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
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
103,533 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 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2003 Ford Windstar:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2003 Ford Windstar Owner Comments (Page 3 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #59

Feb 102011


  • 56,000 miles


I was driving down the road and all of a sudden I had to acceleration or reverse or anything. It was like I was out of gear. I drifted over to the side of the road and called a tow. I needed a new transmission. That was Feb. 2011 I just had the same incident happen again to me Dec. 2012- transmission needs rebuilt again! mileage is 82000 are you kidding! 2 transmissions in less than 2 years! the torque converter both times!

- Lancaster, PA, USA

problem #58

Oct 012012


  • 181,096 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that while having the vehicle inspected, it was found that the rear axle was cracked. The manufacturer was contacted about the issue and informed the contact that repairs would not be completed due to the fact that the vehicle was previously serviced under NHTSA campaign id number 12V193000 (power train:axle assembly). The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 181,096 and the current mileage was unavailable.

- Apollo, PA, USA

problem #57

Nov 242012


  • 106,000 miles
Was going down the highway and the vehicle started to decrease in speed, pressed gas pedal to increase speed, B ut only the RPM's went up and nothing else. Had to coast to a safe area to get off the road, was stranded 6 miles front he nearest town and was about 20 degrees outside. There was no warning or anything else showing any type of problem before transmission went out.

- Morton, IL, USA

problem #56

Nov 212012

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 117,000 miles


I drive approximately 50-100 miles a day. I just pulled into the library and when I went to leave, the car backed out, but than would not move forward. I tried every gear and the RPM just revved. There was no prior slippage or indication the transmission was going. Spoke to the mechanic and its the same problem the Ford freestar and Mercury monterey experienced. I just saw they got their recall why not the Windstar since so many people are experiencing this and it can result in an accident or fatality. I had my daughter with me.

- Stanhope, NJ, USA

problem #55

Nov 062012


  • 150,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 65mph, the vehicle lost power and shut off. The contact merged to the shoulder of the road and was unable to restart the vehicle. The vehicle was towed to the dealer who diagnose that the transmission had to be replaced. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and the current mileage was 150,000.

- Acworth, GA, USA

problem #54

Jul 162011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 155,600 miles
When leaving my house on a trip out of town, I drove my Windstar down the street to the intersection leaving my street. As I pulled out into traffic the transmission broke, disengaged and would no longer propel the Windstar forward. The mechanic who towed the vehicle said the transmission was gone and he had seen countless numbers of Windstar with the same problem.

- Chesapeake, VA, USA

problem #53

Sep 292012


  • 56,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that while driving 20 mph over a road bump, the vehicle exhibited an abnormal noise. The contact later noticed that the axle was fractured and rusted. The vehicle was towed to a mechanic for inspection where they stated that the axle was rusted and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified and they stated that the vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign id number: 12V193000 (power train:axle assembly). The failure mileage was 56,000.

- Norfork, NE, USA

problem #52

Sep 092012


  • 98,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that while traveling 45 mph, an abnormal grinding noise emitted from the vehicle and the vehicle decreased acceleration independently. The check engine warning light illuminated during the failure. The vehicle was taken to a private mechanic who confirmed that the torque converter needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and the current mileages were 98,000.

- Center Line, VA, USA

problem #51

Sep 072012


  • 118,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar SE. The contact stated that while traveling 60 mph, the vehicle became resistant to acceleration attempts. The vehicle was towed to a private mechanic and the manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were 118,000.

- Lovonia, MI, USA

problem #50

Sep 032012

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
Torque converter failure for the second time. First incident at 97,000 miles then again at 120,000 miles.

- Hudson, IA, USA

problem #49

Aug 212012


  • 140,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that while driving 30 mph, the vehicle exhibited a sudden loss of power without warning. The vehicle would accelerate in either reverse or drive. The vehicle was towed to a dealer who recommended that the entire transmission be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The contact was informed of a recall similar to the failure under NHTSA campaign id number: 12V006000 (power train:automatic transmission:torque converter) however, the contact was advised by the manufacturer that the VIN was not available. The failure and current mileages were 140,000.

