Ford Windstar

Ford Windstar Reviews

Our promise. We provide a buying advantage with verified reviews and unbiased editorial research.

About Ford Windstar

The Ford Windstar minivan was sold from 1995-2003, when it was renamed the Ford Freestar, which was discontinued in 2007. Read more Ford reviews to learn about other models.

Ford Windstar Reviews

Stars Rating

  • 0%
  • 0%
  • 0%
  • 0%
  • 0%

Popular Mentions

    How do I know I can trust these reviews about Ford Windstar?
    • 4,461,376 reviews on ConsumerAffairs are verified.
    • We require contact information to ensure our reviewers are real.
    • We use intelligent software that helps us maintain the integrity of reviews.
    • Our moderators read all reviews to verify quality and helpfulness.
    • Recent
    • Oldest
    • Most helpful

    A link has directed you to this review. Its location on this page may change next time you visit.

    How do I know I can trust these reviews about Ford Windstar?
    • 4,461,376 reviews on ConsumerAffairs are verified.
    • We require contact information to ensure our reviewers are real.
    • We use intelligent software that helps us maintain the integrity of reviews.
    • Our moderators read all reviews to verify quality and helpfulness.
    Page 2 Reviews 10 - 40
    Customer ServiceInstallation & SetupStaff

    Reviewed May 6, 2015

    While driving (luckily at only 25 mph), the rear axle broke on my van. I had already taken it into an authorized dealer for recall "repair" which in my opinion, failed. The axle broke mid bracket that was supposed to stabilize it. I called Ford and the rep was very polite & apologetic and told me that Ford stands behind recall work 100% - he gave me a case number and told me to contact an authorized dealer to have the work done and that the dealership would be reimbursed by Ford.

    Two dealerships told me they would not replace the axle since the brackets had been installed and the recall period was now closed. What?! One dealer told me they had done repairs previously, based on what customers like me were told by Ford, only to have Ford NOT reimburse them. I've owned Ford products in the past, but never again. It's pathetic that I have to consider myself lucky that I'm dealing with such a hassle and paying out-of-pocket for repairs rather than medical or even funeral expenses because of a company that puts out a poor product and then doesn't take care of its customers.

    Reviewed April 23, 2015

    Got my Ford Windstar 2000 with 185000 on it. Have problem with the airbag, the horn is not working as a result. The accelerator will suddenly stop responding while on motion. The gear selection is also a problem. What is the cause of all these and what is the remedy?

    Customer ServicePrice

    Reviewed March 31, 2015

    I bought this 1999 Ford Windstar a couple of years ago. Hardly used it but maintained it. It is rusted in the bottom and in the sides. The power steering pump keeps messing up. My dash goes crazy. The sticks go haywire and one of my sliding doors gets stuck. I called the dealer and there's nothing that they can do about it cause it's not on recall. I had to fix transmission - cost me 500 bucks. I think there should be some type of recall on any of these things cause my car won't even pass inspection.


    Reviewed Feb. 9, 2015

    I have a 2000 Ford Windstar -- it wasn't getting fuel, had it towed home. Now it's in theft mode. Now dealer wants me to tow them. To charge me $138 but won't guarantee fix the theft mode. I don't think I should have to pay. It's not stolen. Any help.

    Installation & Setup

    Reviewed Feb. 9, 2015

    Great van - I purchased 2003 Windstar at dealer van in 2012 with 111000 mi and had lots of problems due lack of maintenance. For all of you that have a complaint read!!! Check engine light with a diagnose lean bank 1 or 2 - need to change platinum gasket. This will fix problem and better mpg. Transmission - no big problems but some odd shifts due first from platinum gasket high rpm. Change oil every 30000 mi and major killer of trans is heat so install a trans cooler. Now it shifts like new. Front end noise - check bushings on torque bar un sub frame and connecting rods. That will fix noise. Dome light flickering - very simple fix - it’s in your ignition block (where insert key), just need to adjust contact. Rust wheel wells - need to spray fluid film every year under van, under doors, etc. That will eliminate rust. All vehicles have problems the first problem is their owner.

