hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
95,860 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 miscellaneous problems

miscellaneous problem

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2003 Ford Windstar Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #30

Dec 132016


  • 189,300 miles


Takata recall uncontrollable driving with steering rear end fishtailing

- Salem, OR, USA

problem #29

Dec 022016


  • 112,000 miles
2003 Ford Windstar rear axle broke while driving on highway leaving car and driver stranded on bridge. Driver was very lucky not to be hurt. Car had previous recalls performed by Ford on Sept 4, 2012 as recall numbers 10S13 and 11S16, both done at same time. However these recalls were not effective as axle still broke on or about Dec 2, 2016. Dealer indicates axle can not be replaced under recall because recall expired on Dec 31, 2015. Ford customer service gave same reply. Ford dealer in glenn burnie, md. Is replacing axle at an estimated $1,300. Problem is, the new axle will probably be the same part as the original and still poses the threat of breaking again. These cars should be recalled as several deaths have already occurred.

- Wadesville, IN, USA

problem #28

Sep 272016


  • 180,000 miles
Takata recall, received safety recall notice 15S27 from Ford Motor Company, stating that rear axle reinforcement brackets may have been installed improperly and may result in complete rear axle fracture and an increased risk of crash. I have taken my Windstar in for the inspection and they are telling me the rear axle does need replaced but it will cost me $300, my concern with this is if it is a "safety recall" why should I have to pay out of my pocket.

- Muscatine, IA, USA

problem #27

Apr 032016


  • 101,760 miles


The Ford dealer just serviced two safety recalls, I.e. the engine subframe fracture and rear axle on the week on 3/7/2016. I immediately feel the car sway slightly at high speed. I thought it might be alignment issue, so didn't pay too much attention. On 3/29/16, the car sway badly especially when I brake, then I realize something serious wrong. I took a look of subframe and found out one mounting screw is missing, and a sway bar nut is missing and leaving the bolt hanging there. I brought the car back to dealer to get it repaired next day. Then on 4/3/16, my car caught on fire by itself while driving on highway.

- Lyndhurst, NJ, USA

problem #26

Feb 042016


  • 84,520 miles
Our Windstar was recalled 3 times under Ford's safety recall # 15S27/NHTSA recall # 15V-608 for the rear axle. The first recall was to check for cracks and if none found, the axle was painted. The second recall was to check again for cracks and if none found, the Ford dealership attached 2 brackets that were not painted. The first two recalls were free. Then the third recall came to again to check for cracks and this time they found 2 cracks in our axle and it had to be replaced. The dealership, park Ford in mahopac, NY 10541, per Ford corporate, charged me $300 plus $25.13 for tax. They call the charge a "discounted replacement". I have experienced many recalls in my life time and this is the first time that I have been charged for a recall for a defective part. How is this possible" are you aware that Ford is charging owners for this recall? is this legal for Ford to do" fyi I also complained to Ford's customer service and was told via email that I had to pay to replace the axle. This was a defective axle and not my fault. The vehicle only had 84,520 miles

- Carmel, NY, USA

problem #25

Aug 082015


  • 108,000 miles
This is in regards to the rear axle cracking. During my recent state vehicle inspection, the rear axle was found to be cracked. The rear axle was reinforced per recall notice in 2011, but where the reinforcement is at, is where axle is cracked. Ford will not cover the replacement of the axle due to the recall already being performed and is outside the 12 months/12,000 mile warranty. The reinforcement that they provided does not fix the issue, it only pushes the issue out. I have seen many other people having this exact issue happening.

- Chester, NH, USA

problem #24

Jul 012015


  • 105,000 miles


Rear axil broke while driving down the road. It looks like it rusted through

- Osceola, IN, USA

problem #23

Jun 292015


  • 122,730 miles
Rear axle is cracked and has to be replaced. Ford recall in 2011 for issues with the rear axle - dealer installed additional support brackets in lieu of replacing the axle with a new axle of current design. If they would have done the replacement with the current axle design and not added a temporary fix to prolong the life of a defective axle, today I would not be responsible for the financial replacement. I am very fortunate to have noticed an issue and brought this to the attention of my dealer who discovered the crack. I do have a concern though with the Ford dealer - they know about the axle issues, failures and recall. They recently inspected the vehicle, replaced various parts, etc. At a cost of $2,800 including brakes, drums, etc. They saw the condition of the axle - they had to know if was due to fail sooner than later - very concerning. Ford is not taking responsibility for their design flaw and lack luster recall which amounted to adding some brackets to cause the axle to break in a certain area to reduce the possibility of a complete failure / fatal accident.

