really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
72,758 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 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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1998 Ford Windstar Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #31

Sep 182013


  • 90,000 miles


Rear axle extremely rusted, falling apart, still garage conditions, doesn't look safe

- Roscoe, IL, USA

problem #30

Jan 152015


  • 182,000 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the transmission failed intermittently and the check engine warning light illuminated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 182,000.

- Fort Worth , TX, USA

problem #29

May 292014


  • 250,000 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Ford Windstar. The contact stated while stopped at a traffic light, the vehicle made a loud banging sound and the vehicle failed to accelerate. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician diagnosed that the intermediate servo needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 250,000. Updated 08/19/14

- Gray Court , SC, USA

problem #28

May 172014

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 96,769 miles


Was driving down the road @ 55mph and the speedometer shot to 0mph and the trans was thrown into 1st. This happened several times. I am looking for a resolution. It acts as if vss isn't working. Even threw a code. I replaced the sensor and checked the wires all the way to the ECM. Everything looks quite good. Ran a scanner. Picked up several codes. Vss and ABS sensors all around. Pulled cluster: Everything looked great. The only fault I can think of is ECM unless ABS system has the ability to affect the drive like that.

- Groveland, IL, USA

problem #27

Feb 012013


  • 154,327 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that the vehicle stalled with the illumination of all of the instrument panel warning lights. The vehicle was taken to a mechanic where a diagnostic was performed and located the failure at the power train module. The manufacturer advised the contact that the vehicle was not included in the manufacturer's power train PCM recall. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The failure and current mileage was 154,327.

- Richmond, VA, USA

problem #26

Apr 122013


  • 121,600 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that while driving at 55 mph, the RPM increased to 3,000 and the speed dropped to 35 mph. The contact was able to move onto the shoulder. The vehicle returned to normal function after the restart. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The failure and current mileage was 121,600.

- Marshalltown , IA, USA

problem #25

Sep 242012


  • 197,000 miles


The contact owns a 1998 Ford Windstar. The contact stated after shifting into reverse, the vehicle failed to move and the over drive light illuminated on the instrument panel. The contact mentioned that she shifted into drive and the vehicle functioned properly. The vehicle was taken to a dealer who stated that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who advised the contact to take the vehicle into a Ford dealer for inspection. The failure mileage was 197,000.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #24

Sep 242012

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 152,307 miles
After it was put into reverse and I went to park there was a loud noise and I couldn't move the van. Got out and look at it and saw it was the rear axel completely broken.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #23

Aug 122012


  • 178,187 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Ford Windstar. The contact stated accelerated in an attempt to pass another vehicle when the front end started to shake as the vehicle stopped accelerating. The contact stated that the engine continued running. The contact's mechanic also stated that the gears in the transmission were fractured. The failure mileage and current mileages were 178,187.

- Marmora, NJ, USA

problem #22

Jun 232012

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 112,000 miles
Transmission failed on garden state parkway in NJ, stranded in busy traffic.

- Yorktown Heights, NY, USA

problem #21

Jan 022012


  • 110,000 miles


Just wanted this Agency to know that these particular vehicles are unsafe.I was driving in busy traffic, in major construction nonetheless on a 1 lane road and my vehicles transmission without warning quit working....backed up all kinds of traffic with no where to pull over and made all kinds of new friends....just letting this Agency know this manufacturer should be notified.although it is now and older vehicle it is still capable of creating havoc...and potentially unsafe.couldnt imagine if I didn't have enough speed to make it to safely pull off, could of caused a pile up..

- Kankakee,Il, IL, USA

problem #20

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 #19

Mar 152010

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 134,000 miles
Van has been swaying when driving like a tire was low on air, kept checking with no tire problems but when backing out of parking space at work I heard a dragging noise. When I got out I found my rear drivers side tire leaning in. I jacked up my van to find the rear axle is broken about a foot or so in from the drivers side. I travel with 4 children and if this would have broken with them on the highway it could have been fatal, there is no obvious rust on the axle. I found a Ford website that has numerous complaints of the axle breaking and I feel this needs investigated.

