really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
102,600 miles
Total Complaints:
140 complaints

Most common solutions:

  1. replace transmission (55 reports)
  2. Ford should recall it (38 reports)
  3. not sure (24 reports)
  4. completely rebuilt (15 reports)
  5. got rid of vehicle (8 reports)
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This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Ford dealer.

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #120

Feb 082012

Windstar LX 3.9L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 137,000 miles

Transmission problems for years, leaks, slippage, and now it finally dies.

- clickaway, Fenton, MI, USA

problem #119

Oct 272011

Windstar LX 3.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 114,332 miles

Ford recalled this used rust bucket because the sub frame and rear axle was a danger. They spent $2,500 renting a car for me for 2 months while it was being fixed at Donway Ford. My guess is all this work plus 2 months storage cost more than $1,000

Why would they even fix this thing if they know the transmission was bad. Even the trans. oil pan was rusted through and leaking - I had that replaced with the oil and a month later, the transmission failed.

No offer was made, they just took it in and did the repairs. I would have taken a discount on a new car at the time instead of spending the additional $1,800 that it also needed to get roadworthy.

- shuttle, Toronto, Ontario, canada

problem #118

Nov 142011

Windstar SEL 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 214,000 miles

This is the second time that the transmission has failed. The first time was at 100,000 miles and I had a new transmission put in...This one lasted 114,000 miles. Going to junk it this time. See Ya Ford !

- Nancy T., Milford, DE, USA

problem #117

Jun 012004

Windstar SEL 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

My family was on the way to vacation and the transmission decided to fail. I had to drive in low gear for 200 miles to get to destination! The replacement cost was $3000.00. Now the transmission has failed again! This time it was at 214,000 miles. I guess they only last about 100,000 miles, and after reading all the complaints about Ford Windstars, I guess I should not bother to rebuild it at this point! Foreign cars sound like a better bet when it comes to longevity. Oh, yea, I might add that the transmission started acting up at 20,000 miles, but the dealership could never "replicate" the problem!! Bye Bye Ford!

- Nancy T., Milford, DE, USA

problem #116

Dec 032011

Windstar ES 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 123,900 miles

Never liked Ford vehicles much. Always a problem and it's always expensive to repair.

- Steve G., Northampton, PA, US

problem #115

Sep 272011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 207,538 miles

Hi there! Previous to this 2000 windstar i had owned a 2002 windstar. it hadn't given this exact problem, but it did cost me quite a bit for different repairs. i had only had this van since june this year. i didn't expect much of it because it was used, but that changed when me, my two year old, and his daddy traveled on a trip that we had taken before a couple of times before this trip. all of sudden we smelled smoke,so we parked and my spouse told me the transmission was leaking and was slowly going. i panicked a bit because we had our two year old with us. thankfully a couple let us park our van in their yard while we waited for my sister for 5 HOURS!!!! it was so unexpected and such a pain. now we have to hold off on family trips while we search for a NEW and different vehicle.

- mrsc, Saskatoon, Sask., canada

problem #114

Apr 132011

Windstar SE 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 206,000 miles

We just had the fly wheel replaced and the next thing I know I'm going to leave...with my 5yr old and 3 yr old, and i go to turn around and when I went forward it was fine, put it in reverse and it was fine, then when I went to put it back in drive it made a big bang and jerked then started revving up really bad and wouldn't go anywhere. I was PISSED!!!

I have only had this van a little over a year and have only been able to drive it maybe 5 months total. I had only had it out of the shop for maybe 3 weeks at the most when this happened!!! I have read that A LOT of people have had the same problem that I have and think that Ford should take it upon themselves and voluntarily recall the transmissions on these vans.

Thank god I am a mechanic and can put one in without sending it out, but it's gonna be a pain in the ass...not to mention it's not been easy trying to find a good tranny to put in it at a decent price!! UGH! I am a Ford person and this has about had me in!

- Raymond M., Cambridge, OH, USA

problem #113

May 192011

Windstar LX 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 121,000 miles

I think Ford should fix these faulty transmissions. Thank you.

