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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
76,073 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Ford Windstar Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #59

Apr 142012


  • 151,000 miles


TL- the contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar. The contact stated while driving using cruise control the vehicle will independently accelerate without warning. The problem persisted and eventually started happening all the time no only when the cruise control was engaged the vehicle was not diagnosed. Both dealer and manufacture were made aware of the failure. The manufacture informed the contact his vehicle was not included in any active recall. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 151,000.

- Rogers, AR, USA

problem #58

Jul 022012


  • miles
While driving my 2003 Ford winstar model sel, I'm encountering a problem with the breaking system/ABS, as well as, my cluster gauge going haywire doing what it wants on and off on its own. The breaking system is starting to become more frequent. I've gone to Ford for this particular problem and a few others. Ford looked at my car and told me the rear axel had cracked and they repaired the axel on recall. I informed them about the ABS breaking system. I've been to two separate dealers in staten island, NY. One dealer told me it looks like I have an electrical problem not sure if it's related to cluster gauge/breaking system. They told me I had a problem with the right rear window motor as well, which Ford fixed supposedly. As far as the breaking system goes they told me they took it for a ride and did not see anything wrong with my vehicle. I told them about the cluster gauge doing what it wants, the ABS working/not working. Having a hard time stopping car, as well as, telling both Ford dealers about my wife having no choice but to pull off the highway because she was having this particular break problem. I told them the only way she was to stop the vehicle was to crash into these big green metal commercial garbage containers at approximately 10 miles per hour. I showed them the damage to the front of my vehicle as well as telling them my wife had hurt her neck, I was told from both Ford dealers that we don't see a problem we can't fix a problem and I am now reading on the web that there seems to be a problem with these cars up to 2003 with everything I have explained up til now. If anybody has any input or contact info for me to call to help me, I would deeply appreciate any help you can provide before one or all of my family members become injured or god forbid fatalities.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #57

Jul 102013


  • 143,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that while at a traffic stop, he accidently engaged the cruise control resume mechanism. The vehicle suddenly increased acceleration and the engine was turned off. After restarting the vehicle was driven to the residence. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who stated there was a recall related to the defect. The cruise control cable was disabled. The NHTSA campaign id number: 09V399000 (vehicle speed control) however, the VIN was not included. The vehicle was not been repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 143,000.

- Long Island City, NY, USA

problem #56

Jun 212010

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 89,028 miles


The speedometer, odometer & cruise control did not work & ABS pump ran continuously. ABS & brake light stayed on. This only happened when the outside temp. Was around 80-85 deg.F & lights shut off once the engine cooled. Diagnosis was defective brake control mod. Pulled fuse 101 to keep pump from running. In 2012 the lights remained on with fuse in and the speedo & odo would go out intermittently. Nov. 2013, lost speedo & odo all together.

- Brunswick, OH, USA

problem #55

Aug 142013

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 43,000 miles
ABS light and red E. brake lights come on at same time. Indicating brake module has faulted. Seems many owners have experienced this same issue at early stages of ownership.

- Byhalia, MS, USA

problem #54

Sep 092013

Windstar 6-cyl

  • miles
ABS & brake light on all the time and the systems don't work when light is on therefore they aren't never working and my odometer quit working and my other gauges go crazy like it's an electrical problem gone crazy. I don't know what gauges actually work and which ones don't cause they seem to go crazy and read different all the time. But, my ABS & brake light stay on all the time no matter what.

- Decatur, IL, USA

problem #53

May 232011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that the anti-lock braking system warning light illuminated as the anti-lock brakes engaged independently. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for a diagnostic, who retrieved error code cll85, indicating that there was a failure with the speed control deactivation switch. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure was reported to manufacturer. The contact referenced NHTSA campaign id number 09V399000 (vehicle speed control: Speed control deactivation switch, overheating), however the VIN was not included in the recall campaign. The failure mileage was 100,000. The current mileage was 120,000. Updated 07/23/13

- Easton, PA, USA

problem #52

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 #51

May 022011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 100,200 miles
ABS and brake light comes on after 5 minutes, when the car is turned off it resets but the comes on again 5 minutes or so after driving. Cruise control not working.

- Holbrook, MA, USA

problem #50

Mar 072013

Windstar 6-cyl

  • miles
ABS light stays on. Car idles high all the time, speedometer and all other dashboard control go haywire for no reason. I have to pound on the dashboard to make it stop. This had been going on for a long time. Carmd device states ABS sensor need and various other thing. I have spend a lot of money to no avail. Seat belt attached to sliding door on the right side which is to cross over to the passenger on the second row never worked. I purchased this as a used vehicle six years ago I do like this mini van but with all of the major problems I really don't think I will be able to afford this vehicle much longer. Please help me it you can. I live in an area where a vehicle is mandatory and I am on a fixed income. I just want to be safe on the road. Please help.

- Lawndale, NC, USA

problem #49

Sep 032012

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 111,452 miles


While driving ABS and brake light comes on 5 minutes after driving sometime not at all and now lights never go off have new brake pads and shoes took to dealer for scds recall they did not check or discuss ABS light or brake light I asked but they did not acknowledge lights or clear codes.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #48

Jun 012010

Windstar 6-cyl

  • miles
Warning lights in dash come on and go off, ABS and brake light stay on, cruise control don't work every time.

