really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
102,174 miles
Total Complaints:
166 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (53 reports)
  2. replace or rebuild (51 reports)
  3. put in another tranny (39 reports)
  4. rebuild transmission (14 reports)
  5. replaced torque converter (5 reports)
  6. need the torque convertor replaced (1 reports)
2003 Ford Windstar transmission problems

transmission problem

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2003 Ford Windstar Owner Comments (Page 2 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #146

May 242012

Windstar 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 124,000 miles


I own a 2003 Windstar that without warning, while my wife was driving it, stop generating forward motion. The engine was still on, but the transmission just quit working. Until then the van had not giving me any major mechanical problem, but all I had to do was type "windstar tran.." on the web browser and I realized that I'm not the only one this has happened to. Its very frustrating to know that Ford is very aware of the problem, However they refuse to own up to it. I'll never buy a Ford vehicle ever again.

- , Fenton, MI, USA

problem #145

Feb 212013

Windstar LX 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

Mine is the same as everybody elses on here.Went to back out of driveway this morning and it rolled into the street since my drive is slanted.I thought it was in gear but went to put it in drive and NOTHING. Ive owned this van for 5years from an inheritance from my father.Its the nicest vehicle i have ever owned.I cant afford to get this fixed,end of story.Ive read all these complaints and the problem seams to be a number of things.The sad part about my story is I found out about this problem a few months ago and wanted to know if i could avoid it somehow.I went down to my local ford dealer and they said that they weren't aware of any Trans problems in WindStars,BULLSHIT!! Ive heard there is a separate oil cooler option on the bigger motor vans and also on the 3.8 towing package.If you had that installed it might help some since a lot of these complaints are from coolant in the trans.There's a ton of these vans running around in my town,in fact my aunt owns one too.Ive been on several cross country trips in mine and always thought that i finally owned a vehicle that i could drive anywhere in the states.I'm seriously thinking about going to the local news stations and bringing this problem to the attention of the masses before somebody gets killed in an accident over this.All i can say is THANK YOU FORD FOR SCREWING ME. I now have a immaculate lawn ornament.

- , Canon City, CO, USA

problem #144

Feb 212013

Windstar SE 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,000 miles

have to leave my overdrive on

it seems as though the windstar has alot of problems. This overdrive problem could be very expensive to repair. What is the deal with ford?

- , Tangier, VA, USA

problem #143

May 272013

Windstar LX 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,233 miles


Driving in pouring down rain from my sons house about 100 miles from mine. I get off the Expressway and make my first stop and my Windstar wont move again! No noise lights or anything just engine revs and transmission laughs at me and wont do a thing. I am a mechanic and take good care of my vehicles, so I get my scanner out. Only code that is in there is for a Torque Converter Clutch not withing specs. We will see what we have here, just give me a week or so, but as long as it makes it through the next week.... so pissed off right now I'm ready to sell it!!!

- , Oregon, OH, USA

problem #142

Oct 012010

Windstar LX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

Really, transmission failure with not that many miles. This van has nothing but problems and ford doesn't admit there is a problem when there clearly is.

- , Lititz, PA, USA

problem #141

Jul 112012

Windstar Limited 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

Wednesday on way home - I stopped and got gas. It started acting like I had bad gas. When I stopped at the mechanics - it would not go into reverse. The Idiot told me I could drive it - just make sure I didn't have to back up. Called a Transmission company - they came and picked it up Thursday. They said that the transmission was not repairable... there was a bunch of metal left. They are replacing with brand new transmission for the same cost they were going to rebuild my old one.

