really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
117,350 miles
Total Complaints:
85 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (55 reports)
  2. rear axle was replaced (28 reports)
  3. as of 8/27/2010 Ford has recalled this rear axle (2 reports)
2001 Ford Windstar drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2001 Ford Windstar Owner Comments (Page 2 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #65

Jun 292010

Windstar 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles


I was glad that the rear axle snapped in two while I was driving was slow. After finding this website, it's amazing to me how Ford engineers can keep their jobs designing crap like this. I worked in engineering for many years and if I designed this drivetrain I would have been fired.

Thank God no one has been injured from this obvious defect that Ford is failing to recognize. I have a novel idea-why don't Ford be proactive and do something about this problem before something serious happens and they find they butts in court.

- Jack S., Rock Falls, IL, US

problem #64

Jun 162010

Windstar 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,000 miles

I am a AAA tow operator, former inspection mechanic, I have towed 3 windstars in the past week with broken rear axle beams, They are all broken in the same spot. drivers side at weld. All with aprox. 100,000 miles. All broke at low speeds, thank god because this could kill many people at highway speed. FORD..Please do the right thing before lives are lost.

- jeep422, Hatfield, PA, US

problem #63

Jun 062010

Windstar SEL 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles

While taking off from a red light with 2 young children in the rear, heard a loud snap. Car fishtailed with lots of smoke. Thankfully no one was hurt, my rear axle cracked right in half! Waiting for AAA was horrible, being without a car for days, horrible. Repairs cost slightly over $1000. Why hasnt there been a recall! So many similar complaints. God love our government!

- Jennifer K., Staten Island, NY, US

problem #62

May 252010

Windstar LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,000 miles


i was out of town for work when my wife called to tell me the rear axle snapped in our van. i called my brother to look at it for me. he called around to see what a used axle was going for. the average was around $350. i bought one at a u-pull for $50 and installed it in about 2 hours. when it snapped it took out my shocks and brakes. the problem for me wasn't the fixing, it was the fact that it snapped while my wife and kids were in the van. i didn't realize how big the problem was till i found this site. i'm with everyone on this should be recalled before someone isn't as lucky.after fixing that i change my front brakes and realized that the front suspension were the body mounts are , are rotting through also.

- Barry H., Fleetwood, PA, US

problem #61

Jan 262010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,400 miles

We discovered that the rear axle was cracked on our 2001 Ford Windstar. This axle might have cracked over 2 years ago based on the length and amount of rust. We had our vehicle serviced at Ford at least twice a year while it was under warranty for 7 years or 70,000. Our vehicle is at 61,400 miles now. If there was a crack we were not told. If this was discovered under warranty that would have been much safer and less expensive. The bill was $961.30 and only $252. was labor. We have maintained our vehicles pristinely with proper servicing this should not have happened. We believe that our family's lives were endangered as a result of this fracture/crack of the rear axle.


I talked to Ford and they DO NOT CARE!!!

- krock1598, West Lafayette, IN, US

problem #60

Jun 022010

Windstar SE 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 133,000 miles

Can't believe that after all the previous complaints Ford has not put out a recall to fix the problem or reimburse those who have spent money,or have yet to hear anything form Ford to make at least a statement that they will look into this major defect .

- Emanuel B., Elizabeth, NJ, US

problem #59

May 182010

Windstar LX 6.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles


I never had any problems with this car since I first bought it. After 110000 miles, the cracked rear axle is "replaceable" however, I don't think I would ever feel comfortable driving my children around in the car. I know I did not hit or run into anything and was fortunate to have found it by error before any catastrophic event.

- Laura H., Tinley Park, IL, US

problem #58

May 042010

Windstar LS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

I was shocked to see the tires of my van bent inward when the flat bed drop it off at our home. All I could think of was wow it's a good thing that didn't happen while we were driving it down the interstate. The rear axle had broke almost in two. It looked as if someone cut it. My husband was leaving work that evening, while he was backing up he realize something wasn't right. That's when he realized what had happened to the van. The day before I had driven it all over the area that we live with our three children in it along with 1-2 of their friends. About a month ago our family went on vacation with our Windstar packed to the max, traveling over 1,ooo miles going high speeds down the interstate.

