Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
109,040 miles
Total Complaints:
38 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replaced transmission (17 reports)
  2. not sure (9 reports)
  3. rebuild transmission (9 reports)
  4. junk the windstar! (2 reports)
  5. dealer sold an extended warranty to cover repair (1 reports)
1999 Ford Windstar transmission problems

transmission problem

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1999 Ford Windstar Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #18

Jul 092009

Windstar LX 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,327 miles


The wife was driving and came to a stop at the light an when the light changed to green,she let of the brake an put her foot on the gas and the car stopped like she hit someone but no one was in front of her. then it rolled to a stop. There is reverse but nothing else. I found out that they made that trans. for 9 month's and it would cost about $2,500 to fix. Since then I have been on Craigs list an there are at least 3 more 99 Ford Windstars that did the same thing with about the same mileage. No warning at all the trans worked great before this happened

- , Appleton, WI, USA

problem #17

Apr 212009

Windstar 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

We got this van through a program in our county in NY, called wheels for work. When we first got it, when we took off from a stop, it had trouble going, and the the wheels in the back seemed like we were trying peel out from the stop. Little did we know that it was the tranny slipping. When the tranny dropped it made a loud clunk. We have only neutral and park. We called the program where we got it from and we have to pay half of the repairs. Our share is around 1,000 dollars. If we had that kind of money then why did we have to get a vehicle through that program. Now we are stuck without a vehicle and I am a home health aid. Now how do I keep my job? Thanx Ford for a piece of crap. I will never own a ford again!

- , Middle Grove, NY, USA

problem #16

Jan 072007

Windstar LX 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles

I had the transmission fluid changed at 58,000 miles and about a month later had to take the vehicle to a Ford Dealership for a recall, they told me the Transmission Fluid was dirty and needed changing, I showed them the bill from where I had just had that done and they said "then YOU have a problem" the vehicle was still under warranty for another 2,000 miles and they offered me no help as to MY problem, and then at about 62,000 miles while on vacation, caplouey!!!!!! there went the Transmission in the middle of the interstate making me pay for an additional two nights at a motel and 1500.00 for a rebuilt transmission, I still have the documentation on all of this, and when I got back and went to Ford, not their problem because the warranty was expired, EVEN THOUGH THEY WERE AWARE THERE WAS A PROBLEM BEFORE THE WARRANTY EXPIRED!

- , Griffin, GA, USA

problem #15

Mar 032009

Windstar LX 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles


We purchased this Windstar used for my wife, as her car was small and getting old. With our 1 1/2 year old daughter the van seemed perfect. My wife was on her way home one night abut 11:00 pm by herself. She pulled up to a stop sign and when she went to go there was nothing..... no forward or reverse gears. She was able to get the car across the roadway and to the shoulder. It was dark, cold and late. Thankfully her cell phone was NOT made by Ford because it works!! I was able to go get her and the next day towed the van home. We have searched for a replacement transmission and discussed rebuilding this one but virtually every mechanic has tried to talk us out of it, indicating it will most likely happen again. Now we are stuck with a van no one wants and we can't drive. Thank you Ford.

- , Liberty, NY, USA

problem #14

Jan 092007

Windstar SEL 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

First the gears started slipping and the van would not go into reverse, so I ended paying $2600 for a rebuilt transmission, but that did not solve the problem as the over-drive light kept coming on and the check transmission message would stay on, then the van would not get out of 1st gear.

Now I am face with another repair bill of $700 and I am a poor single mother of four, how in hell am I going to afford this and feed my family at the same time, you would think that the car manufacturers would fix the problems before dumping the problem in our laps, that's the reason they are no failing big time and falling out of good grace for all the wrong that they have done to the poor working class.