    Reviewed Jan. 15, 2015

    The power steering line got fixed today. It drove fine coincidentally until I hit a bump then the radio, lights, blinkers and dash lights started going nuts. We thought I knocked something loose. We stop for dinner, park... Turn the car off... all that. We head home and it was working fine at first but then the lights start going nuts and the alternator was going out within the next few minutes. Turns out the guy must've knocked the wire loose to the alternator when he was fixing the power steer line. So the whole time we drove from the shop (hour drive) we were just running on the battery & it ended up dying. Thankfully a guy in the Walmart parking lot gave us a jump & we tightened the wire on the alternator and all that. Now it's running fine.


    Reviewed Oct. 29, 2014

    My 2001 Ford Windstar SEL's passenger side sway bar mounting bracket (which looks like a U-Channel that is welded to the subframe) completely rusted away and then separated from the vehicle. This design flaw has rendered the vehicle extremely unsafe to drive. My FORD dealership denies any responsibility. After insisting on satisfaction, the Service Manager told they would take pictures of the sway bar and the rusted bracket and then send them to FORD Corporate. Well, FORD Corporate responded informing me that FORD will NOT pay for any of the needed repairs.

    Reviewed Oct. 24, 2014

    I purchased a 1996 Ford Windstar and the transmission began revving up high on the RPMs and would not go into gear. This happens everyday. We've changed the transmission, still goes on and we were told to change the (TPS) sensor, it is still happening. Now the OD will not work. The red No (OD) light continues to blink. I've noticed a great many people are having the same problem or close to it. They should recall this transmission.

    Reviewed Oct. 19, 2014

    My wife complained of vehicle gauges going up and down erratically a week ago. I looked online about it to find that this is almost a common thing with this year Ford Windstar 1999. Unfortunately, before I could take it in to get it repaired, the engine overheated and the head gasket gave way or the heads warped or cracked. We are unable to drive this vehicle at all now. I'm happy to take the blame of any event that I am responsible for but in this circumstance the temperature gauge failed to show the correct temperature in order to allow me to stop the van before it was too late.

    Reviewed Oct. 3, 2014

    My rear axle cracked while I was driving. The good news is that there was a bracket on the exact spot it broke because Ford had a recall situation with their axles doing exactly this. I had the recall done in 2011. The break happened in 2014. They would only repair it for free if the axle broke within a year of the 'repair'. I called 3 dealerships (I even sent one of the dealership's pictures) and the Ford home office as well. They all told me the same ridiculous story. So I had to shell out at over $800 for a new axle repair time.

    Reviewed Sept. 25, 2014

    Rear axle cracked. Under where they put the part both rear tires are tilting in at the top. Recall repair failed on my Windstar.

    Customer Service

    Reviewed Sept. 24, 2014

    1999 ford windstar sel 70.000 miles - Had a transmission in the beginning. Electric doors don't work right. Brake lights don't work - had to bypass the module because FORD doesn't make it anymore. Headlights are shot - very foggy. Paint is peeling on the roof. Where are the recalls for this car. Had already at least 4 recalls. LEMON - FORD should buy them back. Very nasty on the phone. This is my last FORD. Bought a Cadillac SRX. SHAME on Ford. Can't even get 100,000 miles on this one. FORD I am done with you. After 3 problems it should have gone back. Can't wait to see what else will Happen. Use this around town only.

    Reviewed July 12, 2014

    I have had 2 Windstars. 1 was 1998 which I drove for 9 years. It had it's typical maintenance along with a few minor issues too. My interior lights would randomly come on and stay on for periods of time. The heater blower motor died and could not defrost on winter days. I did receive the recall notice for the rear axle after I scrapped the van. My next van was the 2003. I have had this one for just over 3 years and just experienced the cracked rear axle first hand the other day. I was fortunate enough to get the van off the roadway.

    The rear of the van would jump and slide when you hit a manhole cover or a bump in the road. I was able to be towed from where I was to the US/Canada border. AAA got me to the border and CAA. Brought me home. I spoke to my local dealer and told him my situation. He replied by saying that it was a recall issue and would be repaired along with the sub frame brackets also. I like the Windstar and have enjoyed them. As long as the dealer repairs what needs to be done I will just keep on motoring.


