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Ford Windstar Electrical Problems



  • lgldsr73lgldsr73 Posts: 2
    edited September 2012
    Greetings. The power locks for all doors will not work. You can hear the relay (for lack of a better term) click in and out but the door locks to not go up. Any thoughts on where I can begin looking? Fuses are fine. :-/

    Also, the rear wiper is not operating although the washer fluid pump for the rear window is. Again, fuse(s) are fine.

    Thank you,

  • hi, is this what they call an ECM ?? rear computer?
  • I own a 2003 Windstar that has a multitude of electrical problems. I have replaced the battery 3 times, the newest being only 2 years old and the alternator once, again about 2 years ago. Windows work intermitently, gauges go crazy, sometimes even when the van is not running, interior lights flash, etc. Most of the problems listed in these other posts have occured at one time or another.

    Now, once again, the battery will not stay charged and a charging system check revealed that the alternator was supplying 0 charge to the battery.

    Throughout our hot dry summer the van seemed to run like a charm. Windows worked, no crazy flashing of lights, AC worked. Since we have experienced rain and cold here, the problems have all started again. It must be something that is being affected by the moisture and cold.

    Any suggestions any one can give would be appreciated.">link title
  • fystywindstarfystywindstar Surrey, B.C., CanadaPosts: 24
    Did you replace the Alt with another Ford unit? If so get a Purolator of othe non Ford brand. I have an alt from Puralator with a lifetime warranty & it has solved most all my problems. It was changed 1 year ago next month @ the same time as the Battery. The only probs that I have now are lights on the dash & this is the cause of sensors in the wheels etc. & there are too many to pay to have them searched out & then replaced. After 50 years of driving w/ nearly a million mile I think I when there is a problem with my brakes etc. Most of the problems menyioned in this post can be resolved with the replacement of the Charging system as mention in this thread or the replacement of the computer that is in the rear compartment where the jack is stored.(It controls most of the electronics behind the windshield)
  • This was a non- ford alternator and it does have a lifetime warranty. So you think that replacing the REM will get rid of the charging problems?
  • fystywindstarfystywindstar Surrey, B.C., CanadaPosts: 24
    Skinny, After all the ready that I had done here I thougt that was the answer. The replacement of the rear REM was stated to control all cabin lights & function so it just made sense. I spen 3 hours reading everything hear about these problems. So far I seem to have corrected my Charging problems but maybe "The Beast" is an exception to all the other owners. Have you had the master brake cyknder call-back done. There is a wiring harnes that runs from the underside of the MBC to the Trans thatdue to leakage is damaged & causes a short & possibly a fire. You need to be patient & more importantly read all you can here.
  • amor1220amor1220 Posts: 3
    edited November 2012
    Battery drains every few months.

    Parking lights, front, back, or both, sometimes stay on after engine is off and leaving car.

    Blower and Inside Lights sometimes turn on by themselves.

    Right, back Signal Light won't work at all even though I've tried new bulbs.

    Clicking Noise left of steering wheel.

    Right, Front Window Sprayer shoots too narrow a stream.

    Any ideas on what I can do to repair any or all of these problems?

    Thank you, Rob
  • Mine is doing the same thing, lights go off when she is driving and turns on when she turns the car off. Have you found something out yet?
  • travis76travis76 Posts: 3
    edited November 2012
    It had an old battery, so I replaced that, tested alternator. She will drive it and then her lights will turn off, when she parks and turns it off, the lights come on until the battery is drained. Help! Need this van!
  • Mostly my problem now is the back parking lights sometimes staying on after I turn off the engine and exit the car. Of course draining the battery if my wife or I forget to check. The front parking lights don't usually stay on though albeit I've seen this once where both the front and back were. Some people told me it might be the brake light switch under the dash being the culprit but it's not that. The brake lights are on the outside of the parking lights and much brighter. I had my daughter go into the car and pump them to see that they were indeed different columns of lights. So what in the heck could be causing this? I'm stumped. :confuse:
  • armor1220
    Try lifting the brake pedal to see if your lights go off.
    If they do you need to lubricate the pedal pivot with lithium greese.
    It gets dry and doesn"t let the pedal return spring do it's job.
  • I have a 2000 Ford windstar. The other night i was driving home and the abs light and taction off light came on, then the airbag light came on, then the high beam light. then my radio turned on and off, then my break lights turned off, then when i pushed the brakes the headlights went off. when i got home i turned the car off and tried to restart the car and it clicked. I also have had weird problems before that happened. my gauges go wacky. an ideas I cant afford to take it to a shop and pay over 100 a hour in labor plus parts. i wanna do it myself if i can.
  • I am having exactly same problem on 2003 Windstar. Have narrowed it down to REM rear electronic module, which is a delaer item , $400 for part and $110 to replace in Michigan. The cost is holding me you know any other fix for this? I do not want to spend $500 plus and find out it doesnt fix the problem. :mad:
  • I put it on hold for now through Christmas, I just disconnect the battery everytime right now
  • amor1220amor1220 Posts: 3
    edited December 2012
    I don't think it's the brake lights as I've explained previously. After reading different information for a few weeks I believe I have at least two major problems. One is a bad switch(es) in the steering column, and a faulty REM (rear electrical module). Just for these two parts is probably 650 to 700 bucks and that's without labor. Who put together the 1999 Ford Windstar parts and wiring... the Apollo 1 engineers? Geez, I've only got around 35,000 miles on it.
  • wiremonsterwiremonster Posts: 6
    edited January 2013
    After 5 hours of performing grueling diagnostics today I FINALLY found out why my battery was discharging at a continuous rate of 450milliamps (while not running) on my 2001 Windstar...the REM (rear electronic module) is keeping relays 1 & 4 turned on (the ones under the dash in the fuse/relay panel below the headlight switch). Normal drain on car batteries with the ignition turned off is under 25mA. If you suspect the same is happening to you, take the fuse panel cover off after the van has sat overnight and put your hand on the 2 relays at the very left side of the fuse/relay panel. If they are nice and warm, BINGO, your REM is malfunctioning. I have also had fuel pump run problems and the keyless entry has been malfunctioning intermittantly since DAY 1! This module is responsible for those functions as well as the brake lights, emergency flashers, door locks and many more. Thank God I had the sense to buy the shop manuals for this van otherwise I'd have to take it to the dealership and I HATE them (Scarritt Lincoln Mercury in Seminole, FL) as do so many other folks that got the shaft from that shyster!
  • Did this fix it? I just bought a 2000 windstar yesterday and now know why it was so cheap. It has all problems listed above a new alt and new R E M. does the R E M need to be programed to the vehicle by the dealer?
  • I shot myself in the foot! After reading Ford service Article No. 02-13-9 and performing a test using that info I learned my REM was acting perfectly normal. The 450mA drain I measured was due to my actions by simply leaving a door open which kept the computers "awake" while I was servicing the van. If a door is left open, the computers won't go to "sleep", thereby keeping relays 1 and 4 and their associated circuits activated. The article states it takes at least 30 minutes of no interruptions before you can test for the computers going to "sleep". Read all about it here:

