really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
101,351 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 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2003 Ford Windstar Owner Comments (Page 2 of 6)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #83

Aug 302014

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 111,545 miles


Transmission failure, van will not shift into any gear, forward, reverse, 2,1.

- Mason, OH, USA

problem #82

Jul 082014

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 140,000 miles
Brake light and ABS lights are on, brakes are fine, fluid level is fine, but light is on. ABS now not working. Speedometer does not go above 40 mph until driven at least 3 miles, this is also causing the cruise control to not work smoothly. Transmission is not shifting into overdrive, transmission is clean and working. All of these issues began within a few weeks of each other.

- Avon, NY, USA

problem #81

Aug 022014


  • 78,500 miles
While driving lost all power to transmission. Car would start but not move in any gear. Code scanner shows no codes, engine light does not stay lit. Mechanic's guess in torque converter. Seems to be a too common problem.

- Hampton, VA, USA

problem #80

Feb 012014


  • 10,000 miles


When driving up hills the "od off" transmission light will begin to flash and though I depress the button on the shifter the light will not stop flashing. Only way to make it stop is when I turn he car off and then turn the vehicle back on.

- Santa Barbara , CA, USA

problem #79

May 072014

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 99,900 miles
My transmission had to be replaced; I do not drive the vehicle a great deal, tho the car is aged, the upkeep is great on the car. I have tried to keep up with the recalls on this car, is there a recall on the car's trans.?

- Lansing, IL, USA

problem #78

Apr 172014

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 69,000 miles
While in 75mph speed limit upon entering into a 70mph limit I pushed cst on cruise panel steering wheel. I not only slowed but my van continued to slow while heavier traffic was skirting and trying not to run me over. It was at less than 40mph I was able to get on the emergency lane. Would not respond to drive, 1st, 2nd, reverse gears. Engine sounded like in neutral, going nowhere, when foot applied to accelerator. No warning given; no transmission problems or noise beforehand. Stranded 400 mi from home, towed to sterling Ford dealership in opelousas, la with van left there and no notion of when firm diagnosis, torque converter was the first suggestion, pulling transmission pump and much more costly was second. Was told by preus Ford they "thought" there had been recall regarding this problem. Don't know.

- Farmerville, La, LA, USA

problem #77

Jul 012008


  • 100,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that while stopped at a red light, the vehicle experienced a sudden loss of power and would not accelerate when the contact depressed the accelerator pedal. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, who diagnosed that the torque converter output shaft had failed. The torque converter was replaced by the mechanic and the defect was remedied. The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 100,000. Updated 5/27/14

- Bluffton, SC, USA

problem #76

Mar 202014


  • 147,000 miles
Failed Ford sub frame recall noise in front end going over bumps took in for service. I was told front sub frame was rusting apart. Ford Windstar had sub frame recall 3 years ago large brackets placed around sub frame(in Michigan). Called Ford dealer(in Florida wear vehicle resides) and they agreed to inspect and said they thought the other dealer may have place bracket around a rotten sub frame. Dealer also said Ford would not replace the sub frame and I would have to pay $3000 for that repair. My Windstar has been in Florida since the recall was performed in Michigan so it has not been in T.he "salt belt" how is it possible that the sub frame went from being safe to its current unsafe condition if the recall was done properly?

- Shelby Twp, MI, USA

problem #75

Dec 302013

Windstar 6-cyl

  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that while driving approximately 40 mph, the front axle fractured and resulted in the detachment of the front driver's side wheel. The vehicle was towed to the contact's residence. There was a recall related to the defect under NHTSA campaign id number 12V194000 (suspension). The dealer was contacted but refused to repair the vehicle for an unknown reason. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was unavailable. Updated 04/22/14

- Decatur, GA, USA

problem #74

Feb 142014

Windstar 6-cyl

  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that while driving approximately 30 mph, the vehicle exhibited an abnormal noise. The contact noticed that the rear drivers side wheel was abnormally tilted inward. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the axle was fractured and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure and advised the contact that the vehicle was previously repaired under NHTSA campaign id number: 12V193000 (power train). The approximate failure and current mileage was unknown. Updated 03/26/14 the consumer stated cracks in the rear axle, were not visible and re-enforcement repairs were done, to the rear axle and front subframe lower control arm. However, the repair failed, while the consumers husband was driving. Ford wouldn't pay for the repairs. They stated they had already full-filled their obligations, when they made the re-enforcement. Also, the anti-lock brakes did not work. Updated 03/27/14

