really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 17
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 1
Average Mileage:
85,934 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2001 Ford Windstar electrical problems

electrical problem

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2001 Ford Windstar Owner Comments (Page 2 of 10)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #177

Feb 262014


  • 209,000 miles


My ABS light is on and have heard it is from ECU master relay has a bad soldier joint which fails prematurely and causes the ABS light and dtc C1185. It also causes the enhanced ABS braking system to become inoperable.

- Manchester, TN, USA

problem #176

Jun 122012

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
ABS trouble light keeps coming on and going off. It was checked and the mechanic said it was safe to drive if I didn't want to spend the money. I have found out that the connector is absorbing fluids and shorting out. This shorting out happens mostly in warm weather. In sub 0 weather the light pretty much stays off. There is still a chance of fire when it is shorting out. I complained to Ford and was told there was no recall on this item. They gave me a case number for my complaint. It is #[xxx]. this problem is a direct cause of fluids leaking on the modgular connector and heat from engine. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Birch Run, MI, USA

problem #175

Nov 252013

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 132,000 miles
All gauges, including speedometer, suddenly became erratic, confusing driver by giving false sense of speed.

- Providence, RI, USA

problem #174

Nov 072013

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 233,596 miles


Hi I am the owner of 2001 Windstar last week my van star be crazy with al the instrumental all the light was crazy smell like the cable was burning the positive battery was very hot I have to stop the car before get in fire that is the second time that is happen please take this very serious before some have any accident and car burn in the road.

- Dover, NJ, USA

problem #173

May 052008

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
ABS light and brake light on/ off more then 5 years every time driving, brake working fine. All the gauge moving crazy about 1 a week. Winter time the problem less.

- Woodbridge, VA, USA

problem #172

Feb 052013

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 144,000 miles
Intermittent increase in braking distance in an emergency situation. Due to ABS system failure related to the ECM control unit. Indicator at time of failure "yellow ABS brake light" and "red brake light" on dashboard of vehicle. Resulting in interment operating of ABS system. This becomes a large driving hazard when operating the vehicle during winter months when roadway is often covered in wet, snow and ice. These road conditions are typical for my winter driving months in the climate and area of vehicle purchased and operated. The cause of this ABS system failure is related to the ECM control unit. Root cause is identified as failure of circuit board solder joints with in the ECM unit, deactivating ABS system. Poor quality of connections, heat and stress, not robust enough for application. Need to have these quality and performance issue resolved by the oem.

- Boise, ID, USA

problem #171

Feb 012013

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 150,000 miles


After repairing my speed controller my ABS and brake lights have been coming on the dashboard intermittently and are coming on more and more. Took it to the dealer and no codes show up, but I do not trust it.

- Salem, VA, USA

problem #170

May 292013

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 129,300 miles
For months, the ABS light and traction control lights come on intermittently. Currently the lights are staying on and it must be jumped to start. The battery was checked and was okay. Something is draining the battery.

- Cedar Rapids, IA, USA

problem #169

Aug 072012

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 41,000 miles
The ABS light and the brake light appears on the dashboard even though the brakes are in good working order

- West Orange, NJ, USA

problem #168

Aug 272002

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 16,768 miles
Interior lights flash on and off including dash lights taken in on numerous occasions but problem still exists to this day. ABS and brake lights come on constantly up to and including today. Noise that sounds like bones crunching from steering wheel or under foot? and buzzing from right front tire on left turns. Took into Ford dealer for all complaints, never fixed.

- Barling, AR, USA

problem #167

Aug 012005

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 40,000 miles


Problems encountered: Rear windows not working, had motors replaced worked for about 6 months then intermittent then quit working within 6 months. ABS and brake light on dash goes on and off. A/C stops blowing for about 20 seconds then resumes blowing. Keyless entry works sometimes, sometimes it don't. speedometer slower than it reads and mileage may not be correct. Windshield wipers not working properly. Intermittent settings on wipers quit working and when you turn off wipers they stop in middle of windshield. I have an 88 year old father with no legs and this is the vehicle I have to drive him around in. Do not feel safe!!

- Pearl River, LA, USA

problem #166

Jul 022013

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 208,000 miles
While sitting at the red light my brake light, ABS light, over drive lights all came on and then my speedometer would not register when I started to go when the light turned green.

