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 14 of 15)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #21

Jun 012009

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 70,000 miles


Starting this year (2012), you can not get an inspection sticker in New Hampshire if the ABS light is on. Approximately 3 years ago the brake and ABS light would periodically light up on the dashboard. Shortly after the lights appeared, the brakes would make a horrible squealing and grinding noise. I took it into the mechanic and he said there was nothing wrong with the brakes. About 6 months later, the brake and ABS light was permanently on. In late March of 2012 I brought the van in for new front brakes but he was unable to shut off the brake and ABS lights. After the brakes were installed the squealing and grinding noise became permanent. When I took it back to the mechanic he said the brakes were fine. So I took it to another mechanic in June of 2012 and he replaced the rear brakes along with rear drums, oscillators, wheel cylinder and brake fluid. This mechanic was able to shut off the brake and ABS light, (he said the code was C1185-ABS) which was a good thing because he said nh now required the ABS brakes to be working in order to receive an inspection sticker. However it only lasted about 2 days and the lights came back on along with the squealing and grinding noises. In July of 2012 I took the van back to the mechanic that did the rear brakes to get my New Hampshire inspection sticker. He looked at the brakes again but could not find anything wrong with them. He connected it to the computer and it came up with the same code (C1185-ABS) but he was unable to clear it. Therefore, legally I was not able to get my nh state inspection sticker. He did recommend a new ABS pump but I have not done that yet.

- Londonderry, NH, USA

problem #20

Jul 152011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 99,500 miles
After reaching speeds of 30 mph the ABS and brake warning lights come on. Will reset after car turns off only to apear again. Braking does not seem to be affected.

- Geneseo, NY, USA

problem #19

Jul 092012

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 77,025 miles
My brake light and ABS light stays on.. I had my brakes serviced.. and they are fine.. the light won't go off.

- Duluth, GA, USA

problem #18

Jul 172012


  • miles


ABS and brake light will come on and off. And battery and alternator keeps going bad.

- Walla Walla, WA, USA

problem #17

Jan 192012


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that while driving, the ABS light illuminated on the instrument panel. The contact stated that he maneuvered the vehicle to the side of the road to restart it. The failure recurred. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was notified and stated that the failure was normal. The manufacturer also stated that the contact would have to pay for any repairs. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 50,000.

- Windsor Mill, MD, USA

problem #16

Jul 142011


  • 97,000 miles
The ABS and brake warning light intermittently come on while driving. This is an indication the ABS system is not working. I took to the Ford dealer and the repair would be at my expense. There have been safety warnings issued, but no recall as of yet.

- Broken Arrow, OK, USA

problem #15

Jun 012012

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 141,900 miles


I purchased my car on June 1, 2012. Shortly after, the brake ABS light, brake light, tire pressure light, and engine light came on. On July 9, 2012 I took the vehicle to maroone Ford in fort lauderdale to perform necessary repairs per the recall. Maroone Ford dealership performed the recall repairs and informed me that the vehicle engine lights and tire pressure lights were issues not related to the recall. During the period from July 9, 2012 to July 12, 2012 the ABS light and brake light did not turn on. On July 13, 2012 the ABS light and brake light turned on. I called maroone Ford and I was told to bring in the vehicle to the dealership. On July 14, 2012 I took the vehicle to the dealership.

- Hallandale, FL, USA

problem #14

Jul 092012


  • 150,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that the driver was driving 45 mph when the ABS and brake lights illuminated on the instrument panel. The failure recurred whenever the vehicle was operated. The vehicle was not taken to have the failure diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer offered no assistance. The failure mileage was approximately 150,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Brookfield, MO, USA

problem #13

Feb 032012

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
While driving the ABS and brakes lights go on. No change happens. The lights go out when car is turned off and restarted. Had Ford diagnose it on their computers. Said it is the ECU and hcu. They are sending codes.

