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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 1 of 13)

problem #256

Aug 202014


  • 74,000 miles


ABS light. Took my 2003 Windstar with only 74,000 miles on it to an auto parts store to get codes as to explain the redundant ABS light. There were at least 12 codes all pointing back to the ABS module. This issue with the ABS has been on going for 2+ years.

- Lewis Center, OH, USA

problem #255

Jan 012010


  • 140,000 miles
My speedometer will not work at all, go up and down or get stuck, indicating the wrong speed, while in motion, also at a stop, it will pop up, happens on city street and on highway. I have researched this and there are multiple complaints about issue with Ford Windstar minivans. To me this is an extreme safety issue as I find it distracting, have no idea how fast I'm going. I was driving through a school zone today and while I was not driving fast, I could not say for certain that I was within the speed limit. I'm continuously looking at my speedometer, taking my foot off the gas to see if it will drop, but I can't trust that the speed reading before was correct. I can be driving and it will pop right up to indicated 100mph, when I'm driving in my neighborhood. I get alerts and signal alarms for "low brake fluid", "check advancetrack", my airbag warning light is on intermittently, and my rear back up sensors don't work either. I have also had problems with the drivers side sliding door not staying shut when parked, I have had this feature disabled for safety reasons. It will start to close, reopen, start again, close partially and then reopen again, even if the door is locked it will do this. These are all ongoing problems, I don't know if they are tied together. I have had the vehicle looked at for problems and have been told that codes come up under diagnostics but when the actual parts they are warning about like the ABS, low brake fluid are fine. I have had the car at a Ford dealership multiple times for the door issue and were told they could not figure what was causing the issue.

- Otsego, MN, USA

problem #254

Mar 222016


  • 156,649 miles
The speed meter gauges goes crazy

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #253

Feb 102014


  • 100,000 miles


My ABS and brake lights on the dashboard come on and off at different times. Sometimes they stay for a while (days) and then go off for (days). Also, I have been having problems with the gauge arms on the dashboard all of sudden will go back and forth in a quick motion. Then sometimes stick in one position and then back to normal and then sometimes not move at all for a while.

- Chillicothe, IL, USA

problem #252

Oct 012015


  • 144,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar. While driving approximately 40 mph, the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was able to restart. The brake and overdrive indicators illuminated. The contact stated that the failure occurred intermittently. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 144,000.

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #251

Jul 062015


  • 163,200 miles
The gauges in the vehicle keeps going nuts. Moving from one side to the other, tachometer, speedometer, gas, temperature, battery. The tachometer gauge hit the transmission selector and now that is pushed over to 1. it appears there a many Ford that have this problem but Ford refuses to fix the problem. The fix is well over $400 just for the instrument cluster. Also they refuse to fix the power steering whining noise that all Ford have. If this is a well known problem then how come the ntsa don't make them fix the problems.

- Cape May Court House, NJ, USA

problem #250

Jan 152007


  • 92,000 miles


The ABS light comes on occasionly. Brakes continue to work. I am told it gives a 1185 code meaning a bad module.

- Cedar Rapids, IA, USA

problem #249

May 272015


  • 110,190 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar. While approaching a stop, the driver depressed the brake pedal and the vehicle failed to stop. As a result, the driver had to engage the emergency brake in order to stop the vehicle. The brakes, ABS, engine, and door ajar warning lights previously illuminated intermittently. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the ABS electrical module needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 110,190.

- New Port Richey, FL, USA

problem #248

May 052015


  • 124,500 miles
"ABS" and "brake" indicator lights within dashboard turn on intermittently.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #247

Jun 012013

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
Purchased new in 2003. This vehicle has electrical problems and yet we are being told that we have to eat the financial bills instead of Ford. From sensors failing, to interior lights flashing at us, and the vehicle sputtering while we drive down the road. Ford knows that the 1999- 2003 Windstar have serious safety and electrical failures, yet they do not want to correct the problem at their cost. Ford would rather pass on their problems onto the consumer and at the consumer's cost. 2013 at our cost of $1,000+ we replaced the coil assembly pack, egr system with brackets, oxygen sensors, spark plugs, and wires. Now we are replacing them again. The ABS system, the traction control, and the cruise control all interwoven and all failed in 2009 and we were told that it is not important by the dealerships. We placed our obd scanner on our vehicle and this is what we pulled. P0302, P0305, P0316, C1235, C1185, C1198, C1194, C1254, C1246, C1250, C1242, C1214, C1210, C1103, C1410, C1404, B1318. We were told by many "service departments" a while back that these codes were not important. They cleared the codes every time. Their response to these codes were to clear them every time. Why are we having to replace the coil assembly packs, wires, egr system with brackets, oxygen sensors, and plugs so often, when we are being told that these platinum plugs and wires should last 150K? we honestly believe that Ford should have recalled this vehicle years ago. Ford should compensate us for our troubles, instead they increased our financial burden, and Ford should have placed us into a safer vehicle all at their cost. This is our only vehicle. When it fails, we have to pay thousands to get it repaired at our cost. Ford should take on the financial responsibility when they know that this vehicle has these issues. Major repairs= 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, and now 2015.

