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:
119,593 miles
Total Complaints:
98 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace the rear axle (38 reports)
  2. not sure (32 reports)
  3. replace with a used rear axle (11 reports)
  4. replace rear axle (9 reports)
  5. car totaled in accident from failure (2 reports)
  6. check for recall (2 reports)
2000 Ford Windstar drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2000 Ford Windstar Owner Comments (Page 1 of 5)

problem #98

Aug 202016

Windstar SEL 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,765 miles


I purchased my 2000 Windstar SEL NEW in Nov 1999 for $43,000. What does that equal to in 2016 dollars (considering our politicians have given permission to the FED to print dollars non-stop since then)? I bet (and it feels like) close to $60,000 in today's dollars. My wife has METICULOUSLY had the vehicle serviced AT FORD DEALERSHIPS since day one, throughout the EXTENDED WARRANTY period (part of the $43,000 purchase price) and beyond. Only recently have we found (and had) a competent non-dealership to service it (the Windstar). (Sidebar: This same competent mechanic has since, politely refused to work on our "BLUE OVAL DISEASE" car.)

The car has had nothing but problems as we can attest too. (Front sub-frame which the A/C unit drips onto REPLACED and PAID FOR BY ME $1,209 (02/08) and three years later (03/11) reimbursed for by Ford (because they FINALLY ADMITTED it was a problem, though all along denying and lying that IT WAS ONLY US that had the problem), rear window motors not working, passenger sliding door no longer working via motor, back latch motor weak, front struts out of alignment, dashboard speedometer circuit board cold soldered, and many more). FORD CONTINUALLY DENIES there are problems with their vehicles.

Onto the LATEST problem at hand...THE REAR AXLE CRACKED (AFTER BEING PREVIOUSLY "FIXED" BY FORD). This is the THIRD OFFICIAL RECALL according to what I read elsewhere (although my I think this is the fifth mailing I received). This time it needs to be REPLACED. FORD wants ME TO PAY $300 because it's "an old car". The estimated cost elsewhere was $1,000, although I would venture to say closer to $1,300. There has already been ONE DEATH attributed (I'm sure "allegedly"), to rear axle failure. There has been many more "near misses".

I've been told, by my Ford dealer before this latest inspection, that only 2 of 90 needed to be replaced. Guess it's now 3 of 91. $300 may be a fair price for someone who purchased the vehicle USED, but I PURCHASED the vehicle NEW! SINGLE OWNER! ORIGINAL OWNER! WHAT STUPID engineer (READ: MORON) designed the rear axle as an upside down "U" channel that's going to catch and collect AND HOLD water and salt, to rust it away.

Our government, (in it's infinite wisdom), has let automobile manufacturers shirk their responsibility. Only owners within the so called "salt belt" can file a claim to get this "SPECIAL DEAL" of $300 replacement. Everyone else must pay FULL PRICE. Whatever happened to the FORD SLOGAN: "QUALITY IS JOB ONE"? HA! (LOL) The tactics that Ford is using now (denial, lying, and cheap quick fixes) even reminds me of the infamous exploding Ford Pinto gas tank. They also denied that at first.

I think FORD should stand behind their product and pay the FULL price of REPLACING the rear axle.

- , Palos Park, IL, USA

problem #97

May 152016

Windstar LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 167,828 miles

I find it hard to believe that this issue isn't covered under the recall. They used the same garbage axle between 1997-2003, but my van is not covered because it is a VIN specific recall. If a company used the same shoddy material over multiple years, all should be included. Now I have to shell out the money and replace it myself.

- , Topeka, KS, USA

problem #96

Sep 302015

Windstar V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 139,000 miles

this is the third recall for the same issue. a rusting axle that can break. ford now wants to charge $300.00

for the replacement when it has been a known defect for years.

- , Hopewell Junction, NY, USA

problem #95

Oct 062014

Windstar SEL 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 388,000 miles


I had the brackets replaced a couple years or so ago. A couple days ago the rear axle broke. I had been on the expressway earlier. Ford doesn"t want to do anything at all about it being as I had the brackets replaced.

