really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
73,668 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.

1998 Ford Windstar body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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1998 Ford Windstar Owner Comments

problem #20

Nov 162015


  • 160,376 miles


The contact owns a 1998 Ford Windstar. While driving approximately 5 mph, the contact heard an unusual noise underneath the vehicle. The contact pulled to the side of the road, looked under the vehicle, and noticed that the front passenger side was completely rusted. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who confirmed the excessive rust and advised the contact not to drive the vehicle until it was repaired. The contact was unable to find a used part. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure, but did not provide any assistance. There was no recall for the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 160,376.

- Algonac, MI, USA

problem #19

Jan 072014


  • 170,000 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that while having routine maintenance performed, the mechanic notified him that the sub frame was completely corroded. As a result, there was a possibility that the engine could possibly fall out from the vehicle. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure but did not offer any assistance since the vehicle was not included in any recalls. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 170,000.

- Livonia, MI, USA

problem #18

Jul 012012


  • 23,982 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that after performing routine maintenance on the vehicle, he noticed that the front sub frame was completely rusted and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was contacted in regard to this issue and advised him that his year vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign id number 11V030000 (structure: Frame and members:underbody shields). The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 23,982. The VIN was unavailable.

- Andover, MA, USA

problem #17

Mar 132012


  • 65,000 miles


The contact owns a 1998 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that the vehicle was taken for routine brake service when he noticed that the sub frame was rusted and hanging from the vehicle. The manufacturer was notified and informed the contact that there were no recalls for the issue. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact stated that the vehicle was parked and was no longer being driven as a result. The failure mileage was 65,000.

- Elkhart, IN, USA

problem #16

Apr 172012


  • 160,000 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that while driving approximately 10 to 15 mph, she suddenly lost control of the vehicle and the rear end of the vehicle dropped downward. The vehicle was unable to be towed, so an independent mechanic came to the location to examine the vehicle. The mechanic stated that the frame fractured in half and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified and they offered no assistance. The failure and current mileages were approximately 160,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Capiagee, NY, USA

problem #15

Dec 072011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 114,000 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that the vehicle taken to a local mechanic for inspection of the sub frame when the contact was advised that the sub frame was severely corroded and that the vehicle was unsafe to drive. The contact stated that the brake lines were also found to be corroded. The brake lines were replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the sub frame failure and denied any assistance with the repair. The sub frame was not repaired. The failure and the current mileage was 114,000. The tie rods, front wheel bearings and battery had to be replaced within one year of owning the vehicle. The wheel cylinders, brake adjusters, spring kit, drums, rotors, shoes, and pads all had to be replaced. Also, the turn signal level stopped working for the left side. When the brake was applied, it went to the floor and then pulsated back up, and then the ABS light illuminated. Updated 02/01/12

- Cincinnati , OH, USA

problem #14

Nov 072011


  • 97,500 miles


The contact owns a 1998 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that while having the vehicle examined by an independent mechanic, she was informed that the frame on the front driver's side was rusted through. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure, but offered no assistance. The failure and the current mileages were 97,500.

- Montrose, PA, USA

problem #13

Mar 172010

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
Upon inspection of vehicle for inspection, it was determind vehicle was unsafe to drive because of badly corroded subframe on passenger side of vehicle. Also, coil spring on passenger side was broken posing a driving hazard. Vehicle has approximately 80,000 miles.

- Butler, PA, USA

problem #12

Mar 242011


  • 96,000 miles
Took vehicle in to a mechanic for repair work. When mechanic placed the vehicle on the lift, he noted that the subframe that cradles the engine and transmission and serves as the attachment point for the front suspension was extremely rusted. The corrosion has caused large and numerous holes in the subframe. He stated that the vehicle is unsafe to drive in its current condition and would not work on the vehicle because it was unsafe. He stated that the engine could actually fall though the subframe, or the subframe could brake at the suspension connection points causing loss of control of the vehicle.

- Wickliffe, OH, USA

problem #11

Feb 072010


  • 123,000 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that he was informed by an authorized dealer that the frame was severely rusted. As a result, the fuel lines, brake lines and piping were also rusted and corroded. The brake lines were replaced. The dealer advised the contact that the failure was common in his year, make and model. The failure mileage was 123,000 and the current mileage was 133,000.