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #48

Jul 312012

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 101,009 miles
I am the owner of a 2003 Ford Windstar and as of now there is not a recall out on this vehicle. But there is indeed a recall on the 2004 Ford freestar which has the exact same components and drivetrain. Ford has recalled 205,896 2004-2005 freestars due to the torque converter output shaft fail. The same issue is with my vehicle... I have had the worst service threw Ford in the follow up with this issue. I have been inspected and many transmission mechanics verify this issue and states the following model of my van has been recalled. If this is so why hasn't my vehicle been recalled.. this is a huge issue, if my wife was driving my 3 children is this vehicle when this part failed it would have been much worse!

- Travelers Rest, SC, USA

problem #47

Jul 112012


  • 143,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign id numbers: 12V193000 (power train:axle assembly) and NHTSA campaign id number: 11V030000 (structure: Frame and members:underbody shields ). the vehicle was taken to the dealer and was repaired under both recalls. Later while the contact was driving 50 mph, the vehicle began shaking abnormally. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer where they advised that they needed to replace the front axle. The contact had not experienced the failure prior to the recall repairs. The manufacturer was contacted and stated that they would further investigate the failure. The failure mileage was 143,000 and the current mileage was 148,000.

- Woodbridge , VA, USA

problem #46

Sep 082011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 119,000 miles
ABS light and brake light on dash stays on majority of the time, transmission went out without warning in the driveway with no power, and there is a noticeable change at times in the cruise speed control while driving revving up the engine. Had the transmission replaced as a result. There appears to be rust and crack in the axle.

- Sullivan , MO, USA

problem #45

Jun 272012


  • 137,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar. While driving downhill at approximately 25 mph, there was a complete loss of the transmission power with a rapid increase in engine rpms. The contact was able to maneuver safely to the side of the road. The vehicle was towed to the residence and diagnosed by a certified mechanic who advised the contact that the transmission would need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the problem. The dealer advised there was not a recall related to the defect. The approximate failure mileage was 137,000.

- Springfield, MA, USA

problem #44

Jun 252012


  • 61,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that the transmission failed. The contact was driving 55 mph when the failure occurred. The vehicle was towed to the dealer, but the transmission had not been inspected. The failure and current mileages were 61,000.

- Warren, OH, USA

problem #43

Jun 152012


  • 87,000 miles
I was driving on the mass turnpike with my daughter and two of her friends, when the car started to race and the speed started to decrease, not knowing what to do because the break down lane had dropped I slowed into the lane furthest to the right, for slow moving trucks and had the vehicle come to a complete stop and put it into park and shut it off, (my hazard lights were on), tried to start it back up and put it into drive, but when I did it wouldn't move and slowly started to move backwards, tried to put it in 1st, 2nd and neutral and samething happened, so had to call 911 and have a wrecker tow it back to West springfield, had to pay $207 dollars for tow back there and $80 to tow it to the garage that it is currently at now and new transmission is going to cost about $2000. This was a very unsafe and stressful situation for me and three children, ages 9,7, and 6. thank god we didn't get in an accident and get killed.

- Pittsfield, MA, USA

problem #42

May 262012


  • 104,000 miles
The car was driving down the road. No warning, the car would not engage. The engine would rev but the transmission was not working. Once on the side of the road, there was no forward or reverse. Nothing happened prior, the car was working fine. There are many complaints on this car on the internet. Ford needs to do something to remedy the problem. We are so thankful nothing worse happened, there were children in the car.

- Weatogue , CT, USA

problem #41

May 162012

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 108,000 miles
Driving on highway, my 2003 Ford Windstar had a 100% transmission failure. The car was running, but would not go forward or reverse. I did previously report transmission issues (slipping) to Ford on more than one occation. Ford was unable to locate or identify an issue with my transmission. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6)

- Rocky River, OH, USA

problem #40

May 142012


  • 113,000 miles
Pulled out of parking space at work and drove to the garage entrance, stopped at the stop sign. Pressed the accelerator and engine RPM just revved up, no fwd or reverse, van rolled backwards into the garage. Towed it home, was told I need a new transmission. Had no warning lights or codes. Good thing no one was behind me!. dealership said they have no info on this, but can rebuild it for around $1,000.

- Biloxi, MS, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?