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Ford Aerostar

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  • Hello! I've got a 93 Aerostar with 200,000 miles on it, still going strong!
    I bought the van brand new, but I've been driving it since last year, when I bought my wife a brand new Toyota Sienna. Now, the Sienna runs great, believe me, but I'm starting to think that I should have just bought a newer used Aerostar for her, instead of a new car!

    Anyway, my question is: Does anyone else have trouble changing out their alternator serpentine belts on their Aerostars? I've changed mine out 4 times, and each time it's been an extremely tight fit. In fact, I have to take out the idler wheel bolts and let it hang down in order to get the belt around it. I then tighten the three bolts one at a time. Does anyone else have this problem?
  • if you put a socket on the tentioner,the nut in the center of the pully,turning right(tight), the spring tentioner loosens the belt..
    ..a new belt can be tricky,as it's gonna be tight.
    follow the serpentine belt guide under the hood,i've had no trouble!..sounds like you're dissasembling the tentioner,where ,all ya gotta do is release the tention..
    ALSO.. after you remove the snorkel hose to the air filter(two clamps,one plug for the m.a.s.,)
    it's fairly easy to get to the belt..
    the plugs and wires are the most difficult ones i've ever replaced!!the only way to change the passenger side one's was to remove the wheel,and go in through the wheel wheel..another tip,get a stubby(one inch) wobble extention ,..i think the engineers do stuff like that on pourpose,but,just a socket and ratchet are just a hair short..??
    my -91 w/a 3.0 with 210,000 still flashes the "check engine" light..maybe it's the o-2 sensor..but,whitch one?? at $40 bucks each,i'd rather know than guess..guess i'm just cheap..
    guess i'm drivin the right truck!! it keeps starting and running!!luck to all with their's!!
  • navyairnavyair Posts: 202
    My flashing check engine light was an O2 sensor in the exhaust pipe. Cost me $21 and took about 10 min to change out. First came on only going through mtns and under load. Then came on steady. Ditto, the no problems starting/running.

    Only set of wires leading into plug on your exhaust near rt front wheel, as I recall. I did have to put a cheater on the wrench to break it loose, though. Easier if you can get it up in the air on a rack.
  • I've seen a 1996 Aerostar van that I'm thinking of buying. I'll be getting the VIN number from the owner and will do a Carfax check on it. The van has 115k on the clock...owner says she's had a new transmission put in it, but can't remember when that occurred (owner out of town right now and all paperwork is at her house). The van appears in great shape - everything seems to work properly and there's never been any bodywork, never in an accident - it looks clean! Does anyone have any thoughts/comments about things I should look out for? Potential nightmares waiting to happen? Any ideas on how much it should cost to replace timing chain and major belts and pulleys? Owner says high mileage is due to her regular trips between NYC and Miami - lots of highway driving. It's been a family van, used to haul kids, skiing and camping equip. Does not appear to have suffered any abuse! I really like it, but I don't want to buy myself a headache.
    BTW, I will have a full pre-purchase check done by my regular car mechanic, but your comments & suggestions will be most welcome! Thanks!
    phil
  • dougd7dougd7 Posts: 71
    I have a 93 Aerostar that now has 180,000 miles on it. Which engine does it have? The 3.0L V6 get better mpg but strains when really loaded up. THe 4.0L is good for power but the mpg is lower. We've had to replace the water pump twice in the past two years. Guess it was bad luck. This is not an easy vehicle to work on. Changing belts, oil changes are a pain. If you can you are better off letting a garage do the normal maintenance (tune-ups, oil changes, changing belts, hoses, etc).

