I am giving serious consideration to buying a new Freestyle. My concerns
are as follows:
1. I heard that the Duratec 3.0s in some Escapes are having problems around
the rod/crank bearing area. Is this really true? And if so, does it affect
ALL Duratec 30s?
2. Ford has made some 'mistakes' in designing various automatic
transmissions (E4OD, EAOD on Taurus 3.8L), and I am hesitent on the
reliability of their CVT amd on their 5-spd AT.
Can anyone please help me on these issues?
The only problems I've heard of with the Duratec is with those who terribly
neglect their maintenance.
Also, I don't think that the 5 speed is all new. I think it's a
reprogrammed AX4N, which has been the more dependable of Ford's transaxles.
I may be wrong. If there's more to this, someone else speak up.
Not too worry. The underpinnings of the Freestyle and
500 has been around for well over a year, both use the chassis
that was first used by Volvo, and has proven to be trouble
free. The CVT is a pleasure to drive. It operates right on the
engines torque curve producing plenty of power. The 4 cam V6 is
a proven engine, used for several year, as well. The FWD 500,
with the CVT or the 6 speed automatic, easily out performs the
larger V6's used in the Chrysler 300 and the Toyota Avalon and
gets great fuel mileage to boot.
Rob Tristani wrote:
Perhaps YOU do not know, but many others know that the CVT have
been used to drive machines in industrial plants since the early
nineteen hundreds and in automobiles since first used by DAF,
back in the late fifties or early sixties. Several other brands
use a CVT today, as well.
And the fun thing about it , back then, you could drive as fast in reverse
as going forwards.
Ever done 50mph going backwards ?? they had races on our local circuit doing
I am sure they found some limiter on it on today's CVT's, doing 50mph
backwards you flip over VERY fast
I have a Saturn Vue with GMs attempt at a CVT. I mostly like
it, although it took some getting used to. The Vue with the
CVT is actually faster than the 5 speed manual Vue, but gets
slightly worse gas mileage. There have been a number of
minor annoyances (mostly an annoying noise / vibration at
some low speeds when coasting). GMs has had so many
complaints / problems, they are dropping their CVT (at least
in Saturns). Hopefully Ford will do better. Nissan Muran's
also offer a CVT. I've heard it is a trouble prone dog, but
that is from only one person (the only one I know who has
one). Honda also offers CVTs in some vehicles. I haven't
heard anything good or bad about those. Since the Ford 500
is based on a Volvo platform. Volvo purchased DAF years ago.
DAF was one of the first companies to mass produce CVTs. One
can hope this long time experience with CVTs might guarantee
that the Ford CVT is a good product. I like the concept, but
would wait for the 2006 model myself if I wanted the CVT.
[This followup was posted to alt.autos.ford and a copy was sent to the
I don't think there are any real differences in the Duratec between
models. The 3.0L has been around since 1996 in the Taurus/Sable, then
MPV, Escape/Tribute. The Mazda6's V6 is a Duratec with different heads.
I think the same goes for the Jaguar 3.0. There is also a 2.5L version
in the Contour/Mystique/Mondeo. And the weird V8 version in the 96-99
Other than a water pump issue in the early 2.5L, I haven't heard of
any common problems.
Supposedly, the latest AX4S/AX4N's have been good. The main issues
with the earlier versions was when they went to an aluminum forward
clutch piston in the early 90's. It had a habit of splitting and
failing, especially with the high-tourque 3.8L. I read that in 2000 they
went back to steel.
I don't know what the 5-speed is based on, or if it's totally new.
Audi and Nissan have heavy-duty CVT's on some of their vehicles, too.
On the other hand, there is a big recall on Explorer/Mountaineers due
to reverse failures.
Otherwise, there are some overall build issues with the
500/Montego/FreeStyle. If you are considering one, you may want to wait
a few months, as is typical with most any new model:
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Well among another automotive discusion group I am a member of, we pretty much
don't give anything BON reports any serious credit. Even amongst the GM group
it is, they take anything he reports with a grain of salt....
1. Duratec, no big problems there....
2. The CVT ford is using is being made by the same company Audi is using for
thier CVT's if i recall correctly (I don't guarentee my memory) and they aren't
having any biggies. The Saturn ION on the other hand has had some from what I
recall. But they get them thru the same supplier as.uhm.............honda? eh,
one of those asian imports. While the 6speed is a new tranny, little is known
But overall, the car outaccelerates cars that have as much as 250 HP.
Impressive feat I'd say. From what i've seen of it, i like it. But have not
driven one as of yet....
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