- Reston, VA, USA

problem #246

Dec 162014

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 143,216 miles


Dash ABS, brake light on, speedometer, RPM gage jumps back and forward, cruise control accelerates, passenger window and rear side window doesn't work.

- Washington, WV, USA

problem #245

Nov 042013


  • 200,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that the exterior lights, turn signal lights, odometer and sliding doors failed without warning. Also, the contact mentioned that the check engine light illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician diagnosed that the total intergraded power module failed. In addition, the contact stated that the anti-theft system failed. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle had not been repaired. The failure mileage was 200,000.

- Duluth, GA, USA

problem #244

Mar 312014

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 113,000 miles
ABS brake light will turn on and off at random times. Also, brake (E-brake) light comes on, interior lights occasionally flash, all running lights and headlights have gone out (really bad when driving down highway at night), and loss of all electrical (radio, lights, heater fan, dash illumination, headlights, running lights, etc... all go out at same time). Alternator and several batteries have been replaced. Electric windows will occasionally stop working as well. Obviously the huge issue here is the fact that the ABS system may be disabled, dash warning lights randomly come on and off, and all electrical shuts off, with losing headlights and running lights being the biggest issue!

- Seward, AK, USA

problem #243

Jun 042012

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 107,000 miles
My vans brakes started acting funny when I came up to a stop. The ABS system is acting as if the van is going into a skid and activating the anti lock brake system. It causes improper braking distance which has almost led to an accident. After operating for awhile the warning lights go on in the dash for the ABS and traction control, at this point when the lights go on the systems are disabled. When you shut off the van it resets and the problems persist when you start it back up. I believe there is problem with the computer board causing this problem. It can possibly lead to an accident and or death.

- Taft, CA, USA

problem #242

Nov 282014

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 241,000 miles
ABS and brake lights come on within five minutes of the O/D off light is flashing on dash.

- Eupora, MS, USA

problem #241

Jan 012013

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
While driving down the road the ABS and brake light come on and stay on, and the interior lights come on and go off. I've had the brakes checked, and they are fine. We changed the module, which we were told was the problem, but it didn't solve the problem. The problem occurs more often when the weather is warmer, but it does happen during the winter, too. It is very distracting while driving at night, especially, to have the lights on the dash and the interior lights flashing, and it could be dangerous. Also, I wouldn't know if the brakes actually had a problem.

- Cambridge, KS, USA

problem #240

Nov 012012

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 35,000 miles
ABS and brake light come on intermittently. No rhyme or reason but make us feel unsafe. Have taken in for service several times and they can find nothing wrong with ABS or brakes. Car only has 56000 miles on it now and we can't trade it or sell it because of the problem. Internet research shows thousands of entries with same problem. Found individual on ebay that has business repairing ECU cold solder joints so this is definitely a factory default. ABS and brakes function properly but those lights should not be coming on. It appears to be a cold solder joint which is clearly a manufacturing defect. Since the ECU sits right under master cylinder a brake fluid leak leaking fluid on ECU has and could cause a fire.mmmford should replace the defective unit at no charge to the customer.

- Ardmore, OK, USA

problem #239

Jul 082014

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 118,000 miles
A few days after buying the van the ABS light started coming on, it goes on and off. My interior lights have flashed on and off, my passenger window no longer works! and the gear shifter is loose and sometimes hard to get into park.

- Thurman, IA, USA

problem #238

Nov 032014

Windstar 6-cyl

  • miles
Dancing gauge needles.

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #237

Jun 212012


  • 129,000 miles
Was making a left hand turn from a dead stop when engine without warning cut out during the turn. All of the dash board alert lights (brake, ABS) comes on and off all the time. Took the vehicle to 3 dealer ships and could not find anything wrong. Vehicle still cuts out and almost causes an accident each time. Can't seem to get anyone that can resolve this matter. Now the dashboard and interior lights won't either.

- Petoskey, MI, USA

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