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6.1

fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
$0.00
Average Mileage:
59,416 miles
Total Complaints:
29 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (26 reports)
  2. clean sliding side door electrical contacts (1 reports)
  3. get a different car (1 reports)
  4. lube the latch switch (1 reports)
2003 Ford Windstar electrical problems

electrical problem

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2003 Ford Windstar Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #29

Aug 312012

Windstar Limited 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Ford Windstar Limited – Bizarre Electrical System Issues

I purchased an 03 Windstar Limited as a second vehicle about four years ago. For a vehicle with nearly 100,000 miles on it was is in exceptional condition and is still. Every now and then the interior lights would start flashing on and off – by themselves! Very strange. Once the vehicle was shut off and restarted though the lights stopped flashing. I did notice that the flashing interior light syndrome always seemed to occur when it was raining or very damp. Temperature did not seem to be a factor. Since the occasional flashing on and off of the interior was lights seemed a relatively minor issue, we chalked it up to the ghost of old Henry Ford just having a little fun with us.

It did occur to me, however, that the cause of the problem had to be a door switch or sensor that was being affected by moisture and/or and an accumulation of dirt. This could produce a signal that the vehicle’s onboard computer might interpret as an open door. The most likely candidates were the multiple contacts on the power sliding side doors. These contacts, there are 7 on a Windstar Limited, are open to the elements and can easily become damp and/or dirty. So, the next several times that the interior lights began to flash on and off, I simple cleaned the sliding door contacts. A little isopropyl alcohol on a clean cloth and the careful cleaning of each of the contacts usually kept old Henry’s ghost at bay for a month or two.

Recently, however, this minor annoyance turned into a major electrical issue. Out of the blue the battery kept discharging. When this first happened, I noticed that the interior lights had remained on. After charging the battery, at which point the engine started without hesitation, I shut the engine off, exited the vehicle, and locked the doors. The interior lights, however, did not shut off. Even when I turned the interior lights off using the timer wheel on the dash, the interior lights stayed on until I used the remote to lock the doors. I discovered later, when again the battery had almost completely discharged, that although the dome lights were off, the foot lights had remained on.

The alternator had recently been replaced but once the engine was started the battery recharged. So, the charging system itself was not an issue. Being that the battery is original (yes, it’s 10 years old) I did suspect that it may be on its last legs. I removed the battery, cleaned the posts and terminals, recharged it and performed a load test. The battery tested good. I also again thoroughly cleaned all of the sliding door electrical contacts. The battery is no longer discharging and the interior lights function exactly as they should.

The Bottom Line

I suspect that most of the problems associated with the Windstar’s electrical systems may indeed be the result of misinformation being provided to the vehicle's on-board monitoring systems by poor sliding side door electrical contacts. So here’s what I suggest for those folks who are experiencing the flashing interior light syndrome and/or a battery that keeps discharging:

1 - Remove the battery from the vehicle 2 - Leave the battery out of the vehicle for at least 2 hours. This should clear any false codes or light settings that may have been prompted by poor sliding door connections. 3 - Thoroughly clean the battery posts and battery cable terminals 4 - Charge the battery (If possible have it load tested as well) 5 - Clean all of the sliding door electrical contacts (both the spring loaded contacts in the doors and the stationary contacts on the door pillars). 6 - Reinstall the battery 7 - Start the engine and check voltage across the battery posts (should be at least 13.2 volts or higher) 8 - You will need to reset the information display (language, units of measure, fuel mileage, outside temp, etc.) as your original settings will have lost when the battery was removed.

No guarantee folks but this worked on my Windstar. Good luck.

BD

- , Cambridge, ON, Canada

problem #28

Jul 152009

Windstar LX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

interior lights flicker on and off. have to turn dimmer switch to off to keep them off which is a pain for night driving as i can't see the controls! again Ford is junk and i will never purchase a ford vehicle again!

- , Lititz, PA, USA

problem #27

Dec 122006

Windstar LX 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles

The blinking interior lights are very distracting and especially at night, it is really dangerous in my opinion. We have had it to several places to try to retrieve the trouble codes , and guess what NO one can get their code readers to access any codes or any information on this Windstar to find out why the check engine light is on. We have NOT been happy with this Windstar and before this , we had always been Ford Family!!!!

- , Greenfield, IN, USA

problem #26

Jun 202004

Windstar SEL 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I guess my van was built on a Monday, and the guy who did the interior electrical must have been hung over. My interior lights just come on whenever they feel like it. Don't feel like getting raped by the repair bill, so my quick fix is to shut the dome light off.

- , J-ville, IL, USA

problem #25

Jun 012008

Windstar SEL V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

Driving down the road and all of a sudden all the lights in the vehicle start flashing on and off. Very annoying especially at night when you are trying to drive. Half the time some of the windows won't open. Went almost a year without the passenger window opening. Then when it started working, one of the back windows wouldn't open. Have had nothing but problems with this van since I bought it in 2006, will never buy another one!!!