- Gainesville, GA, USA

problem #165

Jun 032013

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 156,000 miles
The ABS warning light comes on intermittently. From research on the web, this is a common problem starting with Windstar dating from 1999.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #164

Apr 082011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • miles
The ABS light has been on but no one can tell me why. It goes out when the vehicle is shut off but will light up again after about 10 minutes of driving. The cruise control would work sometimes and not others. If finally quit working all together. The fuses are all fine. The power windows and door locks work sometimes and not others or might work on one side of the vehicle but not the other.

- Loughman, FL, USA

problem #163

Apr 122013


  • 125,019 miles
ABS and brake lights have been off and on for years. Have had the brakes looked at many times and they are always said to be fine. Today, while driving along, the radio went off when I rolled up the window...thought that was strange so opened window....radio back on, closed window....radio off. Thankfully I was very close to home as the windows stopped opening and closing, radio shut off, odometer reading disappeared, clock lights disappeared. I made it to the driveway, turned it off and it did not turn back on. Came inside and started to search "2001 Ford Windstar ABS and brake lights on"......I'm appalled at how many complaints I have found. Husband and friend did a check and it may be the alternator....but after what I've read we will definitely be checking for fluid in the ABS control module. If it turns out it is the ABS control module (after reading the numerous complaints) I will be calling Ford to let them know what I think. For many, many years we let Ford service our van and I swear after each service we ended up with another problem within weeks of the service. I've not had trust in our local Ford dealership for a long time. Based on what I've read in the last 2 to 3 hours I am completely shocked and saddened that Ford hasn't stepped up and offered to rectify this problem. I love my Windstar! as long as we can be certain that it is still safe to drive we will keep it on the road. But when it is time.....we will never do business with Ford again.

- Monroe, NC, USA

problem #162

Mar 072013

Windstar 6-cyl

  • miles
All electrical went whacky.

- Columbus , OH, USA

problem #161

Jul 132012

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles
7/21/2011 bought van from private party. Recall completed in March of 2011 regarding back axle. On 7/13/2012 8pm, my 18yr old son, while driving home from lacrosse practice, nearly killed. Upon pulling out onto the main road, he lost all controls, no steering, no brakes and no power. He coasted and prayed it would stop. I arrived, we called aaa. Flatbed to my home driver could not believe his eyes. The engine had fallen out. 7/16/12 called Ford in mich and spoke to rep. To be towed 13 miles away to route 23 auto at our expense. Really? route23 wanted nothing to do with me (they did recall). Went back and forth then per RT23 "it will be a month until we can look at it" getting know where. 7/18-22 borrowed friend car for tournament. 8/1/12 called magarino Ford and with great concern had a flatbed that night. This tow truck driver could not believe it. Fluids raced out and double stabilized for engine sliding during Transport. 8/2/12 magarino called 9am, pictures sent to Ford and awaiting reply. 8/5/12 T/C from M stating Ford refuses to buy back and sending a subframe. You mean a recalled one" magarino caught in middle I questioned whether he would put his children in this van. He softly replied, "no" what am I to do, out of work 2 years, single parent with no car to find work. 8/8/12 I questioned Ford why this van ever left rt 23 auto, according to researched paper a part was waiting on. You mean to tell me that upon this fixed axle nobody noticed the subframe was rotted from inside out causing the engine to fall out the next summer nearly killing my son! but they signed it was fine! really" now we have case # 1373091992 8/10/12 picked up van. Broke= A/C, R-window, heater engine, airbag, brake light on, runs hot steering= thumps makes noise (full fluid) skip gears, sways, barely can get up a hill. 11yr old scared to drive in

- Highland Lakes, NJ, USA

problem #160

May 162011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 108,000 miles
The issue is caused by heat in the ABS (anti-lock brake system) ECM (electronic control module) (2C219) module causing expansion of a large aluminum plate (heat sink) in the ECM which is attached to the ECM main circuit board at all points. The expansion occurs when the unit gets warm especially in the summer months and causes intermittent electrical connection in the unit because the fragile board is being stretched and malformed. The code most commonly scanned by professional mechanics is code C1185. Seen by us owners as a yellow ABS brake light.

- Baton Rouge, LA, USA

problem #159

Jun 142011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 108,000 miles
ABS brake light on brake light on the (mostly unserviceable) ECU master relay has a bad soldier joint which fails prematurely and causes the ABS light and dtc C1185. It also causes the enhanced ABS braking system to become inoperable.

- Baton Rouge, LA, USA

problem #158

Jan 032012

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 151,457 miles
My ABS light comes on and my ABS doesn't work! also my vehicle has an issue with starting. It could happen once a week or once a month. It is so weird, I have replaced the starter, the sensors. Tested everything else and nothing is bad. Don't know what else to replace.

- Taunton, MA, USA

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