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Ford Freestyle Transmission Problem

I’m curious if you’re familiar with this problem and what the likely outcome may be. I have a 2006 Ford Freestyle with 80,000 miles and the CVT transmission. I could drive around town for months and never have a problem, however when I’m on the highway after 60-90 minutes, all the idiot lights come on and the car behaves like it’s in neutral. At this point, I rev the gas and the engine doesn’t respond (I’ve since learned that the pedal doesn’t actually operate the throttle, but a switch to signal the engine to increase RPMs). I then pull over & shut the car off. After a few minutes, I’ll restart the car and it will be fine for a while, but once it happens, it will continue to happen, often with greater frequency. I’m way upside down on this car, since the last mini-van (a mercury villager) died before it was paid off, so I really don’t want to trade it in. However I’m not big on coming up with $4,000 for a new transmission either. A local tranny guy suggested checking for codes and hoping for a ‘speed sensor’ problem. He also told me that the CVT is not very serviceable and can only be replaced. Help!

It is likely the problem isn’t so much the transmission, more likely it is a problem in the electronics that controls the car. These kinds of issues can get complicated and are very car specific. Therefore, I think you need to go to a Ford dealer to diagnose this problem.

Thanks. Do you not advise having an independent transmission expert look at this then?

Yes, an indy transmission expert would be advisable. However, don’t be surprised if you are told that the only fix is to replace the trans, and few places (if any) currently know how to repair a CVT.

I think that Uncle Turbo’s advice–to take it to the Ford dealer–is the best course of action.

Too many maybes.
Get the codes checked.

Might even be that throttle position sensor you mentioned.
If the computer sees zero rpm it will give no shifting instruction to the transmission.

Plus the speed sensor possibilty. Zero speed sensed equals zero throttle response.
( in my 06 hyrbid Escape w/cvt, you can NOT rev the engine. Not in park , not in neutral. )

And with either of those conditions comes the possibility of wiring or plug problems creating the lack of signal.

This thread has been idle for a long time. Has anyone found any fixes?

Here’s my story. Our 2005 Freestyle started to have odd transmission behavior (wouldn’t move, or would inch along at very high rpm). Shutting it off and restarting it always cleared the engine and/or transmission light and it would drive fine, for a long time. I miss those days.

The transmission has been at AAMCO for a long time. Over the course of 3 months it has been back 6 times, often for weeks, and the transmission has been pulled 3 times. As of this writing, its been 2 weeks…so far! They had to find parts 1500 miles away, they’ve replaced the control board in the transmission twice.

Each time they thought they fixed it only to have me get it up to 45mph and bang! The trans. light and engine light come on. Same issue as everyone else, high-rev’ing. no power, clunky. One of the “clunks” cost us a motor mount.

After many attempts, AAMCO is trying the same stuff all over again. This is all done under the warranty (after spending nearly $6k) but we need to have it working. They thought they fixed it once, and we drove it 5k miles, but it leaked a little (it’s a sealed transmission). We’re back to square one.

If anyone has any advice I can give to AAMCO, please share. Thanks!