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Ford Windstar Problems



  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    Your mechanical and oil questions may better be answered in the Maintenance & Repair message board, so I suggest that you try posting your message in there as well.

    Good luck,

    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
  • Does anyone know how much Ford Motor Co. charges for an extended warranty for the 02 Windstar? When I was on the lot, the salesman said that information could be addressed at the time of sale. I was just curious since that factor can impact your decision before an offer is made. Can't seem to find one on the site. Thanks.
  • bdemasbdemas Posts: 51
    autolover3: The price of the warranty can range dramatically. It all depends on the plan you want (deductible, mileage/time limits). For instance, Ford ESP plans (there are 4 available) can range between $700 to $2400. You will be better off shopping this after the deal. I recently bought one for my 2000 off the internet from a ford dealer in Iowa. They had beaten my local rates by about $600. If you want to save $100, buy it before 12 months or 12000 miles. Third party warranties are a different story. The dealer may try to sell you one of those. I had to press one of the dealers near me to get them to quote a Ford ESP plan. You will have to determine which is best for you.
  • I just purchased a used 99 SE with a little less than 20K on it. It still had 8 months left on the factory warranty and I was able to purchase the new car extended warranty with a zero deductible, 6 years 100K, for $1,500. It is usually $2,400. It is referred to as the employee price. The one with the $50 deductible was around $1,100. I figured the extra $400 was worth the zero deductible.
  • The dealership that has my van just called me and told me they fixed it. I thought they had given up on it but I still do not want that van back. The problem was in the fuse box. There was some insulation crimped in with some pins or wires that was causing a faulty connection. The electrical system was then searching for a ground and that was setting off the relays and that is why they had such a hard time tracking down the problem. This is going to change the deal I had in the works with Ford on a new van but I will see what they can do.
  • Thanks for the warranty info. As usual, these boards are full of advice and help. I appreciate it. I will look at the Windstar again.
  • It is amazing how the little things can get in the way. I was having a real problem with a ping in my engine and finally the Area Ford rep came out and when he started to drive it he asked how could he hear this ping with the speedometer cable making so much noise.
  • I own a 99 Windstar SE. The first few months the van seemed fine. I then started getting a roaring sound when turning the steering wheel. I took it to the Ford service center and was told nothing was wrong. I took it back at a later date and they put a new powersteering pump on. The van seemed ok but after a short while starting making the same sound. I took the van back and another powersteering pump was put on. The van still makes the roaring sound and also makes a clicking sound when you turn the wheel. I have contacted the Ford Consumer Affairs office and they tell me the engineer dept. has deemed this to be normal. So I am stuck with a van that has 31,000 miles and sounds like it needs the powersteering replaced. I am in the process of contacting a lawyer,I am not a happy person right now.
  • Kirkley1, There is definitely something wrong with you van. I am currently on my 6th week of driving a 99 loaner Windstar because mine is in the shop (although they claim it is fixed now)but it has not made any type of roaring sound or any ohter sound from the power steering pump. Please see my previous postings starting with # 648 and working your way back.
  • I had a similar experience with the Windstar power steering system. I was able to eliminate most of the noise by completely flushing out the system twice and then refilling it with Ford type 'F' transmission fluid. This is the fluid that Ford power steering systems use. If you (or possibly a service garage or inspection station)have added any other power steering fluids or conditioners to your system (pre- or post- pump changeout) this could be causing your noise. Try the flush, it's actually a very cheap cure if it helps. A little messy though. Make sure you use Type 'F' transmission fluid.
  • bfyerxabfyerxa Posts: 78
    Our 99 LX (33K KM/20K mi) has started developing the harsh 3-2 downshift problem when stepping on the gas after coasting around a corner (especially left hand turns). The symptom is a ~1 sec. delay in downshift then a very abrupt engagement into 2nd when stepping on the gas. It has started to get worse in that only mild acceleration is required. Also seems to "shimmy" or "shudder" when upshifting from 1-2 under hard acceleration. I checked out the NHTSA TSBs and found a bunch on the downshift problem (among others). I noticed various posts here as well. My question is this; what is the fix? Repair the existing tranny (yuck!) or replace it? It seems most people have had to fight the dealer with less than satisfactory results. I am under warranty (1 year left) and I want to get this resolved before that's gone. What's worse is the value of these vans is plumetting as leases come flooding back. Once Honda starts pumping out more Odys (bringing their asking price down) the Windstars will be worth zilch. You'd think I'd listen to myself (you get what you pay for)!
  • I just purchased a 99 SE with about 19k on it and have no power steering noise. However, my 95 had a whistle in the steering that never went away but never caused any trouble. It was caused by the fluid moving through the lines where the connectors to the pump and the lines were.
    Actually, I had one of the more in-famous 95s with 128k on it and had it totaled a few weeks ago by a fellow who ran a red light. The insurance company set the price at $6,940 as the replacement cost. Not all that bad actually. After about 50k it ran like top. This was to good of a deal to pass on: $16,450 for an SE with less than 20K. Except for one or two little scratches it looks new. I contacted the old owner and they upgraded to a 2001 SLE to get the video system and leather along with "financing to good to pass up". I know what people say about the value but if you keep them for as long as we do it balances out. While I was happy with my 95 I was not dumb when I purchased this one I also got the 6 year, 100k none deductible warranty. ($1,500 for it and now for the next 6 years I really have no concern.)
  • I have a 96 Ford Windstar with 75K miles on it. I recently broke down and was told by my mechanic and a Ford dealership that the connecting rod had snapped in the engine and that I would need to have the engine replaced. This shouldn't happen on a vehicle with 75K miles on it. Ford has offered no assistance to date. Has anybody else had a similar problem or knows of some recourse I might have?
  • You might want to go to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration ( and see if anyone has sent a complaint to them. Yours is the first one with a rod breaking that I have heard of. While I agree it should not have happened these are machines and things like this will happen on occasion.
  • penguinpenguin Posts: 32
    Why would you pay an extra $400 so you would have no deductible instead of a $50 deductible? That means you'll have to have 8 covered repairs to make up for your $400. I sure hope you don't need that many repair trips to the garage over the next 4 years.
  • I hope I do not either but my 95 averaged one visit every three months after the 3/36 warranty ran out. Not big things but items that needed work. Besides, I am very particular about my cars/trucks/van. I got tired on putting out the $50 bucks every time I took it in. It is a matter of personal preference.
  • Mine is a 96 windstar GL. It has about 72K now.
    A year ago, I had a minor crash on the front bumper (that I can live with without repairment) and since then I noticed there is clicking noise coming from the dash broad when I drive above 50 miles per hour.

