really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
119,551 miles
Total Complaints:
100 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace the rear axle (38 reports)
  2. not sure (33 reports)
  3. replace with a used rear axle (11 reports)
  4. replace rear axle (9 reports)
  5. car totaled in accident from failure (2 reports)
  6. check ford.com for recall (2 reports)
2000 Ford Windstar drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2000 Ford Windstar Owner Comments (Page 3 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #60

Apr 302010

Windstar SEL V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,846 miles


I was in NEUTRAL rolling down my driveway ( as I always do ) when the rear axle snapped in my 2000 FORD Windstar SEL. I thought I had hit something - only to find the rear axle snapped - near the centre, slightly to the left side. This is suppose to be a 5 star vehicle !!!!!!!! I was quite content with it till now. I no longer feel safe with my family in it; therefore, I am now selling it. I called my FORD dealership to inform them of this problem and they deemed they never heard of it.

I am very fortunate to have this happen when it did. I could have been on the highway or stranded somewhere far from home. Time to get rid of my FORD VAN !!!!

- , Windsor, Ontario, Canada

problem #59

Apr 292010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

Just had my power steering leak fixed. Three brand new tires. ABS light was on but feeling good about the car overall. Driving down the street when THUNK and the car just stopped!! I was on my way to the doctors in Boston. 40 miles away and I would have been doing 65 on the Southeast Expressway. THANK THE DEAR LORD it happened down the street. Have had my 2000 Windstar for two years. I hope this does not cost an arm and a leg! My son just got his license last month. I can't even begin to think if he had it out driving what might have happened. Frightning!!!!!

- , Scituate, MA, USA

problem #58

Oct 152009

Windstar SE 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,000 miles

click to see larger images

rear axle failure rear axle failure rear axle failure rear axle failure rear axle failure rear axle failure

Axle went last year ,went out but a used one from another 2000 winstar 8 months later same problem, same location, cracked again, from what i been seeing this is a common problem 99 to 2003 ,talk about a safety issue! if this breaks through on a hwy ,theres gona be some big problems, ford is gona be on the front page of the news for sure! they know theres a problem but i guess they are waiting for someone to get killed before they do anything about it! sad,

my fix for this problem was replacing the axle with a 1996 axle which is a lot beefier! has supports and added beam under the axle.

this is a defect and should be replaced!!!!! a complaint was put in by me!

- , Fairless Hills, PA, USA

problem #57

Apr 262010

Windstar 3.6L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,456 miles


I just bought a 2000 Ford Windstar Select about 1 year ago. Real nice leather interior, auto everything even the doors. I have a 1,2, and 9 year old so I neede the van. Went through the auto check system and the vehicle scored an 80!! Since I bought it the locks, doors, diver seat controls, et. basically anything electronical has malfunctioned.

Now just yesterday I am pulling into my drive (which is all paved) my rear axel snaps in half. It F*ing SNAPPED IN HALF, IT SNAPPED THE FK IN HALF!!!!!! WITH MY KIDS IN THE CAR. I live in apartments wher they all drive like Mario Andrette and I'm sittin in the middle of a blind corner people fly around with my kids in the car. I'm in a dimension of P***ED off I never knew existed. Needless to say I had to back my van in broken axel and all. And what do you know a car flies by nearly hitting me. If I found out it was a mechanical error someones catching all hell.

- , Athens, OH, USA

problem #56

Mar 102010

Windstar SEL 3.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 191,221 miles

Actually I wanted to add my complaint to the LIST of Broken Axel. This sounds like a lot of coincidence, I also live in PA and the car started vibrating alot on a return trip from South Carolina, at 63 mph. I could go faster and it would stop vibrating. Of course now that appears to have been very dangerous, I took it in to my mechanic: checked and balanced the entire front end, proceeded to transmission shop, checked drive axles, another shop and remounted summer tires. After tires were installed, started to hear a crunching, gnawing sound from rear, two days later, beginning another 8 hour trip - wife says the back tires are slanted? Looked under and found broken axel. Found a 2003 for $ 175, should be going in the shop next Tuesday March 30, 2010. Thankyou for all the help, also I filed on the National Safety, thanks again for everyones help.

