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 5 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #60

Mar 082009

Windstar LX 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 127,231 miles


so, not long after I get the damn thing, the trans finally gives up. F$%& you too ford. Drove to Toronto, no troubles, getting back on the 401 on ramp, trans gives up in the middle of the 3-4 shift, and I get to make use of my RAS to get it towed. 175km. I want FORD to either completely replace the trans at no cost to me, or give me a gently used vehicle that wont strand me almost 200km from home with two other people.

- , London, Ontario, Canada

problem #59

Feb 092009

Windstar LX Sport V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 129,000 miles

We bought our Windstar last April with 111,000 miles. We automatically noticed little issues, but they were somethings we could just get used to. For example the lock actuator were bad and would make this awful noise. Anyway I was taking my oldest son to an important visit when the o/d light starts excessively blinking. I shutoff the van and restarted it and it went away for awhile. We had someone hook it up and check it out and they couldn't find anything wrong with it. Two days later at a stop sign the tranny went out and it would only go in reverse. It was stressful, especially since I have 3 boys and my oldest one has massive health issues and when he needs medical attention I need to get him there fast. Also because my youngest son is a newborn. All this aside, I figured we'd be alright for now because my mom lives close and I can borrow her van if needed. I did yesterday and while on my way to pick up my son from school her 2001 Ford Windstars tranny went out. There was no warning for her van. I stopped at a stop sign and then tried to accelerate and it wouldn't go, then I tried reverse and that didn't work either. Stranded in the middle of the road with a newborn in the back, very cold outside and a child waiting for me to pick him up for an appointment. Couldn't call mom cause I had her vehicle. My husband was at work 30mins away. Two vans lose their transmissions within a few weeks. I'm so angry. This causes so much inconvenience for our families. We already spent our refund to buy my husband a vehicle for work since his old truck as all but fallen apart. I think Ford should have recalled these vans because this is very dangerous not to mention costly. Maybe they would have customers buy more vehicles if they could depend on them. No wonder they are struggling so bad in this economy. The rest of us have to pay for any mistakes we make in our lives regardless of financial ability...why doesn't Ford?

- , Mount Auburn, IA, USA

problem #58

Mar 012009

Windstar LX 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 126,760 miles

Trans started to go after getting it yanked off a snowbank. Possible cause was trying to rock it out at first, overheating may have caused damage. Right now, it moves, but has serious problems. It will go to shift, then not go into gear/slip badly enough for it not to move at all. shutting it off, then starting it up again will get me on my way again for a short while. it shudders during shifting, and once again, on occasion, doesn't seem like it goes into the next gear.

- , London, Ontario, Canada

problem #57

Feb 012009

Windstar LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,000 miles


my dad bought my mom a windstar used a few months ago, they didn't get a chance to put 500 miles on it when my dad was stuk 2 miles from home and @ 76 years old he walked the 2 miles home. i am soooo mad cuz his transmission went out same as everybody else on here a clunk then nothing but reverse. i want all that have problems to get a hold of me because this is a class action suit ford should have recalled the trans this is too coincidental we will all file and get justice my name is mary jeralds write me @ 425 s walnut grove new burnside il 62967. i promise i will fight for every person and ford will pay please send me your letters with all your info.

- , New Burnside, IL, USA

problem #56

Feb 082007

(reported on)

Windstar SE 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,285 miles

I purchased the van in 2002 with 27,000 miles and one month later the transmission started making a loud cracking noise when putting it in drive or reverse from park, also I could feel the transmission slipping and prematurely down shift. Sometimes it would be very difficult to put it in gear or park. I took it to a local ford dealer , paid for the diagnostic, they told me it was still under factory warranty and trans needed to be replaced. I waited 2 weeks while the van was in the shop, went back then they told me the trans specialist said 'HE COULDN'T FIND ANYTHING WRONG, IT IS JUST THE WAY THE TRANS IS. IT'S NORMAL" I will never buy another Ford again! Also there is a mysterious smoking from the radiator which no dealership can identify.

- , Silver Spring, MD, USA

problem #55

Feb 172009

Windstar S 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

I am not happy.This not the first trans.in this van.The first one was rebuilt at79000 miles.The next one was 130000 miles.The price on the first one(2300.00)The next one cost (1400)Call me stupid.I have two much money invested in this van.To sale.One thing i will say is i will not use my money to buy another ford.I have had other problems.the same as the others.intake,ele,ex Im done thank for your time.

