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 1 of 13)

problem #255

May 202011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 142,000 miles


Popping in front end when turning or hitting bumps. The popping sound was often. Had new tires put on, and when I took it in to have front end aligned. Ford tech. Said front springs were broke. Was an est. Of $1200 on it can't afford. This was 5/20/2011. Contacted mfr about the recall that was issued on this part 7/12/2001. Was told there was nothing they could do, because of a time limit. How can they put a time limit on safety & peoples lives because the springs are broken, they can puncture the tires and cause an accident. Now we are without transportation. And my son is disabled and has numerous dr. Appts. Miles away. But my hands are tied. The mfr. Did advise to have another recall checked out which is the speed control because it can catch fire. When I asked why, you just told me it was unsafe to drive.he advised it could catch fire just setting in the drive not running. I was not notified of either one of these recalls by mail or other wise until I called to complain about the front coil springs. How does these billion dollar company's keep getting by with negligence? there are lots of recalls on this vehicle. Please help!

- Hoopeston, IL, USA

problem #254

Aug 281998


  • 4,400 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Ford Windstar. While driving approximately 50 mph, the transmission became stuck in overdrive. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer who stated that the main control valve was defective; it was replaced. The contact later began having issues with the brakes as they locked up when the contact applied them to avoid a deer. The vehicle crashed into the woods as a result. A police report was filed. The contact sustained neck injuries. The contact was informed that the ABS tone ring seal had cracked; it was repaired. The failure continued and the dealer then replaced the tone ring and sensor. Months later, the brakes began to grab. The entire brake assembly was replaced four times. Furthermore, the contact noticed that the electrical system was defective. The switch assist in all doors was replaced in 2005. In 2011, the contact had the same failure with the switch for the driver side mirror. The dealer replaced the switch on the driver side mirror and checked the latches on the doors because the door light was constantly illuminated. The dealer also replaced all the sensor assists for the doors. The door ajar light was still illuminated. The failure mileage was 4,400 and the current mileage was 72,000.

- Egg Harbor Township, NJ, USA

problem #253

Dec 122010

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
Ford winstar will not stay in park.

- Gardner, KS, USA

problem #252

Apr 262010


  • 155,000 miles


The contact owns a 1998 Ford Windstar. The contact was driving 25 mph when the transmission failed and the vehicle would no longer operate. The vehicle was towed to the contacts residence and the dealer was contacted. The dealer advised that there were no recalls and they were unable to assist. The manufacturer was contacted and offered no assistance. The failure mileage was 155,000.

- Upper Sandusky, OH, USA

problem #251

Sep 102010

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 161,000 miles
Transmission: 1998 Ford Windstar mini van: While trying to turn around in a driveway, I put it in reverse and there was not a reverse or drive gears, nothing. The motor revved, but could not move. I was stranded with no warning. Had to have it towed since it would not move. After doing research online, other owners, this is a common problem with the Ford Windstar mini van. I feel this is definitely a safety hazard. I agree with so many more consumers, why hasn't this been in a recall. It is very, very dangerous, since it just stops without any warning or problems. I realize it is too late for me since mine is in the shop already. However, I am on a limited income and probably will loose the vehicle due to no funds for the repair. If it had been on a recall, this would not have happened. This is my first Ford vehicle and more than likely, will be my last! please do your own research and you will see how common this problem has been. Thank you

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #250

Sep 232009


  • 104,000 miles
1998 Ford Windstar transmission fluid leaking out under the motor.

- Boston, MA, USA

problem #249

Jun 252009


  • 110,000 miles


1998 Ford Windstar transmission failed. No warning, no problems prior to failure.

- Pickens, SC, USA

problem #248

Jan 232009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 124,528 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Ford Windstar. The contact observed red liquid leaking from the vehicle while attempting to park. Through online research, she discovered NHTSA campaign id number 97V097000 (power train:automatic transmission), but was unaware if her VIN was included in the recall or if previous recall repairs had been performed. The failure and current mileages were 124,528. Updated 02/24/09. Updated 02/24/09.

- Philadelphi, PA, USA

problem #247

Sep 032008


  • 113,000 miles
1998 Windstar, transmission failure, complete overhaul, $1700 dollars, the van was bought for my mother, she's 81, the van was thought to be dependable and left her on the road. Mechanic said the planetary gears were shot, new gears and torque converter, complete overhaul. The van was owned by my mother in law, bought new, when she passed away I gave it to my mother, two women drivers, over 60 years of age, so there was no abuse to the van, always taken to a mechanic for oil changes and maintenance, ,,what gives...

- Oak View, CA, USA

problem #246

Jul 052008


  • miles
I have a 1998 Ford Windstar van sv, I ave some transmission issues. I have to have a whole transmission overhaul done. I fount out that alot of the other owners of this type of vehicle has suffered the same. What we have fount out is that that model of vans have default transmissions in them. I want to know if I could at least have the transmission repaired or to know any information that will help.

