Last post on May 16, 2013 at 4:47 PM
You are in the Ford Freestyle
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Ford Freestyle, Transmission, SUV
Dec 05, 2008 (6:52 am)
Bought a 2006 Freestle SEL new from local dealership. No major issues except brake recall. We hit 25,000 miles and one day we started the car and the wrench, engine light, and traction control (car swerving light) all came on and the car road really rough. Got home, shut it off and the next time it was fine. Two days later it did the same thing except it started jumping forward when I accelerated and stopped. Took it straight to the dealership and it was a "wire". They couldn't explain why the car did didn't run fine. So out the door we went. 8 days later, it started again except worse. The car wouldn't accelerate and when I was up to 40 or 50 mph it would suck back like I downshifted and drop me to 20 mph which was great for the cars behind me. I took it straight to the dealership and the man looked at it and said, "Yep, it's the transmission". After a week, they still had no idea what it was and told me they were contacting their "master mechanic" and he would come out 24-48 hours after the call was placed. The NEXT morning they called me to pick up the car....and they replaced the throttle body. My Husband picked it up and drove it about 50 miles and put it in the garage for the night. The next morning I went to start it and the car lurched forward in park!! Then the rpms were almost to the red zone while it was idling. Turned it back off and restarted it....fine. Came home let it sit in the garage for about 2 hours and when I started it, it did the same thing. As I was driving BACK to the dealership, my blinker was going crazy and my power door locks kept locking and unlocking. When I arrive the "nice" man told me he has NEVER heard of a car lurching/jumping forward in park...apparently it mechanically can't happen. He told me that if it doesn't do it to him, there is nothing else we can do.
So that is where we are at....I'm aware of the Lemon law but it's 2 days short of being in for 15 days and we were told the car had to be in three times for the same problem. It was the same problem on our end but ford turned it into a different problem everytime--I don't think they even mentioned the word transmission.
We did pay extra for the extended warranty and even went into the dealership to have them buyback the car and put us into another ford or my same car without the CVT and after they ran the numbers, we would have been screwed.
I know this is long, BUT I called another Ford dealership to see if they would offer me more than our local dealership for a buy back and after I gave him the info and VIN he told me my car is a liability and he could only auction it off, not resell it on his lot.
So my question is, do I have any other recourse? For us, this is a safety issue. I drive my children around (all under 9) and I cringe everytime I get into the car. The dealership claims the've "never heard of these problems".
I owe $20,000 on the car (bought it new for $32,000). I'm not asking for everything back....I did drive the car for two years before this started. However, I need to get out of this car for our safety but can't do so with the $20g hanging over our head.
#117 of 240 Re: Freestyle help! [loveourgolden]
Dec 05, 2008 (6:34 pm)
I ended up contacting a Lemon Law Lawyer. Their web address is:
They only assist in some states so you will have to see if your state is listed, if not, you might still want to call and see if they can refer you to someone else, the consultation is free. They were great, they explained the whole process, and everything went as they told me it would. They were able to get me a cash settlement pretty fast. Also, contact Ford and complain, they will probably assign an engineer to look over your car, you can use that diagnosis as the 4th visit and another day the car was out of commission. They do not have to say the word transmission, you just have to provide all the repair statements to the lemon law lawyers and they make the determination if it belongs under "transmission"
Hope this helps, let me know if it does. By the way, took the cash settlement, paid down the loan and got rid of the car. I took a hit on the trade in, but at least now I feel safe driving again.
#118 of 240 Re: Freestyle help! [loveourgolden]
Dec 16, 2008 (11:00 am)
We bought a 2005 Freestyle in Feb.08 still having about 10,000 miles left on the warranty. And now it's out of warranty by 5 mos. We only have 34,000 miles on it, and the mechtronic computer is failing. After reading all of the stories, I talked to a lemon law lawyer and he said that we don;t have a case because, we never had any problems while it was under warranty. He did say, that we should try looking fo any class action lawsuits. I looked, but didn't find any. Is there anybody interested in starting a class action lawsuit?
#119 of 240 Re: Freestyle help! [nomorefords]
Dec 18, 2008 (12:28 pm)
What are you talking about? I read these boards all the time and haven't seen a common thread of engine and/or transmission management computers failing on the Freestyle. I also have an '05, now with 68,000 miles on it and it has been the most reliable car I've ever owned. Go Ford! Keep up the good work!
Any car can have a failure, and if it out of warranty then the onus is on you. It seems you are highly sensitive to such events, so perhaps next time you buy a car you should buy an extended warranty. The thought of suing any automaker for an out of warranty failure seems ridiculous to me. You bought the car and knew how long the warranty lasted, so why is this Ford's problem?
#120 of 240 Re: Freestyle help! [saabturboid]
Dec 18, 2008 (12:57 pm)
I gotta agree with saabturboid on this one. If the Freestyle had a high rate of failures over the entire population of vehicles, then there might be a class action lawsuit, similar to the one Toyota recently faced with their poor engineering of their V6 engines (sludge issue). However, we know Consumer Reports surveyed hundreds of random owners and found the Freestyle is actually MORE reliable than the average '05 vehicle out there. In my one case, my '05 Freestyle at 48,000 miles has had no major trouble, and gets great MPG, etc. I do sympathize with your problem, but understand that owning cars is risky in many ways. I know Honda owners that wish we would start WWII up again they are so mad at their Japanese makers! (Head cracking problems and electrical issues.) Its not rational, but there is the emotion. I am paranoid and got an extended warranty at some cost to my wallet. Also, I might add, I have an '05 F150 with no problems either. Fords are great cars. The Fusion has won JD Powers quality awards, for example.
