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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
81,748 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2003 Ford Windstar Owner Comments (Page 2 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #73

Feb 012009


  • 150,000 miles


I'm the owner of a 2003 Ford Windstar. I had my transmission fail while in the middle of driving.the van drifted to the side of the road, the steering was locked, the lights blinked, my od N blinker flashed off N drivers side window won't go down. Also my ABS light absolutely won't go off!!!!.also replaces, brakes, rotors(which were totally rusted).

- Hanson, MA, USA

problem #72

Apr 052011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 113,015 miles
2003 Ford Windstar, low kim, traveling hwy without any warning lost acceleration, RPM's all over the place, almost crashed while attempting to coast to road side. Numerous identical reports submitted Ford ignores, transmission failure without warning. Ford must take responsibility before someone is killed. Cant imagine them putting their own family at risk by putting them on the hwy or a dirt road with this wide spread problem with the 2003 Windstar. Only after my sons shaken phone call from the 401 with the sound of traffic in the background did I start my own research and discover the exact same problem of sudden transmission failure with other persons voicing concern for their own safety and safety of their families. Fix it Ford.

- Sarnia, 00, USA

problem #71

Mar 012011


  • 105,000 miles
The transmission in my 2003 Ford Windstar. I understand this is a very common issue and should be addressed in a recall.

- Elwood, UT, USA

problem #70

Mar 262011


  • 120,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar. The contact was driving 50 mph when the vehicle began to decelerate extensively. The vehicle was towed to a local mechanic where the contact was informed that the transmission was failing and would need replacing. The manufacturer was contacted and stated there were no recalls for the automatic transmission and provided no additional assistance. The failure mileage was 120,000.

- South Royalton, VT, USA

problem #69

Dec 132010

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 80,728 miles
Stopped at traffic light. When light turned green van would not move. There were not any noises, warning lights or issues to indicate a problem. Van required a tow truck. Mechanic diagnosed the problem as failure of torque converter.

- St. Joseph, MO, USA

problem #68

Mar 092011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar. The contact was driving approximately 55 mph and attempting to change lanes. When the accelerator pedal was engaged there was no power response. Also, a rapid increase in the rpms occurred. The gear would not shift out of the park position. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic for diagnosis. The contact suspected that the failure was related to the transmission but the mechanic had not yet confirmed the failure. The failure mileage was 130,000. Updated 05/04/11 updated 05/09/11

- Claymont, DE, USA

problem #67

Mar 032011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 116,000 miles


While driving my 2003 Windstar at 40 mph on a busy highway during the morning rush hour it lost power. The van had to be pushed to the side of the road. The van would start but it would not engage in either drive or reverse. There was no warning to the transmission failure. Aaa towed the vehicle. The mechanic has to rebuild the transmission and replace the torque converter. Five days prior the vehicle was returned from the Ford dealer with a new rear axle (recall, 10 weeks at the dealer). At the time of failure the van had approximately 116000 miles. The Windstar will be repaired at a cost of $1849.11. I can not replace the vehicle at this time (I would like to!). Ford Motor Company doesn't care!

- Eastport, NY, USA

problem #66

Feb 072011


  • 85,000 miles
TL-the contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar. The contact stated while driving 20 mph the transmission suddenly malfunctioned in the middle of the road. The contact then pushed the vehicle to the side of the road and had it towed. The contact called the manufacturer regarding the transmission and the manufacturer informed the contact there is no recall and the vehicle has to be towed at the contact expense to the dealer. The contact stated this is a known issue with the transmission for this year make and model. The contact stated manufacturer should issue a recall. The failure mileage was 85,000.

- Emporia, KS, USA

problem #65

Feb 052011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that while driving at low speeds to make a turn and after braking, the vehicle would not accelerate forward. No warning lights illuminated on the instrumental panel. The vehicle was unable to be driven so it was towed to a dealer. They informed the contact that the input shaft needed to be replaced. The vehicle had not been repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 77,000...updated 09/29/11 the consumer stated the cost to repair the vehicle was $1500 updated 10/05/11

- Lenore, WV, USA

problem #64

Jan 022011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
I was just driving down the road and my transmission on my 2003 Ford Windstar completely went out with no warning! no drive or reverse! thankfully I was on a back road and not the hwy. The transmission will have to be replaced but I don't have the money to do so right now. In the manner that the transmission goes out without any warning, this is a huge safety risk and could cause a wreck that results in death.