- , Danville, IN, USA

problem #140

Jul 082012

Windstar LX 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles


this is second time tranny failed. first time it cost me 2200.00 dollars, and now as a single parent cant afford to pay that price again. and two people , me and my daughter rely on it to get to work. finding out that this is a common problem and after reading others complaints am outraged by this ford should hold some responsibility for this . this is my second windstar and i really like fords but i doubt i will ever buy another one was planning on getting a TRUCK soon think it wont be a ford now. i was dealing with the electrical issues on both my vans and HAD THE RECALLS DEALT WITH BUT THIS IS RIDICULOUS. one van and two trannys later . i wouldn't recommend ford to anyone now

- , Perrysburg, OH, USA

problem #139

May 142008

Windstar LX 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

I thought I was the only person with this problem! I had a 1995 Windstar that I bought new that was absolutely awful. It was so awful it was repossessed by the bank because I couldn't afford the repairs and the payments. In 2005 when I went through a divorce and my ex husband got the 2003 Chevrolet Venture I had to buy a new car. Being that my credit was shot I had to go to an Auto Credit dealership where they could only put me into one van, a 2003 Ford Windstar. I didn't want it but they insisted Ford fixed the issues and I had no other choice so I bought it. The first 30 days were fine after that it went downhill FAST!! First all the warning lights would come on randomly, then the Coil Pack failed, then the wipers quit working, then the locks quit working, and finally the worst happened. One day I was going to the doctor when all of a sudden the van "slipped" into neutral never to go again. After paying $3500 to have the transmission replaced I drove it another two months when the reverse went out. Enough was enough by then I had my credit fixed enough where I got a regular car loan. I purchased a 2006 Chrysler Pacifica that I love and continue to drive with ZERO problems. STAY AWAY FROM FORD WINDSTAR!

- , Spring Creek, PA, USA

problem #138

Jul 012012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,992 miles

Ford sucks! This is my third transmission. When the original transmission blew and it was still under warranty Ford refused to replace it stating that it was my fault and that I had driven my van into a lake. I was so pissed it cost me 4000.00 to replace .. that was nearly 5 years ago and the transmission that they installed after 80,000 km has died and again I am replacing it to the tune of 3000.00. I am only replacing it so that I can take my sweet old time researching my next vehicle. I will never ever buy a ford again.

Their customer service is horrible. I truly believe to this day that they lied about the transmission so that they would not have to absorb the cost. They never showed me the transmission. We tried so many times to speak to someone at Ford Canada without any success.

Seriously, do not consider buying a Ford - their customer service is horrible. I have owned 4 ford vehicles and was so turned off by their attitude and how righteous they were placing the blame entirely on me. They would not accept responsibility for anything.

- , Mississauga, Ontario, canada

problem #137

Jul 052012

Windstar SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles

Tonight while driving with my autistic son to get his new glasses, the ford wind star 2003 just stopped moving forward...no warning, no prior transmission problems. Only 80,000 miles...Had to pay $78 for tow so far, now find out how to fix..apparently this is a common issue with the wind star. Way to go Ford...only 2 weeks away from vacation...now what to do???....

- , Moon Township, PA, USA

problem #136

May 202012

Windstar 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 213,000 miles


Had no warning of any problem until I started to turn onto highway and had no gear to go forward when I touched the gas. Engine still running. Coasted to side of road and attempted to try another gear, reverse, #2, #1 and drive which proved unsuccessful. Had vehicle towed to a repair shop 12 miles away but could not repair so suggested a transmission shop in Sau Saint Marie Canada where it has been towed to. (60-70 miles from my home here in US) Two tow bills which lucky for me will be covered by my auto insurance. Was notified today that it will cost $3,034.00 due to having to pull engine and transmission to repair. Pump Input Shaft replaced and repaired, torque converter and transmission repaired and everything resealed. I am a retired Ford employ and have always believed in Ford products since I have owned many before, but have never had to spend this much on repairs for any vehicle I have owned. Our vehicles have always had high mileage before we turned them in or sold them. Cannot believe this has happened and since my husband and I are both retired, we are on a fixed income and do not have this kind of money for repairs. I still love Ford vehicles and trust them but believe that Ford should help with the repairs on these problems. I feel that outsourcing to companies ,other than Ford, has created this problem along with other problems causing recalls. Ford and the other US auto companies should get back to the basics of keeping the work within the company.

- , Hessel, MI, USA

problem #135

Oct 312007

Windstar LX 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

The Windstar for this year has a problem with water in the transmission because of pinholes in the radiator where the transmission fluid is cooled. These pinholes allow moisture to collect in the transmission causing failure. The solution is to route the transmission lines to the radiator to a transmission cooler. You will then have to change the transmission filter and fluid 5 or 6 times until all of the fluid with moisture in it is discharged from the transmission. Or you can buy a new transmission which is very expensive.

