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Ford Windstar Problems



  • kjclowkjclow Posts: 29
    Note to post 371
    They must have greatly increased the oil pan size and sump. My 97 only has a 4.5 quart oil fill with changing the filter. I assumed that this was due to the 3.8 being built in Canada, so the pan held an imperial gallon.

    Only major complaint I have is that the brakes wear out entirely too quickly. We have replaced fronts three times and rear twice in 86,000 miles. Fronts are probably due again. I had to replace the speedometer head at Christmas. Around $500. I have never liked the way the thing shifts but am always told that it is normal. So far, knock on wood, no problems with the headgasket. I must have gotten lucky.
  • Just had a front coil spring break... while van was sitting in a garage. NTSB sites have a few similar problems. Cost me $ 600 to have both coil springs and struts replaced not to mention a tow of 65 miles to my dealer by 'AAA. That 'AAA towing option is great.... no charge.

    Ford called and said to save my receipts in case they have a recall on springs. NTSB has one open and one closed case file on spring breakage recalls. No action yet.
  • Once again with some revision done to this page I made up. Thank you all for helping out.

  • matycatmatycat Posts: 12
    sorry guys, I don't know what I was thinking, please check posting #374 for Joseph Ament's e-mail address, I was told he was the one pursuing a class action lawsuit.
  • I am also receiving similar noises from my 2000 Wind star (a somewhat loud humming noise), best described by someone else on this board as if I was driving on concrete. It started out only being noticeable when I let off the gas when approaching a stop light. Now I hear the noise both when I accelerate and decelerate. I took it to the dealer and they hear it, but have no idea what's causing the problem or how to fix it. The van runs smoothly, has great power, but this noise is killing me. In order to listen to the radio or talk to someone in the car, the volume must be high. I know that it's not the tires because I had no problems in the first 6 months. From what I'm seeing on this site, it could be the hub or bearing assembly. Any other ideas?
  • sel3sel3 Posts: 33
    A new hub and wheel bearing seem to be the most logical way to solve this problem. Just like you, I am not having any trouble with the engine, transmission, or tires. The items listed above are all that is left to consider. I have not had time to take my van to the dealer, please let me know if replacing these parts fixes the problem.

  • Well, I set up my homepage...


    and lo and behold, I got a call from the General Manager at Ted Britt Ford (Virginia) while I was on my way to work. It wasnt what I thought it would be though..... He stated that since I have decided to take legal action, he wants his loaner back immediately!!!!! he said he is not going to pay $30 a day to keep me in a car, when I made this choice. What about my $8800.00 and three car payments when I have only had the car one month since Dec. ?????? He claims that if I want to sue anyone, it should be the manufacturer because this is there problem. Yes, it is the manufacturer's problem, however they did not sell me the car. so end of conversation was that I was to bring the loaner back tomorrow, which now leaves me without any transportation with 4 children. He wouldnt tell me when the third engine would be put in, but since it was at the shop they would still fix it. (reminder.. they have had it since Feb. 21st). Also while at work tonight radio station 97.1 wash fm, advertised that Ted Britt Ford sells nearly 300 used cars a month, and when you buy a used car, they will allow you to have a loaner for life. This was not active when I bought in Dec. Does anyone know if what I am doing is worth all this???? If you need more information as to what has happend to me ith this van then go to the site above, and it goes into great detail. I just want to know if i'm wasting my time. I just need some really good cheering up right now. Thanks.
  • wholiganwholigan Posts: 148
    You need to find out WHO is paying for the loaner - the dealership or FORD. If this is a FORD dealership and they have offered to replace your engine, it is FORD paying for the loaner (this is part of the engine replacement program) NOT THE DEALER. I would suggest that you get in touch with the FORD Regional Rep for that dealership. They are the person that authorized the initial buy-back you were offered. Explain that regardless of the differences between you, the dealership, and Ford, you were offered a loaner for the duration of the repair and you expect that part of the bargain to be upheld.

    Don't get me wrong when I say this... You are partly to blame as well - the engine/transmission reliability of the 95 Wind star has been WELL published on the WEB since 1998. This is the research that you need to do BEFORE you make a purchase.

