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.


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
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 6 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #66

Jul 162010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 118,000 miles


I was driving down the highway when the tranny just stopped responding as if it shifted into neutral. No gears work. Transmission place said it probably is a pump failure. This is really nonsense. I have owned many cars with many more miles than this. I have never had an automatic transmission failure in any car. I think Ford has a problem with this unit.

- , Calverton, NY, USA

problem #65

Jul 062010

Windstar Sport 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,587 miles

I am so upset about this I am a single parent with two children and still have 2yrs to pay for this vehicle. I cannot even drive my children to school as I have no veh and cannot afford to pay 4300$ ! to have a new transmission! I am currently awaiting to see if they will cover it under my extended warranty that I purchased at the time I purchased this LEMON! I am so distraut I just don't know what to do?....MY LIFE IS HORRIBLE! I will NEVER NEVER purchase a North American car AGAIN! I had a nissan and it was AWESOME! my mother is still driving it! thanks for nothing NORTH AMERICA! yes, I will keep buying FOREIGN!

- , London, Ontario, Canada

problem #64

Jun 292010

Windstar LS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,500 miles

driving at 55 mph, went to pass another vehicle, the trans shifted into passing gear, the engine rpm went up, but (at the same time) the trans quit. Coasted to a stop (on the freeway shoulder). No drive, 1st, 2nd or reverse. Towed to repair shop.

Analyzing showed the torque converter failed. It is In the process of being fixed. Don't know the final cost of rebuilt trans yet. F(fix), O(or), R(repair), D(daily)?

- , Redford, MI, USA

problem #63

Jul 112010

Windstar LX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,250 miles


Just like every one else.....Driving along at about 45 MPH and the transmission just let go. No warning. GONE!

Talk about a real pain in the ass!?!

If this extended warranty doesn't cover the repair, I PROMISE that I will NEVER by another Ford product, EVER!

- , New Hartford, CT, USA

problem #62

Apr 182006

Windstar LX 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles

I always thought a Ford was a good car. No wonder they went broke. It seems that lots of people have had problems with transmissions in the Windstar, so don't you think Ford should do something about it? We had no warning that there was a problem. It just stopped in the middle of the highway. This is the last Ford for us.

- , Cottondale, AL, USA

problem #61

Jul 032010

Windstar LX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

My family and I were driving when suddenly our transmission just failed. The only "gear" was neutral. Luckily we had enough room and time to coast to the side of the road. We had to call AAA . They sent a flatbed. Haven't had the work done yet to fix this. This is a major inconvenience. In the past few years I have brought the van to the dealer complaining about various things related to the transmission and also complaining about the ridiculously high idle on the van only to be told by the mechanic that "this is just how the Windstars idle...and this is normal " Problem is the idle was always so high that, even after waiting a longtime before shifting into drive, the van would lunge forward when I'd shift to drive. Seems dangerous! I am interested in knowing if there are any recalls to this year Windstar regarding the transmission.

- , Point Pleasant, NJ, USA

problem #60

Jun 242010

Windstar 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 113,000 miles


We have had this Windstar since 2005. Since then, we have had just minor electrical problems. Last week, without warning, the car suddenly acted as if the transmission slipped into nuetral. The car reved up but wouldn't move in any gear. We were on a busy street but luckily had enough momentum to be able to pull to the side of the road without getting killed. We had absolutely no warning of this and I even had the tranny fluid changed 15,000 miles ago. This really sucks because it will cost $3300 to have a new transmission put in with a decent warranty. After reading the other complaints, this seems to be a common problem with this car. I agree with all the other complainers, Ford needs to pay for this huge hidden secret.

By the way, I have had Toyota's since 1996 and have never had one in for any repairs except routine mainenance. Thanks Ford, YOU SUCK!!!! Toyota"s forever, Ford's never!!

- , Fairfield, OH, USA

problem #59

Jun 182010

Windstar ES V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles


- , Cottage Grove, MN, USA

problem #58

Jun 072010

Windstar SE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,000 miles

This appears to be the same as everyone else's problem. There were no signs or warnings. It just died backing out of the driveway or rather after rolling down the driveway. Based on the number of complaints I am obviously not the only person who will never again buy a ford.

- , Bayville, NJ, USA

problem #57

Feb 262010

Windstar SE 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

I emailed and physically mailed Ford Motor Company my complaint on their issue with this horrible transmission problem. I hope everyone on this website take a minute to launch a complaint to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This is the greatest petition to fight Ford together to make them responsible for their transmission issues. Website is

Office of defects investigation. I made a safety complaint against Ford. I hope that everyone take the time to do the same so we can get what we paid for. No one deserves to get stranded or lives put endangered cause Ford wants to make a buck off us working Americans who can bearably pay our bills and keep food on the table. The economy is hard enough without getting raped without re precautions.

- , Covington, GA, USA

problem #56

May 292010

Windstar LX 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles


My wife was driving home from work and she said that all of sudden the car started to roll backward no warning on the dash no nothing,had it towed to the shop and we was told that this minivan is notorious for the transmission to go on this,that and the head cracken on them also.I think ford should of had a recall on this minivan not fare to none of this people,really pisses me off when i see everyone complaints from other consumers..Ford you should be ashamed of yourself ,my wife was so proud of her self when she went to ford had the downpayment for this car cause she work so hard for this junk and shes left with no car and still makein payment for it,(,WE WILL NEVER BYE A FORD )should have listen to my friends i guess its true what people say Found On Road Dead ill bet the ceo of ford is driving a chevy you suck ass ford hope someone does something about this matter no wonder people lose there jobs you guys cant make a great car so they close down your plants cant sell none

- ,

problem #55

Mar 112010

Windstar LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 118,285 miles

I was out driving around in a shopping center, and all of a sudden the engine made a revving noise and then it just wouldn't go anymore. I managed to drift to the side of the road but had to be towed home. The engine will still start and rev but it just wont move. The mechanics say the transmission has went out. They say its a minimum of $2000 to fix, and I just dont have the money to fix it, so I am stuck without a car for a while. After reading everyone elses complains I feel lucky to have gotten as many miles out of mine as I have.

