer who advised that water had leaked onto the wiring harness which resulted in a short circuit to the transmission chip. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 89,847.

- Antwerp, OH, USA

problem #113

Aug 062012

Freestar 6-cyl

  • 131,369 miles
Car stalls when it stops, shuttering while it drives, the car has been to the shop twice know. The second time it was left outside the auto shop and it rained over night. When the mechanics went to start it and look at it they noticed there was water dripping out of our ECM. They did some research and found that there were design flaws in the ECM and that it wasn't sealed right. There should have been a recall but there never has been. I have looked online and there are all sorts of people reporting the exact same thing.

- Belleville, IL, USA

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