really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
95,876 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.

2003 Ford Windstar brakes problems

brakes problem

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2003 Ford Windstar Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #24

May 242016


  • 85,000 miles


On May 24 while backing out of the driveway I was a passenger in my sons car when it suddenly accelerated at a tremendous rate of speed and with a loud noise and crashed into the vehicle in front, which was pushed into our shed. I sustained injuries of 6 broken ribs, bruised lung and contusions to my chest. If not for the car and shed in front we would have ended at the bottom of the hill behind our home. The insurance company, 21st century, did not send a claim form and is fighting paying for this accident.

- San Marcos, CA, USA

problem #23

Dec 252015


  • 95,000 miles
The traction control turns on and off with switch in off position. On a clear dry day the system will turn on while driving straight. The car must be in motion for this to happen. The car does this very often. We can't find anything wrong. Sometimes you might hear a hum. It happens on all types of pavement and both day and night.

- Northbrook, IL, USA

problem #22

Apr 292015

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 119,832 miles
I purchased this vehicle this morning, 4/29/15. I took it for a test drive last night, no problems. This morning when I left the house to get the title transferred and vehicle registered, the brake light came on. When I got to my destination and turned it off, then turned it back on, the light remained on, and the ABS light came one. Neither will go off. I had a 1998 Windstar that I sold due to age but loved. I am not happy to have this issue the first day I own its replacement.

- Altoona, IA, USA

problem #21

Sep 012009

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles


The ABS and brake light began to come on intermittently, followed soon afterwards by the power right passenger window failing to go and down, followed by the transmission O/D off light flashing. These would occur until the engine was shut down, then most of the time the symptoms would go away, always to return. When the O/D off light would come on, the transmission would fail to perform at speed and we would have to reduce our speed to under 50 mph in order to not rev the engine above 3500 RPM. When this light is on, you cannot get to 60 mph without redlining the engine. I have had dealers and mechanics look at this a number of times with no resolution.

- Heppner, OR, USA

problem #20

Jun 182013

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 54,000 miles
ABS, brake light stays on for no reason. Spent several hundred dollars having it diagnosed. Replace many parts. No resolution. Drives often with a miss especially during acceleration.

- Nashvill, TN, USA

problem #19

Apr 152014

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 96,270 miles
The ABS and trac off lights have come on simultaneously and will not reset. The traction control switch does not work.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #18

Mar 142014

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 141,457 miles


The ABS light, advanced trac control indicator light, and dash lights are flashing on and off intermittently for several seconds. Alarms beep and the engine loses power. This has occurred multiple times over the past several weeks. Then coming onto the freeway this morning it occurred again and the engine shut off. It would not restart. After almost getting hit by another vehicle as a result of the engine shutting off, I was able to pull over and turned off the key. Tried to start the van several times and after a few tries it started and I was able to get off highway without getting hit. This is a recurring problem many 03 Windstar van owners are experiencing. Called Ford and they said it is not a documented problem with them. I have read hundreds of comments from other owners experiencing these same problems. Ford dealerships have repaired/replaced various components to correct this problem but it keeps recurring. Something needs to be done. It is a design thing.

- Chesapeake, VA, USA

problem #17

Aug 142013

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 43,000 miles
ABS light and red E. brake lights come on at same time. Indicating brake module has faulted. Seems many owners have experienced this same issue at early stages of ownership.

- Byhalia, MS, USA

problem #16

May 032010

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 10,000 miles
My ABS light is on and wont go off.

- Chester, PA, USA

problem #15

Jun 012007


  • 80,000 miles
The ABS, traction control, and brake warning lights will come on all at the same time after driving for only a few minutes. Once these lights come on, the ABS and traction controls are completely inoperable, and in bad weather this could lead to a crash. The warning lights illuminate faster when it is warmer outside. I believe that at $2800 to repair, this is a serious problem and should most certainly be a recall, especially in a family vehicle where children could be in danger.

- Spring, TX, USA

problem #14

Mar 152013


  • 149,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that while the vehicle was being serviced, it was found that the rear axle was corroded and fractured. The contact also mentioned that the ABS and brake warning lights illuminated. The vehicle was inspected by a private mechanic who stated that the electronic control module had failed. The contact also stated that the interior lights erroneously illuminated intermittently while the vehicle was in motion. The vehicle was repaired but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was contacted and informed the contact that the vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 10V385000 (suspension). The approximate failure and current mileage was 149,000.

- Cambridge, KS, USA

problem #13

Jan 012013

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 247,000 miles
ABS light will not turn off. Also the check engine light blinks on and off and the car will not take any gas.

- Raeford, NC, USA

problem #12

Aug 282009

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 115,000 miles
ABS and brakes lights came on. ABS inoperable. Stopping distance greatly increased.

- Monroe, MI, USA

problem #11

Nov 042011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • miles
Vehicle violently buckles forward and back when stopped at light. This continues for a few minutes then the ABS light, brake light, and check engine light turn on at the same time and the car stops buckling. This happens at least once each time I use the vehicle. So approximately 5-9 times a day. The buckling is so bad I'm afraid my foot will slide off the brake pedal and I will roll into an intersection. I took my vehicle to theodore robins Ford in costa mesa (949) 642-3017 today and they say there is nothing they can do. I also found this website talking about this exact problem www.fordwindstarrecall.info/. please help [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Costa Mesa, CA, USA

problem #10

May 162011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 160,000 miles
ABS and brake light on.

- Blackwood, NJ, USA

problem #9

Sep 012010

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
My 2003 Windstar's ABS & brake indicator lights come on intermittently. A local Ford dealer scanned ABS system, found (1)code C1185 relay in electronic control module failed, and asked $1220 to fix it.

- Simi Valley, CA, USA

problem #8

Sep 052010


  • 83,000 miles
Randomly, but with increasing regularity, the ABS and brake lights come on simultaneously and stay lit. Only way to "correct" issue is to turn off vehicle for a period of time(more than 10 minutes) and then start up again. No "noticeable" effects occur when lights come on, but I haven't had to "use" the ABS system as it is summertime and road conditions are optimal for braking. Also, not sure if it's related but, recently used the parking brake and even though it is "fully released" inside the vehicle.....the rear brakes appear to still be locked due to the fact of visual evidence of smoke and accompanying burning smell after driving for any distance.

- Harborcreek, PA, USA

problem #7

Aug 162010


  • 105,180 miles
ABS, traction control, and brake lights come on.

- Muskegon, MI, USA

problem #6

Jun 102010

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 68,000 miles
We are having problems with the ABS light or brake light for our Ford 2003 Windstar. The ABS light and brake light keep coming on, then off, then on again.

- Toms River, NJ, USA

problem #5

Dec 092009


  • 61,286 miles
The ABS light is on, difficulty getting van out of park. Smelled smoke after last use of vehicle.

- Lombard, IL, USA

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