really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
69,484 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 Freestyle transmission problems

transmission problem

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2005 Ford Freestyle Owner Comments (Page 6 of 6)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #18

Mar 012006


  • 30,000 miles


On the Ford Freestyle there is an inherent problem with transmission. When trying to pass, go up hill, or just as temperature rises in transmission. The transmission will go into traction control setting. You will loose speed power and RPM will go up and red line. This is very dangerous if you are trying to pass on two lane road. I have been almost ran over on the freeway when this occurs. Ford will not acknowledge the problem. I checked on edmonds dot com and there are thousands of complaints with this problem. The people are told they must buy a new transmission. For between $5000-$7000 dollars. I have spent 2000 already and still not fixed problem. Mine failed at 74,800 miles, but I was out of town in the boom docks and by the time I got back I was over mileage, they would not honor the warranty. I have over a 120,000 miles now and they can not fix it, I live in Nebraska where the problem does not occur under 40 degrees outside. I started seeing a wrench appear on the console but the dealer could not find any computer problem. So they ignored it a glitch in the system. Thanks scott manley this problem can and will cause a death.

- Omaha, NE, USA

problem #17

Sep 022008


  • 69,000 miles
While driving car gives a series of kicks, loss of power and car enters limp mode, message states failsafe mode. Once you are able to get off the road and safely pull over normal reset by turning car off and turning back on and car is once again mobile under normal drive mode.

- Calgary, Alberta Canada, 00, USA

problem #16

May 242008


  • 59,990 miles
TL- the contact owns 2005 Ford Freestyle. The contact stated that on several occasions while driving, the vehicle would surge forward or reverse depending on the gear, the rpns would go up. On one occasion the vehicle shut off and had to be restarted. The vehicle was taken to a dealer who stated that they could not duplicate the problem but they changed the cvt fluid. The current mileage is 60000 and the failure mileage was 59990.

- Tibulo, TX, USA

problem #15

Jul 182008


  • 46,000 miles


2005 Ford Freestyle I backed out of a parking space and then put it into drive. The wrench light on the dash came on and when pressing on the gas, the car did not move. Finally, after "flooring it", the car moved slowly. I drove home. When I stopped the car and restarted, the problem was gone. We took it to the dealer and they ran diagnostic tests. They reset the computer and said it was fine. After about a week later, it did the same thing again.

- Walnutport, PA, USA

problem #14

Jul 232008


  • 26,000 miles
While stopped with foot on the brake, the car surges forward and the rpms increase dramatically. This also happens while allowing vehicle to back out of a parking spot. This has occurred more than 10 times. The car has been taken to the dealership on 3 occasions and everytime we were told that they can not duplicate the problem and therefore can not fix it. It is only a matter of time before this vehicle lunges into cross traffic at a stop light.

- Bethany, OK, USA

problem #13

Jul 202008


  • 28,000 miles
While starting up and pulling away from a parked position my 2005 Ford Freestyle jerked and stalled. When I restarted the wrench light on the dash lit up and the error message "fail safe engine mode" appeared. I was able to limp home about 4 to 5 miles, but had little power going up hills. The car seemed like it was in first or second gear the whole time. I have an appointment with the Ford dealer tomorrow morning. This seems to be a growing complaint with these transmissions.

- St. Louis, MO, USA

problem #12

May 182008


  • 37,411 miles


On Sunday, May 18, 2008, at approximately 11:15 am, my wife was driving my two (2) children to the mall which is located approximately six (6) miles from my residence. My wife related approximately one and a half miles from the mall she felt a pull in the front end of the car and then heard a loud explosion. She attempted to move the car to the side of the road to no avail. The car was then pushed off the roadway. After moving the car a few metal parts were secured from the road surface. I discovered that the transmission had sustained a catastrophic failure. The back of the transmission is missing as well as the parts contained within. The damage to this unit appears to be consistent with damage caused by a detonation. My wife related there were no warning lights, noises or mechanical failures of the vehicle before this incident occurred. I reported this matter to the dealership where the car was purchased. They seemed to show some level of concern after seeing the failed parts and offered to tow the vehicle to their service department free of charge. Ford later acknowledged the damage was caused by a failure of the differential. This incident occurred in a rural area. Based upon the amount of material which blasted from the transmission, had this incident occurred in town there would have been significant damage to surrounding structures, property, and persons. In closing, the Ford Corp. Has offered to pay only half of the cost at $2,100 to repair the damage. In my opinion this is an admission of guilt as I did not ask for any assistance, it was volunteered. I counter offered to pay only the labor costs and requested an answer by cob Friday, May 23, 2008. It is not surprising Ford failed to respond. Accordingly, I am submitting this complaint and request a recall of these transmissions due to the risk of public safety.

- Muncy, PA, USA

problem #11

May 012008


  • 59,100 miles
Experienced a loud squeal from transmission when vehicle driven at 40 mph or less. Found fluid leak on transmission case. Brought vehicle to dealer. Was told by service rep that transmission needed upgrade to new transmission case bolts to address leaking problem and upgraded gearing to address squeal. Total cost estimate to be $4,000.

