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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 8
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
80,934 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2003 Ford Windstar Owner Comments (Page 10 of 13)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #76

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 #75

Dec 202009


  • 85,000 miles
My 2003 Ford Windstar has been continuously giving my electrical problems. First the rear parking sensors disengage when in reverse. While driving the ABS, brake and traction control lights come on the dashboard. I'm not sure what it does, but the vehicle does then not function properly. The traction control and brakes don't seem to be working properly.

- Lindenhurst, NY, USA

problem #74

Oct 012008


  • 35,000 miles
2003 Windstar electrical problems.lights flash any time at all. Headlight will flicker when driving at night. Different warning lightswill come on randomly. This has been aproblem since I bought the van used. Burns out alternator and batteries.many exact complaints on the internet. Transmissions just quit. Many electrical problems. Not only costly but dangerous. They have no solution too the problem.put in a new alternator, battery, diagnostic testing. Still the same.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #73

Dec 282009


  • 82,350 miles


I own a 2003 Ford Windstar, I have tried and spend well much money in a solution but it comes really expensive paying for some one else errors, my dashboard lights( ABS and brake lights ) comes on every time while driving the vehicle anywhere, this is been happening even on real short trips, my mechanic told me I got code C1185, means that the ECM on my car is messed up, had to replace, im not the only one and Ford is making a lot of money selling this parts to owners to have no problems, I drove this vehicle with my family, and I don't want to jeopardize my family and my own integrity.

- Cudahy, CA, USA

problem #72

Jun 012004


  • 0 miles
My yellow ABS brake light and my red brake light indicator come on whenever my brake lines begin to heat while driving. I have also had intermittent problems with the over drive light coming on and off, and the odometer and the speedometer failing. This has occurred since the Windstar van was new. The previous owner had tried to have the sensors replaced but it continued to happen, and still happens now with me. I am concerned that if the brakes do fail or need repair, I won't know as the lights are always on, anyway. I am also concerned with the possibility of fire due to a short, or being ticketed as I never know when the speedometer will begin to fail. I was told by an independent mechanic that there was an unspecified electrical short causing these issues, and that it would difficult or impossible to trace. I am experiencing both problems 1 & 2 as described on the following website. **** **** the issue of the ABS brake light is critical in that the ABS brake system does not function as designed by Ford. The issue is caused by heat in the ABS (anti-lock brake system) ECM (electronic control module) (2C219) module causing expansion of a large aluminum plate (heat sink) in the ECM which is attached to the ECM main circuit board at all points. The expansion occurs when the unit gets warm especially in the summer months and causes intermittent electrical connection in the unit because the fragile board is being stretched and malformed. The code most commonly scanned by professional mechanics is code C1185. Seen by us owners as a yellow ABS brake light.

- Tulsa, OK, USA

problem #71

Nov 172009


  • miles
ABS & brake light on after speed control recall performed.

- Pembroke, NH, USA

problem #70

May 202008


  • 35,000 miles


Prende la luz de freno junto con la luz de ABS en tablero. SE escanea Y marca el codigo C1185.

- Toluca, 00, USA

problem #69

Oct 142009


  • 70,000 miles
I have a 2003 Ford Windstar affected by the latest recall concerning a faulty switch that leaks and can cause fires. I took my van into a Ford dealership yesterday for this problem. They replaced the switch but that faulty switch has ruined the ABS module. The cost to replace that is over $1200. That should be covered in the recall too. An ap report yesterday by tom krisher and stephen manning states that "NHTSA also identified four reports of leaking fluid damaging the antilock brake control module, resulting in a fire." While I am not aware of a fire I do know there have been instances when I park my van that the front end seems extremely hot. I plan to have my garage check for signs of fire or overheating due to this problem. As of last week my speedometer has intermittent problems of not working, particularly when the engine is hot. The ABS and brake light are both on all the time.

- Delray Beach, FL, USA

problem #68

Oct 142009


  • 112,979 miles
Favor mandarme informacion a serca de los automiviles marca Ford winstar 2003 segun el periodico de hoy van a ser retirados de circulacion por la Ford por defectos de fabrica, les agradeceria mas informacion.

- El Paso, TX, USA

problem #67

Oct 092009


  • 75,500 miles
Suddenly my speedometer, odometer, aircond compressor did not function. Several displays did not register correctly the ABS and brake lights on the display would come on and go off. I found the site and it guided me in the right direction to find the problem with the brake pressure deactivation switch. Fuse #10 would blow. I caught the problem before any thing caught on fire. Ford needs to be responsible for this.

