really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
82,309 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2003 Ford Windstar Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #26

Jun 062016


  • 130,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar. While driving 20 mph, the power steering failed. There were no warning indicators illuminated. The contact took the vehicle to a local garage and the mechanic stated that the rack and pinion needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified. The contact was seeking reimbursement for out of pocket expenses. The failure mileage was 130,000.

- Alleagny, NY, USA

problem #25

Jul 052016


  • 121,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that while in park, the steering wheel seized. As a result, the contact was unable to steer the vehicle. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the engine cradle had corroded and needed to be replaced. The mechanic also stated that the cradle was previously glued. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 121,000.

- Allegany, NY, USA

problem #24

Jul 282016


  • 273,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar. While driving various speeds, there was a noise underneath the vehicle. In addition, the steering wheel became loose and the contact had to steer the vehicle in excess to keep it in position. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the cradle fractured due to corrosion and the rack and pinion was protruding through the fractured site. The mechanic stated that the cradle needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 273,000.

- Lagrange, OH, USA

problem #23

Jan 022015


  • 62,000 miles


Steering column locked up while traveling 50mph.

- Austin, MN, USA

problem #22

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 #21

Aug 122014

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 131,000 miles
Van started making a loud metal banging noise while on vacation. Took to a local shop where I was shown that the subframe ( where the ac water leaks down) was completely rotted thru and broken, making the van unsafe to drive/ the van already had brackets on the subframe and rear axle installed by Ford just weeks earlier, but this was not repaired or addressed.

- Lewiston , NY, USA

problem #20

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 #19

Jan 282014

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 10,000 miles
Ford came out and tool my car to [xxx] cunningham to fix my call on a safety recall dated 2/28/2014 then refuse to fix my car state Ford refuse to pay home for the recall repair he said I have to pay out of pocket. All repair are free of charge my car still at the shop at the shop because the front wheel cause by the power train axle assembly NHTSA 12V193000 and 11V030000 11S16 and 10S13 3/11/2014. Can I get a copy of these recall mail to me thanks my car is still at [xxx] for 3 weeks now please help no renter was given to me as part of the recall. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Decatur , GA, USA

problem #18

Nov 232013

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 97,332 miles
Mini van steering started making clunking noise while turning. Then I notice steering wheel is not straight when car is driving straight and something was wrong with alignment. Automechanic told me passenger side sub-frame rotted out and minivan is unsafe to drive. I investigated potential recall of Windstar minivans - I am very upset that this could have caused me to crash on the highway. Only a very thin piece of metal remains holding the frame in place. Minivan is undrivable and need to replace subframe.

- Tabernacle, NJ, USA

problem #17

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 #16

Mar 012012

Windstar 6-cyl

  • miles


About March of 2012 my 2003 Ford wind star's lower control arm separated from the sub frame "engine cradle". I took my van to dealer. They did do a repair to sub frame, which I did not find satisfactory, Ford Corp. Had them cut off what was left of any damaged brackets and clamp steel brackets onto a sub frame that is already damaged due to heavy rust and corrosion. Now about one year later "March of 2013" the sway bar mount, which is part of the sub frame has rusted out. Making driving very unsafe and unstable. This problem should have been rectified when the recall was done in 2012. I took van back to the dealer. They sent pictures to Ford Corp. Ford did not approve any repairs to sub frame stating that it was not part of original recall. Now how is that possible if the sub frame and sway bar mount are all one component. It's all one welded piece of steel. There is no fix at this time but to replace the sub frame. Now if the sub frame is under recall and the sway bar mount is part of the sub frame, then I feel Ford should rectify the problem. I plan on keeping my Ford wind star for a while. I feel this is a serious safety issue and really needs to be dealt with. Ford should cover this component or they get away with an unsatisfactory fix and I still have to pay for a new sub frame, which was the whole issue to begin with.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #15

May 012006


  • 50,000 miles
ABS module does not work, and shows a constant alarm light. Cost to repair is $2K door locks failed and have to be opened manually. Cost to repair is $500/lock power steering unit constantly noisy, hard to steer vehicle. No repair cost known. Door open light constantly on. No repair cost known. Interior lights do not come on when doors are opened. No repair cost known.

