hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
67,643 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 9 of 11)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #49

May 152006


  • 46,500 miles


ABS problem. It occurs intermittently as soon as warm weather starts. I have had it checkout by several local auto repair shops and they say it is a existing problem with the ABS unit. I have had the switch on the master cylinder replaced, still the same problem. II have contacted Ford with poor results. They say there is not a problem with the ABS.

- Tonawanda, NY, USA

problem #48

May 052008


  • 30,000 miles
The vehicle ABS warning light and brake warning light go on and off. Diagnostic code of C1185. No viable reason for the failure. Lights are illuminated on the dash board regularly but with no particular pattern or reason. Loss of ABS breaks as a result. Fearful of accident or vehicle fire due to issue. Nothing done to correct the problem as there does not seem to be a clearcut solution to the problem without impacting other functions of the vehicle. Additional issue with interior cabin lights going on and off while driving. This is distracting at night and could cause an accident. This is a product defect that has been happening since 2007. I will not pay to fix something that happens in many of the same models and is clearly a defect that should be recalled. I've told the dealership and they say I need to pay to have a modular replaced.

- Floral Park, NY, USA

problem #47

Jan 302009


  • 145,000 miles
2003 Ford Windstar. Brake and ABS lights came on, fluid leaking out of brake pressure switch. Fluid wicking down to other wires blowing fuses. ABS control unit wires soaked in fluid. Possible fire. Also electric door locks stick both fail to unlock and fail to lock even though the solenoid is triggered. The actual lock is sticking on 3 of the four doors.

- Newport, TN, USA

problem #46

Jan 102009


  • miles


I drive a 2003 Ford Windstar. Within about 5-10 minutes of starting the vehicle, both the yellow ABS light, and the red emergency brake light light up on the dash. The brakes still seem to be working properly. I even took the vehicle to a mechanic and the brake system checked out fine. However, the lights are still on, and won't go away.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #45

Dec 282005


  • miles
I have a 2003 Ford Windstar van I have owned the vehicle for over 3 years and the ABS light will not turn off on my dash. I ran a system check and it is not reading the error I need to know if there really is a defect and if Ford needs to recall this.

- Redford, MI, USA

problem #44

May 012008


  • 68,000 miles
Within a few minutes of starting the van an driving out of the neighborhood, the console lights flickered and there was a wisp of smoke from within the dashboard area, though I didn't witness any flames. The console ABS and brake lights came on. I subsequently replaced the battery in case it was weak, but since that time the ABS and brake lights have come on and off intermittently. If they do come on, sometimes I can make them turn off by turning the van off and restarting it.

- Leesburg, VA, USA

problem #43

Dec 042006


  • 90,095 miles


Moisture on road, red brake light on. Yellow ABS light on no speedometer, no cruise control. Van pulls to right when brakes applied.

- Amarillo , TX, USA

problem #42

Nov 062008


  • miles
I kept getting an intermittent brake and ABS light that resets when the car is turned off. My mechanic troubleshoot it down to the ECM for the ABS. Failure of ECM in the ABS brake system resulting in the ABS light and the brake light being illuminated. I am sure they have fixed plenty of these by now. Why no recall on an obviously bad part/design?

- Lake Zurich, IL, USA

problem #41

Jan 012008


  • miles
2003 Ford Windstar brake warning light and ABS warning light on constantly. Numerous electrical problems, I.e, doors not unlocking, locking for no reason. Blend door sticking, not allowing for heat or defrosting.

- Hiawatha, KS, USA

problem #40

Aug 152008


  • 81,012 miles
ABS, brake light and traction control lights come on.

- Allenstown, NH, USA

problem #39

Sep 252008


  • miles


I have a 2003 Ford Windstar SE with 72,000. The past month after driving for about 15 miles, the rear brakes screech very very loud and when the car stops, the red brake light comes on. It does not do this until the car has warmed up. I have had new brakes, calipers, pads etc replaced on the front and back brakes. This did not help. The light still goes on after warming up. We took it to sayville Ford in sayville, NY to investigate brake light. They got no codes and could not duplicate problem. Today, ABS and brake light came on along with screeching sound. Will take it back to Ford to check out. I understand that there are many many many more Windstar experiencing the same problems with no solution. I hope that you will get Ford to recall the Windstar and correct the problem. I also understand that the car can also go on fire unless you disconnect 2 fuses. I will discuss with Ford what to do. I would hope you investigate this problem and make Ford responsible for this problem. These vans are mommy vans and who do you think will get hurt when van goes on fire or the brakes malfunction- moms and children. Please take this seriously and act now!

