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Ford Windstar Problems



  • jrags2jrags2 Posts: 1
    We just paid nearly 2,200 to AAMCO to rebuild the trans. in our 95 Windstar. Had to take it back for some minor adjustments, but it seemed to be working well. Van would not start after switching engine off, and at the time of this post, sits in a convenience store parking lot. (Did the same thing 6 months ago and had to have a new engine). Anyway, does anyone know if Ford has issued a transmission recall on the 3.8 95 Windstar? Maybe it's just wishful thinking, but I'd love to get my money back! (Incidently, we did take it to the dealer whose mechanic could not find anything wrong with the transmission...the guy at AAMCO couldn't believe it since his diagnostic machine lit up like a Christmas tree). Any info. would be appreciated.
  • dcram1dcram1 Posts: 1
    Yes, I too have had numerous problems with my van, especially with the power sliding doors. It will be my last windstar, as long as the new dodge has a good saftey rating.
  • cptpltcptplt Posts: 1,075
    my 2000 SE did the same thing and would also "click" before it started to do anything, the guy at the dealers service desk, the "advisor", said they all did that. I insisted they check it out, the tech took the assembly apart and found a bunch of plastic chips in there! They replaced the unit and its fine now though there is a slight vibration, my wife can't even tell but maybe I have a sensitive foot or something. But its nowhere near as bad as on a Previa I had before where it really was "normal" on all Previas!
  • cptpltcptplt Posts: 1,075
    are you in search of a 15 inch plain jane steel wheel to fit your WS or some special one or alloy?
    If you just need a plain steel one I found out that the factory option full size spare for a Windstar is in fact a regular Taurus wheel. Unless the guy in the parts dept at the dealer is pretty savvy he won't realize this. I had to get 4 for my snowtires on my 95 WS and it was a lot cheaper asking the Ford dealer to get a Taurus one than a Windstar one! God knows why! There should be after market ones now also, there weren't any in 94 when I needed them. Those Taurus wheels have lasted 6 Midwest winters and I'm hoping they fit on my 2000 WS.Anyone know if the brake rotors/drums are bigger on the latest WS compared to the old one? Try for aftermarket steel ones if the Ford dealer wants too much for Taurus ones, they usually sell them for about $40 each.
  • kjclowkjclow Posts: 29
    I have a 97 windstar with about 80,000 miles. It burns (?) brake fluid. Can't think of where else it is going. I have had to replace pads about every 30,000. Needs done again, probably rotars this time. Has anyone else noticed these problems?
  • rugmankcrugmankc Posts: 133
    this is a common problem on 98's and has been addressed in earlier posts. there is a tsb on the problem and is easily fixed. i think it should be free even if you are out of warranty, but am not sure. i had the tsb done 20k ago and never had the problem recur. good luck.
  • Over the weekend I took my '96 WS into the shop because the Check Engine light came on at 56k miles. Thinking that this would be a relatively inexpensive trip, I was sadly mistaken when the mechanic called to tell me that the head gasket had blown. This of course is an $1,800 repair. After the mechanic called the dealer I was told that the only extended warranties at this time were for the '95 WS and if I came in a complained enough they might give me a couple of hundred dollars off of the total. Is there anyone out there with '96 WS head gasket problems? Maybe if we band together, we'll get the same benefits as the '95.
  • I have a '96 WS that is burning brake fluid. I have changed the brake pads twice in 30k miles. There has got to be something wrong with this...
  • bblahabblaha Posts: 329
    The "rumor" has always been that Ford fixed the HG problem mid year 1996. So if you have an early 96 model, the chances are it has the same problem as the 95s, even though only the 95s are covered by the warranty. What the "fix" means I have no idea.

    If you do your homework, you may be able to build a successful small claims court case.
  • jfmjrjfmjr Posts: 2
    I've got a 96 with almost 100K and its started to burn brake fluid as well. Any ideas
  • Hello,

    I'm going to buy a van, 97 or 98. Possible choices are Ford WS, Nissan Quest, Pontiac Montana, Chevy Ventura (Caravan and Voyager have too bad crash test results, Mazda MPV or Toyota Sienna are too expensive). Now I have Previa 91, it is pretty roomy inside and I wouldn't like to go into significantly smaller car. Any ideas which of those four is better? Also I probably will take an extended warranty for about 3 years. Is it important form which dealer to buy a car in order to be able to get such a warranty? Which warranty is better?
    Thanks in advance for any ideas.

