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My not so new 05 Freestyle

Posted: Thu Sep 19, 2019 2:50 pm
by dwighte
I bought my 05 Freestyle knowing it had not been well maintained. Some things had to be fixed but I underestimated what it would actually need. Here is my story:
When I got it, the power steering pump made a little bit of whining sound, the AC didn't work and the tires were worn and checked.
I flushed the power steering fluid and that mostly cured the whining. Still after about another 10K the pump gave up the ghost. I followed the manuals instructions and removed the pump through the holes in the pulley. Next time I'll remove the mount under the input plenum. While there, replace the spark plugs as you'll have to remove the plenum again for that any way ( bad design ). The pulley also had a crack in it so I had to replace it. The one from the Ford dealer was both the wrong diameter and didn't have holes to remount it. Even if I used it I'd have had to get a different serpentine belt. I didn't know that the mounting bracket could be taken of the head with the plenum off ( a much easier job ). The dealer wasn't much help. He said that was what the parts book said to use. The original part number was obsolete. I used an after market Doorman pulley that has been working fine with the holes to get to the mounting.
The AC had a broken connection onto the condenser. I replaced that and after filling it ( cost ), I found the pump was leaking as well ( most likely running without enough oil ). I replaced it with what was suppose to be a rebuild compressor, bought by mail. Had it evacuated and charged again ( more cost ), only to find it was not cooling when at an idle. Some research indicated the scroll valve. Not all that expensive but still another evacuate and recharge ( cost cost ). The Ford dealer will want to replace the entire compressor for this problem. You'll still pay the evacuate and recharge but the part is easy to install and only about $20. It is much cheaper to have your mechanic replace the scroll valve.
On replacing the tires I found the front and rear alignment was in bad shape.
Ok, now I have a reasonably working car. After about the 10K point, the torque engine mount broke. This was caused by a broken front pillow engine mount. Actually a good thing as to have these replaces the mechanic needed to remove the engine mount from the block. The front mount is involved with the oil filter. The engine was using about a quart every 2K miles ( at 130K+ miles ). Since there was a lot of dripping oil spread around, I kind of assumed it was the front crank seal ( a common problem on older cars ). It seems the gasket ring hadn't been installed incorrectly. After replacing it I go more than an oil change between needing more than 1/4 quart of oil.
Things are fine and then it has a check engine light. I forget the code but it said the sensor voltage for the EGR valve was too high. I tried replacing the valve but the problem returned right away. The mechanic and I did some checking of the wiring. We found there was a short someplace in the wiring. I stripped back the wiring and right where the cable goes by the PCV, inches from the EGR, the wiring insulation had turned to mush. PCV's always weep a tiny amount of oil over time. That oil went into the wiring and destroyed the insulation. ( I recommend removing the tie there and tie-wrap it off to the side. ) I rewired that section of wiring and all was fine except it was now failing the EVAP test.
I looked into the manual and found that the only sensors that shared the same 5V line was the EGR valve and the pressure sensor in the gas tank. The pressure sensor most likely save my ERG valve.
I removed the cork under the rear seat and watched the voltage from the sensor as it ran the EVAP test. The voltage out of the sensor didn't change( wife watching the meter while I drove). The 12V leaking onto the pressure sensor line also blew it out as well as causing the high level reading on he EGR.
Why couldn't Ford have use a simple sensor like the F150 trucks. It was a combination of hoses all made to make it difficult. The shop manual says you needed to pull the fuel tank to replace it. On the AWD that requires not only the exhaust but the rear drive shaft as well. I found that I was able to snake things through by removing the bolts on the back side of the tank, lowering it about 2 inches and that gave me enough clearance. There was one quick-connect fitting that I had troubles disconnecting but finally got it undone. I was able to get a cheaper replacement from a mail order place that buys and resells dealer NOS. Otherwise it would have been more than twice the cost, for that part.
Things have been going relatively well. I did have an check light for the fuel rail pressure but at least replacing that sensor fixed that problem, an easy fix. Just part cost and about 15 minutes.
Just last month, I get a P2107 and P2110. Luckily close to home in the limp mode.
Doing a little research shows that a common problem is a dirty throttle body. It is an easy job so I clean it nicely and all is fine again.
Now, I still have a popping strut bearing on the left side but after replacing the one on the right side a few months back, I'm going to let my mechanic deal with that one.
You might think after all that and 167K on the odometer, I might regret buying the car. I look back on all the troubles and cost. It is still several times cheaper than buying a new car. I get to drive it more than my neighbor drives his new Audi ( I don't think much of Audi's cars. I have other stories about them ). I don't like the lack of getaway torque of the CVT but love the almost instant power to the wheels at highway speeds. The engine is running well. The wife can use it to hall around one less kid than fits into my 2500 Suburban but gets slightly more than twice the fuel mileage. My wife doesn't like driving and parking the Suburban but that is really a truck with nice seats.
Dwight

Re: My not so new 05 Freestyle

Posted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:50 am
by knowitall
Wow. I hope that you got the Freestyle for free with as much money you are sinking in it. You would have been better off buying a well maintained Freestyle for about $2500 and use your existing one for parts. These cars aren't worth hiring mechanics and sinking much money into.