- Van C., Detroit, MI, US

problem #112

Aug 132011

Windstar 2.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,000 miles

Like others, I was stopped at a red light, in Legacy and Ohio when the light turned green I just pressed the accelerator, and i heard a loud bang and that was it, the car wouldn't move... nothing in drive, first, or 2nd. I was able to move in reverse. Just parked and waited for the tow. If it's not worth the repair, I don't know.

- Oliver W., Grand Prairie, TX, USA

problem #111

Jun 122011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

On the way to pick up my daughter 150 miles from our home WITH 4 OTHER KIDS IN THE CAR, I began to smell a burnt smell. Within in seconds the O/D light started flashing on our van began to smoke!!! WE pulled off on the side of the road and it being a Sunday in Utah we struggled to find ANYTHING that was open. WE finally got a tow (thanks progressive) Needless to say our tranny was OUT. After a complete rebuild we got it back about 4 days ago.......NOW OUR ENGINE LIGHT IS FLASHING!!!!! The car shakes so bad when it is driven and doesn't want to go.....so obviously we can't drive it now. We are taking it in today and I am praying it's not going to cost another 2500 bucks or more. I HATE FORD!!! HATE THEM!!! GET YOUR CRAP TOGETHER FORD!!! Or you are going to single handedly turn every consumer against American build vehicles!!! I AM IRATE!!!!!

- Ashley H., Washington, UT, US

problem #110

Apr 252011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,000 miles

another one bites the dust,reverse,no forward !!!! just bought the piece of sh*t for my wife,$8,000.00 @ a buy here pay here as is no warranty drove it 5 days! they will have it "fixed" and add it to the tail end of my loan, from what I've read on this site I wonder if I should, its just going to happen again.also just found a receipt in the glove box this isn't the first time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- parzok, Fairborn, OH, US

problem #109

May 012011

Windstar LX 2.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

Like everyone else I was stopped at a red light, when the light turned green I pressed the accelerator, heard a loud bang and nothing in drive, first, or 2nd. I, like the others, could only move in reverse. Just parked it for the night, going to try and get it towed to the shop tomorrow. If it's not worth the repair, I will trade her in.

- jjbankhead, Portland, ME, USA

problem #108

Apr 092011

Windstar LX 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 136,000 miles

Let me start off by saying I'm done with ford. My children and I were in the middle of a busy intersection on my way to my sons karate tournament when we herd a boom and it felt like someone hit me. There were no warning signs, the car shifted a little hard when on a incline. We could of been killed. When a problem like this affects this many consumers it needs to be dealt with by ford. I hope ford realizes that this isn't the kind of customer service that is going to get people to buy American cars. My car will be sold soon and I'm going with a Honda

- Kisha L., Syracuse, NY, USA

problem #107

Feb 192011

Windstar LX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles

I bought my Winstar used with 67k miles on it . The van originaly belonged to an elderly lady, and she had it serviced reguarly. I thought I was getting a good deal, surely it would last another 100k miles. Well at 88k miles, the tranny went out. WOW ! Its hard to believe that Ford an American car company would build a van that wont even make it to 100k miles.without needing a major repair that cost more than the thing is worth. Ford should stand up and take responseabilty for selling the Windstar with a faulty transmission. To many people are having the same problem for it not to be faulty . Im a family man who can barely make ends meet as it is. Why should I have to pay for Fords misstake?

- kennethervin, Pegram, TN, USA

problem #106

Mar 062011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,000 miles

I bought the ford Winstar in 2008 I have ended up paying 12,000.00 for this vehicle after everything is said and done. I have four young children and have been left without a vehicle for almost a year with all of the problems that I have had. The transmission has been replaced three times and the motor three times. I feel that Ford should put a recall on the transmission after reading some of these complaints on this website. Right now I have three recalls on my van but cant get the van any where to have them done. This is the worst vehicle I have every owned and I have owned some pretty bad vehicles. Ford needs to help us out and fix the problem!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- Jolene R., Wolcott, NY, USA

problem #105

Mar 142011

Windstar SE 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 155,523 miles

I bought this van used 1.5 months ago from a guy on craigslist. I had it looked at by a local garage and they said it had a rear main seal leak, but otherwise not bad. So I bought it for $2K. Since then, the OD light would flash periodically, and several other things started going wrong (brake warning light on, Check engine light, ABS light). Driving to work yesterday, the car started shimmying and would not go very fast. I made it to work, but barely. Parked it in a spot. Would not go in reverse at this point or 1st gear. When restarting, it would grind/rev endlessly until I shut it down. So now I am out 2K and am going to buy a foreign car. Maybe I can just scrap this one.

