Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.

9.2

really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
$2,187.00
Average Mileage:
102,174 miles
Total Complaints:
166 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (53 reports)
  2. replace or rebuild (51 reports)
  3. put in another tranny (39 reports)
  4. rebuild transmission (14 reports)
  5. replaced torque converter (5 reports)
  6. need the torque convertor replaced (1 reports)
2003 Ford Windstar transmission problems

transmission problem

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2003 Ford Windstar Owner Comments (Page 4 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #106

Aug 252010

Windstar SEL 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,000 miles

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

We had Cottman's rebuild the transmission. when we heard what a piece of junk the tranny was, we felt lucky to get 112,000 miles out of it. It shuddered really bad, indicating the pump cracked. The pump housing was cast aluminum and the new one is now steel, so they say. WHY WOULD FORD BUILD SUCH AN INFERIOR PRODUCT. I have a 2000 dodge intrepid with 225,000 miles and it still runs great. Not one major failure.

NOW the check transmission light comes on, this is the second time. I am pretty sure it is a heat thing. the first time, before it failed, we were on our way to Texas, bucking a strong head wind with a car load (all the kids and grandma too). We took it out of OD and drove it. Now 6 months after it was fixed the check tranny light came on again. Cottmans serviced it, (cleaned filter and changed fluid and reset the sensor code). 2 months later, my wife drove to texas (this time with a tail wind) and the check tranny light came on again. OFF we go to the shop again.

I am pretty sure the tranny is not passing enough fluid through the OD and heat is building up causing these problems. Alot of ford OD transmission have this problem.

ANY COMMENTS? send them to rqcardwell@msn.com

LATER!

- , Oklahoma City, OK, USA

problem #105

Mar 222011

Windstar LX 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,409 miles

Our 2003 Ford Windstar developed a transmit ion slip two weeks ago with only 94,000 KM. Since then it has gotten worse and when it change to 4th gear engine also cuts off after slipping the gear finally there was a point we could not get the vehicle in to gear to drive. It was on the first gear going 20 to 30 KmPh and the engine shudders. Took it to dealers and mechanics and the diagnosis is to replace the transmission (cost over C$2900) Did not want to do this because in this forum most has done it and the problem came back.

Solution that worked for me as follows

My neighbour (retired mechanical engineer) looked in to the car at my request. Asked me to start the engine and he looked in to the engine, did not even drive after about 5 minutes he wanted me to change the distributor (Ignition Coil). Since I didn’t have any other choice, other than send the Van to the Junk yard. I change the coil for less than C$95.00. (it is located back of the engine on top od the rocker cover mounted to it with 3 bolts one to the left and two to the right side. Now the Van works like new. No transmission slips. no engine shudder. Thanks to My neighbour Sam.

- , Toronto, Ontario, canada

problem #104

Nov 102010

Windstar

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,000 miles

Going to leave one day from the hospital, parked on the 2nd level of parking deck, get in the car, put it in reverse to find out that the transmission is suddenly done. No warning in advance of any sort. Had to roll it out of the parking deck later on that evening. Over 2,300 dollars to rebuild transmission. Car is home for week, then the heater goes, more money to get the part and fix the heater, just blows cold air, in the middle of the winter non the less. Not to mention the continous recalls that it now has, a nuisance to be constantly taking it back.

- , Boundbrook, NJ, USA

problem #103

Feb 162011

Windstar LS 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,000 miles

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

Have a 2003 Windstar my wife was driving the kids to the doctors office. She pulled up to the stoplight wwhen it turned green she pushed the gas and the RPM's raced up but the van would not move. Had the vehicle towed home tried sliding the gear shift from park to reverse & drive nothing. I have had nothing but trouble with this vehicle and definitely feel we were RIPPED OFF. Back in 2003 we paid about $23,000 for this vehicle.We have had nothing but trouble with this vehicle.

- , Hobart, IN, USA

problem #102

Dec 272008

Windstar

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles

I purchased my van in 2005, with 20,000 miles on it, then on 12/27/2008, My husband and disabled son were driving home from NY, when they broke down on the highway, The transmission went with 82,000 miles on it. That cost around 2,200. I still have problems, Spent many hours, and wasted many cell phone minutes on the phone with Ford, the headquarters. and that was a lost cause. ( To you ford, Put your self and your family members in the windstars!!!!!!!! Have your families drive in the vehicles, since you feel they are so safe. You know what they say about Karma. You Ford, should be ashamed. You know many of your customers are children, riding in the vehicles, and putting their trust in you for making safe vehicles. How could one expect to put faith in your vehicles, when ford won't admit when there is a problem, and own up to it, and MAKE IT RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- , Westhampton, MA, USA

problem #101

Dec 172010

Windstar LX 3.2lV6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,300 miles

Lost reverse, no warning that it was failing. Cost to rebuild $2,200 and can't afford to have it fixed and have been using it as is. Tired of having to push it back as wife drives. 5 recalls on 2003 Ford Windstar this car was doomed into lemonship. I too will never buy a POS Ford again. I also owned a Ford Bronco II that had engine failure and paid $4,500 for a rebuilt motor. They wonder why we buy foreign cars. Got burned twice never again!!!!

