really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
116,180 miles
Total Complaints:
83 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (54 reports)
  2. rear axle was replaced (28 reports)
  3. as of 8/27/2010 Ford has recalled this rear axle (1 reports)
2001 Ford Windstar drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2001 Ford Windstar Owner Comments (Page 4 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #23

Aug 082009

Windstar XEL V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles


2001 ford windstar. rear axle broke in half after 370 mile highway drive from Boston, Ma. to south Jersey Shore. Happened on first day of vacation AFTER we had arrived. My wife was backing out of out vacation home driveway. It keeps me awake at night wondering what would have happened had this brake occurred at 70 mph with the 3 kids in the car.

Car has 120,000 miles, meticulously maintained. all service records on file at the dealer.

One thing of note, mechanic was surprised at how readily available new part was from Ford for an 8 year old car. Hhhhhmmmmm.....makes one wonder how often this has happened. will write a letter to Ford with photos attached.


hingham, ma.

- , Hingham, MA, USA

problem #22

Aug 292009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

click to see larger images

rear axle broke in half

The van was pulling all weird ways the day it happened and the day before. I thought it was the alignment again because this is not the first time it's been acting up. It progressively got worse as I drove Friday and Saturday. Everyone bump on the road would send the car shaking and the final turn I took I almost lost control. After going uphill on a bridge doing about 25 mph it sounded as if the tire popped and the smell was terrible. I quickly pulled over and couldn't believe what I saw. I was very lucky because I was about 10 seconds away from getting on a major interstate. The rear axle is completely snapped in half. My first thought was (Even though I don't know too much about cars) i've never heard of something like this happening. As if the Windstar didn't have enough problems like the internal computer. I could have lost my life if I was on the highway. This needs to be recalled or something needs to be done. My family is down to one car now. How can Ford let something like this slide so easily.

- , Ledgewood, NJ, USA

problem #21

Jul 212009

Windstar SEL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,501 miles

I was coming to a stop at the end of our road, when all of a sudden, the back end of the van dropped. THank goodness we were within walking distance of our home. The towtruck driver said that this is the SECOND time in two days that he has seen this problem. What is FORD doing about this?

- , Hermitage, PA, USA

problem #20

Jul 202009

Windstar SEL 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 131,000 miles


click to see larger images

rear axle broke in half rear axle broke in half

My 2001 Ford Winstar started some strange handling while doing about 30 mph down the road when the rear axle just broke in half. Luckily I was the driver and not my wife or daughter. I haven't approached Ford yet, but with my pictures and access to the Internet I will make a an verylarge issue. If needed I will swap out the axle mysef. Let me know what others have found out through Ford. I will keep you posted.

- , Evergreen Park, IL, USA

problem #19

Jul 012009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 131,000 miles

The rear axle snapped in half. I drove on the Interstate for 50 miles each way at 65+ mph...We could have been killed...

- , Falls Creek, PA, USA

problem #18

Jun 202009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

My niece and nephew were driving my dogs up to Michigan and had just gotten off the highway when the rear axle broke in 2 spots. If this had happened five minutes earlier going 70 m.p.h. on the highway I was told the van would have rolled must likely killing my niece and nephew and our dogs!!! It made me sick to my stomach!! As I research to get it fixed I'm finding this is happening to lots of people. What is it going to take for them to recall this or at least notify people of the problem before someone is dead!!!


problem #17

Jun 282009

Windstar SEL V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,076 miles


click to see larger images

rear axle broke in half rear axle broke in half

I was driving home to N. Kingstown from Cranston RI and decided to use the back roads and took RT 1 home instead of I 95 as every other Sunday evening. I went over a small bump at 35 MPH and the rear of the van just dropped. I was only feet away from a parking lot and was able to trun in. If we had gone the normal route we would have been at highway speeds with my wife and 18 month old little girl. How ford could ignore all the complaints and saftey issue of this problem makes my dission to fix the deathtrap and trade or sell ASAP for the pick up I been eyeing but that was a ford too wonder how Dodge Rams are?

- , North Kingstown, RI, USA

problem #16

Jun 262009

Windstar SE 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,000 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

I was driving my family home from a Summer Fest, as I was going over a fairly smooth railroad crossing at about 40 MPH I felt the van start handling strange. I pulled over and found the right rear wheel out of alignment. I carefully drove it home and went underneath to check it.

To my surprise I found the axle beam cracked 3/4 of the way thru.

There is no reason a beam of this size should crack like this unless there was a material or design fault in the van. I am the first owner of this van and it was never overloaded.

At this point I am not sure what I am going to do. This is my family’s main vehicle as my car was heavily damaged after being rear ended by a truck.

After reading the dozens of complaints from other Windstar owners, (15 from just the 2001 model year) I see this problem is not unique.

One thing I have done is contacted other Windstar owners I know, warning them about this problem.

According to the complaints on this site, Ford has known about this problem since November of 2007! If Ford won’t own up to this problem, my next step will be to file a complaint with the NHTSA and with all media outlets I can find. Other Windstar owners should do the same!