We were very lucky that nobody was hurt or killed! We were shocked that this has been an on going problem that Ford has not took any steps into fixing. We had no clue about the problem nor that their were others that had the same problem. You would think with so many having this happen to their van that Ford would take steps in fixing this for the safety of people. Let's face it most people who have a mini van have a family, which means there are many people being transported back and forth. why would they not take action to insure the safety of these people?

- bonelli, Apollo, PA, US

problem #57

May 152010

Windstar SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,500 miles

The axle completely snapped in half as my son and a friend were coming to a stop at a traffic light. He was able to pull in a parking lot next to the traffic light. When the tow truck driver arrived, he said he has seen several of these and they all had snapped towards the driver's side. He stated that he began seeing this issue about two years ago. He can't believe that a recall hasn't been issued. It is very fortunate that this didn't happen at a high rate of speed. I have not spoken to the Ford dealer yet, as this happened only hours ago in the early morning..

- etpa, Kingston, PA, US

problem #56

May 082010

Windstar LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 109,582 miles

Ford needs to have a recall on this axle breakage. This is going to kill somone! Maybe then someone at the Ford Company might begin to care!!

- Harold W., Cincinnati, OH, US

problem #55

May 072010

Windstar 110000 3-6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles


click to see larger images

rear axle broke in half rear axle broke in half rear axle broke in half rear axle broke in half rear axle broke in half rear axle broke in half

It was May 7,2010 I went to pick up my kids from school with was 3kid and plus my16 mouth old son My sister call me to pick up her 4 kids also with means the was 8 kid and me in the ford windstar. As I was coming home the same way i take everyday but this day the axle wanted to go out on me. I hit one bump in the road my back end started to fishtail then i hit the second bump I hear something broke and my back end started to fishtail ones again the brakes wouldn't work it was a truck on my right side and grass on the left side my car started to spin then flip over two times when it stop the kids in the back got out the air bag didn't work. I and my oldest child who was in passage was stuck in the seat belt upside down we got out the car with the rest of the passenger and waited for the police the officer ask how did the tire end up on top of the car like someone put it there I stated no when the car stop flipping thats where it landed. Now i have to go to court and be charge with driving and unsecured car.

- charkeetao, Cleveland, OH, US

problem #54

Apr 102010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 121,000 miles

The broken rear axle on the ford windstar seems to be a common problem. I drove my family 1000 highway miles last week, without being aware of the problem. How many people will need to be injured before this becomes a recall? The symptoms can be mild or unnoticed- how many cars are on the road on the verge of failing catastrophically.

- John B., North CAldwell, NJ, US

problem #53

Mar 172010

Windstar SE 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

i think if ford windstars have this type of problem with most then the auto maker should have a recall to fix the problem before someone really gets hurt or death happens i result. some needs to report this to the manufaturer.

- James S., Lansing, MI, US

problem #52

May 022010

Windstar ES 3.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

today my wife and i drove separately to a sporting event for are older son,she had some other things to do first.as she arrived at the game she told me she was hearing a strange noise the car was making and she smelled a smell like burning rubber. after the game i decided to take a look and noticed right away that the rear drivers side wheel was crooked. at first i thought the lugs were loose but after looking closer i saw the rear axle was broken in half . i thought this was very unusual since this is one of the most important pieces of the car.as i did some research i found out this has been happening to many of the Windstar vans .i am very mad that this problem i not being addressed.my wife drove to this game with my younger son in the back at times doing 55 mph they were very lucky they were not hurt or worse . i hope there is a way everyone who has had this problem can get together and look into some kind of action

- pjn.y, Greenwood Lake, NY, US

problem #51

Apr 252010

Windstar Limited 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

Geez, 120,000 miles and the rear axle breaks in two! Ford, where are you? Why is the government not forcing a recall? Loook how many time this has happened! Are they waiting for people to die? FORD, TAKE CARE OF THIS PROBLEM NOW!

