really awful
Crashes / Fires:
4 / 10
Injuries / Deaths:
5 / 0
Average Mileage:
151,806 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Ford Windstar Owner Comments (Page 6 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #24

Oct 052008


  • 100,000 miles


Cruise control brake cancellation switch on a 2002 Ford Windstar smoking and blowing fuse #10.

- Bay City, TX, USA

problem #23

Aug 222008


  • 102,000 miles
My van brake light and ABS light had been coming on for at least 6 months... my mechanic was trying to determine if it was the ABS switch or ABS module and just reset the codes after a tune-up. We would add brake fluid to the car on several occasions. The failure occurred when I started my van and backed out of a parking spot. I smelled something burning and realized my van was smoking. At first I thought it was steam and then I realized it was white smoke. So I reparked my vehicle, shut it off and popped the hood. When I got around I followed the engine from left to right and in the back right was a perfect propane flame. I blew it out. I noticed the part was connected down below the brake fluid reservoir, wired ran to that part, on the bottom the part that was on fire was rusted. But it appeared to plug into the part it was attached to like a key and then wires came down from there... my mechanic disconnected the part saying I would not longer have cruise control and he ordered the part from Ford in milledgeville, ga. He replaced the part on 8/25/08. I do not believe the old part is still available. Since the part has been replaced my brake light and ABS light still come on!

- Gray, GA, USA

problem #22

Aug 102008


  • 95,000 miles
Failure of the brake/cruise control deactivation switch caused leaking brake fluid to fall into and cause failure of ABS module. I am aware that the NHTSA is investigating and I encourage you to demand an immediate and complete recall. This is a serious fire hazard that can happen even while the vehicle is parked in the garage, hours after the vehicle was shut off. Please act!

- Mahomet, IL, USA

problem #21

Jun 192008


  • 87,000 miles


Smoke came from under the hood numerous times. The last time caused so much damage under the hood the van was not drivable. Had the van towed into the Ford dealer and they gave me a quote and said it was the master cyl, brake fluid had leaked and it dripped on something that caused it to start a minor fire that caused lots of smoke. The speed sensor was damaged. The final price to fix was $1,003 most of which was labor. I have heard numerous cases similar to this one and I believe Ford should be responsible for the fixing of these problems.

- Pinellas Park, FL, USA

problem #20

Aug 062008

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Windstar. While driving between 45-55 mph, the engine began to lose power. The contact pulled into a Ford dealer and was informed that the brake cruise deactivation switch was leaking into the fuse box. The failure caused the speedometer to fail and the ABS and several other lights to illuminate. Recall number 05528 (deactivation switch) was referenced regarding the Ford Explorer. The current and failure mileages were 70,000. Update 09/10/08 updated 09/15/08.

- Allentown, PA, USA

problem #19

Jun 032008


  • 66,000 miles
2002 Ford Windstar on fire, parked in garage, no key in ignition, fire in area of fire wall drivers side, vehicle had not been driven for eight hours before fire started at 01:00 am. Damage to dwelling estimated at $300,000. Five family members home, asleep, at time of fire escaped without injury after home fire alarm sounded.

- Wayland, MA, USA

problem #18

Jul 202008


  • 92,500 miles


Cruise control on 2002 Ford Windstar started working intermittently. Research online shows a defective switch on the master brake cylinder is a very common failure that causes this. This switch is used on many Ford vehicles and was subject of recall due to fire hazard. For some reason the recall doesn't apply to my 2002 Windstar yet, however.

- Mahomet, IL, USA

problem #17

Jul 022008


  • 75,000 miles
I own a 2002 Ford Windstar and have had recent ABS / brake problems. After further examination it was found that the cruise control deactivation switch was leaking brake fluid onto the ABS brake control module which caused damage to the module. Upon more investigation, it has come to my attention that this switch is always "hot" whether the engine is running or not. This is turn could cause a fire from the brake fluid leakage. I have also learned that this switch in question has caused many other problems and even death with other Ford models. I will have to disengage my cruise as well as my ABS system to ensure to fire. This worries me as I want the safest for my family but at this time cannot afford the fix. Hopefully Ford will own up and pay to fix this mess that was caused by a $30 switch.

- Groveport, OH, USA

problem #16

Jul 052008


  • 90,000 miles
Dash brake and ABS lights come on. They can be reset by turning the engine off and restarting. Noticed leaking switch on bottom of master cylinder. Wiring damp with brake fluid. Cruise control doesn't work anymore.

- Bakersfield, CA, USA

problem #15

May 042007


  • miles
I own a Ford Windstar and I am having the ABS/brake light problem and speed control problem.

- St.Louis, MO, USA

problem #14

Jun 082008

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 0 miles


On June 8, 2008, our 2002 Windstar experienced the following: ABS light went red: Brake red light went on. Speedometer, and tachometer stopped working. All will require repair to prevent the possibility of fire, crash or break down.