Ford is the last US car manufacture running their own show, but if they don’t wise up, they will be following GM and Chrysler and I will be buying Foreign (and not from one of the foreign companies the former “Big Three” have their hands in, i.e Mazda, Volvo, etc)

- , Des Plaines, IL, USA

problem #15

Jun 012009

Windstar SE 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 127,573 miles

This is a definite manufacturing defect and there should be a recall, luckily my mechanic found it during a routine inspection. If this had broken during travel my wife and kids would have been seriously injured or killed

- , Quakertown, PA, USA

problem #14

Jun 052009

Windstar SE 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

Axel split underneath the muffler area while driving down highway. I don't know if this is wear most cracks occur but this could have killed the whole family as we were coming home from a vacation in Tennessee.

- , Vandergrift, PA, USA

problem #13

May 312009

Windstar SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,000 miles


This has been one of the worse days i ever had. Not only did i have my wife and kids in the van but the rear axel snapped in half as i was starting to put the car in reverse to park. I thank God that i made it home and wasn't killed coming from on the highway. This should be a critical recall and ford should thank ther lucky stars that no ne has not been killed . (so i know). they should definitely be a recall. the wonder these companys are goin down fast...Thank you God for having me here to type this out..take care guys good luck...

- , Rutherford, NJ, USA

problem #12

May 232009

Windstar LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 107,000 miles

TODAY, May 23rd,2009!! I was driving my mother-in-law to a restaurant, along with my husband and 3 children!! I noticed that the tires were making a squealing sound as we drove. It was worse when we went around curves, so BAD that I had to pull off the road and check the rear of the van because you could smell the tire burning. Everything seemed to LOOK o.k. On our way back home, it became worse, we thought maybe a shock had busted and was actually calling the auto parts store for prices. It squealed while driving STRAIGHT!! When we got home my husband took the back, drivers wheel off. He stated that he couldn't believe that a shock would cause that. The inside of the fenderwell was rubbed silver and the tire was rubbed as well. Upon inspection of the entire rear end THERE IT WAS!!! The rear axle was about to SNAP!!! Almost in TWO!! If we had driven it any further we could have been killed!! We live in RURAL WV where steep hills and deep curves are the norm. There should be a recall on this!! THIS IS A SAFETY ISSUE!! Ford recalls seatbelts and airbags and even gas pedals DUE TO SAFETY CONCERNS - WHY NOT REAR AXLES!!

I am very interested to know what to do about this and would join any Class-Action Lawsuit anyone has started PLEASE E-Mail ME with any ideas or info:dferguson1970@yahoo.com

- , Huntington, WV, USA

problem #11

Apr 232009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles

I was driving down I-65 in a construction zone doing 55 mph with my 3 small children and a semi behind me when my rear axle snapped in 2! We felt and heard it snap, there was a puff of black smoke (the tire I am assuming) and then we started to spin. We ended up less than a foot from rolling into the grass, facing the wrong way on the interstate.

I am convinced 2 things saved our lives #1 the fact that the other lane was closed #2 a very alert trucker behind us who knew what to do. The trucker, the trooper, my husband and father( both former mechanics) stared in amazement at this snapped axle! All of them trying to figure out how? and why?, they all made the statement that they had never seen this and that axles just don't break that way. Apparently this is a design flaw, one that could have killed me & my 3 kids. I am FURIOUS with Ford!!!

We bought a Ford because we felt that they had a good reputation as being safe family vehicles. But to hear now that they know about the problem and have for a while and just don't care is extremely upsetting to me!!! So well I have to get it fixed with more money out of my pocket that I don't have and worry about it happening again because they still haven't fixed the design flaw nor do they intend to!

Thanks for nothing Ford! All I want is something that I can feel safe putting my 1, 4, & 7 year olds in, I thought I had that, how unfortunate! I expected better from them...

- , Hammond, In, USA

problem #10

Apr 232009

Windstar LX 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 149,000 miles

My axle broke in two while I was driving 65 mph on an interstate. It is by the grace of God that I am alive. At first I thought it was a tire blowout until I lost control. Thankfully there were no other cars on the road near me. But seriously, what causes an axle to break in half?!? It wasn't even rusted. Do I have any recourse with Ford?

- , Avoca, NY, USA

problem #9

Apr 062009

Windstar LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 154,000 miles

While my entire family was driving on a 2-hour round trip, the back end of the car was fish tailing all over the place over every bump in the road. At first, I thought it was the tires, so I stopped and checked them without resolve. I proceeded to drive slowly (about 50 mph) on the highway all the way home and made it safe. However, the next morning, I asked my husband to take the car to the tire shop when I learned that the rear axle was cracked/rusted from the inside out about 3/4 of the way through. I was told this would cost me $600 - $1,000 to replace (parts alone for a new axle cost $600).

