hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
52,405 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 #16

Dec 192012

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 85,000 miles


The contact owns a 1998 Ford Windstar. The contact stated there was a large hole in the sub frame and engine cradle. The manufacturer issued a recall under NHTSA campaign id number 11V030000 (structure) pertaining to 1999-2003 Windstar model year vehicles. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the defect. The approximate failure mileage was 85,000...updated 12-30-13 updated 01/09/14 updated 01/13/14

- Liverpool, NY, USA

problem #15

Mar 202012

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 95,600 miles
Front sub frame completely rusted out. Ford has sub frame recall for the 1999-2003 but not the 1998.

- Colts Neck, NJ, USA

problem #14

May 242011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • miles
I received a letter earlier this year regarding my 1998 Ford Windstar for a rear axle recall. I had it serviced at malouf Ford in North brunswick, NJ. When my son picked it up, he was told there was a new recall for the front right subframe rusting out (similar problem as the rear axle). They checked the subframe on my car and it was severely rusted. He was told they would call us when the parts came in to fix it. I had an appointment to fix the subframe this past Tuesday (24/may). The service department called and said that while the subframe was definitely rusted out, and that it was due to the same defect as described, that particular recall was for 1999-2003 Windstar and since mine is a 1998, they will not fix it. Please note I had no clue of the recall or the damage. The Ford dealership advised me of it. I waited for the parts and brought the car in when they asked. Now, though they confirm that this rusted-out subframe on the passenger side is exactly what the recall is for, and there is the potential for a deadly crash if that subframe fails, they are not "authorized" to repair a 1998 Windstar. I don't know if my car is a late-model 1998, but it was manufactured at the same Ontario, Canada plant as the cars that qualify for the recall, and a rusted right subframe is not a normal wear-and-tear condition. It is beyond negligent to acknowledge the problem in a 1999 Windstar, but pretent the same exact problem in a 1998 Windstar from the same plant is not their problem.

- East Brunswick, NJ, USA

problem #13

Nov 152010

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 81,250 miles


1998 Ford Windstar has rusted engine subframe, which, if lets go would cause side axle and front tire to separate from van and cause loss of steering control, loss of braking, and possible accident.this was discovered while van was on ramp for oil change. Received recall on rear axle cracking and recall was done today by Ford. Brought subframe problem to the dealers attention and they stated that Ford was fully aware of this problem but could do nothing about it because Ford had not issued a recall on this time. The service station owner which did my oil change expressed an opinion that he felt that the front subframe rusting was indeed much more of a concern than the cracking of the rear axle which has been recalled by Ford. At present I am afraid to drive my Windstar with this structural defect and I feel Ford should remedy this defect in the same manner that they did with the cracking rear axle.

- St. John's, Nl,Canada A1e4y3, 00, USA

problem #12

Nov 092010


  • 120,000 miles
I own a 1998 Ford Windstar(manufacture date Aug..1997. I have been having problems for a while. My van was making a whining grinding noise. Gear is hard to get out of park bad popping noise when backing up...replaced all 4 wheel bearings and both tie rod ends..still making a bad whining noise.3 days ago I was driving down the highway and the steering started acting weird and shaking and the back of the van started swaying back and forth.. was told at the shop about the recall on axel I called Ford and was told my van is not on the list my van has a excessive amount of corrosion throughout the whole bottom the shop told me this van has been exposed to salt. When I bought the van it had a inspection sticker from previous owner from one of the recall states.(pens) Ford would not give me any information onwhat state it was sold in or dealer, what brand of axel that was being recalled (said they didn't know the brand) come on what company spends money on parts and don't even know the brand or manufacture they buy from. I'm scared to death to drive this automobile.. I think Ford should honor there promise to its customers and fix this problem on all 1997-2003 Windstar not just certain months of 1997 or does someone have to lose there life before they do something? Ford>>> you took our money for your product now stand behind your product.

