really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
155,000 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (2 reports)
1998 Ford Windstar transmission problems

transmission problem

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1998 Ford Windstar Owner Comments

problem #2

Apr 102012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,000 miles


i bought a 98 ford windstar 1 wk ago. the trans was working great, then i hit a couple of bumps, drove a little further, parked, got back in & it wouldn't go in drive or reverse. pushed it home.i checked the trans axles on both sides, was told they were good. took the trans pan off, no slivers, got another filter. (NO LUCK) can anyone help? THANKS

- , Taylor, MI, USA

problem #1

Dec 262011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

I will start off by saying, that we had just purchased this 1998 Ford Windstar in Oct. 2011 due to replace a 2000 Ford Windstar thats transmission went out on me in June. Not that I'm particularly fond of Ford Windstars, but I have a severely handicapped child who uses a wheelchair, and I can fit her wheelchair in the back of these vans. Anyway, the transmission problem with the 2000 Ford was that it wouldn't hold transmission fluid. So we ended up getting the 1998 Ford Windstar since I NEEDED a vehicle.

On Dec. 26, 2011 it was a cold, wet, rainy day but I had taken 3 of my children out to the store to do some after Christmas shopping and let them spend Christmas money. I had stopped at a convenience store and when I got back into the vehicle and started it up and put it into Drive....nothing happened. It would not move at all. I then put it in reverse, and nothing happened. I shut the vehicle off and restarted it and tried again both in Drive and Reverse and nothing happened. The van just would not move. I ended up having to call my husband to come pick me and all the kids up. While we are waiting for him to come, I start my van up again (it was cold sitting in it waiting), and I decided to put it into drive one more time. Surprisingly it worked this time and we started to move. So I'm quickly trying to call my husband back to tell him it was working and no need for him to come in. However, I barely get pulled out of the convenience store parking lot onto the road and drive a few feet when the van continued with the motor running but would not move. Luckily I was able to coast it off into a business parking lot. So my husband ended up coming to pick us up. He wanted to see what it was doing. So since it had had time to sit, I started it up and did a partial circle in the business parking lot. The van stopped moving part way into the circle I was driving for my husband. This is how it continues to do----it will start to move forward when in drive and after a short time just quit moving.

I was talking to a neighbor of mine who was telling me that she knew someone who had this problem. Our problems sounded identical. She told me that Ford was doing a recall and it was a torque converter problem. Unfortunately, Ford is only recalling 2004-2005 Ford Freestars and Mercury Montereys. What is up with that?

Here is a copy/paste of that notice from this website http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2012/01/ford-recalls-450426-minivans-and-suvs-for-brake-fluid-leaks-and-weak-torque-converter-output-shafts.html

205,896 model year 2004-2005 Ford Freestars and Mercury Montereys are being brought in by Ford because of a weak torque converter output shaft which is at risk of failing. If this shaft is compromised the driver of the vehicle will experience a sudden loss of all drive power with no warning. This recall is expected to begin the second calendar quarter of 2012

- , Jadwin, MO, USA

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