- York, PA, USA

problem #22

Jul 012013


  • 67,000 miles
After driving the can for about ten minutes the ABS light and brake light came on. Since July 2013 it has been happening almost everyday. Just winter time it doesn't happen as often as in summer. After checking the car I get code C1185 C1198 C1194 C1254 C1246 C1250 C1242 C12214

- Reston , VA, USA

problem #21

Apr 132015

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 170,000 miles
While driving I heard a loud crack noise and seen smoke in rear view mirror. When I got out tire was tilted completely in the rear. Come to find out my rear axel completely cracked while I was driving! called Ford they said the recall was fixed in 2011 and there was another recall fixed in 2013. Since it was already " fixed" they will not cover the work. I now have to pay 600 to get this fixed out of pocket and there is no reason the axel should have broke in half like it did! very upsetting to know I could've had my children in the car with me and this could have definitely caused an accident !! I know this problem was not fixed correctly in the first place it was just a bandaid for Ford!

- Brownstown , MI, USA

problem #20

Nov 032014

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 200,000 miles


On this date, I was driving my vehicle at speed when the sub frame failed. This caused the steering to drop out, leaving me with no control of the vehicle. I narrowly missed an 18 wheeler doing a turn and got stopped. Ford had my vehicle for over 2 weeks, and didn't provide a rental vehicle for 10 days. Ford refused to cover the steering mechanism, even though it plainly says on they're website that would be a consequence of sub frame failure. I have made over 30 phone calls to the dealer and Ford Motor Company's customer service hotline, and now the dealer is telling me my vehicle is fixed, but I have to pay for the parts put on, and a repair I did not pre-authorize.I am a disabled veteran, and I want someone to explain to me how a vehicle that was perfectible drivable before this happened is now being held hostage by a dealer until I come up with $140, because the mfgr part failed and almost caused me to be killed. The Ford case number is [xxx].thanks for your time and attention information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Waverly, OH, USA

problem #19

Jul 082014

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 183,000 miles
ABS light came on over a year ago. Code showing is C1185. Speedometer, tachometer, don't always work.

- Danville, IL, USA

problem #18

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 #17

Apr 282014

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 158,000 miles
I stopped at a stop sign and upon pressing the gas the van lurched forward a bit then I lost all the gears. Had to push it off the road with 4 children seated inside. It's like it's stuck in neutral, no gears at all. Had it towed and currently waiting on mechanics diagnosis. Very unsafe!! we could have been injured or worse. Something needs to be done about this!!! I see page after page about this happening to people. Same problem same model & year of Windstar. Shame on Ford Motor Company.

- Caldwell, ID, USA

problem #16

Jun 122013


  • 130,000 miles
I have a 2003 Ford Windstar that has been owned by my family since it left the line. I was notified of a recall to the control arms in 2011 and took my vehicle to the dealer. In June 2012 I was driving home from work and had just turned on my street when I heard a loud bang and my car would barely more. When it happened I thought that my engine had hit the ground. I luckily was one house away from home( I had just gotten off the expressway traveling 70 miles an hour.) as I limped my way into the drive way I thought that maybe I had a flat the way that my car was driving. However when I got out of the car my entire drivers side of the car was less than an inch from the ground. After having it towed to a shop I was told that my strut (spring) had jumped off the mount. I was told there was nothing wrong with the strut (spring) but that it had jumped the mount. Needless to say when Ford was contacted I was told that they were not responsible. This is very wrong given there was extentsive damage done to the control arm and it pulled the tie-rod end out of the passenger side. There were no issues with the front end and I feel that the brackets that were installed due to the recall may have shifted the strut and caused the damage. But Ford would not have anything to do with the matter.

