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Ford Windstar



  • What I want to say is , the compass doesn't update the direction as the car moves. It only displays one direction and that's wherever the minivan is pointing when I first start the Engine.
  • bblahabblaha Posts: 329
    So if you're in a big parking lot and you drive in a complete 360 degree circle the compass heading never changes?

    Yeah, that is a problem. Does your owner's manual give a procedure for running a self diagnostic on the trip computer?
  • Exactly!

    The self diagnostic doesn't indicate anything is wrong.

    The owner's manual tells me how to recalibrate the compass driving it slowly in a small circle on a empty parking lot with no magnetic interference, which I've done.

    The owner's manual also says something like... if it doesn't work perfectly it will get better after a few days of driving it. After couple weeks and some 800 miles since I last recalibrate it nothing has changed.
  • bblahabblaha Posts: 329
    I'll read through my service manual tonight and see if I can't find a diagnostic table for the compass. I doubt I'll be able to though since I've only had it the manual for a few days and I have yet to decipher the illogical manner in which it is layed out...

    Also, probably no difference, but mine is a 99 SE not an '00 SEL. In my Cherokee however, from the day I drove it home the compass heading changed as my vehicle heading did. I did have to calibrate it for our particular magnetic variance zone, but even before doing that it still "changed" as the vehicle turned.
  • I was looking at a 2000 windstar lx model tonight.
    It is used with 17000mi. on it. It has rear a/c, center console, ceiling console, tinted windows, luggage rack, am/fm cassette, 4 - door. The dealer wants 19900 for it. What do you think? Can I get a better deal? Or should I buy new?
  • What service manual did you get? Helm's, or an aftermarket brand?
  • bblahabblaha Posts: 329
    Helms. And I have to say, I'm not impressed. The index is truly worthless.
  • I have a '98 Ford Windstar with a 25-gallon tank that shows as empty on the gage with only 16 gallons having been used. Tried to get Ford to fix it under warranty, but the tank was near full at the time and the "technician" could not verify the complaint. I gave up and set the trip odometer every time I fill the tank and know that I can go at least 400 miles before I need a fill up.
  • I had the same intermitant clunk in the transmission of my 98 WS that you have when shifting between 1st and 2nd gears. I took it in to the dealership with 300 miles left on the warranty and they found that they needed to overhaul the transmission (differential assembly and control valve body assembly). That was on Sept 5 '00. By the start of last week the clunk has returned ( I've had it four times in the last week.) I'll take it back to the dealership this week let you know what happens.

    My wife and I love the WS, but the reliability scares me and like a dummy I didn't buy the extended warranty.

    BTW, I have intermitantly had a whine in the radio as well.
  • I own a 95 or a 96 ford winstar. When it rains,
    the engine light always goes on and the car
    trembles and shakes. Can anyone help?
  • I own a 95 or a 96 ford winstar. When it rains, the engine light always goes on and the car trembles and shakes. Can anyone help?
  • bblahabblaha Posts: 329
    For starters, you might want to post your problem in the Townhall "Check Engine Light" Maintenance forum; there are several guys that post who can be very helpful.

    Second, you might check yourself to see if any trouble codes are being stored. Since yours is pre 97, you may be able to get the codes this way.

    If it only happens when it rains, then it seems likely a sensor somewhere is shorting, sending false information to the engine which is causing the "trembles and shakes".
  • Sethmegan: I hope I am not too late getting to you, but before buying any Ford Windstar of any year, I would strongly encourage you to review the many townhall issues that Edmunds has on the Windstar. I think this is one poorly made vehicle, and long after the new car smell wears off (replaced by the sweet smell of antifreeze dripping in your driveway from a cracked headgasket or bad heater core) you will continue to pay for this and also have big repairs bills. Plus, if you ever get fed up with not trusting the van and you go to trade it in, you will REALLY get to know about Poor Resale Value.
    Maybe you will be one of the lucky few, but there are alot of WS owners who would love to give you their van for the KBB average trade in value. Good Luck, happy van hunting.
  • We just bought a 98 Windstar GL (Northwoods) with 19200 miles. Since we just got the van yesterday, I've been driving it around alot and I found that if I had to brake and then slowly drive down an incline (whether in the road or in a parking lot) the car jerked as if the transmission was trying to catch up to the speed of the engine. In both instances I wasn't going fast at all, maybe 30 mph. Also, in both cases I was making a left hand turn. I have to take it back to the dealer tomorrow for an inspection sticker and I'm confused as to what this jerking would be caused by. Any suggestions?
  • rugmankcrugmankc Posts: 133
    I've had similar jerking in bumper traffic ever since I bought the van. Have 56K on it and no problems with tranny. I do HIGHLY recommend 30K xmission fluid changes.
  • I had a '95 Windstar which started experiencing the jerking you mention, initially it was at interstate speeds (felt like it roughly shifted into overdrive or out). However, it mainly happened once I would come to a complete stop. After I came to a stop, then I would get this jerking sensation while sitting still. As the problem got worse, it would remain in neutral even after I hit the accelerator to go, eventually dropping back into gear in a very jerky manner. My van had between 45 - 55K miles on it. I took it to the ford dealer and they played "Village Idiot" with me saying they didn't know what it was, but I would probably need an Overhaul! How's that for fine Ford dealer service! Anyway, I talked to a locally trusted transmission rebuilder who within 30 seconds had diagnosed the problem. The Ford AXOD transmission has been around since 1985 when they first put them in Taurus's. The problem is with the forward shift piston which ford makes out of aluminum. The piston develops a hairline crack which then prevents the transmission from going back into gear after you come to a stop. They have had the problem for a long time, and my boss who has a "99 Windstar" just received a factory recall notice to have her transaxle replaced for that same problem. The recall is just for a limited number of '99 Windstars and Ford denies any responsibility for all the other folks with 95 - 98 Windstars who had to fork out $1500 - 2500 to get tranaxles overhauled. One final point, Unless Ford is going to do the repair for you free, I wouldn't go to them to get it done (even if free, I question how FREE it is). Reason I say that is, Ford seems to like to put in the same crummy parts that failed before, instead of putting in top quality aftermarket parts that have better reliability. Just ask anybody with a Ford 3.8 L V6 engine that needed head gasket replacement - alot of them have had Ford do it multiple times. Beats the heck out of me why Ford would do something so bone headed, but just check out the many sites on the internet for Ford 3.8 L engines and the transmissions. Also, many radio talk shows about cars (Car talk is one) will periodically mention the repeat problems with these components.

