really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
73,432 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 suspension problems

suspension problem

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1998 Ford Windstar Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #30

Oct 032011


  • 91,000 miles


Was informed that sub-frame (also called engine cradle) is rusting away on my van. After looking online, it seems this is a common issue among these vans, which is caused by the use of inferior steel and an ac line running over the sub-frame. My engine can now literally fall out unless I pay out-of-pocket to replace this. I know NHTSA has an investigation into this, but I can't wait months for a recall while my family uses this vehicle daily! please recall this promptly, many people are paying thousand for out-of-pocket repairs on an issue Ford should have to cover.

- Penn Hills, PA, USA

problem #29

Aug 212011


  • 150,000 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that the rear axle fractured in half while driving 5 mph. The vehicle exhibited an abnormally loud noise as the contact merged the vehicle to the shoulder. The vehicle was towed to a mechanic where they inspected the failure and informed her that the axle was fractured and the vehicle was not drivable. The manufacturer was contacted and informed her they would contact her at a later date. The failure mileage was 150,000.

- Bridgeton, NJ, USA

problem #28

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 #27

Feb 012011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


1998 Ford Windstar. Consumer writes in regards to several recent recalls and states she has had problems with jerking and tire ware the consumer stated the rear axle wa inspected and no problems were found. However, she continued to experience problems.

- Jackson, TN, USA

problem #26

Apr 102010


  • 242,731 miles
The rear axle broke into two separate pieces while coming to a stop in my driveway. The rear wheels were canted in at the top as a result, completely disabling the car. The vehicle had to be towed for repairs and a new rear axle from Ford Motor Co was installed. Fomoco has denied my claim for repair because denver, co is not in the recall area issued 8-26-2010 and expanded on 11-30-2010. "VIN not identified for this field service action." I am the original owner and the vehicle continues to be driven daily. (gs for dennis dolan)

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #25

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 #24

Apr 152010


  • 128,000 miles


Reading on-line because my mechanic's puzzled about the noises, I find that it's not only the 1999+ Windstar that have had a problem, but -- if you would look at #2 and #3 here at this link: www.aboutautomobile.com/complaint/1998/Ford/Windstar/suspension it's apparent that this axle breakage has occurred in 1998's as well. That is what I have, in which I'm hearing similar noises. Living in a salt-belt state, this is scary; don't even dare take it on the freeway! hard to get out of town (such as to a graduation this weekend) without freeways. Very sad... & hard to replace it, too, while on only social security. Something should be done to include 1998S (see link above) in this investigation, too, it appears. I didn't pay nearly $4000 to only drive a vehicle in town, and not be able to go anyplace! :O( [xxx] ps * didn't give "day" B/C this has been occurring the last few months, and finally asked the mechanic last month, once I was driving more again (in winter don't do much, and then at other times drive MA's car taking her places). Well, it insists on a date, after all, so will put on there, arbitrarily. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Wyoming, MI, USA

problem #23

Feb 222010


  • 140,000 miles
The vehicle was driving normal and began to make noises in the front end. I had the vehicle inspected at a service garage and told the front coil springs are fractured.

- Germantown, WI, USA

problem #22

Dec 192009


  • 95,000 miles
I noticed my van was 'feeling weird' when I drove it-almost like I was driving on a slippery road and the back end was sliding. This went on for about 4 days. I had to drive my son to visit his father on an extremely snowy day. The roads were drivable but did have some snow on them. When I proceeded down the hill I live on, the sliding sensation was extremely exaggerated. The further I drove, the worse it got. I had to drive in 1st gear going less than 20 M.P.H. with the back end of my van fishtailing. I thought for sure we were going to roll over. Thank god I was passing the mechanic's garage I use, and I was able to pull in. I have just been informed that the rear axle has snapped and the vehicle is not drivable. Upon searching for how much a rear axle is going to cost, I was surprised to find a site where people list the problems they've had with the same vehicle. This is not an unusual thing to have occur!!!! people could very easily be killed when this breaks. It was only by the grace of god that we didn't wreck. Ford needs to further investigate this and put a recall on the rear axle.

- Bethel Park, PA, USA

problem #21

Aug 152008


  • 130,000 miles
I was backing out of a parking spot and heard a loud crash type of sound. Checked the car and found out that the rear axle had broken in half.

- Salem, MA, USA

problem #20

Jun 032002

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles


We have always had trouble with this van - we bought it used(1 yr old) so we had no recourse as far as warrenties go. We finally were able to take it in to the Ford dealership and have the light problem looked at - they replaced a sensor for $140 and as soon as we drove 45 miles it started up again! we were on our way on a road trip and I called to tell them it failed, but when we got back two weeks later they claimed that it must be something different... interior lights do not shut off, removed door ajar chime so we didn't have to listen to that while driving all the time, door ajar light has been on continuously for more than 3 years, we've had to remove the dome lights and turn the other lights to "off" so our battery doesn't go dead over night - the passenger floor lights remain on however and get very hot... the doors do not lock because the car thinks it's doors are open! the car has become dangerous to drive and the problem has stumped too many mechanics to list - when driving above 40 mph the right wheel starts making a 'thumping' noise and when turning left or accelerating it becomes almost deafening, now it's making a very loud screech if, but don't want to sell this death-trap to anyone else eithe you turn too sharply - there is a continuous squeaking noise comng from the same area. Please help!! thank you, freida kirkland ps... cruise control doesn't work and the back wiper only works if you're backing up... have had the van realigned continually and I just bought another set of tires in June and the left front tire is already worn out... the right passenger's window sometimes doesn't roll back up and the service engine light stays on sometimes for months for no reason as well as the brake light...