- , Louisville, KY, US

problem #54

Jan 062009

Windstar LX 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,510 miles


Yeah, I read the other posts on this site - loud clunk and the van jerking to a halt like it was going over a curb - right in the middle of rush hour traffic on one of the busiest roads in the Washington metro area - right during the worst weather and traffic since who knows when. Only the reverse works.

The 2000 Ford Windstar must be one of the worst lemons Detroit has produced since the Gremlin or the Edsel. The electrical system is totally dysfunctional. The intake manifold has broken twice - $700 each time for repairs. The cooling system sprang a huge leak. And now the transmission goes - at a mere 80,000 miles on a car that has been driven gently and maintained by the book.

I budget 20 cents per mile for repairs and maintenance for a car that is out of warranty. This car has eaten its share and I am not having it fixed again - there are $700 left in the kitty and the repair, as I know thanks to others on this site, can be estimated to cost in the neighborhood of $2000. Let's see if I can find a charity to tow it away - either to fix it or for parts salvage.

In sum, sometime in the late 1990s, Ford went from "Quality is Job 1" to "We Will Do Anything to Increase Our Profit Margins". They pulled this trick on the customers once before, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and were almost killed off by the energy crisis, the Pinto problem, and the Japanese competition back then. Now, I am furious that our politician are again offering these greedy and corrupt companies a bailout at taxpayer expense. It won't help them: not enough people, myself included, will ever buy a Ford, GM, or Chrysler vehicle, ever again. Don't be stupid, either.

- , Bethesda, MD, USA

problem #53

Dec 112008

Windstar LS 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles

Well, here I am sitting in a hotel room 220 miles from home. My family and I were to drive 600 miles to have an early holiday with our extended family. We were about 150 miles from home, while climbing a hill the O/D off light started flashing and the check transmission warning was displayed. We pulled over at the next exit and it so happened to have a Ford dealership there. We thought what good fortune. We had them check it out and they test drove it 7 miles and could duplicate the problem. They said that the transmission should be flushed, serviced and a sealant additive should take care of it. Two hours and $250 later it was done. They took it for another test drive and said it was fine. We were glad to be on the road again. The first hill we climbed one mile down the road the O/D light started flashing again and the Check Transmission warning came back on. We turned around and went back to the dealer. They said to give it time and it should "soften the seals" in a few hundred miles and will be just fine. They gave me there phone number and said to call them if we had any issues. Well 70 miles later, in the pouring rain, we were in the passing lane starting the climb up a small mountain when the RPM went from 2500 to 4500 and I noticed I had no powertrain. Thank God I was able to weave our way over to the right shoulder before running out of forward momentum. I called the dealership and the said "We're sorry to hear that and feel really bad" however there was nothing they could do. I called AAA to have it towed, they gave the towing company the wrong location but the found us an hour later. The tow truck pulled up and was getting ready to hook it up when they blew a hose. In the meantime while we were waiting for a another tow, the driver told me that the number one car the used to pick up was the Ford Taurus. Now the number one pick up is the Ford Windstar due to transmission failure. I called the next Ford dealer up the road and explained what happened. They were at least honest with me and said this is a common problem and most likely the transmission needs replaced and could put a rebuilt one in for about $3,000 and could have it ready on Monday (this happened Thursday evening) The driver took us to a local hotel. When we got there his shop owner said he had a brand new one with a 3 yr 100,000 mile warranty and could have it replaced for $2,500 and have us on our way by early Friday afternoon. So we are having him do it. If I had only researched the known issues I would have thought twice before buying the Windstar. We have had it for 5 yrs now and only have 88K on it. This has been the first major issue we have had. I guess it is still cheaper than car payments. :-(

- , Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #52

Nov 212008

Windstar LX 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,000 miles

Well my husband was driving the van to a birthday party for my daughter and he said there was a loud clunk sound then the van wouldn't go only in reverse so he walked home pissed of course and we had to have it towed it is in the shop and we still are making payments on it.They say somewhere in the range of 1200-1800 so i guess we wait for the call and then cry.We are missing the trip we planned for a wedding we were in and its just great i miss black friday as well i hate ford!We also have problems with the van not wanting to be at a stop in jumps all over and the tac goes up and down i just wish ford would do something for all of us they make it they should stand behind there sh*t.

