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Ford Windstar Problems

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  • lsg1lsg1 Posts: 42
    I have always had bad luck with all my vans so far: '96 Plymouth Grand Voyager(the worst), '98 Windstar LX(dealer bought back), and now '00 Windstar LX. Latest problem is when I start the car, and turn the key in the ignition, I hear a grinding sound as though I turned the key too far( but didnt). Also, when first starting the van for the first time, after turn the key, and shift from park to drive, I hear(and feel) a grinding sound in the motor. I really am tempted to trade this van in(Have it 6 months) and get a Sienna, but love the ride and roominess of the windstar, but am getting very tired of going to the dealer. The dealer is also very good, and I don't blame them for my problems, the reliablility of the van is getting to me.
    Has anyone else had this problem of this grinding sound, and what do you think it is?
    Thanks
  • sthevenowsthevenow Posts: 1
    My 1998 Windstar with 50,000 miles has the same problem. I have taken it to the Ford dealer who has yet to figure out the problem. It sounds so terrible that I am considering a trade. It doesn't do it consistently.
    I would love to hear from anyone who has solved this problem. I love my van and really hate the thought of getting rid of it.
    Thanks
  • mbriggs1mbriggs1 Posts: 1
    We have a 98 GL. At around 20K mi, we noticed a grinding sound at lower speeds on turns. The dealer's diagnosis was "outer tie rods binding" which was remedied by replacement of the outer tie rods. The dealer stated this problem was not uncommon. We are disappointed in low life of brake pads and ease in which the rear brakes seem to get out of adjustment.
  • yamanyaman Posts: 113
    We traded ours in 3 weeks ago for a Sienna.We too were delighted to get rid of it.The Ford Motor company needs to seriously think about the products it is putting out. That Windstar was our last Ford product!
  • knight10knight10 Posts: 1
    Looks like finding this site is a little too late for me. Yesterday bought a 98 Windstar GL because my Toyota Camry had 161000 miles on it and i needed more room for the family. Today i noticed that it was leaking transmission fluid, brought it back to the dealer were they said it needed new torqe converter. Got the service records on the vehicle and find out that the previous owner had the van in 3 times for the same problem, twice they repaired the seals and the other tightened gaskets. Van has only 26700 miles on it so it is still under warrenty, my problem is that i have to look forward to the day when the transmission goes completely. If i trade it in i get nothing for it so im stuck. Bye the way , the reason i didn't get another Toyota is i didn't think i could afford a Sienna, looks as if i couldn't afford not to.
  • kent25kent25 Posts: 15
    and good luck. Our new WS SE is performing as promised and we hope to have good luck with it. I will continue to monitor this site and, hopefully, will not need to address problems with our WS anytime soon. But it is nice to know there is a clearninghouse for information...as info is power. Good luck to all.
  • HCLEMOHCLEMO Posts: 19
    If you are curious, a factory rebuilt transmission from Ford (2Y/24K warranty) for my 95 Windstar set me back $2570. I had to put one in just so I could get $5500 used for it (a Windstar with a trashed transmission is only about $2000).

    I am now going to get my 95 WS detailed and then off to the used car lot` with it. I will wait awhile before replacing it and make do with my VW Cabrio and my wife's Outback. The only problem is that the Outback is a little small when we pile on the kayak/bicycles/camping stuff/etc. It is also a problem if grandparents want to ride when we are visiting. The Cabrio is a hoot of a commuting vehicle (bombing around with the top down is a great stress reliever) in and thusfar has been trouble free wehicle. I will miss the comfortable ride and big junk carrying capacity of the WS.

    I hope that with a rebuilt transmission and ??new and improved head gaskets (second replacement put on in 8/99) my 95 WS will give someone else at least 40 - 50K relatively trouble free miles (or am I being too optimistic?).
  • birkiebobbirkiebob Posts: 19
    Mbriggsl did they put the same tie rods in as the originals, or were they upgraded? I'm having mine done next week. Had the rear brakes adjusted too. Waynerp and bdems: I had some pinging with my '98 GL also (3.8 ltr) and my dealer cleaned the injectors for me and it seemed to go away. Maybe you had some lousy gas in there at some time-check the injectors. I'll be having a DRB hearing next month on a serious whine from my radio when the alternator is loaded with lights, a/c etc. No solution has worked in numerous attempts, including alternator replacement, radio replacement, aftermarket noise suppresor and ground strap adjustment. I still like this vehicle though and will not give up easy!
  • lsg1lsg1 Posts: 42
    I have been checking this message board all last week, and there was only 1 or 2 messages posted. Does anyone else notice that there may be a problem with this board? Or maybe everyone is just so happy with their Windstars, that there are not problems to post....Naw!
  • mjevansmjevans Posts: 1
    Hello,

    I have a '99 Windstar that so far has been fine, but then again it only has 4,000 miles on it! However, ever since we purchased it in January we had trouble getting the cruise control to work. We've taken it in three times to the dealer who said they found nothing wrong with it. My husband and I have both tried to use it and it only works about 20% of the time and sometimes it will not at the beginning of a trip and work 10 minutes later. Now, I know this is not a major problem. Just annoying.

    By the way, I have also heard a grinding noise when starting. This has happened only a handful of times and no other problems have shown up yet...Thank goodness.

