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Considering a 2007 LTD FWD

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carpniels
Regular Member
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2014 1:43 pm

Considering a 2007 LTD FWD

Post by carpniels » Sat Mar 08, 2014 8:41 pm

Hi folks,

So it's been great to read so many posts about the Freestyle, but you've sufficiently scared us about the transmission. We're considering purchasing a 2007 Limited (with all the bells and whistles) FWD with 72,500 miles. We have to drive 6 hours to get it, so it better give a good test drive!! Anyway, the dealer said it has 4 new tires, new air filter, new motor mount, oil change, and passed inspection. We are purchasing because we wanted a car with at least 21/27 mpg with at least 6 seats, 7 is a bonus. (This one has 7). It is replacing a Mazda5 that we have greatly enjoyed, but we were rear-ended in the snow (we live in upstate NY) and it has been totalled by the insurance company. So our choice is either replace with another Mazda5, or for the same price get this Freestyle which would give us an extra seat, way more cargo space, some more 3rd row room, and a DVD player for the kids.

Our fear is, at 72,500 miles and no record of the transmission fill/drain, do we just get it done? Is it an absolute must to avoid the CVT issue? If we do get it done, is it still possible to have a CVT issue down the line, even if you regularly maintain the throttle body with every oil change? Should we ask the dealer to check the TB before purchasing? And should we actually pay them to do the CVT drain/fill right there, or is it easy enough to DIY?

Also, a major question is, we test-drove one today, but it only had 6 seats. The one we'd like to purchase has 7, but we have no idea how the accessibility is of that 3rd row. How hard is it to pull the 2nd row seats forward? A breeze? Even for kids (ages 7-10)? And would we miss the legroom flexibility in that third row with that bench seat taking up that otherwise open aisle space? It worries me, because we are a family of 6, but occasionally Grandpa visits us for extended periods and it is kind of attractive to be able to just bring him along rather than have 2 cars driving. Any opinions on 3rd row access with the bench 2nd row?

THANKS SO MUCH!

DanfromSterling
Regular Member
Posts: 176
Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2011 7:29 pm

Re: Considering a 2007 LTD FWD

Post by DanfromSterling » Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:29 am

I have 3 freestyles and yet another 1 in my extended family (my parents) for total of 4. So I am considered the family expert on the vehicle as I maintain all of them (Lucky me).

To answer your questions. I would not be to worried about the transmission fluid NOT being serviced yet with 72,500 miles on the vehicle. Some of the transmission issues noted on this site seemed to have came after the service was completed. This is the only vehicle in Ford's history with a CVT transmission. So this has a special fluid then every other vehicle at the ford dealership. I talked with couple Ford service dealers and they didn't even seem to want to touch changing the trans fluid after they found out it had a CVT transmission (after I told them it was CVT transmission). Ford service seemed to be confused between Freestyle (cross over/suv vehicle) and Freestar (mini van). So fluids are different and service procedure as all the other vehicles they hook up a flush unit (not suppose to do this on Freestyle, I'm sure it's been done). The freestyle trans fluid is just a drain and add of fluid. Get about 6 to 7 quarts out and 10 quarts in system so 3 to 4 quarts remain in unit after drain (no way to get out).

I ended up changing the trans fluid out myself on (2) of my freestyles. No way I would let dealerships touch my cars based on conversation I had with 2 of them. I didn't do the trans fluid swap until around 100,000 miles on (2) of my cars and I did the transmission fluid swap on my parents at 80,000 miles. My wife's car has 80,000 miles on it and when I have time I will swap the fluid out on this as well.

There are write up on here to do the job. Rather easy just time consuming if doing complete job. Couple of hours. Replacing the filter in the trans pan is 20 bolts that need pulled. Replacing the high pressure filter trans mount needs taken off to access and 4 bolts to pull. Need (2) jacks to complete task. 1 to jack up the car and 1 to support the transmission after mount is removed. Also I bought new trans pan seal off of http://www.rockauto.com that is a foam seal the OEM seal is not very good and new seal is needed when putting back together.