- St. Paul, MN, USA

problem #10

Jan 302005

Freestyle 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,200 miles
Car stops on its own. Shuts off. Bucks and jerks and is going to kill me and my kids and Ford will not do anything about it. I can't even get a Ford dealership to work on my vehicle they tell me they don't want this problem. There are to many repairs on this vehicle and now they are telling well your warranty is up now. They kept telling me at Ford (1-800) we are working on it, getting me a buy back. Now they tell me it is do deal and they will not fix my vehicle. My car now fills up with water when it rains. I have had 2 transmissions put in this vehicle, they replaced my brakes a few times, they replaced my computer a few times, and all the while kept telling me we are working on getting you a new vehicle. They the dealership shuts down. I have been to others and they don't want my problem. I have called Ford a lot of times. They just take my information and tell me they don't have to fix your vehicle. I am fed up with this.

- Lindenhurst, NY, USA

problem #9

Mar 252008

Freestyle 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles
1. I noticed that there was a knocking noise of sorts coming from my vehicle when I would put it in drive. At first, it would only do it in drive. Now, it makes the noise in park and in every gear except reverse. It is extremely loud. 2. after taking the vehicle to three different places, it has been determined that the input shaft and bearing needs to be replaced in my transmission. Per the Ford dealership, this will run roughly around $2,200! 3. I am currently waiting to get an appointment to get my car repaired. Have called 2 separate Ford dealerships and one of them told us to call back in a week when his transmission guy would be in, the other told us to call back when they open today.

- New Salisbury, IN, USA

problem #8

Dec 302007

Freestyle 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles


Transmission failed at 65000 miles on interstate. Would not work in any gear. $1500+ to rebuild. Common problem with freestars and Windstar according to Ford forums.

- Lagrange, GA, USA

problem #7

Dec 232007

Freestyle 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 31,252 miles
My husband was backing our 2005 Ford Freestyle out of the garage at 8 am when it stopped moving, it would not go in any gear and the engine would not respond. My vehicle has 31,000 miles on it. After having it towed away on a flat bed tow truck and 2 days of diagnostics at a Ford dealer repair shop it was found to need an entirely new transmission. There were 6 failure codes inside my cvt transmission. I contacted Ford Corp. Several times and they refused to assist in costs as my 3 years had expired even though at 30,000 miles I had complete transmission failure. Dealer states $5600 to replace. I had to replace all 4 tires at 23,000 miles as manufacturer Continental tires had worn out, power steering line broke at 30,000 miles. Vehicle is solely used for family transportation.

- Pittsville, WI, USA

problem #6

Dec 172006

Freestyle 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,000 miles
- the contact stated that on December 17, 2006, while driving at 10 to 15 mph he heard a whirling sound. The contact notified the dealer of the problem and was asked to get the car serviced. The vehicle was still with the dealer because the failure was undetermined. Updated 1/29/2007 - as of 1 19/07 the dealer still has the vehicle. The consumer was told that the transmission would have to be repaired. This will be the third time. Updated 1/29/2007 -

- W. Fairview, PA, USA

problem #5

Aug 012006

Freestyle 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,000 miles
: the contact stated while driving 50 mph on dry roads, the instrument panel gauges raised up to the highest readings, then dropped down to the lowest and subsequently did not function. Also, while stopped at a traffic light, the vehicle surged forward without warning while the brake pedal was depressed. Finally, even though the vehicle has a continuous transmission, there was still a moderate shift shock between gears. The vehicle was taken to a service dealer, where the cause of the problems were unable to be determined. The manufacturer was also notified.

- Elkton, MD, USA

problem #4

Apr 152006

Freestyle 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 7,900 miles
2005 Ford Freestyle. The continuously variable transmission has a defect in that it will sporadically and randomly dramatically change gear ratios resulting in a very noticeable increase in RPM. The consequence of this is that the engine undergoes moderate to severe engine braking significantly slowing down the car without warning. This has caused a number of near accidents as cars following closely behind have no warning that the car will slow down very aggressively in front of them. I have reported the defect to my local Ford dealer (frontier Ford in sunnyvale, California) and it has been in their service department three separate times and they have been unable to repair the problem and have not provided acceptable options to fix the problem, apparently unconcerned about the significant safety risk posed by the defect. The most recent incident occurred Saturday April 15, 2006.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #3

Apr 012005

Freestyle 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,000 miles
Hi: the cvt transmission surges at highway speed of 70 miles this is on our 2005 Ford Freestyle sel. It continues to do this and has being brought to the attention of the Ford dealership that we bought the vehicle from and as of yet they have not taken care of this issue.

- Hanford, CA, USA

problem #2

Jan 052006

Freestyle 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,098 miles
Trans would function normally and then when you put it in park it starts backing up! then when you attempt to place the car in drive it revs like it's in neutral. You have to shift it into low to get it into drive. This also causes it to come out of gear while driving.

- Rochester Hills, MI, USA

problem #1

Jul 162005


  • Automatic transmission
  • 39 miles
Vehicle was purchased on 7/16/2005. After being driven off the lot, transmission light appeared. Vehicle was returned to dealer who could not locate a problem. Vehicle was then driven 23 miles when all power was lost. Vehicle was towed back to dealer. Service tried to correct the problem for 1 week before ordering a new transmission. New transmission was installed one week later. Upon picking up vehicle, engine light appeared. Vehicle will now need to be returned once again. Glare from tan interior is dangerous also, and accelerator tends to stick.

- Antioch, CA, USA

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