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OK... here's a new problem for you guys to figure out

BrettS
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OK... here's a new problem for you guys to figure out

Post by BrettS » Mon Jul 20, 2009 11:28 am

Now that I finally had my wheel bearings replaced I've noticed one more problem with my 06 Freestyle. This is the FWD version and has about 76K on the odometer right now.

The problem I've noticed is this... When I'm traveling on the highway at about 70MPH the tach is at about 2000 or 2100 RPM. As long as I remain at this speed and the road stays flat then I'm fine, but if I start climbing a hill or start to accelerate a bit the tach will slowly rise. At about 2300 or 2400 RPM the freestyle bucks a little bit and the tach quickly rises by another 200 or 300 RPM.

It feels a bit like a regular automatic transmission shifting gears, but definitely more noticable than that... a quick loss of power followed by a quick return of power.

I suspect that it's a transmission issue or something in the drive train rather than an engine issue because the tach doesn't drop at all when this happens (in fact it rises pretty quickly), however, I also suspect that the tach is dampened somewhat, so if the engine did stumble I might not see it on the tach.

Also, it is definitely not a 2300 RPM thing. If I'm on a surface street I can accellerate from a stop light quickly and get all the way through to 2700 or 3000 RPM and that accelleration is nice and smooth. Even if I'm on the highway and I accelerate quickly through 2300RPM it usually doesn't happen... it's more likely to happen if I slowly accelerate or start going up a small hill. Additionally it happens when the cruise control is on and I start up a small hill.

As I said, it doesn't happen every time I move through 2300RPM... typically if I'm accelerating harder it won't happen, but I can definitely reproduce it.

Finally one more thing, but I'm not sure if it's related or not. The other night I was driving on the highway and I was trying to play around to reproduce this issue and see if I could figure anything out. After making it happen 4 or 5 times in reasonably quick succession the freestyle bucked much more than normal. I noticed that wrench light came on and I was still traveling at 65 or 70MPH, but the tach was way up at about 3500RPM. I shifted into neutral, shut off the engine, gave it a second or two, then restarted the engine. The wrench light didn't come back on, so I shifted back into gear and everything seemed normal for the rest of the trip home. I stopped at autozone the next morning and borrowed their code reader, but it didn't find any codes.

Any thoughts on what might be causing this?

Thanks,
Brett

BrettS
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Re: OK... here's a new problem for you guys to figure out

Post by BrettS » Mon Jul 20, 2009 12:33 pm

One more note... as I said, the car has 76K on it right now, and I bought it used about 2000 miles ago. I do not know if the 60K transmission service was performed on it or not and I was kind of leaning toward having it done (or more likely, doing it myself) just to be safe. But now I'm wondering if I should hold off until I figure out what's going on with this issue. I'd hate to spend a few hundred dollars changing the transmission fluid only to find that the transmission needs to be rebuilt or replaced because of this problem.

On the flip side, though, I did see a few posts that suggested that problems like this might be caused by dirty fluid and changing the fluid might solve this problem.

Do you think I should go ahead and change the fluid in the hopes that it'll fix my issue, or do you think that something else might be going on?

Thanks again,
Brett

WI05Freestyle
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Re: OK... here's a new problem for you guys to figure out

Post by WI05Freestyle » Mon Jul 20, 2009 1:54 pm

Did it stall? Almost stall?
If it missed, it might need to re-adjust for the speed and the rpm's will go up for a second? It could throw a code if its bad enough like yours did.

What about fuel pump? If its not getting fuel for a split second, it could buck, and then throw a code, and have the rpm's go back up.

Thats strange the computer didn't save the code unless you turned it on/off too many times.

I don't know if the CVT would react differently to a miss/bad fuel pump...I wonder if you shifted it into neutral going 65 down the freeway and then put it back into drive, and then stepped on the gas, if the RPMS would go up to find the correct ratio once again. If they did, that could prove my hypothesis that the CVT quickly readjusts......I know the rpms shoot way up when in neutral, go back down when you put it in gear, and go back up.....not saying your car is going into neutral, but thinking of how the CVT would react.

If you can get it to duplicate, take it to a Ford dealership.
03 Ford Explorer Limited V6
06 Ford Freestyle Limited AWD
05 Ford Mustang V6

WI05Freestyle
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Re: OK... here's a new problem for you guys to figure out

Post by WI05Freestyle » Mon Jul 20, 2009 1:59 pm

I will say this, this car and the 500 have weird things cause Wrench (a failed alternator, for example).

I wonder if the valve body on that mechatronic (CVT part), could be acting up......million different things, sorry.