#121 of 240 Freestyle trouble
Mar 31, 2009 (10:13 pm)
I bought my Freestyle new in Dec 2006. After having it a couple months while on a trip to San Diego when I went to pull out into traffic I lost all power, the engine didn't die but it would go down to an idle, I costed to the side put the car in park and then pulled back out into traffic no problem, this happened 2 times in that weekend. During the next week it happened again. I took the car to the Ford dealership and they replaced the throttle body. After putting 18,000 on the mile I took the car to the dealership because the brakes were failing, they didn't want to acknowledge there was a problem, they told my husband maybe I'd driven with the park brake on. My husband left the car there and said he wouldn't be back to pick it up until they agreed to replace the brakes, a few hours later they called and had replaced the brakes. They told my husband they hadn't seen this happen with other freestyles. Since then I have to replace the brakes every 30 to 40,000 miles. I've taken the car into the local Ford dealership 3 times because of a noise the car makes after I've been driving a while, I call it a whinning sound. I drive a lot of miles most days and after I've been driving a while the noise starts. Everytime I take the car in they tell me they can't find anything, theres no engine lights on and they've take it for a test drive and they hear nothing. I took it back about 3 weeks ago because I was just under 100,000 (my warranty expires) because the noise was still there and they told me the same thing. The technician had me go for a ride with him and we heard nothing. I told him he'd have to drive with me for 50 miles or so before it would start, he said he couldn't do that. Now I'm at 101,100 miles and today I drove 200 miles and the noise was VERY loud by the time I finished at the end of the day. I've had them check the transmission, they tell me it's a all in one unit and they aren't able to check the fluid. My husband had them check power steering, they say that's not it. After this last visit they sent the paper work to my home and it says they checked the transmission fluid but the technician told me himself he didn't know how to check the fluid because it appeared to be an all in one unit. I'm very stressed that now that I've hit my warranty I'm gonna have to replace the transmission. Any suggestions?
#122 of 240 Re: Freestyle trouble [rutho]
Apr 01, 2009 (3:12 pm)
The transmission fluid can be checked by a technician, but not by the consumer since there is no dip stick. Also, the car's computer will register transmission problems indicated either by the dreaded wrench light on the dash or by checking status of various components using the program on the steering wheel. You need to contact Ford Customer Service before warranty runs out. And the technician at your dealership sounds like an idiot, but there are lots of them our there, and we are at their mercy. Any other dealers around there.? Bonne chance.
#123 of 240 Re: Freestyle trouble [rutho]
Apr 02, 2009 (4:53 pm)
1.) The brakes on that car were junk out of the factory. They were basically recalled under a special campaign because of people complaining. Since then, they have fixed them and they should last longer. I can personally attest to this. My current set at 15k on them, has outlasted every other set and they are wearing well. The brakes have nothing to do with the throttle.
2.) I had a Limp home mode in my 500 as you described as well. Its not fun!
3.) The transmission's fluid can be checked, but its a pain and you might as well have your fluid changed because when they check it, they have to remove the air filter, battery, etc.. By the way, did you do that at 60k, per the owner's manual?
4.) The transmission in this car is fairly noisy - its a noisy chain! Please describe the car's noise in more detail. Where is it coming from? Is a "whinning" noise? My CVT makes noises when I let off the gas, coasting, or at slow speeds.
#124 of 240 Trouble on the way?
Apr 13, 2009 (2:54 pm)
Here's what I've got: a 2005 Freestyle SE that I purchased in May of 2006 with 19k on it. It now has 85,000 miles and is rock solid - hands down the best car I have ever owned. Aside from the normal maintenance, it has only seen the inside of the dealership once for a mysterious no-start problem at about 60k that never recurred. I had an extended warranty on it because I knew the CVT could be quirky but when the warranty company went out of business I wasn't too concerned (other than annoyed at the loss of my money) because the car has been so solid. Now I'm getting concerned. Over the last couple of weeks, I've noticed that I'm running higher rpms and varying rpms more than normal on the same stretch of winding country road I drive every day with that car. And twice in the last week, it has rolled backwards after shifting into drive from reverse backing out of a parking space. We had the normal service done on the transmission at about 60,000. Anything else that can or should be done? Or do I wait for the big bang and hope my kids aren't with me?? I'm obviously way out of warranty so anything I do will cost me. I'd like to have some info before I talk to the dealer. My husband is good with cars but the CVT is beyond his basic knowledge.
Apr 14, 2009 (2:19 pm)
Because the CVT has infinite ratios, the car will pick the best "speed" based upon conditions (ie speed, wind believe it or not). If there is just a little bit more wind outside, due to the drag, the car will rev higher. I've driven home before while its windy and the thing is running over 2k rpms vs a normal 1600 or whatever.....
There was a TSB about RPM flutter - it doesn't always doit but its not a big deal.
There is a stall speed on your car, and if your spot is slightly inclined in a strange way, it will go backwards. Just my 10 cents...... I think your car is fine but nobody here can diagnose things 100% accurately - check the dealer for that (and some dealers are lousy!)