    As for the cruise control, the repairmen said that he has a Windstar that does the same thing and that sometimes you just have to play with it a little to get it to work. I hope that's not his answer for everything that goes wrong from now on!
  • birkiebobbirkiebob Posts: 19
    Mjevans: You probably know this, but cruise controls vary from one vehicle make to another...my Malibu's works RIGHT NOW and then is always on for resume until I turn it off, but my Tracer lags a bit before engaging and shuts off if I turn the ignition off, while my '98 Windstar "usually" comes on with the first push of the button but sometimes takes two pushes (as if to ask "do you really want to do this?") and shuts off if I turn the ignition off. I'm use to how they all work. Figure out how yours is "supposed" to work, then if it's not working properly keep pursuing it, maybe with another dealer. If still no results, go the Dispute Settlement Board route (ask your dealer for details).
  • You are going to be seeing him often. I'm thinking about setting up a standing monthly appointment.
  • 38413841 Posts: 4
    2000 windstar Vibration in steering wheel, door seat. Not tire or rim related.Balance 5 times new Mich. X1s Still there. Brought to dealer they tryed everthing, no help. This is what they said on the repair order. Test another Windstar same concern call Hotline they said there is no known conerns for this is a normal road to vehicle torsional Vibration there is no repair for this concern. What is a normal vibration? I called Ford they said I was too much in tune and to sensiative to things.Others dealers have said they can not healp as long as Ford said what they did. What do I do now? Help
  • I would like to start by saying I bouoght a 98GL and from the first days I have had problems starting with the Lieing salesperson who was fireed for telling my wife that she was only signing the milage verication and not the title release (lie) we got stuck with a 98 when we wanted a 99 to late they would have to take it back as a trade in and we would have to lose about 3000.00 because it was used.They also saide I did not need to have a emission test besase it was new but found out I did because it had 3000 miles on it and was considere used even if it was only used by a manager. Two weeks later the brake lock up and has to be towed in. Also found that the rear shock need to be replace I could talk about this for atleast two more paragraph but I don't like to talk about how bad I fell I got screwed by this dealer ship here in Colorado Springs Co I really hope people check out this site before they buy.
  • kc_flynnkc_flynn Posts: 45
    I definitely feel for all of you. It's puzzling that Ford would ship out and hype such an inferior product without thorough quality assurance testing.

    You see all the commercials about how safe and sound the car is, and it's a piece of crap. Poor engineering, poor build quality. And to think at one time, I was actually considering buying a Windstar (I didn't).

    For anyone considering a Windstar, please read these posts and strongly familiarize yourself with the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna.
  • pe49077pe49077 Posts: 2
    We currently own a 1995 Windstar and have had no problems with the vehicle. However, we have started to notice the signs of the head gasket problems. We have been considering a 2000 Windstar SE but are now wondering if the problems have ever been addressed. Our 1995 has 52000 miles on it and we have a Ford Extended Warranty that will cover the coming repairs, but do not understand all the rebate programs dealing with this problem. Are we better off trading it in before or after repairs? Any thoughts?...
  • wholiganwholigan Posts: 148
    If you go to the very first post here (#0), there is a link to the original Ford Windstar Problems topic. There is LOTS of helpful information in that topic starting around post number 450 to the end of the topic that deal with the buyback and the economic incentives of such a deal (specifically #515).

    Unfortunately, you will find that the trade value on the vehicle is bad (to say the least). Most auto dealerships are now aware of the infamous 95 Windstar and the 3.8L engine troubles, therefore, they offer a pittance compared to what it is worth. My 95 with 63000 was worth $4500 to a local dealership when I started looking to trade (Jan-Feb-Mar this year). I have since decided to wait until the van either dies or I manage to pay it off (in about two years).

    Whatever you do, please provide a posting of how the dealership treats you and you general experience with the vehicle update process. Good Luck!
  • mike121mike121 Posts: 3
    I will try to keep this as neutral as possible. I had a '95 Windstar. It served me well up to 70k miles and I had the gasket problem. I wanted to buy a Honda but I could not find any in stock. Fearing that my '95 Windstar would have more problems (and it did) I went to Ford and they gave me a good deal on a 2000 Windstar. Six weeks and 2000 miles later, I had a major transmission failure. The car is currently in the shop for 10 days now waiting for a new transmission (in my state a waiting for parts period does not count towards time in the shop under the Lemon Laws) and still no availability on a transmission. I am currently pursuing through various avenues however with regard to the question on the 2000 Windstar I will leave that up to you.
  • mike121mike121 Posts: 3
    I will try to keep this as neutral as possible. I had a '95 Windstar. It served me well up to 70k miles and I had the gasket problem. I wanted to buy a Honda but I could not find any in stock. Fearing that my '95 Windstar would have more problems (and it did) I went to Ford and they gave me a good deal on a 2000 Windstar. Six weeks and 2000 miles later, I had a major transmission failure. The car is currently in the shop for 10 days now waiting for a new transmission (in my state a waiting for parts period does not count towards time in the shop under the Lemon Laws) and still no availability on a transmission. I am currently pursuing through various avenues however with regard to the question on the 2000 Windstar I will leave that up to you.
  • mike121mike121 Posts: 3
    I will try to keep this as neutral as possible. I had a '95 Windstar. It served me well up to 70k miles and I had the gasket problem. I wanted to buy a Honda but I could not find any in stock. Fearing that my '95 Windstar would have more problems (and it did) I went to Ford and they gave me a good deal on a 2000 Windstar. Six weeks and 2000 miles later, I had a major transmission failure. The car is currently in the shop for 10 days now waiting for a new transmission (in my state a waiting for parts period does not count towards time in the shop under the Lemon Laws) and still no availability on a transmission. I am currently pursuing through various avenues however with regard to the question on the 2000 Windstar I will leave that up to you.
This discussion has been closed.