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Ford Windstar Transmission



  • Make sure you have electrical power going to transmission !First, check your fuses !
  • Transmission over heating is caused be "Excessive tow loads,improper fluid levels,incorrect engine idle or performance,restriction in cooler lines,dirty or stciking valves,seized converter one-way clutch" and that's just a few to mention ! A flush is a good ideal, but it might be to late for that ! Sorry , Good Luck !!!
  • Could be the Torque converter and/or input shift that goes into the converter !Usually the splines strip off the shaft or inside the converter it's self ! If this is the cause you are looking at a very large repair bill !!!
  • Sounds like a bad converter or input shaft, stripped splines ! Just something to look at !
  • The white smoke sounds like you have a blown head gasket !!!
  • Sounds like the torque converter and/or the torque converter shaft has stripped out ! You will need one or the other,Possible !!!
  • i have a 98windstar trans jumps in and out of gear driving 40-60 mph. engine revs up then clunks back into gear somedays it will do this all day and then it might not do it for 3-4 days// anyone out there have any clues?? it is code free/// thanks
  • maxjmaxj Posts: 1
    Did you find out what the problem was with your tranny? I have a 2001 that is doing the exact thing. It is driving me nuts. I sold the van to a guy and wound up buying it back because we cannot figure out the problem. Thanks
  • Just a guess from the info you gave us, Could be the Forward Clutch Piston Cracking, or the neutral safty switch ! If you replace the neutral safty switch it has to be adjusted correctly! GOOD LUCK
  • Sounds like the trans pump has went bad ! GOOD LUCK !!!
  • The transmission was rebuilt, new torque converter, new computer, only thing I can think off is VSS or OD sensor ! Also, make sure there is no brake fluid leaking onto the wiring under the master brake cyl ! GOOD LUCK
  • Now I have a 2001 ford Windstar with 178,000 miles, the van ran great no problems. Well about 2 weeks ago it developed a problem with slamming while shifting. When you put it into drive it will slam in to gear, (feels like the motor is jerking the van, just jerks forward). the other issue is when driving when this first happened if you were in 4th and around 40 to 60 and accelerated but not enough to down shift she would jerk and lunge (you have to force it to down shift). Now she jerks and what not when she down shifts and some times up shifting, it feels like the motor is shaking.

    Well I replaced the motor mount it was a hydraulic mount, the top was cracked and the fluid leaked out, I replaced it with a solid mount. While I was there I looked at the CV axle and the joints are fine but I can wiggle the axle and it moves around at the trans hub. I drove it and I still have the same problem. Slamming and lunging when the gears change, the trans fluid is full. just wanted to know if you had any ideas mabey its could be a shifting solenoid or something. Well thanks for your time
  • jfolkmanjfolkman Posts: 1
    edited January 2011
    I have a 1999 Ford Windstar LX van V6 (3.6). Intermittently the van is blowing fuse #19 in the engine compartment, this causes the the check engine light to illuminate along with the O/D light to flash. The car is then is running only in 2nd gear (limp mode). When I replace the fuse #19 the O/D light is not on or flashing and the shifting is normal, the check engine light remains on. I don't know if this is related: The #19 fuse blowing problem started the day after I had to jump the car due to a dead battery. The battery had a lot of corrosion so I cleaned it of with baking soda and water. From that point the fuse blows intermittently when I attempt to shift from park to reverse. Today, I removed the cables from the battery terminals cleaned everything real well, left the battery disconnected for over 15 mins to reset the check engine light, replaced blown fuse #19. The car is running normal so far with no check engine light. A week or so later fuse # 19 blew again.

    I replaced the range sensor. vehicle starts ok and shifts through every gear. However, now fuse #19 is blowing more often when I shift from Park to Reverse and then to Drive (fuse blows when shifting to Drive).

    I replaced fuse #19 and then tried something new, I make sure before moving the shift lever I push the O/D button to disable the O/D. Fuse #19 does not seem to blow. This morning forgot to push O/D button before shifting and fuse 19 blew, first time in three weeks