Read this from Wikipedia especially under problems seems to be an ongoing problem with transmissions...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Windstar

I'm hoping that a recall for this transmission will happen. Please submit your transmission complaints to Government agency called National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act. These are the people who make recalls happen when you receive your recall letters from them. If enough complaints, another recall can hopefully be issued and reimbursed for your past repairs and recalled for future repairs.

Please submit your online complaint with the US Government agency at the following link...

http://www.safercar.gov/Vehicle+Owners/

- , Nashua, NH, USA

problem #100

Feb 152011

Windstar 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

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

I see that i stepped into a mess with this one. I'm a 20 year+ journeyman diesel mechanic trying to survive (find myself over qualified) who just hauled one of these vans to my home work shop to repair it. Ha, thats a joke evidently, I don't want to charge to put a trans in if it isn't updated to eliminate this reoccurring failure. How do you tell someone their van isn't worth fixing because ford wont address problem. And folks wonder why all my vehicles are precomputer from the early 80's, i say need to go back further, the 60's and 70's were better yet, parts were interchangeable and lasted. What does all this technology really get us? The combustion engine is only so efficient by nature, have you seen a car rated past the 30 some odd miles to the gallon, you could get that out of a precomputer car if you kept your foot out of it. Oh thats right, emissions

- , Mesa, AZ, USA

problem #99

Feb 112010

Windstar

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,778 miles

funny thing ford worked on that for 2 yrs now all i get it please come back to ford we need your trade in wonder why they have so many good deals if you own a winder star they what it if the road why is that ?

- , Innisfil, Ontario, Canada

problem #98

Mar 092011

Windstar LX 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

I was driving on Interstate 95 in rush hour traffic heading to work while trying to pass another vehicle and pressing on the accelerator the RPM's shot all the way up and the car would not go. I tried one more time still nothing, but noticed the car was starting to loose speed, I turned on the hazards, and merged over to the shoulder and brouoght the car to a complete stop. I could not get the car to shift into any gear and had it towed to my house until we made a decision on what to do. Hmmmmmmm, let me see, just finished paying the car off one year ago, two kids in college, husband is self-employed home remodeler in the current economy during our "slow season", can't trade in or sell a car that does not run, and let's not forget the 4 new tires, right and left lower control arms (which by the way were just recalled in February) with ball joints that were just installed this past October for just over $1,000.00. Sooooo, with reservations and some heated debate, we decided to have the transmission rebuilt, cost $1,705.00, with a one year warranty. THANK YOU UNCLE SAM AND FORD!!! There goes the tax refund! I had no idea that these vehicles are notoriuos for transmission problems, until I was doing a search for salvage yards and this very informative website came up. I could not believe what I was reading, and this was all after we had told them to go ahead with the repair. I contacted the National Highway Safety Administration 1-800-424-9393 as directed by Cecil in complaint #94 as well as Ford at 1-800-392-3673 Thank you very much sir for this. I do have my confirmation number and case numbers and will keep all of my receipts for future reference since as of yesterday, there still is not a recall on these transmissions. Unbelievable!!!! Makes you think twice about buying American and buying from the one car company that did not need the bail out!!! Maybe they should have taken it and put some more research into the construction of this VITAL car part. YOU WOULD THINK THAT IN THIS DAY OF AGE AND THE TECHNOLOGY WE HAVE, CARS SHOULD LAST A WHOLE HELL OF A LOT LONGER THAN THEY DO!!!!!!!!! And maybe if enough people call the National Highway Safety Administration with this complaint, they will recall the transmissions. PLEASE CALL!!!!!

- , Claymont, DE, USA

problem #97

Nov 032009

Windstar LX 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

I bought this van with 50,000 miles on it in 2007. Since I have owned it the tranny went out 4 times. The last time it went out ford told me that there was coolant in the fluid so they would not cover it under warranty. The reverse is the only thing wrong with it and I brought it to a transmission shop where they told me it was something else. They knew exactly what the problem was and said it was a very common problem. I have been driving it for over a year now with no reverse. I have 5 kids and cannot afford to get it fixed. I think ford has a very big problem with there transmissions and they need to stand behind them. I will never by another ford again.