One thing though, after I had my CVT fluid flushed - couldn't tell different in FS/500......I could sometimes in my old Tauri, those AX4N wouldn't shudder as much :lol:
03 Ford Explorer Limited V6
06 Ford Freestyle Limited AWD
05 Ford Mustang V6

BrettS
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Re: OK... here's a new problem for you guys to figure out

Post by BrettS » Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:08 pm

WI05Freestyle wrote:Did it stall? Almost stall?
I don't think so... if it did stall then it restarted, because it was definitely running when I shifted to neutral before I shut it off. Of course, I was moving at about 70MPH at the time, so I suspect that would be enough to restart it even if it did stall.
If it missed, it might need to re-adjust for the speed and the rpm's will go up for a second? It could throw a code if its bad enough like yours did.
I suppose it's conceivable that it's missing, but the one time I had the big problem the RPM's went up for more than a second or two... it was probalby at least 15 or 30 seconds that it was at 3500+ RPM before I shut it off, and I even tried to hit the gas to see if that would get it to downshift, but that just got it up to nearly 4000RPM.
What about fuel pump? If its not getting fuel for a split second, it could buck, and then throw a code, and have the rpm's go back up.
Again, I suppose it's conceivable that it's the fuel pump or that it's missing, but I tend to suspect that this is not the case because it consistantly does it at about 2300RPM on the highway under gentle acceleration. I haven't seen it happen at any other times. If there was a fuel pump issue or an engine issue I would expect it to happen randomly whenever I was driving.
Thats strange the computer didn't save the code unless you turned it on/off too many times.
I don't think that was the case. As I said, I turned it off and on again to restart it after the wrench light came on, then I got home and turned it off and it sat for the night. In the morning I turned it on and drove straight to autozone, then turned it off while I went into the store. Finally I turned the key back to on (but didn't start the engine) to test it with the code reader. I can't imagine that would be enough on/off cycles to lose the code.
I don't know if the CVT would react differently to a miss/bad fuel pump...I wonder if you shifted it into neutral going 65 down the freeway and then put it back into drive, and then stepped on the gas, if the RPMS would go up to find the correct ratio once again. If they did, that could prove my hypothesis that the CVT quickly readjusts......I know the rpms shoot way up when in neutral, go back down when you put it in gear, and go back up.....not saying your car is going into neutral, but thinking of how the CVT would react.
I'm not sure either... it's definitely happening faster that it would if I manually put it in neutral, then back in gear... it's literally just a fraction of a second where it loses power, then a fraction of a second later it's got power again, but it's certainly enough to feel. I'll try to manually shift it into neutral, then back into gear just to see if the losing and regaining power parts feel similar.

Thanks for your thoughts,
Brett

If you can get it to duplicate, take it to a Ford dealership.[/quote]

dmckmc
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Re: OK... here's a new problem for you guys to figure out

Post by dmckmc » Mon Jul 20, 2009 3:17 pm

That is a good description of what mine was doing. At highway speed it would sometimes feel like it would 'miss' or 'buck' but only so briefly and then all ok. It ended up being a coil over plug failure. I did finally get a CEL that clued me in but it was months after I first noticed it. Of course the coil that failed was on the backside. Replaced all coils and plugs (107K and time anyway) and problem gone.

Bullfrog.
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Re: OK... here's a new problem for you guys to figure out

Post by Bullfrog. » Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:54 pm

dmckmc wrote:That is a good description of what mine was doing. At highway speed it would sometimes feel like it would 'miss' or 'buck' but only so briefly and then all ok. It ended up being a coil over plug failure. I did finally get a CEL that clued me in but it was months after I first noticed it. Of course the coil that failed was on the backside. Replaced all coils and plugs (107K and time anyway) and problem gone.
I'd have to agree with dmckmc. The "bucking" is what has me convinced...just about any vehicle will exibit this behavior when under stress if there is an ignition problem...fuel starvation tends to be more of a "bog" than a "buck". When the RPMs are higher, misses are not always as apparant, but once the load is applied, usually around the same rpm (or lower if the load is applied sooner-like you going up an incline), the miss becomes more pronounced.

If it's not throwing any codes yet, that makes diagnosis difficult--turns into a replace-until-it-goes-away situation. You could take it to a shop to have them run a diagnosis on each coilpack & wire...or just give it an early tune-up? Take a voltmeter to each pack while you have them off; replace the plugs and wires and any under-spec packs. Just my 2-cents worth of experience. 8)
2007 Ford Freestyle Limited (Black)
bought April 2009

**DIY GUY**

BrettS
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Re: OK... here's a new problem for you guys to figure out

Post by BrettS » Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:04 pm

Bullfrog. wrote:
dmckmc wrote:I'd have to agree with dmckmc.

If it's not throwing any codes yet, that makes diagnosis difficult--turns into a replace-until-it-goes-away situation.
Thanks for the replies guys. Hopefully it's something as simple as that. It's definitely not throwing codes and the problem isn't too bad yet... do you think I'd do any damage if I just let it go until I did get a code or do you think this is something I should try to take care of right now?