    Having said that, and being the not so proud owner of a 95 AS with 3 tranny replacements and just returned (3/7) from the second engine replacement, "I feel your pain". The frustration in dealing with Ford is just amazing. They know they have a problem with this car (the 95 WS and most other Ford 3.8L V6 engines). I personally think they are "biding their time"; come 2002, the seven year window closes releasing FORD of liability for the car.

    BTW - I think you should pursue the legal action. Especially the salesman and sales manager - they are WELL aware of the issues with the 95WS and should have disclosed that to you. Further, I think this works by state, I thought you had 72 hours to rescind any car purchase? I find it awfully ironic that they had they vehicle during that window - forcing you to make a decision. I think you do have a case; and I would not pursue it as a small court claim.

    I really do wish you the best. Let us know how things go. GOOD LUCK!
  • hawk505hawk505 Posts: 8
    My Anti-lock brake warning light had been on for a few months. I topped off the brake fluid and the light has not come on for weeks.
  • hawk505hawk505 Posts: 8
    Msg# 197 mentions he had cracks in paint of the roof channels. I have them too. I pointed them out to my dealer and he says my paint warrenty is void because the van has been repainted! I am the only owner and this van has not been repainted. I told him I've seen 3 other 99s in parking lots that have the same problem, he didn't care. Called Ford, they stand by the dealer. Does anyone else have this problem? Maybe we could share VIN numbers. If I call ford and say here are some other vans that have the same problem maybe they would listen. Any other ideas. I can't contact the poster of msg#197 cause he doesn't show his email. Mine is:
  • hawk505hawk505 Posts: 8
    I am experiencing the same problem that msg#201 is. I feel a vibration in the gas pedal at speeds 50-65. My dealer says he can't notice it!@#@! I've own many cars in my life and I've never experinced this before. After a long trip my right foot feels tingly. I notice the whole interior pedal assembly on my 99 windstar is plastic. Does any one else experince this? Have you been able to get your dealer to acknowledge it. Was it fixed, if yes, how. Any ideas?
  • Well.... Ted Britt, took my loaner today. Since they have found out about me contacting a Attorney, they say they will not provide a loaner for me any longer. My van is not drivable, the engine doesnt even work anymore and could be another three weeks before anything is done. Its already been out of my driveway and in they're service bay since Feb. 21. When I mentioned that I would now add "false advertising" to my suit, the General Manager didn't like that and basically hung up. See according to our major radio station in my area, ford is now giving used car buyers Loaner's. Not me though. I have been left without a vehicle now and I have four children. One is disabled and I stay at home with him during the day and work at night. I cant even get to work now. They took my transportation. Oh well. does anyone know where I can find info about the secret warranty?? I would like to pull up additional information for my attorney. Thanks in advance. I will keep you all posted.
  • hudson6hudson6 Posts: 17
    Your problem is not limited to the 99 WS, my 98 GL had the same paint cracks that you write of. I have no idea what your options or entitlements are, when it comes to Ford backing their products its anybody's guess. Close examination of the past 394 posts will tell you it does not look good.
    I'm assuming some type of body flex or the paint is the culprit. If it helps to isolate contributing factors I had an olive green 98 GL, no sliding door on the driver side and no roof rack.
  • hawk505hawk505 Posts: 8
    I have a 99 and I am experiencing road noise too. I first I thought it was the tires until I tried the tires off another ford that was not experiencing road noise and the problem still did not go away on my 99 windstar. The dealer says he cannot hear the noise. I mostly hear it when I slow down to a stop. From what I've read here, sounds like it could be the hub/wheel bearings. I'm worried that by the time it fails to the point that the dealer can hear it, my warrenty will be expired :-(
  • wholiganwholigan Posts: 148
    The programs that FORD offered regarding head gaskets was either M009 and M010. I think they were as follows:
    M009 - the original notification sent out in 1998 that covered up to 75,000(?) miles.
    M010 - the update that provided coverage for 7 years or 100,000 miles.
    This is from Reuter on March 7, 2000. This was the press release:
    DEARBORN, Mich., March 7 (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co. , as part of a plan to fix potential head gasket problems on some cars and minivans, will buy the vehicle back in certain cases if a new engine cannot be found in a timely fashion, a spokesman confirmed on Tuesday.