- , Knoxville, TN, US

problem #51

Nov 182008

Windstar SEL 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,336 miles

My O/D and Check ABS lights would come on sometimes when I started the van, but not all the time; no pattern to that. Driving down the interstate one morning, took an exit ramp, heard 2-3 clunks (only going about 25 at the time), and it coasted to a stop. Reverse worked, but nothing going forward. Local transmission shop is replacing the tranny for $1,700, which seems like a pretty decent price when I see what other people on this site are having to shell out. We'll probably get it fixed and sell it.

- , Hiawatha, IA, USA

problem #50

Nov 132008


  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,000 miles


While driving it felt like trans just slipped into neutral and coated to the side of the road. No forward OR reverse, NOTHING. While in park and revving the engine, it sounds like something's rubbing, as if a belt slipped. Do FWD transmissions have belts? Linkage? God, I wish I was a mechanic. Just waiting for the repair estimate now. Merry f-in Christmas!

- , Levittown, PA, USA

problem #49

Nov 102008

Windstar SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,000 miles

Another FAIL for the 2000 Ford Windstar. Transmission went out yesterday as I was pulling away from a traffic light. It felt like someone had hit me from behind it lurched so hard, and then it would not move. We had it towed to our mechanic and they say $2900 to fix it. We're moving on. I had no idea of the problems of this vehicle until I started searching yesterday and read so many stories of the same thing happening to others. We had a few instances of the O/D light flashing over the last couple of months, but didn't connect it to transmission failure for sure.

RUN away from this vehicle.

- , Greensboro, NC, USA

problem #48

Sep 222008

Windstar SEL 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

terrible car since we bought it ,we bought it used in 04 with 38000 miles ,had to replace tie rod ends immediately,intake ,then these little plastic clips on the intake that melted,interior lights flashing on and off,rear hatch sometimes decides to unlock,drivers door refuses to unlock air conditioning compressor went out,and finally CLUNK ta da the transmission ,never ever will buy another ford,my bad and it will never happen again, GM from now on

- , Blue Island, IL, USA

problem #47

Oct 022008

Windstar SE 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,000 miles

We have had this car (in running condition) for an astounding 29 days, now. Being a Ford, that must be some sort of record. Anyway. We didn't notice a leak when we bought it, but within a few days there was a small leak. No big deal. Then it started slipping after about a week. Two weeks into having it, it started jerking when we would take off. Three weeks in, the O/D off light started flashing while I was on the interstate. The RPMs went from 2000 to 4000. When I turned the car off and then on, the light went away. The leak got worse and worse. Four weeks. We took it to the shop to have the seal replaced for $400. The shop called me and said that they would feel bad taking my money to do this. It wasn't going to fix the problem. So, now it's going to cost $1300 to rebuild the transmission. Great. The only reason I settled for a Ford in the first place is because I can't afford anything nicer...

- , Fort Smith, AR, USA

problem #46

Sep 042008

Windstar SEL 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles

I will never buy another Ford vehicle again. I thought I would give an American made car a chance. But this has definitely confirmed what I had thought all along, their quality sucks! The transmission started leaking (steady stream on the garage floor) a month ago. It was on and off. Then it became significant. Brought it to a transmission repair shop and they tell me it needs a complete rebuild for $2200!!!! I am going to donate this car because it is not worth anything to me. Might as well get a tax deduction.

Ford, it is no wonder you are so in debt. If you would build quality, you would have repeat customers. You and every other American made vehicle manufacturer just lost another customer. I hope you are proud of this distinction.

- , Newark, DE, USA

problem #45

Aug 252008

Windstar SEL 3.6L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,000 miles

A real Monday. At 5;30 in the morning I am parking the Windstar. I have backed into a parking spot, but I am not within the yellow lines. I put the car in drive from reverse and I hear a very loud CLUNK! the car will now not go forward but will back-up. I have it towed to a local repair shop and he advises me that it will cost $3000 to fix. A dealer would charge $5-6000. The car blue books at $3000. A good car if you can drive in reverse!!!!!

I don't know what to do with it??? It is way to big to use as a fishing weight.