- Las Animas, CO, USA

problem #47

Jun 012012

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 141,900 miles
I purchased my car on June 1, 2012. Shortly after, the brake ABS light, brake light, tire pressure light, and engine light came on. On July 9, 2012 I took the vehicle to maroone Ford in fort lauderdale to perform necessary repairs per the recall. Maroone Ford dealership performed the recall repairs and informed me that the vehicle engine lights and tire pressure lights were issues not related to the recall. During the period from July 9, 2012 to July 12, 2012 the ABS light and brake light did not turn on. On July 13, 2012 the ABS light and brake light turned on. I called maroone Ford and I was told to bring in the vehicle to the dealership. On July 14, 2012 I took the vehicle to the dealership.

- Hallandale, FL, USA

problem #46

Sep 092011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
My instrument panel keeps going crazy. The RPM needle is now pointing down into the dash. The speedometer usually is not working correctly, it will say that I am doing 20 mph, when I am doing more like 45-50. The gas gauge sometimes says that it is on empty, when I have a full tank of gas. Sometimes the needles work, sometimes they don't (with the exception of the RPM needle...it hasn't moved from that buried in the dash spot for a couple of months now), sometimes the speedometer needle goes all the way to the right and then gets buried in the dash also, so far though, each time, it has came back...even though it rarely registers even close to the correct speed. The repair for this is going to be about $700 is what I was told. I do not have that kind of money, and I am constantly praying that my 17 year old daughter who has to drive it sometimes, does not get into an accident because she is going too fast, and has no clue how fast she is actually going, or one of us may get a speeding ticket. I have looked at websites and seen that a lot of people are having these problems, so Ford should do the right thing and make a recall, before someone is seriously injured or even killed!!! also, not sure if it is related or not, but the ABS light stays on.

- Crestline, OH, USA

problem #45

Jun 092011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 69,000 miles
ABS and brake dashboard lights warning that ABS system is inoperative, speed control system also inoperative. Break pressure deactivation switch leaking oil. This leaking oil has traveled down ABS wiring harness all the way to the ABS controller. Unsafe condition. Ford dealership has refused to repair this dangerous condition as a manufacturing/design defect and stated there currently is no recall issued for this very serious problem!!

- Arlington Heights, IL, USA

problem #44

Jul 152011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 59,000 miles
Brake lights came on suddenly when driving, cruise control stop working, svc engine light sometimes flash, was repaired in the past by dealer on 12/09/03 ( recall 09S09) for the same reason, right now I don't have a code but seems to be the same problem.

- Brawley, CA, USA

problem #43

Nov 092011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • miles
Yellow ABS light and red brake warning light stay on. This began after having recall # 09S09 (speed control system modification) performed at bondy's Ford in dothan al. Lights were not on when left dealership...came on later and have stayed on. Brakes do not seem to work as well now as before the recall work was done.

- Eufaula, AL, USA

problem #42

Jun 232011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 150,000 miles
While driving, I felt the van was not shifting, so I went to the dealer I bought it from. They said there was nothing wrong with the transmission. The problem still existed. I took it back to dealer-again, nothing wrong with transmission but they did do a transmission tune up. When I picked it up, I drove into town. I was driving on the highway and had to stop on a red light. On green, I pressed my gas pedal but the car would not move. In a desperate effort, I shut the engine off and waited a few minutes. I was able to move again, but for only about a quarter mile to have to do the same repeatedly until I got to a safer spot. Finally, I ended up leaving my van parked at a shopping center and called a cab home. This is not the only problem I have been going through with my Ford Windstar van. The interior lights flash on and off while I am driving, and my air conditioning doesn't work, even when I had free on put in it. I do not have the money for another car, nor do I have the money for a new transmission, along with having it put in. I live in a town where there are no buses and can only get a ride from a taxi. I don't have $10 one way for this! I need to get to work, and cannot afford to lose my job. All because of a malfunctioning vehicle that is causing same problems for many others out there. Ford should be recalling these vehicles!

- North Bennington, VT, USA

problem #41

Jun 092008


  • 104,874 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that the cruise control, anti-lock braking system and the speedometer malfunctioned. The cruise control could only be deactivated by tapping the brakes and not by engaging the switch. In addition, the ABS warning light was illuminated and the speedometer gauge was defective. The contact had not taken the vehicle to the dealer for further inspection or repairs. The contact believed the vehicle was unsafe to drive. The failure mileage was 104,874.

- Middletown, VA, USA

problem #40

May 132011


  • 89,000 miles
As I was driving from portsmouth nh to somersworth nh I noticed that the speedometer stopped working, the odometer had nothing but lines, no numbers, the overdrive light started blinking and the ABS and brake lights came on. I also noted that smoke has been coming from under the hood when I stop at a light or stop sign. These symptoms match what has been recorded on line as follows, the brake pressure differential deactivation switch (scds) (2B264) located under the master cylinder (behind the air filter) over time develops a leak. This causes a short and a fuse trip, fuse #10 if the engine is on. This leak also causes brake fluid to wick down two wires to the ABS brake module (2C219). The fluid accumulates on the (always on) power connectors for the ABS brake system which are powered by fuses 101 and 102 and are both 40 amp. The fluid attacts moisture, road salt and leads to a fire when the fluid and moisture act as conductor between the hot leads and ground. This switch has been the subject of other Ford recalls, just not the Windstar van yet. Below is a picture of the switch in question. Notice the fluid that leaked on the part below it. This switch will cause cruise control problems, speedometer, odometer and ABS brake system problems. I will not allow other family members to operate this vehicle and it appears that the Ford Motor Company will not fix this issue even though there was a recall for this exact issue, recall #09S09 because they indicate that my vehicle is not covered under this recall. The recall states clearly that this issue can cause a vehicle fire with or without the vehicle running.

- Somersworth, NH, USA

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