really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 15
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
111,807 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.

2002 Ford Windstar electrical problems

electrical problem

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2002 Ford Windstar Owner Comments (Page 3 of 12)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #187

Mar 012013


  • 120,000 miles


ABS and brake warning lights light up randomly and cruise control stops working. Main brakes still function. I see lots of similar complaints online. Had brakes repaired twice and the mechanic always mentions a loss of brake fluid. Even after that, the problem persists. I do not believe my VIN was ever part of the scds switch recall but I am suspicious this may be somehow related (?). if so, there could be risk of a fire and I do not feel safe. I'd like some answers before I spend any more money at local mechanic fixing this car. Calling Ford dealer tomorrow to see if there is anything they can do.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #186

Apr 022012


  • 97,000 miles
We bought our van in March 2012. By April 2012 we began noticing problems with shifting. It shifts hard. The windows stopped working in May 2012. The lights on the dash for the ABS and brakes are always on. The brakes are not very good and the pedal must be pushed hard to get the van to stop. Our biggest issue is with the transmission. The mechanic at aamco would not even change the fluid because if he changed the fluid then the transmission wouldn't be able to shift. I don't know the details but I do know that my van is not safe to drive.

- Largo, FL, USA

problem #185

Jul 012010

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
Alarm warning lights come on for ABS airbag and speedometer and tach fails.

- Elizabethtown, PA, USA

problem #184

Aug 232005

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 4,193,097 miles


Transmission light in dash has been on for years now. Local dealers tell me there is nothing wrong. They take my money and don't fix the problem. ABS light is on. Parts were bought and replaced by the dealer with in a year light back on. Cruise control cut out replaced twice. Dealer cant figure these problems out but if enough of your own research is done there are ways to figure out what is going on. Even if the dealer can't front frame mounts are rusting so bad you can pull it apart with your hands certified safe from dealer.

- Delta, OH, USA

problem #183

May 032013


  • 204,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that while driving 70 mph, the rear axle fractured. The contact was able to move the vehicle onto the road shoulder and drove the vehicle into a ditch for safety. The vehicle was then towed to the dealer, who replaced the rear axle. The contact also stated that the fractured axle caused damage to the air conditioning line, speedometer and cruise control system. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure and current mileage was 204,000. Kmj

- Pawpaw , MI, USA

problem #182

Jun 232012


  • 135,000 miles
My 2002 Ford Windstar has had many parts tested. They all seem to test good. Battery, alternator to name a few. When driving the van hazards come on ( without turning them on ) the radio shuts off, the heat turns off and power is lost as if it's the alternator. ABS lights come on and then the dash panel lights up like a christmas tree.. oh then the vehicle dies and won't start, clicks like it's the alternator or battery but they test fine.. after searching many blogs this seems to be a big issue with many mechanics that don't know what it is.. this needs to be fixed it's a pain and thank god for aaa but really should I have to use my aaa all the time/ this particular vehicle spent 6 months in the Ford garage in 2010. Now what when you buy something you think it will be good for you and your family and that you can use it as a primary car. We have lost days from work, money and money for trying different parts now what"?"

- Fremont, NH, USA

problem #181

Oct 162012

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 102,000 miles


My ABS and brake warning lamp comes on periodically for no known reason. There was a recall on brake lamp switch a few years back and now this concern exists.

