really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
106,850 miles
Total Complaints:
16 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (6 reports)
  2. replace transmission (4 reports)
  3. trash this car (4 reports)
  4. call a junk yard, or set it on fire (2 reports)
2001 Ford Windstar transmission problems

transmission problem

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2001 Ford Windstar Owner Comments

problem #16

Jun 012013

Windstar SEL 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles


My transmission experienced a severe leak. When the leak was being investigated, I was advised that the transmission had failed as well.

- Ronald D., Willowbrook, IL, US

problem #15

Oct 152013

Windstar LX 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 144,000 miles

Avoid like the plaque indeed. Me and my wife bought the van with 77k miles in 2006 from a used car dealer. Years later I found out that the transmission had already been rebuilt! at only 77k miles! How did I find out? I got under the car one day and found a sticker on the transmission that said "remanufactured". That is enough evidence for me. We bought this van with the intention of keeping it for at least 10 years, but this is no Toyota Previa. That just isn't possible without extraordinary luck or sinking a ton of money into it.

I experienced a few problems with this van but the failure of the transmission was the final straw. One morning while driving, I got the blinking overdrive light of doom, meaning that the transmission has failed. However I could still use 3rd gear which allowed me to limp back home. It's a good thing I wasn't far from home that day and traffic was light. In the end, we sold the van to the junkyard, with only 144k miles on the odometer! Absolutely ridiculous. At 144k miles most Toyotas and Hondas are just breaking in. I won't stay away from Fords completely because of Ford trucks like the F-150 and Ranger which are among the most reliable vehicles on the market. but I am definitely more careful now when looking for a new car. I would not want another lemon like this one!

- John E., Houston, TX, US

problem #14

Jun 232010

Windstar SE 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 114,625 miles

click to see larger images

trasmission failure

ok so my moms 2001 ford windstar se transmission failed when we were in the moutains going on vacation there was road work going on on saluda moutain and it was a struggle to get up the mountain we notice smoke and we was hoping it wasent coming from the van then when we was creeping up the moutain a truck driver tells us tht he can tell by the smell tht the trasmission is going out so we had to buy some oil for it and we had to got about 75 more miles with it smoking and we finnaly got there we found a repair shop and had to have it rebuilt the couple who owns the shop let us borrow their personal van to use while ours was being repaired they were so nice it came out at a woping 2500 to get it fixed and now 2 years later it is going out again and we recently got reaended in it and i think tht might have caused it but ford says it wont be coverd so yea i HATE HATE HATE ford for making sh*tty transmisssions and putting them in cars to get money assholes

- johnathon, Ninety Six, SC, US

problem #13

Feb 022011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 126,993 miles


I am soooo PISSED RIGHT NOW!! I was driving at night to pick up my husband from work and the van's RPM shot up! When I tried to pull over it just stopped running altogether! I knew what the problem was because I just purchased the van a year ago and after one week of having the van the transmission went out on it. the dealership did cover the costs of fixing it when it broke the first time but they must have replaced it with another faulty transmission because there is NO WAY a transmission goes bad after 1 year! I try to support anything that is made in the USA but if this is the way the USA builds their cars then maybe I need to go buy a foreign one!! Thanks Ford!

- honilove31, Charleston, SC, US

problem #12

Sep 042010

Windstar 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

had left home w/ 3 kids on an afternoon out. had to come back to get redbox that needed to be returned. to my surprise no reverse. absolutely no warning. thought i had lost my mind. had mechanic come out to house and inspect things out. what a surprise to hear a bam and pow when they tried to roll it back off the carport. what a labor day weekend w/o a vehicle. have spent the last 5 days calling every auto parts place in the yellow pages and waiting for calls to be returned. there are only 2 to be found in my area and both have over 100,000 miles on them. wow!!!! there is one online for $850 w/ only 40,000 miles. i have just ordered it. what a chance to take as a single mother living paycheck to paycheck. thanks Ford. sincerly buying an import next time.

- vondah, Spotsylvania, VA, US

problem #11

Jul 192010

Windstar SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,000 miles

I had my van serviced regularly. I don't drive crazy. I take care of my vehicles, it's like new inside and out, the only warning it gave me is a big bang then overdrive light started flashing. I pulled over to check it, smoke rolled out and transmission fluid was running everywhere. And I live in the middle of nowhere., and was 40miles from home. So thanks a lot Ford I wont buy another Ford. I should have stuck to Chevy!!!!!!!!!!

