really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 8
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
81,242 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2003 Ford Windstar Owner Comments (Page 7 of 13)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #137

Jul 162011


  • 150,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar. The contact stated upon starting the vehicle, the anti lock brake light illuminated on the instrument panel. The contact also stated that all of the gauges on the instrument panel would intermittently display inaccurate readings. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who stated that the failure was a factory defect. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure, but offered no assistance. The failure mileage was 150,000.

- West Warwick, RI, USA

problem #136

Jul 212011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 124,550 miles
ABS/brake lights are coming on constantly....losing power....front/passenger side windows will not work, lights go on and off.....

- Columbia, NJ, USA

problem #135

Jun 082011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 155,000 miles
The yellow ABS light is on all the time and my speedometer is jumping around erratically. The vehicle also surges when the cruise control is on. This only started happening after the vehicle was in for repair of the rear axle and front sub-frame recalls.

- Sarver, PA, USA

problem #134

Apr 062011


  • 120,000 miles


ABS light and brake light come on and off.

- Smyrna, DE, USA

problem #133

Jun 122011


  • 149,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar. While the vehicle was parked the contacts child accidentally pushed the close button for the rear drivers side automatic sliding door while standing in between the door. The sliding door did not detect the child and closed. The child sustained bruises and scrapes to her left shoulder. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the technician removed the fuse to deactivate the automatic feature. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 140,000.

- Connersville, IN, USA

problem #132

May 132011


  • 89,000 miles
As I was driving from portsmouth nh to somersworth nh I noticed that the speedometer stopped working, the odometer had nothing but lines, no numbers, the overdrive light started blinking and the ABS and brake lights came on. I also noted that smoke has been coming from under the hood when I stop at a light or stop sign. These symptoms match what has been recorded on line as follows, the brake pressure differential deactivation switch (scds) (2B264) located under the master cylinder (behind the air filter) over time develops a leak. This causes a short and a fuse trip, fuse #10 if the engine is on. This leak also causes brake fluid to wick down two wires to the ABS brake module (2C219). The fluid accumulates on the (always on) power connectors for the ABS brake system which are powered by fuses 101 and 102 and are both 40 amp. The fluid attacts moisture, road salt and leads to a fire when the fluid and moisture act as conductor between the hot leads and ground. This switch has been the subject of other Ford recalls, just not the Windstar van yet. Below is a picture of the switch in question. Notice the fluid that leaked on the part below it. This switch will cause cruise control problems, speedometer, odometer and ABS brake system problems. I will not allow other family members to operate this vehicle and it appears that the Ford Motor Company will not fix this issue even though there was a recall for this exact issue, recall #09S09 because they indicate that my vehicle is not covered under this recall. The recall states clearly that this issue can cause a vehicle fire with or without the vehicle running.

- Somersworth, NH, USA

problem #131

Apr 172011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 77,000 miles


Our 2003 Ford Windstar continues to have intermittent ABS & brake lights activated on the dashboard. Upon an internet search, it was recommended to forward such problems to NHTSA for documentation. The following codes were retrieved from the Windstar: C1185 and U1262. It appears that the ABS control module will need to be replaced.

- Lawrenceville, GA, USA

problem #130

Apr 052011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 174,000 miles
Vehicle passenger headlight would come on in the middle of the night by itself and now passenger headlight would not work on dim. They said there was a problem with the wiring harness. So I had to pay for them to take the same materials again. I'm deciding if I should cut my losses and sell. My husband said we should never have bought a Ford. I'm disabled and can't afford to be sticking this kind of money monthly into it.

- Burnett, WI, USA

problem #129

Dec 012010

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
2003 Ford Windstar van dash gauges all crazy. Wave right to left, speed go to 120 but gas empty, bell ringing noise will not shut off, have to unhook battery because after I take the key out still rings, all lites stay on, fuel computer error, mileage flashes, transmission stop over drive, ABS and brake lite is on, no sign lites, all gauges go off no reading.

- Az, AZ, USA

problem #128

Apr 182011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 65 miles
Interior lights have been intermittent for several years, drivers side auto lock stopped working completely, constant draining of the battery, must carry jumper cables.. third battery in three years, now problem is weekly. Thinking this issue may have to do with the fact that the interior lights go on and off at random unexplained times. Sometimes remaining on once the vehicle is off and all doors are completely closed. Problem with ABS and brake light coming on at random times in addition to the check engine light never staying reset. Charging system lights intermittently comes on.. sometimes they come on and off but if they remain on cause the car to hesitate or just quit on you. Car is a extreme safety hazard at intersections because of hesitation and stalling. My wife (her primary vehicle) has been stranded in two intersections where the car died completely. My wife is terrified for her safety everytime we are in this vehicle. I have finally had enough and am filing a complaint since I have read from numerous sources that I am one of thousands and thousands having this same issue. Please consider the safety of the drivers of these vehicles and subsequently any innocent motorist or pedestrian who may become injured from these safety issues. Thank you. Ford is obviously aware of these problems and reports and it appears is unwilling to research a fix, or initiate a recall until enough bodies pile up on the side of the road in vehicle accidents, having a vehicle fail completely twice in 3 months in the middle of omaha Nebraska intersections is very dangerous, and should be evaluated or recalled. I have replaced batteries, and alternator, fuses, and many dollars in diagnostic fees to family ase certified mechanic who is shaking his head. Does Ford know what the problem is and just does not want to admit it and complete another factory recall on this vehicle.