    I purchased an REM from ebay that has all the same code numbers, save for the serial number so it should have the same programming as my original, I just have not tested it yet. But yes, the REM has a programmable computer that, if you did not buy one that has the same programming as your old one, may not work as expected and you will need to have its memory re-programmed by a dealer with the appropriate equipment and software/firmware version.

    To make a long, sad story short, the battery discharge issue was all due to me not driving van enough. I only go about 1 mile each way to and from work, and over a period of 3 years the battery just did not get charged enough. I've only driven it 54K miles in the 12 years I've owned it, that's only 4500/year...My bad.
  • last thing that happened was fuse 16 blew. so i have a different fem and rem in it now, but these lights stay on, didn't do it before. the fem and rem fixied my other problems, and now this, dash lights stay on with key out and door closed, can walk away for hours, still on. all switches are off, the lights are on the dash and the heater controls. please help.
  • char2308char2308 Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 ford windstar sel it runs great but we can't drive it because the back brakelights don't work my back signal lights won't work, my back doors won't open or unlock hand my full guage isn't working. Anyone with any suggestions.
  • flash40flash40 Posts: 2
    edited April 2013
    REM needs to be replaced

    I am experiencing the same exact problem with my 2003 ford windstar lx
  • flash40flash40 Posts: 2
    REM needs to be replaced
  • try REM
  • ogunjobiogunjobi Posts: 1
    I have Ford Windstar SEL 2000 which has refused to start after the battery had been changed. My car suddenly stopped while driving home from work,called a technician to service the alternator fuse but after so much trials,i had to tow the vehicle home.since then i've been unable to start the engine.Any useful hint on what step to take would be highly appreciated.


  • fystywindstarfystywindstar Surrey, B.C., CanadaPosts: 24
    I had a very similar problem & it was resolved by a new Battery & a new alternator(both of which were non Ford [Purolator for the latter]). I have had no major problems since.(about 1.5 years now) I still have a bunch of gremlins but most can be resolved by replacing sensors & cleaning electrical contacts( sliding doors & door lock solenoids). Also have a dealer have a look @ the rear computer in R.R. fender. Some here abouts have said that this is a point of problems but I have found nothing with mine ('02 SEL). Hope this helps you and any others. Cheers Angela ;) :D :D
  • Listen for the fuel pump to start when you turn on your ignition without engaging the starter. You should hear a faint hum for about 1 second coming from the gas tank and as pressure comes up it will shut off. You must have a quiet atmosphere to hear it, some make more noise than others. If you need to listen for it again just shut off the ignition for a few seconds and turn it back on and listen carefully. You can do this several times if necessary. If you hear it, then fuel delivery should be OK.

    Next, check for ignition spark by removing one of the spark plug wires from a convenient plug and use a neon tester. Connect the tester and crank the engine, you should see the bulb flash very briefly for each power stroke for that cylinder. If it flashes you know your ignition driver and coil is working. If you get no spark replace the coil pack module, mine was about $75 from Autozone. If you are getting a spark, the only thing left is to check the injector activation.

    Have someone crank the engine for 8 seconds (no more that 10 sec or the starter can be damaged) while you take a whiff at the tail pipe. If you don't smell strong gas fumes during the first 8 sec crank, wait 30 seconds and crank it again for 8 seconds. If you don't smell anything you know the computer is not opening up the injectors and you will need to get a readout of your van's computer chip to see what's going on...CAUTION: If this gas ignites while you are checking for fumes you can be hurt, so be careful how you proceed with this check!

    If you have confirmed the fuel pump is working, spark is there and the injectors are activating you will need to obtain a readout from your van's computer to assist you in troubleshooting. Most engines that have been running OK and just stop usually do so because either the fuel delivery or the ignition spark has quit working.
  • qusayqusay Posts: 2
    I have a 2003 Windstar SEL, after replacing the battery by non-FORD battery ( less voltage than the required ) the power sliding door and Radio & casset not working at all & remote keyless entry , I checked all the fuses and found intact please advise is it from computer it might need reprograming or ?
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