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Ford Windstar



  • I haven't read much about problems with head gaskets on the '96 Wind stars but I can't believe I am the only one dealing with the repercussions! My head gaskets failed at 48K miles and luckily for me the extended warranty (through GE Capitol) paid for the replacement engine. It took almost 6 weeks to get the van back with the "new" engine. The day I finally retrieved it, the van started stalling. I kept it over the weekend for sentimental reasons (hey, we had to become reaquainted!) and took it back to the service kept. the following week. Naturally, it wouldn't stall right away but by the next day, it would stall for the technicians quite willingly. Seems the "certified" Ford engine had the cam sensor installed incorrectly. Thinking that correction would help, I was assured all was well. It ended up stalling some more and the service manager said they turned the sensor the "wrong" way. mm. Well, I finally had my Wind star back. At least I thought so. Now, one week later, it is back at the shop after being towed about 60 miles from the highway. I had all 3 kids in the van, driving in rush hour on an interstate when the transmission (I think) started malfunctioning. It would rev and shake but not accelerate. I noticed the tach. would show a surge. Needless to say, it was a harrowing experience, the potential for injury plus being stranded for several hours waiting for a tow and ride home. The service kept. at the dealer gave me a loner (again) and I joked about moving up in the world since for loner #3 I got a Taurus instead of an Escort. I also got reimbursed for the tow. Now, I admit that sounds pretty good but now I am into my 3rd month of car problems which in my mind all started with the head gasket problem. Is it all coincidental or are my instincts right, telling me to bail? I've looked at Honda and Sennas to compare. Problem is my van is almost paid for and I looked forward to no car payment or at least purchase a used car for my teenager in the interim. I suspect I won't get much in trade or invoice price with the imports. Am I right? I shudder to think I will have to deal with Ford again and again. I have had lip service from their Customer Relationship Center for the most part (how do you like their mail form letter?) and most recently a letter telling me they appreciate my frustration, etc. He, just buy my Wind star back and let me move on!
    Any advice?
  • DO what I did and post a homepage about your problems and the dealer. It has finally gotten me somewhere. The general manager is trading me out of my van and putting me in a suv. I sent the homepage to him once a week so he could see how many hits it got. No more salesmen to deal with, just the General Manager now. Just a suggestion.
  • cope5cope5 Posts: 1
    We purchased a 1999 Ford Windstar SE in May 1999. We have 38K miles (2K past warranty). The van overheated on me this week. No warning lights appeared. The temperature gauge did however register "H". Unfortunately, I did not notice the temp gauge while on the highway. We had the van towed to the dealership. We were told the "freeze plugs" were the cause of the leak. Not a major problem but it was good we caught it. However, according to the service guy, this is not supposed to happen. In order to get to the freeze plugs they have to drop the transmission. Being we are out of warranty (only by 2K miles, Ford will cover 80% and we pay 20% which amounts to about $80. Anybody have any similar problems?
  • ckreiterckreiter Posts: 3
    I just bought a 2001 LX. On my 99 LX, the interior lights would illuminate when you unlocked the doors with the remote entry pad. The dealer said that you need to have the keypad on the drivers door for this to work on the newer models. Does anyone have a 2001 LX that has the interior illuminated when the doors are unlocked via the remote entry or is the dealer really telling the truth?

  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,927
    Sales are down; negotiate hard :-)

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  • jvirginiajvirginia Posts: 65
    Awww. I really feel for Ford. Maybe if they treated their customers with a little respect and dignity and took some responsibility for poor workmanship and defective designs, the public might be more sympathetic. And, maybe if they hadn't given each of their assembly line workers $14,500 in bonuses over the last two years the public might also be more willing to believe their price increases are somehow justified and necessary. To borrow a phrase from history, 'If they get hungry, let them eat gaskets!'.
  • callo_callo_ Posts: 18
    however, Ford was down 14.5% for April, better than GMs 15.7% and DaimlerChryslers 17.5%
  • jvirginiajvirginia Posts: 65
    I'm still pissed at Ford for not owning up to their defective products. However, the Edmunds news story did have different figures than the ones you posted above :

