really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 4
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
75,400 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2001 Ford Windstar Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #26

Sep 112014

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 96,859 miles


I am the original owner of this 2001 Ford Windstar SE minivan which now has a rusted, corroded and broken passenger side engine subframe which renders the vehicle unsafe to drive. I complied with the earlier Ford recalls with regard to this issue (11S16) and the service was completed (6/20/2012) at the Ford dealership. Now after 27 months and less than 16,000 miles later, the engine subframe breaks and the cost to repair of about $5,000 exceeds the kelley blue book values for the vehicle. Ford has refused any help and claims they have complied with the recall work and the matter is closed. I believe the recall support bracket that was installed was nothing more that a band-aid approach to correct a major safety issue with substandard engine subframe parts. I have asked Ford to buy my vehicle back, as that was an option under the recall(11S16) but they have refused again saying the matter was closed. It seems to me that the engine subframe parts should last much longer than 13 years or 97,000 miles. After all Ford suggests the 1st engine tune up for this vehicle at 100,000 miles. I guess I won't be worrying about that in the future. I have this vehicle now for a short while and I have pictures of the broken subframe. I will be getting rid of it probably to a junk yard for scrap value. I am worried about all the other Windstar owners driving around with this same potential condition on our roads and highways. I want you to initiate a follow up investigation into the effectiveness of the recall fix(11S16) as seen on my vehicle and others. As a result of this experience, I will never own another Ford in my life.

- Auburn Hills, MI, USA

problem #25

Jun 222014


  • 159,288 miles
While investigating the 50 mph failure of the PCM module, and the ongoing off/on action of the ABS module, I ran across what appears to be a mistake on page 43-3 of the fomoco "2001 wiring diagrams/Windstar" manual (fcs-12255-01). I exchanged several emails, case # cas-4648613-L1X1R6 crm:03259000003405, with the Ford customer relations center about this matter until they told me to contact a dealer. I sent the questions to my dealer asking for correct information, but they haven't acknowledged my inquiry. What I suspect is all Windstar's on the road today may be operating with only one-half of the scp (J1850 pwm) network operational. Now that many of the defective ABS modules are failing, are other Windstar in danger of engine failure at speed like ours? the two simple questions I asked fomoco are: 1) are you sure circuit 915 (data bus-) should be grounded at the ABS module? 2) what is the proper termination for the Ford data bus (circuits 914& 915), 120 ohms, 650 ohms, 3K ohms, what and where?

- Noblesville, IN, USA

problem #24

Jul 132013

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 98,000 miles
All parts are affected, my car which is Ford Windstar 2001, it got fired by itself at early mornings while it was parked and ignition was off, we are the victim of the Ford Windstar 2001, my car is totally burned.

- Watseka, IL, USA

problem #23

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 #22

Apr 022012

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 146,000 miles
Was riding on the highway when my car just stopped and seen transmission oil everywhere on the floor an now van wont move but turn on.

- Providence, RI, USA

problem #21

Mar 172012

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 186,950 miles
The engine cradle was severely rusted and had a catastrophic failure. I narrowly avoided getting T boned and crashed head first into a small hill. My fiance and my self were uninjured but where extremely shook up over this. I lost all control of the steering and the entire engine and transmission where on the ground. Thanks to this defect in Ford design I am now without a car and either my fiance or myself could have been badly injured or died.

- Allentown, PA, USA

problem #20

May 212011


  • 125,655 miles


There have been numerous issues with this vehicle lately. Car would not start, power steering went out, oil light stays on, I have to put oil in every week, seat motor stop working and now the brakes do not work. We were driving out of town with our 3 kids and I went to press the brakes just to find that it was not there - it was all the way up under the dash board!!!

- Clayton, NC, USA

problem #19

Apr 212011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 87,000 miles
Automobile leaking oil and smoking. Engine, ABS and brake lights constantly illuminated until they were removed by the dealer I informed him the vehicle would not pass inspection and told him of my saftey concerns regarding the same.

- New York, NY, USA

problem #18

Sep 172010


  • 130,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that the vehicle was taken to the dealer for a recall repair under NHTSA campaign id 10V385000 (suspension:rear:axle:non-powered axle assembly), and during the inspection the technician noticed that the front passenger side rear mount engine cradle was cracked with substantial corrosion. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 130,000.

- South Lyon, MI, USA

problem #17

Sep 202002

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 17,055 miles
Frequent stalling and inconsistent engine idle, especially when car is stopped but still in gear (at traffic lights, etc). Parts repaired and/or replaced include: Coil wire, cam sensor, cylinder wire and fuel pump. Repeated blown fuses for fuel pump. Even after repairs car still stalls when stopped and engine idle is inconsistent, worse when stopped. Has been a problem with this vehicle since 2002.

