really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
102,574 miles
Total Complaints:
140 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace transmission (55 reports)
  2. Ford should recall it (38 reports)
  3. not sure (24 reports)
  4. completely rebuilt (15 reports)
  5. got rid of vehicle (8 reports)
2000 Ford Windstar transmission problems

transmission problem

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2000 Ford Windstar Owner Comments (Page 4 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #80

Feb 202010

Windstar SEL 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 224,000 miles


I got a call about the van i have in my name that my mom uses saying that the tranny failed for no reason. she was driving normal on her way to a birthday party and all the gears went at once so i think it is a manufacturer defect due to no signal of a possible problem. fine one day and failed the next is not a coincidence and that is why karma has bit ford in the bud and will continue to.

- , Bemidji, MN, USA

problem #79

Feb 172010

Windstar LS 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,500 miles

Well, here we go again. (See Complaint #53) I was driving home from work when the O/D light started flashing and the check transmission warning was displayed. I pulled over at the next light and shut off the vehical and restarted it again. The light went off and I was on my way. A mile later it did the same thing. Both times the transmission seemed fine with no indication of failure. I was able to get home without further issue. The next morning I drove it about 5 miles when it happened again so I called our local Ford Service Department (I have them on speed dial) and headed straight there. Again there was no physical inication of a problem. The light remains off when you first start it and get up to highway speed. It comes on when you slow to 40 mph. Everytime it was when I slowed to 40 mph. I thought it was a problem with the speed senser. Since it seems to run fine other than the warning.

They pulled it into the shop and ran a code test which indicates a serious internal problem. And that is where the fun begins: As you can see we were a few hundred miles from home when the first trasmission failed so we had it replace by a Ford authorized garage. It was factory remanufactured so it came with a 36 month / 100000 mile warranty through Ford 100% parts and labor. I provided the paperwork to the service department while it was being tested. They came back and said I did NOT have a valid warranty. I was shocked... WTF? They said it was "not registered in the system" and that I needed to contact the garage that installed it to provide a sales receipt from the dealership that sold it to them. I told them that was not my problem and that was an internal problem with Ford. I had all of the required paperwork that had the serial number and warranty number on it. I contacted the garage and they said they do not have a computer and would have to contact thier accountant to go throught all the receipts from 2008 to find it. They got on it right away. In the mean time the local dealer said they would not touch the vehicle until they have solid proof. Then they came back and said they think it was rebuilt not remanufactured. That would mean the warranty was 12 month / 12,000 miles. It has 14 mo / 18,000 on the transmission. The paperwork clearly indicates it is remanufactured 3 yr / 100K.

By this time I had a major headache from the stress. I contacted my wife, who works at a law office. One of the attornys was salivating to get a piece of both parties. I allowed them to work with each other overnight. Finally they got it straight and I am covered under the warranty. I have been advised that they could not get to it until later next week. Even though it felt like it is running fine they would void the warranty if I took it off the lot. I feel another headache coming on... I will update when I find out the news next week.

- , Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #78

Dec 152000

Windstar LX 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,275 miles

I was driving my two young boys to school, and after I just turned left on a busy, steep street, my POS 2002 Ford Windstar shook, and made a loud noise. I screeched, "What was that"! I pushed down on the gas pedal, because cars come up fast on you on this road, and it hardly would go. I then shouted "What the hell"! , as my poor yound kids were starting to freak. I quickly put on my hazard lights, and got over as soon as it was clear. Luckily, I was just close enough to drop off the kids at a shortcut, back entrance. My kids were really scared, and I could have been hit from behind.

