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Ford Windstar Problems

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  • My power steering pump went when my 98 wind star was only 11 months old with 9,000 miles. Had the rack and pinion replaced at that time as well. Tie rods and front main oil seal went at 43 months with 29,000 - lucky I purchased an extended warranty.
    I will not be replacing this van with another wind star.
  • mroz3mroz3 Posts: 1
    I had a pinging problem with my 1999 Windstar which the dealer totally ignored. Get this, the mechanic who did a road test with me claimed he could NOT hear the pinging ! My 6 year old daughter in the 2nd row seat COULD ! Ford's position was, lets wait until something really big happens then we'll fix it.

    If you live in the Vancouver BC Canada, steer well away from dealers that sound Rich. Better still steer well away from automobiles that seem to need fixes or repairs almost daily.

    Cheers.

    p.s. I assure you I am NOT a Ford competitor !
  • lsg1lsg1 Posts: 42
    I have a 2000 Ford Windstar LX. I posted last month that my van was in an accident and we were thank G-d fine. The question I have is about my van after it has been fixed. The van was fixed by the body shop(the whole front end was shifted over to the left), and after they fixed it, attempted to drive it, and it would not drive. They put it on the comptuer and it showed a problem with the transmittion. They opened up the tranny, and there was a crack in the aluminum wall of the tranny, and the gears were all shifted forward. They now put in a brand tranny(they said it is brand new from detroit, and not rebuilt). The shop said the tranny (and everything in my front end that was fixed) is now guaranteed for as long as I own my van. Is this how it works? Will my van work as well as it did before the accident now that I do not have the original trans. in it?
    I am really upset, because the body shop guy said that if the original adjuster saw that there was damage to the trans. they probably would have totalled it, and I could have had a brand new van...now I am stuck with this one, because they did the work already.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    I'm surprised that they didn't total it in the first place, especially after such a serious accident in a brand new vehicle. After an accident (even a fairly minor) in which the frame of the vehicle is compromised, the structural integrity/crashworthiness will never be the same as with a brand new vehicle. Hopefully your powertrain will be about as good as new though.

    Best of luck!
    Drew
    Edmunds.com Townhall co-host
    Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories conferences
  • I have about 17000 miles on my '99 Wind star (3.8/200 hp). I have been having intermittent transmission problems similar to those described in prior messages. When I try to enter traffic quickly... not a jackrabbit start, there is sort of a 1-2 second hesitation between gears (2-3...I think) and then it sort of slams into gear, the whole van shudders. (The sensation is similar as if I was spinning on ice, and then hit bare pavement.)

    About two weeks ago, the dealer had my van for a week replacing seals... the suspected problem. This did not solve the problem. I've seen other posting with similar problem described, but I don't believe I saw a fix... has anyone ever actually gotten this problem resolved?

    Thanks in advance for whatever help you provide!
  • kjclowkjclow Posts: 29
    My wife was rear ended last month. She was parked at the curb and pushed about 10 feet after contact. About $4000 damage to our 97 Windstar. Now, while on our Christmas trip, the speedometer has gone crazy. It will change from 40 - 120+ while the van is on cruise. Has anyone else experienced this problem? I tried to look through the postings, but there are too many and too little time. The dealer says that he needs at least two days to fix it. Is this a "normal" problem or something that could have been caused by the accident?

    Also, I have been getting some moisture on the carpet between the front seats. Does anyone have any sugesstions as to what to look for? I have about 84000 on it and have no major problems to date. Is this just the tip of the iceberg?