- David S., Urbana, OH, USA

problem #104

May 092008

Windstar LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles

Hi, I guess I have officially joined the "Ford Sucks" club. I purchased our 2000 Windstar new and kept up with ALL of the maintenance just to have my transmission fail in the middle of a busy intersection loaded with kids. Nice job Ford. I have stood by Ford through many bad experiences trying to support American automotive industry. I can no longer afford to sustain the burden. They have officially converted me, I now own a Honda and am very happy.

I have a few friends that are mechanics and when I told them about my transmission they all stated that it was the "sun gear", wow...all of them said the same thing. I also spoke to my father's neighbor who is now a retired Ford mechanic and he said immediately that it was the "sun gear". When I questioned him further he informed me that he saw it all the time when he was working with this year and model. Upon contacting a transmission shop to have a rebuild put in, the man on the phone told me it was probably the "sun gear". This really got me mad so I contacted Ford and explained my concerns and told them that there should be a recall. They basically stated that there is nothing they can do about it and that this "transmission problem" is not a problem that they hear about often which was Bull***". What are the odds of little ole me knowing 4 mechanics and they all said it was the same problem. (not to mention all of the complaints on this website) Upon examination of the transmission the tranny guy showed us the broken gear . Apparently there are welds that hold the gear in place and they break frequently. REALLY FORD??? So all of you out there that are considering buying a Ford, think again. I wish everyone would get together and do a class action suit.

- Jodi N., Sewickley, PA, USA

problem #103

Sep 152003

Windstar LS 3.6L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,000 miles

I hope this will help Ford see that doing things right the first time will pay off in the end. Just past the 36,000 mile warranty at 41,000 miles my wife pulled out into traffic, heard a loud bang and stopped moving. She was able to move off the road in reverse. Luckily no one was hurt. I had mentioned to the Ford mechanics earlier that I thought the van sounded funny when it shifted but they had told me that that was how it sounded normally. I took their word for it and chalked the tranny failure up to bad luck. I see now that the transmission is probably a bad design. ps. I had the tranny repaired and the rebuilt lasted until yesterday at 171,000 miles. The rebuilts are better but still not a deal at $3,500. I promised myself and Ford back in 2003 that I would not buy another Ford vehicle. That decision has just been reinforced.

- Kevin O., Rice, MN, USA

problem #102

Dec 312010

Windstar LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles

On a way to a wedding new years eve, I stopped at a stop sign and when I stepped on the gas I hear a loud bang/thump under the car and the car would barely move forward. I tried 1,2,D and they all would not work. Reverse works fine. Still sitting in parking lot I nursed it into until I get it towed. I am the original owner and have had it maintained on regular basis for the life of the car. No warning that there were any problems with the transmission. I had just driven 5 miles with several stops and starts. With all the complaints about this vehicle on this site alone, Ford should do something about it. Transmissions should not fail on a regular basis at 80,000 miles as I have seen in this site. I hope someone looks into this problem and finds that Ford new of this problem and did nothing about it. Looks like a new car and not a Ford

- A A., Dixon, IL, USA

problem #101

Aug 162010

Windstar 3.0

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,394 miles

OMG so many complaints on yahoo, Google, and other websites!!!!! Wish I would have known it was going to break under 6 months of use!!!! I should have bought the extended warranty! First time that I never bought the extended warranty, however I believe my dealership should have helped me out! I have a $5000.00 paperweight!

- Michael M., Mcsherrystown, PA, USA

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