Did I make a mistake?

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DannyLee1977
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Did I make a mistake?

Post by DannyLee1977 » Wed May 03, 2017 4:34 pm

Ok... I sold my old and rusted out Durango and found a nice 2006 Freestyle for a really great price locally. I didn't do much homework before I bought it and I soon discovered the controversial and sometimes catastrophic CVT transmission issue. I've read thread after thread about how horrible these can be and that they can fail suddenly without warning. The Freestyle already has 205,000 miles and the CVT seems to do what it's supposed to do aside from sounding and feeling different. What should I do to prolong the life? Should I take it to a Ford dealership to get the fluid changed? How much is that gonna cost?


JimMc
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Re: Did I make a mistake?

Post by JimMc » Wed May 03, 2017 5:37 pm

Great question. I just bought a 2005 Freestyle and have been wondering the same thing.

brad e
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Re: Did I make a mistake?

Post by brad e » Thu May 04, 2017 4:01 am

Hi DanyLee1977 and JimMc,

There is A LOT of good information on this site regarding the CVT, it's upkeep and reliability. The best place to start is to search out that information. You may get a fair number of responses to this post, but the answers will never begin to give you the breadth and depth of information that has been discussed in many of the older posts.

In my opinion, in general, the CVT is no more or less reliable than a standard transmission if properly maintained and not abused. I also have a newer Ford Focus with an auto, and I would take the CVT over the transmission in the Focus all day long. Yes, there are PLENTY of instances, both on this site and online in general, of out of the blue CVT failures, but that is the case with many makes and models of cars/transmissions. The biggest problem with the CVT in this car, and what gets people really worked up, is the cost of having it repaired and the lack of knowledgeable technicians (and as time goes on, even shops that are willing to work on the CVTs).

As far as changing the fluid on a 205,000 mile car... well that is a 50/50 proposition. Personally, I would do it. I would also talk to a Ford dealer and see if there is any indication of a service history in the Ford database. The last time I had mine changed (at a Ford dealer I trusted) it was around $450.

I love my Freestyle, but here is the bottom line, we are now dealing with a car that is 12 years old and one that was designed close to 15 years ago. My best advice is to service it well (they really are solid cars) and drive it gingerly/smoothly, but start to set back money to replace it, because if the CVT goes, the car is instantly worthless to 99% of the population and there are a few other repairs that may be needed to other components that will make you second guess whether it is worth spending the money to have it fixed.

dmckmc
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Re: Did I make a mistake?

Post by dmckmc » Thu May 04, 2017 4:59 am

I agree with brad e here. My 2005 has 250,000 miles and I trust it with my kids using it every day. I have owned it since 75,000 miles. Any time I buy a used car I change ALL the fluids as a rule, simply for peace of mind and as a baseline for further service. If you can change the oil, you can drain and refill the CVT fluid. I have used the Valvoline CVT fluid for the last two fluid exchanges. The Duratec V6 has been amazing, mine uses no oil, ever. Use this site and youtube and there is almost nothing you can't fix yourself or at least be a very informed consumer.

DannyLee1977
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Re: Did I make a mistake?

Post by DannyLee1977 » Thu May 04, 2017 12:06 pm

$450 for a trans fluid change is insane! I only paid like $125 on my '97 Tbird. What rabit hole did I just dig myself into? Buyers remorse is kicking my ass hard right now. Guess I'll either drive it into the ground or put it on craigslist and pray there is someone out there who are into these...

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mmsstar
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Re: Did I make a mistake?

Post by mmsstar » Thu May 04, 2017 4:09 pm

If you do it yourself it's not that bad. It's still going to be more expensive because the CVT fluid is more expensive than regular ATF.
Drove an 06 LTD FWD from July 08 to August 10, moved on to a 2011 Flex

DannyLee1977
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Re: Did I make a mistake?

Post by DannyLee1977 » Thu May 04, 2017 4:26 pm

mmsstar wrote:If you do it yourself it's not that bad. It's still going to be more expensive because the CVT fluid is more expensive than regular ATF.
Is the filter easy to access?
Last edited by DannyLee1977 on Fri May 05, 2017 5:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

DanfromSterling
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Re: Did I make a mistake?

Post by DanfromSterling » Thu May 04, 2017 6:31 pm

I have 173,000 on mine bought with 82,000. Drained and filled the cvt fluid 2 times. Just need 6 mm Allen wrench to pull the plug. I have not messed with the filters on mine. My parents wanted theirs done which my dad wanted the filters changed so I changed the pan and high pressure filter along with the fluid for them. I would stick to oem fluid. Also oem filters if you choose to change. People on here have noted they had issues with trans error codes using napa pan filter. Had to drop pan again and put in oem filter. About $10 quart and you should get 5 to 6 quarts out. I believe trans has 10 to 11 quarts in it. So only getting portion out not all the trans fluid. Good luck....

xvert
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Re: Did I make a mistake?

Post by xvert » Fri May 05, 2017 9:42 am

Imho. The main problem of the cvt is the high fluid pressure. To extend the working state of the cvt it is necessary to replace oem filters in time.
  But the fluid pressure is not always high. Only during a heavy load on the engine. Therefore, heavy loads should be avoided.
The second problem with the cvt is the weak inputshaft bearing. It seems to me that its lubrication occurs through the channel in the inputshaft and only during the "D" turn-on. Therefore, I always turn on "D" (especially before the first trip) before reversing. Also, I believe that the load on this bearing when reversing is higher than forward (so I drive backward carefully). Another advise- it should be avoided shock loads, for example, parking to the curbstone.
PS: And if you have already got a "helicopter" noise, then also do not accelerate the engine at idle.
Last edited by xvert on Sun May 07, 2017 10:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Splicer
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Re: Did I make a mistake?

Post by Splicer » Sun May 07, 2017 11:07 am

Just follow the methods found here in this forum for changing the fluid and the high pressure filter as soon as possible and you should be fine. These are excellent vehicles. One of the safest on the road when they were built.
2007 Freestyle Limited FWD 288,000+ miles 8)
2004 Escape XLT FWD 218,000+ :)
2006 Escape Hybrid AWD 116,000+ :mrgreen:

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FordTaurus
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Re: Did I make a mistake?

Post by FordTaurus » Wed May 10, 2017 4:47 pm

brad e wrote:Hi DanyLee1977 and JimMc,

As far as changing the fluid on a 205,000 mile car... well that is a 50/50 proposition. Personally, I would do it. I would also talk to a Ford dealer and see if there is any indication of a service history in the Ford database. The last time I had mine changed (at a Ford dealer I trusted) it was around $450.
My Ford dealer charged me $247 for the CVT fluid change and filter.

Also remind Dany, never flush this transmission. Drain only!

lhutch13
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Re: Did I make a mistake?

Post by lhutch13 » Sat Jun 17, 2017 11:52 am

I had an 05 freestyle that I bought with 200k miles. I don't own it anymore but I know who does and it's still rocking out with 311k. It was one of the best cars I've ever owned.

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