- , Henderson, KY, USA

problem #44

Jul 152008

Windstar LX 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,313 miles

Transmission problem on my 155000 km 2000 Windstar LX, O/D light was blinking, i had the code checked by a transmission shop and it was indicating faulty TSS, TSS is Turbine Speed Sensor located on the driver's side on the transmission easily accessible by taking off the wheel, i changed the part myself in less than 20 minutes (cost of part +/- 43.00$ at Ford) and O/D start blinking again 2 weeks later. It is now blinking since 6 month/3000km and i am waiting to see what will happen. I also noted that this light blink when atf fluid is very low, by very low i mean 1.5 / 2 liter, i experienced this when my transmission start loosing fluid on highway 95 North near New York during start and stop traffic jam and a cooking hot day. Since this time, my transmission is leaking atf fluid between motor and transmission only when i am stuck in traffic, when i am on the highway or driving around there is not even a small drop that fall off. Seems like it is leaking only when the atf fluid temp is very high caused by stop/start/low revolution, but it is only my feeling. I will have to separate the motor and the transmission to change torque converter oil seal and have the T.C. pressure tested by a local transmission shop. I hate my and all Windstar because all sort of thing died when it is not supposed to: rear wiper motor, electric passenger unlock, the same thing on driver's side one month later, coolant bypass tube exploded, pressure sensor/switch on master cylinder leaking, up and downstream oxygen sensor, ABS sensor. my dash look like a Christmas tree with O/D blinking, abs, motor and door ajar light on.

- , Lachenaie, QC, Canada

problem #43

Aug 012008

Windstar LX 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 133,000 miles

On May 31, 2008 I was driving a 1994 Ford Aerostar that had almost had about 145k miles on it. Another driver pulled out and hit me. We totaled it out. I wanted a new vehicle, and my trans was acting up as well as the ABS light was on for several years...LOL!!! But it ran good and it was a beast that kept on going. Well after the accident I ended up getting a 2000 Windstar lx. It was nice, clean and had a TV/DVD player in it had about 131k miles on it. I have 4 kids and just thought this was the greatest thing ever. Well here we are almost 2.5 months later and the O/D off light is flashing. I have been reading the causes for that and boy was I shocked. I am outraged. My trans has not quit yet but I guess it is on it's way. It drives fine for the most part. It does seem sluggish on take off sometimes, but it gets going. It had jerked kind of hard as well. Then this damn light starts flashing. It resets itself when I restart the van, but after about 45 minutes of driving it is back on flashing again. It is getting more frequent now. We are up to 133k miles now. This is our only vehicle. I drive my husband to work about a half hour to and another half hour home. I make this trip 2x a day. I just can not afford for my trans to go out. I do not have a warranty on it. It was bought from an auto auction. It has been great till now. Now I am wondering how many times the trans has been replaced before I got it. Maybe that's why the Ford dealership had it at the auction.

I have read that Ford will not recall it and does not consider it a safety issue. Well let me tell you...... I drive on the highway and (there are tons of semi's and speeders), and my if trans suddenly fails with my kids in the van as well........that could be a fatal accident. How is that not a safety issue? It is usually moms who drive these vans so obviously their kids are riding in these death traps. Do people had to die for Ford to recall them? If so how many? WAKE UP FORD!!!!!!!! I am not a rich person and can not afford to replace a trans every few months. I am looking into getting an extended warranty before I even have it looked at. With my luck they will tell me I can't get one or if so it won't cover what's wrong with it. How can Ford do this to us? I know all vehicles have issues, especially used ones. Yet you have this many, not just a few cases....and still FORD does not care. I have had several Fords over the years and never had any problems. I just try to get something a little newer and better. I guess newer is not always better. As far as I am concerned Ford stands for Found On Road Dead....cause that is where they end up!!!!!!! Maybe after several familys are killed(hopefully not) from faulty trans failure they will do something about it!!!!!!!

- , Cincinnati, OH, US

problem #42

Aug 042008

Windstar SE 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,653 miles

I'm getting in line with everyone else. At a stop sign, went to turn, loud crashing sound, started rolling backwards down hill. Van would only go in reverse. $2400 later, got a new transmission. The guy said that the transmission basically exploded inside! I went here: http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ and lodged a complaint.

- , Huntsville, AL, USA

problem #41

Apr 042007

Windstar SE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles

We bought a 2000 ford wind star brand new. At 58,000 miles the intake went For covered it because it was still under warranty. The tire rods were bad at 58,000 and other problems. Then at 78,000 miles the transmission blows. Call ford and they won't make good on it. Told them I had to rent a car and could not pay my monthly bill. I asked if they would help fix the transmission and I could resume payments. They said they wouldn't do that. I told them the van was useless to me. I told them to repo it and they refused to take it back. They stated the van was useless to them. They said they were going to sue me. Then they sue me. I never get notification. They place a judgment against me on an account thats not even mine. I will never buy a ford again.

- , Conklin, NY, USA

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