- , Hollidaysburg, PA, USA

problem #55

Apr 162010

Windstar LX 3.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 141,024 miles

2000 Winstar LX miles 141,000. Rear axle snapped in two on the drivers side about a foot from the left rear wheel assembly. Just exited the freeway way when axle broke. From what I'm reading this is a fairly common and possibly deadly problem. Anyone aware of any injuries or fatalities? Its time for action before someone gets killed, if that hasn't happened already. I will be contacting Ford Motor Co for their response, then file a complaint with NHTSA. If this does not get resolved the next course of action will be to explore a class action lawsuit. Has anyone started litigation? I'm not doing this for personal reimbursement but rather to get this problem fixed before someone gets killed.


Dan M.

- , Swartz Creek, MI, USA

problem #54

Apr 102010

Windstar 3.1L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles


we was driving down the road me and my family and we hit a bump and then the car started shaking and there was a lot of smoke. We was stranded on a bridge because of the failed driver side rear axel had broken. We was all very awe struck by the occurrence that had taken place.

- , Zanesville, OH, US

problem #53

Mar 302010

Windstar LX 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 122,000 miles

I was loading my wife, 3 kids and the dog into the van to take them down to the jersey shore. Once everyone was loaded I closed the left sliding door and noticed the left rear wheel was leaning in at the top. I had everyone get out and start loading the other car while I jacked it up to see what was wrong. That is when I noticed a large crack in the rear axle about 12-18 inches from the left wheel. It was cracked all the way through with maybe a 1/4 of steel holding it together. I thought it may have been caused by a pothole, but after reading all these complaints, I am having second thoughts.

Thankfully, I have not read of anyone being injured or killed from this defect, but what will it take to get Ford to own up to this problem. I am glad I noticed it before we got on the highway.

- , Morton, PA, USA

problem #52

Mar 222010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 134,000 miles

I have already posted about my complaint. As you have all mentioned, Ford needs for recognize this is a serious problem before someone dies. I emailed Ford(off of Ford.com), filed a complaint on nhtsa.gov and also wrote my congressmen who has ties with Ray LaHood (head of Dept of Transportation). I encourage you all to do the same so Ford will step up and correct this problem!

- , Peoria, IL, USA

problem #51

Mar 222010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 134,000 miles

I bought my 2000 Ford Windstar a few years ago. I haven't really had any issues with it. We have gone on a few long distance vacations in it. Recently, we went to Disneyworld, which was a 2200 mile round trip. On our way home we noticed that the van was not driving well and we would hear a loud clunk when we would turn the corner. I took the car to my mechanic when we got home. I was hoping it was some minor problem, but it was a cracked rear axle. I have looked into this and everyone I have seen has the exact same crack in their axle, it is the rear axle on the drivers side. What is it going to take for Ford to man up and realize this is a problem. I drive 3 kids around in this van... we could have DIED!

- , Peoria, IL, USA

problem #50

Mar 202010

Windstar SEL 3.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 180,000 miles


Ford needs to step up and do the right thing. Ford needs to recall these windstars before people get killed. At this point with this many complaints Ford is willfully ignoring the issue and they should be held accountable for any injuries or deaths that result from these axle failures. I have 17 year old twins that were using the Windstar as their vehicle. As a parent, it would have been nice to know that the Windstar had such a potential fatal flaw. Shame on Ford. We were lucky. My son was using the van and told me it was driving funny and making weird noises. It took me a while but I finally found the problem and there was a major crack in the rear axle. FORD DO THE RIGHT THING AND LET PEOPLE KNOW THERE IS A PROBLEM!