- Burke, VA, USA

problem #13

Oct 012006


  • 80,000 miles
I have a 2002 Ford Windstar that we purchased 2 yrs ago, ...morning after delivery battery was dead, took back to dealer and they checked it out and said should be fine. Occasionally still dies and has to be charged, alternator & battery check out fine. The most dangerous problem is that the ABS light is on and ABS doesn't work properly. We continuously have to add brake fluid (at least once a month) and can not find any leaks on the ground. Had the vehicle in for service on several occasions can not diagnose. The dealership hooked vehicle up to machine to read code and can not get any readings from system. Dealership seemed to think that it could be a wiring problem or ABS module. ABS will occasionally go out/work but not properly, ABS will kick in on dry roads not wet/snow covered. Tire pressure light is illuminated and tire pressures are all correct. Has been reset but comes back on after driving a few miles. Occasionally it will go out on its own but then the speedometer will bounce around (if going 55 will jump to 70,80). When opening the rear tailgate hatch and closing, the dash light stays on like it is still open and dome lights will not work properly. When driving the door chime will sound and the door ajar light will go out and works properly until gate is opened again. When driving the door light and chime will come on lights stay on. The door ajar light also comes on and off intermittently when using the driver side door controls to put windows up/down you hear louder then normal clicking. Also dims the lights when putting windows up/down. We can also smell what seems to be wires burning at times but can not find anything. We are at a loss of where to begin. We will not drive this vehicle any further then 50 mile radius from our home for fear of what will happen if we do. If we go further we rent a vehicle. Now to the point of purchasing a cheap, reliable vehicle (not Ford) and parking this one until we can pay down enough to trade in.

- Lockport, NY, USA

problem #12

Mar 142008

Windstar 5-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles
ABS system and cruise control failure, intermittent over the last 9 months.

- Fenton, MT, USA

problem #11

Aug 012007

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles
My ABS brake light, emergency brake light and brake light would intermittently go off. Then it was every time my car was started. I was told my ABS module needed to be replaced. My car could be driven, but my ABS brakes would not work. I was told by two mechanics that this was a problem they had seen with my vehicle. My cruise control also sticks. I have not used my cruise in over a year, because once activated, you can not shut it off. The only way it resets is to turn the car off. The Ford Windstar is one of the only Ford vehicles not covered under the recall, but upon doing a web search have found that Windstar have started on fire because of this issue. Also, I received a recall on my mid/read seat latches. When I went to the dealer, I was told my car was not covered. I drive a 2002 Ford Windstar. I am very concerned about the recent recall since the brake line is directly related to the fires caused by the faulty cruise control. Please advise is the research is to include other Ford models.

- Rolesville, NC, USA

problem #10

Feb 152008

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 176,500 miles
This has happened over the past two weeks. About February 15, 2008 I was having trouble keeping pressure in my brakes. They were spongy. I called a mechanic and brought it to him on February 16th. He said it was the master cylinder, and replaced it and the wheel cylinders. Well, the van worked for about a week. Then Monday, February 25, 2008 my brakes again went spongy. I checked the brake fluid and there was none. I refilled the container, and called a mechanic. I brought the vehicle to him on February 26, 2008. He determined it was the cruise control pressure switch. I then went to tousley Ford dealership and got the part. Tousley Ford in Minnesota said this particular part is in recall for several other vehicles but not mine. My mechanic replaced the part and the vehicle hasn't had any problems. As a matter of fact, now the cruise control works again. It had gone out last summer some time. This recall is for a fire hazard, and I saw where the brake fluid can leak through that switch onto wiring so there could have been a fire in my van. My complaint is that my vehicle, and family are just as important to me as the vehicles and families of the other people who were able to get their vehicles fixed in the recall. I drive a 2002 Ford Windstar sport minivan. I do foster care and have birth children, and grandchildren in that vehicle all the time. So, I am very upset that Ford does not recall this fire hazard on all vehicles. My family is very important!

- River Falls, WI, USA

problem #9

Jan 162008


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
My cruise control speed accelerated then went out not working at all, ABS light goes off and on even after I had brake work done, odometer and speedometer stopped working on 1/16/08, brake fluid is leaking from the master cylinder, fuse 10 keeps blowing, this last time 1/18/08 smoke under the hook by master cylinder. Someone said it might catch fire.

- Birmingham, AL, USA

problem #8

Oct 032007

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,849 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Windstar. The brake warning indicator light illuminated. The dealer stated that the cruise control deactivation switch for the master cylinder was leaking. The manufacturer stated that her vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign id number 07V336000 (vehicle speed control). The current and failure mileages were 76,849. The consumer stated the defect was the cruise control canceling switch on brake master cylinder. Replaced kit brake repair was done 10/13/07. Updated 11/01/07

- New Weston , OH, USA

problem #7

Jul 312007

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that both the yellow ABS and the red brake light illuminate intermittently. He stated that the lights would stay off for approximately 2-3 days and then illuminate again. The contact stated that the failure was caused by a circuit failure in the ABS unit in the computer programming. The manufacturer stated that there was no recall or service bulletin available. The failure and current mileages were 56,000. Updated 06/05/08 the consumer stated fluid was leaking from the cruise control switch onto the master cylinder. Updated 06/05/08

- Penn, PA, USA

problem #6

Nov 082006

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,000 miles
: the contact stated while braking from 10 mph under normal conditions, the vehicle surged forward, almost going over a curb. The vehicle was taken to a service dealer, where the dealer was unable to duplicate the problem. The manufacturer was also notified. There was a squeaking noise when the sliding door was closed. The consumer complained of the transmission slipping, the dealer reprogrammed the PCM and re-filled the transmission fluid. The shifter was re-adjusted. The vehicle pulled to the right occasionally, the speedometer was inaccurate. The headlights would go dim at times. Updated 01/09/07.

- New Salem, PA, USA

problem #5

Feb 112006

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,000 miles
: the contact stated while driving 10mph, there was a total loss of the brakes without any prior warning. The contact managed to maneuver the vehicle to a local independent repair shop. The mechanic discovered the brake pressure switch wiring melted which allowed leakage of all the brake fluid. The mechanic suggested this failure was related to the cruise control deactivation switch. There is a NHTSA recall, # 05V388000, regarding the vehicle speed control. The vehicle has the same problems as indicated in the recall; however it is not included in the recall due to the VIN. The mechanic disconnected the cruise control switch due to a possible fire risk and added more brake fluid. No further repairs were made.

- Deland, FL, USA

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