Binding of the shifter slider can make the transmission shifter difficult to move. Replacing the bezel should fix this problem.Google+
Car Problem Reports
Ford Freestyle Transmission Shifter is Hard To Move
Ford Freestyle Problem
Drive Trains Affected: AWD, FWD
Average Mileage: 102,500 mi (65,000 mi - 140,000 mi)
Visitor, 2007 Ford Freestyle, FWD, 65,000 mi
Hi all, I had the same problem and simply sprayed it with silicone lube. It hasn't happened since but I now eventually I'll have to spray it again. What ever you do, don't force it and break it -- get some silicone lube and spray it lightly around the corners and then work the shifter back and forth. Works fantastic.
Visitor, 2005 Ford Freestyle, FWD, 140,000 mi
Wife spill a full soda on the console. Now the shifter is very hard to move. This happened before and ford replaced the parts, but I would think if I remove the plate and cleaned the sticky stuff from the soda it would be fine.