  • wtapiawtapia Posts: 2
    We bought a 98 in the summer of 97. Just before we got to 60k miles, the tranny blew. We also had a whining noise coming from what we thought was a pulley bearing. Wrong. Power steering pump was shot. All service but 2 oil changes were done at the dealership that we bought the van at.
    I would like to say that Ford did pay for the tranny, but we had to come up with $500 for labor and another $900 for the power steering system.Not to mention that it took 10 days to get fixed and I still made the payment on it even though I didn't get any use out of it.
    HEY FORD- ARE YOU READING THIS!!! This is only the 2nd Ford we have owned. We also had trouble with the 87 Taurus we bought. I don't know what would compel us to buy another new vehicle from Ford, but in this case two strikes and you're out.
    If you are reading this, I bought my van at Korum Ford in Puyallup, WA.
  • dnj2dnj2 Posts: 4
    Here is the documentation on the "Valve Cover Assembly Kit" that is the Factory Fix. It is TSB 00-21-8 [4 pages] and it is dated 10/09/00 so its brand new news.
    The parts are allegedly on natl back order and very hard to find.
    This fix is covered by both bumper to bumper & emissions warrantys.
    FoMoCo allows 1.5 hrs to complete the fix which also includes carbon removal.
    I have been working this problem on my Windstar with my Dealer since Apr of this year @ 19k miles and am hopeful that this TSB solves it as during optimum pinging conditions the pinging is brutal. Dealer has had my car for about a week so far but has given me a no-charge loaner 2000 Contour to keep me rolling.
    Dont let anyone tell you to use premium gas.
    Good luck to us all - and there are a bunch of us pingers out there.
  • I have seen several posts for a grinding noise in Windstars just after starting and after sitting for a day. I have the same problem, doesn't happen all of the time, but does sound almost like trying to restart the van after it's started. Has anyone found the solution to this? Of course the dealer says if they don't hear it, they can't fix it....and since it only happens every so often, it's impossible.
  • crkeehncrkeehn Posts: 513
    Has anyone had an experience with the speedometer of the Windstar malfunctioning. The Odometer and cruise control both work correctly, however the speedometer needle bounces all over the place, registering speeds as high as 80+ mph.

    What was the problem and how was it corrected.

    Carl Keehn
  • yamanyaman Posts: 113
    We had the same problem in our 96 as well. Had to get a new one.
  • deariedearie Posts: 2
    I come from a family of Ford owners. We've had Taurus's, Windstars, etc. My sister-in-law, cousin, and myself all have 1998 Windstars. Unfortunately, all of us have had problems with the vans, none of which Ford will own up to. My sister-in-law had to replace her transmission twice, my cousin has a knocking noise coming from his transmission, I've had to replace the brakes, and now I've just learned that my engine needs replacing. I am leasing my van and am sick at the fact that I'll have to put $4000 into this van that I will give back in 5 months (yes, I'm over the mileage so it's not covered under warranty anymore). My feelings are; who would get an extended warranty on a lease when supposedly you'll only have the car until the lease is up. Anyway, has anyone else had problems like these with the '98s? What about dealing with Ford's customer service? Do I have any backing when I insist that they replace the engine at no cost to me? Any info would he greatly appreciated.
  • weslwesl Posts: 53
    How bad is your engine? Could you nurse it along for five months or even park it until the lease is over? If it is still driveable, sideline the van, rent something in the interim, and dump off on Ford later. If you have to replace the engine, don't go through Ford. Find a junkyard, replace the engine with one from another 98 WS, and hopefully no one will notice. Could save you 2,000 +. You could always try to fight Ford. Good luck, Wes.
  • I just unloaded my 95 Windstar after 2 1/2 very expensive years ownership. It was the worst vehicle I ever owned! Furthermore, corporate HQ's and the dealers are terrible- they tried to ignore the problems or disavow any responsibility for them. Anyway, among the problems I had was getting the transaxle overhauled to replace a cracked forward piston. Ford disavowed any responsibility for this too, although it has been a common problem since the tranaxle's debut in the taurus in 1985. Anyway, apparently Ford has still not fixed the problem, as a coworker just got a factory recall on her 1999 Windstar for transaxle replacement - Cracking forward pistons again. Ford did that repair at no cost to her. Has anybody heard of Ford finally reimbursing owners for repair of the AXOD transmissions in '95 Windstars? I am holding onto the receipt for this work, JUST IN CASE they do something like they finally did for the cracked head gasket debacle.
    I guess at Ford, the motto IS NOT "Produce a good product and the profit will naturally follow". Instead, it's "Lets get the profit now and hope we aren't forced to fix our longstanding screwups". I have returned to GM and I hope to God that nobody in my large family ever buys another Ford. They are one lousy company!
This discussion has been closed.