- , Burkesville, KY, USA

problem #94

Aug 302014

Windstar SEL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 134,345 miles

click to see larger images

rear axle failure rear axle failure rear axle failure rear axle failure

My 2000 Ford Windstar was repaired last year on a recall for the possible rear axle failure. Ford installed brackets on the rear axle as a remedy. On Saturday 8-30-14, the rear axle failed. The axle is actually broken and the break can be seen inside of the bracket they installed. I called Ford and they told me they don't warranty the recall remedy repair. What are my options to have this remedied in good faith?

- , Rahway, NJ, USA

problem #93

Nov 102010

Windstar 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

Well the specific vin number I just entered is not the vehicle totalled. But i wanted to say this. I owned a 2000 ford windstar and in January of 2010, The rear axle broke and caused it to roll. I broke my neck. I could of sued ford. However I didn't know of the Recall. Well I called my family who had been in a simular accident. And she stated that their 2000 ford windstar axle breaking was the cause of the major accident that happened with her husband and children in the van. The axel broke causing him to lose controla nd hit a semi head on going 70 mph. The van was rolled 5 times into a ditch, the motor crushed him taking his bottom half of his body (had to be amputated) and luckily each one of the kids survived with minor bumps and bruises. It took air helicopters just to get the roof of the van lifted to get them out!!! I didn't know until now that we had owned the same exact vehicle because we didn't keep in touch much. NOW i just bought a 2003 ford windstar, (dummy me so stupid) drove it the first day, not only did the whole brake system fail, but the REAR AXLE BROKE!!! If I take it in and Ford does not fix it. I'm going to not only sue them for my broken neck now that i know there was a recall on this problem. But i will demand a whole new vehicle as well. They should be paying my medical treatments for my neck not my car ins!! and also, I am disabled teh rest of my life because of this van and so is my cousins husband.

- , Grand Rapids, MI, USA

problem #92

Mar 042011

Windstar LS 4.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles


the ford garge replaced the axel but I had to use a loaner for a month THey replace the axel and did a repair on my frame that they told me there was nothing wrong with. They had it my inspection was run out. I could not get it inspected . The ball joint was broken .Why did they give me back the car and not tell me that? they had to have seen it or they broke when they put the frame cover on it.. They told me i had to fix my abs light that was on in order to get it inspected but they did not put that in writting.

- , Meadville, PA, USA

problem #91

May 242011

Windstar LS 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 240,000 miles

I received two recalls from Ford. But with 240,000miles, I did not think I should bother, I was going to start looking for a different vehicle in late summer. But, I noticed that the van would act like it was sliding when hitting bumps. Was due for service, had my mechanic look at it, and said get it to a dealership, the axle is broke. Made a appt. with dealership in Davenport, that starts with a D. I drove the van at 40 miles an hour from my house to the dealership which is approximately 37miles. I dropped the van off in RUNNING condition at 6:15a.m. before the service dept. opened with only the service manager on sigt. And on the following Wednesday, was told to pick it up or I would be charged for the rental. I went to pick up my van, and the technician drove it around front, and the loudest knocking sound ever coming from the engine. I told them my car DID NOT sound like that when I dropped it off. They said that they did not touch the engine and were not responsible. I obviously threw a fit, and the SAME service manager came back out and claimed that he had a technician in the back, that said the van sounded like that when it came on the lot. I told the service manager that he was a liar. I know for a fact that you are lying, because I DROVE THE VAN ON THE LOT AT 6:15a.m. and YOU were the ONLY person in this department at the time, as the department did NOT open until 7a.m. He told me I had to wait. They sent me to another individual, who again said they were not responsible. I demanded to talk the the owner of the dealership, when they realized I was not leaving(I COULDN'T, THE VAN WAS NOT DRIVEABLE OFF THE LOT!), they finally found him, he told me the same bullcrap, that because the vehicle was no longer under warranty and they supposedly did not touch the engine, that they were not responsible. He then ordered me off the premises, if I was accusing his technicians of tampering with my vehicle. I told him, I do NOT know what happened, but the van was in RUNNING condition when I dropped it off and now I cannot drive it. He said it was not their problem. He then told me that if I left the vehicle on his lot, I would be charged for storing the vehicle. I had to call my hometown mechanic, who had to leave his garage and come all the way to Davenport to tow the van back to his garage.

