really awful
Crashes / Fires:
5 / 5
Injuries / Deaths:
5 / 0
Average Mileage:
14,236 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 1998 Ford Windstar:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

1998 Ford Windstar Owner Comments (Page 2 of 13)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #235

Feb 182005

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


The vehicle was on the road when all of a sudden the drive gear popped out, causing the vehicle to slow down and not move. Manufacturer will be contacted by consumer.

- Moline, IL, USA

problem #234

Jan 072005

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,200 miles
Engine shuts down intermittently when decelerating into a turn. It also shuts down momentarily (vehicle "bucks") or fully (stalls completely) during normal driving, independent of speed. The latter problem is much more common than the former! consequence: Several near-miss rear-end collisions, especially at highway speeds. The dealership could not replicate the problem. An independent technician replicated but could not properly repair the problem(s). The problems have been occurring for more than two years.

- Tempe, AZ, USA

problem #233

Jan 152005

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,482 miles
The transmission on a 98 Ford Windstar failed after only 74482 miles. I had to have the transmission rebuilt at a significant cost.

- Laguna Niguel, CA, USA

problem #232

Dec 102004

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,000 miles


Heard noise from engine and lost transmission power. Car coasted. When I got out there was a lot of transmission oil on the ground. Towed to Ford of upland, (calif). I was shown that the low/intermediate servo cover was blown to the side. I checked for recalls found one recall for 98 Windstar. According to Ford Motor Co rep. My veh was manufactured after 3/1/97 namely on 11/26/97 but Ford rep said it could be the same problem, as of now he noted my complaint and said I should call you, (NHTSA) you may be able to check further into this. Thanks

- Rancho Cucamonga, CA, USA

problem #231

Dec 022002


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Nar 1/15/2003. The consumer complained that the vehicle had transmission problems. After numerous complaints, the selling dealer offered to buy the vehicle back, but the consumer declined and instead continued to Ford and harass the employees to point that they became death threats.

- Dearborn, MI, USA

problem #230

Oct 152004

(reported on)


  • miles
Reporting defective transmission in 1998 Ford Windstar.

- Champaign, IL, USA

problem #229

Aug 192004

(reported on)


  • 120,000 miles


Problems with 1998 Ford Windstar transmission.

- Russell, MN, USA

problem #228

Jul 292004

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,000 miles
Without warning, the speedometer went flat and the engine stayed in low gear and the "check engine light" came on when I was trying to drive up a steep hill. I called my husband and he put a little extra transmission fluid in it. I was able to drive it home. We took it the following day for a oil & air filter change and transmission fluid flush. We only made it a few miles until it broke down again with the same problems. When we had it checked at the shop, we were told it also has a broken motor mount. We called a "transmission specialist" and were told by the description, it sounded like the speed sensor had gone out. We had this van custom-built, no one else has ever owned it. It currently has about 94,000 miles on it. It has had regular mainentence and has never been iinvolved in a collision. Has Ford recalled any of this, it seems more than the regular wear and tear?

- Trenton, OH, USA

problem #227

Sep 232003

Windstar 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles
Right after purchasing the vehicle, I started having problem with it. I addressed the seller, and he told me that the vehicle had no warranty, and so that I should just take the vehicle and take care of the problem by myself. I have had numerous of problems with this vehicle. When I purchased the vehicle, I feel I was used because I am poor, and was desperate for a vehicle. Other people that have purchased a vehicle from them have had the same problem. I don't know what actions can be taken to correct the matter any longer. I haven't given a payment for about 4 months, because I have had to fix the vehicle. Mainly transmission and electrical problems. I have also had steering wheel problems, and tire problems.

- Mcminville, OR, USA

problem #226

Jun 162004

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45 miles
I have a 1998 Ford Windstar with about 100,000 miles on it. The engine is good, but while driving on the highway, it suddenly shifts to low gear and jerks. Initially, this would happen occassionally, but now it has reached a point that it down shifts very often especially when running at slow speed and the vehicle vibrates a lot. As a consequence, the passengers experience a very strong jolting forward like as if somebody stepped on the brakes at high speed. A visit to my certified mechanic reveals that this experience is very common among Ford transmissions on various cars. It will cost between $1,500 - $2,000 to replace the transmission.

