hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
50,919 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2001 Ford Windstar Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #49

Sep 242014


  • 136,000 miles


The contact owns a 2001 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that while driving approximately 55 mph, the vehicle decelerated and failed to pick up speed. The contact merged to the side of the road and turned it off. The vehicle was restarted, but the speed would not increase past 5 mph. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic. The technician diagnosed that the transmission had failed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate mileage was 136,000.

- Chehalis, WA, USA

problem #48

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 #47

Jan 272011


  • 140,000 miles
2001 Ford Windstar. I took it to the dealership to have some safety recalls done. A few days later I was driving along and smoke started boiling out from under the hood so I pulled over and by the time I got stopped and got the kids out safely it quit smoking. I raised the hood and could see some burned wiring under the brake master cylinder. We got back in and drove on then the transmission started shifting wrong and the brake pedal didn't feel right, it felt spongy. I took it to my mechanic who is ase master and Ford senior master certified. He replaced the trans range sensor and told me that the fire was caused by a defective cruise control deactivation switch leaking brake fluid.he replaced the switch and advised me to take it back to the dealer and have them do the recall which is what they were supposed to have done in the first place. He said that it also had a damaged ABS module and wiring and that was part of the recall.I called them and they said they only did the rear axle recall that was on the letter I got from Ford. My mechanic said that they were required by law to complete all safety recalls while it was in their possession. I am going to take it back but I'm afraid to drive it cause it hardly has any brakes. My mechanics said it was because all the brake fluid leaked out of the switch and got air in the lines.

- Booneville, MS, USA

problem #46

Jun 222011


  • 51,686 miles


The contact owns a 2001 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that while driving 60 mph the automatic transmission failed, causing the vehicle to stall in the middle of the highway. The vehicle was pulled over to the side of the road and stopped. The vehicle was not taken to have the failure diagnosed or repaired. The failure mileage was 51,686.

- New York, NY, USA

problem #45

May 212010

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 40,163 miles
I bought this vehicle in March of 2010. Two months after buying it I was driving home from L.a. and didn't notice until to late that the od off light was flashing. I had it towed to ammco and was told that the torque converter went out and that the trans had to be replaced. So this is what I had done. Since I had this replacement done with the transmission I have had the od off light flash on and off periodically. Every time the light comes on I run it back over to ammco and they test it to find the same code over and over, torque converter/clutch error. They have since replaced the transmission a second time, contacted the manufacturer on several occasions and spoke with several sources of theirs and they cannot find the problem. They have since told me that there is nothing else that can be done and think that it may be caused by the ABS/brake light occasionally coming on.

- Valencia, CA, USA

problem #44

Sep 092010

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 194,500 miles
My 2001 Windstar had been making a scrunching noise each time I went off a curb. I took it to a tire place as that's when I found the crack in the axle in August 2010. The tire dealer didn't make that kind of repair so I call Ford dealership who told me to bring the car in and that a recall had just been issued. My car sat for six months. On 1/26/2011 the dealer called and said my axle had been repaired and that I could pick the car up. I couldn't pick it up that day. On 1/27/11 I heard the news state a new recall and I looked it up. Turns out my car is involved in that recall too. I went to the dealer and I communicated to them that I do not want that vehicle back under any circumstances. The ABS light has been malfunctioning for three years or more. Since I got the vehicle I had many problems with sensors and I have had to replace the transmission after having only around 78,000 miles on the vehicle. I completed all maintenance on my vehicle as suggested by Ford, yet I have had so many problems. I called Ford on 1/27 and told them I do not want the vehicle back. They said a buy back isn't being offered for this recall at this time. It may be offered when the letter is distributed. I still do not want this vehicle back. I have three children and I cannot trust that this vehicle is safe.

- Canal Winchester, OH, USA

problem #43

Feb 012010

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 70,000 miles


When the transmission got hot, after about 30-40 miles of driving the steering wheel starts to shimmy like the wheels are going to fall off. Was told that there was a flaw in the design of a bearing that rides on the main shaft of trans, the one that connects the trans to the torque converter and engine. It was not able to handle to load and cuts a groove in to the shaft. This allows the trans to leak. Once the grove gets deep the bearings can fall out and cause more damage to the transmission. The affects of the transmission getting hot could cause the driver to lose control of vehicle or become stranded in the roadway, causing a collision. Was told the cost of repair would be $1500-$2500 depending on the amount of damage done to internal components.

- Havelock, NC, USA

problem #42

Jul 152010

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 20,500 miles
2001 Ford Windstar SE sport, 20,000 miles ABS, brake, & tire pressure lights come on after first starting car and running for a while.. ABS and brake lights go on and off, tire pressure light stays on even with all 4 new tires equally filled at 35psi. Just bought this van. Transmission slips, had it drained and serviced 1 month ago with no problem reported.

- Atco, NJ, USA

problem #41

May 102010


  • 123,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Ford Windstar. While driving approximately 30 mph the contact heard a rubbing noise underneath the rear end of the vehicle. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic who confirmed that the rear axle was bent. The rear axle was replaced by the independent mechanic. The failure has not recurred since the vehicle was repaired; however, transmission fluid has leaked out of the vehicle. The transmission leak was not diagnosed by the dealer. The failure and current mileages were 123,000.

- Longmeadow, MA, USA

problem #40

May 252008


  • 154,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Ford Windstar. While driving 25 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact restarted the vehicle and drove to his residence. The dealer stated that there was no recall for the vehicle and repairs would only be made at the contact's expense. The transmission was the cause of the failure. Through online research, the contact found numerous reports from consumers who were experiencing the same failure. The vehicle has not been repaired. The failure and current mileages were 154,000.