    Reviewed July 1, 2014

    My Winstar 2001 cost me over the 2 months replacing battery twice, fuel pump, spark plugs twice and changed the oil twice. fuse and took it to the service station and they said it was the starter, but found out later it was not the starter. The Gas is spurting out gas on the sparkplugs and in oil every time he try to start the car. I like my Windstar but I know it has recalls and now I was told if I take it to the dealership, they will charge me an arm and a leg. Just diagnosis it. Why is this happening to the Ford Windstar 2001s. Why buy any car if it just comes down to a problem that may cost a fire, or even death to a family. I love the room it has for hauling people. I m having a hard time to even sale it as is.

    Customer ServicePunctuality & SpeedStaff

    Reviewed May 1, 2014

    I purchased a used 1999 Ford Conversion Van with the 5.4 liter engine. Nice looking van. Engines runs very smooth. Electrical problems are door locks work when they choose to, even while driving. Up and Down! Then the starter began to grind one day. I would have to turn the key once or twice to get the starter to engage and start the van. It got progressively worse. Up to 10 turns of the key to start. So I replaced the starter. The starters would work great for about a month then start the same thing as before. At starter number 6, I began to question auto store clerks and mechanics who told me everything from plastic failing inside the gear drive body to it not lining up with the flywheel. Some said they had never heard of my problem and didn't know what to do.

    Then I was told I had to have a Motorcraft starter. It had one recently installed when I purchased it. It was the first to fail. I then call the Ford dealerships and talked to service Managers and mechanics who didn't know what to say. Now 10 or more starters later, no one knows what's wrong. I then learned that Ford started installing this 5.4 engine in 1997 through 2000 and has had nothing but problems with it. So why keep putting it in vehicles?

    Oh, I plan to solve my problem by getting it to start like it did when I purchased it and then getting rid of everything Ford in my drive. Even if problems haven't started yet with the other products. When I purchase another vehicle, it won't be Ford, GM and definitely not Chrysler!!! Of the 3, they are by far the worse. I went to foreign cars some years ago and never had any major problems at all. They ran for many years and very high millage. Yes, the foreign car manufacturers did put their money where their mouth was with their warranties.

    Why did I come back to American? I felt guilty because of all the family members who at the time worked for one of the American auto manufacturers. It's a move I should have never made. I've given them their final opportunity. I'm sorry but I'm about having the best for my hard-earned money and right now, it's not the American cars. I hate to say that too. Greed and an unwillingness to listen to its customers has caused them to make a substandard product and have a great falling away of customers. I'm not the only one who feels this way. Many of my friends feel the same way and they too feel bad that they cannot put any confidence into what's made here at home.

    I remember when back in the 70's and early 80's the foreign car manufacturers were the butt end of every joke. Look now who's the joke. What a difference a few years, blew up egos, and management greed has made. Yes, I am upset, angry and disappointed. I did own a few American made old school cars a few years ago. Now these were cars with style and class. I've said enough. Now it's time for me to search the net for a nice, dependable FOREIGN car!

    Reviewed April 17, 2014

    So we sunk all our saving into a Ford Windstar van. Had it less than 2 months and we think the transmission went out! It'll start up, go into reverse but will not move forward! It gave absolutely no warning to this happening, no check engine light, no strange sounds, nothing! I am beyond livid! Now we have to spend 1000 dollars that we don't have to fix this van! Anyone know if I can call Ford and make them pay for these expenses!?

    Customer Service

    Reviewed March 29, 2012

    Well, I took my 2001 Windstar to Vallery Ford for the recall. It was a quiet van before I took it to them, but now it sounds like a big loud truck. I don’t know what they have done to make it sound like that and now it shakes real bad. I called them and they said all they did was what the recall was for, but no—they did something to it because it never shook or sound like a big load truck. I am so upset with them and Ford for making my van worse than it was. Something needs to be done. Now, my van is in worse shape than it was before the Ford recall. Ford or Vallery Ford doesn’t want to do anything about it. Is there anything that can be done?

    Reviewed March 20, 2012

    1996 Windstar 220k miles - It blew the head gasket at 80k miles. It was properly repaired by the dealer. No other major problems other than normal wear, battery, bulbs. The A/C and cruise worked until few months ago. I hit a pothole and now have power steering leak. The only annoyance is intermittent misfire codes and check engine light. I also have a '95 Taurus Wagon 80k miles and runs like a top.