Then on your last question related to the 2nd row seat. The left hand 2nd row seat is the only seat that is different making it bench or bucket. I had a bench seat in my car (7 pass) and purchased bucket seat from junk yard for $75 (6 pass). Swapped the seats out which is only 4 bolts. 2nd row seats flip up easy for access to the rear two seats, once kids get use to how it works they should NOT have issue. Limited seats add another movement with slide rail allowing seat to slide forward and back. SE/SEL don't have this feature.

So you can have either seat option in few minutes changing out the seats. 2 of my freestyles have the bucket seats in them and 1 has the bench seat. But all of them have the other option seat in the basement. Depends on driver preference. My wife likes bench and I like bucket. Also bucket you can go down the middle to access the rear seats as long as the optional middle console isn't installed.

Almost forgot about your comment on Throttle Body. I take off TB (4) bolts and spray with carb cleaner about 1 time a year every time I replace air filter. 1 of our freestyles seemed gutless. Hesitation when giving it gas at times. When my wife would drive my car she always complained about it. I didn't think much about it as I drive expressway to work and back and not as aggressive driver as my wife. I found the issue related to this was the TB. So I purchased used TB off ebay for $90 shipped (off 2006 ford five hundred) and that resolved the issue. Most of TB issues were due to manufacturing issue on 2005 models (we have (4) 2005). Not as common on 2006/2007.

Hope this helps... Welcome to the Freestyle Family if you decide to purchase.

Dan from Canton, Michigan

carpniels
Regular Member
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2014 1:43 pm

Re: Considering a 2007 LTD FWD

Post by carpniels » Sun Mar 09, 2014 10:24 am

Thanks so much for your quick response and reassurance, Dan. I do think we want to move forward and purchase; we just feel like it's a crap shoot as to whether or not we'll end up with a bad transmission. Is the consensus on this forum that the transmission problems happen willy-nilly, even if you do all the perfect maintenance, or that if you are diligent and perform perfect maintenance, you can prevent the transmission failure? That Helicopter Club that is building membership on this forum is concerning. Plus we ran into a person who had one yesterday and asked her how she liked it, and she said it was great, but they did need to replace the transmission. Also, a friend had one, and said they got rid of it because of the transmission. They were 2006 SE/SELs.

DanfromSterling
Regular Member
Posts: 176
Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2011 7:29 pm

Re: Considering a 2007 LTD FWD

Post by DanfromSterling » Sun Mar 09, 2014 4:23 pm

There are other options out there very similar to the Freestyle (same body style and seat configurations). They are the Ford Taurus X and the Ford Flex. These have 6 speed transmissions. Bigger engines 3.5L vs 3.0L and gas mileage goes down from 27 to 24 on highway.

There are people on here with 200,000 miles on original transmission with out any service.

Transmission is a crap shoot but with any vehicle it's a crap shoot. Only the Ford Freestyle transmission is one of the most expensive trans out there. $7500 for a new one from service and $2000 to $3000 for used one + Install.

Good luck with your decision. It's hard to find Freestyle Limited with 2wd. Most limited version are 4wd. I have been looking for 2wd limited with tan interior on the cheap but hard to find. There are still a lot of Freestyle's I see on the road where I live. Lots of people in the area that work at Ford Motor Company.

bbolerrn
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Posts: 147
Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2013 5:08 pm

Re: Considering a 2007 LTD FWD

Post by bbolerrn » Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:54 pm

I wound not be very worried about it, we have 2 in our family my mom drives an awd SE and I have the AWD limited I purchased my Limited with 130K miles on it and I tell you it is awesome. everything functions perfectly. As for the access to the 3rd row it is simple. My 12yo daughter just flips the seat climbs in the back and relaxes she has no leg room issues and is quite comfortable. the real cool thing is the room. Fold down those seats and just fill her up all but the drivers seat fold into a flat platform. I have checked out just about everything with a 3rd row seat and with the exception of the big boys the Freestyle has the most room and the most utility and the most comfortable 3rd row with the Flex and like I said much larger trucks So buy and enjoy, my kids just love the dvd and you can control all the functions from the wheel if it has audio controls and the leather heated seats rule
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