- Whitesburg , TN, USA

problem #63

Dec 242010

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 174,000 miles


2003 Ford Windstar rear axle complaint and transmission. First of all, I was left stranded when the transmission went out on christmas eve. Merry christmas to me from Ford. Ford wants $3800 to replace it. The van is only worth that. Then I find out that Ford has had many complaints and failures with the transmission. Why do I have to pay for this. I take care of and maintain my vehicles and I get this handed to me. Then the dealer tells me that the axle needs to be replaced and it might be 6 weeks before the part even comes in. They will not buy the van back because it is a 2003. I think they should. They are the ones who sold me this vehicle and now I have to deal with it. Buy the time they pay for my rental and fix the axle, it would be cheaper to buy me out and save there customer alot of stress.

- Belle River, Ontario, Canada, 00, USA

problem #62

Jun 052009

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 112,110 miles
Transmission failure without any warning sign. Left on in the road with engine running, but would not move in any direction.

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #61

Jan 032008


  • 83,000 miles
There is a check engine light on and the van runs rough and almost stops running. There is an error code P0171 and P0174. After taking it to the Ford dealership for the axel recall, it was noted that there is something wrong with the transmission, too. It seems like these are all defects that Ford is aware of, but does nothing to fix for the consumers of their cars.

- Cherry Valley, IL, USA

problem #60

Nov 102010


  • 175,000 miles
Just another day of driving down the street on the bumpy road. When I finally pass the construction area to the newly paved road to come to a stop at the light, car started to skid locked up the front wheel. Whole van shack. Then the ABS and brake light came on. It was a life or death experience for me! now the ABS and brake light lid up on the regular bases. Help!!

- Oak Harbor, WA, USA

problem #59

Nov 032010


  • 105,000 miles
Premature transmission failure. 105000 miles. Fluid replaced at recommended 60K interval. No indication of transmission problems. Van was parked, started and would not go into gear.

- Florence, AL, USA

problem #58

Nov 152008


  • 70,500 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar limited edition. While driving approximately 40 mph the vehicle lost power. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer who replaced the torque converter and the transmission pump. Eight months later, the same failure occurred the vehicle was taken to the same dealer. The dealer replaced the torque converter and the transmission pump. The vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was 70,500 and the current mileage was 90,000.

- Brownstown, MI, USA

problem #57

Oct 012010

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar. The contact was driving approximately 30 mph and the transmission would not respond when the accelerate pedal was engaged until after several attempts. The engine exhibited an unusual increase in rpms. The vehicle continued in operation with the repeated failure and was taken to an independent transmission specialist where they informed the contact that the clutch and torque converter would need to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired for the malfunction. The failure mileage was approximately 102,000. Updated 5/2/11 updated 05/23/11

- Libertyville , IL, USA

problem #56

Sep 242010

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 103,403 miles
Spouse was driving her 2003, Ford Windstar SE, going up an on-ramp to a major high way, when the vehicle's engine revered high, slipping out of drive and the vehicle came to a stop afterwards. Drive and or reverse doesn't work on the van. Vehicle has all the power, but once put in drive / reverse hitting the gas, you go know where..

- Oak Harbor, WA, USA

problem #55

Jul 072010

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 150,000 miles
Transmission failure from first to second gear. Van is still drivable, but it has a very noticeable jerk when shifting from first to second gear.

- Oak Harbor, WA, USA

problem #54

Aug 182010


  • 130,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar. While driving 10 mph the contact noticed that the vehicle would no longer accelerate. The vehicle was taken to a local mechanic where the contact was informed that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired and there were no prior warnings. The current and failure mileages were 130000.

- Gouverneur, NY, USA

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