His diagnosis: the engine is shot. So I have the rear axle and subframe replaced but no vehicle to drive. I have been in constant contact with Ford Motor company and they say that due to the high mileage, they cannot help me. What I do not understand, is how can a Ford Dealership, take a vehicle that is running, with absolutely no knocking sound, and when it is returned to the owner, it is NOT driveable, and they are NOT held accountable? I also want to know how a service technician, can look me in the eye and lie, and when the actual owner of the dealership was informed, he said he believed is technician over a possible customer in the near future?

As I sat bawling and waiting for family to come pick me up, and was totally humilated in front of ALL the salespersons and technician, he had the nerve to come up to me and say well we have a rent to own here if you are interested. I cannot print here the answer I gave him.

CAN SOMEONE HELP ME? Someone told me there is a law that states a vehicle that was in running condition when taken in, has to be returned in running condition. Please help with this information. The rest of the bad news was the day after this, I was informed my job of 28 years was closing their doors, and there will be 279 of us unemployed by July 31st. So therefore, getting a loan is out of the question. So if there are any lawyers or legal advisors out there, can you help me perhaps file a small claims suit, to at least get enough to perhaps but a rebuilt engine in to get me by.

Thanks to all. I still love my van....and to all those who have had problems....every make and model vehicle has its pros and cons. I just came off the Chevy Impala, cuz I thought I was done with Ford, and they have A LOT more problems than the Fords. Good Luck to All, and please pray for me to find a solution to my Dealership problems, and also for me to find a job....47 and starting all over, it sucks!!!!

- , Wheatland, IA, USA

problem #90

Nov 042009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

Ford knew about this problem for years and tried to hide it instead of issuing a recall and making it right. My husband, I and our 2 small children were on a very busy expressway when we heard and deafening thud and started to lose control of our minivan. My husband managed to pull it over to the side of the road after almost getting crashed into by oncoming traffic. My children were hysterically crying and scared and we were scared also. We had to call my parents to come and rescue us as my husband waited for the tow truck. This is about the most deadly thing that can happen to an automobile while traveling on the expressway. Ford finally issued a recall a few months after this happened to us, but they should have done it years before as they absolutely knew about it.

- , Barberton, OH, USA

problem #89

Jan 172011

Windstar SEL 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

buy back only until jan 1st yet dealer stalled me and never told me about deadline.

- , Wonder Lake, IL, USA

problem #88

Dec 202010

Windstar LX 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,000 miles


click to see larger images

rear axle failure rear axle failure rear axle failure rear axle failure rear axle failure rear axle failure

My wife and I received the recall on the rear axle and speed control in December. We took it to a local dealer to have it checked out and repaired. Well they fixed the speed control but when they inspected the rear axle they made the problem of axle corrosion worse you can see in the photos were they inspected the axle and were supposed to reseal it. Its a good thing I checked their work(what a piss poor job) bare metal was left exposed and they did not even check were the crack will start if it does begin to crack. I purchased special primer and epoxy paint to reseal it myself. I know a lot about metal corrosion and fatigue. I would recommend having it inspected by the dealer, but get under your van a recheck their work if any metal is left exposed complain to the manager. I can explain to you how to check your rear axle. You will notice in the pictures of the underside of the axle the 2 rust lines that run parallel, you can clearly see them on the resealed axle photos. These are used to hold the metal from slipping in the die while its being pressed(there are 2 of these on the underside of the axle, one on each side). From all the pictures I have seen this is where it appears to start. You will also notice pictures of the underside of the axle end right behind the wheel, there is a large drain hole here. It will be much easier to look in here if you remove the rear wheels, SAFETY FIRST ALWAYS USE JACKSTANDS. You will notice I included a few photos of this hole and the best photo I could get of the inside, its basically a hollow tube. You can look inside about 8 inches(maybe a little more), if you see a lot of rust you have a problem. Fortunately our van came from Las Vegas 4 years ago so our axle appears to be fine, but as soon as we can it is going to be traded in. Ford should be made to buy them all back.