    After 86K miles, I finally unloaded my '95 Windstar at a pretty big loss. I could only depend on this machine to break down, and even when I took it to dealers for trade, I could smell antifreeze coming from the engine compartment. What a loser of a van, what a loser of a company!
  • I have been reading the different postings about Windstar with much disappointment. I purchased a 99 Windstar LX with 27k yesterday. I have to tell you, that I am literally sick to my stomach reading all the bad things about Windstar. Does anyone have any good experiences with their Windstar??

  • Looking for technical advice. I have a 95 windstar transaxle that broke the low/intermediate band. The trans. was dealer rebuilt 30k ago. It looks like it broke where the flange joins onto the band and in the process chewed up the drum. What might cause this to happen? faulty part perhaps? the forward clutch pack looks brand new so I think they replaced the piston but I'll have to do some record research. Any info would be helpfull. also any links. thanx
  • 1996 Ford Windstar (purchased new)

    At 11,000 miles, my vehicle's transmission would not shift. The vehicle was towed to Colonial Ford in Danbury, for warranty service. The "fix" was to clear the computer's memory that controls the transmission. A week later the problem reoccurred. For a second time the vehicle was towed to Colonial Ford; and again, the "fix" was to clear the computer's memory that controls the transmission.

    At 38,000 miles my vehicle leaked oil. It was determined that the source was the engine seal, a job which called for the engine to be "pulled." I was quoted $1,200 for the repair. Given the history of the vehicle, I objected to this figure to your Customer Assistance Center and Colonial Ford's Service Manager, who addressed the matter with a Regional Representative. It was decided that I would be responsible for $190.

    At 50,000 miles, my $22,000 vehicle's transmission has had to be replaced at a cost of $2,400. Even though it is documented and recognized by Ford that my vehicle's transmission had problems while under warranty (itemized above at 11,000 miles), Ford would not work with me to bring this matter to a satisfactory conclusion. Colonial Ford would not hear my complaint. Ford's Regional Representative, advised me that Ford would not assist in the cost of repair. When I asked to speak with her manager, she kept referring me instead to the Customer Assistance Center. Not only did the Customer Assistance Center (Debbie #226) not help, she refused to put me in touch with a supervisor and, in fact, advised me that my only recourse was to write to --- the CEO of the Company!

    I did that, and received a call from a representative, that basically told me that they were not interested in assisting me with my complaints over their inferior product ... she also told me that there is no record of customer complaints with transmissions for my vehicle .... She concluded by telling me that they would do nothing for me, since I was not a loyal customer (I did not have them do oil changes and basic service), and only brought the vehicle to them with major problems ...

    Additional problems that I have had with the Windstar include .... check engine light going on and off for no reason, oil pressure light flickering at low idle, and the speedometer not working above 40 MPH. ..... My personal mechanic told me not to drive the vehicle too far. This, with only 55,000 miles on it.

    I have since unloaded the Windstar for $8700.00 and purchased an Astro (which I should have done 4 years earlier) ...

    I will never purchase another Ford again ... All of the stories of the Ford / Firestone coverup's are very believable to me ..
  • try a transmission tuneup, not just a fluid change a filter change too. My 95 windstar had problems shifting and this worked, and i didn't have a ford dealer to it either.They couldn't figure out what was wrong with it.
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