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FixItMan, Master Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 17368
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I have a freestyle 2006 AWD limited with 127xxx miles. The

Customer Question

I have a freestyle 2006 AWD limited with 127xxx miles.
The car is making a very annoying sound when drive, I read a different threads and I found some people complain about "helicopter" or " whining" sound, but for me I can describe it like the sound coming from a motorcycle runs fast on the way.
I tried these test which might help you to diagnose the problem:
1. Gear in P or N, engine is running = No sound.
2. Gear in D, push the break and gas "to put a load on the engine" = No sound
3. Gear in D, drive the car and start to get the sound at 15 miles/hr , the sound becomes louder as the speed increases.
4. I drove the car and maintained a fixed pressure on the peddle noticed that when the idle decreased "due to gear shifting" the sound didn't decrease but still in the same level.
5. I drove the car and put the gear in N, and push the gas to increase the idle, sound didn't increase but still the at same level.
6. While I was driving the car, I put the gear in N and shut the engine off, the sound diapered !! then when I turned the engine on again, the sound came back.
I hope you can conclude the source of the problem and forgive my grammar mistakes in my description above since my English is not the native language.
I appreciate your help.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  FixItMan replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is Bobby. Thank you for the question. Most of the time this is caused by either a failing torque converter or most of the time on this vehicle a failure in the transfer case. It is common for the transfer case to begin to fail and cause this noise. Typically the fluid can be drained and inspected for metal. If metal is found then it is failing and needs to be rebuild.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
ok why the sound disappeared when I turned the engine off while driving?
Expert:  FixItMan replied 2 years ago.
When you turn the engine off the torque converter will stop moving and the load in the transmission and the transfer case changes. Depending on exactly where the failure is this will occur.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Now what should I do to know which part is causing this sound and how can I find the metals in the ATF? also where is the torque convertor and the transfer case located ?
Expert:  FixItMan replied 2 years ago.
The transfer case is part of the transmission. The torque converter is between the engine and transmission. The transmission must be removed to access it. As for the metal, you need to drain it from the vehicle to inspect it. You will need special tools to reinstall the new fluid.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
is that mean I have to visit the dealer?
Expert:  FixItMan replied 2 years ago.
You can do it yourself if you can get the necessary tools. If not you can go to an independent shop that does this work and it will be much cheaper than the dealer.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I am a handy man and can do a lot of things if directed properly. So can you please tell me what is the required tools I need and what is the procedure? Also what is the proper ATF I should use for my trans. ?
Expert:  FixItMan replied 2 years ago.
In order to drain the fluid you need to find the drain plug shown in the attached picture. You will drain that fluid and see if there is any material in there. You might be lucky when it comes to refilling the system. If you have a dip stick under the hood then you do not need the pump as you can add fluid through the dip stick hole. You will use Ford CVT transmission fluid.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok thanks for your reply
I will change it today and come back to you after checking the old ATF
Expert:  FixItMan replied 2 years ago.
Let me know what you find. Please rate when you have time also. Thank you.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
ok so I went to the dealer to buy the CVT fluid and the 1 qurt is $20 and they told me that I need to 8 qurts which means $160.
So before I replace it I just want to make sure that I understand your plan :
1. there is no metal and fluid is clean ?
is that mean the internal parts of the tranny are good and the problem in either t/c or transfer case ?
2. there is a metal in the fluid .
Is that mean I need to change the whole transmission?Please note that this trans is very expensive and the cheapest one I found in the junk yard costs me at least $2000 . so I want to make sure that I have the right diagnostic before I spend any thing.
Appreciate you help
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I went under the car this noon just to take an idea about the transfer case and how it is connected to the transmission, I notice that there is a small leakage from the driver side, where the axle shaft connects to the transmission.
I attached pictures for both driver & passenger side.
Expert:  FixItMan replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for getting back with me. Yes, if the fluid is fine then it is more than likely in the converter or possibly electrical. If there is metal or debris in there then you are looking at replacing it or having it rebuilt. If you had this leak you need to make sure that the level is fine. If it was leaking enough to be low then this can cause it too.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for your quick response
Please provide me with the right procedure on how to replace and check the trans fluid.
Expert:  FixItMan replied 2 years ago.
You simply need to drain it out from the drain plug that I sent a picture of earlier in the conversation. Once it is drained and the plug is back in then you will add the fluid back into the dip stick tube.
Expert:  FixItMan replied 2 years ago.
I would only add about 3 quarts and then start the engine and check the fluid and add more as needed.