    "Ford Motor Co.'s U.S. auto sales slid 16 percent in April ......
    The 16 percent skid in sales of Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles included a 22 percent slide in cars and a 12 percent drop-off in trucks compared with a year ago. Formerly fast-selling, high-profit SUVs showed particular weakness. Sales of the Explorer dropped 16 percent, while demand for the Excursion tumbled 32 percent. Sales of Ford's Windstar vans plunged 35 percent"
  • callo_callo_ Posts: 18
    one thing that is common in both stories is that domestic vehicles are taking a beating. I do believe that a turn around is near. Peace
  • 1995 WS 65K miles, head gasket blew causing engine to sieze. Had van towed to local garage I use & trust for all my repairs. Garage recommended having local ford dealer assess van and recommend repair. My borther-in-law had similar problem and ford offered him kelly blue book value + 3,500 for engine replacement to use on purchase of any new ford. Has anyone had a similar experience. I need to know what my options are.
  • First time here on Edmunds... anyway, I've got a 97 Windstar GL, with 106k miles. Just the other day the transmission started downshifting sporadically - I had it towed to my mechanic who referred me to a transmission guy that he works with. Two days later I'm about to be out almost $2000 for a rebuilt tranny. Seems wrong that I would need this with only 106k miles. I've had other vans (that I towed with) go well over this.

    I've seen a couple of other postings about pepple with problems, but I haven't seen what people have done about them and/or what the final solution was.

    Any suggestions or similar situtations?

    I got this used, bought the extened warranty from the used car dealer, and it expired about 15k miles ago.

  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    You may want to read and re-post your question in the Ford Windstar problems discussion topic. You may find the answer to your question there.

    Good luck,

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  • sueszosueszo Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 Wind star DX with key less entry system and the interior lights come on when I unlock the doors through the key fob and they turn off when I lock the doors with the key fob. I had a 99 Wind star that worked the same way. I hope this helps with your problem.
  • jeffijeffi Posts: 11
    If I order a van now will it be a 2001 or 2002. Will the rebates and low interest rates apply to 2002 models. I am ready to purchase a SEL in the next 4 weeks.

  • I recently saw newspaper ad. for new 2001 EL
    for $25K. This price is almost $4k below invoice.
    I know there is $2000 rebate and around $1000
    dealer hold back. Is there additional incentive
    announced by Ford? I could not figure out how
    the dealership would sell 2001 EL for $4000 below
  • EL in my earlier post should read SEL. The spell
    checker changed SEL to EL
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,927
    You have 30 minutes to make any changes or fixes after you post a message. Just click on the Edit button that follows your message after you post it.

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  • mshuttermshutter Posts: 1
    To the writer of message #411, I say tell your brother to grab the deal the local ford dealer is offering and get rid of that 95 windstar. My windstar blew its first head gasket at 53,000 miles and of course Ford told me "so sorry". Only months later did I learn of the "secret" warrranty and get ford to pay for the earlier repair bill. then I made the foolish decision to keep the van, thinking that the 100,000 mile warranty was protection enough. I started trying to sell the van at about 95,000 miles but was unsuccessful and suddenly I was at 101,000 miles when the head gasket went bad....Just how in the world does Ford design these things to go bad right after the warranty is exceeded? Simply amazing. So now I've paid the repair bill and I figure the head gasket is good for at least another 45 to 50,000 miles. With a bit of luck, I'll have is sold before I get to purchase head gasket number 3.
  • bblahabblaha Posts: 329
    Just curious. Do you know exactly what Ford did when they fixed it? I mean, details? Or did you just hand it to them and they handed it back when they "fixed" it?

    The Windstar is a bimetal engine. A blown head gasket is not unique to the Windstar, other vehicles (not even just Fords) that use bimetal engines have problems too (Neon for example).
  • vandalybay1vandalybay1 Posts: 43
    The grandparents have an Aerostar heavily modified for a wheelchair. The expensive modifications are the reason they want to keep the van. I believe it is about a 1995. Twice in hot weather (90's) and on long trips in South Dakota it has stalled. After towing the dealer looked at it and couldn't determine the cause.

    1. Is this a common occurence for other Aerostar owners?

    2. Any suggestions for a fix?

    Thank you.
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