- , Georgetown, KY, USA

problem #54

Mar 232010

Windstar Sport 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 142,294 miles

I will NEVER EVER BUY A FORD product again!! My kids wont and their kids wont, I will make sure of that! This is the second tranny to go. I drive very easily dont speed and keep the vehicle well looked after! Well FORD enough. You have LOST another customer and you will lose out. Don't care well just see!!

- , London, ON, Canada

problem #53

Apr 062010

(reported on)

Windstar Sport 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 153,549 miles

love the van just the tranny seems to be a pos. 3rd time that this tranny is giving problems! Just stopped driving again w cruise on at 70mph. lost all gears . found the planetary assembly has weak splines on clutch pack hub assembly and also drive shaft splines weak or too small. no ford fix just a $2-4,000 repair should be fixing this as these trannies were used in the Taurus and sables as well with various catastrophic failures and now windstars. dunno what to do as tranny shops not helping to provide better replacement parts either.

- , Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

problem #52

Mar 262010

Windstar SEL 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles

Had this van since 12,000 miles (87,000 currently) it's been good with only minor issues until yesterday.

Went to local trans shop for some trans service when he gave me the NEWS.

We did nothing as I'm praying to use it to go 200 miles roundtrip later today for family party then Monday morning getting trans rebuilt before it goes out. My wife told me of some issues early in the week where the engine was racing and running a bit rough. Checked it out myself cleaned out the Mass airflow seemed to help the idle and all else was fine. Decided to get it serviced since it was due when the mechanic showed me the pan and the fluid said trans is about to go bad. Metal shavings on the magnet, fluid breaking down,ect.... I have had many different type of vehicles over the years and several Fords with no major problems, just hope I caught this problem with no more major issues in the future. Can't afford new car can't afford new Transmission $2-3k.

After reading all the issues from other people I will try to get Ford to pay up.

Ford Recall these Transmissions Don't Be like Toyota and wait till someone get hurt or killed. If problem continues I would have to say no more Fords for me, We loved this van until yesterday!!!!!!!!!!!

- , Toms River, NJ, USA

problem #51

Jan 312010

Windstar SEL 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,206 miles

Driving from Manitoba to Texas, tranny gave way while doing a turn-around on an overpass of I-35 in Wichita, KS. With no sound or any other notice, the vehicle failed to respond to the accelerator. Motor still running, brakes work. Turned off the motor and restarted but no response in reverse or forward . Just lucky to happen in "balmy" Wichita instead of "less than balmy" North Dakota. The vehicle has been very dependable for over 3 years of ownership for trips to Florida and Arizona but what is next? Since there has never been any indication of tranny misbehavior and all the similar reports of this occurring unexpectedly ,Ford should have some responsibility in the cost of repairs.

- , Pinawa, MB, Canada

problem #50

Feb 192010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,400 miles

I purchased a 2003 Ford Windstar with 88240 miles in July 2009 from a realiable dealer. The van had nothing on the carfax. Was in great shape & ran great. Never had a problem until February 19, 2010. I was leaving work for lunch & the speed went would not go past 20. Pulled into a lot & tranny went out. There was no warning signs or lights informing me of an upcoming problem. I had it towed to a dealership & found out i have to replace it. Will cost $ 3200.00. I personally think we need to get a petition started for all owners of a ford to have tranny warranty for 100,000 miles no matter how many previous owners. I believe ford knows there is an issue with the tranny's & just does not want to have to make repairs at their cost. Why do we have to suffer? We are to trust in the company to do us right. Ford may not have taken any stimulus money NOW we know why. They build cheap tranny's that their fellow Americans trust & buy. FORD SHOULD BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR WRONG DOINGS, NOT THE BUYERS THAT FALL TO THIER PREY.

- , Columbus, OH, USA

problem #49

May 132009

Windstar Sport 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,923 miles

I can relate to all the other people who were unfortunate enough to buy a ford, they have had the same problem as i did,hardly any milage on this piece of sh*t and the tranny died with no warning at all,left us without a vehicle for a month and now the engine lite is on...not even gonna bother with it, i have a 97 grand am that weve had for over five years 238,000 kms on it with the same tranny and motor..needless to say ford can go to hell,there will not be another ford here as long as im breathing...thanks ford, you SOBs

- , St Johns, N.L, Canada

problem #48

Feb 122009

Windstar 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

At 60000 miles my tranny went out, when to go to church put it in drive (nothing) would not go in drive, 1, 2,reverse, nothing. I am single had very little money to fix it, so I purchased a use transmission that had 62000 mile had that put in and now 1 year later this tranny is slipping in all gears.I will never, never, purchase a ford again ever!!!! Ford is not standing be hind their product.

- , Goshen, IN, USA

problem #47

Jan 012010

Windstar LX 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 111,000 miles

Bought this minivan February 2005 in mint condition (only 11,250 miles), serviced regularly, never pulled a trailer, always kept it parked in my condo's heated parking garage... Then without any notice the tranny just gave up the ghost on January 1st warning just quit! Had the van towed to the local Ford dealer. He performed a transmission diagnostic, for $110.00, and gave me the bad news...transmission is done for...dead...shot...need a rebuilt transmission!!! The rebuilt transmission installation bill was over $2,300.00 I am not impressed... I have owned more than 30 vehicles in my lifetime and never before have I ever had a transmission failure, ever. I donot think I will be buying another Ford product. PB Toronto, Canada

- , Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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