- , Alliance, OH, USA

problem #24

Aug 072006

Windstar SEL 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

Interior lights flicker periodically. Mechanic can't fix it unless they are flickering. Well, they only seem to flicker while it's beeing driven and you never know when it's going to flicker. I cleaned all contacts as told to do by the dealer but that didn't change anything. I've just learned to live with it but when I sell it what do I tell the people?

- , Brooklyn, MI, Uzbekistan

problem #23

Aug 032010

Windstar LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

we bought the van brand new at local dealership. we had it about 2 months and the interior lights started blinking on and off. I took the van back to get it checked they told me nothing was wrong with it. I have been back about 10 more times with the same problem and everytime i carry it. They tell me that they fixed it. The last time took it in, they talked to me like i was the one that was crazy and i ddn't know what i was talking about. So they keep it for a couple of weeks and guess what the lights stared doing it again,so they said they rewired it but to this day the lights still come on and off. My kids say that Casper lives in the van ,

- , Florence, AL, USA

problem #22

Mar 082010

Windstar V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

Purchased from Carmax in 2008 and had flashing problem occur within a month. After a dead battery they kept the car for 3 days and returned it without being able to duplicate the problem which I had again within 2 days of picking it up. It stopped flashing for the winter but now this spring came back with a vengeance and killed another battery.

They have it now and say the flashing issue is a short in the headlight / interior light dimmer switch. We'll see. At this point I don't know which is the bigger lemon, the Windstar or Carmax.

- , Elgin, IL, USA

problem #21

Dec 012009

Windstar Limited 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,000 miles

ok , I am the original owner of this 2003 Windstar with interior lights that flash when they want to , a passenger window that does not go up unless you hit a bump on the road, remotes that wont lock or unlock the doors most of the time and a check advance track light that comes on EVERY time you drive the car.

I took my van to the dealer and they have had it for 2 days now and all they can tell me is that the regulator is bad for the passenger window. As far as everything else, at this point they have nothing for me. They call and say they need more time for diagnosing the problems.

Update from Feb 23, 2010: The first time it happened the dealer said they replaced the entire harness for the interior lights .. gues what 1 week later it started again. My daughter says the car is possesed and want us to get a new one. I am taking it to the dealer tonight for the interior lights again, the passenger window does not work, the remote works to lock and unlock the doors sometimes. the right front door lock works only sometimes when you push the unlock in the car. oh yea and now the ABS module seems to triggering the advance trac to turn off after about 2 minutes of driving when you hit the brake you get a message saying advance trac off......thank god I have the extended warantee and the car has 59,000 miles now

- , Commack, NY, USA

problem #20

Sep 152009

Windstar SEL V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

2003 Windstar lights will flash off and on randomly. My kids say it looks like a disco in the van. Plus multiple O2sensor codes. Ready to trade it in, I'm tired of trying to keep it fixed.

- , Shelbyville, KY, USA

problem #19

Apr 082006

Windstar SE 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The interior lights of my van come on randomly all the time. My latest issue is that the ABS & Brake lights come on. I've taken it in and found that the ABS Control Module is going out. With the part and labor it will cost approx. $1,000 to fix it. I have had to replace a plastic piece that is in the heater that controls the hot/cold. It was stuck on cold. My van now has 150,000 miles on it and is on its way to the minivan heaven. I'm not impressed with this ford product!

- , Richwood, OH, USA

problem #18

Oct 102007

Windstar Sport V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,000 miles

I BOUGHT THIS CAR USED IN OCTOBER OF 2007. SINCE THEN I HAVE REPLACED THE ALTERNATOR TWICE AND NOTICED SEVERAL ELECTRICAL PROBLEMS: *THE CABIN LIGHTS RANDOMLY FLASH ON WHILE DRIVING *I HAVE REPLACED THE HEATER/AIR CONDITIONER RELAY SWITCH DOO-HICKEY THAT CHANGES IT FROM HOT TO COLD *THE POWER WINDOWS RANDOMLY STOP AND START WORKING *THE STEREO/KEYLESS ENTRY QUIT WORKING AND STARTING BLOWING FUSES *THE CABIN LIGHTS QUIT WORKING AND STARTING BLOWING FUSES *THE DRIVER'S SIDE TURNING SIGNAL STOPPED WORKING AND STARTED BLOWING FUSES SO......... I HAD MY LOCAL FORD DEALERSHIP HUNT THE ELECTRICAL PROBLEM FOR ME. AFTER $300.00 OF SEARCHING THEY CAME UP WITH THIS: MY TIRE TOOLS WERE LYING ON A WIRE HARNESS BECAUSE THEY WERE IMPROPERLY STORED. SO I PAID THE MONEY. NOW HERE ARE MY CURRENT PROBLEMS (AFTER FORD "FIXED" MY VAN): * THE STEREO RESETS EACH TIME THE ENGINE IS TURNED OFF (SO I DON'T HAVE A CLOCK OR PRESET STATIONS) * THE CABIN LIGHTS STILL DO THEIR RANDOM THING * THE KEYLESS ENTRY WILL ONLY LOCK THE DOORS (NOT UNLOCK THEM) IF ANYONE HAS ANY INFORMATION THAT MAY BE USEFUL PLEASE LET ME KNOW THIS IS GETTING AGGRAVATING AND EXPENSIVE!!!!