- Mcgraw, NY, USA

problem #73

Jan 112014


  • 103,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar. The contact reversing from a driveway, the transmission failed. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection but the diagnosis was unclear. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue. The VIN was unavailable. The approximate failure mileage was 103,000.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #72

Jan 012013

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 199,999 miles
Van RPM needle goes haywire with foot on the brake and tries to stall out...engine feels like it is trying to jump out of vehicle.

- Palm Beach, FL, USA

problem #71

Nov 212013

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 136,000 miles
I went to put the Ford in gear and it would not go into gear any gear, I see there is a lot of complaints on the matter. There should be a recall on this transmission before someone gets hurt or worse.

- Stone Lake, WI, USA

problem #70

Nov 012013


  • 90,000 miles
Rear axle cracked. Ford said there was a recall on my axle, now Ford says they recall is over. I don't understand how Ford can get away with this.

- Baldwinsville, NY, USA

problem #69

Oct 182013

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 47,200 miles
My 2003 Ford Windstar was taken in for the rear axle recall and was repaired. The axle has cracked again we took it to the dealer who said that they contacted Ford about the problem and were told they would not repair or replace the axle the van only has 47000 miles on it we would like to have it repaired or replaced at Ford expense.

- Oak Lawn, IL, USA

problem #68

Jun 072013


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar. The contact stated while the vehicle was turned on and unoccupied the vehicle rolled away and crashed into another vehicle. A pedestrian attempted to stop the vehicle but ended up being pinned between the two vehicles. The pedestrian sustained injuries to the arm. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the failure could not be replicated. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was contacted about the failure. The failure mileage was 70,000.

- College Station, TX, USA

problem #67

Aug 012012

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 124,000 miles
Our van was fine until it was having a hard time shifting. We took the van into a transmission specialist and had to replace the transmission due to water. And also had the water to the radiator completely bypass the transmission. Everything was fine until months later it was having a hard time shifting. Somehow a lot of water had gotten in there. There's no way it's from the radiator since like I said it bypasses the tranny and has a different cooling thing?? now he thinks it's from the A/C. so now it's in the shop again and I already spent $300 for a complete flush. Now I might have to do it again. Plus he's going to make a shield for the A/C. this is crazy.

- Walla Walla, WA, USA

problem #66

Feb 282013

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 89,288 miles
We stopped at a restaurant to have lunch. Came out to leave. Started the van and put it into reverse to leave parking place and it wouldn't move at all. Called our dealer and was told it sounded like the torque converter. That was exactly the problem. There was no warning at all. It just stopped working.

- Franklin, KY, USA

problem #65

Mar 012011


  • 114,000 miles
Like many other people, I have had problems with ABS and brake lights. Mine constantly come on all the time. Even when I had my brakes done, they still came on. Also my car like to idle high and my check engine light has been on forever. It never goes off, and I have had work done so there is no reason for it to be on. Now I am having problems with my od light blinking. I was on my way home from work, and the light starting blinking. All the sudden my car wouldn't move. I had to turn the car off and then back on to make it home. It was pretty scary and I have read my complaints and know that I am not the only one with this problem. Ford seriously needs to do something about these issues. I just had my transmission rebuilt last year. Right now, I would not recommend a Ford to anyone. I have read a lot of complaints and have seen some people had some pretty serious accidents because of these problems. When do you recall something?? after people have been hurt. Crazy!!

- Fairborn, OH, USA

problem #64

Mar 232013


  • 180,000 miles
I was driving roughly 40mph and the engine revved up and then wouldn't accelerate. I was able to coast to a side road for safety. I tried to shift the car into gear to drive and the car didn't register the shifts. I took the car to a shop and was told it is a common problem, torque converter, in these cars. After searching online I have found that the problem is indeed common, and should be recalled.

- Derry, NH, USA

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