    Then about 6 month ago, the speedometer needle started to shaking (swinging) when it goes above 60 mph. I took it to a dealer, and they said I need to change speedomter head as well as cables. And they want $800 for parts + about $100 per hour for labor. Yes, I live in silicon valley and labor is very expensive.

    Since then I talked to two other repair shops since I don't want to speed a lot of money and also don't believe that I need to replace the whole thing. One of them said he needs 2 hours to do diagnostic, and may need more than 10 hours to do the repair. The other said he can find out what's wrong in 10 minutes and can repair for me for below $600.

    I would like to find one that can do the repair for about $300 to $400. Is it possible? Does anyone else has the similar problems with their speedometer? I saw a few post on the internet for the similar problem, but none of them mentioned how difficult it is for fixing the problem and how much it could cost.

    Thanks for the help.
  • penguinpenguin Posts: 32
    Just talked to the Ford dealer about my '98 Windstar with 65,000 miles on it and he tells me the turbine shaft bearing is going out and recommends replacing the transmission at a cost of almost $3,000. Two year/24,000 mile warranty on the replacement, whoopee! Anybody want to buy a 4 year old van?
  • crkeehncrkeehn Posts: 513
    The shaking needle is a fairly common problem for the Windstar and apparently the Taurus it is based on. The solution according to Ford is to replace the speedometer head unit. I have read of people sending their units out to be rebuilt for less than the cost of a new speedometer.

    I had the problem about a year ago. At that time, I reached behind the dashboard and made sure that all the wiring was tight, jiggling the connections to make sure that each was a clean connection. I haven't had the problem since. I have heard of others that have tried the same technique and it didn't work.
  • bdemasbdemas Posts: 51
    penguin: What were the symptons for them to replace the tranny? I just took mine in today for a shuddering problem that would occur when shifting. Mine is a 2000 with 36800 mile on it. I wanted to demonstrate it to the mechanic. He said he didn't need the demo, he figures its the torque converter. I'm glad I just bought an extended warranty.
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