I had to get my car towed to my mechanic, and surprise, surprise, it was my transmission, and would cost around $2,700 to replace. My car only has 81,275 miles on it, and I have had MANY issues with it, (head gasket problems, and numerous check engine light, can't even remember what else, it's been so many). I have sank tons of money on this car, since I purchased it in 2002. So, I decided, hell with paying that much money to replace the transmission and have something else go wrong with it in a few months. So, I am now going to buy a HONDA, will never buy a Ford again! Oh, did I mention that my heater hasn't worked in almost two years, and I have to manually lock/unlock the driver's door. I didn't want to fix those two things because it was just going to be more money, and I just knew that it would not be worth it on this car. Boy, was I right! Ford, if your reading this, shame on you for making a car with so many problems. You are just shooting yourself in the foot, because less and less people will buy your cars.

- , San Diego, CA, USA

problem #77

Oct 172009

Windstar LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles


My mom bought the car for me in 2003 and even though I knew FORD stood for Found On Road Dead or Fix Or Repair Daily, I was still happy to have transportation. In the first couple of months the engine light appeared several times which resulted in me sitting at the very undesirable dealership multiple times for multiple hours. One time the light reappeared prior to me leaving their lot. This should have been my eye opener right here. My ABS light has been on as long as I have had the car, I see it as an accessory kinda like the radio...LOL My headlights and brake lights have recently been playing a sick game called: Guess who's blowing out next??? for the past year, and now the transmission is failing. Everything seems to work just fine except for DRIVE! After reading other complaints and experiences on here I really don't think it is work fixing, however I do love Winnie we have been through a lot together so who knows where we go from here.

- , Washington, DC, USA

problem #76

Nov 212009

Windstar SEL 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 155,273 miles

this is the second time this piece of sh*t broke. Now its worse than the first time. a year and two months later BAM again Ford you suck, we should make them pay back all our tax money that stupid congress gave those f*%#ing idiots. Most of us live paycheck to paycheck and cannot afford a new car or repairs like this, especially with the holidays coming up. All without warning, now I got to figure out how to get to work and which bills to skip to pay for this AGAIN. THANKS FORD . I should take this van to ford executives, and drive it where the good lord split them. Oh yea, hey ford a*holes, My kids said thanks for a great christmas. RECALL THE DAMN THING, if ford cant afford to fix the problems with all its piece of shts, then sell your private jets do something right in your life you greedy rich pieces of sh*t. 1 year or 13000 mile warranty (the 5 year warranty cost too much)

- , Deltona, FL, USA

problem #75

Sep 082008

Windstar SEL 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 149,126 miles

bought vehicle used, was well maintained by the only previous owner. only had it one month and bam, transmission went. had rebuilt transmission put in with one year 13,000 mile warranty... already living paycheck to paycheck. after reading all complaints wonder why Ford doesn't have to pay for this sh*t. read next complaint from me

- , Deltona, FL, USA

problem #74

Oct 102009

Windstar LE 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles


I have had this van only 2 years and my wife was coming home from work an lost all gears including reverse. My mechnic told me that this is a comon problem it is due to a snap ring that holds the clutch plate in place when this breaks all the clutch plates slant over and won't ingage. In order to fix this problem it needs to be rebuilt using a stronger snap ring not one from a Ford rebuild kit.

- , Brazil, IN, US

problem #73

Oct 222009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

OMG! I had absolutely NO warning that there was a transmission problem...no slippage, NOTHING! I was driving on a 2 lane back road to get my son from school and it just STOPPED...it acted like it had just went into neutral. I managed to get a little ways off the road (but was still about 3/4 of the way on the road) before I started to rage! The only gear that worked was reverse. After getting towed home, I talked to some other Windstar owners and found out that the same (or similar) thing had happened to them. I have already dumped about $1000 in it in the last month for other, unrelated issues and this was the last straw. I went out Saturday and just bought a new car. This was the first Ford I have ever owned, and there have been multiple issues with it from the get-go...it will be the LAST Ford I ever own!