- Lake Wales , FL, USA

problem #66

Aug 032009


  • 41,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Ford wind star. The ABS and exterior brake lights remain illuminated after brake application. Also the interior lights flashes on and then off. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection; since the technicians could not duplicate the failure they could not provide a remedy. The failure and current mileages were 41,000.

- Drums, PA, USA

problem #65

Aug 072009


  • 124,000 miles
Leaking brake fluid, cruise control switch caught fire, melted ABS ECM wiring connector, brake light on after brake service, ABS brake light stays on, fuse had to be replaced.

- Fleetwood, NC, USA

problem #64

Sep 162009


  • 124,000 miles
2003 Ford Windstar SE brake and ABS lights on intermittently. The following codes are present: C1226;C1235;C1185;C1198;C1194;C1254;C1246;C1250; and C1242. The mechanic said it appears the ABS control module is going bad or is bad at a cost of $700. I replaced both rotors, drums, right wheel bearing, left inner tie rod and my brakes work just fine. The lights coming on are an annoyance and could possibly cause a fire??

- Eagle Lake, MN, USA

problem #63

Mar 102009


  • 141,285 miles
Loss of brake fluid (problem # 1) melted brake deactivation switch (problem # 1) brake light on after brake service. (we think this back pressure brakes the deac switch) (problem # 1) brake light (red) (problem # 1 or problem # 2) 15 amp fuse #10 blowing out (problem # 1) fire or smoke coming from under the van ABS ECM area while off. (problem # 1) melted ABS ECM wiring connector. (problem # 1) speedometer and odometer stop working. (problem # 1) cruise control will not activate or deactivates without warning. (problem # 1) ABS brake light (yellow) (problem # 2 or problem # 1) Ford trouble code C1185. (problem # 2 or problem # 1) brakes turn on squeel without warning. (problem

- Riorancho, NM, USA

problem #62

Jun 102009


  • 75,000 miles
My 2003 Ford Windstar continues to smoke and the ABS and brake lights keep coming on. It also has electrical problems because the interior lights continue on flashing and the door locks sometimes do not work properly. The problem seems to be a widely experienced issue because I have found numerous websites describing these issues.

- North Ridgeville, OH, USA

problem #61

Mar 102008


  • 50,000 miles
2003 Ford Windstar ABS, cruise and brake issue. Light stays on all the time, possible fire issue. # cruise control will not activate or deactivates without warning. (problem # 1) # ABS brake light (yellow) (problem # 2 or problem # 1) # Ford trouble code C1185. (problem # 2 or problem # 1).

- Lithia, FL, USA

problem #60

Feb 082008


  • miles
Since we got our 2003 Ford Windstar new in December, 2002, we have always had an issue with constantly needing to fill the brake fluid. The Ford dealership said they couldn't find anything wrong. In Feb, 2008 our ABS and brake light came on. Took it to a Firestone repair shop, they fixed and akjusted the brakes and they said it was a problem with the brake sensor and that there was nothing wrong with the brakes when they were finished, just the light was on and we needed to replace the sensor. As it was extremely costly and they told us there was nothing further wrong with the brakes, we choose not to replace it. In June 2008 our cruise control stopped working. We again took it in and they could not figure out what was wrong. Two weeks ago, August, 2009, we had all new brakes put on. Just yesterday, August 21, 2009, our brake fluid was almost empty. We took it back to the place we had the brakes put on, and they just filled the brake fluid and said there was an air bubble. Upon driving home from the repair shop, we noticed that our speedometer and odometer had stopped working and the overdrive light was now flashing. So, we have the following warning lights on our control panel: ABS, brake, overdrive; and the following items not working: ABS, speedometer, odometer, overdrive; and a continually disappearing brake fluid problem. Don't actually know if the ABS works or not.

- Centerville, OH, USA

problem #59

Jul 012009


  • 84,600 miles
2003 Ford Windstar. ABS and brake warning light come on intermittently. Seams to be mostly when wet roads, but has occurred on dry days also. Took to local Ford dealer and was told ABS module had a lot of error codes and the wiring connection looked damp. Mechanic put dielectric grease on the connection, but I received no info on the error codes.

- Watertown, NY, USA

problem #58

May 102009


  • 77,808 miles
2003 Ford Windstar ABS and brake lite comes on and goes off at times. I bought the car 5 months ago, I don't know if it had this problem before I got the car.

- Summerville, SC, USA

problem #57

Mar 102009


  • 98,500 miles
6 months ago my ABS and brake light started coming on sporadically. Interior lights started flashing on and off at different times day and night. Very disruptive to driving and dangerous to other drivers on road. Dealer says no recalls on this item. Am having independent mechanic check this out. Also affects the brake lights and turn signals when sometime working and sometime not.

- Greensboro, NC, USA

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