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Throttle Body/Transmission issue solved!

PhotoMaster
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Re: Throttle Body/Transmission issue solved!

Post by PhotoMaster » Tue Oct 16, 2012 4:09 pm

A little update on the throttle body/transmission/PCM issue. In addition to the 170,000 Freestyles, Taurus-Xs, Ford 500s that I knew about, I have recently found out that it also effects others. The effected vehicles include the Escape, the Edge, the Fusion, the Mercury Montego and the Mercury Montero. A 17 year old girl died as a result of this issue in the Escape. Ford settled the issue with her family for an undisclosed amount of money.

Jack Watts
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Re: Throttle Body/Transmission issue solved!

Post by Jack Watts » Tue Oct 16, 2012 5:55 pm

PhotoMaster wrote:A little update on the throttle body/transmission/PCM issue. In addition to the 170,000 Freestyles, Taurus-Xs, Ford 500s that I knew about, I have recently found out that it also effects others. The effected vehicles include the Escape, the Edge, the Fusion, the Mercury Montego and the Mercury Montero. A 17 year old girl died as a result of this issue in the Escape. Ford settled the issue with her family for an undisclosed amount of money.
The 2 issues are not related--at all. This is an issue of a sticking throttle cable. The Freestyle doesn't even have a throttle cable?

PhotoMaster
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Re: What cars did we get rid of to get our Freestyles!!!

Post by PhotoMaster » Sat Oct 20, 2012 9:49 am

I found that you are correct on the other models, as mentioned in the previous post. My apologies. My source was flawed.

After much fighting with Ford, trying to get a recall on the runaway vehicle issue, I decided I have had enough. Let the media and politicians sort it out. I dumped my Freestyle in favor of a Ridgeline. I wish everyone the best and hope for a speedy recall on this issue. Be safe, be well and be happy.

Greg

05BlueSEL
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Re: Throttle Body/Transmission issue solved!

Post by 05BlueSEL » Sun Oct 21, 2012 6:22 pm

I'm a mechanical engineer and a Freestyle owner. I think there is quite a bit of (no doubt well intentioned) misinformation in this thread. I've experienced and fixed the "surge" problem on our Freestyle, have corresponded with the NHTSA engineer on the case and think I have a pretty good understanding of the issue:

The PCV system dumps blowby gases carrying sludge etc into the airstream behind the throttle body. When idling or running at light throttle some of the sludge builds up in the throttle body bore right behind the position that the throttle plate sits when nearly closed. Once built up, this slightly obstructs the airflow at very small throttle openings which changes the amount of throttle opening required at idle and to correct for A/C, power steering load etc. The stock ECU calibration does not always handle compensating for this correctly and can overshoot the correct RPM momentarily, resulting in a "surge" and sometimes more vehicle motion than intended.

Ford's response to these complaints and NHTSA inquiry was to issue a service bulletin calling for throttle body cleaning and an ECU recalibration. I assume but do not know that the recalibration is to better handle the dirty condition, it may be only to better diagnose the condition.

Upon learning all this I spent a leisurely hour removing and cleaning the throttle body on our Freestyle, which has completely cured the problem. It has not recurred through the full summer driving season and several thousand miles. I have not bothered with the recalibration, having confirmed for myself (having been skeptical) that cleaning is effective and seeing how easy it is. I'd guess that the problem will recur in another 30 - 50 thousand miles and that I'll have to clean it again. Not an ideal situation but not that big of a deal, IMO, once understood.

Not everyone has the mechanical ability or confidence to remove and clean the throttle body (though it's pretty easy!) but there should not be a large labor bill for doing so. (Anyone asking an independent mechanic to do this should emphasize that it's the buildup in the bore immediately behind the throttle plate that needs cleaning.)

That's my $0.02!

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thegoldenhand
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Re: Throttle Body/Transmission issue solved!

Post by thegoldenhand » Mon Oct 22, 2012 12:08 am

FordTaurus wrote:The dirty throttle body was caused by dirt.
A newly cleaned throttle body (or replaced throttle body) need to plug into the computer so the throttle body know how to behave. (Or many just disconnect the battery, connect again, back to normal)
The programming is the same as the programming when the vehicle was new. Even if not re program, the information was already in the on board computer.

According to the out source infor, the surge could be stop with the brake within 10 feet and less than 5 mph. (or, I forgot, 5 feet and less than 10 mph) So, no missile what so ever.

Stop imagining problems, when the problem was investigated and resolution found.
Sometimes I wonder if some people on this board are really Ford Freestyle owners or Ford employees trying to pretend to own the Freestyle. Jeesh...

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FordTaurus
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Re: Throttle Body/Transmission issue solved!

Post by FordTaurus » Mon Oct 22, 2012 6:02 am

thegoldenhand wrote: Sometimes I wonder if some people on this board are really Ford Freestyle owners or Ford employees trying to pretend to own the Freestyle. Jeesh...
Who? me? :roll:

Jack Watts
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Re: Throttle Body/Transmission issue solved!