- Bellevue, NE, USA

problem #127

Apr 042011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 130,000 miles


My sensor lights are flashing, ABS light, O/D light trac light, check transmission light is on. Also my speedometer stopped working, and my backing warning signal stopped working all of a sudden without any type of warning.

- Lavergne, TN, USA

problem #126

Mar 282011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
Car quits running while in motion. The interior lights flicker, the ABS light comes on and the car dies. I have replaced the alternator and they say the battery is ok, but it will not run for more than a few miles at a time. I have to repeatedly get a jump start. I just replaced the transmission with only one hundred thousand miles on the car.

- Ohio, OH, USA

problem #125

Mar 202011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 149,000 miles
My 2003 Ford Windstar limited edition has major electrical problems. The hazzard lights will not go off therefore draining my battery. I have to disconnect it whenever I shut it off. It is currently at bay ridge Ford for the recall involving the rear axle. However it has failed emissions for code 171 and 174. I believe there is a major flaw in the design of the Windstar van.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #124

Jan 162011


  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that the front end of the vehicle was covered with rust and shaking violently while driving. The brake pedal also extended to the floorboard when it was engaged. All of the gauges on the instrument panel fell below zero, the brake light illuminated while all of the lights on the instrument panel began to shut on and off. The rear axle was cracked on each end of the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer who added two plates on each side of the axle. The contact referenced recall 10V385000 (suspension:rear:axle:non-powered axle assembly) & recall 11V030000 (structure: Frame and members:underbody shields) but was concerned with the remedies and stated that they were inadequate. The contact asked the dealer if they could guarantee that the axle would not break with the two plates but received no guarantee. The manufacturer offered no assistance. The current mileage was 127,000. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Aliquippa, PA, USA

problem #123

Mar 012011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 156,000 miles
I have a 2003 Ford Windstar SE model that has cost well over a thousand dollars in repair. I have replaced 2 batteries and two alternators, and the problems still have not been fixed. I now have no way of knowing how fast I am going or how much gas is in my tank. The electrical systems need to be recalled on these vans. People on line are complaining about the problems and their vans failing because of faulty electrical. I use my van to Transport my family and do not feel safe on this van. I have had all the necessary recalls taken care on it. When I drive this van the speedometer is not correct, I think I am doing a certain speed but when compared to other vehicles it is clearly not the speed intended. My gas gauge is always wrong I fill up on gas and it stays full one day and the next it's almost empty. I now have to keep and eye on my mileage to know how much fuel I have. The doors never close properly and my liftgate ajar signals always on. The doors do not lock or unlock when I need them too, which has become a hazard, because I can't leave anything in my van for fear of it being stolen. This van has had been to the local dealership and cost me well over 400 dollars to replace an already brand new alternator and new battery which cost over 80 bucks, plus the two hundred dollars for the first alternator and another 100 for the first battery. The heat doesn't work properly either. This van is a nightmare of electrical problems that need to be addressed by Ford asap. This van has left me and my children stranded on the side of the road in the country and I will not put up with it any more!!!!!!!

- Mansfield, IL, USA

problem #122

Jul 102009


  • 79,900 miles
The vehicles electronic antilock brake module has failed. There have been numerous warnings and notices that brake fluid leakage onto the module, is a known cause for early failure. All my dashboard lights turn on within a few minutes of operating the vehicle. The dealer did confirm this failure and suggested a replacement that is not under warranty of course. This does not seem right, that a known and acknowledged vehicle design problem with the gasket on the brake fluid resevoir leaking fluid on the module and causing premature failure is not a mandated repair and not simply something left up to the manufacturer. I don't have the funds for this costly repair

- Fountain Valley, CA, USA

problem #121

Jun 082001


  • miles
ABS light on 2003 Ford Windstar comes on in warm & hot weather.

- Bolivar, TN, USA

problem #120

Feb 172011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 76,000 miles
I just brought a 2003 Ford Windstar an the same day I got it the window on the driver side does not work.. so I started looking online to see if anyone else had this problem. An sure enough 1000S of people have with the Ford Windstar. I heard lots of bad things about this van an now I scared to even put my kids in it. I have 5 kids an don't wanna take the chance of it catching on fire are axles braking or anything like that. I don't know what to do know.

- Fitzgerald, GA, USA

problem #119

Nov 102010

Windstar 6-cyl

  • miles
Driving down the road and all of sudden dome lights start flashing on and off. Try to turn them off with the switch and they still keep coming on. Sometimes my automatic windows won't work. First it's one side and the next time it could be the other side.

- Beloit, OH, USA

problem #118

Jan 012008

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
ABS light stays on replaced sensors at my cost still stays on auto door locks stopped working door ajar light stays on heater door had to be replaced cruise control works then stops working at dealer ship now for rear axle to be replaced also for another recall for fuel bypass heard of new recall frame supports mine looked rotted so they will also need replacing they have had car 1 month now know idea if when I will see again was told it could be 2- 3 months just for axle now new recall hope they just buy it back so it stops bleeding me!

- Beverly, MA, USA

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