- Lynn K., Centralia, KS, US

problem #10

Jul 012010

Windstar LX 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,992 miles


Never buy a Ford Windstar. I've purchased a 1995 Ford Windstar back in 2001, had transmission failures few months later. Same problem with a 1996 Ford Windstar. To explain the problem, the car would jerk when it would shift from 1st gear to the 2nd. At times the car transmission would stop moving, but the RPM would be at 4-5K. In 2008, I purchased a 2001 Ford Windstar, thinking Ford might have changed the transmission. Although the transmission was much better at shifting than the previous models, it still gave me transmission problems. One day I was driving to play basketball with friends, I parked my car, now a few hours later...I came back, started my car, and noticed a weird noise coming from my van (a little metal object was moving around somewhere in my transmission), while driving, I noticed jerks in my van. Came to realize, there was a fluid leak, so I took it to "Mister Transmission" and they told me it was my mainshaft seal leaking, the repair was $500. My advice to you is, never buy a Ford again. For those who don't know, 2010 Mustangs have a recall on brakes.

- from toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

problem #9

Jun 152010

Windstar DX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 175,000 miles

I unlike everyone else that has complained am into this windstar $0 so i really can't complain as i am only into it for the cost of registration plus insurance as it was given to us by some one at my wifes church that bought a new one and were givin away this 2001 one for a new 2010 and was only used highway everyday which is probably why it went 175k miles.

Problem is it had 170k on it when we got it for free and 5k miles later tranny stranded me on commute to work, It just stopped accelerating like it was stuck in neutral and i got out of it and noticed something leaking underneith. It was dumping trans fluid all over the ground. Had it checked and was told they couldn't find any leak and there was no problem. I told them at the shop that was impossible as i saw it with my own eyes dumping out of the trans. So they stress tested the tranny ( which they didn't do the first time they just had it on the rack idling in park checking for leaks ) After stressing the tranny a bit sure enough it started dumping fluid out again and i was told the front seal had blown out and was leaking out the fuild and it would cost $700-$1000 to replace a damn $4 dollar seal just because of the R&R involved to get to it. And i nearly paid to have it done until stumbling upon this site today and read all the issues there seems to be with windstars especially 2000 thru 2003 having the flawed rear axle that can snap that ford is being sued over. I am just glad i read this site and a few others before dumping a bunch of $$ into this van which is dissapointing as i really liked this van it is in great shape inside and out and was confortable to drive and still runs perfectly even at 175k miles, But i guess it is just going to be a junker now or a trade in if i can get dealer to take it off my hands and let them repair it.

- davidindiana, Lacrosse, IN, US

problem #8

May 312010

Windstar V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,206 miles

So I buy this used 2001 Windstar van just under 2 years ago..I was looking at a Ford Taurus car, but salesman talks me into going newer...I paid 9000.00 for this van, the car would have only been about 3000.00. So he tells me to buy this van I am looking 5 years before anything major happens to itm with an older car I will be nickled and dimed to death.

So on May 31st,my daughter and me go shopping to WalMart closest one to us is 2 hour drive away, We had a good day shopping, when I get home I put my van in reverse and back into my driveway...i see smoke and it stinks...and I leave a trail from the road to my driveway...yup transmission....I had to have it towed to the Ford dealership here...and they want 4 thousand dollars to repair the dam thing..I am stuck I have no other options then to get it fixed..I just sunk every dime I had into buying and paying of and renovating my home,...Ford SUCKS...I had a 1998 Chevy Cavalier that I paid 1750.00 for and it lasted me 5 years...

I would like to sue there srses of for false advertising...oh thats right it the gimic buy our product we guarentee you it will break down the day after the warranty expires...oh yea and the dealership never did offer me any type of warranty on this used vehicle..

Would like to add I am a single mom busting her butt off to support my kids...

- kelee877, Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada

problem #7

Dec 092009

Windstar SEL 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 107,747 miles

I bought the van Planet Honda in matteson Il in August 2009. I paid cash for the van. I took the van home and my husband took it to work every day. The van ended with approx 5,000 miles on it. When we bought the van they said there was nothing wrong with the van. I even took it to Ford to change the oil on the folowing month. All of sudden, my husband got it home an he said. He got out and went to get in it again and said the van wont move. He check the transmission fluid, it was in there. but it would not move. We called Honda and they didn't want us to bring it to get it fixed..told me it was as is..but I said a transmission shiould not be going out if 4months. It had to have a problem already.