- , Jena, LA, USA

problem #134

May 032012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 109,000 miles

My Wife was driving from Kissimmee, Florida to Providence RI. she lost all the forward motion and the Engine was still running on middle of the Highway 95 North at Delaware state which cost as a plane ticket for her and her Sister to return to Florida and I am still looking to found a used transmission for the car because I can not afford a Dealer price to repair it I believe Ford should take look in to this to fix the problem. this is a simple bull crap

- , Kissimmee, FL, USA

problem #133

Apr 262012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles

Whoever came up with the idea for the Ford Windstar should be forced to drive and depend on one. OMG - just driving along yesterday and all of the sudden - no more forward motion. It just coasted to a stop in the middle of the road with the engine still running! No warning, no previous transmission issues, nothing. It was just like being put in neutral. Of course there are no recalls on it. All kinds of recalls for stupid stuff, but not for transmission !!!!!! SERIOUSLY...COME ON, FORD !

- , Croton, OH, USA

problem #132

Mar 082012

Windstar V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 116,331 miles

with out a warning the transmission pump went out on my 2003 ford windstar.I got off work @ 430pm 3/7/2012 park went in the house came back out about 830pm move the van in the back yard.Got up ready to go to work3/8/2012 430am put the van inreverse the damn thing would not move.I turned it off and turned it back on trying to move forward or backwards nothing work i start to have a out of body experience cuss like a crazy person putting cuss words together (IAM USUALLY CALM)had to find myself away to work yes late.came home look at the van there was no leaks nosmelling of anything burning.called a tow truck was told had to pay up front i would get reimbursed becauseof the road service ihad.once the pieces of sh*t got to the auto shop the cost would be 1200 dollars,transmission pump went out called Ford motors headquaters explain the situation at hand i was told that unforunately there was nothing they could do even with the complaint over 161 what can i do (frist i need to apologize to my neighors) then to myself for purchasing a FORD WINDSTAR IT'S A PIECE OF SH*T NEVER WILL I PURCHASE ANY FORD PRODUCT AGAIN FORD CAN KISS MY !!!!!!!!!!

- , Detroit, MI, USA

problem #131

Mar 122012

Windstar LX 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 141,000 miles

After reaching a stop light in the middle of 4 lane traffic, the van would not move. The engine was running and had been running for about 75 miles that day without any problem, then nothing!!! Would not move at all and cars whizzing by me on both sides and afraid to even get out of the van. Police had to come and stop traffic and help push me off to the side and then wait for a tow truck for two hours to come get me to safety. We haven't gotten an estimate on it. Frightening enough to be stalled in traffic, but more frightened to see what it will cost to repair it. Ford should do better to people who have patronized them for many years, because they will loose loyal customers quickly. Be careful what you buy.

- , Greenfield, IN, USA

problem #130

Mar 092012

Windstar LX 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 114,000 miles

Making U turn to get on Highway it stopped in the middle of turn able to to go straight into smaller street blocking Driveway, think what would happen if I am on highway. Ford good company but their transmission supplier sucks.

- , Sterling Heights, MI, USA

problem #129

Feb 102012

Windstar LS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,000 miles

with no warning at all the transmission went out!!! I was driving and all of a sudden the car stopped driving, it won't move in any gear!!!!

- , New Hope, MN, Afghanistan

problem #128

Sep 192009

Windstar LX 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 119,100 miles

my wife was coming home for work and the transmission gave out it rolled all the way to the front of my house luckily I was outside with my brother in-law we checked it out I had to tow it to the transmission shop one thousand four hundred dollars only had 112000 miles on it.

- , Los Angeles, C.A, USA

problem #127

Jun 152011

Windstar SE 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 109,234 miles

wish i knew what the problem was haven't had the money to fix it paid 6000.00 for something to just break down and me and my wife have 5 kids

- , Seale, AL, USA

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