    Ford, the world's No. 2 automaker, announced last month that it extended the warranty on head gaskets in certain 3.8 liter V-6 engines to seven years or 100,000 miles. The head gasket is a central seal in the engine that can cause engine failure if it leaks.

    There are about 700,000 vehicles affected. They are: 1994-95 Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable sedans; 1994 Continental large sedans; and 1995 Windstar minivans.

    If a failed head gasket causes engine damage, Ford will replace the engine. But if Ford cannot locate a re-manufactured engine within five days, the automaker will offer to buy back the vehicle for fair market value as well as issue a $3,000 certificate toward the purchase of a new Ford, said spokesman Mike Vaughn.

    Vaughn declined to say how much Ford would pay for the damaged vehicles. Based on a guide from the National Association of Automobile Dealers, the fair market repurchase offer ranges from $3,175 for a 1994 Taurus GL to $8,375 for a 1995 Windstar LX.

    If a head gasket fails during the extended warranty time period, owners will be eligible for repair refunds. Or they can choose to take a $4,000 certificate to be used for the purchase of a new Ford, Mercury or Lincoln vehicle.

    Vaughn declined to say how much the program will cost Ford. A story in this week's Automotive News, an industry trade publication, said Ford could spend at least $200 million, making it one of the five largest warranty campaigns in the industry.


    One additional note: According to the Regional Ford Representative that I was working with, the buy-back was NOT part of the program. It was an OPTION under the program that could only be invoked by the regional rep.

    I did chat with a few folk who opted for the buy-back. In general, it was a good deal for them: they got out of an unreliable vehicle, they had a vehicle that was warranted for 3/36,000, and pledged to get rid of the "F" work before that warranty expired. Of course, their situation was a little different than yours - most were original owners that had nearly paid the vehicle off. Basically, they would buy a $25000 vehicle with $11100 down ($6600-buyback + $3000-certificate + $1500-rebate at the time). Even if they kept it for one year, they could get out of it for a profit.

    If you are not already aware, there are a couple of class actions outstanding against Ford:

    I am not certain, however, this MIGHT be for transmissions ONLY:
    Joseph D. Ament
    200 N. LaSalle St. - 2100
    Chicago, Ill. 60601
    312-621-1750 (fax)

    This one is for head gaskets...
    Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates
    Clifford W. Horwitz
    Richard Daughtery

    Again, I wish you the BEST of luck and PLEASE keep us posted...
  • Thank you for all the information. They did offer to buy back the van with the first engine replacement. There offer was not of value to me though. They offered $6600.00 for the shell of the van and $3000.00 to not put the engine in. That only left me with $800.00 after the pay off. Then they wanted me to buy a new car. My payments would have been well over $400.00, and that was just not workable for me. That engine also took approx a month to come in as well. The owner of the dealership refuses to talk to me and ends off my messages to the General Manager, he and I just knock heads, especially now they took the loaner. I know they had a huge meeting yesterday, and just wonder if it would be about my upcomming picket!!!! To bad I wasnt a fly on the wall. I don't expect to hear back anytime soon from the General Manager, so I will take advice and call the radio stations and news stations along with everything else I have done. Thanks for all your help.
  • kjclowkjclow Posts: 29
    To hawk505
    I have a 97 WS that also has a vibration around 45 - 50. I only reach that speed for a few minutes when I take the van to work. I happen to be one of the lucky ones that only have a five mile commute. I have noticed the problem at other times and it only seems to happen on concrete roads, not blacktop. I never took it to the dealer, I already knew what they would say.
    New tires did not change it. I am just hoping that the other problems mentioned in these posts don't happen before I can afford another new car. I had to replace my 90 Aerostar last year, 120,000 miles, no ac, front end going out, holes in the side from too long in the rust belt.........

    A couple of points to other threads............
    Paint cracking
    Ford will probably do nothing about it. The warranty on the paint job is for rust through. If you get enough complaints together, Ford "might" go after the OEM paint manufacturer. Similar to what GM did with the failing clear coats a couple of years back. My guess is that Ford will respond with the same gusto that has been noticed with other problems. If only I could figure out how to make an ostrich out of keyboard characters...........