- Hillsdale, NJ, USA

problem #16

Jun 262009


  • 78,349 miles


Ref. NHTSA defect investigation PE10026: 2001 Ford Windstar experienced front engine cradle failure on passenger side while vehicle in motion, 26 June 2009. No injuries but rattled nerves. Half shaft and engine cradle replaced - vehicle impeded traffic for an hour until removed by flat bed truck.

- Westland, MI, USA

problem #15

Oct 192009


  • 110 miles
2001 Ford Windstar very well maintained records to show. Engine failure (bad rod) with no warning. No leaks or use of oil ever. Mechanic said there is no reason for the failure except for maybe a faulty rod.

- Lockwood, NY, USA

problem #14

Jul 222009


  • 75,000 miles
2001 Ford Windstar was sitting in the parking lot started on fire under the hood. Vehicle was totaled.

- Sparta, MI, USA

problem #13

Jul 192005


  • 65,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Ford Windstar. When the contact first purchased the vehicle, it shut off. The rings in the engine had to be replaced. She also heard a rumbling sound when the brake pedal was depressed. An auto repair shop stated that the brakes were operating normally; however, after much complaining, the contact had the front brakes replaced. The windshield wipers stopped working after a new windshield was installed. The vehicle was diagnosed and the motor was found to be the cause of the failure. The motor was replaced. A couple of months later, the vehicle began leaking antifreeze and was towed to a repair shop. The contact was informed that the fuel injection hoses were leaking. The leak was repaired. Three weeks later, the vehicle would buck and shut off. She was informed that the catalytic converter was completely destroyed. Lastly, the contact noticed an issue with the rear of the vehicle. It would fishtail or wobble while driving various speeds. The dealer stated that the vehicle was no longer included in the factory warranty. The manufacturer has not been notified. The current mileage was 74,056 and failure mileage was approximately 65,000.

- Manchester, NH, USA

problem #12

Oct 172008

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles
The contact's parents own a 2001 Ford Windstar. While the contact's parents were driving 40 mph, the vehicle completely lost power. They pulled over to the side of the road and noticed flames underneath the hood. After five minutes, the vehicle exploded four times and was destroyed. The fire department was called and a report was filed. The manufacturer has not been notified. The current and failure mileages were approximately 70,000. Updated 11/17/08 the consumer stated he read on the internet that his make and model had problems with the cruise control. Updated 11/18/08.

- Babylon, NY, USA

problem #11

Feb 012007

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Ford Windstar. The air conditioner, cruise control, and radio failed. The contact inspected the switch on the master cylinder and noticed that the switch for the cruise control was covered with fluid. The cruise control switch was replaced; however, the new switch also failed. He cut the wires to the switch in order to operate the vehicle. He then heard a knocking sound coming from the engine compartment. The lifters were replaced, but the knocking sound continued. The upper intake was replaced as well. The purchase date was unknown. The failure mileage was 98,000 and current mileage was 119,000.

- Hattiesburg , MS, USA

problem #10

Jun 222007

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 190,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Ford Windstar. While driving 50 mph, the contact noticed smoke coming from the vehicle. The contact pulled over and exited the vehicle before it burst into flames. The vehicle is at a tow yard. There will not be an investigation to find the cause of failure because the vehicle only had liability coverage. The Florida highway patrol case # is C07offo66334. The powertrain was unknown. The current and failure mileages were 190,000.

- River View, FL, USA

problem #9

Jul 302006

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,030 miles
: the contact stated the vehicle's head gasket blew out while traveling 50 mph and caused the vehicle's check engine light to illuminate. The vehicle was towed to an independent repair shop who determined that the head gasket needed to be replaced. The dealer and the manufacturer were contacted and determined the vehicle had to be taken to the dealer for a diagnostic test.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #8

May 202006

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,611 miles
: the contact stated while driving there was a gasoline odor emitting from the vents of the vehicle. The vehicle was pulled over and the hood was opened for inspection. The plastic fuel line failed where the plastic line connects with the steel line. As a result, fuel sprayed onto the engine. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for replacement of the entire fuel line which corrected the problem. The intake manifold failed. Updated 06/12/06. 8jb

- Nashville, TN, USA

problem #7

Nov 022004

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
1) there were 2 major problems with our Ford Windstar 2001 which we bought brand new from our dealer. The first problem: We thought there was a lot of smoke coming out of exhaust. It looked like it was burning oil. Took it in to the dealer the first time and they replaced a seal. We took a trip and took it back to the dealer and they said there was coolant leaking into the intake manifold and we would need a new engine. We ended up spending about $3500 on the car. The second problem was related to the ABS brain failed and we would need to replace it and that would be about $1200. It was at this point, we decided we would not pursue that repair as that would mean we would have put in about 5K into our car within a year. 3) Ford went in "half" with us on the engine replacement. I do not recall the exact date for the first failure. The second failure was approximately January 2005.

- Temple Terrace, FL, USA

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