Ford Windstar Transmission Problems & Overview

The Ford Windstar was a multi passenger van that began production in 1994. Although it went through many changes in platform, design and nameplate, until it ceased production in 2007, Ford only used 2 different transmissions in that span. First was the AX4S model, a 4 speed unit that was an update of the AXOD (automatic overdrive) that was first produced in 1986.

Throughout its tenure, the AX family of transmissions struggled with lubrication problems, harsh shifting (specifically 1-2 or 2-1 gear changes) and other internal failures. Ford renamed it the 4F50N and started putting it in the Windstar in 2001. They improved shift quality and overall reliability and it was widely used for other Ford models.

Ford Windstar Recalls

Ford Windstar

1996 Ford Windstar – Power Train Automatic Transmission Park Pawl – 96V086000

During factory installation the park pawl shaft may have been damaged due to misalignment. The shaft should be held in place by a roll pin but the pin may not have been properly lined up in its hole and therefore may have been crushed or severely damaged during assembly.

A broken or damaged parking system in a transmission can lead to unintended vehicle roll away. When the park pawl is not working properly, the transmission may appear to be in park “P” to the driver but there is nothing to stop the vehicle from rolling away unless the parking/emergency brake is applied.

Recalls must always be performed at an authorized repair facility that is specific to the make of your vehicle. The dealer will inspect the parking pawl and roll pin for damage and proper installation. If damage is found to the roll pin the dealer will replace it and the park pawl shaft. They will also remind customers that when parking, it is a good practice to engage the parking brake or emergency brake before putting the transmission into “P”.

Ford Windstar Technical Service Bulletins

TSB 139779
Torque converter clutch not engaging when commanded. This TSB may be associated with DTC’s stored in the PCM. The P0741 and P1744 will cause the check engine/transmission light to come on. This applies to vehicles from 1996-2003.

TSB 88324
Some vehicle equipped with AX4N or 4F50N may leak fluid from main control cover area. You may see transmission fluid on the ground under the vehicle. It may be caused from a leaking seal; the dealership will inspect and repair if needed.

TSB 67178
Some vehicle built from 1/31/00 not be able to reprogram pcm or unable to clear PCM vehicle id. This may be due to an incompatible or damaged PCM or may just need to be updated or re-flashed. Always check with our dealer if the code is persistent.

Need Your Transmission Repaired? A good repair shop can be hard to find – especially on short notice. We’ll have the Cost Guide Certified shop in your area give you a call with a free estimate.

What Transmission Does a Ford Windstar Have?

What to Read Next

Over to You

What Symptom(s) does your Windstar have?
What year is the Ford Windstar that has a problem?

What Problem Does Your Windstar Have?

Let us know the year, mileage and problem you’re having as well as any trouble (OBD) codes you’ve found. If you’ve been given a quote or paid for a repair, we’d like to hear about that too!

Get a Diagnosis

Still not sure what the problem is? Click the green button and we’ll have the Cost Guide Certified shop in your area give you a call with a free estimate.

Leave a Comment