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Ford Windstar



  • I have one of the dreadful 1995 Windstars. Have already been through the head gasket problem and currently working with the transmission failure. The transmission has been rebuilt three times in past six months. The scenario is that things are working fine then the overdrive light begins blinking, 4th gear is gone, then third fails leaving only 1st & 2nd. The last time even 1st & 2nd failed. Aamco claims the tranny is being sent a bad signal by the car's computer but Ford cannot diagnose any such bad sensors. Anyone else with similar experiences?
  • 2akitas2akitas Posts: 19
    We had a similar problem. We never had to rebuild, our tech found our battery was not up to snuff and the alternator was weak. He said the computer needs constant, strong power to function. Ours seems to be doing good now. All we did was repace the battery. Just out of curiosity, have your battery tested. By the way, we use a private mechanic, no more dealing with Ford!
  • tboner1965tboner1965 Posts: 647
    2akitas has a good idea. Does AAMCO want to replace the computer? It is pretty simple to do. I took the EEC out of my Ford vehicle to install a superchip and returned it to the vehicle in 60 minutes.

    If the shop wants to do this, make the following deal with them. They replace the computer, but if that doesn't work, they re-install your original computer and all you pay is the one or two hours of labor. It should be about an hour as there is one connector to the computer and one or two bolts holding it in place.

    If they are certain of the diagnosis, they should have no problem with this agreement.

    But first, have the charging system and battery checked.



  • mcdillmcdill Posts: 180
    hello windstar owners , from 1 to 10 how would you rate the new 3.8's power and refinement, 1 being worst and 10 being best. thanks----------------mattmcdill
  • PinkfloydPinkfloyd Posts: 2
    I've got a 2000 Windstar LX. The 3.8L has alot of power and torque. It could be a bit more refined in terms of noise when accerlating. It doesn't strain, it's just a bit noisy. I rate it a 8.
  • honkenhonken Posts: 4

    I have bought a ford windstar -99 3.0.

    Is this a good car? I have not get it yet.

    Please excuse my poor english.

  • madmackmadmack Posts: 39
    The radio stays on when the keys are removed from the this normal? Have CD with rear media controls.
  • bdemasbdemas Posts: 51
    madmack: It's normal, the radio will stay on for about 10 minutes as long you don't open any doors.
  • I need help from "KENT25 and ANIGHTMARE" Please E-MAIL me so I can understand your sceanrio with FORD leading to the "buyback"
  • honkenhonken Posts: 4
    What is the most usual problem with a Ford Windstar -98?


  • wholiganwholigan Posts: 148
    You should notice that nearly all the complaints/issues you see here involve the 3.8L V6 engine (usually combined with the AXOD transmission). Note that the year does not seem to matter. The 97 3.8's are starting to have similar head gasket failures that the 95's had. While all rumor, I have read that engineers at Ford now suspect a design flaw in this engine that is causing unbalanced rotation pressure in the main front crank bearing. In turn, cylinder #4 (one of the two that is closest to the front bearing) gets erratic wear and creates unforeseen pressure. Over time, the head gasket will fail because it was not designed to handle the forces being placed upon it.

    Just avoid the 3.8L. And after my personal experiences with the Ford Motor Company, I would avoid Ford all together... But that is story for another day... Whatever you do, good luck!
  • lsg1lsg1 Posts: 42
    I had a 98 GL. It had numerous problems with the traction control and ABS system. I had to take it back so many times, that the dealership decided to buy back my 98, give my a $5000 bonus, and I got a 2000 LX for very little money out of my pocket. I had the 98 for exactly 1 year, and 20,000 miles, so I figured this was a good deal. I have the 2000 for almost 8 months now, and had only one major problem so far.
  • Wholigan Where did you read about the unbalanced rotation theory ? I just did a buyback ($6650 + 3000 incentive) to get a 2000 LX Windstar.
  • espowariespowari Posts: 36
    We're the new owners of a 95 Windstar - I know I know...

    The passenger window will no longer roll down via button on either door. I
    don't see in the manual how to child proof it. Previously it would roll down
    fine. I think I did a combination of turning the car on and holding both
    buttons down to let some of the heat out, but I can't reverse it.

    Any ideas? I haven't checked the fuses yet, but I suspect that they're fine,
    as the other window rolls down.

    Any help is much appreciated.

  • My 95 passenger window also experienced the not working occasionly, it would start working again. I never had it checked by dealer. I would check past history on your vehicle for headgaskets etc. I think any FORD dealer can check by VIN number. I loved my Windstar until the day it died. I loved my Windstar until the day it died.
  • wholiganwholigan Posts: 148
    Let me reiterate that this is rumor and speculation, however, what I read was an "evaluation" from a mechanical engineer that works for Chrysler (they specialize in performance engines). They try to evaluate other engineering issues to prevent them in future designs (too bad they can't deal with their own under-geared transmissions!). This was the analysis (I do not know WHO did the analysis) after doing a "reverse-engineer" of four blown 3.8L motors.

    On the other side, congrats on the new van. Keep it until the warranty runs out then dump it like a hot potato. I shouldn't really say that. You are one of the few that I have read where Ford has treated you fairly well (after much work I am sure!). I wish my story had a replacement van! I would feel much more comfortable in a van that I knew was warranted. Instead I continue to pay off the home equity loan (that I is major upside down compared to trade value) in the repaired 95 WS on its fourth transmission and second engine. I trust it as far as I can throw it. Just last night my wife (and three small children) was driving back from IL when she decided to stop for gas. After getting off the exit, she went to press the brake and there was NOTHING. Went right through an intersection. Nearly got hit by a pickup. The culprit was a rusted brake line (near the Master Cylinder I might add). Gosh, I really just wish this would get bought back...

    Good Luck!
  • honkenhonken Posts: 4
    Hi Again!

    What more specific whas the problem whith the
    ABS system and the Traction Control on your
    Windstar 98 Gl?

    Is there anyone else who has this problem.

    I live in Sweden and i´m getting my Windstar on friday. I am just a little bit nervous if this
    are a good car or not.

    Exusce my poor English.

    Hope for answers!

    Honken from Rejmyre in Sweden
  • lsg1lsg1 Posts: 42
    I had a light flashing on my dashboard that said TRACOFF and every thing they used to stop the flashing did not work.They changed a brake switch, and it worked for a few weeks, and then the light started flashing again, and this time the ABS light came on. They changed the ABS module, and that fixed the problem for a few more weeks, and then the TRACOFF light started flashing again.They then said that the computer had to be reset, and that fixed it for about a week. Then it happened again, and they had the van for over a week. They did one more thing(cant remember) and insisted that it would fix it, and if it didnt, they would take back the van, and give me a new one. Well, we drove all the way to Florida from NY and back, and thought they really fixed it and then one day, it started flashing again, so I called them, and they said they would arrange to give me a 2000. This all took place over a 6 month period.
    If you look on the ntsa database for technical service bulletins :
    and you look under Ford Truck/Windstar/1998,
    you will see that there are a few complaints about the TRACOFF light intermintenly flashing, but as I saw, they could not fix it.
  • princ1princ1 Posts: 1
    My 96 windstar van just went in to the dealer with a transmission problem. Does this seem to be a problem with the 96's? I have read the disaster stories about the 95's. We have 59000 miles on this van. I am not very comfortable with my family riding in this right now. Have any dealers been receptive to helping with what seems to be a problem engine (3.8)?
  • honkenhonken Posts: 4
    Hi Laura!

    Thanks for the tip.

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