- , Mason, OH, USA

problem #72

May 212008

Windstar LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,000 miles

Like others no warning came off interstate let my wife off at front door of restaurant stepped on gas --nothing -had to get it towed 50 miles home. After repair continued to have problem -brought it in 7 times until finally the Ford dealer found broke every piece inside the NEW transmission- car has been a POS I drive 30k a year & buy vans (need for my wheelchair) every 3 years with 60-70 k on them & have never had a van with this much trouble. every month the check engine light comes on and there's another emission control problem. Now I'm having a problem with fuses and taillights/brake lights going out. drivers seat worn out with 135 k back electric window has broken bracket, ABS light on since I bought it but mechanics cannot find any problem. rear tailgate pistons need to be replaced --a never ending story -no more Fords -toyota or Kia from now on

- , Lilburn, GA, USA

problem #71

Sep 042009

Windstar ES 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,565 miles

Transmission completely failed. There should have been a recall for the number of transmissions that have been reported on the web.

- , Freelton, Ontario, Canada

problem #70

Jul 082007

Windstar SE 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles


I was amazed when I saw how many other 2000 Windstar owners also had transmission problems.

While on a family vacation out of state in July 2007, smoke began pouring out from under the hood and the O/D light was flashing. I pulled over at the first exit, and opened the hood to find transmission fluid all over the engine compartment. The vehicle was towed 90 miles to a transmission repair facility near my home. They installed a factory rebuilt transmission at a $2500.00 charge with a one year warranty. I didn't think it was that bad for a vehicle with 120K miles on it.

However, two years later, at 145K miles, the transmission has begun to hesitate and won't shift into 4th gear without pumping the gas pedal. The O/D light is also blinking intermittently.

I considered repairing the transmission again, but after reading all of these complaints, I may have an ideal candidate for the cash for clunkers program.

- , Glastonbury, CT, USA

problem #69

Oct 112008

Windstar LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

This car/van is a piece of junk! We are the original owners and have had it serviced so many times that we are not planning on fixing it this time. We purchased the extended warranty only to find out that the problems we were having (stalling while going into a turn, stalling at a stop light) were not covered. We had the same exact problem fixed twice (of course, the dealers said it was different parts for each problem) and in October it just clunked into gear for the last time. Now it is sitting in our driveway getting pushed in and out of the way with our John Deere mower! Not sure what we are going to do but one this is for sure...we are NEVER buying another Ford. (We had a 1990 Thunderbird that we drove for 18 years...yes we put an engine and a tranny into that as well).

- , Conroe, TX, USA

problem #68

Aug 022009

Windstar SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,000 miles

Another member has just joined the Ford Windstar transmission sinking ship. My vehicle started acting up last night, slowly slipping into park. Today while coming home from the gym had it in park, then reverse and drive and once in drive it would hardly move. Not sure if I was going to make it home. Had to go out again, but it's stuck in park. Won't move. Luckily, I'm at home. Like all of you, I followed the manufactuer' s maintenance requirements. The car only had 77,000 miles on it. I am probably going to take your advice and sent the car off to the graveyard. Oh, last year I had a new headgasket put in at the tune of 1,500. What a waste. I was hoping to get at least 150,000 out of the thing. No more Fords for me.

- , Ephrata, PA, US

problem #67

Jul 182009

Windstar 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,600 miles

Our Ford Windstar 2000 3.0L has 57,600 miles and the transmission recently went out. We were at a stop sign and when we attempted to drive again the van jolted like someone hit us from behind and then the van would not drive in any gear but reverse. The van needed to be towed. The transmission was beyond repair and we received a factory re manufactured trans. The mechanic discovered that the oil pan gasket was leaking and could burst any time causing more damage. We replaced the gasket. Total cost was $2524.90. We are the original owners of the van and have always maintained it at FORD Dealer. Changed oil every 5,000 miles and checkup as directed in owner's manual. My car is no longer under warranty. We should not have to replace transmission at 57,600 miles. FORD need to see all this complaints and do something about this . Ford Windstar is a lemon car and need to be recall by FORD.

I am looking for another car, but not orf FORD ! I am done with FORD.