Post by Jack Watts » Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:57 am

05BlueSEL wrote:I'm a mechanical engineer and a Freestyle owner. I think there is quite a bit of (no doubt well intentioned) misinformation in this thread. I've experienced and fixed the "surge" problem on our Freestyle, have corresponded with the NHTSA engineer on the case and think I have a pretty good understanding of the issue:

The PCV system dumps blowby gases carrying sludge etc into the airstream behind the throttle body. When idling or running at light throttle some of the sludge builds up in the throttle body bore right behind the position that the throttle plate sits when nearly closed. Once built up, this slightly obstructs the airflow at very small throttle openings which changes the amount of throttle opening required at idle and to correct for A/C, power steering load etc. The stock ECU calibration does not always handle compensating for this correctly and can overshoot the correct RPM momentarily, resulting in a "surge" and sometimes more vehicle motion than intended.
You're mostly right, but there's an additional issue, which is that the throttle position sensor uses a contact-type sensor (wipers on film potentiometer) instead of a Hall-effect sensor (used my most manufacturers). The result is that the sensor can and will wear out. It obviously was designed for the life-cycle of the car, and that probably would be the case. However, the ECU obviously struggles when the TB gets dirty, and there's excessive movement of the wipers on the film in those conditions. A couple of years ago someone broke open his TPS after it failed, and the failure mode was pretty obvious: there was a stepped ridge on the printed film, deep enough that the voltage between the low and high side potentiometers was unreliable enough to send the car into safe mode when the wiper arms passed over that ridge. If your TB reaches this point, no amount of cleaning is going to help, which is why 1) cleaning doesn't always work, and 2) cleaning it before a problem occurs is probably a good idea. So, there's more to it than just how the ECU handles the variations in voltage when the plate is dirty.

I'm not trying to be all doom-and-gloom about it, just to explain the problem in detail. I'm >130K on the original TB with no problems. The annoying thing is that the TPS is integrated into the TB, so a $30.00 repair becomes a $300.00 repair--and that they're using a contact sensor in the first place, which is kinda lame.

It's worth mentioning that Volvo had a massive recall on this exact same style of throttle body, so the problem isn't new. Ford's answer was to use a more robust film sensor, rather than to go to a non-contact sensor; bad move on their part, IMO.

05BlueSEL
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Re: Throttle Body/Transmission issue solved!

Post by 05BlueSEL » Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:35 pm

When we first had the problem and I read through this forum, I read about the sensor wear and also about cleaning the throttle body. At that point, it made no sense to me that a surge could be caused by crud buildup - and it made sense that it could be caused by a worn TPS.

After learning more about the issue, reading the Ford and NHTSA reports, and seeing numerous posts here about successful "cleanings" I finally tried the cleaning - and as above, it's been completely successful, night and day difference. Obviously mine is a sample of one, but I have to think that anything Ford and NHTSA looked at were probably the same, and most posters seem to have reported success.

So I *think* that malfunction due to a worn sensor is the exception rather than the rule, though I certainly cannot prove it.

I do also wonder if everyone who "cleans" their TB actually eliminates the builtup ridge of crud in the bore. Mine also had quite a bit of crud on the throttle plate and shaft - ugly but probably harmless excepting a probably trivial flow/power loss. I suspect maybe some folks - having no idea at all as to "why" they are cleaning - leave enough of the bore deposit to retain the problem??

In any event, as I'm sure is obvious, my motive in posting was twofold, to let people know what part of cleaning is critical and also why it works, as well as convincing current and future owners that this is (usually anyway) a relatively minor issue to deal with.

Vic l
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Re: Throttle Body/Transmission issue solved!

Post by Vic l » Fri Jul 08, 2016 8:03 pm

2005 ford 500 problems plz help I took it to a shop they told me it was a throttlebody actuator so I bought a new throttlebody a used one but was tested good re programmed it 3 times an still when I start driving after it shifts in to 3rd gear it sputters dam stalls then fail safe mode comes on an something about ignition distributor Engine speed input Circuit code comes on an throttle body Actuator forced limited power code comes on also

Woganm
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Re: Throttle Body/Transmission issue solved!

Post by Woganm » Sat Aug 13, 2016 6:59 pm

I have a 06 ford freestyle has been sitting for 8 months and would like to get fixed I put new throttle body peddle sensor and still no good I can't find the range sensor on it can some plz help

Dany 06 freestyle
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Re: Throttle Body/Transmission issue solved!

Post by Dany 06 freestyle » Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:02 pm

Anyone Owned ans own a freestyle... just bought one... like the wagon style

Dany 06 freestyle
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Re: Throttle Body/Transmission issue solved!

Post by Dany 06 freestyle » Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:03 pm

Ans reading this.. I’m scared

knowitall
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Re: Throttle Body/Transmission issue solved!

Post by knowitall » Thu Oct 10, 2019 6:00 am

Be afraid.....be very afraid.

Deckard_Cain
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Re: Throttle Body/Transmission issue solved!

Post by Deckard_Cain » Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:05 am

Dany 06 freestyle wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:03 pm
Ans reading this.. I’m scared
Why?

Clean your throttle body before there is an issue and there won't be one. The only thing "scary" about the 500/Montego/Freestyle is CVT maintenance, reliability and longevity and the costs associated with them.

dwighte
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Re: Throttle Body/Transmission issue solved!

Post by dwighte » Thu Oct 10, 2019 5:28 pm

I think it is a double problem. I suspect the computer problem is the reaction of the computer to a dirty TB. When mine started acting up it put me in the limp home mode, the third time it lunged. I did a thorough cleaning of the TB and it is happy again. My guess is that it is mostly fine dirt, that gets past the air filter, oil from the PCV and oil form the intake valve guides that makes the caked on gunk. Cleaning the TB is the simplest job I've done on my FS. It makes replacing sparkplugs look like a major shop job.
Dwight

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