    Customer Service

    Reviewed Feb. 28, 2012

    On February 4, I went to the auction place in Harvey to purchase a car (2003 Ford Windstar). I even ask question and read the information they give you so I decided to buy a van. I didn't drive it until the 7th. I was in the highway with my kids in the car. When the car keep going sideways, I decided to get out the first exit and try to make it home. Almost halfway home, I heard a breaking sound that made my van go sideways almost flipping. I decided to slowly press the brakes and stop the car without harming my babies. When I got out the car, I noticed the car back axle had broken in half which had made the tires go on one side. I had to call a flat towed truck to come and take the car to a shop. At the shop, they told me we were lucky nothing bad happen to us because there's been a lot of accidents with this vans. And that the van was a recall car and it's not suppose to be sold by law because it can cause an accident. I've been calling the auction place to get a refund but they keep putting me on hold or hanging up. They are still selling these vans at this auction place. A lot of people could really get hurt.


    Reviewed Dec. 15, 2011

    I bought my Ford Windstar in 1995 (first model, 3.0l V6). Since then, I had none of all these problems. In almost 17 years, I only had to change the tires, brakes, v-belt, one battery (my own fault, I kept the GPS in the plug during a 5 week holiday) and some front light bulbs. Today my WS is in the garage, because I couldn't measure the coolant. After this long time, it was almost black, but that's more than normal. Mileage is 156 k mls. It's always outside during the year, no own garage. I know, this is an exception, but because of his (yes, his) reliability I truly love this car. Greetings from Germany.

    Sales & MarketingPricePunctuality & SpeedReliability

    Reviewed Dec. 15, 2011

    I just purchased a 2000 Ford Windstar, and despite quite a bit of research, never came across this site before.

    Anyway, on with the comment...

    I think you guys need to accept that sometimes it shouldn't be down to the manufacturer! If you go into a shop and it turns out many years later to be a substandard item, tough! We live in a consumerist world these days - a chuck away society - deal with it, and don't spend so much in the first place. Furthermore, don't ever buy on credit! Isn't that obvious. If you can't afford it now, don't buy it now, buy it later when you afford it (apologies for the uppercase - sometimes I feel it's important to emphasize).

    Some stuff you buy will be dangerous. Life simply is dangerous. Everyday. I really can't understand this litigious, pass-the-blame attitude. We need to get back to where we were a good X years ago, where we had a realistic outlook on life.

    You seem to want to know that Ford are looking out for you, but they, like any other capitalist company are in the business of pressing steel together for $$$$$ - if you buy it, expect a little support during your warranty but then you are on your own. Don't buy the advertising bull. Ford are a big company, made big from you going into debt to buy that shiny new car. Don't get me wrong. I don't want to single Ford out here. I think they make decent-ish affordable metal to move people from A to B, as do many other automotive mfrs.

    Humbly heed this advice if you may:

    1) Don't be suckers people - get to know how a car works, treat it well, service it regularly yourself if you can. If you're elderly, bus services still run almost everywhere.

    2) Be different! Don't buy a new car - once you know how cars work you can actually get quite reliable motors working for you daily for about $2000 a piece (that's what I paid for my 2000 Windstar, and, ok, I've since found out it might be badly dangerous underneath. Ok, I'll get a spot welder to sort it or perhaps learn how to weld myself. Sounds kind of fun! ).

    You all sound like lawyers to me, and that's a very bad sign for humankind.

    I've ranted enough. If you choose to flame my comments, feel free. Freedom is wonderful, and everyone is entitled to their own opinion!

    Reviewed Nov. 30, 2011

    I am a current owner to a 2001 Ford Windstar that was bought used less than 5 years ago. Have had several recalls done to it since it has been in my possession.

    I brought it to the attention to a local ford dealership, John ** of Phoenixville, PA, the district sales manager of the Philadelphia territory, Brad **, and Karen **, Executive Officer, that the recall 09S09 was still leaking even though my vehicle was band-aided with a jumper harness to the SCDS. Ford knowingly knew that the original part for the SCDS was defected and still cause leaks despite the harness. When this leak occurs, it still has the potential to start an engine fire due to the leaking brake fluid. The brake fluid then shorts out the ABS/ECM module, which affects the brakes locking up, speedometer, odometer, cruise control, traction and O/D compartments to fail. The recall was only to remedy the immediate fire by the SCDS but not the fires that are caused by a defected SCDS part which is made by Texas Instruments.