- Buena Park, CA, USA

problem #225

Mar 122004

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles


Transmission on van went without warning, stranded the complainant in a parking lot. Van had to be towed to repair shop to have transmission replaced. Thsi was the thrid major repair to this vehicle (repairs costing more than $1,000 each). Purchased the used vehicle in April 2001- had 30,000 miles on it, currently has a little over 100,000 miles. Just after the dealer warranty expired the van had parts replaced in the transmission, then parts replaced in the drive train (expensive). Entire rack and pinion replacement followed. The reapirs were done withing 18 months prior to this transmission replacement. Even after having the entire transmission and rive train replaced, there is still a growling underneath the vehicle when it idles at a stop sign. Vehicle also has erratic shifting when rounding corners at low speeds (clunking sounds and vehicle shakes when van drops into gear)- all of this even after the transmission was replaced! what a lemon!

- Marathon, NY, USA

problem #224

Feb 222004

Windstar 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles
Last year transmission problems started again. I had the van in the garage again in December to replace the pump on the transmission after it blew apart and left me stranded when it wouldn't go into any gear. After 10 days the van would move again. Now again the transmission is slipping between 1st and 2nd. The van is famous for downshifting from overdrive into 1st or 2nd gear. The overdrive light is constantly flashing and not working.

- Plattsburgh, NY, USA

problem #223

Jan 042004

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,985 miles
I currently own a 1998 Ford Windstar. I have had this van for two years. I bought it with 38000 miles on it and now have 66000 miles on it. Up till about a month ago, I had no problems as I have loved this van. But I did run into a peculiar problem that seems that most people are having with this van as I have checked numerous websites and web posts on the internet as well as my friends that have formerly owned this vehicle. The door ajar censor inside the doors wear, causing the computers to recognize the car doors to be shut. This emits a beeping sound that steadily beeps till you rise above 15 mph. Also, the lights stay on and since Ford built these vans all the same way, you cannot simply fix it without spending at least 500 dollars if your lucky. Also, another problem has risen just recently. My transmission has started to slip. I expected normal wear-and-tear, but it seems that when you reach a certain threshold, as many of other people have experienced once hitting 65000 miles on this particular van, the transmission goes completely. I would like to send an awareness to Ford to fix this problem in their newer vans, if a problem emerged and to future buyers of this year of van. This has cost me over 2500 dollars and I must admit, is not worth it. This van is by far the worst investment I have ever made, and I do not recommend buying one. Thank you.

- Warminster, PA, USA

problem #222

Nov 152003

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles
Ihave a Ford Windstar min van it is a 1998 gl and my husband and I have only had it three and a half years we bought it at best Ford in nashua New Hampshire. We bought an extended warranty but we were over by 600 miles so they wouldnt honor it. Come to find out there were two other mini vans Windstar the same type and age in the shop getting transmission work done. This should of never happened to us and I think the company ought to reimburse us for this expensive fix there is obviously problems with these min vans transmission going to early. I hope I get some results on this its rediculous we are not even done paying on it yet karen roy.

- Nashua , NH, USA

problem #221

Nov 032003

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,415 miles
Transmission has been replaced 3 time and is going again. Don't know what to do?

- Syracuse, NY, USA

problem #220

Oct 142003

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 74,000 miles
Automatic transmission failure.

- Union, OH, USA

problem #219

Oct 092003

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,000 miles
1998 Ford Windstar van came to a complete stop and the transmission failed. Van would not go forward until I down shifted to 2nd gear. Dealership has not found a problem code and not been able to duplicate the problem. Daily cut offs occur on pulling up my steep driveway and coming to a stop.

- Greensboro, NC, USA

problem #218

Sep 252003

Windstar 6-cyl Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles
Automatic transmission failed at 65,000 miles. Checked with dealer and they said they had not heard of any problems from Ford. I look at this website and find numerous problems. There should be an official recall for this problem. I would like my money refunded for the transmission replacement.

- Buffalo Grove, IL, USA

problem #217

Oct 012003


  • miles
While driving automatic transmission slips gears, causing the vehicle to hesitate.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #216

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

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?