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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
4 / 9
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
79,247 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.

2002 Ford Windstar brakes problems

brakes problem

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2002 Ford Windstar Owner Comments (Page 2 of 13)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #240

Oct 102011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 57,000 miles


The dash display yellow ABS and red brake lights come on randomly. My mechanic tells me that when the ABS light comes on, the ABS system is nonfunctional, meaning the van would not have ABS capability in an emergency during these random events that last for both short and long durations. The mechanic tells me that the fix for the problem requires replacement of the ABS ECM, which is hard to get at and would cost close to $1000. My search of the problem on the internet shows that many other owners of this make, model and year have the same problem and that this problem is widespread, which likely means it is a defect in the engineering of these vehicles and that many lives are at stake since the ABS could go out at any given moment, even during emergency braking which would cause loss of control of the vehicles. Ford should fix this problem since it is a widespread defect.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #239

Jul 272006

Windstar 6-cyl

  • miles
Speedometer not working accurately (occasionally speedometer will work than stops, which indicates defective part). Ford says speedometer and gear needs to be replaced now. Prior to that they said computer needed to be reprogrammed because of tire size.. cruise control did not work but was fixed by Ford via recall notice due to leaking speed control deactivation switch (scds). As I understand the dealer would also inspect the ABS control module connector and repair as necessary. ABS and brake light are on all of the time which is a result ABS control module failure.

- Manitowoc, WI, USA

problem #238

Nov 092010

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 102,000 miles
Brake light (red) speedometer and odometer stop working cruise control will not activate or deactivates without warning ABS brake light (yellow) Ford trouble code C1185 problem codes P0171, P0174, P0401 171,174,401, egr or system too lean issue.

- Tonawanda, NY, USA

problem #237

Sep 152009

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 15,000 miles


The brake light and ABS light come on intermittently. It occurs most often in the summer in warm weather and when I go over bumps in the road. In cooler weather if I go over a bump in the road the brake and ABS come on, just by pulling off the road and shutting the engine off and restarting the car the brake and ABS lights may stay off. It has gotten worse over time. Originally it was every couple of months. Now it seems to come on at least a couple times a week.

- Haddon Heights, NJ, USA

problem #236

Oct 032011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 160,000 miles
ABS, and service brake, come on simultaneously. I am afraid that stopping distance shall be increased, thusly causing personal & property damage liability. Fear of braking distance suddenly increased, when driving, on a personal daily basis. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Fresno, CA, USA

problem #235

Dec 222010

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 78,035 miles
Red brake light came on along with traction control and ABS light stopping distance was further than normal and van skidded on wet road. Need to adjust stopping distance as it was alot further to come to a stop. Light is an intermitant issue along with stopping distance.

- Rome, NY, USA

problem #234

Sep 262011


  • 115,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that the harness connected to the anti-lock brake computer melted and caught on fire. The ABS warning light was illuminated on the instrument panel. Neither the dealer nor the manufacturer were notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 115,000.

- Chico, CA, USA

problem #233

Sep 032009

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that while driving 10 mph the ABS lamp, torque converter lamp and the brake warning lamp illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer but not repaired or diagnosed. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 58,000 and current mileage was 65,000. Updated 10/06/11 updated 10/5/11

- Momence, IL, USA

problem #232

Sep 092011


  • 108,000 miles
The ABS warning light and brake warning light on. Resets after car cools down then lights will illuminate after driving and temperature increases. When lights are illuminated braking distance suddenly increases and brake pedal feels soft. Had the brake system serviced and flushed with new brake fluid and it did not solve the issue of the ABS and brake warning lights coming on, or the increased braking distance. All the brake pads have been checked and are in serviceable condition. Front calipers and rear brake drum clynders have been checked and all are working correctly. Wheel speed senors have been cleaned and checked with a meter and all four are working correctly. The recalls for the brake pressure differential deactivation switch was done in 2010 and there is no evidence of fluid leaking at this time. Suspect problem with ABS electronic control module.

- Oregon City, OR, USA

problem #231

May 182011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
1st incident happened while driving at highway speeds. ABS and brake light illuminated until car was turned off. Lights now come on randomly. I took my vehicle to a Ford dealership on Aug. 31 2002 for recall on front and rear axles. They installed shackles on suspension and said that everything was fine. After I came home with vehicle, I noticed a clunking sound coming from the R/F wheel area and my overdrive off dash light starts flashing randomly until car is turned off. Concerning the ABS issue, I took my vehicle to an independent garage and they told me I needed to replace the ABS control module, then he told me that they did the exact same repair on another 02' Windstar earlier that week and the repair would cost $700-$800 dollars. Coincidence"??"

- Monroe, ME, USA

problem #230

Jan 012010

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 85,000 miles


While driving at normal speeds the ABS, brake and trac lights come on and stay on. The van was stopped and when restarted, the lights were off. This has repeated almost every day and continues until today. There are no codes and there seams to be no effect on the van (except maybe the anti lock brakes not working).