- Cotopaxi, CO, USA

problem #19

Aug 152003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 0 miles
When we purchased the van, we also bought a diamondkote warranty, for 499.99$ and told at the time of purchase that is was a good warranty.we then found out that we should not have been sold the warranty and plaza Ford Lincoln will not honor it, we can't even get a refund, so we spoke to someone at diamondkote and this person told us that we should not have been sold the warranty and have been trying to get a refund ever since, either from plaza Ford Lincoln or diamondkote. I had intentions of suing Ford Motor Company two years ago when my husband took my two daughters to halifax, because my 8 year old had cancer at the time, she had a appointment at the I.w.K hospital and it was by the grace of god that thay were not killed when the front suspention spring broke in which case my husband lost steering. I spoke to a lawyer who sadly told, because there was no death or injury there was nothing he could do, well my 8 year old who is now cancer free was so scared, she still gets very scared to get in a vehicle. I could go on but for now this is just the begining. I am going to pursue the matter of the diamondkote warranty further, and possibly more.we have had alot of vehicals before but never a Ford with as much trouble as this has been.

- Sydney, UN, USA

problem #18

Dec 151999


  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,930 miles
A/C Oct. 99 $168.98, Dec. 99 $134.40 suspension July 01 $664.61, Dec. 99 $515.85, Jun 01 $61.78, body Jun 01 $443.61 other cd player Jun 01 $19.50 and $366.86 turn signal Jan 02 $161.04 dome light Jan 02 $84.02 Jan 02 $89.72 door Oct 99 $134.52, Mar 03 $285.07 steering Sept.02 $258.82, Mar. 03 $569.32 computer controls Sept. 00 $106.02 engine Jan 02 $784.75 coolant smell (found front cover gasket leaking) Sept. 02 $85.95 (told throttle body worn out, sold me update computer software, seams to run better) currently in shop for check engine light and A/C system intermittent. Mechanic found engine problem, says main bearings or crankshaft bad, possibly due to coolant in oil system from January 02 problem

- Fargo, ND, USA

problem #17

May 152003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,000 miles
Rear sway bar broke in half on low speed turn if this would have happened on a freeway exchange or off ramp this would have resulted in a rollover and possible death!

- Riverside, CA, USA

problem #16

Jul 152003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 0 miles
I bought this van because of the clean condition of it. I have the 3.0 ltr engine which has been excellent. The transmission so far is ok. Steering is a dangerous mess with almost everything new and 3 alignments. If you take your eyes off the road even for a second you can end up in a ditch. My wife & I both went off the road in a 1 month span. We both have excellent driving records. The front end seems ok to Ford. Something serious is wrong with the steering. Won"T let my wife drive it anymore. Has a little vibration that you cannot get rid of. Sending this to you because I called Ford and they said there was no safety recall or any steering issues with that van. Had a service bulletin in front of me at that time stating there was. But that is not the problem. Ford denied the all of the above. Am afraid to sell to someone because I think someone will get hurt. Don"T know why Ford keeps putting in the same bad parts year after year. I have had all the dome light problems and door locks etc. They will still say no problems. Bought it used at a good price thinking it was a bad tire causing the problems. If accident occurs will seek damages

- Alton, MO, USA

problem #15

Sep 122003

(reported on)

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,000 miles
Problems with transmission, torque, power steering, and front end stable rods & arms. The transmission and torque had been replaced twice, the power steering once, the font end stable rods and arms twice and remained bad. The battery light had come on and the idler pulley was replaced, there was a creaking/cracking noise when turning the wheel and the outer tie rods were replaced along with the toe being reset, there was a clunk when going over the bumps, there was a vibration underneath due to the transmission, the engine light would come on and off and seemed like the shifts were erratic, the transmission leaked badly, and on some occasions the starter did not engage.

- Freeland, MD, USA

problem #14

Dec 202002

(reported on)


  • miles
While braking there was a clanking noise in front end. Took vehicle to Ford, Ford replaced subframe bushings and tie rod ends. Ts.

- Wantagh, NY, USA

problem #13

Sep 231999


  • miles
Consumer stated the front end of the vehicle was bouncing, also the front hub bearings were replaced.

- West Springfield, MA, USA

problem #12

Jun 202001


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
This van is 3 years old. Corrosion most likely caused the problem with strut rods & sway bar links. Obviously this manufacturer was not concerned with quality B/C of all these problems. The Ford company will not reimburse me (my van is no longer covered by factory warranty) unless they issue a recall on any particular problem. I just don't understand why I would have all these problems with a vehicle that was less than 2 yrs old when the problems started. Maybe you can't help me, but I wanted to lodge a complaint.

- Carbondale, PA, USA

problem #11

May 112001

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving at 60 mph severe vibrations occurs, causing safe handling of vehicle to become extremely difficult, cause unknown. Consumer states local dealer has tried various things such as tire balancing, alignment and changing all four tires but nothing has resolved the problem, local dealer stated that this particular vehicle has this problem and they dont know what to do to correct it.

- Salem, MO, USA

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