- South Bend, IN, USA

problem #12

Mar 012011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 125,000 miles
Both ABS brake and emergency brake lights came on. This continues to happen when the outside air temperature is above around 60 degrees or when the vehicle is driven for more that 30 minutes. After the lights come on the ABS brakes no longer work.

- Chilton, WI, USA

problem #11

May 042010

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 40,000 miles


Dashboard warning lights for both ABS and brakes illuminated.

- Evanston, IL, USA

problem #10

Jul 092010

Windstar 6-cyl

  • miles
I was driving along on the freeway about 65 mph and I hit a small bump and the ABS warning light came on and since then it won't shut off.

- Fontana, CA, USA

problem #9

Jul 032012

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 102,201 miles
Brake fluid is leaking from somewhere near the master brake cylinder. It probably has something to do with the brake pressure differential deactivation switch.

- New Castle, DE, USA

problem #8

Jun 302012

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 141,056 miles
The (mostly unservicable) ECU master relay has a bad soldier joint which fails prematurely and causes the ABS light and dtc C1185. It also causes the enhanced ABS braking system to become inoperable.

- Lyndonville, VT, USA

problem #7

Jul 012012


  • 128,000 miles
The ABS and brake warning lights appear on the dash. They will sometimes go off, but always come back. There is a problem with the ABS module underneath the car. This part needs to be recalled as everyone I talk to that has or has had a Windstar has had the same problem. Also, Ford wants 1000S of dollars for the part and labor. It should be a free recall since they put faulty parts in their vehicles.

- Bird Island, MN, USA

problem #6

Jun 302010

Windstar 6-cyl Diesel

  • 19,000 miles
Braking distance suddenly increased due to a faulty ABS computer module. The aluminum plate on the module expands during heat causing the ABS brakes to work only part of the time. This is very dangerous and Ford should do a recall to fix the situation. My ABS brake light is always on along with my emergency brake light.

- Humble, TX, USA

problem #5

May 022012

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 186,000 miles
The vehicle has a issue with the anti-lock braking system. The ABS electronic control module is defective and as such the anti-lock braking function is inoperative. This can cause increased braking distances and /or loss of vehicle control during slippery road conditions. Apparently this is a widespread problem that affects Ford Windstar from around 1999 to 2003. The problem is caused by defects in the ABS electronic control module, which is a kelsey-hayes 430. This module is also used by other manufactures such as Audi and Fiat and causes similar problems in those vehicles. The module failures are caused by bad soldering joints inside the module.

- Merrimack, NH, USA

problem #4

May 182011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 95,500 miles
ABS system failure resulting in increased stopping distance.

- Century, FL, USA

problem #3

Jun 092011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 69,000 miles
ABS and brake dashboard lights warning that ABS system is inoperative, speed control system also inoperative. Break pressure deactivation switch leaking oil. This leaking oil has traveled down ABS wiring harness all the way to the ABS controller. Unsafe condition. Ford dealership has refused to repair this dangerous condition as a manufacturing/design defect and stated there currently is no recall issued for this very serious problem!!

- Arlington Heights, IL, USA

problem #2

Aug 162008


  • 53,000 miles
I have had multiple problems with my 2003 Windstar sel to include complete failure of the vacuum system where brakes, power steering didn't work had to have towed. The dealership could not fix and did not have a recall. Hoses in this system kept coming off. Interior lights kept flashing on without any being turned on. Also the "passenger door is open" light stays on. Along with ABS/brake light stays on. I have taken my van in to have brakes checked. There was no problem with brakes. I have maintenance done on regular basis. Problems started with 50,000 miles. I am a single woman and need reliable transportation which this van is not. When is Ford going to recall for electrical problems" dealership is of no help, only want to charge for something they can't fix. I took to dealership when front passenger window didn't open. Dealership stated that it needed a new motor. I knew better as this had happen before. Took home and after a little bump in the road window started working again. Part of the crappy workmanship Ford used to put together. Also dealership stated there was no recall for the problem with vacuum system which I was told was a design problem. Ford needs to address all the problems associated with this model. I wonder how many others have this same problem"

- Birmingham, AL, USA

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