- Delcity, OK, USA

problem #245

Jul 222008


  • 110,000 miles


I bought a 1998 Ford Windstar 3.0 L in 1999. In 2002 I received a recall to install front shields over the coil spring so I did. Yesterday the front coil spring punctured the front tire and broke the struts as well. When calling Ford, they inform me that they can not tell me when my vehicle was manufactured, just that they will do nothing about it. They issued the warranty for 10 years from manufacturer date even though the recall did not take place until 3-4 years after manufacture date and I took my vehicle in for the recommended cure to the problem.

- Middletown, OH, USA

problem #244

Jan 022008

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
My 1998 Ford Windstar has broken both right and left coil springs. I've had to replace the transmission, my ABS and regular brake light won't go away even after servicing. My overdrive light keeps coming on and staying lit for days.

- Roanoke, VA, USA

problem #243

Nov 022007

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The contact owns a 1998 Ford Windstar. While driving at an unknown speed, the contact noticed smoke. She parked the vehicle, checked under the hood, and found that it was very hot and smelled like burned rubber. Fifteen minutes later, there was an engine fire underneath the hood. The vehicle was destroyed. A fire report was filed. NHTSA campaign id number 97V097000 (power train:automatic transmission) was referenced. The purchase date, powertrain, and mileages were unknown. Updated 04-08-08 updated 04/08/08

- Athens, GA, USA

problem #242

Jan 272007

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,764 miles
Front stabilizer bar broke in half inside bushing none of the auto techs could find the problem for the part 2 years (not even during NY state inspections) so they past the van anyways untill finally one gave a tug on the passangers side of the bar and it came out of the bushing in their hands the tech said he never saw a bar break like that before and that was the cause for having to get the wheel hubs lowerball joints &tie rod ends replaced twice in one year along with the tires on the front of the van so the van sits in the drive way untill it can get fixed (finding the bar is the hard part)dealer said he could not locate one now what"??? any help would be greatly apreshiated also the dealer had to replace the tranny 4 times once about every 12000-17000 miles and one of the trannys only lasted for 325 miles before the van died on the NY state thruway on our way to Canada from syracuse, N.Y. then it took the 5 weeks to fix the van and get it back to me so how could I be sure that the breaking of the sawy bar was not caused from the techs removing the unit X amount of times??????????"along with the tie rods, wheel hubs, ect.

- Syracuse, NY, USA

problem #241

Aug 152006

Windstar 6-cyl

  • miles
1998 Windstar jerks when down shifting.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #240

Oct 102006

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles
: the contact stated a burning smell was present after the vehicle was parked. Upon inspection, there was transmission fluid on the ground of the driveway. Underneath the vehicle there was fluid leaking out of the servo cover of the transmission. The dealer was contacted and faxed a copy of the NHTSA recall #97V097000. The contact was told that the transmission mechanic stated there was no recalls pertaining to the servo cover and there were never any vehicles repaired at that dealership according to the NHTSA recall. When the dealer was asked to fix the vehicle based on the recall, the contact was told the information meant nothing to them. The manufacturer was contacted who expressed that they could not authorized repairs for the vehicle under the NHTSA recall.

- Scottsdale, AZ, USA

problem #239

Aug 052005

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,101 miles
Transmission was slow going into gear, was very noisy and would not shift it finally locked up in gear and would not move. It was towed in to a repair shop and I was told the transmission was bad. The van has only 46,000 miles on it. A 30,000 dollar car should last longer than this.

- Holland, MI, USA

problem #238

May 282005

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5 miles
Van will stall when decelerating into a turn, ocurrs 2-3 times per week. Automatic transmission failed at 84,000 miles costng $1,700 to repair. Van would vibrate and stutter when aceelerating from a complete stop. Had van to dealer 3-4 times for stalling problem, they claimed they could find nothing wrong.

- North Huntington, PA, USA

problem #237

May 102004

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The contact states while driving for about five or ten miles, if the contact goes to make a right turn or stop, the vehicle will stall. This occurs while decelerating. He states that everything works fine while he is driving the vehicle. It just when he goes to stop that he has the problems. He took the vehicle to his personal mechanic, and they replaced the idle control, and cleaned the injectors. However, vehicle still has this problem. The vehicle shuts off with no warning. It will start back up as soon as it stalls when he puts it in park. The contact states that this has happened more than 100 times. Vehicle has automatic transmission. The vehicle is regularly maintained. It started about a year ago and it wouldn't do it all the time and now it is doing almost every time you slow down. Has came very close to causing an accident.

- West Valley City , UT, USA

problem #236

Feb 262005


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
1998 Ford Windstar transmission malfunctioned while driving at 55 mph. The consumer had the transmission replaced 2 1/2 years ago.

- Lansdowne , PA, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?