- , Mansfield, MA, USA

problem #49

Mar 172010

Windstar LE 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

My husband was on his way home from work. Working 56 miles from home. He called me on his way home and said "he cant drive the van any further". Tow truck took the van to mechanic. The mechanic said rear axle is cracked!! So now we are finding how to fix the problem!!

- , Mcdonough, GA, USA

problem #48

Feb 212010

Windstar SE 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,000 miles

2000 Ford Windstar and rear axle beam almost broke into. No exterior damage, didn't hit anything just broke. Seems to be a huge problem with this vehicle. Where is the Recall at. Sorry NHTSA but would rather have sticky gas pedal that I can somewhat control over a snapped axle at highway speed any day. Thank god I was just barely moving around 10 mph. I have a Wife and 5 kids and if this would have happened on interstate we would probably all be dead now. Where's the outrage at over this, where's the recall. Come on Ford own up to your, what could very well have been FATAL, Faulty product. Fix your vehicles.

- , Greenup, KY, USA

problem #47

Feb 092010

Windstar LX 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 141,000 miles

THIS IS A VERY SERIOUS - POTENTIALLY VERY DANGEROUS PROBLEM. My wife was driving home from bible study when she called me to describe how the car would hardly move when she pressed on the accelerator. Later that evening, when I returned home, I noticed that the rear wheels were bowed inward at the top, and outward at the bottom. I looked under neath and noticed that the rear axle had broken.

I looked online the next day to see if there had been any other such problems with other Windstars, and that is when I ran across this website. One consistency that I have noticed is that all of us complaining are in the northern part of the country! I happen to live in both Pittsburgh, PA and Columbia, SC. When I contacted dealerships here in the south, none of them had ever heard of such a thing, and were almost unaccepting of my issue. No problem. I also contacted Ford headquarters to inquire about other such issues. They didn't (wouldn't) acknowledge any other such complaints. I am going to taking this further because of the very first statement that I made in this posting.

Now, as far as the fixing part, I am involved in racing, and a very above average Saturday/Shadetree mechanic, so I was able to purchase a used rear end for $200.00 here in South Carolina. I replaced the defective rear axle in approximately six hours, (three 2 hour sessions over a three day period) some of which was time spent chasing tools that I have at our home in Pgh., but not here in SC. If I ever have to do it again which I hope never, I could do it in slightly less time, and in one day. I had to wait 2 days for the salvage yard to get it off of the other vehicle.

It is not a difficult job if you are an average Saturday/Shadetree mechanic. If you are not of that caliber, I would not suggest that you attempt to repair it yourself. The only tools that I used were 19, 15, 13, 12, 10 and 8 mm sockets, two pairs of pliers, 1 large and 1 small flathead screwdriver, needlenose pliers, a small breaker bar, and new brake fluid, because you'll need to unhook the rear brakelines, and there will be a small loss of brake fluid, so you'll need to bleed the rear brakes.

If any one wants to attempt the project, contact me at tkbradford@netzero.com


- , Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #46

Jan 292010

Windstar LX 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

This is not something that should fail under any normal usage or mileage. Luckly it did not break when the problem started showing or I would most likely be dead. This is definitely something ford should look at fixing

- , Philadelphia, PA, US

problem #45

Mar 022010

Windstar 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

We are lucky no one was killed. I am going to have it towed to my mechanic so he can access the damage, and then I am taking these pics to the Ford dealer I bought the thing from and raise hell.

Update from Mar 9, 2010: My mechanic replaced the rear axle, both shocks, and the drivers side rear wheel and tire. Unfortunately the thing snapped so bad that when it broke it flattened the tire and the rear end just drug on the ground. All this including labor was $1100.