- Pete S., Columbus, OH, US

problem #50

Apr 112010

Windstar LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

Rear axle snapped while driving in Ashburnham, MA about 1 1/2 hours from my home. We were lucky to be on a back road and not on a major highway when it happened. After reading all the similar complaints on this website and others like it, I wonder now why this part has not been recalled. Obviously it is a serious safety issue.

- thayernh, Hampstead, NH, US

problem #49

Mar 292010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

OK, this may be my last problem w/ this car because I don't know if it's worth fixing. Started driving my son to school, it just handled weird. Got out looked at front tires and they looked ok. Quick glance at back looked ok. 7.4 miles to school, get my son there safely, coming back, it feels like it's swaying from side to side with bumps. Last bend in the road before I turn on to my street, it makes a weird sound like feels like the car skipped. I turn sharp onto my street to see if I can recreate it, making a mental note that I'm making an appt w/ my mechanic. Nothing, turn into my driveway...a cluck...a couple of bangs and the car jolts to a stop. I get out of my car and the wheels are bent like looking like the axle broke. / / . I come in and google broken rear axle and it auto fills in windstar...I'm like this can't be good. I've already had the problem w/ the ABS switch leaking fluid and starting a fire. I fixed that one myself, Ford recalled it years later. I couldn't find my receipt. I've already replaced a coil pack or whatever it's called for the spark plug, another major problem with this car. I've replaced the ABS circuit board. Another common problem. The ABS has been so bad on this car I eventually pulled the fuse. (contact me of you'd like a link on the ABS problems!). I can't believe the major problems with this vehicle that have have gone without any fixes by Ford.

- blarson, Lake Hopatcong, NJ, US

problem #48

Mar 152010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,520 miles

I am a sports mom and run a car pool most days. On the day that this occurred I had my children, the most precious things in my life with me, and another child that I was bringing home from football practice. I noticed that the van swayed or fished tailed every time I went around a curve or hit a bump, not being car savvy I thought maybe it was the tires. I pulled to the side of the road several times to see if I could see anything, but didn't see anything wrong so I continued on my way. When I finally made it home I jacked up the van and saw the problem right off the bat. The axle is snapped into. I got on-line and thought I would see approximately how much it would cost to fix it and ran into this site. The funny thing is I just typed, rear axle for a ford windstar, into my search engine and at the time 16 complaints came up and described the same problems I had bringing the van home. Why isn't ford doing anything about this? I could have killed my family!! Are they going to let a tragedy happen (like toyota) before something is done. I am angry, my family was put into harms way. I am going to contact Ford in the morning and see what is said to me. If they have no answers for me I am going to the media and let them know about this site and the other complaints. We need to stand up for our families rights and safety. How dare this company put my family into danger.

- vckentucky, Cornettsville, KY, US

problem #47

Mar 152010

Windstar LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 127,000 miles

I was driving down the road and my rear axle split in two. I'm glad I was on a road with a speed limit of 35 mph and there were a lot of pot holes to miss or this could have happened after I got on the highway and was going 70 mph. It's in the garage now after a $94 tow bill and right now the mechanic is guessing the price to fix will be $800 - 900.

I can't believe this is not a recall. I will certainly make my complaint to Ford and the NHTSA. Other than this I love the van and really haven't had much wrong with it. I've put close to 100,000 miles on it myself and would like to try to get another 30,000 - 50,000 miles out of it.

- Melissa A., Ravenna, OH, US

problem #46

Mar 062010

Windstar LX 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 235,000 miles

click to see larger images

rear axle broke in half

After driving over two hours at highway speeds, and stopping to see a sporting event, we came back to the car and backed out of the parking space only to get ten feet and a very loud noise. The picture shows the main part of the axle after removal. We were very, very blessed to have this occur like it did. After doing a simple web search on this problem, I chose to look at this website. Hopefully someone will see this as a problem to be corrected.

- Scott S., Rockford, MI, US

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