Last post on Nov 25, 2013 at 6:10 PM
You are in the Ford Freestar
What is this discussion about?
Ford Freestar, Mercury Monterey, Transmission, Van
Go to NHTSA to file a safety complaint.
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#103 of 1927 Joined the Transmission Failure Club at 49K Miles
Dec 29, 2007 (3:52 pm)
The transmission in our 04 Freestar SEL died the week before Christmas at 49K miles. The preliminary diagnosis is a pump failure. I don't know yet if this is related to the torque converter problems since I believe the TC drives the pump. I will find out more details when we pick it up in a couple of days. The van was in park, and when put into reverse, it moved about a foot, then nothing. No reverse, no forward.
These problems can't be limited to just the Freestars since the AX4N transmission is used on most Ford V-6 FWD applications from 1996-2006. The scary part is this version of the transmission is the most reliable of that transmission family which originated in the early 80s.
#104 of 1927 Re: Joined the Transmission Failure Club at 49K Miles [sunburn]
Dec 30, 2007 (10:52 am)
You are correct about that transmission. It is/was used in vehicles other than the Freestar. Remember the Windstar and Monteray? It was also used in the Taurus. According to my transmission expert, he sees them in his shop regularly so I would be hesitant to refer to this transmission as "reliable." Based on the knowledge I have gained throughout this ordeal, both in talking to real experts who don't have either an ax to grind or to answer to Ford, and also by spending hands on time in the shop where mine was fixed, I have concluded that the issue is a combination of faulty engineering and sub-standard materials used to manufacture the parts. Both issues are, undoubtedly, a result of cost cutting at Ford. Unfortunately, it is now becoming the problem of working families like mine who are left holding the bag. Speaking of working, I have to get to work right now however; I would lioke to leave you with this request: PLEASE REPORT YOUR FAILURE TO NHTSA. It is easy to do via their website. It took me about 15 minutes. Mabey NHTSA will wake up and recognize this as the safety hazard that it truly is and force a recall.
#105 of 1927 Re: Joined the Transmission Failure Club at 49K Miles [sunburn]
Dec 31, 2007 (6:22 am)
Wouldn't you think that there are enough of us that have had problems that Ford would to a Recall?? Our Monterey lost the transmission a year ago. Over $3k to fix, and of course, 5K out of warranty, and Ford did nothing to help.
#106 of 1927 Re: Joined the Transmission Failure Club at 49K Miles [sunburn]
Dec 31, 2007 (7:47 am)
Our Freestar is back on the road today. The transmission shop said that the splines on the torque converter stripped out, spreading metal throughout the transmission. Needed a total rebuild to the tune of $2100. There was another Freestar at the shop for the same problem. I'll submit my problem to the NHTSA later today.
It would be interesting to know if other Ford models (ie Taurus and Sable) that use this transmission are seeing similar problems. Maybe they use a different torque converter than the Freestars and are okay, I don't know. Then again, maybe this is only limited to certain model years.
#107 of 1927 Re: Joined the Transmission Failure Club at 49K Miles [hdparker]
Jan 01, 2008 (5:44 pm)
Thank you so much for responding. You would think that Ford would do the right thing with so many of us, (THOUSANDS OF US!), having the exact same problem. The reality of it is however; that they refuse to step up and do the right thing. Sadly, it is a rarity for a manufacturer to do so without being forced to do so. In this case, the agency that could force Ford to do a recall is NHTSA. To that end, please take the next step and report your transmission failure to NHTSA via their website. It is remarkably easy to do. My hope is that they get enough reports that they wake up and recognize this problem for the safety defect that it is and force a recall before someone gets killed in one of these things. Check your repair bill. Undoubtedly, it is the torque converter that failed. Also, you need to know that Ford paid another customer $3097.00 to fix theirs with the same defect in late November 2007. They had their failure exactly one week after ours. They got assistance and we didn't. Ford refuses to say why. Right now, I am working my states Office of the Attorney General to hopefully compel Ford to either pay up or divuldge the criteria that they use to determine who gets assistance and who doesn't. My guess is that it is anything but objective. My suspicion is that those of us who got a rebate when we purchased our Freestar/Monteray are the ones who are being turned away by Ford. I will never accept a rebate from another manufacturer if this is the case without first getting a promise in writing that it will not affect my ability to get coverage for a repair such as this. Further, if this is the case, I think this is out and out fraud. How can they justify paying some and not others? Spread the word. There is strength in numbers!
