really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
100,133 miles
Total Complaints:
23 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replaced transmission (14 reports)
  2. not sure (7 reports)
  3. rebuild transmission (2 reports)
2005 Ford Freestyle transmission problems

transmission problem

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2005 Ford Freestyle Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #23

May 232017


  • CVT transmission
  • 150,000 miles


Another transmission failure in the long list. Just terrible that Ford did nothing to help the consumer. I loved this car for its multi uses but now it's in the garage dead. I can't afford to fix this issue. Not worth it. Until I can save for a new car I'm the proud borrower of a Ford Escape. It's rusting and guess what......Ford ignored that manufacturing defect as well.

- , milwaukee, WI, US

problem #22

Sep 092016

Freestyle ES V6

  • CVT transmission
  • 152,070 miles

while moving it wont accellerate and move forward

went to the granite ford here in Rochester nh and they told me it was the transmission ... will be going along and it just wont move and the seatbelt lights ding as if the car died pull over to side of road shut it off and it will be fine for another two or three miles before it does it again the check engine light came on the wrench than all the lights came on and they stayed on and are on still when I brought it to Auto zone they couldn't find any codes

- , Rochester, NH, USA

problem #21

Jan 242016

Freestyle Limited

  • CVT transmission
  • 150,600 miles

LOVED this car, but a $5K repair not in the plans for a car we bought for $7K, just two years prior ( @ 70K miles)

- , Eagan, MN, USA

problem #20

Oct 292014


  • CVT transmission
  • 145,000 miles


The CVT transmissions used on the mid/late Freestyles were a true piece of junk for that vast majority of them. Research has uncovered that around 46% of the freestyles made with the CVT transmission from 2004 through 2011 have had to have the transmissions replaced or have been "retired" (better known as junked or salvaged). I cannot understand how the government can force a car maker to recall vehicles with bad trunk latches and not force the replacement of these terrible transmissions. Honda can't get CVT transmissions right so how in world is a US manufacturer gonna get it right? Mine is parked in the driveway until I can find $2000 (minimum) to replace the crappy transmission. These cannot be repaired.

- , Swayzee, IN, USA

problem #19

May 022014

Freestyle Limtied 3.0L V6

  • CVT transmission
  • 104,000 miles

Ford abandoned the transmission and the Freestyle, can not get any transmissions or parts from Ford, only junk yards and rebuilt transmissions. The junkyards want upwards of $3,500 for the transmission, sat for two years still not fixed. There are class-action lawsuits filed about this issue.

- , Mulberry, IN, USA

problem #18

May 072012

Freestyle Limited

  • CVT transmission
  • 62,724 miles

Out of the blue total failure. Metal filings found through out. Replaced CVT, cooler. Have 2 months left on that warranty.

- , Sturgis, SD, USA

problem #17

Jan 232014

Freestyle Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,975 miles


I could not believe that at 85,000 miles I would need to replace my transmission. We were told by our mechanic that it wasn't a question of how but when the Freestyle transmission would fault..as it basically was faulty from the minute Ford installed it in my car..I will never purchase another Ford car. Their blatant disregard for this issue which they new about when making the cars transmission leaves a bad taste in my mouth

- , Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #16

Oct 132014

Freestyle 3.2L V6

  • CVT transmission
  • 99,000 miles

While on the way home from vacation with not even 50 miles left to get home, we stopped at a red light and had the transmission completely fail. We were unable to get the car to move forward or backwards enough to even get off the road and into a safe place. Thank goodness it was 4 am and no one was on the road. After having it towed the rest of the way home, we called every shop in the area to only find two that would even work on the transmission. After getting it towed to the shop we get the call that the transmission is shot and that it is going to cost $4,600 to have it rebuilt.

I love my car and never had any issues with the vehicle before this and always kept up with the normal maintenance. Since the transmission went out in October the Freestyle has spent more time in the shop than in my possession. And yes, I had it back for a short time before it went right back to the shop. To this day it is still in the shop and they are trying to figure out what is going on with it.

Ford needs to take ownership of this problem and deal with it!!!!!