- , Brockton, MA, USA

problem #13

Aug 172008

Windstar SE 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 144,387 miles

Took my son to a friends house about 15 miles from home. after dropping him off I drove back about 3 miles, stoped at a stop sign, got out to close the rear hatch. With the van still running I put it back into drive took my foot off the brake and touched the gas peddle. I heard a loud ( Thunk ) and the van started rolling into traffic, But wouldn't excell under power. My first thought was ( what the F---). I put the van into reverse and luckily it worked. I was almost hit by another driver. I backed off the road and called for a wrecker to tow it back to my house. After a month I,v saved enough to have it fixed. The shop where it is being fixed told me that the ( Sun Gear ) welds had broken. Then went on to tell me that he has dealt with several Windstars which have had the same problem. I,v also have had problem with the OverDrive light blinking after driving just a few miles. And I would have to pull over, turn the van off and restart it and it would be ok for awhile and come back on. Was told it might be the speed sensor. I,m haveing it replaced with the rebuild. I have had numerous problems with this van, But the transmission is by far the worst costing me over $2300 so far.

- , Battle Creek, MI, USA

problem #12

Oct 022008

Windstar Minivan 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 118,000 miles


My wife was driving the Windstar on the freeway when all of a sudden the transmission went out. She lost all gears. Upon taking it to a repair shop they told me it was an internal malfunction and the tranny needed to be rebuilt. So one week and $1500.00 out of my pocket later we get the van back. How typical of a Ford!!

- , Kearney, NE, USA

problem #11

Apr 302008

Windstar SE 8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,934 miles

If I had known that it was going to break down like this, then I wouldn't have had the power steering motor and front struts replaced just 6 months earlier which cost me $1600. Nor would I have replaced the spark plugs and done service maintenance just 3 weeks earlier which cost me $1200. If I had fixed the transmission, then within the last 6 months I would have spent $6800 for a vehicle that is valued at $3000.

- , Edmonton, AB, Canada

problem #10

Jun 222005

(reported on)


  • 95,000 miles

This van has has to have the head gasket replaced ($1200), a vacuum ($400), the air conditioner ($300), rack and pinion ($300 and that was with a kin folk deal) and now the transmission. This is the first time I have ever owned a used car or an American car and never will either again, unless it is a foreign program. I still owe on it and am upside down, so my back is against the wall. I AM VERY FRUSTRATED!!!

- , Baton Rouge, LA, USA

problem #9

Nov 092007

(reported on)

Windstar LX 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 152,000 miles

Third transmission for this wonderful family van. No warranty No help from ford. When I can finally afford to buy something else I think I will deposit this piece of crap on the doorsteps of the Ford CEO's house. It should make a nice lawn ornament.

- , Middletown, OH, USA

problem #8

Nov 092007

(reported on)

Windstar LX 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles


The beginnings of the money pit. I bought this van with 40000 miles on it. I was still making payments on the car at the time, so had to fix it. Ive had several cars that I ran well over 170k and have never replaced a transmission.

- , Middletown, OH, USA

problem #7

Aug 292007

(reported on)

Windstar SEL 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,000 miles

We lost our first transmission at 44,000 miles. Now, our 2nd transmission just went with only 38,000 miles on it. This is absolutely rediculous!! Sticker on this vehicle was over $31,000 and we've had to dump over $5,000 into it just for transmissions - did I mention we only have 82,000 miles on it! Fors customer service has been far from impressive. We love Ford vehicles - too bad they don't stand by their customers.... and we wonder why people are buying Toyota's and Honda's? Sorry Ford, you could have had a customer for life but I'm off to buy a foreign car...

- , New London, WI, USA

problem #6

Sep 012007

(reported on)

Windstar 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 109,000 miles

I got this van in August of 2002 and had a few little problems and it always shifted a little hard as if I was parked on hill. I figured this was normal feeling for this vehicle. So July of 2004 started having charging issues with battery so had to charge everyday always had extra batteries with me too. (Always had to use the extra batteries too.) Changed alternator twice still wouldn't charge. So took off the road til mid june 2005. We put two new alternator that didn't work so took to Ford and they found broken wire to computer. Same day I got van back OD light started blinking. They said bring it back but it's probably not good news. A few days later shifted real hard like slammed into gear. Next day did it again then right after that transmission died at lights in center of town and it only has reverse now.