- , Toledo, IA, USA

problem #87

Sep 162010

Windstar Chrome

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

This past September 16, 2010 I was driving down a major two lane highway in Pittsburgh, PA going about 70mph, and I heard a noise and saw smoke and smelled burnt rubber. I thought I had a flat tire. It slowed me down drastically and somehow I got off to the side of the road without causing a major accident. A police officer stopped and offered assistance and told me it was a broken rear axle. I sat there for 4 hours waiting for AAA to come. I couldn't even get out of my van due to the traffic going so fast right beside me. The tow truck driver told us there might be a recall on this, so when I finally got home (113 miles) I researched it and sure enough it was true. My local Ford dealer would not accept my van since they said I would have to pay upfront for rental fees. I ended up taking it an extra 32 miles away to the next nearest Ford dealer. Still trying to get my towing fees reversed up to 35 miles. I am letting Ford buy my van back instead of waiting until February to get it fixed.

- , Mineral Springs, PA, USA

problem #86

Nov 082010

Windstar LX 6 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,000 miles

Today my wife, twin two year old girls and my 9 year old son found out about the Ford Windstar rear axle problem. Luckily none of them lost there lives today. I have only had the van for a couple of months now and have already had the tranny rebuilt (1900 bucks there) and got the call today that the rear axle broke in half with my family in it while picking up my son at school. If you own one of these mini vans and have checked out the rear axle as I have done ( I banged on it with a hammer to see if it showed signs of rot and saw no visible signs or cracks at all) DON'T WAIT! STOP DRIVING IT AND BRING IT TO THE NEAREST FORD DEALER!! NOW!!

- , New Durham, NH, USA

problem #85

Oct 162010

Windstar SEL 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 114,500 miles

Have had dealership take care of my concerns in past and expect that they will again live up to their responsibility. However, the safety concerns in the meantime as has occurred with so many people who own 2000 Windstars is appauling, and the Ford Company needs to see that Customer problems and costs be addressed much quicker, so that Dealerships like mine can take action .

Update from Mar 4, 2011: The original complaint a #10S13 -examined but still pending notification as to repairs or replacement of. A Recent additional Recall that I had heard of months ago just received from Ford -the Recall #11S16 -stating that a motor vehicle safety defect exists in my vehicle, a 2000 Windstar. The notice was sent in accordance with the requirements of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act.

What is the Issue? The front subrame lower control arm rear attaching flanges or both rear body mounts could separate from the vehicle subframe--the result a loss of vehicle directional control , increasing the risk of a crash.

- , MaysLanding, NJ, United States

problem #84

Aug 212010

Windstar LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,500 miles

While driving my 2000 Windstar at 60mph on a Chicago expressway, I noticed that the rear end seemed to be swaying or feeling like it was sliding on ice. Then I noticed that to keep the car driving straight ahead, I had to have the steering wheel turned to the right.I exited the expressway, drove to a parking garage about four-five miles away. While at the gate getting my ticket for the garage, there was a loud noise from the rear. The rear axle had snapped in two on the driver's side, about a third of the way from the driver's side wheel.

Fortunately, with all of these complaints, there have not been any injuries or fatalities. It's only a matter of time before someone does get hurt. Ford should have issued a recall much sooner.

- , West Chicago, IL, USA

problem #83

Sep 072009

Windstar LX 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

click to see larger images

rear axle failure rear axle failure

(Sept. 2009) Heard a squeaking sound & thought it was the rear shocks. After they were replaced the sound was worse. Luckily during an inspection my mechanic found the crack and you can see in the pictures it is almost 3/4 of the way through. Ford refused to cover the repair so I had it welded for $100. Now (Oct. 2010) they are recalling all of them and offered us $2710 to buy the van because the parts are not going to be ready until next year & the rental is going to cost them thousands. They knew there was a problem because they changed the design in 2004. That is what they get for trying to weasel out their responsibility.

