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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
105,601 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2001 Ford Windstar drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2001 Ford Windstar Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #13

Sep 032011


  • 105,000 miles


There was a problem with the transmission which required the vehicle to be pulled to the side of the road and towed to a dealer for service. The van only has 105,000 miles on it and has had regularly scheduled maintenance. After having a couple transmission places look at it, the problem was determined to be internal and the transmission needed to be replaced. At the same time that I had my van into the transmission shop there were 3 or 4 other Ford Windstar in for similar problems.

- Warren, OH, USA

problem #12

Dec 022011


  • 110,000 miles
I bought this car used 1 yr and 8 months ago.. haven't had any major problems with it. We received the recall for the rear axle, they checked it out was fine, we never received this last recall in 2011 but it may have helped if we did. On Dec 2 I was pulling out of a school, was at a complete stop then started pulling out to take a right only going about 5 mph we heard a bang (something fell in the front end) then the car just took over, there was no steering, the throttle stuck took us from 5 mph to about 30 mph in like 3 seconds crossing 4 lanes of traffic and just missing 2 vehicles, I crashed into a sign, 2 fences and a tree which made us stop, there was this awful sound that was getting faster and faster, we jumped out of the car because we thought it was going to blow up!!! everything that is in the front end is laying on the ground!! this is very dangerous and I am outraged that something like this could happen. If my husband and I hadn't gone anywhere that night, I would have had my 3 small children in it the next morning!! I am so thankful that we were not hurt (except for emotionally) and that we also didn't hurt anyone else.. if those cars were 1 second earlier we would have smashed into those cars that were going about 50 mph.. wouldn't have a been a very good outcome!!! now waiting to see what will happen with the van, if it is fixed I will not get in it ever again!!

- East Longmeadow , MA, USA

problem #11

Oct 152011


  • 155,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Ford Windstar. While driving approximately 35 mph, the contact smelled a burning odor. The contact stopped the vehicle and after exiting and inspecting under the hood, the contact noticed that the smell was coming from the transmission fluid. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing or repairs. The approximate failure mileage was 155,000.

- Partlow, VA, USA

problem #10

Jun 262001


  • 62,000 miles


We took a 300 mile trip to Chicago in our Windstar that we just purchased less than 2 months previously. While we were out of town, the van started acting up. When we would take off from a stop, the van would jerk and bounce like maybe the brakes were locked. We stopped driving it while we were up there until we had to leave. On our drive home, we were about 100 miles from home the O/D light came on. Then a little later, I noticed some type of liquid coming out the back. We tried to get home but at 90 miles from home the van totally quit moving. We were able to coast to the side of the road. Under the van was a large puddle of transmission fluid. After having it towed home ($240) we took it to a transmission shop. They had to replace a front seal and torque converter ($950). I'm filing this complaint because I have seen on the internet where the transmission seems to be a problem with the Windstar. Now the brake light and ABS light come on occasionally and won't go off until it's turned off and restarted. This also seems to a big problem with the Windstar. I haven't taken it in for that yet but dreading it. This is a very nice vehicle and I am rather disappointed in it.

- Granite City , IL, USA

problem #9

Mar 212011


  • 132,918 miles
I was driving my van down the road at about thirty five. Heard a loud thunk and realized I was not accelerating anymore. The van stopped almost immediately after. Called a tow truck because I thought it was the transmission. After evaluating the damage we realized that the frame had broken where the wheel stabilizer arm mounts to the frame on the passenger side. Also my passenger drive shaft pulled out from the transmission. So in this repair it is going to take a sub frame. And the half shafts from transmission to wheel.

- Hammond, IN, USA

problem #8

Dec 112010


  • 92,431 miles
While backing out from a parking space, the passenger side lower control arm mount separated from the subframe due to extensive corrosion. The front passenger wheel was turned outwardly and the right half shaft was disengaged from the differential. While researching this issue on the internet, I realized the subframe should last longer than the life of the vehicle. Fortunately for some it has been detected while in a repair shop for some other reason such as brakes, alignment or other front end work. Unfortunately for others it has been discovered by malfunctioning to the point of breaking and causing other structural/mechanical damage, as well as personal injury. I would like to believe that Ford stands behind its product and is willing to issue a recall for repair.

- Ravenna, MI, USA

problem #7

Oct 012009


  • 72,000 miles


ABS light is O in my 2001 Ford Windstar even after the recall in 2009 for ABS ECM failure - ABS brake light. The light continues to stay on for the past year almost and it is causing other defects in my vehicle. My vehicle will shut down on me completely and nothing in my vehicle will work until I get a jump ad it is causing issues with my brake system and transmission!

