really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
105,200 miles
Total Complaints:
26 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replaced transmission (15 reports)
  2. not sure (9 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 #26

Mar 212016

Freestyle Limited 3.0L V6

  • CVT transmission
  • 139,000 miles


I bought a 2005 Ford Freestyle with 137000 miles on it. It was making a helicopter type noise and mechanic said it was the transmission going to fail. He was right, 3 months later my wife was on the highway and the wrench light came on and the car stopped moving. Had it towed to my garage and found out transmission went bad completely. It had metal shavings in the pan filter. Got our income tax and bought a new transmission from a parts dealer for 3800 dollars, plus new filters for pan, trans lines and cartridge filter installed trans and added the proper amount of cvt fluid at 10 dollars a quart.

Within 6300 miles the new trans started to slip in drive on inclines and wrench light and check trans message will come on. Checked fluid, it is 100 % on the line on dip stick but transmission is not working the way it should. Called Ford dealer for some information and could not get any answers as to what I need to do to fix this problem.

As a mechanic for 37 years working on all makes and models of vehicles, this is the worst vehicle I have ever tried to repair. I own all 3 of the American companies top brands, GMC, DODGE, and FORD. I am very upset with the Freestyle as there is no replacement parts available to repair the transmission to not fail.

Ford should recall and repair all Freestyles, Ford 500, and Mercury Montigos, as they all run the cvt transaxle and all fail with no warning.

- rconstant ii, laconia, US

problem #25

Dec 122018

Freestyle Limited V6

  • CVT transmission
  • 162,000 miles

In the fall of 2017 while driving the check transmission light would begin to randomly appear along with the "wrench light." Once those lights appeared the vehicle would no longer shift correctly. The only was to correct the issue was to turn the car off and back on again. The issue was occurring sporadically at this point so it was undiagnosable when I brought it into the shop. I did have the transmission fluid changed and the car ran well for another year (the light still came on occasionally but it was always correctable by restarting the car).

One year later, in the fall of 2018 with approximately 162,000 miles on it, the lights came back on while the vehicle was idling. At this point it jolted forward and restarting it did not correct the issue right away. It took 5 or 6 times of restarting to get it to run correctly again and get it home. By the next morning it was fine but a few weeks later the lights came on again and the car failed to shift or accelerate over a few mph. Now the issue occurs as soon as the vehicle comes to it's first complete stop and sits for a couple seconds. "Resetting" the transmission by restarting the vehicle takes days of being turned off and is no longer worth it since it only makes it to the first stop light.

The codes the transmission is giving off all indicate issues with the control module but it is unclear if anyone is able to fix the just a control module in a CVT. All quotes I have received for fixing the issue are for replacing the entire transmission(since it is a "closed system") and they range from $3,900-7,000+.

- Kayla H., dallas, PA, US

problem #24

Nov 202017

Freestyle 3.0L

  • CVT transmission
  • 130,000 miles

Adding one more to the list of failed transmissions, with $6000 repair for a car that is worth about $4000

- Guy R., Perkasie, US

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.

- Renee W., 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

- comaaaa8, Rochester, NH, US

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)

- cjjbooks, Eagan, MN, US

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.

- edjohnny, Swayzee, IN, US

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.

- Jay G., Mulberry, IN, US

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.

- L&n C., Sturgis, SD, US

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

- Angie B., Cincinnati, OH, US

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!!!!!

- sixftchick7, 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.

- Jennifer H., 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.

- Jerry M., Johnson City, TN, US

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.

- Milt W., Sacramento, CA, US

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.

- jmmorgan, Portage, MI, US

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.

- ctru1995, Park Ridge, IL, US

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.

- Debbie R., Grafton, OH, US

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).

- mchlvanveghtenma, East Bridgewater, MA, US

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.

- Mike W., 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)

- lahayne, Hoover, AL, US

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