- , Merrimack, NH, USA

problem #44

Mar 082010

Windstar LX 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,919 miles

My wife told me there was a "clunk" in the rear of the van when she hit bumps, and the van swerved around after the bumps. Have hac problems with the front sway bar bushings, so I figured the rear one were bad, but when I looked under the van, the rear axle is broken almost all the way thru! It is about 2 feet in from the left (drivers side) end, just like most of the reports here. I will be having it fixed--was planning on a used one, but I'm not sure thats a good idea after seeing how many complaints of this issue. I will also report to the natsb.

Update from Mar 17, 2010: Update, called dealer I bought van from, was told there is no recall at this time, but they seemed aware of the problem. The service manager transfered me to the parts manager. He priced a new axle at $550, but also told me that the part # for the 2000 and 2001's were updated to the part # for the 2003 models. Said if I bought a used part I should get one from a 2003 model, eluded to the idea that a new part # would be a changed part that would have the problem fixed. I bought a used part from a 2003 model for $165 from large salvage yard, had my mechanic put it in-charged me $135, van fixed for $300!. will up date if any problems.

- , Granger, IN, USA

problem #43

Feb 132010

Windstar LX 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 189,000 miles

I had just had my car serviced at the dealer a few days before for worn sway bars and bushings. I started to back out of my driveway when i heard something snap and started to hear metal dragging. I pulled back into the driveway and looked under the car to find that the rear axle had snapped inabout the center of the axle. I had my Windstar towed into the dealer to find out what happened and was told that the axle had snapped. I asked them if there was any signs of wear and was told no. When I asked if FORD was aware of this issue or if there was any sort of a recall I was told that the manufacturers warranty was 3 years or 36,000 miles. Obviously I am well over that but this seems to be a safety issue and based on what I have seen I am not the first to report this issue.

- , Pingree Grove, IL, USA

problem #42

Jul 072008

Windstar LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 109,000 miles

click to see larger images

rear axle failure rear axle failure

This was my FIRST 2000 Windstar. During routine maintenance in July 2008, with about 109,000 miles on it, mechanic noticed axle was about to snap into two pieces. The day before I had driven friends to the airport, thank God we're still here. Anyhow, mechanic had never seen anything like it, I called Ford, they said it must be just an isolated incident. I took the whole piece to show the dealer and the guy was a complete &&^%#$, First he said I could have done this by overloading the car. It's a freakin mini van! the most we ever had in it was 7 people, and four of them were really really small. geez. then he saw my trailer hitch and said I must have done it because I'm towing something. I said in eight years, we had taken our small popup out about once a year.Or less. I said three separate mechanics I knew told me that I couldn't have done this, that it was some type of defect. He said, really snidely, "maybe your mechanic friends should come get jobs as engineers for Ford!" Jerk. So I forgot about it until I had to get another mini van ... which will be followed in my next complaint.

- , Neptune City, NJ, USA

problem #41

Feb 102010

Windstar LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,000 miles

So, this is my second complaint about a rear axle split in a 2000 Ford Windstar. Fixed it the first time in 2008, Ford and dealer insisted I did it. So, later that year, my dopey son wrecked it. With insurance settlement, I found a used 2000 Windstar, clear Carfax, only 50,000 miles, great! I took it, 15 months later, my mechanic found the same defect in the same area, rear axle was about to break into two pieces about 1 1/2 to 2 feet in from the driver's side rear tire. He checks windstars from around that time to see if there are problems and spotted two others with similar wearings or breakages. The guy who delivered the part to fix this one (because of course Ford and the dealer both insist they've never heard of this) told my mechanic this was the fourth he had delivered this week alone.

I reported this on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Web site and found dozens more in each of the 2000 and 2001 Windstars ... same place, same wear-down and breakages. Some people said it happened while they were driving. Add complaints to that Web site, the NHTSA can initiate a recall.

When I bought my first Windstar, the dealer, seeing me with little kids, kept talking about how it had the highest safety ratings. Yeah, just wait till 10 years or 100,000 miles, you're gonna be in big trouble if it splits on a high-speed roadway.

- , Neptune City, NJ, USA

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