really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
80,086 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 1 of 4)

problem #72

Aug 062015


  • 48,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar. While the vehicle was parked, it idled at an accelerated rate. In addition, while driving at various speeds, the vehicle accelerated independently. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the tp sensor and multiple other parts needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired; however, the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken back to a dealer who was unable to diagnose or repair the vehicle. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 48,000.

- Allen Park, MI, USA

problem #71

Jul 272016


  • 120,000 miles
I was backing down the driveway when my Ford Windstar 2003 engine started revving and I had to put both feet on the breaks to stop the car from running out of control. After I put both feet on the brakes to release the engine from revving did it stop. It happened again on the same day and it took all my strength to stop the Ford Windstar 2003 model. It could have done a lot of damage either to another car or a person. It is very dangerous and this problem has to be corrected or put on a recall basis before other people who might have the problem, can either get it fixed or taken off the road.

- Lexington, SC, USA

problem #70

Jan 012010


  • 140,000 miles
My speedometer will not work at all, go up and down or get stuck, indicating the wrong speed, while in motion, also at a stop, it will pop up, happens on city street and on highway. I have researched this and there are multiple complaints about issue with Ford Windstar minivans. To me this is an extreme safety issue as I find it distracting, have no idea how fast I'm going. I was driving through a school zone today and while I was not driving fast, I could not say for certain that I was within the speed limit. I'm continuously looking at my speedometer, taking my foot off the gas to see if it will drop, but I can't trust that the speed reading before was correct. I can be driving and it will pop right up to indicated 100mph, when I'm driving in my neighborhood. I get alerts and signal alarms for "low brake fluid", "check advancetrack", my airbag warning light is on intermittently, and my rear back up sensors don't work either. I have also had problems with the drivers side sliding door not staying shut when parked, I have had this feature disabled for safety reasons. It will start to close, reopen, start again, close partially and then reopen again, even if the door is locked it will do this. These are all ongoing problems, I don't know if they are tied together. I have had the vehicle looked at for problems and have been told that codes come up under diagnostics but when the actual parts they are warning about like the ABS, low brake fluid are fine. I have had the car at a Ford dealership multiple times for the door issue and were told they could not figure what was causing the issue.

- Otsego, MN, USA

problem #69

May 242016


  • 85,000 miles


On May 24 while backing out of the driveway I was a passenger in my sons car when it suddenly accelerated at a tremendous rate of speed and with a loud noise and crashed into the vehicle in front, which was pushed into our shed. I sustained injuries of 6 broken ribs, bruised lung and contusions to my chest. If not for the car and shed in front we would have ended at the bottom of the hill behind our home. The insurance company, 21st century, did not send a claim form and is fighting paying for this accident.

- San Marcos, CA, USA

problem #68

Jun 052014


  • miles
ABS indicator keeps turning on and off randomly at increasing intervals and is now staying on more often. The speedometer's needle in the dashboard also fails to register the speed that the car is going and moves wildly back and forth.

- Harrisonburg, VA, USA

problem #67

Mar 162015


  • 192,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that the vehicle was repaired under NHTSA campaign number: 09V399000 (vehicle speed control); however, the recall repairs were not done completely. The dealer fused the wiring harness, but only inspected the ABS control module and did not replace it as listed in the recall notification. As a result, the module was leaking. The manufacturer refused to replace the part under the recall. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 192,000.

- Suisun City, CA, USA

problem #66

Dec 162014

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 143,216 miles


Dash ABS, brake light on, speedometer, RPM gage jumps back and forward, cruise control accelerates, passenger window and rear side window doesn't work.

- Washington, WV, USA

problem #65

Aug 212014

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 135,000 miles
The ABS light has been one for quite some time many months, maybe a year. The brake light intermittently been on or gone off, but has been on for some time - the last 6-8 months. We have a known brake oil leak, as we have seen the puddles and frequently refill it. This is very similar to the Ford recall 09S09 but our VIN # is not presently included. On 8/21 the all of the internal gauges "went wonky" and then stopped indicating anything (speedometer at 0, even though I was driving down the highway at 50-60 mph. This "wonky issue" has been present since the spring of 2014. Also, the cruise control has not worked for a few months (about the same time we first noticed the "wonky gauges" which used to always accompany a rapid acceleration) since the last week, the gauges are "going wonky" on their own, even when I don't rapidly accelerate. We have read online about a brake oil leak affecting the scds and our issues seem very similar to those described in a recall! to recap, the "wonky gauges" have been an issue since Feb/March but was only observed when depressing the gas pedal. Now, since a much more severe episode on 8/21/2014 the gauges are acting up even at slower speeds, the gauges are "going out" and not registering anything at all for 10-15 minute stretches. A/C, radio, clock, windows, turn signals stop working. And ABS/brake lights are illuminated. Thank you for your consideration!