- , Virginia Beach, VA, US

problem #15

Sep 042014

Freestyle SEL 3L V6

  • CVT transmission
  • 90,300 miles

Ford knows there is an issue with this transmission yet they don't offer parts and the whole transmission has to be replaced. Received several quotes and the cheapest is $5,100. Only owned the car for a week when the transmission went out. I'll never buy a Ford again.

- , Leander, TX, US

problem #14

Mar 312012


  • CVT transmission
  • 75,000 miles

Bought the car last year with 70k miles. 5000 miles later transmission light comes on and transmission dies. Estimated cost of repairs, $5000.

- , Johnson City, TN, USA

problem #13

Nov 292012

Freestyle SEL

  • CVT transmission
  • 147,200 miles


click to see larger images

transmission failure transmission failure transmission failure transmission failure transmission failure transmission failure

I was on a Thanksgiving vacation with my family, and, while driving back to our hotel, the car stopped. It would not go forward or in reverse. We were in our 5th day of 7 and had to rent a car for the balance. We had it towed back home over 150 miles. Then we had it towed again to the Ford dealership where we were told the bad news- $5700 to repair. We had it towed back home from the dealership and it now sits in our driveway where it looks good---motor runs but no balls.

Ford has refused to accept responsibility for the transmission which they know to be defective and can't be repaired. For a company that continually talks about customer support and loyalty it seems to work only one way---they want us to be loyal.

I want some help from Ford in repairing this transmission. I see that they have given some assistance to owners of the same year car, the Ford Freestar with the same transmission.

I could say all kinds of expletives in this message but that is not me. I just want some fairness.

- , Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #12

Nov 292012

Freestyle SE 3.0L

  • CVT transmission
  • 89,000 miles

The CVT transmission is prone to failure and finding someone to fix it is something else. With luck and a lot of research I found the shop to which the Ford dealers send their failed CVTs and saved the $1,000 markup from the Ford dealer.

I learned that these transmissions are notorious for failing (the repair shop called it "grenading"). When they crash they are totally destroyed and parts are difficult to find and very expensive. With my discount it cost me $4600. It would have been 6K to 8K at a Ford dealer. Without the transmission the car is only of value for parts. Had to fix it. I need a car and I can't replace the car for $4600.

AVOID THE CVT AT ALL COSTS. They only make them 3 years then Ford bailed out of this product. The 6 speed may fail, but at least you can find someone to fix it.

- , Portage, MI, USA

problem #11

Jun 012009

Freestyle LX V6

  • CVT transmission
  • 38,000 miles

was really bad as ford failed to fix it many times and would not replace. The extended warranty company tried to fix but could not so they gave me one from a totaled 2005 ford freestyle resulting from a collision.

- , Park Ridge, IL, USA

problem #10

Jun 252012

Freestyle Limited 3.2V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 113,000 miles

I have a 2005 Ford Freestyle that has been a great car. I recently put several hundred dollars in the front end for maintenance, normal wear and tear you would expect after 113,000 miles, but shortly after that, my transmission started making a loud roaring sound and after taking it to my repair man, I was informed the transmission was going out and there was no fix but to replace it. Then I got the painful estimate to fix it of anywhere from 5000.00 to 8000.00!!! This transmission is not rebuildable according to the mechanics I spoke to. after seeing this sight, I realize this is a problem Ford has to know about with these cars, but they are not willing to recall them and right their wrong. There is nothing else wrong with my car, that I am still paying on, by the way.......but it sits in my driveway motionless because i don't have that kind of money to fix it and besides that is almost as much as the value of the car!!!! I am now stuck without a vehicle and no way to get another one.

- , Grafton, OH, USA

problem #9

Jan 032012

Freestyle SEL 3.0L

  • CVT transmission
  • 141,000 miles

This Ford wonder gave no warning just decided to quit working (transmission failure ) Another fine Ford product (NOT).

- , East Bridgewater, MA, USA

problem #8

Jul 062011

Freestyle Eddie Bauer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 137,944 miles

Vehicle running fine, all of a sudden loss of power. Check transmission light came on. Shut off engine and restarted vehicle. No power forward or reverse. Taken to Ford Dealership. Ran it on scope. Labour thus far 8 hours with no solution. Transmission filters checked and are fine. Fluid fine. Service tech indicates he has asked Ford web board for assistance as he cannot find the problem.