    Our Aerostar has served us well but has always seem to have some little problems along the way. Biggest disappointment is the interior. Several of the screws holding the interior covering on the sliding door have come off (despite constantly retightening them). That is probably my biggest pet peave. The engine and tranny have held up well. Caution on tune ups - Almost everytime I've had to replace the sparkplug wires as well as the sparkplugs because the the boot is on the plug so tight that the wire or boot ends up getting torn trying to get it off. Even my local mechanic has had this problem. They are just hard to get to. Otherwise our van has done its job well hauling two adults, two teenagers and two younger ones (5 & 8). Good luck!
  • I am not a Ford guy, but I have a '92 Aerostar that has been in our family since new, via In-Laws and now mine and I really like this vehicle. Recently I had the rack&pinion replaced, steering column bearings and shaft replaced and all was fine. Last week I had the intermediate steering shaft replaced because of a clicking and popping in the steering column but this work didn't help. Ford says they find no reason for the noise, and it's okay to go down the highway at 75 mph. Not willing to bet the farm on that statement. Anyone had this clicking/popping problem? Thanks
  • 68torino68torino Posts: 4
    A good trick when changing plugs and wires is to add a little dab of neverseize to the plug's threads before installing. Add a little dab of spark plug wire grease(pick up at parts store) or silicone grease to the inside of the boot that goes over the plug. Next time these will be easier to remove. Doesn't help the first hard time but after will be easier.
  • 68torino68torino Posts: 4
    Also check the exhuast system. I had a rattle that drove me nuts till I found the heat sheild for the cat was loose. I also had a rattle once that ended up being a loose caliper. So when looking for rattles check everything. Right now I've got a click that ends up being a bad shock.
  • 68torino68torino Posts: 4
    I noticed a post from Canada that mentioned oiling their Aerostar to prevent rusting. Could I get more details on this? Currently if I have a vehicle I like I undercoat the wheel wells but I'm always interested in new or different methods of rust control.
  • we have our Aerostar oil sprayed each year by
    http://www.krown.ca

    their product is the only rust protection method endorsed by the Automobile Protection Association of Canada (a consumer support group)
    http://www.apa.ca

    when they did the initial application on our 97 Aerosport, the guy showed me the area that is most likely to rust on the vehicle, it is the boxed in area that runs along the bottom 1/4 of vehicle.

    They actually pump/spray their oil onto the inner surfaces of this area.

    At the shop where my vehicle is treated, they have recent pictures on the wall of 10-15 yr old Aerostars, with NO rust...which is remarkable, considering that we have all seen old Aerostars on the road with their rocker panels and/or the bottoms of their doors flapping in the breeze.
  • My dad currently drives the 1996 Ford Aerostar extended-length XLT 4.0L V6 RWD. Purchased it new in September 28, 1996. It now has 110,000 miles and, besides the general maintanence, it has been a very reliable van. Here are all the repairs needed since 1996:

    1. In 1997, cruise control failed.

    2. In 1998, air-conditioner failed.

    3. In 1999, air-conditioner failed again.

    4. In 1999, thermostat needed to be replaced.

    5. In 2000, none.

    6. In 2001, brakes needed work.

    7. In 2002, none.

    8. In 2003, none so far.

    If anybody is considering a used Aerostar, I highly recommend the 1996 model year because, according to Consumer Reports, 1996 is the most reliable Aerostar ever made in history since 1986. 1997 was the last year but the reliability isn't as good as 1996. 1995 isn't as good as 1996. I have heard fewer problems coming from 4.0 Aerostar engine than 3.0. Our Aerostar is still currently on its original engine and transmission.

    The only weak point I can think of is that Aerostar RWD doesn't do well in snow. One time my dad drove on a snowy road, the Aerostar slipped or skidded many times if turning right or left. He almost nearly got an accident. So I do not recommend the Aerostar for snow drive. The Aerostar has no problem on rain drive.

                       Walter Chan
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Would get my vote for the best of the series. Digital dash, 4 captains chairs, leather, etc.
  • txguytxguy Posts: 57
    Our '94XLT is at 167,000 miles and still going strong. A/C is broken for the first time. It's the compressor. Will get it fixed this spring.

    Major repairs include 3 rear ends (don't know what was up with that - 2 done under warranty, the last one was a salvage yard item and has lasted longer than the other two. The steering assembly was replaced at about 85,000 miles.

    Ours has a possessed radio. The volume increases and decreases by itself.