- Quitman, MS, USA

problem #11

Nov 122009


  • 68,000 miles
Without any warning signs that I could see, the rear axle on my 1998 Ford Windstar broke in half while my wife was driving home from the grocery store.she was able to pull off the road and call me for help. The rear wheels were tilted inward so much that we had to have the auto towed to a local mechanic, where the rear axle and related parts where replaced. This incident happened almost 9 months ago, and every since then I am reluctant to drive this auto anywhere near a highway. Because the engine seems to be very sound. We simply use the vehicle to drive around town. One of the main reasons I feel I need to register this complaint, is because I noticed an investigation that has been initiated for 1999 and later Windstar. Because we have a 1998, I felt this information would be helpful with this investigation.

- Akron, OH, USA

problem #10

Jul 222010

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 139,623 miles


I have a 1998 Ford Windstar, in which the rear axle broke in half shortly after coming off the highway. I pulled into a customer lot and heard a noise, but I thought I ran over a hose that was on the ground. It was not until a worker came in an told me my rear wheels were at a 45 degree angle, and the axle it was split down the middle. I had to get my wife to pick me up and take me back to work, and then home. The car had to be left at the customers and I hadit towed the next day to my mechanic. He showed me the damage one and pointed out the rust and the break. I was blessed this did not happen on the highway, for I had just taken my son to work. The cost estimate for a new axle was $600, and a used axle was $275 and this did not include additional parts and labor.this happen on July 22 2010 at 3:00 P.M. the final bill including parts, labor, and towing was about $950.

- Allentown, PA, USA

problem #9

Apr 192010


  • 184,000 miles
The rear axle is cracked and almost separated. Don't know when or how it happened. Has not been repaired.

- Jackson, MI, USA

problem #8

Feb 122003

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles
I puchased my van on 2/24/02 with 55K on it from cavalier Ford in chesapeake, va. The van was taken back to cavalier Ford in chesapeake, va. On 2/12/03 because of a popping sound coming from the front area when breaks are applied and sometimes while turning. The mechanic discovered severe cracking in sub frame where right strut rod attaches. The mechanic has never seen one do this and said I could lose my steering if it cracks all the way while I am driving. He said could be manufactuer defect. Est. Cost for repairs $3,000. I only have 65K on the van and havent even had it a year yet. There is no evidence of van being in a wreck. This is not coverd under my extended warrenty. Has this been a problem with other Windstar and what do you suggest that I can do? L.J. va. Beach, Virginia

- Va.Beach, VA, USA

problem #7

Dec 112001


  • miles
The dealership service department stated the "front subframe sleeves were loose; welding of the radius arm sleeves was required. They stated this problem was very common for Windstar and even Taurus models. If so, this is a potentially serious and widespread problem in these cars.

- Northvale, NJ, USA

problem #6

May 032002


  • miles


I brought the vehicle to walker Ford on 3/14/202 for a protective spring shield, recall #01S19. We noticed a clunking noise from the passenger side front shorrtly after. We brought the vehicle back to walker Ford on 5/3/02. Upon inspection, we were told the weld for the sub frame was broken. This holds up the transmission, engine, suspension, .. this is definieetly a severe safety issue and gone unchecked, I believe it could have led to a major accident and possible injuries, not just to myself, but others who may be driving a vehicle with a similar problem. This is not something that needs to be fixed as part of routine maintenance and is very rare and uncommon for this to break, as confirmed by another mechanic. I believe the weld was defective. This vehicel is well maintained and there is no cause for this type of problem other than a defect.

- Seminole, FL, USA

problem #5

Dec 082001


  • miles
Was driving 25mph when suddenly driver lost control of vehicle. Managed to get to side of road after going from West bound crossing to East bound lane. Had vehicle towed to dealership. Was informed by mechanic that rear frame bolts had sheared off and caused frame to separate.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #4

Apr 012000


  • miles
When driving vehicle/ either turning or coming to a stop there is a knocking sound near front wheels. Took vehicle to dealer, and they said that subframe strut sleeves need to be welded.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #3

Dec 161999


  • miles
A spring under car came loose and was dangling aroung under vehicle.this part could have punctured a tire and caused a serious accident.

- Chandler, AZ, USA

problem #2

Feb 282000


  • miles
The vehicle makes noise while turning due to rear sub frame mount failure.

- Louisville, CO, USA

problem #1

Mar 251999

(reported on)


  • miles
Nut and underbolt failed causing noise in front end.

- Sturgeon B, WI, USA

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