- , Offutt AFB, NE, USA

problem #66

Jun 092009

Windstar SEL 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,000 miles

I am one of the many who experienced the same problem. Stop at a light, step on the throttle and POP goes the tranny. Towed to a repair shop. Tear down tranny to discover intermediate drum had failed. Turns out they spot weld the gear to the drum and it fails over time. Replacement completely re-designed. Gear now has a bearing instead of a bushing and is backed up on other side by a hub connecting the gear to the drum. Called Ford to inquire about a courtesy adjustment due to the fact this was a design defect and not a wear out failure. Basically told by Ford Motor Company to go sh*t in my hat it's not their problem. and they wonder why everyone is not buying American cars.

Everyone who has experienced this problem needs to contact Ford many times in writing to lodge a complaint and write to all consumer complaint sites you can find. Maybe they will finally admit their mistake and make good on it.

- , Manchester, NH, USA

problem #65

May 142009

Windstar LX 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

Well I guess I can just add my sad story to the hundreds out there. This is the SECOND TIME the tranny went out in two years. Just like the others, I stopped at a light, heard a loud pop when I started back up and the car would not move. This is no coincidence, now that I have read all the others complaints, and I am not taking it lying down either. This is the email, phone and address of the Ford Motor Company. If all of us deluge this company with our complaints, we cannot be ignored any longer. I'm mad as hell and I'm not backing down!

CEO: Alan R. Mulally Address: 1 American Rd. Dearborn, MI 48126 Phone: 313-322-3000 Website: www.ford.com

And to think they used our tax money to bail these suckers out!

- , Lakeland, FL, USA

problem #64

Apr 052007

(reported on)

Windstar LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,000 miles

I had my Windstar under a year, only about nine months. We bought it the day my son was born (coincidence). I was driving home from work at 2 am. I stopped at a red light, when the light turned green, I hit my gas and it felt like someone had hit me, or I hit something. I put the van in reverse to make sure that I didn't hit anything, and backed up. When I was satisfied that nothing was there, I put it in drive, and it would not move. At 2 am, I had to back it off to the side of the road and WALK to a gas station to call for help. I called Ford and their response was that the warranty ended 6,000 miles ago, not their problem!

We had to finance the repairs, because neither the dealership or Ford would claim responsibility. When I called Ford to argue for their help, they told me that I should have had it taken to a dealership so they could look at it and see if it was due to a defect. I told them that I didn't have $2,000 sitting around waiting to fix a van and I had to take it someplace where we could get it financed. Bottom line, the transmission was NEVER right after that. At 65,000 miles the check engine light came on. Service shop said it was a head gasket. I had to drive this sorry excuse for a car until it had 138,000 miles on it. I understand that cars don't last forever, but no transmission should go out at 42,000 miles.

- , Mt. Sterling, OH, USA

problem #63

Dec 202003

Windstar LX 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,282 miles

transmission went @ 60,000 km no help from dealership or no help from ford Canada...2500 to fix... presently still in use but slowly rusting away ..last ford ever

- , riverview, new brunswiock, Canada

problem #62

Apr 102009

Windstar LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles

My daughter was using our van to take her and the kids home from our house Friday evening. She backed out of the driveway but when she put it in drive, there was a load pop and then nothing. The van would not go forward. She tried D, 3, 2 and 1 but nothing happened. It would work in reverse but nothing in forward. This is the second time in less than 2 years that I have had to have the transmission rebuilt. So many little things have gone wrong with the van also. It seems that as soon as I get one thing fixed some other sensor or valve goes bad. But two transmission rebuilds! I am getting rid of this things as soon as I can. And the big 3 wonder why people buy foreign...

The cost this second time..$!858.00. Thankfully the shop paid the wrecker bill since they felt sorry for me.

- , Laconia, IN, USA

problem #61

Mar 142009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

This is the second time I have had to have this transmission rebuilt, the first time was at 88,000 miles!! Piece of !@!@##. If I didn't have 4 children and actually needed a van, I would push it into the river. How about Ford just figures out how to built good dependable vehicles. I think they should give me a free ford focus, they knew about the problems when they made em.

- , Moline, IL, USA

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