- Glendale, AZ, USA

problem #180

Dec 152011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 118,000 miles
After purchasing from a dealer in Oct of 2010 the ABS light, check traction control light, brake light and air bag light started coming on intermittently. Had the vehicle serviced in mi for the axle recall. Was without the vehicle and had loaner car for 2 months. After getting vehicle back the lights were on more consistently the dealership noted this but did not offer any reason found for this. By summer of 2011 these lights were staying on almost constantly and this continued for a year, after investigating this issue online and seeing that other owners have invested hundreds of dollars trying to get the lights to go off and stay off only to have them keep coming back on we have decided to file a complaint as this issue is not a simple fix and obviously is happening in hundreds of vehicles. Our problem has progressed to where the speedometer and odometer go wildly up and down while driving at highway speeds and we are never sure of our speed. The lights on the dash go out and the power to door locks, radio and A/C power is lost as well as the blinkers for lane changes. This vehicle is very unsafe but we need it as we have 5 children and can not afford to buy a new one. The power window on passenger side as well as the power sliding doors do not work. When this issue happens if their happened to be an electrical fire because of it, we would be unable to exit the vehicle because the doors are locked and the knobs on the interior of this model are flush into the door when the vehicle is locked and can not be manually pulled up. With children, this is a very serious safety concern. Please please investigate this issue with the Ford Windstar. I have also contacted for with my complaint and they only would say there are no recalls on this issue right now but to save my receipts should I try to get it fixed in case one is issued in the future.

- Livonia, MI, USA

problem #179

Dec 232012

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 178,888 miles
Battery light comes on periodically - driving home my radio shut off, ABS brake light came on, dash lights dimmed then shut off, head lights began flashing, heater may have stopped (not sure, was focusing on the next road to pull off on), could not accelerate. I pulled over, shut off the van and waited. A few minutes later it turned over like nothing was wrong. This also happened to me about a month and a half ago.

- Pipestone, MN, USA

problem #178

Dec 072012

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 169,000 miles
Vehicle ABS light has been on consistently since purchasing vehicle from carhop/ uac. Reported the problem to the warranty department only to be told any electrical is not under their warranty! this was reported within a week or so of purchasing the vehicle used for 8500$. since have replaced all four tires for brakes, ( top of the line brakes, not cheap ones) light still remains on after several trips to a shop. Anti-lock braking system still inoperable and almost caused crash 12-7-2012 when attempting to stop on a lightly icy road. Several other electrical issues have been going on with the car as well. It blows brand new fuses, rated higher than what the slot calls for, the low tire pressure light stays on, despite taking the van to a tire specialist and the correct amount of air placed in each tire. Also the crankshaft positioner has caused the vehicle not to start. The air bag light has stayed on and went off after disconnecting the battery. Replacing bulbs on the van quit often. At the point of stopping the payments and letting the car company just repo the van. It is a safety hazard on the roads and especially in snowy Minnesota where a functionable vehicle is needed in order not to cause a accident!

- Saint Paul, MN, USA

problem #177

Oct 182012

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 156,000 miles


My ABS light is on and will not go off and speedometer wouldn't work properly when the weather was really warm, and just September 21st 2012 my car was not able to switch out of park, and on Oct.18th 2012 my brake light stop working all together. I have research this problem and there is a recall out on Ford Windstar 1998-2003 with the same problems. But when I called Ford 10/22/12 they check my VIN and stated that there was not a recall on my car only Ford Windstar van with parts made in Virginia. I don't understand why my car cant be repair at Ford expense when there is evidence that there I S a problem with the car.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #176

Oct 042012

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 51,400 miles
We parked the van at walmart and when we started it back up the ABS and brake lights came on and stayed on until we shut down and restarted 2 times. It started doing it sporadically. We bought this van used, so we took it back to the dealership and they ran a diagnostic and said that nothing was showing up and just reset the system. The lights had stayed off until Sunday, October 14th; they are now starting to come back on sporadically.

- New Port Richey, FL, USA

problem #175

Sep 032012


  • 103,330 miles
Neighbor came by early and told me the brake lights were on. I went out to inspect but didn't see them on. Got in the car an hour later and noticed smoke and horrible "electrical" smell. I checked the entire car, but found nothing, when I went to start it, the battery was dead. Had my friend give me a jump, hooked up cables and sat in the Windstar for a minute, I then heard crackling and immediately smelled smoke. Under closer examination I found it was the center, upper brake light assembly completely melted, bulbs were contorted. Had the assembly replaced with a Ford part from dealer, three days later it happened again, so I removed bulbs before it completely melted. The center "third" brake light does not shut off, even when car is off, 12, strong volts to bulb socket, on or off! left and right brake lights work fine...for now. I have no doubt my car would have completely been destroyed, had it not been for the battery going dead.

