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Ford Windstar



  • at times door ajar lite comes on and idiot bell rings telling me my doors are not shut....but they are. The dome light even comes on as if the door is opening...but it is not opening. Driving me cant find the
  • crkeehncrkeehn Posts: 513
    Try cleaning the contacts on the frame for the sliding door. There should be 4 silver spots on the doorframe, use something like a pencil eraser. If that doesn't cure the problem, the other offending switch is usually one of the ones on the tailgate, they are actually built into the latches.
  • I've had my Windstar since last May. Bought it with under 12,000 miles and it's been in the shop at least 5 times already. Have already had transmission repairs, tie rods replaced, sliding door lubed, hood latch repaired, etc. Last time I took it in, I told them that the brakes were grinding especially during slow speed, light braking (such as when slowing down in a parking lot). They did not find anything wrong---just adjusted the brakes. Since then the grinding noise has gotten worse. In addition, the brake light comes on often for 4 to 5 seconds when pulling away from a stop sign or stop light. This has been occurring more frequently during the last couple weeks. Has anyone else had this problem? The brake fluid is fine. The 3 year warranty will be up on Feb. 10 and the van is going in again on Feb. 1. I have also noticed that the brakes appear to stop functioning if you hit a bump in the road while applying the brakes. The combination of traction control and anti-lock brakes is also very scary. I recently slid right into the middle of a busy road when the van went into traction control and ABS. I felt like I had no control over it at all. Today I elected to turn the traction control off completely on the snowy roads. Any feedback on these problems would be greatly appreciated!!!
  • nostopnostop Posts: 1
    On at least 5 occasions since we got our Winstar in May, 2000, my wife and I have had problems getting the Winstar to stop. Each of these occasions was somewhat of a panic stop. In each case I put the brakes on hard and the van slowed down to about 10MPH, then the engine seemed to rev up and the vehicle crawled along at 5 to 10 miles an hour for maybe 100 feet. One time I crawled through an intersection, one time I dodged a car in front of me, one time I slammed the transmission into park and it stopped. Each time I had the brake pushed as hard as I could towards the floor. My wife and I have had several cars with ABS brakes and have never experienced this. We took the van back to the dealer who could not duplicate the problem and acted like we were crazy. Has anyone else had this problem and possibly found a solution? We are very leery about driving the van, which does seems to stop fine in no-panic situations.
  • I've had similar problems as those that I have read here. Just recently, I brought my 98 Windstar in for service because of a grinding noise. They re-did my front and back brakes (for the second time in two years), but it obviously was not a problem concerning the brakes since I still have the grinding noise. The noise seems to be worse in the cold weather. A few months ago, we decided that would should try to trade it in since we were racking up the miles on it. Unfortunately, we were all but laughed at when we mentioned that we would like to get what we owed on the van, or at least a few hundred dollars less. One of the salesmen we spoke to offered us $3000 less than what we owed. We now feel like we're stuck with this thing, and the cost to keep it up is skyrocketing.... and not even fixing the problem.
  • Have 12 mth. old 2000 Windstar LX, 11,000 miles, ABS, no traction control, good studded snow tires, 3.8 eng. REside Oregon with frequent slippery conditions Traction with front wheels terrible - much worse than previous Taurus wagons. Rear traction not good either but ABS keeps straight. We removed rear seat for more space, reducing rear weight. Dealer suggests 75 lb. sand bags and says he hasn't heard this complaint before. Main concern is front traction. Considering good weight, front wheel drive, cautious driving, studded snow tires, etc, seems should be decent traction. Is this typical of Windstars?
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    Studded snow tires are not necessarily better since the tires have less surface contact than the normal non-studded tires do. Except for really icy conditions, I seem to recall that tests have shown that good studless winter tires (ex. Bridgestone Blizzaks, Michelin Arctic Alpins) actually handle better!

    If you have to travel uphill, much of the advantage of the traction advantage of FWD is lost since the weight transfers back. That's why one may see cars spin their front wheels on wet roads (uphill) from a dead stop. I know I certainly do and I beat all of them with my AWD minivan :-) I remember seeing a Swedish winter rally where the co-driver was literally jumping up and down on the Saab's front bumper to try to add more weight/traction to the front drive wheels.

    I think the Windstar's rear (3rd row) bench is about 100lbs, so removing that made your vehicle's weight distribution even more disproportionate. The 75lbs bag of sand should help. Just try to place it directly over (and if possible centre) of the rear axle.

    Drive carefully!

    Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
  • I'm contemplating the purchase of an '01 Windstar with the 3.8 liter engine, however the previous posts leave me a little nervous. Does anyone know what, if anything, Ford has done to correct the head gasket problem? Did they modify the cylinder head or head gasket? If so, what year was the change made, and how is the reliability looking so far?