    The weather stripping around both back side windows has been replaced due to leaks.

    This vehicle has been extremely reliable and will likely be part of our stable until the motor gives up. And where else can you carry a sofa or a washer and dryer under cover like you can in the Aerostar? Wrestle those back seats out and the XLT has an amazing carrying capacity.
  • Anyone have any experience with Power Steering on a '95 Aerostar? I have 3.0 liter model XLT. I think the pump went on me. Any idea what a new pump will run? I live in Atlanta, GA

    Thanks in advance.
  • I put some PS fluid in this AM. Seems to have stopped the squealing and it's not such a bear to steer. I'll keep an eye on it for awhile to insure I don't have any leaks.

    I may need new seals if I have a leak.
  • psasakpsasak Posts: 1
    I just wish they still made these vans. Ours has about 120,000 miles on it and it still goes strong with no oil burning. We bought it new in Tucson, and have had it in Ohio since 1998. No rust yet - every spring I have to scrub it down to get the pin-spots of rust off the body.

    We just put about $1500 into it last year for front-end bushings. It clanked like an old truck over bumps - the bushings were metal-to-metal. the tie rod ends went a few years ago, why Ford made them out of plastic is a mystery. New brakes, rotors, bearings, 2 water pumps - the usual replacements over it's life. the major components have stayed together very well.

    Like I said, I just wish they still made 'em.

    It's time for a new van soon... looking at a Toyota Sienna (I wish it was a Ford). This new Freestar is going to go down in flames like the Windstar, I think. Ford does not do front-wheel drives very well, I think.
  • 446pack446pack Posts: 7
    Well, the wife and I bought our '92 Aerostar new in March of '92. XLT extended 2WD with all available options + L/S axle. It was white with red interior. It's lived all of it's life in Western NY (Buffalo). It never let us down at all. With the 3.0 we averaged 30+MPG on the highway all its life. Never had a problem hauling heavy loads for long distances either. Other than normal tires, brakes, plugs, wires, rotor, 1 exhaust system, 1 battery and 1 starter it has been a great vehicle. We tried to sell it for 3 years. However, every time we went to sell it we needed it so took it off the market. Well we fianlly sold it last June with 245,000 miles on it. No rust on it (due to running boards), but do know about those darn loose interior screws. I solved mine with a dab of lock-tite on them. The folks that bought it live in NC and love it. Still great on fuel at over 265,000 miles on it. They haven't put anything into it as of yet. I ran AMSOIL in everything on it (oil, great, tranny fluid and such). Flushed the cooling system out completely with new fluid every 2 years. Also wished they still made them. Just purchased a new Freestar LIMITED. Have a whole 207 miles on it as of today. Like it better than the Windstar. You set up in it more like the Aerostar than the Windstar. Right now it's running about 22MPG highway. Hopefully it'll climb higher.
  • mhoodzmhoodz Posts: 2
    I'm thinking of buying this vehicle but it has one weird problem..the headlights radio and dashlights only work when you hold the high beam switch in the on postition. hold it on in low and I get lowbeam headlights - hold it on in high and I then get high beam plus dashlights and the radio. Is there a simple fix for this or is this a sign of an unending electrical nightmare?
    It has 252,000 kilometers or 150,000 miles on it.
    Everything else seems good on it except the heater fan but I think that is tied into the electrical trouble.
  • navyairnavyair Posts: 202
    Believe your headlight problem is a bad headlight switch. It is about a $50 part at the dealer...it cost me $300 to get it replaced at a dealer including labor...but I didn't have to tear the dash apart to get to it.

    We too had the demon radio problem, which is definately a wiring problem, because it seemed to come/go with temp changes.

    Our '92 Aerostar finally died with 123,800 miles on it. After installing the second new air conditioning compressor in 3 yrs,and spending $1k, the transmission seals gave out in the mtns of VA. enroute to a new home in WI.

    Tranny guy wanted $1800 and 2 weeks to fix it, which would necessitate 4 day round trip to retrieve it. Alas, Aerostar, we knew you well.
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