I HAD PROBLEMS WITH BALL JOINTS AND GOT QUOTED ...
2002 Ford Windstar
October, 30, 2012 AT 8:43 PM
I had problems with ball joints and got quoted with repairing the control arm. I did not get it fixed because I didn't have the money. The other day I was driving and as I was driving my wheels stopped being controlled by my gas pedal and I started coasting. I was able to park it safely. The wheels spin in neutral. I was told it might not be the control arm but the transmission. I have no leaks and the fluid has a reddish tint not black. Would a transmission going do this? I heard no sounds when this happened.
It's impossible to know without looking at it, but Ford has always had way more steering and suspension parts fail leading to crashes than any other manufacturer and ball joints in particular are nothing to ignore. If you're told they're worn, replacing them immediately is more important than eating. It's a choice between being hungry and alive vs, ... Well, you get the idea.
The wheels are supposed to spin in neutral. If you have both front tires jacked up off the ground they will always spin but in "park" one will spin in the opposite direction as the one you're turning. Based on your description it sounds like one of the half shafts pulled out of the transmission but that usually results in some fluid loss onto the ground. I suppose there could be a transmission problem but that would be quite the coincidence.