#108 of 1927 Re: Joined the Transmission Failure Club at 49K Miles [sunburn]
Jan 01, 2008 (5:51 pm)
Thanks for the reply! The problem you had is the exact same problem that I and THOUSANDS OF OTHERS had. My transmission guy says that he has seen it in all model years of this van. The reason they changed the name from Windstar to Freestar was to dodge all of the bad publicity from this transmission problem. Please follow up and report the failure to NHTSA. My guess is that with thousands more of these vehicles attaining the same magic number of miles, (+/- 44K), that we will be seeing more of this problem. Please refer to the rest of my postings for more information. Spread the word! There is strength in numbers and it just might help to save someones life. (Ours failed in the middle of an intersection with my entire family on board). Needless to say, this could have been tragic.
#109 of 1927 Re: Joined the Transmission Failure Club at 49K Miles [jgenovese]
Jan 02, 2008 (7:04 am)
Monterey 2005 with 49k.
Transmission dropped into neutral.
I am now gathering info and would like to thank you all for posting your similar transmission problems.
I am also getting the run around from Tasca Ford dealership. The dealership people are all acting as if this is the first time a Monterey transmission needed repairs. I even followed the maintenance schedule. Which included transmission fluid change. The fluid used in the replacement automatically gave a 150,000 mile warranty. I am now finding out that if the fluid company feels it is a defect the fluid companies warranty may not be applied. I now begin the struggle to actually get the transmission opened to see what is wrong. Only I can not get the transmission fluid people to open the transmission. I have to pay $650 to the dealership to open the transmission.
My transmission gave no warning signs prior to breaking. No slippage, clunking or rough shifting at all. It simple dropped out of gear into neutral on a main road at 40 mph.
As I read this website I began to actually see the dangers that transmission failure could actually represent in different traffic areas.
#110 of 1927 Re: Joined the Transmission Failure Club at 49K Miles [dowphoenix1]
Jan 02, 2008 (7:38 am)
Thank you for your post! This is what it is going to take for Ford/NHTSA to step up and take this issue seriously. We as consumers cannot let up the pressure on either Ford or NHTSA. This is not just about very expensive repairs that working families cannot afford and should not have to afford. It is about SAFETY. Please keep us informed and updated on your situation via this website. Also, PLEASE REPORT THIS FAILURE TO NHTSA via their website. It only takes about 15-20 minutes to complete and is the only way that NHTSA will take notice of the issue. Also, make sure you post your complaint with NHTSA by indicating BOTH the Powertrain-Automatic Transmission component and also the Automatic Transmission-Torque Converter component. (Self explanatory when you go through the steps to report your complaint). Again, Thank you for your post. Spread the word. There is strength in numbers and it just might save someone's life.
#111 of 1927 Another Mercury Transmission bites the dust!!!
Jan 04, 2008 (10:22 pm)
On December 15, 2007 while driving at approximately 40 mph the transmission on my 2004 Mercury Monterey went into neutral. No warning, no nothing. Luckily I was able to coast onto a smaller side street and call my husband for help. My van has just over 46,000 miles on it. I had the van towed to two different Ford dealerships. Both refused to pay for the repair even though I purchased the "Easy-Care Gold" extended warranty. My husband changed the transmission fluid at 30,000 miles just as the warranty called for. The dealership wants proof. How do you provide proof of maintenance performed at home? And after the research I have done regarding this particular problem there is absolutely nothing the owner can do to prevent the transmission from failing. Of course neither dealership said a thing about this being an ongoing problem. Does anyone know what I can do to get Ford to pay the $3500 for the new transmission? Also, shouldn't there be a recall for these transmissions before someone is hurt or killed? I filled out the complaint form with NHTSA. Is there anything else I can do to help get some action?
#112 of 1927 Re: Another Mercury Transmission bites the dust!!! [cowboys59]
Jan 05, 2008 (2:03 pm)
If you did the transmission fluid change yourself, your only proof would be the receipts for the filter and fluid. If you don't have those or Ford won't accept them, then it you're stuck in a difficult situation. The sad part is the problem is not related to the condition of the fluid, but a design or manufacturing defect in the torque converter. You probably don't need a new transmission, however. When the torque converter fails it can spread metal throughout the transmission. The transmission need to be disassembled and inspected for damage. It probably only needs to be cleaned out, overhauled, and reassembled. If you can't get anywhere with Ford, I would take your vehicle to a reputable, independent transmission shop. They will probably do a better job for less money.