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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 4 of 13)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #196

Jul 122013

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 112,000 miles


Rear axle completely snapped in two. Also, the van has the ABS and brake lights are on took in for a code read and nothing. The electrical acts very strange music and lights fade in and out and the cruise control is very jerky.

- Alba, MI, USA

problem #195

May 152013


  • 115,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that after having the vehicle serviced under NHTSA campaign I.D. number 12V195000 (suspension), the vehicle started to display electrical failures. The contact did not take the vehicle to the dealer or a mechanic for diagnostics. The contact called the manufacturer and the manufacturer recommended taking the vehicle to the dealer. The failure mileage was 115,000.

- Gulf Port , MS, USA

problem #194

Jun 012007


  • 80,100 miles
There is something obviously wrong with our Ford Windstar's electrical system. Upon unlocking the car with the remote, only the rear hatch will unlock. All of the other doors try to unlock, but there is not enough power to push the lock all the way up. After replacing the battery, the problem still persisted. This is not only a very obnoxious problem because each of the doors must be unlocked by hand, but this could also be a sign of other problems with the electrical system. In an emergency with children in the car, I need to be able to unlock the doors as quickly as possible.

- Spring, TX, USA

problem #193

Jun 012007


  • 80,000 miles


The ABS, traction control, and brake warning lights will come on all at the same time after driving for only a few minutes. Once these lights come on, the ABS and traction controls are completely inoperable, and in bad weather this could lead to a crash. The warning lights illuminate faster when it is warmer outside. I believe that at $2800 to repair, this is a serious problem and should most certainly be a recall, especially in a family vehicle where children could be in danger.

- Spring, TX, USA

problem #192

Sep 012004

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 40,228 miles
We have not been properly informed about all of the recalls or other issues with our vehicle. The vehicle does have a lot of problems from the electrical, structure, engine lights are always throwing codes needing a lot of sensor replacements at our cost, the rpms seem to run fast sitting at a light(we have to turn off the engine and then restart), and the engine seems to run hot, brakes, cruise control(cannot use), traction control(cannot use), interior light are always flickering, passenger windows(cannot use) and door locks(cannot use), both rear windows(cannot use), leaks from roof, rear door and sliding doors, the cruise control, brake and traction control lights stay on while driving(we were told by a dealership that we can still drive the vehicle, but we won't have anti-lock brakes.), the ac is always having trouble staying charged, the ac/heat control switches have malfunctioned(it has to be set away from the cold and the speed to 3/4 speed to work right), the battery keeps losing charge, the brake tail lights stay on draining the battery and had to get repaired by us because the dealership could not locate the problem, driver seat has malfunctioned(cannot use per dealership's request), cruise control and traction control does not work, suspension seems to have a lot of squeaks and popping sounds, alternator and starter had to be replaced several times, the coil packs need constant replacements, all spark plugs and wires had to be replaced before their time, cannot use the rear wiper because it goes down onto the paint and starts wiping the paint and not the rear window, constantly replacing exterior lights all around, the engine constantly cuts out, we told the dealership for several years that there was an antifreeze smell and they could not locate it until 5-28-13, replaced bad front and rear axles on 5/28/13 and many others. 12K-18K to repair everything.

- Reston, VA, USA

problem #191

May 152013

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 172,000 miles
For a few years, the ABS warning light has been intermittently coming on. It has mostly been during the warmer months of the year. Also, the brake warning light has been intermittently coming on. Sometimes the two lights come on together sometimes individually. Also, the low tire pressure warning has come on numerous times when there was no issue with tire pressure. Now I have a new issue- the speedometer is reading incorrectly. This is very unsafe because I am teaching my son how to drive and he is very nervous already, now he has no idea how fast he is going! this problem is also intermittent but happens 80 percent of the time the vehicle is driven. Mostly, it is indicating about half of the vehicles actual speed. I also got an airbag warning yesterday for the first time. I assume this issue will start to show up more often now. This vehicle is unsafe to drive with all of these erratic warnings and indications. Please help the nation out by mandating a recall of the Ford Windstar wheel speed sensors & vehicle speed sensors.

- Imperial, MO, USA

problem #190

Apr 272013

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 195,000 miles


Battery was dead all of a sudden... jumped it and all the lights started flickering... dome light dash lights... windshield wipers came on and they were turned off... driving down the road everything shut down until the gas was pressed and then it all came back on... called several places and no one can tell me what is wrong.

- Fredericksburg, TX, USA

problem #189

Jan 022012

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
The ABS and brake warning lights come on frequently at any time for no reason. My mechanic says there is no problem with the brakes; he thinks it is a defective brake module. This is a safety issue, since it cannot get a state inspection when these lights are on.

- Canton, MA, USA

problem #188

Apr 142013


  • 105,700 miles
Bought used vehicle from dealer and noticed the ABS/brake light was constantly on. It was "fixed" before completing the purchase. Lasted for a few days before lights came back on and stayed on. Was told it not a big deal, so I didnt worry about it. Was not experiencing any other issues until 1.5 years later when I turned the defrost fan on and it stalled the motor as I was traveling. The next weekend my husband wanted to look at it and after the van idled for a few minutes, turned on the defrost and it did not stall, called it a fluke until we popped the hood and had smoke coming out!

