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Ford Windstar Problems



  • crkeehncrkeehn Posts: 513
    The problem seems to be temperature sensitive, ie. when the temperature goes below 50 degrees, the speedometer does its crazy dance. It also appears to be electrical rather than mechanical in nature, I am wondering about a loose or dirty connection. Where should I look for loose connections? In addition, there seems to be a buzzing coming from under the dash near the fuse/relay box, when the speedometer malfunctions. Is there a specific circuit or relay that I can try and reseat?

  • bdemasbdemas Posts: 51
    daveriedel3638: In your post #248 you mentioned a recall on the tranny in a 99 for a co-worker. Do you any more information on that? Does it apply to 2000 as well?
  • bblahabblaha Posts: 329
    If you didn't get a letter, then I don't think it applies to 2000s. I'm pretty sure its a voluntary recall on Ford's part, since it isn't listed at the NHTSAs website. We got the letter for our 99 SE. I can't recall exactly, but it seems the recall is to replace the "rear lube tube and stabilizing bar" or something like that.

    Didn't have any problems beforehand, didn't take them long to work on it, and don't have any problems with it now.
  • bdemas: Regarding that recall it was strictly on the '99 windstars and it involved them pulling out the old transaxle and installing a new one. Unfortunately, the new transaxle probably has the same bad design/parts that were in the original transaxle. Furthermore, in my short, but painful experience with Ford, these recalls are very specific in their application, eg: they identify the vehicles affected to their dealers by VIN and a recall probably will not be made for all Windstars for a model year. You should be concerned though because Ford has not shown any interest in improving product reliability. The problems I had with transmission, head gaskets, electrical, cooling system, brakes, etc, etc are the same problems they had in the Taurus's (which windstar got its drive train from) and that '96 - 98 windstar owners are now having. You may be lucky and have a good one that can be driven to 200K miles. But odds are against most Windstar owners and the sooner you can get rid of yours, the better your chances of getting an acceptable trade in for it. Good luck my friend.
  • Dearie, Read all of the posts on Windstars. Bad transmissions are common. I just had the second one replaced in 6 months, fortunately under warranty. If you can hold off on mileage, do it and get rid of it. We can't get rid of ours; trade in value is well below what we owe on it and selling it privately has been unproductive.

    Good luck.
  • liljalilja Posts: 1
    I have a 99 SE 3.8 liter with most all the bells and whistles. I have the trailer towing package. At 33,000 miles I have had only one problem - the idle air valve failed. Power doors have been fine. Electrical fine. Occasional jerky downshift. Tires appear that they will go about 50000 miles. Front brakes are about 60% worn and back about 30%. It tows a 3000 lb Coleman trailer very well. We have towed about 7000 miles so far. 80 mph once, 8600 feet in altitude once and across the Mojave at 105 degrees. Temperature rock
    steady. Towing we get 16 - 17 mpg. Normal driving about 20 mpg. Highway about 23 - 24 mpg. We did get 9 mpg once, driving at slow speed, up and down hills around Atlanta, house hunting. This engine has never pinged, and I burn the cheapest gas I can find. As a 15 year aircraft mechanic, I am impressed as to my engine's ability to use any fuel with no complaints. An aircraft engine with that high compression ratio would need 130 octane fuel. A note to readers of this list: most people who post here have been having problems. You generally don't hear from people who are happy. So far, I like my van very much. I hope the next 100,000 go as well for me!
    P.S. The early 90's Honda I owned was no great work of art - it had a whole list of it's own problems. The Japanese are not the end all to beat all.
  • Thanks for your responses. For all interested, here is the latest. Unfortunately, at the time the engine went, we brought it to the Ford Service Department where we bought the van. They had to send it their "Engine" Dept which is off the premises. After a week of the car just sitting in the shop they finally looked at it. Originally they said that they didn't know why the engine blew. They saw fresh oil, old oil, metal and water in the engine. Right off the bat they were going to take half the responsibility and pay 50-50 on a new engine. My husband complained, saying that the van is not even 3 years old, that we shouldn't have to take any of the responsibility. Sure enough, they came back and told us that we neglected the van and that their 50-50 deal is "null and void". We found as many oil changes receipts as we could find but unfortunately not the latest ones. So now, 2 1/2 weeks later we still don't have the van back - it's still in the shop. Unfortunately, they have the van so they know about the engine problem - I can't put a rebuilt one in. I'm sick about this whole thing. If I give it back in March, I will have paid about $7000 for a car that I don't have anymore. I think I'm stuck with buying it. Does anyone know about buying a leased car? Is the residual value negotiable? This is the first and last leased car I ever own.
  • After reading all the posts here I feel very fortunate. Have a 98 GL which had struts replaced under warranty at about 10K miles. Power window motor on passenger door at about 5K miles. heard same noise as "strut" incident and my Ford mechanic said I needed new tie rods. They also detected a "transmission problem" calling for a transmission rebuild costing between $1,200 and $2,400 the symptoms for which where no present until I drove into the dealership that day. When moving from reverse to drive the steering whell would shutter briefly. Although this hadnt happended before I brought it in. Thankfully, I know someone in the "transmission" business who told me this was a function of loose tie rods. The tie-rods were replaced and low and behold the so called transmission problem was gone. Not withstanding the fact the the tie rods went prematurely, I didnt get ripped off for a phoney transmission job. Fuel pump just went at 50K miles, but compared to everything else I've read, Ive been considering selling before my luck runs out. My WS has a 25 gal tank, but I was never ever able to get much more than 19 gallons in, even when it was fairly empty, after the new fuel pump has been put in, it takes 19 gal with 1/4 tank. anyone else have this problem? Also speedometer always seems to be slower than police monitoring readouts. Anyone? good luck to all
  • tk211tk211 Posts: 3
    can someone provide information on how to get ford to buy back a vehicle? my 98 windstar has been at the garage since august 21 - because the transmission would "slam" on slow turns and acceleration. they have replaced torque converter, wire harness, transmission and are now talking to the "engineers" instead of the "technicians" from ford.
    they are waiting on a "new computer part" to install. quite frankly i'm sick of waiting. i tried the 800 number and the guy i talked to just listened to me complain without giving me any solutions. i don't think i will ever trust that it is reliable - so ford can have it back - unless any of you want it :)
  • You said "I was never ever able to get much more than 19 gallons in, even when it was fairly empty, after the new fuel pump has been put in, it takes 19 gal with 1/4 tank." Perhaps I'm misunderstanding, but 19 gals sounds about perfect. 25gals/4=6.25 gals per quarter tank. I' actually surprised you get 19 in at that point, since there's a reserve beyond the "Empty" point, so each 1/4 tank on the guage actually represents less than 1/4 of the stated tank capacity.
  • Bought a Windstar 2001 SEL...fully loaded ..leather seats do not have seat warmer..anyone knows if it is possible to add a seat warmer for the driver seat?. Thank you
  • I have been going through the same pinging problems mentioned in earlier post. The dealer finally agreed to replace the intake manifold after I showed them the responses I had found here. At first they told me they were replacing the intake at their own expense but magically they found TSB's that reported the intake manifold and valve covers were redesigned and were a valid recall associated with the pinging problem. About a week later after the "fixes" were applied to my van the pinging has returned. Not as bad as it was but it is still there. Anyone had a similar experience or actually have had the problem cured? Thanks.
  • dnj2dnj2 Posts: 4
    We have been back on the road for about a week - no sign of pinging yet. But, we do not have optimum conditions to induce pinging as it is too cold. This Windstar needs hi ambient temp, fully warmed up engine and AC on to produce the pinging condition.
    Our Dealer here in NC has been super once FoMoCo owned up to the problem and devised the "fix". Suggest you get back to your Dealer ASAP.
    You need to ascertain if they reset the PCM, reset the Octane setting to 87, were diligent in cleaning carbon from the engine as well as simply replacing the valve cover.
    Factory only "allows" 1.5 hours to do this whole job, a job that takes somewhat longer to accomplish. Maybe you only got 1.5 hrs worth of fix!
    Good luck with your Service Dept folks, and please keep all of us in the "Ping Club" updated.
    I'm going to take our Windstar out on a vigorous test drive tomorrow!
  • I have a 2000 Windstar LX and I have not had any major trouble with it to date. I do have a question about TSB's though. I have found listings of TSB's on several websites, but I haven't been able to track down the full text of TSB's anywhere on the 'net.

