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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 12 of 13)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #36

Jan 102009


  • miles


I drive a 2003 Ford Windstar. Within about 5-10 minutes of starting the vehicle, both the yellow ABS light, and the red emergency brake light light up on the dash. The brakes still seem to be working properly. I even took the vehicle to a mechanic and the brake system checked out fine. However, the lights are still on, and won't go away.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #35

Jan 222009


  • 115,800 miles
Smoke coming out from under the hood, then after a few weeks the ABS light coming on. At the same time as the ABS light the speedometer started going all over the place. Also at this time cruise control when on would deactivate and basically do whatever it wanted. But while all this was happening there was no smoke.

- Portageville, NY, USA

problem #34

Jul 112007


  • 50,355 miles
We bought a used Windstar in July of 2007 have been having the same issue with the brake light and ABS light coming on at times.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #33

Dec 042006


  • 90,095 miles


Moisture on road, red brake light on. Yellow ABS light on no speedometer, no cruise control. Van pulls to right when brakes applied.

- Amarillo , TX, USA

problem #32

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 #31

Nov 062008


  • miles
I kept getting an intermittent brake and ABS light that resets when the car is turned off. My mechanic troubleshoot it down to the ECM for the ABS. Failure of ECM in the ABS brake system resulting in the ABS light and the brake light being illuminated. I am sure they have fixed plenty of these by now. Why no recall on an obviously bad part/design?

- Lake Zurich, IL, USA

problem #30

Jul 152008


  • 110,000 miles


I have had several electrical failures with this vehicle include the wires corroding for the brake/ABS lines, the ignition wires failing and the more minor codes produced for faulty sensors in the door ajar system. I am currently determining if it pays for me to replace the wiring, or junk the vehicle.

- Oconomowoc, WI, USA

problem #29

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 #28

May 272007


  • 45,000 miles
ABS light and brake lights stays on, cruise control never has worked, have fixed the brakes and the lights are still on. Now I think the 02 sensor I guess it may be the oxygen sensor is out also I think it keep on burning up my alternators, I put a new last year and just had to put another one and I think it is about gone also.

- Missouri City, TX, USA

problem #27

Jun 012008


  • 132,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar. The ABS light remains illuminated, followed by the brake light. There is also fluid leaking and melted wires under the hood. The contact has not taken the vehicle to the dealer. The current mileage was 135,000 and failure mileage was 132,000.

- River Oak, TX, USA

problem #26

Aug 192008


  • 63,000 miles


My ABS and brake light on my 2003 Ford Windstar which has only 63,000 miles had been coming on intermittently. When I carried the vehicle to the local Ford dealer they informed me that if I had arrived one day earlier on 8/19/08 I could have received an out of warranty service adjustment but when I arrived on 8/20/08 I was one day too late. The ECM is causing the brake light and ABS light to turn on according to the diagnosis and will have to be replaced. The original estimate was $757 but when I mentioned the number of complaints on the website they automatically dropped to $672. I will now be required to pay this amount for a known problem with the Ford Windstar vehicle. Ford is not taking responsibility at the local service center.

- Anderson, SC, USA

problem #25

May 112008


  • 57,000 miles
Brake, ABS, and other lights come on, drive disengages, van will only run in 2nd or low gear until you turn it off then on again. Very dangerous situation as the van loses power and decelerates. Fuse #1 sparks when putting in a fuse. Blows the fuse immediately. Interior light then will not work. Van is currently being looked at by phil long Ford.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #24

May 152008


  • miles
ABS light coming on due to heat on circuit board. Occurs whenever the car gets warm, started during summer.