- Weirton, WV, USA

problem #18

Dec 162009


  • miles
On December 16th 2009. I was driving down West 117th towards madison/lakewood in cleveland, Ohio and was trying to come to a stop (slow down and stop) to allow an ambulance to pass (there was a car in front of me that was also slowing downa nd that came to a stop at the street lot)this is on a major street near an highway intersection. I put my foot on my brake to slow down the vehicle and come to a stop but it would not slow down or stop. The brake had went out. I ended up hitting the car in front of me hard (an SUV) and doing quite a bit of damage to my vehicle. The other driver vehicle was so far as I could tell undamaged. On my vehicle the front light is broken, my bumper is damaged, and my hood is damaged. I, myself and the driver I hit could have gotten seriously injured. So far we are bothfine and no injuries occurred. However he may turn around and come after me if he decides to. And I now can not drive my vehicle. I received a recall notice on my vehicle brake about a month ago around early November. Maybe in end of October. The very day of my accident (happened around 12:15 noon) I was going to go home and call Ford about the recall. There is a worldwide recall on my vehicle model and many others. And I have had nothing but problems since I bought it. I have had to make numerous repairs on it and still had problems and this accident. Ford should be held responsible for this and should compensate me with another vehicle in good condition especially since I have spent so much time and money into replacement parts for this Windstar. Or give me my money back or something. I'm glad my kids were not with me when this happened and that the man I hit was also alone and is ok. What can be done about this? I have had to replace the following items since I got this vehicle: O2 sensors (both), alternator, belt, windshield wiper blade, and make back blades don't work at all, the transmission, the steering column box, door handle and components inside and more!

- Cleveland, OH, USA

problem #17

Apr 052007


  • 89,875 miles
A faulty brake pressure differential deactivation! switch is leaking brake fluid!

- Barberton, OH, USA

problem #16

Jul 202005


  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,475 miles
First incident happened while driving up a low grade and coming to a stop. Van started rolling backward after removing foot from brake and when it finally moved forward the service engine light came on and no speedometer. Took it to the dealer and was told that it was a faulty sensor. Most recent incident happened after passing a semi on the freeway. Passed doing approximately 70 mph and when pulling back into right lane van lost all forward power and speed. Speedometer once again dropped to 0. was able to make it back to the dealer but as yet have not had it looked at by dealer. Said to bring it back on the weekend.

- The Dalles, OR, USA

problem #15

Oct 152003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 23,956 miles
On October 1, 2003 the transmission failed at 23,956 miles. It neutralizes at 10 mph or higher. Contact with the dealership stated it was out of warranty and I could bring it in for repair. They would not cooperate with providing me the name and means of contacting the zone rep. Repair cost at $1800 with transmission shop.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #14

May 152001


  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,000 miles
This van has all the defects and complaints listed on thegovt. Recalls the NHTSA site and others ihave too much info to put on this site if there is anyone I can send my complaint to please let me know iam putting it back into the shop again ive been thru a nightmare along with trying to assure my 4 kids that they were safe in this van thankyou angela wallace and by the wat the dealer that sold me this van will not cooperate at all

- Phippsburg, ME, USA

problem #13

Jul 152003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 27,000 miles
Ford installed a Ford Taurus transmission in the Windstar from the factory. I am currently in the lawsuit stage to make Ford repair the factory defect. I will never buy another Ford vehicle again. Town East Ford in mesquite, tx found out about the problem and decided to eat the $1000 plus repair bill after they dismantled the transmission and discovered the problem. They now want to give me the runaround and shift the blame to the used dealership kingdom auto world in arlington Texas where I bought the lemon from. Ford is clearly responsible and I will sue them dearly for their runaround and poor customer service.

- Rowlett, TX, USA

problem #12

Jul 152002


  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles
The transmission failed after having the fluid and pan gasket changed within the previous 6 months. Since it is a '98 and although it has the same transmission as earlier years (whose transmissions have been replaced at no cost to the owner because of either recalls or secret warranties) Ford refused to replace this transmission at cost.

- Seattle, WA, USA

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