- , Gresham, WI, USA

problem #96

Feb 252011

Windstar

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,000 miles

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

Finally had a babysitter and the husband and I were heading out to dinner Friday night on a busy street in rush hour and transmission went out with no warning. We just bought the car 4 months ago and our warranty ended a month ago. luckily for us after calling the car dealership and letting them know I am pregnant and we have three kids we bought a van for this reason they are paying 600.00 towards the repair bill. every little bit helps I guess. I am sure Ford knows you buy a minivan because you have a family they cant make a better transmission????

- , Des Moines, IA, USA

problem #95

Dec 242010

Windstar Sport 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,876 miles

Driving to my parents on Christmas Eve for a Christmas Dinner. Made it 2/3's there and the van just lost power and started to slow down. I managed to pull off the road and ran through all the gears and nothing. No warning, no nothing. Happy holidays from FORD. Had it towed to my Ford dealer and they where closed for the holidays which is normal, but I had no vehicle for the holidays. Finally they checked my van out and yes, the transmission is out. Only $3800 to fix. I think the van is only worth $4000. I'm peed because I have my van totally maintained. I just had the transmission flushed about 5000 km ago. I take care of my vehicles and I get this. Thanks for helping me out Ford.

- , Belle River, Ontario, Canada

problem #94

Jan 252011

Windstar 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,441 miles

2003 FORD WINDSTAR VERY NICE VAN IT RUN GOOD RIDES NICE ,BUT THEN ONE DAY WENT TO GO TO THE STORE, STOPPED AT RED LIGHT TO GO ON THE MAIN HIGHWAY (FOUR LANES) PULLED OUT FROM REDLTGHT THE RPM WENT WAY UP, AND I HAD NOTHING, VAN WOULD NOT GO IN ANY GEAR ,I WAS A SITTING DUCK ON THAT HIGHWAY SCARED TO OPEN THE DOOR THAT I MIGHT GET RUN OVER,AFTER A WHILE I TOOK A CHANCE WHEN THE RED LIGHT CHANGED TO PUSH IT IT UP THE ROAD ABOUT 50 FEET TO GET IT OFF THE ROAD WHERE I WOULDN'T CAUSE SOME NUT TO RAM INTO ME OR CAUSE A PAL UP AND MAYBE GET SOMEONE TO GET KILLED,LUCKY THE ROAD HAD A LITTLE SLOPE TO IT OR I WOULD NOT OF BEEN ABLE TO PUSH IT AT ALL IM 78 YEARS OLD AND IT WAS A BITCH TO DO IT. THANK GOD I DID IT. i CALLED MY GRANDSON TO COME AND TOW ME HOME.SAVED ABOUT $200.00 TOWING.I CALLED NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION TO SEE IF THEY HAD ANY REPORTS ON ON WHAT THESE TRANSMISSIONS WERE DOING,AND THEY SAID THEY HAD NOTHING ON THEM,NO REPORTS OR RECALLS,FOR ME TO CALL FORD MOTORS,HE GAVE ME THE NUMBER TO CALL1 800 392 3673 SO I DID THEY CHECKED AND SAID THEY HAD NO REPORTS OR RECALLS ON THEM,BUT IF THEY GET ANY THEY WOULD SEND ME A LETTER, AND I WOULD GET PAID FOR ME GETTING IT FIXED. WHAT A BUNCH OF BULL SH*T. I KNOW IM NOT THE ONLY ONE THAT HAVE ENOUGH GUTS TO CALL THEM AND REPORT THEIR DAM CHEAP MADE TRANSMISSION THAT CAN'T LAST AT LEAST 1000000 MILES,IF THEY DON'T TAKE CARE OF THIS PROBLEM AND IT CAUSES SOME ONE TO GET KILLED, THEY SHOULD SUE THE HELL OUT OF THEM. I HAVE BEEN A FORD MAN SINCE THE 1950S BUT RIGHT IS RIGHT AND WRONG IS WRONG,AND TO BE AN AMERICAN CO. THEY SHOULD BE PROUD TO MAKE IT RIGHT. OR SHOULD I ASK IS IT STILL A AMERICAN CO? EVERYONE HAVING THIS PROBLEM SHOULD CALL THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION,8OO 424 9393. AND ALSO THE FORD MOTOR CO. 800 392 3673. AND MAKE SURE YOU GET A ID. CASE # MAYBE IF THEY GET ENOUGH CALLS MAYBE WE WILL GET OUR MONEY BACK, SO HANG ONTO YOUR REPAIR BILLS. IF AMERICA IS STILL WHAT IT IS SUPPOSED TO BE WE HAVE A GOOD CHANCE. AS AMERICANS WE HAVE A RIGHT TO SPEAK OUT WHEN THINGS ARE WRONG AND NOT HELD UP IN GOOD FAITH. C.GUY FORT MOHAVE MOHAVE AZ.