- Baton Rouge, LA, USA

problem #229

Aug 152011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
While driving down my hill, my brake light came on. Now my ABS light comes on with my brake light. Brake fluid is present, brakes are almost a year old. For over a year now, my van after it being turned on and off (errands, shopping etc), it does not want to start. Once it does start, as I turn the wheel while in park, it stalls. Now that my brake and ABS lights come on, as I turn the wheel it wants to stall while driving. When I am turning my vehicle off, I turn the key down very slow and all the way down, that seemed to only help it restart a few times. I had my vehicle at the Ford dealer for the recall in 2010 dealing with the cruise control issues. My od light has been off for over a year now as well. While driving my vehicle, when I am stopped, I notice a white colored smoke coming out from under the hood, and no one can find where it is coming from, especially happens when it is damp or raining out, and engine temp is normal.(I can not take my van to an auto car wash due to the fact it starts shaking, smoking and won't run or stay started when the under carriage is being sprayed) fuel pump, starter and ignition coil are fine. Has new plugs and wires.

- Springdale, PA, USA

problem #228

Jan 012008

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
Braking distance suddenly increased; ABS module intermittently fails due to defective ECM module. This is a routine safety issue with Windstar vans that has not been addressed by Ford.

- Norcross, GA, USA

problem #227

Jul 252011


  • 132,500 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that the ABS warning light would illuminate when the brake pedal was depressed. The manufacturer was contacted and denied any assistance with repairs to the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 132,500 and the current mileage was 133,000.

- Buckley, WA, USA

problem #226

Aug 102010


  • 98,000 miles
ABS and brake lights coming on for no apparent reason. Had recall service on cruise control and the warning lights for the ABS and brake lights have been coming on intermittently since that service was done. Talked with the local Ford service department and they are aware of this problem. Said that the previous recall on the cruise control didn't have anything to do with my warning lights for ABS and brakes (but they have had more issues with this problem than the cruise control recall). If I remember the correctly, the cruise control recall - it had something to do with brake fluid contact and potential for fire, my cruise was shorted out and not working - must have been from brake fluid. I am thinking that this flaw has something to do with electrical components connected from the brake and ABS system to the warning lights being shorted out in a similar way; it is just a guess, I am sure that the real mechanics know what is going on.... this is a safety issue and Ford needs to recall this design flaw; the warning device is not working as designed. I am sure that the $1,600 to fix the problem is an issue for Ford. Sometimes the lights turn on when I start the vehicle, sometimes I may be driving and they will turn on, at times the warning lights do not come on at all. The brakes are not effected from what I can tell and my fluid levels are normal. I hope that my brakes don't really experience a problem.

- Monticello , MN, USA

problem #225

Mar 082010

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that the vehicle was experiencing an increased stopping distance whenever the brakes were applied. This failure occurred after the vehicle was repaired under the recall associated with NHTSA campaign id number 09V399000 (vehicle speed control). The contact also stated that the anti-lock brake and brake lights were illuminated on the instrument panel. The speed control deactivation switch was not leaking and there were no brake fluid leaks either, but the consumer was experiencing braking issues. The failure mileage was 100,000 and the current mileage is 115,000. Updated 9/13/11 updated 09/28/11

- Kane, PA, USA

problem #224

Jun 152011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 125,000 miles
Braking distance suddenly increased, intermittently. Fault code shows ABS ECM failure.

- Platte City, MO, USA

problem #223

Apr 182011


  • 82,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that the anti lock brake and brake lights were constantly illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer, but a test was not conducted to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 82,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Bellevue, KY, USA

problem #222

Jun 302011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 146,000 miles
I purchased a 2002 Ford Windstar from genoa Ford genoa Ohio...with the ABS light and brake light on...the salseman said that we have the car priced low because it will need brakes...we purchased the brakes and still had the problem...we then had the master cylinder replaced the next day 3 days later as we where driving the van the ABS and brake light turned on and the van was not able to be started so it was towed for the second time...the day before this we had it at tireman in northwood to get radiator flushed...and new tires when we pulled away the van lost all power and then the battery was today after this problem happened the mechanic tells us we need an alternator. In the mean time I have searched online and found that recall #09S09 deals with electrical issues as in the ABS the scds the cruise control etc... so this issue obviously has not been stopped with the recall being performed on my vehicle at genoa Ford on Oct 19, 2009( as the mechanic [xxx] told me on the phone) I have come here to file this complaint. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Millbury, OH, USA

problem #221

Jun 012011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 112,000 miles
1. none specific. The recall has been performed that replaces some wiring in order to avoid possible fire. 2. the failure is a yellow ABS brake light and red brake light on the dashboard instrument cluster coming on together fairly often but not always. I understand these lights, specifically the ABS light, means the ABS braking system is not in operation meaning probable longer stopping distances. I suspect as others have suggested these lights are caused by a heat buildup problem in the ABS module that causes the module to warp and fail. 3. the problem is ongoing.

- Asheboro, NC, USA

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