- Dolton, IL, USA

problem #6

Oct 122010

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
Occurrence: 12 October 2010. Traveling I-95 Washington, DC/suitland, md. Vehicle: Ford Windstar, 2001. Speed : 60-65 mph. Traffic : dense. Failure of defective part : rear axle snapped in two parts while traveling on smooth highway, northbound. Explosive sound, lots of smoke, extreme consternation/fear of heart attack experienced by my wife and I ( my wife has a dangerous heart condition "ihss") at occurrence. I immediately turned on hazard flashers. Managed to maneuver across several lanes of traffic to get to highway shoulder safely!! thank god for the alert fellow travelers behind us!!! if we were hit by any 18-wheelers on the highway, I wouldn't be writing this complaint now!!! concern for our safety was shown to us by fellow travelers; particularly, md traffic safety person, who should be commended by his superiors for his professional and understanding actions!! he looked at the damage and said that he had never seen anything like it before; and he said that we were lucky to be alive!!! van was transported by professionals to the nearest Ford dealership where I first became aware that a recall notice was in force for my vehicle!!! at this point, I became greatly disturbed that I had no previous notification of this dangerous condition and that my wife, grand children, etal were traveling in potential rolling coffin! in my opinion, this seems to be criminal; particularly if greater profit motives might be involved! I certainly hope that inferior materials were not used in this regard!! I was informed that my van would have to remain at the Ford dealership until Ford Motor Company decides how I will be provided with a safe vehicle, since no replacement axles were available. (nb ; I have no idea whatever other damage exists as a result of this awful failure! I certainly don't want a duplicate axle replacement to replay this horrific catastrophe! in my wife's delicate condition, I cannot expect her to travel in this unsafe vehicle! justice!!!

- Ramsey, NJ, USA

problem #5

May 152010


  • 83,807 miles
1. vibration in steering wheel. 2. rear axel broke in 2 places on the New Jersey turnpike. The car veered uncontrollably almost causing a serious accident. 3. the car was towed 90 miles to our local service station where axel was replaced with a used part.

- St Davids, PA, USA

problem #4

Aug 222010


  • 150,000 miles
2001 Ford Windstar 150,000 miles, driving on highway approx. 55 miles per hour, vehicle starting swaying then heard a load crash and a lot of smoke coming from under vehicle, thought it was a blow out. Pulled on to a side road both rear tires were bowed in and rear axle had split.

- New London, OH, USA

problem #3

Apr 012010


  • 98,000 miles


Rear axle of 2001 Windstar broke in half.

- Evergreen Park, IL, USA

problem #2

Aug 312009


  • 100,000 miles
I heard a squeaking noise in my vehicle, I took it to local garage for inspection of problem they found my rear axel is about one inch from snapping in half. I then called a few other local places that fix these type of problems and found out that this is a recurring problem with this vehicle and that it has been reported many times. I then checked to see if there was a recall on the rear axel and found that Ford has done nothing about this. I did a search on the web on this vehicle and found several stories just like mine only some more severe where accidents have been caused from this same break in the rear axel. I am still in the process of getting this fixed.I will need to replace my rear axel it can't be welded for safety purposes. This problem is very serious and needs immediate attention. My family and I have escaped serious injury but how many more complaints need to be made before something is done.

- Berwick, PA, USA

problem #1

Apr 062009


  • 154,000 miles
While driving 2001 Ford Windstar on a 1-hour trip toward home, I noticed the back wheels fish tailing that occurred in every rough spot in the road. I immediately thought the tire was going flat and pulled over to check it. Since the tires visually looked fine, I drove to the next exit to a gas station and checked the tire air pressure and found it was at proper levels. I was still unsure what could cause the "fish tailing" or "hydroplaning" feeling, yet I was able to make it the rest of the way home without a major accident; although my car kept "fishtailing".. the next morning, my husband took the Windstar to a service mechanic to inspect the tires. What he found was a rear axle that was "rusted from the inside out" about 3/4 of the way. The mechanic's initial estimate is $1000 (for replacement of new axle and labor). We are relieved that the rear axle didn't break while we were driving as the car could have flipped and killed all of us. What could cause corrosion on the inside? the rear axle should be made to never corrode or break under normal road driving conditions. After researching on the internet, I have found other 8 year old, same make/model Windstar owners reporting the same conditions. This is an unsafe part especially noting that people are keeping their cars longer due to economy. Ford should own up to this part failure and recall and replace this part at no charge to the owners immediately!

- Marysville, OH, USA

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