hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 6
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
73,879 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Ford Windstar Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #12

Aug 222009


  • 70,000 miles


My 2003 Ford Windstar engine caught on fire on 8/22/09. The fire department was called. It was towed to a auto shop by aaa. I was told it was the ABS and oil leaked, which caused a fire.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #11

Jun 252009


  • 112,000 miles
We owned a 2003 Ford Windstar, which we had not had any incidents prior besides interior lights flickering. We were driving on the interstate at approximately 65mph when I suddenly saw a very dense light gray smoke in the driver's side mirror. We pulled over immediately. I told everyone to exit the vehicle upon seeing flames under the vehicle in front of the drivers front tire, under the engine. We never lost power while driving and the engine showed no signs of failure. Everyone exited the vehicle without injury but unfortunately the fire was rampant and consumed the vehicle prior to emergency officials arriving. There were multiple explosions from the vehicle during the fire. Please look into this, as I now know from looking into it further that there seems to be a trend of engine compartment fires in this model. We also were not informed of the recall for the cruise control/brake wiring issue. The insurance company considered it a total loss so nothing could be done due to the issue.

- Plant City , FL, USA

problem #10

Jan 212009


  • 49,100 miles
The check engine light came on. I went to a local parts store and they pulled the codes for me. The codes came up PO171 and PO174. I then went to a Ford dealer for repairs and was advised that the problem was the intake gaskets. I was advised that they needed to be replaced. I had them replaced. I discovered later that this is a very common repair for this vehicle. It is also common on 1999 through 2002 Windstar and is believed by many auto experts to be related to a manufacturer design defect.

- Hanover Park, IL, USA

problem #9

Nov 102008


  • 52,008 miles


On November 10, 2008, my wife was heading home from work at midnight when the 2003 Ford Windstar she used lost all gears without notice. She left work and made several stops at lights and never noticed a problem until she was at a stop sign. When she went to execute the turn, the gears were gone. I had to push the vehicle to an empty lot for a tow in the morning. The vehicle was towed to the regular service garage I use. The problem ended up being a failed spline that stripped out at 52,008 miles. There was never any warning to indicate a problem for to take proactive and safe measures. The garage stated no preventable maintenance I would have done would have prevented this failure. The result was $1658 repair to replace the failed spline. I'm glad my wife was not on the highway with my children when this could have failed, the results could have been fatal.

- Olmsted Falls, OH, USA

problem #8

May 092008

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 53,200 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar. While en route to New York and driving 60 mph, the door locks did not function and were not programmed. When the contact activated the cruise control, the ABS, door lights, and emergency brake lights illuminated. Halfway to her destination, she had to stop at a repair shop and pay for them to inspect the vehicle so that she could continue driving. The mechanic checked the brake line and pads and informed her that the vehicle was functional. The battery was also repaired. Within 2-3 weeks, the same lights illuminated again. The vehicle has not been taken to the dealer. The current mileage was 55,394 and failure mileage was approximately 53,200. Updated 07/29/08 the consumer also state the vehicle had an oil leak in the oil pan near the oil gasket. The low tire pressure light illuminated. The consumer was informed that the new battery was causing electrical problems they were experiencing. Updated 07/29/08

- Martinsburg, WV, USA

problem #7

Oct 172006

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles
Item # 1 engine light came on and stayed on. Vehicle began to idle sluggishly when cold. Repair shop investigated and found the lower engine manifold gasket had failed. Replaced lower manifold and gasket and problem was corrected. Item # 2 battery light flickering. Grounding strap between alternator and body frame failed. Reads open with multimeter. Created by own grounding strap using 10 ga. Wire and weather resistant ring-type connectors. No more battery light. Item # 3 internal lights flicker randomly and intermittently. Slamming all doors does not seem to affect the condition. Problem still remains. I turned of the dome light switch to keep from running down my battery and eliminate the mobile "disco" effect.

- Corinth, TX, USA

problem #6

Jan 192007

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 24,687 miles


Our 2003 Ford Windstar has had multiple electrical issues and now a possible bad intake gasket causing a rough idle/check engine light/lean running code. I have no confidence in our local Ford dealer as they couldn't repair either the interior lights coming on while driving or intermittent operation of the rear passenger vent window. Their answers are always well if it's not acting up when we test it there isn't anything we can do. But I know that they have other vehicles in for the same problems so they do know. We have replaced 2 taillight bulbs and 1 headlight bulb in a vehicle 3 1/2 years old with 34,000 miles. I won't take the rough idle problem in till it's doing it 100% of the time so they can't squirm out of it. They say since we have the extended warranty it would be covered if it's the intake gaskets but I don't trust them. This is our 3rd and last new Ford vehicle and they have all had electrical issues and intake/head gasket issues. Ford=poor quality and service.

- Washington, MO, USA

problem #5

Aug 152005

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,302 miles
I own a 2003 Ford Windstar that was purchased in September of 2003. I had so many issues with this van since purchasing it, it's not even funny. It started out with the door locks and the back hatch door not operating correctly....there were also some cosmetic items that were defective. The most annoying problem occurred in August of 2005 and has continued sporadically over the course of the last year. The van stalls out while driving down the road!!! you lose the power brakes and power steering when this happens..it has been in the shop probably four times over the course of the last year. The first couple of times they would return the van with the explanation "no problem found". I have had people riding with me that have experienced this problem first hand. When it first started happening it was only when it rained..and it was very sporadic...then it started happening even in dry weather. I just got it back after having left it at the dealer for almost a month!!! the repair order states that the intake manifold gaskets were replaced... that was July 25th 2006. During another visit they replaced a cam shaft position/cylinder"?" so now they tell me that because they replaced another part, that this is not considered the same problem. This van is a lemon!!!! and Ford needs to take a look at these issues....and do what is right for the consumer. I.e. refund the purchase price of these vehicles!!!

- Northfield Falls, VT, USA

problem #4

Oct 112003

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10 miles
We own a 2003 Ford Windstar van. Ever since we have had the van after running at cruising speed the engine will not idle down. We have taken it to the dealer several times but they could not fix it. Being a former Ford tech. I tried to fix it my self and replaced the tps sensor with no luck. No matter where you set the idle speed the problem will come back. We have been dealing with problem for three years now and are growing very tired. Not only is this dangerous it is wearing out brakes faster. It seems to be an electronic problem where the computer will not lower the idle. I have checked the throttle cable and throttle valve and nothing is binding. I can't blame the mechanic at the dealership, I blame Ford. I hope this can be corrected before someone gets hurt. I bought this van so I would not have to worry about my wife and kids.

- Alabaster, AL, USA

problem #3

Nov 052005

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,500 miles
: the contact stated the vehicle stalls while driving on dry roads at 20 mph. If the vehicle sits for a few minutes, it restarts without a problem. The vehicle was taken to a service dealer several times. Each time the mechanic has been unable to duplicate the problem.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #2

May 012003


  • miles
While driving flames began to shoot from underneath the vehicle.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #1

Mar 272003


  • 73,000 miles
The timing cover gasket leaked coolant.

- Buffalo Grove, IL, USA

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