- Sanford, NC, USA

problem #39

May 232009


  • 107,148 miles


I was driving my mother-in law to a restaurant with my husband and 3 children. On the way there was a squealing sound from the rear of the vehicle and we assumed it could have been a low tire. We stopped added air and went on but the squealing continued. We went around a very winding curve at 25mph [way below the recommended] and the van was almost uncontrollable. As though someone covered the road with oil [by the way, it is 92 degrees and very sunny here]. my husband thought that maybe we had a busted shock. When we came home, my husband removed the rear, driver's side tire to find that the tire had been rubbing the fenderwell - alot [which explains the burning tire smell on our way home]. upon inspecting the rear end of the van, the rear axle is almost in two!!! we never had any problems with the rear of the van before and actually just had tires put on 3 months ago and it was not noticed!!! I cannot drive this vehicle until it is fixed and don't know when that will happen because of the cost of this major repair. We could have all been killed if this would have happened on our way home, or on our way out-of-town tomorrow!! thank god we found the problem today!!! I find it very irresponsible that Ford has not recalled this - they have recalled seatbelts, airbags and gas pedals due to safety concerns - why not this? I am not the only Windstar owner this has happened too. There are others and their complaints I'm sure you have also received- they are posted on numerous sites on the internet. I would understand it not being recalled if I was the only one it happened to - but I'm not!!!

- Huntington, WV, USA

problem #38

Jan 072009


  • 50,000 miles
ABS light, brake light, and traction control light come on at once.

- Fairfield, CT, USA

problem #37

Mar 152008


  • Automatic transmission
  • 124,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Ford Windstar. From time to time he was unable to shift gears out of park without some maneuvering. The dealer stated that there was a safety recall and that it was performed with the first owner. The current mileage was 129,500 and the failure mileage was 124,000. Updated 06/25/08 the dealer informed the consumer the problem he experienced was not due to the recall, and that his problem was originated from somewhere else. The consumer wished to withdraw his complaint. Updated 06/25/08

- Manor, PA, USA

problem #36

Jul 072007

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles
Mid-summer vacation trip from West Virginia to North Carolina. Within a few miles of return to West Virginia the transmission started to leak and eventually lost approximately 8 quarts of fluid. Major slippage started within 6 miles of home. We managed to limp to our driveway before the slippage was so bad we could not move the vehicle forward. I installed 8 quarts of fluid and drove it to repair shop -- no sign of leakage on that 15 mile trip. I subsequently drove the vehicle to a transmission repair shop, another 15 miles with no leakage. The transmission repair shop pulled the transmission, replaced the front seal and replaced the torque converter (slight groove on shaft that repairman said would cause the new seal to fail if the torque converter was not replaced). Vehicle had just under 65,000 miles on it when failure occurred. Note: The seal failure appears to be related to an overheating condition. This is made obvious by the fact that no leaks occurred during two 15-mile trips subsequent to failure and before repair was conducted. Anothe downside to this experience is that after spending $1100 for the repair there is no warranty because the transmission repair shop did not disassemble and inspect the transmission, which would have been another major expense. The transmission function appears to be ok but I won't be trusting this vehicle again for long trips out of town. Given the 65,000 mile failure and internet history of low-mileage transmission failures without resolutions from Ford, this will be the last Ford I will own.

- Salem, WV, USA

problem #35

Aug 262006

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles
I have a Ford Windstar van with less than 50,000 miles and the transmission has failed. Transmission and vehicle have been maintained. Noticed other complaints on the internet concerning transmissions in Windstar.

- Fairfax, VA, USA

problem #34

Aug 202006

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 31,066 miles
On a recent road trip, I noticed the transmission jumping from high gear to low gear. I took it to a Ford dealer and was told the transmission needed replacement at a cost of over $1400. I bought my Windstar new and it only has 32,000 miles on it. I have always owned Ford and was looking at a Fusion for my next vehicle. However, I think I will see what Chevy has to offer.

- Pompano Beach, FL, USA

problem #33

Mar 182006


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I was at a busy intersection when my 2001 Ford Windstar jerked a little and when I gave it the gas to go, it would not hardly move. It took a while to get it to move, very slowly. I had it towed to the transmission repair shop. He has checked it out and says the reverse gears were melted together.

- New Market, AL, USA

problem #32

Jan 082006

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,500 miles
: the contact stated while driving at various speeds there was a noise coming from the front end. As the vehicle accelerated the noise increased. Upon inspection the dealership found the differential unit needed replaced. The dealership determined the transmission normally does not need preventive maintenance at such a low mileage. The repairs have not been made.

- Gainesville, VA, USA

problem #31

Dec 272005


  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,000 miles
My wife was driving home from picking up the kids when the transmission failed without warning. She was able to put the car in neutral and roll backwards to the side of the road. Had the transmission failed 5 minutes earlier, she would have been turning off a busy street and could have been hit by oncoming traffic with two kids in the car. The dealer diagnosed the problem as a failure of the tourque converter and valve body due to excessive wear on the rod leading into the valve body. The van has 51,000 miles on it. The replacement will cost $3,000. I don't believe that the transmission should go at this point in the cars life.

- Milton, MA, USA

problem #30

Aug 122005

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I was getting ready to leave work, put my car in reverse and heard a loud bang. My car wouldn't move. The transmission just died. No warning in advance. The car is a 2001 Ford Windstar with 51,000 miles on it and cost my $ 3000 for a brand new transmission. Ford stated " no warranty" over 30,000 miles sorry. Should this be happening to a van that is only 4 years old and that cost me $27,000. The garage that installed my transmission stated that the parts melted together and we were lucky it didn't start on fire.

- Northampton, PA, USA

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