If I do it myself, I don't anticipate too much of a problem replacing the plugs and the coils if necessary (although it looks like I need to remove the intake to get to the ones in the back, so that might be interesting). The coil packs connect directly to the plugs, so I'm not sure that I'd need to worry about the wires, would I? There are low voltage wires going to each of the coil packs, but the way they're bundled in with other wires it doesn't look like they were designed to be easily changed. Additionally they really don't look to be in very bad shape.

The coil packs don't seem to be very cheap... after a quick search it looks like they're around $80 each or $250 to $300 for a kit with all six. I have no problem replacing them if they're bad, but I hate to spend that much if I don't need to. Exactly how would I test them with a voltmeter?

Also, I pulled one of the plugs in the front and I discovered that it looks a lot like this...
http://www.askamechanic.info/askamech2/ ... 20Plug.jpg

My center electrode isn't as worn down as that one is, but it is somewhat rounded off and it does have some black carbon build up. There is also a lot of brown powdery build up on the side electrode as shown in the picture. Is that OK or do you think that the plugs are due to be changed?

Thanks again,
Brett

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Imperial Death Star
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Re: OK... here's a new problem for you guys to figure out

Post by Imperial Death Star » Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:25 pm

The Ford CVT is actually 2 speeds. The symptoms you are describing sounds like the car feels the need to shift into the "accelarating gear" to help maintain speed.

Try ebay for the coils, someone there has them brand new for $29.99 free shipping!

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/NEW-MOTO ... tsupported
2005 FreeStyle SEL AWD - Red Fire-110,000 miles
2001 BMW 530i (Titanium Silver) 129,000 miles
1998 Volvo V70R-(Vader Black)201,000 miles (retired)

BrettS
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Re: OK... here's a new problem for you guys to figure out

Post by BrettS » Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:32 pm

Imperial Death Star wrote:The Ford CVT is actually 2 speeds. The symptoms you are describing sounds like the car feels the need to shift into the "accelarating gear" to help maintain speed.
So is this normal, then or should it be a smoother shift?
Try ebay for the coils, someone there has them brand new for $29.99 free shipping!
Thanks... that does seem much cheaper:)

Wheelman
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Re: OK... here's a new problem for you guys to figure out

Post by Wheelman » Mon Jul 20, 2009 9:07 pm

I wouldn't rule out the fuel pump just yet. The pump may be fine under normal conditions but, when there is a demand on it, it might falter intermittently but not consistently. I would just give the problem some time and let it manifest itself more prominently.
It is also possible the CVT may need some maintenance.

JJ Marier
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Re: OK... here's a new problem for you guys to figure out

Post by JJ Marier » Mon Jul 20, 2009 9:42 pm

First Change Spark Plugs

BrettS
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Re: OK... here's a new problem for you guys to figure out

Post by BrettS » Tue Jul 21, 2009 6:21 am

Wheelman wrote:The pump may be fine under normal conditions but, when there is a demand on it, it might falter intermittently but not consistently.
The thing is... it actually is pretty consistant. As I said above, I can definitely reproduce the problem on the highway by starting at about 70MPH and slowly accellerating. It doesn't happen every time, but it happens on 3 out of 4 attempts. I would tend to think that something that consistent wouldn't be an intermittent fuel pump problem.
I would just give the problem some time and let it manifest itself more prominently.
That's probably a good idea, and I just found out what's involved in removing the intake to change the spark plugs. Given the work involved and considering that I'm reasonably green as a mechanic I don't think I'm really going to have a Saturday to commit to this for another three or four weeks anyway. Maybe by then I'll get a code or two to help diagnose the problem.

Thanks again,
Brett

jaunty75
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Re: OK... here's a new problem for you guys to figure out

Post by jaunty75 » Tue Jul 21, 2009 6:18 pm

I was still traveling at 65 or 70MPH, but the tach was way up at about 3500RPM. I shifted into neutral, shut off the engine, gave it a second or two, then restarted the engine.
So let me get this straight. You were traveling at 70 mph on the highway, and you put the car in neutral and turned it OFF? Didn't this affect your ability to steer the car as well as stop it? Isn't that a bit risky? What if the car didn't restart? You say it was only for a "second or two," but that's a lot of ground at 70 mph, and it was probably off longer than you think. I doubt this is in any of Ford's official troubleshooting manuals. I also doubt that this tells you anything of value.

Bullfrog.
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Re: OK... here's a new problem for you guys to figure out

Post by Bullfrog. » Tue Jul 21, 2009 6:21 pm

JJ Marier wrote:First Change Spark Plugs

Seriously. If your plugs look anything like those in the photo, then this is a pretty good indicator of the problem. 8)

*my bad typing "plugs and wires"...just used to replacing both at the same time...this is my first vehicle without the wires :oops:
2007 Ford Freestyle Limited (Black)
bought April 2009

**DIY GUY**

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