    As for the problems of load noises when shifting out of park on an incline, I think that I have finally figured out how to avoid this. From a previous post.... Come to a complete stop. Set the parking brake. Ease off the brake until the van is fully engaged to the parking brake. Push the brake pedal back down and shift to park. When starting, push the brake down, shift into gear, relate the parking brake and go. Seems to help

    Thanks for your help.
  • I have had this car just over a year and the power sliding door had given us a problem. Sometimes it would not close once it was open and sometimes it would not open. Trying to close it manually when this happens is nearly impossible. The dealer said they would order the "part" and when it finally came in and I left it for them for two days they said they needed to order another "part". Finally after they "fixed" it I had trouble again with it while on vacation. Also there has been a terrible "sucking" sound occasionally when starting the car. They looked at that three different times and could not find any problem. They finally said it was normal and was the choke. Why doesn't it do it all the time? One other thing, the plastic trim on the passenger front seat broke and they claim we must have jumped on the seat in order for it to break. I am not impressed with the dealership or with Ford over this vehicle. I doubt I will buy another Windstar.
  • We have a 1999 Windstar with 42000 miles with major transmission problems. There was no prior warning. We are now looking at a $2700 bill to replace the transmission and whatever the rental car expenses total. My dealer tells me its my problem because the warranty ran out at 36000 miles. Anyone with ant similar experiences please respond.
  • crkeehncrkeehn Posts: 513
    Yes, that is a fairly common problem with the Windstar and Taurus. You mentioned that it happens when you are on speed control, does your actual speed remain constant, ie are you moving at about the same rate, does your tachometer seem to remain steady?

    Apparently the speed reading is electrical, not mechanical. You might try looking under the dashboard and wiggling/reseating the wires to the speedometer. I had a similar problem about a month or so ago, in reaching back to feel I had jiggled the wires, the problem has not come back so far. From other reports, to replace the speedometer head would run about $500.
  • kjclowkjclow Posts: 29
    Thanks, crkeehn
    The dealer quoted a price of 475 plus tax to install a new head. I'll play with the wires on the back this weekend and see if that fixes, or temporarily solves, the problem. I hate to part with that amount of money just after Christmas. Especially since we have to replace the windshield, too. Rocks and/or kids throwing things off an overpass. Best price on Windshields, at least in Charlotte, NC, was $250. We may end up trading the thing in this weekend on an Olds Silo, if I can figure out where the money is coming from.

    To answer your other questions... The tach remained fairly constant and the driving speed did not change. Just what the speedo said we were doing. It's fine on the highway to run by the tach, but I haven't paid enough attention to where the tach runs for the lower gears to try to use it in the city. I sure don't want to support my local law enforcement agencies, not that way at least.
  • The speed sensor which is located on the top side of the tranny is either loose or shorting out. I had one replaced with the exact same symptom, wild variance in speed indication and eratic cruise control and gear up/down shifting which is directly related. In my case it was a worn speed sensor gear (nylon) that was the culprit. Total cost of repair was about $280 US Currency.
  • blambblamb Posts: 10
    We currently have a 1999 SEL. We leased it for 24 months, and the lease is up next month. The odometer just changed to 25,000. We are extremely happy with this vehicle, and are going to lease or buy a 2001 SEL. We owned a 1995 Windstar, and sold it at 25,000 miles. This 95 was also trouble free. Due to the low miles, we were probably lucky we did not encounter the numerous problems that other 95 owners experienced. Our 99 only had a few minor problems, and they were taken care of the first time by the dealer. So, perhaps some of the people unhappy with their current service may try changing dealers. I also feel that the SEL is one of the best looking mini-vans on the market!
    At least for us, the 99 has been very dependable and reliable. Thanks for listening!
  • I'm a new user to this site and it looks like there are a lot of us in the same boat. We purchased a 2000 Windstar SEL and have had it in the shop four times already. Anything from the battery going dead, windshield gasket not sealed right, rattles needing fixed (sounded like a '74 Econoline Van), and of course the door problem. The doors seem to have a mind of their own. They can be closed and will open on their own at any given time. Imagine coming out of a store and the doors wide open on your vehicle. And of course the problem everyone else has, they don't want to close properly, and god forbid if someone has a finger or arm in the way it doesn't reverse itself like it is supposed to. This is a good site to gleen info from other people on the problems and possible fixes that might be out there. But we need to contact the NHTSB with the problems that are safety related. Doors are definitely safety related. As of today there are three postings on the NHTSB site directly related to the door problem. We, as consumers of defective items, and apparently no help from Ford, need to let the NHTSB know our problems. Maybe they will send Ford a Happy New Year letter telling them to find out what the problems are and fix them. It is evident that the people who keep this company in business by buying their vehicles are not getting the attention back from them that is needed. Time to get into their pockets and make them do things right the first time!!! The NHTSB site address is
    www.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq/oscripts/IVOQ/VOQ/voq1.cfm
    Let 'em hear from you.
  • lsg1lsg1 Posts: 42
    If I have a 2000 Windstar LX that I want to trade in, but has been in an accident, how do I find out how much would be taken off the blue book value of the van when I go to trade it in? It is perfect condition(now after being fixed after the accident), but I would rather not drive it anymore.
  • blambblamb Posts: 10
    My lease for my 1999 Windstar SEL expires at the end of January. I leased for 24 months. The SEL was 32,000. My payments were $457 with zero down. I just paid the first payment.(no sales or security) I felt that this was a really good deal. Now, I am looking at 2001 SEL. I have been finding that they now want around $520 or so. One dealer quoted $588, plus sales tax down. Would you let me know if anyone out there have any lease quotes for the Windstars for 2001? Thank you.
  • These are the problems we are experiencing at 10,000 miles after one year:

    1. Sometimes the passenger side sliding door would not close using the key fob remote control or the overhead button. Manually pulling on the door a little and pushing it back seems to do the trick. It could be that the motor does not pull the door all they way back to engage properly for closing. I will complain about this at the next service.

    2. The driver's right arm rest keeps drooping and then falling off. The dealer ordered us a new one, but problem persists. This could be a design problem. The clip on the armrest appears weak and the post to which it attaches has no detent position. I wonder whether others have experienced this and have a solution.

    3. The engine shudders when accelerating slowly from a low speed.

    4. I had the dealer install mud flaps. They installed it too low to the ground. When I hit small bumps, the mud flaps scrape on the road.

    5. We drive the van short distances at fairly low speeds everyday. As a result, we get very low mileage.

    6. The third row bench seat is very stiff and uncomfortable. Long rides would be unbearable.
  • czubaczuba Posts: 1
    Has anyone else experienced a shuddering , sometimes significant, running at highway speeds , usually going up grades ?
    Can avoid by backing off the accelarator or flooring it -
    Is this a famous transmission issue ? thanks
  • liebedaliebeda Posts: 13
    I have a 99 Windstar LX with about 12,500 miles. Recently, I noticed that there is a pinging / beeping sound when I turn on the heater or defogger. It lasts only about a second or two. Does anyone know anything about this?
  • grregggrregg Posts: 2
    I have 95 WD LX with 80,000.Engine replaced at 65,000 miles at Ford expense(hg failure).Now my Windstar is shuddering when going over 65mph(same problem- post#288).Any1 know if there is a recall or "secret warranty " adressing this problem.Also is a buy back program applying to trans problems?Thanks!
  • We've just leased a 2001 SEL after being happy with a 99 SE. However, we've just noticed that accelerating past about 10-15 MPH, we hear a "scraping" sound from under the car. We'll go back to the dealer ASAP to have it looked at, but has anyone had this experience?
  • blambblamb Posts: 10
    Sorry I can't help you with your problem of the sound you are hearing. I have a 1999 SEL with 26,000 and it has been basically problem free. See my post #286. Did you lease for 24 or 36 months on the 2001 SEL? We are getting ready to lease again. If you don't mind, can you tell me what kind of payments you are looking at? Thank you for any assistance you may give.
  • We leased a 2001 SEL with family securiy package 2, floor console and side air bags. Lease was for 36 months. No cash out of pocket, payments are $585 month. Rebate covered first month's payment, rest went to capital cost reduction. Note that in Maryland sales tax is 5% of total cost of car, + tags of about $100. We put no money down at all.
  • We bought our 98 Windstar GL (3.8L) in the spring of 00. So far we really like it but after reading a lot of these posts I'm getting a bit nervous. Anyway it has 46k on it now and twice in the last 4 weeks my wife has been driving it when the ABS light illuminates but other electrical devices like dash lights, radio and turn signals go out (luckily the headlights stayed on). In both cases she pulled in to a parking lot, shut the van off and then re started it and everything was fine. Anybody have any ideas?
    Thanks!
  • worm4worm4 Posts: 1
    Our '99 Windstar has been plagued by a variety of small but frustrating problems.