- , Midland, NC, USA

problem #17

Jun 022008

Windstar SEL V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

Ok I bought this p.o.s Ford Windstar on June 2, 2008....Since then everything has gone wrong with it...The interior lights flash on and off whenever they feel like it...The passenger side door decides to open and close when it wants...The liftgate ajar is on anytime after opening the lift when we know the door is securely shut (after slamming it a few times...lol)..oh lets see what else there is....In my dash my brake light and my abs light will come on and off when it wants...Sometimes it stays on for hours at a time...and some days it just doesn't come on...The transmission since I had it (of course came up AFTER I signed my name on the dotted line) seems to be slipping or not going into gear right and having problems downshifting....And the newest problem is it doesn't want to start...We moved from Fla to Ma a couple weeks ago and everything seems to be getting worse...My mother-n-law and a family friend came yesterday to jump us and the van stayed charged to the other car for 20 minutes...Then after that still let the van run for another 10 minutes or so....Well at that time we decided "ok let's turn it off and start it back"....LOL...Bad idea...Low and behold it doesn't start....So we finally get it started and check it a few more times and it starts right up...so we take it to our local auto parts store for them to check the battery to see if it's holding a charge...Remember the battery is only a year old....Well the guy did his little testing stuff and the battery and alternator are both working like they are suppose to...So now we are stumped...Don't know whats wrong what's connected with other problems and what is just new problems....But we are gonna try and trade it in even though I've only had it for 8 months.....Any advice to anybody looking to buy a Windstar....Run as fast as you can away from the p.o.s....Ford really messed up with this one!!!!!!

- , Webster, MA, USA

problem #16

Jan 302009

Windstar LX 2.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,000 miles

Does anyone have any information about how to actually fix this problem. When you are driving down the road it is silly to think the door switch needs to be lubed. The door light does not come on and it occurs at random.

- , Oklahoma City, OK, USA

problem #15

Jul 092008

Windstar

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles

Our problem started over a year ago with the battery draining and going dead despite driving plenty to recharge it. We got a new battery. Then, strange incidents of lights going on in the cabin when they were not suppose to...even when the van was not in operation. We went away for a week, came back to find the battery was dead (I'm assuming the lights went on and drained it while we were away). Now, the ABS and parking light are coming on, and I notice that the rear lights blink on and off randomly while this is happening (saw the reflection in the car behind me). The lock on the driver's side doesn't pop up or lock all the time when the others are working fine. After doing a google on the issue, it appears to be happening to a rather large group of Windstar owners 2002, and 2003 in particular. We also have had a loud whining sound since the car was in the 50,000's mile--under extended warranty--thinking it was an alternator on the fritze, we took it in, they said it was fine...and it has continued to drive. It's a nice vehicle, but after all of the battery issues and electrical issues, and seeing all the problems others have reported, I don't know if I would feel comfortable purchasing a van from Ford unless I had the guarantee on the electrical way beyond 30,000 miles.

- , Oconomowoc, WI, USA

problem #14

Jun 302007

Windstar SEL 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

I am another original owner of a 2003 Ford Windstar with the interior lights going off and on mysteriously. This has happened randomly probably over the past year. I have found this same problem reported on different Internet sites, but have never seen a definitive solution to the problem. If the lights were on continuously of course I would have a mechanic check it out, but I was hoping the problem would disappear as mysteriously as it began. Guess it won't. Ford needs to inform owners of the problem and solution and do a recall so we can all have the repairs done without trying to randomly guess anymore and waste time and money on useless repairs.

- , Spring Hill, FL, USA

problem #13

Jul 072008

Windstar SE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,000 miles

The interior lights in my Windstar flash on and off at random. We never know when its going to occur. My children always yell up to me that the ghost is flashing the lights on & off again Mom. I am forced to turn all the lights off in the car using the control knob on the dash.

- , Somerdale, NJ, USA

problem #12

Apr 092008

Windstar LX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,500 miles

I don't know why they can't get the electrical wiring right!

- , Jamestown, NY, USA

problem #11

Apr 012005

Windstar SE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,000 miles

If Ford can't fix it how can they expect us to get it fixed!!! If they had any nads they step up to the plate and fix it for free!!! The power steering problem is also annoying. The first one was replaced in the first 90 days and the replacement still whines like me!!!

- , Farmville, VA, USA

problem #10

Aug 012006

Windstar LX 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,000 miles

The interior lights started flashing around 32K miles, after 5 trips over the next year the dealer the problem continues. The dealership replaced: the interior light switch twice; the rear gate and both sliding door sensors and fuses. (None have stopped the flashing).

- , Wildwood, MO, USA

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