I immediately checked out the recalls on the internet to find nothing but places to log consumer complaints. I'm ready to start a class action law suit and am contacting my attorney. This is a major component that should not be "rusting from the inside out" per my mechanic. If it would have broke while we were driving - the van could have flipped and killed us all. This is a serious matter and Ford should take care of it immediately with a recall! The mere fact that it is happening with this make and model over 8 years old is NO coincidence!!! Some of us can't afford to buy another car - especially in this economy ...and we only have 1 vehicle for my family so we have to fix this now!

- , Marysville, OH, US

problem #8

Jan 022009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles

The other day my I was out driving in my Windstar traveling from Saugus back to Quincy on 93 south as I exited the highway in Quincy I hear a loud grinding and dragging behind me. I pulled over and to my SHOOK the rear axle was snapped in two dragging on the ground. I was not alone at the time that this had happened either I had my wife and 3 children with me ages 11, 5, and 2. My whole family is so lucky that this had happened when we where exiting the highway because who knows what could have happened if the axle snapped while we were going 65-70 mph. Then i come on this site and find out that it is not an isolated event that FORD has know about this problem and are doing nothing about it at all. What is it going to take a family being killed before the Ford Dealership does anything about it ???? I THINK EVERYONE THAT THIS HAS HAPPENED TO WHICH IS IN THE THOUSANDS FROM THE RESEARCH I HAVE BEEN DOING SHOULD FILE A CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT AGAINST THE FORD DEALERSHIP THATS THE ONLY WAY THAT THEY ARE GOING TO RECALL THIS PART BEFORE SOMEONE IS KILLED !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- , Quincy, MA, USA

problem #7

Dec 012008

Windstar Limited

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

Axel is about to snap. Brought to dealer as I heard strange noise when cornering over a hill. Dealer called and said the problem was a broken rear axle. The axle is a U shaped length of steel and has developed a severe crack - down on side of the U and over the top. Dealer states they have never seen anything like it.

Dealer says replacement will be $1,000+. $500 for part + a day of labor. Since it is not totally broken I could try to weld it but won't take that chance - nor would any welder.

Still deciding whether to replace or scrap car. This is definitely a safety issue. Will report to NTSB.

- , Chatham, MA, USA

problem #6

Jun 012008


  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles

On June 1 2008 without any warning, the rear axle on my Ford Windstar completely snapped in two. Luckily, we had just gotten off a major highway and were on a side street. 5 minutes earlier we surely would have been in a serious accident. Ford of course says this is not their problem because the car is out of warranty, and the part has not been recalled. Obviously this is ridiculous, irresponsible, and dangerous. Please go to www.nhtsa.org to report any similar incidents to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association. If you would like email me @ RnCElias@austin.rr.com. We must try to get this recalled before someone gets seriously hurt.

- , Austin, TX, USA

problem #5

Mar 132008

Windstar 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,105 miles

I have been the only owner of this vehicle have not had a super lot of problems with it. Me and my children were driving on rt.128 in Peabody and heard a noise smoke filled the car got out and realized the rear axle beam had broke in half.Thank God i was not going too fast me and my family could of been killed not that ford cares. I have been dealing with the dealership Portsmouth Ford for over 2 weeks sent them pictures and everything they say they contacted Ford and they basically told me to blow smoke out of my butt because they will not help. It will take for someone to be killed before they will recall it which is so sad but true it is all about the money.I am not looking for a new car just for them to fix it.I have been a loyal person with fords trucks and van and thunderbirds but i will not ever buy another ford or any one in my family not that they care.This problem never even gave me a warning it was driving fine then boom imagine doing 70 miles with cars behind you bad thought. This is the car i transport children in they could care less maybe if it was a ford representative car with their kids in it it would be a different story then again they probably drive a better make then the ones they sell they are too smart to drive a piece of crap FORD.I think what i should do is tow it to the front of the dealership but bright lights on it and signs to tell everyone going in there what happen and to think twice about buying a piece of crap FORD. They would love that wouldn't they that might help business it sounds really good i might do that. I have reported this to the NTSB and any one else this has happen to should do the same.I am going to call Hank Phillipi Ryan on the TV she is a Boston newscaster how loves this kind of stuff about company's screwing people i will write back to let you know how i make out.Good luck to everyone else who buys a FORD product

- , Lynn, MA, USA

problem #4

Feb 152008

Windstar LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,000 miles

Driving along on a terrible stretch of highway in Pittsburgh when I thought my rear tire blew out. I got pulled over safely (EASIER SAID THAN DONE!) and when I got out, the tires were all fine, but when I looked under the rear section of van, the axle had broken in two right at the mid-point. We had to be towed to my mechanic. Both the tow truck driver and mechanic said they had never seen this before. Since I am the fourth complaint here at nearly the same mileage, something must be wrong with this thing. Ford refused to do anything since it was no longer under warranty. Not sure how much it will cost...it is in the shop as I write. Thank God it didn't lead to a more serious accident, and that my kids were not in the van with me. They would have been scared to death! This is a very dangerous safety hazard!

- , Pittsburgh, PA, USA

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