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How common are the CVT issues?

Posted: Fri Oct 26, 2018 11:24 am
by jscharf
I am looking at a 2006 Freestyle SEL FWD at a local Ford dealership. It only has 72K miles and they want $6400 for it. I need an affordable 3rd row vehicle to haul my kids back and forth across town and cannot afford a lemon. Any thoughts, recommendations or input would be greatly appreciated.

Re: How common are the CVT issues?

Posted: Fri Oct 26, 2018 12:26 pm
by brad e
Hi jscharf,

Welcome to the forum!

I will cut to the chase on this one: While the Freestyle can be a great vehicle, reading between the lines of your question and comments, I have to say it isn’t the vehicle for you.

While I personally don’t believe the CVT is any more unreliable overall than any number of conventional automatics (looking at you mid-2000 Honda automatics) the difference is that if it does fail, in general, it is the end of the road for the car, unless, you have a good bit of money you are willing to spend on the repair or the ability to repair it yourself.

If you are really interested in the Freestyle you looked at, see if the Ford dealer is able to provide you with service records for the car. If you can verify that the fluid has been changes at least once over the life of the car, it may go a long way towards easing your mind. At their asking price you may be able to get them to service it for you as part of the deal. $6400 is definitely on the high side of the value spectrum, even if the car is perfect.

The other thing to keep in mind, even if the CVT has been serviced and the car has been pampered since day one, there is no guarantee the CVT won’t fall tomorrow; that’s just a fact. There are plenty of stories on this forum of CVTs going 200,000 miles, or more, with no issues and plenty of stories of them going out with under 50,000 miles.

I love my Freestyle, it is a great car, I’m glad to have it, but I know there is always the chance that tomorrow the CVT will fail, and I am okay with that, I accept that risk. Only you can speak to your level of risk aversion.

Good luck!


Re: How common are the CVT issues?

Posted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 10:43 pm
by Jim likes catwalks
Hi Jim here in Kamloops BC. I have a 07 2wd SE I bought six years ago with I think about 80000 Kms on it worked great for 3 and 3/4 years until 215000 kms then took out input shaft needle bearing. Fixed all that myself but can’t get it out of limp mode which appears to be really hard to diagnose. Wonderful car to drive until that happened. More food for you to think about.

Re: How common are the CVT issues?

Posted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:32 pm
by mmsstar
Throttle body?

Re: How common are the CVT issues?

Posted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 7:05 am
by Jim likes catwalks
Thanks MMSTAR I haven’t actually checked it that much and I just read somewhere about it throwing the wrench light on.