The van was purchased in 2011 at 94K miles, and now has 165K on it. It spent its first year as a Hertz rental unit in Hawaii, then as a privately owned vehicle in the Twin Cities area before we bought it. So far there is no body rust, and all features and functions work as they should. It is still almost completely squeak and rattle free, and has a good tight and solid feel overall. Wind noise is a bit below average. Engine, transmission, and exhaust appear to be original and unopened and are working well and not leaking. This is probably the quietest and smoothest shifting AT I have ever owned. The engine burns no oil.
Service and Repairs so far: Routine oil & filter changes with Mobil-1 5W-20 every 6K miles. Had right front wheel bearing replaced at 145K. Pads & rotors (normal wear & tear at 155,000 - DIY). Spark plugs, coil pack, and wires (did it myself at 96K as a preventive measure). Problem with water in PCM connector causing misfiring and error codes (fixed myself by cleaning & sealing connector - no recurrence). New rear shocks at 155K (by myself - easy for a diy-er on this vehicle). New headlight bulbs twice (DIY - no tools needed except possibly a car key). New serpentine belt at 100K as a preventive measure. I have a complete ATF flush/change every 15-20K as a preventive measure - it has paid off in the form of NO transmission problems on 2 other minivans (98 Ford Windstar and 95 Plymouth Voyager) that were notorious for transmission problems. We use it for towing a small utility trailer with no problems, and a 1900 lb. boat plus trailer, which is the max I would want to tow with it. When towing the boat we run it in 3rd. gear if there are any hills at all, and try to run with the A/C off.
Pros: Good crisp handling (for a mini-van), snappy performance w/good passing performance, 6-disc CD player & cornering lights (SEL and Limited only), good heating and A/C, which will freeze you out if you want it to, rear seat folds flat into floor, nice styling, comfortable front seats, good sound system.
Cons: Blind spot to driver's left rear, so-so mileage (18-20 local driving, 21-24 highway), road noise (varies with pavement surface and type of tire, and as a fleet vehicle may not have had as much sound deadening material added when built; fleet delete?), only one switch to operate both rear vent windows, middle seats are heavy and hard to take out or put back in, and middle and rear seats are too low - okay for children and short people, uncomfortable for tall people.
IMO, Ford started out in the mini-van business with a great basic design that attracted many customers at first, and might have grabbed a larger share of that market segment. However, by cutting corners, letting customer care slide, and making ill-advised mechanical changes, they failed to attract and maintain a loyal customer base. Considering that they haven't made Windstar, Freestar, or Mercury Monterey minivans since 2007, there are still quite a few of them on the road, and I know people who like them and who will hate to part with them when they finally wear out. However, early in the program and occasionally thereafter, there was in-the-field debugging that had to be done, and by failing to quickly address the weaknesses, Ford caused the line to die prematurely. IMO. But we really like ours and hope to get about 300K miles out of it, depending on how badly it rusts and future parts availability.
my ford 06 freestar has 55,000 miles. I was pulling out onto a busy street. my transmission stopped working with no warning and I was able to coast to the middle lane. luckily some men helped push me across a lane of very busy traffic where I called a tow truck who took me to a repair shop. the tourque converter was shot and my transmission had to rebuilt and cost almost 3000 dollars. the 2005 and 2004 freestars were recalled for this very same problem, but the 2006s have not. this is inexcuseable and very dangerous. I and my two young passengers could have been seriously injured or killed.
recall 2006 freestar transmission and repair them .
2006 Ford Freestar Limited 4dr Minivan (4.2L 6cyl 4A)
We purchase our 2006Ford Freestar used with 45k. We have had one minor and one major repair since then. We had the repair a piece for one of the auto sliding door to work. And we had to replace the entire drivers central console due to the led communication panel failure. I could have lived without it but an odometer is required to pass state inspection. Other than that we love the car. We use it to trailer our 1500 lbs of gear to Cape Cod. The big high torque engine is amazing. Always power to spare. We love the entertainment system with DVD and wireless headsets. The car has plenty of room for even the longest trip. We even have used the trunk as a junior RV for long weekends.
The engine with tons of torque. Seat Warmers for cold mornings at the bus stop. Folding seats.
2006 Freestar has the same failures as the 2004 and 2005 Freestars: Transmission and PCM.
Also, leaking coolant and power steering.
Purchased from dealer at 53K miles one owner.
Head rest bent forward for some strange reason.
CD player jammed.
Click in right front wheel when backing.
Rattling noise in fan during idle.
Walked out of the dealer with $5500 positive equity. Now we know why.
All negated by poor quality vehicle
Never buy Ford.
Third lemon in family in three generations.