    I have reviewed some of the titles and there are a couple that I would like to read more into before I go through the hassle of setting up service for my van. For example, I occasionally experience a single tone from my van's dash. There doesn't appear to be any reason for the tone. It just beeps for no reason. I have seen a TSB that looks like it is related, but I can't find the full text to see what the problem might be.

    I have also seen TSB's related to the pinging problems related above. I have a friend who is having his van serviced for that problem under what his dealer says is an as-yet un-announced recall by Ford. I would like to look into those further just in case my van develops the problem.

    Does anyone know of somewhere on the 'net that I can find the full text of the TSB's that are related to problems I'm having? So far all I can find is the list on the NHTSA.GOV and that only gives brief summary info, which isn't always very descriptive.
  • dnj2dnj2 Posts: 4
    I dont think you will find the text of the TSB's readily available. You may need someone on the inside at a dealership to pull them off OASIS for you.
    If you find the info on the internat, please share with us all.
  • rjj6rjj6 Posts: 1
    My wife has a 97 Windstar(75K), and at the end of last winter season (NY) and now the beginning of this season, when it gets even a bit cool out, ALL of the side windows fog up. Even with the defroster on high, it can barely keep the front window clear.
    It is almost like the defroster is pumping moisture laden air into the car.
    We've had our fair share of problems with the WS,
    (abs, computer etc.) but we've not been able to solve this one.

  • bblahabblaha Posts: 329
    Ok, up till now our 99 SE has been basically flawless (25k miles). And we really like the van. However, twice now in the last 3 weeks, we've been temporarily stuck because we couldn't shift out of park.

    Once it happened to me, and once to my wife. I can't vouch for my wife's diagnostic abilities (well I can, but I'm prevented from speaking out by the "If you can't say something nice..." rule :-) ), but when it happened to me I noticed that the brake pedal went most the way to the floor (it didn't push back firmly like its supposed to). And when it was down near the floor, I noticed the brake lights went out!. With the brake lights off, the park/shift interlock won't disengage.

    I was able to get it to shift by pressing lightly on the brake enough to illuminate the brake lights, then shifted straight to neutral before stepping hard on the brake. I test drove it around the parking lot and the brakes seemd to be working fine, so I drove it home. When I got home, the problem had disappeared (and of course the dealer the next day was unable to reproduce the problem).

    When it later happened to my wife, she was fortunate to have a Ford technician waiting to have his eyes examined (my wife is an optometrist). He looked at it and said it was the brake light switch. He showed her how to "make it work" until she could bring it in. She hasn't showed me yet what "make it work" means. :-)

    Has anybody else had a problem like this? My memory is too poor to recall any prior posts.
  • bblahabblaha Posts: 329
    Take it back to the dealer. The head gasket on 95s is warranted to 100,000 miles. If the head gasket failure damaged her engine, she'll get a new one for free.
  • I had the same problem one time and it was simply a hose that was not connected. It was sucking in outside air and actually making the windows worse. Check to see if any hoses are loose, or if you can't locate any, take it to your dealer. If that's the problem, they should fix it for free.
This discussion has been closed.