- , Fort Mohave, AZ, USA

problem #93

Dec 152010

Windstar 3.2lV6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 128,000 miles

HI, Could someone explain to me why I am reading so many problems with Windstar trans, and Ford has not recalled yet. I have a letter of recall on axle. So FORD are you going to fix my Trans,? I agree we stay with ford and now they have let us down. You really liked us when we came in and bought the Windstars. Now you are hiding behind all your profit. Is there any way we can hire a lawyer ? Think I will just for the principal of it, I had no warning , I was just going down the road at 60 miles an hour,. I am and older women. I had no one there when it went out., Hubby was out of town . Had to hire wrecker. Would like for these car dealers to have to stand up to there product. Everyone elsa does,

I also had problems with the heater core, and elc. problems. These are miner. I just wont ford to fix trans.and axle.

- , Woodville, TX, USA

problem #92

Apr 012011

Windstar LX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

I bought this van, had it for a year, the tranny started to slip about a couple months before and then all of sudden it went out totally!! I paid $4000 for the van and that is what they told me it would cost to fix it!! I was so unhappy about this, i only had it for a year!! I will never buy a ford windstar again, it was such a waste of money, they really need to get this problem fixed, it was the worst experience i have ever had with a van!

- , Shakopee, MN, USA

problem #91

Jan 172011

Windstar SE 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,000 miles

Always a chevrolet guy. Never liked Dodge. Became a FORD guy when they did not take the bailout. BUT,after seeing the hundreds, perhaps thousands of complaints about the Windstar and the Explorer transmission problems with absolutely no resolution offered by FORD,ALL of the AMERICAN car companies can kiss my big fat AMERICAN ASS!!!! I will never buy another AMERICAN car as long as I live.

- , Roanoke Rapids, NC, USA

problem #90

Jul 242009

Windstar

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

Tranny failure seems to be a major (and developing ) issue for Windstar vans. I keep thinking they will provide cost assistance with previous repairs as time passes, but I'm thinking they won't do that now with the massive recall for the Windstar rear axle repair.

- , Troy, NY, USA

problem #89

Jan 022011

Windstar

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

I just thank God that my little girls weren't with me...

I was on my way to my aunts and out of nowhere my van stopped accelerating! I was just driving down the road, mind you that i am one the most dangerous back road in town. Many people have wrecked on this road. My van was fine on minute and the next minute it was totally not understanding it's job. I have owned a ford before and and had the transmission go out on my so i am 100 % sure that that is what has happened. Ford is well aware of these defective transmissions on these vehicles but refuse to take responsibility. Ford is one of the only companies that didn't take bail out money & that is because of all their loyal customers and I think that it is time that loyalty is returned!!! Fords are p.o.s.!!! I will never own another one!!!

- , Whitesburg, TN, USA

problem #88

Dec 162010

Windstar SEL 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,436 miles

Normal take off from a stop light and the transmission failed. It was like putting it in neutral. Nothing worked. Towed it to my mechanic. He said the oil was burnt and had a strong odor. I spoke to a friend at the dealership and he said it was a known problem with that type of transmission. The oil pan is too shallow and if the fluid gets a just a little low the pump burns out and causes the shaft to break. Full rebuild may be required. I had no leaks from tranny or engine. It is 6xxx miles over my 100000 mile warranty. My job went to India and I got laid off. I can't afford to invest in a replacement car so stuck fixing it. Thanks FORD for helping a fellow American who invests in my own country by buying your crap. I may as well buy foreign since major corporations are sending our work over there anyway!!!

- , St. Louis, MO, USA

problem #87

Dec 232010

Windstar

  • Automatic transmission
  • 24,000 miles

Was entering an on ramp when my Windstar went from drive to neutral with no warning signs. I had it towed by my insurance back to my home until I could figure out what to do with it. I called a few transmission shops when I went with Aamco to diagnose the problem after a $50. tow bill, I was told it was the torque converter or pump, and they could fix it for $1,700-$2,100....I couldn't believe it/or didn't want to anyway! After all it was two days before Christmas, money was getting tight and holiday plans with no vehicle was going to be a nightmare.

I had a buddy tow it, to a repair man I found on craigslist who is currently repairing it. Total cost $1,250. not to mention added frustration and inconvenience. I know repair costs come with owning a vehicle, but after reading so many other common complaints, I think Ford needs to step up and take ownership of this growing problem.

- , Columbus, OH, USA

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