    Ford has already been replacing the old SCDS part with a new SCDS that is not being manufactured by Texas Instruments. However, this is all done by the owner’s expense! The ABS/ECM module is suppose to last the lifetime of the vehicle except since the recall was not done the proper and safe way. It has to be replaced to prevent a fire. In my case, my ABS module needs to be replaced for the second time, which will be the third ABS module in a used 2001 Ford Windstar.

    This is not new for Ford Motor Company on this particular recall involving the SCDS. Fifteen of Ford model cars are affected by these defected SCDS; however, the Windstar owners have only received the band-aid solution with the jumper harness. The other ford vehicles' recalls includes a brand new SCDS part not made by Texas instruments.

    At this time, I have not been able to use my van to transport my young children and for me to go to work. The repair costs more than we can afford on a used car. Not only are we making payments on the vehicle that cannot be used, I can not also get a good trade in offer because to the current problems due to the lack of accountability that Ford Motor company has not taken to prevent this problem!

    I would like Ford to address this recall properly by putting in the new SCDS part in the Windstar. Ford needs to fix the damages caused by the defected Texas instrument SCDS, which includes the ABS/ECM module and any other electrical damage from the leaking brake fluid. This should be all done by the expense of Ford Motor Company. Owners who have already received the repair should be reimbursed with any repairs that had to do with the SCDS, ABS/ECM, and electrical parts affected by the leaking brake fluid. My overall experience with Ford is a 0!

    Customer Service

    Reviewed Nov. 3, 2011

    I took my 2002 Winstar (I am the original and only owner) to the local Ford dealership (where purchased) after receiving the recall notices about the subframe and rear axle. The van was left and the "repair kits (brackets)" installed. I was told that my van was in great condition and not effected by the recall. Subsequently, my husband was under the van for unrelated reasons and saw the passengers side subframe was rusted away with the repair kit bracket in place, supporting nothing. It is clear to see what the purpose of the bracket is if you look at the drivers side.

    We took it back to the dealer where several employees (manager and mechanics) agreed it was part of the recall. We were told to leave it because it likely wasn't safe. My husband requested the back axle bracket be removed for inspection. This revealed a crack in the back axle masked by the bracket installed by the dealer. The dealer alleged to send digital images to the DI dept of Ford and was rejected as a claim. My car was given back to me stating repairs previously done. We contacted Ford customer service dept, who advised us the dealer was already paid for the repair and therefore is a dealership problem. The dealership claims it is a recall issue. Legally, not sure how either was willing to give me back my van if the mechanics agreed it was likely not safe. The manager in fact told us that he told Ford to replace both the rear axle and subframe. Unacceptable to play the blame game on peoples lives. Ford needs to be held liable for their lack of action and the dealership for attempting to hide a recall defect. I'd be interested in how many brackets were placed on Windstars that should not be to save money or so that dealerships can be paid? We have plenty of pictures to be shared. This is a safety issue.

    Reviewed Aug. 21, 2011

    My 2001 Ford Windstar SEL's passenger side sway bar mounting bracket separated from the vehicle less than 30 days after recall. This has rendered the vehicle unsafe to drive and it will not pass New York State vehicle safety inspection. Ford dealership denies any responsibility and Ford, the manufacturer, will not repair as part of the recall.

    Reviewed Aug. 12, 2011

    I own a 2003 Ford Windstar. Over the past year, I have had the check engine light go on and off intermittently and 3 total breakdowns where the engine light was blinking and I had a loss of power. I had to be towed 3 times. One time, I was 200 miles from home and had to leave the vehicle for repair. I have had repairs done by 3 separate shops. They all got the same set of codes when they test the car and do the prescribed repairs based upon the codes. I have had coils replaced, a major tune-up and spark plugs and wires replaced 3 times in the past 7 months.

    Several different codes keep coming up including "that cylinders are misfiring." I have spent at least $2000 in repairs only to have the light go back on within a few days. I have read of others having this problem and wonder why there has been no recall by Ford. With three competent mechanics reading the same codes and following the prescribed course of action, I feel that the problem is really with Ford and not the mechanics.

