2003 Ford Windstar Sport 3.8L V6 from North America


Great car - If you're lucky enough to have a good transmission!


Unlike most Windstar owners, I haven't had any transmission problems. My problems have been electrical.

Recently, the ABS and Parking brake lights come on for no reason. I've had the car checked and no problem has been found. The ABS still works. Also, turning the car off and on clears the problem. I'm sure there's a short somewhere, but it's intermittent nature makes finding it difficult. I haven't seen any posts on this matter so I must be unique. Or perhaps, I'm one of the few that has managed to put this many kms on the car!

General Comments:

Comfortable. Great family car.

This model came with a VCR when a DVD would have been much more convenient.

Seat removal is a pain compared to stow and go features from other manufacturers.

The car has stood up well to 3 trips to Florida and back (from Toronto) and 1 trip to the Maritimes.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 23rd May, 2007

11th Dec 2007, 16:11

I have had the same ABS/Brake light issues with my van. My mechanic checked it out and as you said nothing was wrong. But my bearing was in need of replacing and after this repair these sensors have not come back on. Just a suggestion if its still occuring for you.

20th Mar 2009, 09:41

Yes, I own an 03 Sport, and I also have the same ABS/Caution light that comes on when it wants too, and this past week my bearing blew, so maybe this light is a forewarning to that problem. I have not had it fixed yet, so I'll post if it fixes my blinking light problem.

I also have a problem with my Overdrive Off light blinking when it wants too, and my mechanic can't find out what that is either. Maybe there is a default with the dashboards themselves??

23rd Mar 2009, 16:02

No, it's most likely that the transmission is about to conk out.

2nd Oct 2009, 13:44

Sounds like your brake reservoir is leaking down through the sensor on the bottom of it. The fluid will eventually travel down the wires and take out the speed control sensor on the top of the tranny. If I'm correct, this will blow the #10 fuse.

5th Nov 2009, 19:44

In addition to the leaking brake fluid, the ABS/brake lights come on because the ABS controller may be defective ($500.00 plus installation) see:


24th May 2010, 16:10

The door locks on our Windstar do not operate very well, ie. only some will unlock and sometimes none will work, and the more you try it, the less response you get. As you know, there's only one door that has a key hole in it, so this is very inconvenient.

1st Sep 2010, 18:58

My Windstar, I love driving it, it's fast and the gas mileage seems OK. The transmission BLEW APART at 98.500 kms. And thank goodness it was under warranty still, I was lucky enough Ford replaced the tranny rather then trying to repair it, something about anti freeze leaking into the tranny, it was a repair worth $4,500, OUCH.

Had a few cosmetic problems with my rear bumper coming unattached, might of been the body shops fault though,

2003 Ford Windstar SEL 3.8L from North America


This vehicle is a competent van


Power steering whine: I treated it with Lucas power steering additive. The whine vanished immediately and never returned.

The right side power sliding door will not always close.

There is a little rattle from the blower motor at low setting. It is just enough to be annoying. It does not occur in warm weather.

I replaced the nearly worn OEM tires with Goodrich Traction Control T/A tires. I am happy with these tires.

General Comments:

We choose this van over Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna because of its lower price. The difference was about $5000.

We choose it over the Chrysler minivans because the Windstar offers a firmer road feel and the Chrysler transmissions have a reputation of braking down. Ford transmissions brake too, but the odds seemed better.

The interior gives a feel of quality, something that I missed with the GM minivans.

I was driving this van 2 days straight for 1350 miles and I was half as tired compared to doing this trip with the Aerostar.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th July, 2006

6th Dec 2006, 19:18

After one year of use we still like this van. It has pleasing styling, nice interior, dual power sliding doors, entertainment system with nice sound quality and VHS system, quad seating, shopping bag holders in the trunk, and 5–star safety rating.

Nice acceleration. Good braking even in slippery conditions thanks to ABS. Good road feel. And nothing major went wrong.

The van is kind of thirsty, yielding 16 mpg in town to 21 mpg on the highway. But hey, we saved $5000 over less thirsty minivans. Tire wear could come into play as well. The outside edges of the front tires wear down rather quickly. I used to take corners rather fast, now I slow down more before turning. I have seen other minivans with this wear pattern.

The kids love their captain seats and occasionally comment how quiet and comfortable the van is.

The 6-CD-Changer is too sensitive and spits out perfectly fine CD’s.-Well, no longer. I used a CD cleaner and that fixed it.

The video system took time to understand, in particular “Dual Mode”, when you listen to the stereo and the kids use the headphones for the video. Finally we figured this one out: to keep it in “Dual Mode” you must have the radio or CD player on. If you want it quiet, turn down the volume, but don’t turn off the audio. Because then it will automatically switch to “Video” and you have to listen to Duffy Duck: “Deffpicable!”

The leather seats don’t breath in the summer and are very cold in the winter. My next vehicle will have velour seats again.

I found that the rattle reported in the review does not come from the blower motor. It’s the baffle in the ductwork. Other posters have reported that as well. Hard to believe Ford did not fix that in all these years.

Opening the power sliding doors took some getting used to: Put it in park, push power locks open, push sliding door button. For maintenance, make sure the tracks are clean and keep the wheels greased, or the doors may not fully close.

Rear wiper does a poor job. It often does not touch the glass at all. WD-40 in the linkage helps.