    ABS light
    If mine stays on, I know that I need to add brake fluid. Can't figure out where it is going, but if it is a leak, it's such a small one that it is not leaving anything on the floor and I know the garage will never find it. I had a similar problem with the Aerostar. Ford replaced the fluid reservoir twice, the wiring once, the master cylinder once, all within the 12 month warranty. The light still came on. I just kept an eye on the fluid level and ingorned the light.
  • kjclowkjclow Posts: 29
    Definitely contact the local TV station. I know that down here in Charlotte several of the stations have consumer watch programs. This may help to get the local media behind you.

    Good Luck
  • mjoycemjoyce Posts: 1
    Has anyone heard of a problem with the speedometer going out on the windstar. At only 62,000 miles mine is on the way out - ford wants 500.00 to fix it. I have heard it's a widespread problem - any comments? Also the rear wiper stopped working.
  • wmy99wmy99 Posts: 7
    Update on problems/solutions with my 1996 Windstar

    I hope this info will be of some help to other Windstar owners:

    My vehicle has a 3.8 engine with 72,000 miles.

    --Problem of rear head rests jammed in upward position, dangerously, blocking the driver's rear view vision.

    I removed the c-clip at the very top of the seat where the chrome rod of the headrests enter the top of the seat (use needle nose pliers}. I pushed the headrests down to their lowest position & reinserted the clips. O.K.

    --Problem of engine light flickering/staying on.
    Had an independent mechanic check the vehicle with a computer/scope.
    Remedy was to change sparkplugs & sparkplug wires & gas line filter. I was shown that the wires were arcing & this would send a signal to the computer of a misfire causing the check engine light to come on.-----Parts & Labour $ 250.00
    Of interest platinum spark plugs only are recommended for proper engine performance also you can check the wires for arcing, best time at night & spray a mist of water on the wires with motor running. If you wires are defective,you will easily see arcing from the wires to the motor or to other wires.
    Result: engine light stayed off for 2 days then came on again.
    I took the vehicle to a Ford Dealer in my area & the van was checked with a computer/scope.
    Remedy was to change faulty EGR SENSOR ASSEMBLY {F4ZZ*9J460*B) & 2 EGR VAC HOSES.
    -Parts & Labour $ 240.00
    Result: engine light now off for
    3 weeks, seems O.K.

    --Problem of ABS & BRAKE Lights flickering on & off at stop light & then staying on. (the brake cylinder is known to have a sloppy float causing the light to come on when you come to a stop, fill the cylinder to the top & the light goes out.}
    I had my brake wheel cylinders & brake system checked twice by my local garage & the brake system checked by my Ford Dealer & they could not find any leaks. My master cylinder would lose brake fluid slowly, about 1 inch over 30 days.

    I did see about 1 tablespoon of fluid overnight appear on my driveway. I laid a large piece of cardboard under the engine overnight & was able to catch this fluid stain on the cardboard. I then took the cardboard into the dealer marking where the front tire was on the cardboard. The dealer was then able to pin point the area of the leak under my van.
    The following part was leaking and replaced. {Proportionating valve}. There are 2 of these valves joining the brake lines located under the vehicle, just behind the driver's seat area. The brakes had to be bled.
    -Parts & Labour $185.00

    --Problem of Very Strong, Burning, Chemical Smell Coming From Heater.

    This solution was found by accident by my Ford Dealer while the vehicle had been in for repair. This was my 3RD repair visit to the Dealer & I had complained about this horrible smell each visit but it would not appear at that time. I had my van in to check for the brake fluid leak and asked the mechanic to check for leaks around the back of the engine in case brake fluid or oil was leaking on the exhaust.----The mechanic discovered 6 large pine cones jammed up against the engine & they were partially burned.--- A squirrel or chipmunk had started to make a nest next to my nice, warm engine & the pine cones slowly burning were causing this terrible chemical smell to be picked up by the heater intake. -Parts & Labour $00.00
This discussion has been closed.