- Overland Park, KS, USA

problem #64

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 #63

May 302014

Windstar 6-cyl

  • miles
ABS light along with brake indicator light is on. Multiple defect codes for ABS module shown on scanner. Brakes not fully stopping vehicle when depressed. Bought vehicle in May 2014. Cruise control acting funny.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #62

Feb 172014

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 90,670 miles


ABS, brake warning lamps lit, speedometer doesn't show the operating speed.

- West Springfield , MA, USA

problem #61

Mar 302012

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 115,000 miles
The brake light has been coming on, the check engine light has been on for some time, and the vehicle is currently leaking what appears to be brake fluid.

- Tuckerton, NJ, USA

problem #60

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 #59

Apr 142012


  • 151,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that when driving with the cruise control activated, the vehicle would independently accelerate without warning. The failure persisted until it had become a permanent occurrence and would present itself even when the cruise control function was not being used. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacture informed the contact that the vehicle was not included in any active recall. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 151,000.

- Rogers, AR, USA

problem #58

Jul 022012

Windstar 6-cyl

  • miles
While driving my 2003 Ford Windstar model sel, I'm encountering a problem with the braking system/ABS, as well as, my cluster gauge going haywire doing what it wants on and off on its own. The braking system is starting to become more frequent. I've gone to Ford for this particular problem and a few others. Ford looked at my car and told me the rear axel had cracked and they repaired the axel on recall. I informed them about the ABS breaking system. I've been to two separate dealers in staten island, NY. One dealer told me it looks like I have an electrical problem not sure if it's related to cluster gauge/braking system. They told me I had a problem with the right rear window motor as well, which Ford fixed supposedly. As far as the braking system goes they told me they took it for a ride and did not see anything wrong with my vehicle. I told them about the cluster gauge doing what it wants, the ABS working/not working. Having a hard time stopping car, as well as, telling both Ford dealers about my wife having no choice but to pull off the highway because she was having this particular brake problem. I told them the only way she was to stop the vehicle was to crash into these big green metal commercial garbage containers at approximately 10 miles per hour. I showed them the damage to the front of my vehicle as well as telling them my wife had hurt her neck, I was told from both Ford dealers that we don't see a problem we can't fix a problem and I am now reading on the web that there seems to be a problem with these cars up to 2003 with everything I have explained up til now. If anybody has any input or contact info for me to call to help me, I would deeply appreciate any help you can provide before one or all of my family members become injured or god forbid fatalities.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #57

Jul 102013


  • 143,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that while at a traffic stop, he accidently engaged the cruise control resume mechanism. The vehicle suddenly increased acceleration and the engine was turned off. After restarting the vehicle was driven to the residence. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who stated there was a recall related to the defect. The cruise control cable was disabled. The NHTSA campaign id number: 09V399000 (vehicle speed control) however, the VIN was not included. The vehicle was not been repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 143,000.

- Long Island City, NY, USA

problem #56

Jun 212010

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 89,028 miles
The speedometer, odometer & cruise control did not work & ABS pump ran continuously. ABS & brake light stayed on. This only happened when the outside temp. Was around 80-85 deg.F & lights shut off once the engine cooled. Diagnosis was defective brake control mod. Pulled fuse 101 to keep pump from running. In 2012 the lights remained on with fuse in and the speedo & odo would go out intermittently. Nov. 2013, lost speedo & odo all together.

- Brunswick, OH, USA

problem #55

Aug 142013

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 43,000 miles
ABS light and red E. brake lights come on at same time. Indicating brake module has faulted. Seems many owners have experienced this same issue at early stages of ownership.

- Byhalia, MS, USA

problem #54

Sep 092013

Windstar 6-cyl

  • miles
ABS & brake light on all the time and the systems don't work when light is on therefore they aren't never working and my odometer quit working and my other gauges go crazy like it's an electrical problem gone crazy. I don't know what gauges actually work and which ones don't cause they seem to go crazy and read different all the time. But, my ABS & brake light stay on all the time no matter what.

- Decatur, IL, USA

problem #53

May 232011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that the anti-lock braking system warning light illuminated as the anti-lock brakes engaged independently. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for a diagnostic, who retrieved error code cll85, indicating that there was a failure with the speed control deactivation switch. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure was reported to manufacturer. The contact referenced NHTSA campaign id number 09V399000 (vehicle speed control: Speed control deactivation switch, overheating), however the VIN was not included in the recall campaign. The failure mileage was 100,000. The current mileage was 120,000. Updated 07/23/13

- Easton, PA, USA

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