- Aurora, CO, USA

problem #23

May 132008

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that the passenger side sliding door would not function with the power button. The door would have to be opened manually from the passenger compartment. The dealer stated that there was a service bulletin for the failure, but there was no recall. The contact was informed that a tsb kit was needed. The manufacturer stated that nothing could be done and referred her to NHTSA. The current mileage was approximately 77,000 and failure mileage was approximately 76,000. Updated 07/15/08 updated

- Traverse City, MI, USA

problem #22

May 302004

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that the lights on the instrument panel and the head lamps sporadically come on and off even when the car is not started. The brake lights sporadically come on and off as well even when the brakes are not being applied. The aircondtioner also failed and only comes out through the defroster vents. The vehicle has been taken to a local mechanic but a problem could not be diagnosed. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and the air condition was repaired however it failed again soon after. The current and failure mileage was unknown. The vehicle has not been repaired as of current date. (SC) updated 06/16/08

- Bessemer City, NC, USA

problem #21

May 272008

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 35,000 miles
I noticed the brake lights on my dashboard coming on and disappearing intermittently. I had no idea that my anti lock braking system is sporadically working like so many thousands of other Windstar owners. I have three small children that I Transport on the highway to and from school and I hate to think of an accident that could be made worse by this situation. Don't wait until a child or any other person loses their life over this situation. Please recall this module as was done on the Ford escape so that lives don't have to be lost. This seems like a severe safety issue. My brakes squeal constantly in hot weather and I fear of a fire breaking out while my dog and three small children are in the car. Please let me know if maybe getting in touch with our local news channel or any other media outlet would shed extra light on this problem.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #20

Apr 302008

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 53,860 miles
On almost every trip the ABS and brake warning lights come on the dash. Dealer stated a problem code C1185 and said the ABS module would need to be replaced for about $800.

- Laurence Harbor, NJ, USA

problem #19

Jan 142008

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that the vehicle would not start occasionally. When he would follow the instructions in the owner's manual, the vehicle would function correctly. In other instances, the vehicle would not start at all. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer and they wanted to charge him for a diagnostic. The dealer was unable to assist. The current mileage was 76,000 and failure mileage was 65,000. Updated 7/3/08 the doors would not open when using the remote. Updated 07/03/08

- Shelton, CT, USA

problem #18

Mar 202008


  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,000 miles
Last week, my parents were driving my 2003 Ford Windstar home from breakfast with friends. The friends were following them home, when they saw fire coming from the bottom of the van. They immediately began honking their horn to get my parents to pull over. My dad stopped the van they franticly got themselves and my 4 and 6 year old children out of the van. Within 3-4 minutes of everyone getting out, the van was completely engulfed in flames. And the van was reduced to just metal with in less than 10 minutes. We do not know the reason the fire started at this point, but do know that this has been happening with Ford vehicles over the past few years.

- Aragon, GA, USA

problem #17

Mar 102008

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles
My wife and I bought our van after owning a 2000 Ford Windstar. I used to work for a Ford dealership and have only owned Ford vehicles most of my life. This van has changed my mind and I will have to think long and hard before buying another Ford. Our van has been a problem ever since we drove it off the lot. On the way home the right front door window quit working and took two trips to the dealer to repair. Like other people have said the electric side doors have a mind of there own opening a closing on there own. There is a loud pop every time the side doors open. After several trips to the dealer nothing was done. The engine keeps revving up to the point that you have to stand on the brakes at a red light to keep it from running into the intersection. The dealer again looked at the several times and nothing has been found. As a former mechanic I have been fooled by this also and have replaced the throttle position sensor hoping that would fix it with no luck. The van would not start at times and would have to be jumped off. The battery was replaced as a precautionary measure because this is my wife and kids in this car and I want to take no chances. Finely I was around one time it would not start and found the alternator to be bad. Replacing it and nightmare but that another story. Now the van still idles high and the check engine light and or loose fuel cap light is on. This van is a piece of junk and I regret the day I bought it. I am in my fourteenth year as a deputy sheriff. I do not want any thing but a Ford as my patrol unit after working on and driving every kind of car out there. It will be hard to buy another Ford as the vehicle my wife and children ride in.

- Alabasetr, AL, USA

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