Anyway I ended up taking to AAMCO Transmissions and then i was leaving for New York and wanted to drive it there. Got all the way to 1 hour from our house 8 hour drive and it stopped again. Then had to take it to another AAMCO because it was under warranty and they fixed it..this was all on christmas week. I was so upset. got it back to chicago, send a letter, faxed and emailed and the owner of Honda ended up giving me $400 towards the deal. I just got the check and I feel there had to have been something wrong with that vehicle when we got it. But that's all they would do..what should I do..just forget about it..

- Anita S., Dolton, II, US

problem #6

Dec 022009

Windstar LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles


I can't believe this junk of a car keeps having problems. Now it is the transmission. When it down shifts from 2nd to 1st, I get a big jolt. It doesn't happen ALL the time, but keeps me worried. Now that I read MULTIPLE problems with transmissions and cars stalling.....I don't know what to do. I am not putting another dime to this piece of junk.


- Erick U., Bayonne, NJ, US

problem #5

Oct 122009

Windstar V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,500 miles

I have had the same problem as everyone else. My car has been taken care of. The light was on and i was told it was the gas cap. The light was reset. I am driving it today, stopped at a light heard a big noise, like I was hit from behind and the car goes in reverse not drive. Waiting to see how much it is going to cost. The car is in beutiful shape. It looks brand new. I have one child and need my car. I can not afford 2500.00 to have if fixed. Has anyone received any help from ford.

- jmessina, Chardon, OH, US

problem #4

Jan 102007

Windstar SEL 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,000 miles

Bought this 2001 car in late 2006 from my in-laws in California. Barely any miles on it. Had a local garage go over it. Turns out the transmission hoses were brittle (which they didn't catch) and on my wife's first trip to Big Bear up a steep incline, they burst and the transmission fluid gushed out and the tranny seized up. Long story short, we patched it up for about $1200 but it lurched from 1st into 2nd and got increasingly worse. So we bit the bullet and bought a new transmission at AAMCO for $3500. That lasted a year and a half - then due to a "computer glitch" that tranny died six months after the one-year warrantee. So we shelled out another $3500. Other fit and finish issues have plagued us with this car. Electrical, cooling and other headaches. Thank God for Cash 4 Clunkers (along with my son's departure for college allowing us to say goodbye to the minivan years). We're driving a Prius now. I have little to no faith in American cars, sorry to say.

- knute5, Lakewood, CA, US

problem #3

Aug 222008

Windstar LX 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 118,000 miles

I just got done fixing my transmission on my Explorer for small fee of 2500.00 now I have to turn around and shell out a couple of thousands off dollars and ford has the gall to say there reliability is as good as Toyota's that should be false advertising

- unknowns_1999, Oshkosh, WI, US

problem #2

Aug 082008

Windstar LX 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,750 miles

On my way down LBI for the weekend, broke down. Looked under car and saw tranni fluid gushing out. called for a tow ($70.00). The mechanics that worked on it said they know that there was a tranni leak but cannot tell why or what the problem was ($200.00). Drove it home and it seemed fine for 3 weeks - then it happened again. haven't even finished paying for it. loosing my mind - Hightstown ford please save me.

- Tom H., Trenton, NJ, US

problem #1

May 202008

Windstar LX 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles

Never EVER Ford again... Just stay away from these JUNKS and git the hell away from these Jip OFF dealers who gives a SH** about the customers. My car died in the middle of the intersection with my kid in the back seat during a Monday morning commute, transmission dies at 58000 miles, revved the junk upto 6-7000 rpm to move at 2mph. Finally get to Ford dealer and tries to rip me off $4800. Call around town for transmission places and they all give me the same stupid quote of $3-4000 to fix. Bought the junk form my friend for $4000, aint gonna spend $4000 more on this junk, so i went to the Toyota dealer and bought a used Sienna. Get this, they towed the junk from the Ford dealer and paid them the $200FU inspection fee and put that junk towards my downpayment for a trouble free luxury gas saving awesome Sienna! If I had fixed the junk myself and spent $4000, I would not have been able to sell it and I would've been stuck with more problems. I would suggest that anyone who owns these junks get rid of them fast as possible before you're stuck in these junks and dealing with stupid customer service at Ford. Just browsing on the internet about how bad Ford is proves everyone's point on these complaint blogs. I don't think Ford gives a crap about what happens to anyone after they purchase their junks. After service is horrible and they treat you like a piece of SH*T. I also owned a 1999 Ford Ranger XLT bought brand new, broke down in 3 years. That is the extent of Ford, they only last 3-5 years and then it's Fix Or Repair Daily. I would buy a KIA or a Hyundai over FORD.

- fixorrepairdaily, Lomita, CA, US

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