- , Islip Terrace, NY, USA

problem #82

Dec 292009

Windstar SE 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 145,635 miles

click to see larger images

rear axle failure

In December 2009 we noticed that our 2000 Ford Winstar was fish tailing so thinking it was the tires we took the van in to get new tires. AFTER spending $400 on new tires the tire dealership called us to say they could not do the wheel alighnment because the rear axle was cracked almost all the way through. He said we were really luck it didn't break while driving it. We took it to a Ford dealership they said they had never seen this happen before. We ended up paying $45 to have it towed and $643 to have a new axle put in. So all total we spent almost $1100 dollars on this problem. Why isn't there a recall on this? FORD what are you going to do about this? Does someone have to die before something is done.

- , Portage, MI, USA

problem #81

Aug 292010

Windstar SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 173,000 miles

I have a 2000 Ford Windstar and on Sunday I was backing out of my driveway and the rear axle snapped completley in half. Lucky there was a recall 4 days ago on it so I thought everything was going to be ok. Well I have gotten the dam run around for 3 days now with ford motors. my vehicle is completly undriveable I guarented a rental because if that was not bad enough the axle cant be replaced until feb,2011. so now i had to pay for towing to a ford dealership only to be told there they do not do rentals and now ford motors wants it towed to a bigger ford dealership . well now they are finally willing to pay for the new tow bill and we will see about the rental.

They dont make anything easy for you ford motors makes it seem like it is our fault they made a faulty axles on their vans.I have 3 kids and am thankfull that i was not on the highway with it when it happened but ford needs to step up to the plate better and take responsibilty for their recalls better.If i get the run around again tomorrow i am going to file acomplaint with the attonery general about they way they are handling things. so please anyone becareful and stay on their ass about this if you have the same problem!!!!i will keep u updated

- , Matamoras, PA, USA

problem #80

Aug 232010

Windstar LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles

My wife was backing out of the driveway at a low rate of speed, and from inside the house, I heard a loud noise. I looked out my window and I could see my neighbor running across the street. I went outside and the rear axel was crack in half, approx. 12-18 inches from the drivers side rear tire. Being 6:30 pm I had to wait to contact my local Ford dealer the following day. I spoke with the Service manager who told me the vehicle had no current recalls and the part alone would be $500.00, and it would be 3 to 5 days to get the part in. He also stated that this is some kind of flaw in the rear axel, and this is not normal wear and tear.

I contacted Ford and they were no help, however they did file a complaint. I also filed a complaint with the NHTSA. When I told the NHTSA my vehicle was a, 2000 Ford Windstar, he stated "did the rear axel crack in half". So they are aware of this problem, and if this issue happens to you, you must file a complaint. Anyway, still waiting to see the final cost of this repair.

- , Evergreen Park, IL, USA

problem #79

Aug 152010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

click to see larger images

rear axle failure rear axle failure rear axle failure rear axle failure

My husband, myself, and our 4 children were on a highway in the middle of the night when we heard a sound like an explosion come from what we thought was out left rear tire. We saw and smelled smoke. Luckily we were able to safely drive to the shoulder of the highway, another 100 yards we would have been on a bridge. We waited an hour on that shoulder feeling the car shake when ever a truck flew pass us. My mother had to come and meet us because the tow truck could only take 2 passengers and we all were 6. She arrived after an hour shortly after the tow truck arrived. We came to find out that the rear axle snapped in two with the break closer to the left side of the tire. Both wheels were bent in. The tow truck driver said that just should not happen.

When we saw how many people this happend to on this site we couldn't believe it. The pictures of the break in the axel all seem to look the same and are on the same side, How dare Ford not make this problem a recall! Are they waiting for someone to get into a fatal accident to make this right? Do I smell class action suit?

- , Phila, PA, USA

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