    For the past 10 months ALL THE INTERIOR LIGHTS (dome, reading lights, door courtesy) just FLASH ON AND OFF intermittantly It doesn't matter if the head lights are on or not. This becomes quite a safety issue at night. The van has been in the shop numerous times with no success. HAS ANYONE ELSE HAD THIS PROBLEM ? If so how was is repaired? We are close to the end of the warrenty.

    We had other problems with the van. Most frustrating was a cruise control that only worked once in a while. It took the dealer a year to fix it. All the radio speakers and door locks/switches have broken and been replaced. During the year and a half since we bought the car there has always been some thing wrong with it.

    I'm worried about other electrical type problems down the road. It just seems like one thing after another goes wrong.

    Do you think we should get rid of it?
  • I have a 1996 wind star and I have a Head Gasket leaking I have bought the van used with low miles. Does any one out there know if there is a Recall on this. I hear is a big problem with the 3.8 v-6 E-Mail me with any information. Robp32@aol.com
  • I am assembling data on the problem we have had. Every once in a while, some sort of electronic problem arises whereby the power side doors will not open or close from the buttons in the door frames. They will usually still work from the driver's station buttons and the remote control. However, on a couple of occasion, the battery was drained dead and had to be jump started. Eventually, the dealer told us there was computer chip that needed to be changed but that really has not fixed the problem.

    It returns every few weeks and lasts about a week to 10 days, then just magically goes away....for a while. There seems to be no correlation to the weather, how we drive it, how often the doors are opened with or without car engine running, etc.

    Anyone with data on this problem please email me at wilens@pacbell.net

    I am an attorney and I have had the Van in a few times already for "service."
  • crkeehncrkeehn Posts: 513
    When your interior lights are flashing, do you also get the chime like you would if the key were in the ignition? It is possible that the door sensors are causing you a fit. Try cleaning the four round silver contacts in the sliding door frame. They will get dirty and cause that problem. A pencil eraser or something that is very mildly abrasive should do the job.
  • mnmommnmom Posts: 1
    We have had our 99 SEL in for service at least four times for the doors as well as the battery had died 3 times for no apparent reason. One of the three dealers we have been to put in a new battery thinking that the battery had a bad cell. It died again. The doors seem to be working again but not because of anything the dealer had done. Another gripe is, my overhead compartments rattle. The last dealer put little foam tape pieces on the latches. That worked great until I opened them!!! I will never own another Ford. I had an Explorer in '94. They do not make good quality. We are dumping this Ford SAP.
  • rudyw1rudyw1 Posts: 1
    I had the original 25 gal tank on my 98 Windstar, 3.8L replaced with the "improved" model soon after the initial purchase in Nov 97 so now being on 'E' means there is still 5-7 gallons (this is said by the dealership to be an acceptable characteristic of the tank). I am curious if the 20 gallon model of the 98 year has a more normal setup, and if 25 gallon tanks from other years act like the 98. Anyone able to shed some light?
  • Help!!!! can anyone out there walk me through the buy back procedures for wind stars. I have a feeling I will need to know and certainly forewarned is forearmed. I sure wish I had read this before I bought this bonafide piece of --t. If they offer me a buy back I will jump all over it. I truly don't want this thing back again. You have to have a certain amount of faith in your vehicle to get in it and drive it every day and I have none in this van!
This discussion has been closed.