- Woodland Hills, CA, USA

problem #174

Aug 312012

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 125,000 miles
Brake and ABS lights turn on at same time without an apparent cause, this happens after driving van 5 or less minutes at a low speed. Once the engine is turned off and restarted again, both lights remain off, and again, after driving the van for a short distance brake and ABS lights come on again.

- Plianfield, IL, USA

problem #173

Sep 072010

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 79,289 miles
About 2 years ago I have noticed that the ABS and brake light would come on sometimes now after driving a few miles they come on constantly now. I spoke to a Ford service advisor and was told it would cost me over $600 to repair and that there was a recall only for certain states. This does not seem fair to other Ford owners to have to pay for something that Ford has a default on and seems to be a problem with in a lot of these vehicles. I can not afford this repair and I'm sure most people can not afford. Please look into this.

- Bel Air, MD, USA

problem #172

Aug 292012

Windstar 6-cyl

  • miles
ABS and brake light stay on.

- Syracuse, UT, USA

problem #171

Aug 202012

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 71,000 miles
Approximately a week ago, the #10, 15 amp fuse was blown. Replaced it with an approved fuse and blew right after I started van up. I had noticed some liquid on garage floor about 2 days before the fuse blew, the "brake" light on dashboard was lit up. I checked the brake fluid level and it was very low. When I added fluid, I noticed there appeared to be a leak of fluid on the front, underside of the master brake cylinder. I had a friend who is a mechanic look at it and he told me the master cylinder could be bad, but looked like the pressure switch was where the leak was originating. Upon further inspection, he noticed there was a wire harness that was soaked in brake fluid and beneath another one was wet. He attempted to clean both of them and replaced fuses, but after using the brakes the first time(going out of the driveway) I heard a "pop" and the fuse was blown again. This particular fuse controls the odometer, speedometer, the ABS light on dashboard. The amount of fluid going onto the engine is a good probability of a fire starting when the leaking brake fluid is on the hot engine. This seems to be an increasing problem and needs to be recalled.

- West Allis, WI, USA

problem #170

Jan 102012

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
The warning light for brakes and ABS kept coming on and there was not an actual problem with the brakes.

- Jacksonville, NC, USA

problem #169

Aug 062009

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 56,000 miles
For the past several years my van has has intermittent problems with the brake lights on dash appearing while driving the car at various speeds. Once I stop the car and turn it off the lights will usually disappear but sometimes will come back within minutes of restarting car. This tends to happen during warmer times of year versus winter. Also I have noticed a problem with brakes even right after getting them replaced. The mechanic says there is nothing wrong with the brakes?? around the same time this started to happen my cruise control stopped working. I had recieved a notice from Ford about cruise control recall but when I called the local dealer and told them that my cruise control was not working and I was wondering if it had something to do with recall they said no, that was not the problem.

- Mcminnville, OR, USA

problem #168

Aug 132012

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 126,084 miles
I keep having intermittent problems with dashboard warning lights: Yellow ABS light, yellow trac off light, and red brake light. Please note: On approx July 17, 2012 I took my Windstar to have this problem checked and have Ford recall 09S09 service done. The quick-service manager refused to check the ABS control module connecter even after telling them three times that it is required as part of the recall. I was told by a service advisor trainee, to bring vehicle back if problem persists and take to regular service dept. I took the vehicle back to same Ford dealership for resolution of this problem and was told there is a $92 diagnostic fee. I agreed to fee to see if the repair they recommend is same as repair which should have been covered under recall, and left van there on August 14, 2012.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

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