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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
50,469 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.

2003 Ford Windstar accessories - exterior problems

accessories - exterior problem

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2003 Ford Windstar Owner Comments

problem #18

May 012006


  • 50,000 miles


ABS module does not work, and shows a constant alarm light. Cost to repair is $2K door locks failed and have to be opened manually. Cost to repair is $500/lock power steering unit constantly noisy, hard to steer vehicle. No repair cost known. Door open light constantly on. No repair cost known. Interior lights do not come on when doors are opened. No repair cost known.

- Glen Ridge, NJ, USA

problem #17

Aug 012008

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
Windstar van doors will lock and unlock while driving. Right passenger slide door will not lock/ unlock have to do it by hand. Left rear passengers door slide open it self after I shut it. Will lock it self. I can pull the lock up and it will lock it self again. The drivers door will not unlock have to use key.. keyless remotestop working. Plus battery. Still nothing.

- Mesa, AZ, USA

problem #16

Sep 242010

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 81,535 miles
Our 2003 Ford Windstar has been having mechanical failures for about 3 years. We have heard a loud grinding noise from the rear passeners side of the car that neither our local mechanic nor Ford could fix. We replaced shocks and most recently the tire rods on 9/24/10. We have had numerous electronical "bugs" inclluding ABS lights flashing on and off for 2 years requiring multiple fuse changes and electrical testing. Our transmission was replaced in 2009 at 59,000 miles. The power locks on the passenger side door and rear passenger doors do not open remotely or with power locks, only key or manual lifting. Needless to say, although we have not had any person injuries, we have spent a fortune to keep this car running in what we thought was safe manner.

- Glenside, PA, USA

problem #15

Apr 012008

Windstar 6-cyl

  • miles


We bought our 2003 Windstar in August of 2006 used from a car lot. In the spring of 2008 the locks on the driver side rear door will lock and unlock on their own. It doesn't matter if we are parked or driving down the road and all of a sudden you hear this awful sound. Shortly after that I noticed leaking from the driver side in the front behind the tire and then the steering was making a noise and beginning to turn hard. We ended up replacing the rack and pinion and the power steering pump. Then in October 2009 we ended up replacing the wheel bearing on the front driver side. We were told that the transmission was going out. We had a mechanic friend of ours come and take a look to have it done cheaper. We then found out that the radiator was also going out. So we had it parked and replaced the radiator in January of 2010 and left it parked because we couldn't afford to pay for the new transmission at the time. It had roughly 13X, xxx miles on it when it failed. We finally bought another one and replaced this in February of 2010. We have just replaced the wheel bearing on the right side in the beginning of November of 2010. We have now taken it in for the recall and found out that it has 3 cracks in it. The dealership wants extra money to check the subframe so I am waiting for our mechanic friend to take a look and see what other surprise we may have. Once we find out I will be reporting back about the subframe if it also has an issue. We are very frustrated because we still owe $5600 on this and have already paid so much for this overpriced van on top of all the money we put in to it. We are beginning to be scared to drive this with our children in it when it eventually gets fixed. Please help, what else is gonna go wrong!!! the date is not exact but approximate.

- Belding, MI, USA

problem #14

Mar 012009

Windstar 6-cyl

  • miles
Ford vehicles should not only be recalled for rear axle rust. There should also be a recall for rust that constantly occurs around the rear wheel well panels. The rust appears to start from underneath the rear side panel on the Windstar. It seems like this is occurring along with the rear axle rust. The sliding side doors have a continuous problem with closing completely when any of the control buttons were used. The doors would reopen over and over. Repeated visit to the service department did not solve the problem which seem to involve the pulley system.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #13

May 102010


  • 80,000 miles
Engine revs and car accelerates while driving. Engine light stays on. ABS light goes on and off. Door locks click open and close while driving. Interior lights go on and off while driving.

- Cutchogue, NY, USA

problem #12

Apr 102010


  • 136,000 miles


This van keeps draining our battery. We have tried to figure out why the van's electrical system keeps draining the battery. It has drained our battery several times.

- Waddell, AZ, USA

problem #11

Apr 012007

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
Electrical problem doors lock sometimes, next time no lock, ABS lite will not go off replace fuse, drive 5 miles, ABS lite comes back on, has for 2 years, wasted money and time on trying to find solution. Fuses blow out faster then I can replace them.

- Mesa, AZ, USA

problem #10

Jul 252009


  • 77,971 miles
With no prior problems to report, I was suddenly unable to put my vehicle in gear after starting it. The gear-shifter felt somewhat loose as if I were parked at an incline without putting the hand brake on. However, I was parked on level ground. After turning the vehicle off, I was finally able to get the vehicle out of park and into neutral where I was able to start it and put it into drive. Whenever I placed it in park it was extremely difficult to get it back into any other gear however, it would randomly go into gear as if there was no problem. But once placed back into park it would get stuck again. Now there is all kinds of wacky electrical stuff going on...window swithches aren't functioning, no tail lights, fuel gage is not functioning and the remote alarm entry only unlocks the drivers side door. There is a clicking in the left side of the steering column when trying to utilize any of the listed electrical functions.