- Glen Ridge, NJ, USA

problem #14

Apr 062004

Windstar 6-cyl

  • miles
The ABS and brake light have been on in my car intermittently for almost as long as I have owned the car. The Ford dealer was unable to find any problems even though the light remains on. I have had to replace 3 sets of wheel bearings in the car and now the power steering unit is about to go out and the rack is leaking. The vehicle only has 78,000 miles on it. I work at home so I do not drive to work so the mileage is low for a vehicle this age. The vehicle is also rusting and I keep it parked in my garage unless it is being driven. The passenger side window only rolls down occasionally. In conclusion: I have been driving for 41 years and I have never replaced wheel bearings or power steering in any vehicle, let alone 3 sets of wheel bearings and a power steering unit. The costs of these repairs will total over 2000 dollars with no resolve of the brake issue or window problem.

- West Des Moines, IA, USA

problem #13

Mar 102012

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 74,500 miles
Driving 45 mph when something snapped under front of the vehicle lost steering completely hit the curb got pushed back to the middle of the 4-line road and came to a stop very lucky. Later found out that lower subframe control arm broke of the frame due to rust and pulled out axle snapped sway bar and damaged ball joints, towed it to a dealer and they are willing to fix frame but want me to pay for all the other expense sway bar, ball joints, tires, steering arm totaling over a 1000 $. can not believe that Ford would not at least replace all needed part considering that I made it out alive and with out a crush. And all this after they have performed rear axle repair and checked the front and was informed that front was safe a year ago.about 10,000 miles and a year later I had this happened. The vehicle has 74,000 miles only.

- Hanover Park, IL, USA

problem #12

Aug 022011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 129,000 miles
ABS light is on as well as check engine light.car is idling rough. Checked with numerous car repair places with no success. Also, van is pulling to the right even after I changed tires and did alignment check !

- Seminole, FL, USA

problem #11

Dec 292010


  • 106,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that while driving 55 mph, the vehicle suddenly swerved to the left and right and the contact was unable to maintain control of the vehicle. The contact crashed into ditch. The contact was reported injured. A police report was available (carroll township police department 10-0910). The vehicle was towed from the ditch and the tow driver advised that the steering bracket was fractured. The vehicle was taken to a tow yard where the contact was awaiting the completion of an investigation through her insurance company. The failure and the current mileage were 106,000.

- Lorain, OH, USA

problem #10

Aug 242010


  • 208,000 miles
The right front sub frame on my 2003 Windstar corroded causing the lower control arm to separate and wheel to pull out. Lost steering. Also axles shaft pulled from transmission and fluid ran out. Fortunately at slow speed so no accident, but what if I were on a freeway running fast?

- Charing Cross, On, Canada , 00, USA

problem #9

Jun 152010

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
55000 miles. Original owner 09S09 recall. Brake switch leaking-repaired before recall.paid $250 ABS/brake lights intermittent, occasional burning smell, rear tail light remain on. Battery dies (on#3) flashing interior lights, radio go out upon braking. Dealer performed recall (wire thing) said need new ECU and hcu at cost of $1800. Have had car in and out of service many times for strange electrical occurrences and warning light problems. Always said can not duplicate. Have seen hundreds of complaints on message boards www.fordwindstarrecall.info, www.aboutautomobile.com/complaint/2003/Ford/Windstar/ABS+warning+light, www.aboutautomobile.com/complaint/2003/Ford/Windstar/electrical+system. From consumers with similar complaints. Feel car is not safe. Low miles, always had scheduled maintenance.

- Mason, OH, USA

problem #8

Sep 162009


  • 124,000 miles
2003 Ford Windstar SE brake and ABS lights on intermittently. The following codes are present: C1226;C1235;C1185;C1198;C1194;C1254;C1246;C1250; and C1242. The mechanic said it appears the ABS control module is going bad or is bad at a cost of $700. I replaced both rotors, drums, right wheel bearing, left inner tie rod and my brakes work just fine. The lights coming on are an annoyance and could possibly cause a fire??

- Eagle Lake, MN, USA

problem #7

May 012005


  • 40,000 miles
We have had many different problems with our '03 Ford Windstar. We have had the powersteering pump replaced 3 times. We have had the transmission rebuilt because is quit working. The ABS and brake light on the dash are always on. We can not adjust the temperature of the A/C or heater. It is always cold. The rear air selector switch does not work. The dome lights flicker from time-to-time. The rear speakers work about 1/2 the time. The brakes sometimes make a growling sound when applied. The mechanics can not find the reason for the noise. The rear door indicator switch needs to be replace. When we shut the rear hatch (door) the doors will not lock because it seems that a door is still ajar.

- Dothan, AL, USA

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