- Marshfield, MA, USA

problem #10

Apr 242003


  • 83,000 miles


1. Ford sent recall notice (01S19/01M03) in September, 2001. Vehicle was taken in for service (11/7/01) and the receipt indicates that safety shields were installed 'to prevent a front spring failure from puncturing the front tires'. the notice also stated that 'what Ford will do for you': "Ford Motor Company will also pay far any repairs directly relating to the front coil springs of you vehicle free of charge (parts and labor)." It was at that time (2001), the owner received an 'extended coverage transferable warranty notice' on the front springs for 10 years from the warranty start date, regardless of mileage". 2. the springs may have fractured at a later date, or were broken at that time and not replaced. The vehicle has always had very low front ground clearance. Because of the low ground clearance and the installed shields, the spring failure was not noted even when new tires were installed. Returning the vehicle to the dealer in 2009, after a front break line failure, the owner inquired about checking for broken front springs under the recall campaign mentioned in the notice from 2001. That is when he leaned that the safety recall issue was satisfied with the "shield installation". this action apparently also removed the VIN from the safety recall data base. Thus, assuming that this is no longer a safety issue, the owner continues to drive the low mileage vehicle (less than 100,000 miles). 3. the cost of replacing the springs was estimated at $400 to $600 dollars by the dealer and no corrective action is being taken as apparently this is no longer a safety issue. The vehicle is a 1998 Ford Windstar that was purchased on 10/16/97, with five miles on it. 4. is this vehicle safe to drive as there are nearly 100 similar complaints on this safety complaint web site" 5. as this vehicle did not qualify in the clunker program, is spring failure a lemon law issue"

- Glenwood, IL, USA

problem #9

Jan 042009


  • 102,000 miles
I have (had) a 1998 Ford Windstar that Transport not only my own three children but two other children from time to time. After pulling out of the garage one day the rear of the mini-van made a horrible sound. I looked out the door and saw my rear tire in a very precarious position. After further review I noticed that what one would think could never happen, sure as !@#$% did, the rear axle was cracked in half. I did some searching on the net and found that I am not alone. Ford says it is not their problem (until someone's family dies) because it is past the 5 year warranty. The root of the problem seems to be a manufacturer defect that allows water to enter the axle and not escape. This event causes the axle to rust from the inside out. Not very happy here, but really don't want to see anyone get hurt or killed!!!!!!!!

- Cleves, OH, USA

problem #8

Feb 012004

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles
Paint began peeling off liftgate, roof and side door in medium to large size strips and has continued to worsen, revealing the white primer below. There is a defect with the paint adhesive. The contrast in tone between the dark blue paint and large uneven patches of white primer is distracting to other drivers, since it looks so odd, and has potential to cause an accident. The entire mini-van needs to be repainted. I note that 4 of the total of 6 complaints of structural defects reported to NHTSA to date for this vehicle make, model and year, not including this one, are also for peeling paint on upper surfaces. This is obviously a manufacturer's defect and should be corrected. (incident date only indicates the time around when I first observed the problem.)

- Skillman, NJ, USA

problem #7

Jan 132003

Windstar 6-cyl

  • miles
Vehicle has front axle hub and speed sensor replaced due to antilock warning signal continuing to stay on. Recall# 01I007000. There was a noise in the front right wheel and on another occasion a loud bang had come from the vehicle due to the left front spring exploding. The service department stated on another occasion that the sub from had rusted badly.

- Sidney, OH, USA

problem #6

Dec 132003

Windstar 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Extensive peeling of paint atop of van exposing surface thus creating extensive damage to vehicle requiring expensive repair.

- Ellenwood, GA, USA

problem #5

May 072001


  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles
Paint peeling on the vehicle. Started at roof and now is peeling all over. Also the front suspension makes a banging noise when traveling on bumpy roads. Have tried to have fix but 2 or less months it starts again.

- Canisteo, NY, USA

problem #4

Aug 152003

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,500 miles
There is peeling paint on most of the topmost surfaces of this vehicle, including the lift gate, above and around the top of the side sliding door, and along the luggage rack. The paint is peeling off the primer layer.

- Huntsville, AL, USA

problem #3

May 012001


  • 75,000 miles
Consumer states that paint is peeling off. Consumer feels the interior may eventually fall and paint chips may get into passengers eyes.

- Chillicothe, OH, USA

problem #2

Aug 302002


  • miles
Peeling paint on most upper surfaces, including roof, liftgate, and side door.

- Huntsville, AL, USA

problem #1

Aug 161998


  • miles
During normal highway operation, the overhead console fell from the roof of the car, striking the driver in the head. The driver almost lost control of the car. There are 5 fasteners which hold the console to the roof and 3 of the 5 were broken off. 2 of the fasteners were never inserted properly into the mounting slots. When it fell, the wiring held it, causing it to swing inside the vehicle.

- Bayville, NJ, USA

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