    I also have my lights blinking while I am driving. I eventually just turned off the exterior lights because I can't afford to take the vehicle in for a hit-or-miss repair.

    Reviewed Aug. 3, 2011

    I am not generally a complainer, but enough is enough. We own a 2003 Ford Windstar. Over the past 4 years, we have replaced or have had the alternator rebuilt at least three times. The last time was a week ago. We also installed a brand new battery. The van started one time and one time only after the repairs. We also had issues with the interior lights coming on whenever we would hit a bump. My husband has turned them off completely to eliminate this issue.

    A few months back, both the driver's side and passenger side windows stopped working. A few weeks later, the passenger window started working again but the driver side window was still out of order. After going online to do some research, I was shocked to learn that this appears to be a common problem with many Windstar owners. It seems to me that when these many customers have the same issues, the automaker should have some responsibility. When do the costly repairs stop coming out of the pocket of those who have already paid big money in good faith to own a reliable transportation and fall on the shoulders of the manufacturer?

    Reviewed July 20, 2011

    We have a 2002 Ford Windstar Sport.

    It was Canada day, July 1, 2011. We came out from our van and realize that when we tried to put the car in our drive it was making a very loud noise and would not move. We then saw that the passenger front coil spring had broken and went through the tire. We inspected the one on the driver side and it was just as bad. We were not going anywhere, my 2002 Windstar did this while it was parked! ** good thing it didn't decide to let go while driving! I have never heard of a coil spring just breaking like this.

    Reviewed May 29, 2011

    I owned a Ford 2003 Winstar that was recalled in October 2010. We took it to a dealer. He took our van and would not give it back! Ford said that they would give us a rental car. We asked for a van because I am handicapped. We were told that we could not have a van because we had no handicapped equipment installed in it. We then asked for something big enough to hold my wheelchair and walker. They said that they couldn't do anything but try. Ford decided what we got, a rental company. They gave us a big enough car but then told us that we could not go out of state in it and that we would have to turn this big car back in on a Monday, I think. For the small car that they were giving every one, my husband was freaking. He knew that we had to go out of state all the time and that we could not use a little car so he was forced to buy another car.

    Reviewed Feb. 1, 2011

    I bought a new 1995 Windstar and it was the first car/van I ever bought new. My husband directed me to buy this van because he stated that the reviews were excellent and I had two young daughters.

    Within two months after purchase, I began to have problems. The engine kept coming on and off at various times. I had a remote lock and key system that rarely worked, alarm system that would go off without warning, and brakes that would get stuck.

    They failed to tell me about the gasket problem until I needed it to be done. I had to have two new transmissions replaced in this van and it was always in the shop for power failure, coil damage, engine failure, and system break down. This van cost me thousands of dollars, at that time I was too ill and too uninformed to know my rights against Ford. The more I complained, the more they ignored me. My family needed a car for transportation. I had ran up my credit cards repairing the van every month. In 2000, I decided that I was not going to repair it any more because I did not have any more money since being disable, I was without a car.

    In 2004, my husband's car went bad so he bought a Ford Taurus. My husband needed transportation to work and we did not have a large down payment. Ford took the Windstar as a trade in for $50.00. Can you believe it? I walked out of the room and let my husband finish dealing with Ford.

    I kept every bill, every thing that was done to this van, every default because it caused me so much distress emotionally, physically, financially, and it even caused me to become more ill.

    Today, the bad decision of paying for Ford 1995 Windstar continues to affect my life. Because I used money on that car that should have been there for me now. Everytime I am waiting on a ride or paying for a cab, I get upset at Ford.

    Reviewed Dec. 28, 2010

    On 11/03/10, I was slowing down from a state highway, making a left hand turn, when my front axle on my 2001 Ford Windstar broke. The van stopped, and could not be moved at all. I had to have it towed on a flat-bed to an auto mechanic to be fixed. The auto service had to replace the sub-frame on the van, the cradle assembly. The inspection revealed a rusted out sub-frame and control arm mounting. Then, I got a recall notice in the middle of December 2010 about the rear axle! What is Ford going to do about my high bill that I paid to get my van fixed?!

    Loading more reviews...

    Ford Windstar Company Information

    Company Name:
    Ford Windstar