- Pacoima, CA, USA

problem #9

Jan 302009


  • 145,000 miles
2003 Ford Windstar. Brake and ABS lights came on, fluid leaking out of brake pressure switch. Fluid wicking down to other wires blowing fuses. ABS control unit wires soaked in fluid. Possible fire. Also electric door locks stick both fail to unlock and fail to lock even though the solenoid is triggered. The actual lock is sticking on 3 of the four doors.

- Newport, TN, USA

problem #8

Nov 242008


  • 48,000 miles


It started with the interior lighting coming on while driving, then the dash windows nd radio, battery dying and the outside lighting staying on while keys were out and not working once started. They are all happening constantly even with all the new parts that the Ford garage replaced{battery, switches, alternator, light sockets, etc}.

- Connellsville, PA, USA

problem #7

Jan 012008


  • miles
2003 Ford Windstar brake warning light and ABS warning light on constantly. Numerous electrical problems, I.e, doors not unlocking, locking for no reason. Blend door sticking, not allowing for heat or defrosting.

- Hiawatha, KS, USA

problem #6

Oct 202008


  • 67,000 miles
Left rear automatic closing door will begin to close, just before latching the door will re-open itself.

- Long Beach, WA, USA

problem #5

Aug 012004


  • miles
Purchased a used van from local dealer. It has a dvd player already installed (not factory installed). Approx. 6 months later, I complained to service assoc. While getting an oil change, that my radio does not get stations clearly. Maybe there's a problem with the antennae. He said, "it's a Ford thing" in 2005 I told same service assoc. That the 'door is ajar' light keeps coming on. The trunk. Hatch light comes on and stays on even when back is closed. And the interior lights go on and off. And the dvd player no longer worked. He said it could be the contacts, and he would clean them but there's 'no guarantee". the next service check, I told him that the lights stay on after the doors are closed and I 'm afraid my battery will go dead. Also that the power locks now go on and off while driving around. I was told that it was probably an electrical problem but that it was not under any warranty and it would be very costly, it could take hours and hours of looking for the problem and it may never be found. I went home and my husband purchased and changed the contact thing for the back door. The light for that back hatch then stopped staying on when the door was closed. I was very concerned about the locks going up and down while driving my three small children around. How could I know if the locks were engaged or not"?? if there is a 'short; could a fire start?" I called the Ford co. Consumer number, explained my problems and the rep. Just told me that "there is no recall for those problems with that van". I said I was afraid for my children's safety, not knowing if the doors were locked or open. When repeated her statement and said to take it to the dealer at my expense. It is now 2008, my locks continue to go up and down while driving randomly, I have to turn all the interior lights off and leave them off, already replaced a battery, back door is open light still stays on!! please advise me!! I am quite frustrated and nervous about this vehicle.

- Greensburg, PA, USA

problem #4

May 092008

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 53,200 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar. While en route to New York and driving 60 mph, the door locks did not function and were not programmed. When the contact activated the cruise control, the ABS, door lights, and emergency brake lights illuminated. Halfway to her destination, she had to stop at a repair shop and pay for them to inspect the vehicle so that she could continue driving. The mechanic checked the brake line and pads and informed her that the vehicle was functional. The battery was also repaired. Within 2-3 weeks, the same lights illuminated again. The vehicle has not been taken to the dealer. The current mileage was 55,394 and failure mileage was approximately 53,200. Updated 07/29/08 the consumer also state the vehicle had an oil leak in the oil pan near the oil gasket. The low tire pressure light illuminated. The consumer was informed that the new battery was causing electrical problems they were experiencing. Updated 07/29/08

- Martinsburg, WV, USA

problem #3

Jun 222007

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,736 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford wind star. The contact stated that the transmission would not engage. The tow truck driver stated that the vehicle was stuck into gear. The dealer replaced the transmission. In addition, the front passenger locks would not work properly. The dealer stated the motor in the doors caused the failure. The current mileage was 57,303 and failure mileage was 46,736. Updated 4/16/08 the dealership removed the transmission to replace the torque converter, front hub seal, pump shaft and bearing. The front doors needed actuators. Updated

- Plain City, OH, USA

problem #2

Jun 242004


  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles
When the passenger side automatic door lock engaged it pinched the occupant's arm. As a result, passenger suffered a blood blister that turned into a bruise.

- Bowling Green, KY, USA

problem #1

Mar 012003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,000 miles
Automatic sliding door opens by itself - no command; door will not power open; door lock assembly freezes. The door has opened itself while the vehicle is in motion - very scary and dangerous for my children. This is a problem Ford has known about but have not been proactive about fixing (see Ford tsb article 03-6-8).

- Carmel, IN, USA

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