really awful
Crashes / Fires:
4 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
94,179 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 11 of 15)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #81

Feb 102012

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 79,000 miles


ABS and brake light comes on and stays on after vehicle has been driven a while and warmed up. After sitting and cooling off light resets, and then repeats to on as soon as driven to warm up again. Brakes are new, tires are new, no other apparent issues. From my understanding this is a common electrical failure in the ABS control module. (bad solder connection)" possible fire hazard"

- Mt Holy Springs, PA, USA

problem #80

Mar 062012

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
The ABS brake light keeps coming on. It doesn't stay on....but goes off time to time.

- Homer Glen, IL, USA

problem #79

May 022011


  • 90,000 miles
The ABS and the brake lights come on randomly, mainly when the vehicle is hot or the temp is hotter outside. If you turn the vehicle off and back on the lights go out for a while.

- Henderson, KY, USA

problem #78

Dec 202012

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 104,400 miles


The ABS light has come on and the ABS braking system has become inoperable.

- Fremont, OH, USA

problem #77

Aug 012008


  • 45,000 miles
The ABS and brake lights came on. Took it to the dealer and they stated that the ABS module was defective. Tested ABS on wet and snowy roads, and the ABS engaged appropriately. Warning lights continue to come on about 5 minutes after starting vehicle. Told by dealer that ABS module needs replacing. I have not replaced due to high cost, $800+.

- Farmington, NM, USA

problem #76

Dec 182012

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 15,600 miles
ABS light on. Codes C1185.

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #75

Dec 012012

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 163,000 miles


Swerved to avoid collision and the brakes locked causing car to lose control on the wet road. The van hit a tree, flipped on its side and smashed into a light pole. The airbags did not deploy even though there was front end damage. The ABS and brake lights were illuminated prior to the crash. Also noticed the speedometer started acting up over the prior weeks (not moving until after a few minutes of driving.)

- Palmdale, CA, USA

problem #74

Oct 022012


  • 117,000 miles
ABS light is on. Brake light is on intermittently. So far brake function is normal. Had mechanic perform diagnostic check on system. 12 codes appeared related to the brake ABS control. Was told that problem is with the ABS module. This issue would worsen and could cause massive brake failure. I have spoken with other owners of Windstar and have heard of similar problems. This defect is not isolated to 2003 models. I know of other owners who drive 1998 2000 2001 Windstar and are having the same issues.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #73

Jul 182008

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 58,000 miles
The ABS light and brake lights will come at the same time and both will go off at the same time. While these lights are on I will have issues while trying to break. I have trouble with the front wheel in wet weather wanting to skid when stopping and it will spin when taking off. I have had $500 of work on the front brakes and $450 of work on the back brakes and the mechanics don't understand why I still have issues when stopping. I have a 2003 Ford Windstar.

- Kankakee, IL, USA

problem #72

Oct 262012

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
Emergency brake light comes on. When I tried to stop my car would not and almost went into someone's house...the ABS light came on also! attempted to get the problem fixed after $1024 later, the ABS light is off but brake light. Continues to come on and squeal. Ford dealer insists nothing wrong with brakes!

- Harrisburg, PA, USA

problem #71

Jul 052005

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 40,000 miles


The ABS system, that was supposed to be fixed with the switch recall, still doesn't work. Intermittently I have the ABS/brake warning lights on this van. It has happened under various conditions. I have replaced master and rear wheel cylinders, brake drums and still have intermittent ABS.

- Moon Twp, PA, USA

problem #70

Jun 212011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
ABS and brake light on - vehicle was in for another recall and Ford noted that light was on - wanted to charge for inspection of reason light stays on - they also verified that brakes were good..

- Oak Lawn, IL, USA

problem #69

May 142011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 122,200 miles
The ABS light came on and continues to come on after 2 to 3 minutes of driving. The brake hardware is in excellent condition.

- Cheapeake , VA, USA

problem #68

Jul 032012


  • 115,000 miles
ABS and brake lights were on...now the ABS light comes on randomly. Also stalls after turning on.

- Warren, MI, USA

problem #67

Oct 122010

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
ABS light and brake light come on after driving car several miles for unknown reason. Dealer says it could be a $1500 to $2500 fix if ABS control module is bad.

- Port Charlotte, FL, USA

problem #66

Aug 012010


  • 80,000 miles
ABS has intermittent failure, the warning light turns on and off. It is difficult to drive in snow and ice conditions as the vehicle braking becomes unpredictable.

- Kettering, OH, USA

problem #65

Oct 182012


  • 269,000 miles
Both my ABS and brake lights come on when driving. Then shut off then back on. A lot of Windstar on the road does the same thing.

- Windham , ME, USA

problem #64

Aug 012012


  • miles
My ABS light keeps coming on, my mechanic said that my ABS braking system could be inoperable with the light on. I feel that this is another failing part that Ford needs to issue a recall for.

- Bristol, PA, USA

problem #63

Mar 012012


  • 110,000 miles
The brake, ABS, and traction of lights come on. When the car is turned off, it seems to reset and doesn't come back on until driving for a while. There is no specific time or driving condition that seems to trigger it. It is completely random. Several different places, from the dealership to les scwab say the brakes look fine. Meinike finally ran some sort of computerized diagnostic and said the ABS module is defective.

- Portalnd, OR, USA

problem #62

Apr 022006

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 42,000 miles
This vehicle has had ABS control unit problems since it was three years old in 2006. The condition being described is not to be confused with a previous Windstar recall involving a leaking brake fluid pressure switch (NHTSA action #EA08021). The first occurrence was in the spring of 2006 (one month or a few thousand miles after warranty expiration) when I was about 200 miles from home on a trip driving up interstate 91 in MA in the rain. Glanced down at dash display and saw both the brake system warning and ABS system warning lights on. I stopped to check the brake fluid. When the car was turned off and restarted, the warning lights turned off. That was 6 years ago and the problem continued to progress to an extremely predictable pattern. In warm weather, (over 40 degrees F), the ABS system will not function and the warning lights are on. When winter comes, the warning lights go away and the ABS works normally. I was told by dealer that it would be a $700 repair. Since the system worked in the winter (when I need the ABS the most) and had spent a lot of money on several other engineering defects of this car, I have lived with the problem. It was mostly an annoyance. Having done some research though, I have found that there are many other Windstar with identical symptoms and they center on a defect of the ABS module design. After the module has been cycled thermally for hundreds of times in service (heating, cooling, heating, cooling, etc.) there are solder connections on the pcb that are no longer reliable and become intermittently connected. It basically is an electrical or mechanical engineering 101 topic known as tce (thermal coefficient of expansion) mismatch. My concern now is that the failure is progressively getting worse and extending further in to the cold weather period. Any design issue with a brake system or component is a serious safety issue.

- Rockaway, NJ, USA

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