- Farmingville, NY, USA

problem #38

Mar 192008


  • 52,000 miles
My ABS lights come on when the car warms up.

- Wake Forest, NC, USA

problem #37

May 012008


  • 90,000 miles
Ford Windstar 2003 ABS light, trac active light, and brake light intermittently go on and off and stay on for various amounts of time and then just turn off on their own with no apparent reason found. Car operates fine when these lights come on. I am worried about a vehicle fire. This is still an ongoing problem in my car. Searched the web and many other Ford minivans have the same problem. Ford ash to do something!!

- Bonsall, CA, USA

problem #36

Oct 082008


  • 40,000 miles
2003 Ford Windstar, the ABS and brake warning lights comes on and off while driving. Caused by brake fluid leak which could lead to a fire.

- Toledo, OH, USA

problem #35

Oct 012008


  • 75,000 miles
The ABS and brake lights on the front panel come on intermittently. We have brought it to the local Ford dealership, who have replaced the master cylinder to no effect. In communicating with other Windstar owners, I have learned that a likely cause is leakage from a switch onto a cable harness, which has been known to cause fires in vehicles with this problem, and that the ABS system must be disabled to preclude this problem.

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #34

Jun 262007


  • 56,000 miles
We have a 2003 Ford Windstar, the brake and ABS light keeps coming on after a short period of time after the car is started. We took it to a mechanic but he was unable to fix the problem. Personally I think it should be a recall issue.

- Pearson , GA, USA

problem #33

May 152008


  • 100,000 miles
The ABS brake light comes on with a warning to check the system. When checked, nothing physical can be found wrong with the brakes. When the vehecle is restarted the light is out.

- Cheney, KS, USA

problem #32

Feb 052006


  • miles
The ABS/brake light is illuminated at the same time. It is random when it happens, but it happens every time the automobile is driven. It has been taken back numerous times to the dealership where I am told that this is a common problem and to date nothing can be done to fix it. Also the emergency brake engages itself when backing up. Again I am told that this is a known problem with no solution to fix it.

- Hummelstown, PA, USA

problem #31

Jun 012008


  • 70,000 miles
I drive a 2003 Windstar, and the brake lights will not go off even after having the brakes replaced. In searching for answers I came across a recall for 1999-2003 models, however, my VIN was not included. This upset me because my car was experiencing the exact problem. I called 2 Ford dealers for assistance, one gave me the number to the customer care line. They did not care too much, because they were unwilling to add my car on the list to receive repairs. I think it is more than coincidence that the recall and my problem are exactly the same and no one will fix it. Please help before we wind up with injury or worse!!!

- Rock Tavern, NY, USA

problem #30

Jul 102007


  • 55,000 miles
I own a 2003 Ford Windstar that about 80 percent of the time displays the ABS and brake warning lights on the instrument panel. The problem was diagnosed (for $100) at a local Ford dealer as a defective ABS ECU, which costs approximately $750. This problem has been recurring since the vehicle passed the 50,000-mile mark, and even though I bought the vehicle used, it had a Ford exp warranty to 60,000 miles. The dealer and the Ford rep I contacted both said this problem was not covered by the warranty. Further research on the internet has revealed that this is a very common problem on these vehicles that may be caused by a leaking pressure switch at the master cylinder reservoir which wicks brake fluid down to the ECU, creating a possible short circuit and chance for a fire. Others suggest that the ecus fail because of delamination of the main circuit board due to incompatible expansion and contraction rates of the materials used. The failure of the ECU appears to stem, in either case, from design flaws. The ABS is rendered inoperative in both cases, creating an unacceptable safety hazard in these 4200-lb. Family vehicles.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

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