    What should I do next to solve this intermittent problem?
  • I have a '96 Windstar and over a week ago it didn't want to shift into 3rd gear, for 2 days we had that issue. Then throughout last week it ran absolutely fine, Friday however it quit shifting all together, had to drive 15mph to get home then to the transmission shop which is right up the street. They couldn't look at it until Saturday, hooked up to the computer and found nothing wrong with it. Yesterday they drove it for an hour and it ran perfectly fine so they said nothing was wrong with it. I don't believe them and I refuse to drive the van until we take it to Ford. Any ideas on what could be wrong with it? I am frustrated because we also just found out that my '97 Thunderbird has a cracked intake manifold so that pretty much leaves us without a vehicle until we can take them in this weekend to be fixed.
    :confuse: :mad:
  • Sounds like our 1999 Ford Windstar LX, 3.8L. Haven't had #19 fuse blow. Thought it was the transmission. Had it thoroughly checked and transmission is fine. They thought it was the ECM. The ECM ML2-941 is located under the plastic shield of the windshield wipers, passenger side, against the firewall above the shock tower. The computer has no removable prom chip. Called O'Reilly parts store. Can purchase this part, has core charge, but has to be taken to a Ford service center to be programmed. Comes to $300 US dollars for parts and program not including your mechanic's labor. Fortunately Mark is a mechanic and this is our personal vehicle. Guess we will replace the ECM and see what that does. Also read where all Windstars were made in Canada and the motors are Taurus motors. Mark says putting a Taurus motor and transmission in is doable so might go that route. Will try to remember to post how a new ECM works out.
  • lynnwinlynnwin Posts: 1
    I had no indication that my transmission was bad. I went to work one day parked the van, then at the end of the day I started it and it wouldn't move. I tried reverse, drive and low and high gear with no luck. I had to have it towed home, and still don't know what is really wrong. Hopefully I don't need a new transmission, but with my luck I'm sure I will.
  • It is more than likely you will need to have it rebuilt. I have done considerable research and every where it says notorious for this and that. Do not swap out, consider problems written associated with changing the existing tranny. Mine is still in the driveway waiting on a $1500 bal in savings to take it to the tranny shop. You can drip fluid from the dip stick on white paper, if it is brownish and or has black flecks in it, it will need to be rebuilt. Find a good established shop, you want it rebuilt, not changed.
  • As per my previous post. Did find a computer in a used vehicle that matched ours. Swapped them out. Windstar wouldn't run. After much digging and research, discovered that the Windstar manufacturer matches the ECM with the electrical bundle. These are programmed together. Isn't that just wonderful? Prevents you from swapping these out separately. We now have a ECM we can use as our core. Here's the kicker, after removing the original ECM and putting the used one in then discovering the used one wouldn't work, put the original ECM back in and the van is running better! A reset may have been all it needed. So will drive it till it acts up again and then post results. Fingers crossed!
  • boss302jboss302j Posts: 15
    Sure seems like a good possiblity of a stripped out torque converter. Lots cheaper than a rebuild. Look at my earlier post. Common problem on these transmissions. New converter and that is it. That is all mine took.
  • cookie35cookie35 Posts: 1
    hi i just was reading ur ad its so funny im having the same problem with my wind star just got it 3 weeks ago drove it 1 time tranmission bad dont what to do it shift gear but the man i got it from he said he just put a new tranmission he just got me for my money
  • john4u1970john4u1970 Posts: 1
    this is for theboss2 or anyone else that can give me a tip i got my transmission unbolted with everything disconnected can not seem to drop it do i need to pull it from top i really don't want to remove engine
  • mtnmans98zx2mtnmans98zx2 Posts: 1
    edited November 2011
    my cousin had me look at his van last night (2000 Windstar) and I have NO CLUE whats up with it.
    The tranny shifts fine and goes through the gears but at about 30-40mph if ya let of the gas and coast a bit then get back into the gas it slips like crazy. It does this whether the tranny in hot or cold and it does it intermittently. Could it be a vacume leak and if so where should I start to look.
    Or maybe a sensors bad OR the TRANNY IS FRIED? IM not a transmission man soI dont have a clue what to look for. I feel bad for the kid and will help him and his family out as much as I can but I dont know where to start! Any info would be greatly appreciated!
  • I wish to keep my 2002 Windstar for a long time. But her life was cut short at little bit over 88,000 miles. This is a record short life for any modern cars!!! I have spent so much money, time and frustrations on this "Star". The car finally stopped in a parking lot when I was backing it onto a road in the parking lot with horrible snapping and grinding noises. A fellow driver said it was a transmission failure. Thank God for not having this problem on a highway. I am very scared by this (my whole family was in the van) and I am compelled to tell this tory. I really hope that all the drivers of this car will be safety and fine.

    I would like to know if this is a normal failure for this car. Does Ford has any recall for it's transmission or any other parts for this car?

    Ford should take all their Windstars back in order to avoid tragedies.
  • if ur van wont start its caused by the shifter linkage on the trans. its a flat black bot that has a plug on it right under the shifter cabel its bad an need replaced
  • ldm3ldm3 Posts: 1
    Shifter has loose feeling on column, sometimes unable to "find" drive D. Is this an inexpensive fix ?

    2000 Windstar SEL 103,000 miles. Bought new and tranny has been flushed 3x
  • da1goochda1gooch Posts: 1
    Go to and report your issue and let's get a recall on this tranny issue with the Ford Windstars. I have one parked at home as well and need something done about it. Ford should pay for this not the consumer! Darla
  • I have never had a transmission flush until i reached 115,000 miles. The auto shop encouraged me to do so. 2 months after, my tranny fail on the side of the road. never had a problem with it before this. had it towed to the auto repair shop. they droped the pan and the pump was laying in it. they said that the "O" ring that hold the pump was dry-rotted. Is it possible to get dry-rotted with oil in it and all around it? or is it possible that when they did the flush, they accidently pusshed the pump out of the "O" ring and caused the problem (which is what a few people have told me). confused... I dont what to accuse a company for neglegance, if its not their fault.
  • olsen6olsen6 Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 windstar gear shifter just began to give me problems... feels real loose and won't go into park without numerous tries. When you put it into gear shifter is way off drive is on the N and neutral is on the R ... have to start it in Neutral sometime to get it to start... any suggestions?
  • In November '08, it put us down on Thanksgiving weekend. I was alerted to smoke coming from the back end. It was the tranny. An Independent shop, having done contract work for several Ford stealer/dealerships, said that I was lucky to have gone 75k. We were enjoying no car payments, so we paid for the repair. Now, at 110k, I heard a pop, and the van won't engage the drive gear. It works in reverse. I was told that I need another overhaul or rebuilt tranny. To me, two transmission failures under 110k is unacceptable.I feel bad for the Windstar owners who have suffered through 3 or more transmission repairs. Not to mention the abs, air bag, check engine lights and stalling, which the dealer could never fix, especially after the warranty ended.
    After 10+ years, I'm now getting recall notices from Ford. I guess they figure that now there are only a few owners of Windstars left.
    Guess what-I'll save them the trouble of having to repair this one. It's being sold for scrap. (I wouldn't even dare to donate it.)
  • To the Kid that has his tranny unbolted and can't seem to drop it. Did you take 4or 5 or 6 bolts out of the butterfly plate that bolts it to the Torque coverter &
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