Paid over $14,000 and only got to use it for two years. Nobody is buying these or buying parts for these. Nobody is selling parts for these. I think Ford should pay half for the transmission.

- , Richmond, NH, USA

problem #5

Jun 112007

(reported on)

Windstar LX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,500 miles

Bought vehicle 11 months ago with 84,000 miles. The transmission was just the worst of repairs costing over $4000 in 3 months. Was driving along, no warning of transmission problems. O/D light starting blinking and kept blinking. About 12 miles later, smoke starts pouring from under car.

Pulled over to the shoulder-by this time the smoking was so bad I couldn't see in front or in back. Dawned on me this could catch fire as the burning smell was terrible. I jumped out of car and in 2 minutes there was a loud bang. State Trooper told me it was about to catch on fire!

Towed to repair shop (had no warranty). Was told that transmission parts had literally melted. Said that Windstars were known for this. Cost of replacement: $2200 Mechanic said the tranny wasn't even the original one so this is at least the 2nd one for this vehicle. Fixed it only so that I can trade it in; otherwise it would have been junked. I could have gone up in a fireball.


- , Vineland, NJ, USA

problem #4

Jul 192007

(reported on)

Windstar 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,700 miles

My 1999 ford Windstar needs ANOTHER new transmission. Original was replaced with a 'genuine ford' replacement at the local ford dealer at 71k miles. Now at 97k miles it started shuddering and slipping terribly as you start moving from a stop. i took it back to the dealer yesterday who will not honor a 3yr 36k warranty because it has been 39 months since last replacement (even though on 26k miles) and i can pay another $2500 for another trans or go pound salt. After a simple search on 'windstar transmissions' and about 20 minutes of reading it is clear that ford knows and has known the transmission is defective and the dealer knows the transmission is defective. Unconscionable.

- , Munroe Falls, OH, USA

problem #3

Nov 282006

(reported on)

Windstar SE 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,080 miles

The transmission burned up at 36,080 miles. Being just 80 miles out of warranty Ford offered no resolution. The dealer sold me an extended warranty for $500 to cover the repair. Six months later my brothers 98 Windstar's transmission failed with 58,000 miles on it.

- , Dearborn, MI, USA

problem #2

Nov 272006

(reported on)

Windstar SE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,400 miles

Hey I am right there with you; My minivan is great I suppose the Transmission blowing out 2 yesm2 days after I purchased it, should have been a red light as to what was going to happen. My wonderful van tested me once again in July 2006, when I had another transmission replaced, Oh and if that isn't enough to stop you from Buying ; Fix Or Repair Daily Formerly known as F.O.R.D. This past weekend while we were shopping in Bangor Maine, My Trusty van broke down once more. Costing me 600.00 to get the thing back home, only to find that It NEEDS yet another Transmission........... Now lets recap. 1999 Ford Windstar Mini Van, 94000 klms: Only used for driving to & from Work, only 1 Driver Me, oh yes and Christmas Shopping................. All those interested in this Ford Product, Think Again... Mother of three, lost without faith in the Ford Company Never again will I purchase a Ford product......

- , Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada

problem #1

Aug 312006

(reported on)


  • 80,000 miles

Lost transmission at only 80 km today! Stopping at a traffic light on my way to drop off my two teenage girls at their friend's place. Put gear on D suddenly as if just hit a concrete pad or something. Got off the car and looked, nothing in my way. On again but van won't move on D or 1 or 2. Would only move on R. Now it is in a garage told to expect $3,000 or so. Please do not buy a Ford windstar. God knows I spent $1,750 on coolant issue less than two weeks ago with $750 still owing. Van has only 74,000 km as I live 3 km from work. All American $ values are in Canadian $ but they are nearly equal now aren't they. Real upset with ford.

- , Mississauga, ON, Canada

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