- , Burlington, Ontario, canada

problem #7

Jun 102011

Freestyle 6 cyl

  • CVT transmission
  • 70,809 miles

My Ford Freestyle 2005 requires a complete replacement transmission at 70,809 miles, with repairs costing $5,721.50. Ford has numberous complaints about this transmission, but is doing nothing to correct the problem or admit to a problem. The CVT transmission appears to be a defective design engineered solution, showing lack of quality engineering and concern for the safety and satification of the customer.

I used to think of Ford as making a quality automobiles and trucks,but no more. Ford should be ashame of themselves for not taking responsibility for this transmission problem. My Ford will not GO! (What a great line for Utube)

- , Hoover, AL, USA

problem #6

Sep 292010

Freestyle SE 3.0L V6

  • CVT transmission
  • 100,048 miles

I was about 50 miles from the dealership where I bought this car when the wrench light came on and the car would not come out of low gear, the tack was going crazy. To say the least we drove it into the dealership at the rate of about 35 to 40 miles an hour. After checking it out they informed me that it would have to have a new transmission because the magnaton was over heating, at the rate of $6000.00. I brought the car home. It does fine to drive a little way until you have to brake really hard, then it goes back into limp mode causing it to stay in low gear and shift really rough. I found a transmission from a salvage yard that only had 3000 miles on it, had been checked out to be a good transmission. I had it shipped into my mechanic, after having it changed out, the car is still doing the same thing as before. They contacted the Ford dealership, and they don't have a clue. It was giving 2 codes when they checked it, one was P0218, which meant the inside was getting too hot, and the other was P0701, transmission control out of range. When they contacted the Ford dealership to see what that meant, they commented they had never heard of that code before. I called Ford Motor customer service in Detroit, and they didn't know anything either.

I was one of first people in this area to buy this vehicle, it is a pretty car, rides good, drives good, plenty of room, but other wise its a piece of junk. Ford should have done something with this disaster car. I do know I would never buy another Ford, even if it was cheep. At one time we had 4 Fords and a Ford tractor, but never again for me. A 30,000 dollar lesson.

- , Decatur, TN, USA

problem #5

Oct 222010


  • CVT transmission
  • 70,000 miles

As another person mentioned...I had the same problem with the car accelerating with my foot on the brake (went from stepping on the brake to standing on it) to the point the engine actually shut off. One significant time in a drive-thru (REALLY scary!) and another while I was in a center lane waiting for cars to pass so that I could cross over the 8 lane highway (terrifying!).

This was a daily occurrence and tended to happen most often when the temperature was up outside. When the weather changed this fall and the temperature cooled down, the problem seemed less severe. Then, all of a sudden late one October night this year, I was driving home with my son I had just picked up from the sitter and we were getting on the interstate when I heard a horrible revving sound and I actually thought someone was street racing. It wasn't until I pulled onto the interstate and began to merge that I realized it was my car! All of a sudden, the RPM's were at like 7K and I was only going about 45mph! The car started shaking and jerking and I tried all I could to keep the car driving (and not dying) so that I could get safety off the interstate. All the while, my 2 year old is repeating over and over again from the back seat, "Momma I scared! Momma I scared!" Fortunately I did make it off the interstate, and I literally pulled into the Carmax dealership where I bought the thing 2 years ago. With 2,500 miles left on my extended warranty, they replaced my transmission at a cost to the warranty company of $4,500. Apparently, there's a computer inside these CVT transmissions and that was what "went out." They also told me that because Ford doesn't sell this part individually, they had to replace the whole thing. Dodged that bullet!

Then, the sales guy at Carmax said, "Yeah, these CVT transmissions don't last for more than about 70K miles anyway. They're too new and there's only a handful of people that can work on them, the parts are hard to find, and a fortune to replace." My next thought? You weren't saying that 2 years ago when you were trying to get me to buy the POS!

- , Lutz, FL, USA

problem #4

Oct 142010


  • CVT transmission
  • 77,000 miles

my 2005 ford freestyle died. it started making a loud whining noise then the rpm's revved really high as i pulled over to see what was going on i noticed that the car would not go forward or reverse.$4700 is the estimate. yeah like i have that laying around. what to do, continue making my car payments on a car i can not drive or file bankruptcy and start all over again. HELP!!!!

- , Tucson, AZ, USA

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