14th May 2009, 22:38

The transmission problem really should become a recall item. My 2004 Freestar transmission just went out on my wife without any warning at 77,000 miles. The dealership said it was the torque converter and it was $1600. Had it fixed today, and boy am I shocked tonight to see what a common problem this is. I have always bought Fords. What transmission fails this early? If Ford wants to keep its loyal customers it needs to recall this item.

15th May 2009, 18:27

Our 2004 Freestar was the first "pre-owned" car that we purchased from our local Ford dealer, and I thought that had something to do with all the problems we are having, but after reading all the entries, I don't think that any longer.

We now have 78,000 miles on the car, we purchased it with 34,000. In the 44,000 miles that we owned the vehicle they replaced the transmission twice, the ABS module and the ignition module. That's not including many small problems that I took care of on my own. Anybody else have a leaking rear door, around the license plate mount???

I had a 75,000 mile warranty, and when the second transmission was replaced, the car's mileage was at 75,500 and Ford covered the replacement, but never said to me that the warranty was already expired. However, a month later the Idle Air Control (IAC) went bad and Ford refused to take into consideration our 15 years of loyalty and merely said "Sorry, your over your warranty mileage" So for 2,500 miles they lost a customer forever. PS. It only cost me $200 to fix the problem, so Ford was penny-wise and pound-foolish by giving up a customer over 200 bucks.

18th May 2009, 13:28

I owned an 1988 Ford Taurus (bought used), in which the auto trans failed (at 140,000 km) and I had rebuilt by a local shop. Shop owner advised: (a) always allow engine to idle (with gear selector in Park) for at least 30 seconds after cold start-up, to lubricate the trans (60 seconds on cold winter mornings) ; and (b) when reversing, always come to full stop before shifting from Reverse to Drive.

I then bought a new 1998 Windstar w/3.0 liter engine, which I drove for 170,000 km (about 105,000 miles). I followed the 30 second warm-up advice and did not have any trans issues (but did have too many steering issues).

Now I am thinking of buying a used 2006 Freestar -- and after reading the previous posts, I am in doubt.

24th May 2009, 19:50

To everybody here that has had trans problems. If you all complained to the National Safety Board, this problem would become a recall.

As for these transmissions. I noticed that when they put electronics in them, that the fluid turns brown or even black after a while. In my 83 Crown Victoria, which was a regular trans with no electronics, I did a filter and fluid change at over 150 k miles and the fluid was still red. Doesn't that tell you something.

I noticed that even with other domestics, and foreign as well, that they recommend a fluid exchange at two years or 30 k miles. What does that tell you about electronic transmissions? Think about it for a moment.

Wish you all the best in resolving your problems. By the way I own a 96 Windstar and 96 Thunderbird. I have no problems because I change out the tranny fluid and filter every year. I would rather pay 75 dollars yearly than to have a big expense down the road.

20th Jun 2009, 23:51

I also have a 2004 Ford Freestar. It has 60000kms on it, no signs of tranny trouble yet, although I change the fluid like the last guy every year. I do however have a leaky lift gate.. what a poor design!!

I've had nothing but fords all my life... If you want to drive a Ford you'd better change trans fluid EVERY year. I've had many other company vehicles that have had many other costly problems... in reading all the unfortunate trans problems I agree with everyone that Ford should step up with a recall.

17th Jul 2009, 21:37

Have a 2004 Freestar SEL. Replaced transmission with independent mechanic at 77000 miles for $3000 - worked for two months and went out again on the highway at 70mph. Fortunately the mechanic honored warranty. The transmission problems should be the subject of a recall.

Had problems with brakes, power doors, steering. Total repair costs for the past five years, including replacing the transmission totals $11,000. Also have have the grinding sound. Paid it off the first of the month and am trading it in tomorrow.

After owning a Explorer, Windstar, Expedition and Escape, will never purchase another Ford and will not let another family member purchase one.

30th Jul 2009, 03:24

I had the SAME problem as everyone else!!!

My trans went at 80,000 on the highway with no warning at all!!!

My air conditioner went about 10 months ago - and all my lights are lit up like a Christmas tree - even though it's been regularly serviced!

Now, my car has been sitting for 2 months because I haven't been able to afford to fix it!!! This is CRAZY! Ford needs to stand behind their products!!! Never again!!!

12th Aug 2009, 18:07

After reading all the comments about the problems with the 2004 Ford Freestar, I am surprised nothing has been done. My wife was driving to work this morning and it just stopped. She was stuck in the middle of the road and could not move. The van would start and idle, but when I put the vehicle in gear there was not gear engagement. I figured it was something with the transmission. We got a call a few hours later from the ford dealer and they said the torque converter fell apart. FELL APART!? At 52,000 miles? He also went on to say it was going to be about $1300.00 to fix and hopefully nothing was wrong with the transmission itself. He said with only 52,000 miles the tranny should be fine. So at 52,000 miles it is normal for the torque converter to "fall apart"? Not happy at all.

30th Aug 2009, 00:21

Another story... The transmission of my 2005 Freestar at 133,000 kms just stopped as my son was travelling to Vancouver this afternoon. Despite the 110 km speed limit, the 2 lane freeway has limited shoulder room. Not a good situation. Looks like I'll be spending some serious coin on the transmission. After owning three Fords and having problems with all of them (previous Windstar, current Freestar and a F-150), my patience is gone. I will not be buying another Ford as long as I live and will do my best to advise any one I talk to stay away from Ford.

13th Nov 2009, 23:41

I own a 1998 Windstar purchased new in 98, and still own it today, 210 000 kms and no transmission or head gasket problems, engine never died once on me yet, only starter, brakes galore, rack and pinion, battery, door lock actuators. Very proud to own it, very reliable.

Own a 2006 Ford Freestar due to the great reliability of the Windstar, Sport model, all the bells and whistles including leather seats except for power sliders and power lift gate, bought it new in 2006, I have 74000 kms and no problems whatsoever except for one bad reverse backup sensor, which I replaced myself for $32 off of E-bay.

I now have been eyeballing the 2010 Ford Flex with the ecoboost engine. 355 hp with all wheel drive and gets much better gas mileage than my other fords.

I will remain loyal to Ford as I had much more problems with import vehicles in 90 and 91, being a Nissan Pulsar, and Suzuki Sidekick.