- Texarkana, AR, USA

problem #187

Apr 192013

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 163,000 miles
ABS light will go on and off when the weather gets warm. Stays off in cold weather.

- Plymouth, MN, USA

problem #186

Mar 152013


  • 149,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that while the vehicle was being serviced, it was found that the rear axle was corroded and fractured. The contact also mentioned that the ABS and brake warning lights illuminated. The vehicle was inspected by a private mechanic who stated that the electronic control module had failed. The contact also stated that the interior lights erroneously illuminated intermittently while the vehicle was in motion. The vehicle was repaired but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was contacted and informed the contact that the vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 10V385000 (suspension). The approximate failure and current mileage was 149,000.

- Cambridge, KS, USA

problem #185

Mar 172013

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 143,961 miles
Both the emergency brake light and anti-lock braking light on instrument panel were illuminated within 5 minutes of having started the car. After approximately 10 minutes, all electrical appliances failed, including directionals, brake lights, etc. The engine continued to run, however it struggled on uphill climbs.

- Charlton, MA, USA

problem #184

Mar 152011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
After driving vehicle short time the warning light for ABS malfunction lights along w/ brake warning light. This happens intermittantly. Likely brake warning light problem is low fluid in mastercylinder yet fluid level in every case was ok. This problem is ongoing. Scan code was C1185.

- Hastings On Hudson, NY, USA

problem #183

Oct 012012


  • 114,000 miles
I purchased a 2003 Ford Windstar used in October of 2012. It had 114,000 miles on it well from day one I have had a problem. The RPM, speed and gas on the dash go crazy. It says I am doing 20 mph when I know I am going faster than that. The RPM will go and up and down. I was driving to work and the brake light and trac off light came on. I tapped the break and it went away. 5 miles later I was making a right turn and the car just stopped moving. Could not go reverse or in drive. I had the car towed and was told it was the transmission yet I had no signs that it was the transmission. I was told the other issues were an electrical problem and would cost me any where from $700-1500.00 plus up to $2500 to fix the transmission. Started doing research and found that these are very common problems with the Windstar. Also I have problems with my lock on the driver side door. Sometimes it will not lock and other times will not open. You have to climb through the van to unlock it. They need to recall this especially the electrical problems...this is unsafe! I will never buy another Ford....

- Villas, NJ, USA

problem #182

Dec 202012

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
My ABS/brake lights have been coming on while driving. Lean codes P0171 and P0174 are showing. Also electrical system, mainly locks have become inconsistent. When using remote to open locks, sometimes a door lock will not open on driver or passenger side. Also, interior lights sometimes don't shut off when supposed too.

- Athens, OH, USA

problem #181

Jan 012013

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 247,000 miles
ABS light will not turn off. Also the check engine light blinks on and off and the car will not take any gas.

- Raeford, NC, USA

problem #180

Jan 072013

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 131,000 miles
After going about 4 miles after starting up van, ABS light comes on, occasionally the red brake light will come on too, speedometer goes crazy (up and down) and inside lights flicker at random. Seems to be some sort of electrical issue and/or brake issues.

- Franklinton, NC, USA

problem #179

Jan 012011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
ABS light came on and won't go off. Mechanic can't figure it out. Last month the brake light came on and now it won't go off either. I did some research and discovered this is a fairly common problem, leading to a potential fire.

- Pleasant Gap, PA, USA

problem #178

Jan 012009


  • miles
The battery light comes on occasionally. When it comes on, the electrical system has reduced power. This is confirmed by the headlights dimming, wipers moving at slower speed. If I turn the ignition off and then restart, the battery light goes off and everything functions normally. If I don't turn the car off, it will die in a short time.

- Chanhassen, MN, USA

problem #177

Jan 052013


  • 120,000 miles
There was a safety recall initiated by Ford for corrosion of the engine cradle - 2003 Ford Windstar structure: Frame and members:underbody shields NHTSA campaign #11V030000. Ford repaired the left side only, leaving the right side rusted and now several significant rust holes have appeared on the right side. Ford disclaims any responsibility saying that they made the repair properly but I claim they made the repair inadequately. Bad metal is bad metal and regardless of the fact that the holes were discovered over a year later is inapplicable as good metal does not rust through to the point of creating a safety hazard. If the engine cradle fails, the engine will fall from the vehicle, potentially while moving. Gas will spew across the road and a fireball will ignite. Other drivers will either hit the engine, swerve to miss it and hit other vehicles, and/or get caught in the inferno which will cause significant damage, human harm and needless deaths. Ford initiated this safety recall because there was this safety issue and the issue remains. Safety was not improved by simply repairing one side of the engine cradle allowing the other side to corrode to the point of sizeable rust holes being created in a short period of time following the initial inadequate repair. Once a safety recall is initiated, it is in the best interests of the public to ensure that the repair is properly and completely made and therefore that the safety issue is fully resolved.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

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