really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
31,329 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

The NHTSA is the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints can be spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem. See the Back button — blue bar at the very top of the page — to explore more.

Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 1998 Ford Windstar:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

problem #41

Jun 162011


  • 155,500 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that controlling the vehicle would often become difficult. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection where the contact was advised that the front passenger side axle shaft needed to be replaced. The contact believed the failure was a manufacturing defect. The failure and current mileage was 155,500.

- Cleveland, OH, USA

problem #40

May 202011

Windstar 6-cyl

  • 142,000 miles
Popping in front end when turning or hitting bumps. The popping sound was often. Had new tires put on, and when I took it in to have front end aligned. Ford tech. Said front springs were broke. Was an est. Of $1200 on it can't afford. This was 5/20/2011. Contacted mfr about the recall that was issued on this part 7/12/2001. Was told there was nothing they could do, because of a time limit. How can they put a time limit on safety & peoples lives because the springs are broken, they can puncture the tires and cause an accident. Now we are without transportation. And my son is disabled and has numerous dr. Appts. Miles away. But my hands are tied. The mfr. Did advise to have another recall checked out which is the speed control because it can catch fire. When I asked why, you just told me it was unsafe to drive.he advised it could catch fire just setting in the drive not running. I was not notified of either one of these recalls by mail or other wise until I called to complain about the front coil springs. How does these billion dollar company's keep getting by with negligence? there are lots of recalls on this vehicle. Please help!

- Hoopeston, IL, USA

problem #39

May 032011


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Ford Windstar. The contact was driving 5 mph in a parking lot when the vehicle exhibited a loud noise and was not drivable. The vehicle was towed to the dealer who diagnosed that the front axle fractured as a result of corrosion. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who did not offer any assistance since the vehicle was not included in any recalls. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 100,000.

- Grayslake, IL, USA

problem #38

Oct 302009


  • 150,000 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Ford Windstar. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for repairs under NHTSA campaign id number: 01V199000 (suspension: Front:springs: Coil springs). The technician stated that they heated and sprayed penetrating oil onto the sway bar in order to remove the bar to complete the recall but they were unsuccessful in doing so. The technician stated that the sway bar links would need to be cut out in order to perform the recall repairs and the removal costs of the sway bar links would not be covered under the recall. The manufacturer was contacted and stated they could not override the decision made by the dealer and provide no assistance because the part was not covered under warranty or the recall. The vehicle was repaired at the contacts expense. The approximate failure mileage was 150,000.

- Guilford, VT, USA

problem #37

Apr 242003


  • 83,000 miles
1. Ford sent recall notice (01S19/01M03) in September, 2001. Vehicle was taken in for service (11/7/01) and the receipt indicates that safety shields were installed 'to prevent a front spring failure from puncturing the front tires'. the notice also stated that 'what Ford will do for you': "Ford Motor Company will also pay far any repairs directly relating to the front coil springs of you vehicle free of charge (parts and labor)." It was at that time (2001), the owner received an 'extended coverage transferable warranty notice' on the front springs for 10 years from the warranty start date, regardless of mileage". 2. the springs may have fractured at a later date, or were broken at that time and not replaced. The vehicle has always had very low front ground clearance. Because of the low ground clearance and the installed shields, the spring failure was not noted even when new tires were installed. Returning the vehicle to the dealer in 2009, after a front break line failure, the owner inquired about checking for broken front springs under the recall campaign mentioned in the notice from 2001. That is when he leaned that the safety recall issue was satisfied with the "shield installation". this action apparently also removed the VIN from the safety recall data base. Thus, assuming that this is no longer a safety issue, the owner continues to drive the low mileage vehicle (less than 100,000 miles). 3. the cost of replacing the springs was estimated at $400 to $600 dollars by the dealer and no corrective action is being taken as apparently this is no longer a safety issue. The vehicle is a 1998 Ford Windstar that was purchased on 10/16/97, with five miles on it. 4. is this vehicle safe to drive as there are nearly 100 similar complaints on this safety complaint web site" 5. as this vehicle did not qualify in the clunker program, is spring failure a lemon law issue"

- Glenwood, IL, USA

problem #36

Jul 052008


  • 168,000 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Ford Windstar. The contact stated that the coil springs failed and punctured the tires. She felt that this was a safety issue because a serious crash could have occurred. The vehicle has not yet been repaired. The current and failure mileages were 168,000.

- Gladstone, MO, USA

problem #35

Jul 222008


  • 110,000 miles
I bought a 1998 Ford Windstar 3.0 L in 1999. In 2002 I received a recall to install front shields over the coil spring so I did. Yesterday the front coil spring punctured the front tire and broke the struts as well. When calling Ford, they inform me that they can not tell me when my vehicle was manufactured, just that they will do nothing about it. They issued the warranty for 10 years from manufacturer date even though the recall did not take place until 3-4 years after manufacture date and I took my vehicle in for the recommended cure to the problem.

- Middletown, OH, USA

problem #34

Mar 132000


  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles
Vehicle shook continuously when being driven. Front end was aligned, the bearings, shaft, and the ball joints were replaced.