- Roseville, MI, USA

problem #15

Sep 092011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
My instrument panel keeps going crazy. The RPM needle is now pointing down into the dash. The speedometer usually is not working correctly, it will say that I am doing 20 mph, when I am doing more like 45-50. The gas gauge sometimes says that it is on empty, when I have a full tank of gas. Sometimes the needles work, sometimes they don't (with the exception of the RPM needle...it hasn't moved from that buried in the dash spot for a couple of months now), sometimes the speedometer needle goes all the way to the right and then gets buried in the dash also, so far though, each time, it has came back...even though it rarely registers even close to the correct speed. The repair for this is going to be about $700 is what I was told. I do not have that kind of money, and I am constantly praying that my 17 year old daughter who has to drive it sometimes, does not get into an accident because she is going too fast, and has no clue how fast she is actually going, or one of us may get a speeding ticket. I have looked at websites and seen that a lot of people are having these problems, so Ford should do the right thing and make a recall, before someone is seriously injured or even killed!!! also, not sure if it is related or not, but the ABS light stays on.

- Crestline, OH, USA

problem #14

Mar 142011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 136,500 miles
Car stopped running, after stopping would not restart with switch on, turned off ign switch and turned back on and it restarted. I inquired at the Ford dealer and they said they never heard of this problem. Since that this has happened 100's of times including a number of times on a roundabout where the loss of pwer steering is especially scaring. I have adjusted to this problem by putting the car in neutral, turning off the ignition and then on and starting the engine again, normally this is an inconvenience but on a 2 lane roundabout it is a danger.

- Sheboygan, WI, USA

problem #13

Nov 042011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • miles
Vehicle violently buckles forward and back when stopped at light. This continues for a few minutes then the ABS light, brake light, and check engine light turn on at the same time and the car stops buckling. This happens at least once each time I use the vehicle. So approximately 5-9 times a day. The buckling is so bad I'm afraid my foot will slide off the brake pedal and I will roll into an intersection. I took my vehicle to theodore robins Ford in costa mesa (949) 642-3017 today and they say there is nothing they can do. I also found this website talking about this exact problem www.fordwindstarrecall.info/. please help [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Costa Mesa, CA, USA

problem #12

Sep 212011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • miles
2003 Ford Windstar 71,000 miles - bought new for $35,000 in December 2003, I purchased a new 2003 Ford Windstar. I am the only driver of this van, to and from work and a few road trips. In the beginning a few things went wrong but I wasn't too concerned at the time. Since then, here is a list of things that has gone wrong with this van: 1.no heat - blender actuator 2.driver's side window wouldn't roll up or down (fixed) 3.passenger side window and back windows do not work 4.interior lights go on and off 5.gasket replaced on engine because car was dying when I came to a stop. ($450) 6.rear window defroster doesn't work 7.rusting out by back tires 8.transmission failure $2,800. Fluid from the radiator got into the transmission fluid! (now how did that happen other than being defective) 9.2 safety recalls I am lucky I haven't been killed in this vehicle! the transmission failed with no warning! you would think when I had my car serviced they would have noticed that my transmission fluid did not look right. I am so frustrated with this van that I have worked hard and struggled to pay for, but I did it. My entire family has always stuck by Ford and I have always defended them. I can't afford another vehicle right now so I had to dig deep to pay for these repairs. I have done quite a bit of research on this vehicle and I cannot believe there hasn't been a recall on the transmission. Now I am stuck with driving a $35,000 van that I don't feel safe driving! [xxx] copy to: NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) Missouri attorney general (consumer protection) information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #11

Jun 032011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • miles
I recently bought a 2003 Ford Windstar mini van in flordia from someone on craigslist in that use to live in Virginia. No longer than 2 weeks after I bought the van the engine light, ABS, and brake light came on and the van was jerking very hard when the gears were changing. I took the van to a Ford dealership and paid $90 for a diagnosis test. The dealership informed me I had to replace the full body throttle which I paid $230 for. 2 weeks after I replaced the full body throttle the engine, ABS, and brake light came back on and the jerking continued. I was not informed by the dealership that there was a recall on the Ford Windstar mini van 99-03.

- Kissimmee, FL, USA

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