    The local dealer tells me that "only the '95 Windstars had a problem with the head gaskets, and the transmission has been improved on the '01 model."
  • dadof5dadof5 Posts: 1
    Well, if misery loves company, you have it! My door ajar light comes on only occasionally. I believe on mine it is the sensor for the driver's door. Interestingly, my brother (who also has a '98 windstar) has the same problem. I will try cleaning the contacts that was suggested later. Any other help will be greatly appreciated.
  • Kartman7 I believe the headgasket problem was reduced drastically by 97 or 98. The transmission is still a concern of mine. FORD has made "changes" over the years but I believe the transmission is too light for the weight of a Windstar. Regular transmission maintenance is a plus.
  • I am responding to the person who says he's been having problems filling his gas tank and the inside of the van smelling like gas. This has happened to me the last 2 times I have gotten gas. The inside of the van reeks! But this time I also noticed as I was driving away that the $10.00 that I put in didn't even budge the gas needle which was almost on empty. The gas smell makes me very afraid, especially with a 2 year old in the van and a baby on the way. Also been having a problem with a terrible grinding/crunching sound as soon as I start the van in the morning. It happens as soon as I've turned the ignition on and nothing else. On occasion it has also happened while driving. Has this happened to anyone? I am really beginning to dislike this vehicle and am sorry I saved some money and didn't go with the Honda Odyssey.
  • barrye1barrye1 Posts: 13
    OK, I read all of the reviews, but a year ago, I thought that the Ford Motor Company, that I have known and loved for many years through 7 different great cars, trucks and suvs, would put out a good van.

    Ignoring all of the problems that the Windstar had, I bought a used 99 Windstar with 28,000 miles for $15,000 just before my wife and I had our first baby.

    (Thought it was a good deal. It was off our local ford dealership rental lot)

    Three weeks after I had it I noticed the tranny was acting up, took it in. Nothing was found to be wrong. Before the warranty ran out, I had it check four times, three of them I had invoices to show that the tranny was checked but never was anything found. I couldn't get the transmission to act up (hard shift and shudder from first to second). Low an behold, at 39,000 the tranny started to act up on command. Then when I took it in, of course Ford said you do need a new transmission. So I brought my invoices and Ford said, "oh were sorry. Because the problem was not identified until after the warranty ran out, your out of luck."

    After dealing with both the dealer and Ford Customer Service (Not) help line, They gave me a 5 yr, 75,000 warranty, but I had to pay $500 for the warranty. This is ridiculous. I have talked to our attorney general to get my $500 back and am trying to sell my van as soon as possible.

    For those of you who ask this site for input on buying a Ford Windstar. DON"I DO IT. I did and ignored the what I thought were just a "few" bad posts, and now I am regretting every buying this piece of... Well you know.

    Serves me right!

    DO NOT BUY A FORD WINDSTAR. FORD WILL NOT SUPPORT YOU AFTER THE WARRANTY RUNS OUT. They do not care about the customer, only about money.
  • lsg1lsg1 Posts: 42
    Hi...I just traded in my 2000 Windstar for a 2001 Odyssey, but I did have that grinding sound you described whenever I would start my car when it was not used for more than one day.
    Of course when I brought it into customer service they could not find anything wrong. The only time mine would make that sound was if I did not use the van for at least a day, and then the following morning start it up.
    By the way...I had a 98 Windstar, 2000 Windstar(was given to me by Ford in a buyback Lemon dispute) and now that I have my Odyssey for 1 day - I will never go back to Ford again.
  • I had problems with my 95 Wind star's door ajar alarm too - they fixed the sensor on the side door a few times and then I think they actually disabled it...
  • my 2000 Windstar gets a grinding or crunching sound too - like several seconds after it's turned on - either it doesn't happen all the time, or I just don't notice it all the time, but it doesn't seem to be due to not being used for a day, since I do know it has happened many times when I'm leaving the work at the end of the day - so only a 10-11 hour stretch. I guess I wondered about it the first time I noticed it, but then got too busy to think about it, so I've never mentioned it to the service people - haven't been in to see them in quite a while anyway...
  • Here in Colorado the snow usually melts but finally had 2 storms in a week. The ABS gets a work out and I have found that you have to push with more than normal force on the brake to engage.

    Unless wheels spins different rates it will not engage. But then the noise and vibration tells you it is working. A downhill curve a block away is a good test.
  • I too have a 1998 windstar which pulls to the right even after 3 wheel aliengments! the dealer did attempt to do a ''camber adjustment'' at no charge (even though it was out of warranty). They continue to say ''pulling to the side '' is normal, NOT!!! I say. Oddly the front right brakes on rotors were replaced twice within 5 months of being repaired. Dealer said this was not a warranty issue, so I was forced to pay a private auto repair shop to fix it, since more money had to be put into a van which FORD says ''No problems found''why should they take anymore money from me. Anyone with this pulling problem out there? please reply!
    signed, Burnt in Cali. JC>
  • see my post earlier this month. We are having the same problem with duplicating what happened. We have started an insurance investigation as we had an accident. We are refusing to sign off on the repair and have requested ford buy back the car. They basically laughed. We will not drive the car again and have left it with the dealer. We called ford motor credit and stoped our payments. Ford Motor must be used to it, they have given us a 60 day extension to work out the buy back. We would like to know how you are making out.
  • I have a 1996 Chrysler Town and Country as well as a 2001 Ford Windstar Limited. If you would read your owner's manuals, I think you will find that it the ABS system does a test when the vehicle is first started and then again as you drive. During this time you may here the ABS motor engage which makes a grinding noise.
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