- Carthage, NY, USA

problem #33

May 062003

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,000 miles
I have a 98 Windstar mini van. After the minivan has been running for awhile and you go to stop it will go dead or what you call stalls. So after I crank it back up and try to take off again it will stall again. So therefore I have to make sure there is no traffic coming, because there has been some close calls of me and my children getting into a wreck due to this piece of $#*$.the interior lights will not go off, so my husband had to take the light bulbs out: Also the passenger side window will not go down or up. This thing is so bad I wish jimm skinner Ford would have just kept the piece of $#*$.

- Vance, AL, USA

problem #32

Jun 262004


  • 160,000 miles
A loud noise came from the front of the vehicle while driving 55 mph. Vehicle pulled to the left. Consumer noticed that sway bar broke on driver's side. Dealer and the manufacturer were contacted, and both informed the consumer that the part was not covered under a recall.

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #31

Jul 082003

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I am seeking action to alleviate the cost of maintenance problems I have experienced with my 1998 3.8L V6 Ford Windstar gl. Over the past few years, my Windstar has displayed reoccurring and extensive mechanical problems in the front end, brakes, and engine that have resulted increasing amounts of time and money spent on repairs. From research, I have found that our difficulties are not an isolated event, and are in fact a common problem in the 1998 Windstar, and are the same problems found in the 1995 Windstar. The most recent event was the requirement to have the head gasket replaced. The local Ford dealer provided this service which cost $1500 in parts and labor. Upon completion of the repairs the van was not roadworthy, a new short block was needed due to damage caused by the faulty head gasket. I have been quoted over $6000 for this job. In addition to the mounting repair costs, I am forced to rent a car so that we have transportation while we consider options with our Windstar. My Windstar has less than 100,000 miles. It is not uncommon these days to have vehicles operate this long before requiring the first tune-up. In order to maintain this van, I have spent the time I have ownwd this vehicle and a lot of money taking my Windstar into service centers to have inferior parts, such as the plastic tie-rod ends and brakes, replaced many times. I have also spent a fortune on rental cars while our Windstar sat unserviceable. We have born this cost with the expectation that investing money in repair would result in safe, reliable transportation for our family. With this major repair, the months of exhaustive diagnosis and trial repair jobs to fix the problems that arrise, the multiple tie rod end replacements, and brake system repairs, I feel that I am entitled to compensation from the Ford Motor Company.

- Apo, NY, USA

problem #30

Jul 222003

Windstar 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles
Clunking noise in front suspension at 32,000 mile due to wornout bushing. Then at 74,000 miles noise was due to radius arm sockets that needed to be welded. The problem started at 74,000 miles but was not found and fixed unitl 82,000 miles. The car has not been in any accidents. I feel this vehicles front suspension is defective base on repairs needed in 80,000 miles of highway and city driving. Ford has brushed me off working through their customer service channels! I am the origional owner.

- Trevor, WI, USA

problem #29

Aug 232001


  • miles
No summary listed for above vehicle.

- Fort Pierce, FL, USA

problem #28

Jun 012000


  • miles
Front end alignment was performed due to tire wear and drivability.

- Sioux City, IA, USA

problem #27

Jul 061999


  • miles
Ford mo said they cannot fix my suspension problem after working on my car since the first service call. This has been since 1999. There have been many service calls, parts replaced, and I was told that if I traded in the car that they would give me $3,000 toward another car, which amounted to me buying a new van for the regular listed price. I have been putting up with these excuses that they didn't want my car as a trade in as they could'nt resell it. Now I am stuck with a car that I can't sell as it is defective. What is a consumer like myself to do about this. I have gone to arbitration and they said they couldn't help. The lemon laws only applies to the first year of purchase and I spent the first year with Ford telling me they were working on my problem and that it would always be covered by warranty. Now they tell me they can't fix it. The car has such a bad shimmy, pounding in the front end that no one would take this van as a trade.

- Salem, MO, USA

problem #26

Jun 012000


  • miles
Front end alignment was performed due to tire wear and drivability.

- Sioux City, IA, USA

problem #25

Sep 251999


  • miles
Steering column sticks, has to jerk steering wheels. Also vehicle pulls to the left. Consumer can hear a whistling sound on left side. Contacted dealer. Dealer kept vehicle for about one hour, and told consumer it wasn't anything wrong with vehicle.

- St Louis, MO, USA

problem #24

Jun 012001


  • miles
While vehicle is in operation and making any type of turn, there is a loud "metal to metal" sound coming from front of vehicle. A private mechanic has replaced tie rod in an effort to repair problem.

- St. Charles, MO, USA

problem #23

Jun 132001


  • miles
Defect happened while normal backing out of driveway. Know of at least one other exact incident with another winstar in this area. No safety defec tmentioned.

- Ilion, NY, USA

problem #22

May 172001


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Consumer was traveling 15mph on a two lane ramp and heard something popped, and steering column was difficult to steer. She was able to pull over to shoulders, and noticed that a coil spring had fallen out and puntcured right tire. Consumer states left and right front coil spring was replaced.

- Uniontown, PA, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »