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Ford Windstar Problems

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Comments

  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    Actually, the trend now is back towards chains. Most Ford OHC V-engines are chain driven. I think it's just the Focus/Escort motors that are belt driven now. Don't be afraid of OHC motors, the DOHC Duratec 3.0 in my 97 Taurus is one of the best engines Ford ever made-it runs like new after 72,000 miles, has never hiccuped once (wish I could say the same about the rest of the car). The 4.6, 3.0 Duratec, 5.4, 2.0 Zetec are all OHC or DOHC. I think once the Vulcan and 3.8 are gone, which won't be long, Ford won't make another non-OHC passenger vehicle engine. Same for Chrysler: the 3.3 and 3.8 in their minivans are the last non-OHCs for them.
  • 5greyhounds5greyhounds Posts: 338
    I have no fear of them, just do not like to pay the manufacturer money for an item that I feel I really should not have to do. My experience with belts is my wife's 94 Probe GT and my mother's 90 Maxima, both requiring belts. OHCs are great engines for sports cars but when you need some grunt at the bottom end you can not beat a OHV. they are (IMO) designed for larger and thus heavier vehicles like a van or truck.
    On the Focus/Escort belts I just think it is counter productive that these cars, that are usually purchased by those that are just getting started or can only afford a lower priced car are saddled with having to put out the money for a belt when the entire idea is they are "econpmy cars". Where is the "economy" of facing a big bill to replace the belt.
    Oh well, enough on that. Time to get back to vans. Anyone who reads these last 6 or 8 posts must think they are on the wrong board. This weekend we use the van for what it was designed for: hauling things around. And speaking of that one of the things we do is rescue greyhounds and we use very large dog carries to put them in for the trips. The chrysler can carry four large ones, two side by side, in two rows with no trouble but the Ford can can not. Seems the packaging inside is not as good. Will have to see how the 2004 does.
  • hockey2hockey2 Posts: 12
    I want to remove my am fm radio and replace it with a cd changer amfm radio . I own a 99 Taurus and added the cd changer myself. Can anyone offer advice on how to do this. Is the radio in the dash or like the Taurus in the rear / trunk?
  • 5greyhounds5greyhounds Posts: 338
    I gave my ford dealer parts office a call. I can go two ways. It can be a 6 Cd change in the dash or a changer in the center console.
  • After replacing a cv joint, a wheel bearing, two front end alignments, numerous rotations and balances,and a rotor service, my 98 windstar still had a horrible shimmy at highway speeds. I took a chance and replaced 4 brand new walmart(goodyear viva tires) with less than 1000 miles on them with bf goodrich touring tires. This corrected 90 percent of the problem. I can still feel road imperfections in the wheel but the horrible shimmy has been eliminated. After talking to people in the tire business I learned that the walmart goodyear tires such as the viva are not the same quality as the goodyears sold in the goodyear stores. In fact they told me that the walmart tires quite often cause vibrations in vehicles because they are quite often out of round or have hidden tread separation. These tires were not obviously defective and it took several trips to the shop and a sharp mechanic to finally nail it down to the tires. They were brand new and appeared o.k. to several tire specialists. Getting rid of these terrible tires solved my problem and I would definitely recommend the bf goodrich tires to any windstar owners.
  • 5greyhounds5greyhounds Posts: 338
    Sounds about right. I guess it goes back to the old adage of you get what you pay for. You need to watch out for the tire ratings. After the screw up with the Explorer you have to get the right ratings for the van. My 95 had Michlens with a rating of A for heat and A for tread wear. However, when I went to replace them Ford had gone to Generals and they were B and B. Funny how the tire ratings changed but the van did not. Purely a money saving for Ford. Not as good a tire as the OE tires. They were also only about $30 each vs $80 (tire rack) so I went with the Generals to save some money on a 4 year old van. I hated them from the first five feet. They just did not feel right for some reason. My 2000 has Michlens and when they go I will replace them with Michlens. I may even go for the run flats but that will require a tire pressure monitoring system so I have to think about that.
  • trainboytrainboy Posts: 66
    I was talking to a Ford sales rep the other day when we were driving the 03 Windstar. I asked about the self sealing tires and he said the ride was harsher, due to an increase in the un-sprung weight (tires). Try them before you buy them...
  • paulrwppaulrwp Posts: 1
    January 4, 2003, I purchased a 2003 Windstar from Paul Miller Ford in Lexington, KY.

    Driving from the dealership, I used the cruise control on the interstate. At Corbin, KY, in exiting from I-75, as I began breaking, the engine began to “rev” up, reaching 4000 to 5000 rpms. It did this three (3) times: once as I was stopping and twice in restarting the vehicle at the intersection, in exiting onto another road. The fourth time I restarted the engine, the engine was all right.

    January 11, 2003, I was in Greenville, SC, the town of my residence, the engine revved up twice. Once as I was breaking for a traffic light and a second time, as I restarted the engine.

    In both instances, I turned of the ignition switch off to stop the engine.

    I reported the problem to Ford and the Ford dealership in Greenville, SC. The dealership placed a black box/flight recorder on the vehicle, but, the engine did not rev up when it was on the vehicle. (The Greenville dealership replaced the emergence brake racket for it was defective.)

    In the past few weeks, the van, at times, is difficult to stop: it seems as if the power brakes is not operating correctly.

    Saturday, April 26, 2003, in backing the vehicle, the engine revived up, making this the third time.

    Ronny Paul
    Greenville, SC 29607-1138
  • wholiganwholigan Posts: 148
    The time finally came... Bought an Ody this weekend for Invoice... Traded the 4 engine/4 tranny 95 - got $1200 for it (102,000 mi).

    If I donated it, it was worth about $4000 "Blue" book - what I could have written off anyway... In the 28% tax bracket, that is worth $1120. While I really did not want that car to end up with another "unknowing" owner, my conscience is as clear as the FMC.

    No more Fords. EVER! Yippie!
  • 2willdo2willdo Posts: 2
    ... in this situation?

    I purchased a '99 4D Windstar new, currently has about 39K on it. The troubles began within the first year (with only 6,000 mile on it), among other things, most prominately was (and still exists) odd clunking/popping noises under the car which has never been diagnosed at two different dealerships. Today on my way to work it did its usual "clunking thing" followed by pieces falling out from underneath the car. Its sitting at the service garage and I am wondering if now is the right time to dump this thing. Obviously there is some guilt involved with selling this car outright to a private party as opposed to taking it in the shorts on a trade in. Question is now... if I trade it in, then the dealer is responsible for the inevitable problems it is going to have. If I sell it out of the paper I have misgivings about it breaking down on someone else. What you you all do if this car were yours?
  • haulthault Posts: 124
    I had similar noises on my 95 Windstar. I believe the "sub frame" bushings were replaced. Which solved my problem. Another possibility is the steering tie rods.
  • wholiganwholigan Posts: 148
    Cannot believe that they didn't tell you the tie rods went bad... Happened on my 95WS and brother-in-laws 98WS. Be sure they specify INNER or OUTER - the only problem here is that once one "set" is replaced, the other set has a tendancy to go.

    Ford is living on customers like you... I know - I was one from 1998 till last week. Unfortunately, the trade vale on WS is awful.

    Your next actions revolve around personal finance - can you afford the repair? Do you have an extended warranty (to keep other problems out of the pocketbook)? It may be worth the repair if you trade it to a different dealer. Since yours is a 99, I would look at the trade possibilities... My decision to trade was based on how much I could get for it as a donation (in my tax bracket - see #1201 above).

    Good Luck!
  • 2willdo2willdo Posts: 2
    ... thank you for your replies! :-)

    Tie rods going bad at 8,000 miles - when the problem first began? I guess maybe I should not be surprised at that since a cracked rear axle was discovered during a recall repair and had to be replaced at less than 5,000. Apparently when the vehicle was tied down to the railcar for shipping, some idiot chained the axle instead of using those tie-down hooks underneath the car.

    The car is 3,000 miles (and one year) out of warranty (no I didn't purchase an extended mostly for the reason that my neighbor has a '98 WS and has never had any trouble with it) the two dealers I took it to in Denver told me basically I was SOL at 36,000 or 3 years, even though the car was taken in 5 times over the course of the warranty period to have this problem fixed. I don't have much disposable income at the moment, and can't afford to trade for another car. Fortunately I kept my old '88 Honda Accord and though looking pretty rough, still runs well.

    Can either of you tell me if this car is unsafe in this condition if indeed it is the tie rods?

    Again, thanks for your replies, all help is duly appreciated!
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,297
    I don't know how much time you have to chase after this but it wouldn't hurt to open up a case with Ford (regional rep or someone higher up the food chain than the dealer). Harp on the fact that 5 previous attempts to fix the problem didn't work and that it's dangerous to drive.

    I'd also call your local AG's Office of Consumer Protection and see if they have any suggestions for you. Good luck!

    Steve, Host

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • imladyredimladyred Posts: 1
    Tonight, while driving home, my husband said that there was a 'clunk' and then the van wouldn't go any more...only in reverse. This is a '99 Windstar with 76000 miles.

    Anybody have any ideas what is wrong?
    Thanks!
    Lisa
  • momtaximomtaxi Posts: 1
    I like many others have had my head gaskets repaired as per the 1998 recall and now in 2003 almost exactly double the milage from the first head gaskets the secong ones have gone. Does anyone have any information or suggestions or knowledge of this? Is Ford replacing the second set or am I SOL? Also what is the $4000 credit I have seen so much and why was I not offered this 2000 when the first set was fixed?
  • tmanttmant Posts: 70
    My 2000 SE transmission didn't go clunk or any noise for that matter. Light turned green and the engines just revs. I had about 62k miles on it. Ended up paying ~3500 to fix the transmission at a Ford dealership.

    In the process spent another ~1000 to fix a leak in the manifold or something.

    Oh yeah, reverse did work, but I don't think you want to drive backwards around town! ;)
  • wholiganwholigan Posts: 148
    I had a few motors/trannys in my 95WS. The last time I had it in, the 2/24000 warranty on the replacement motor was expiring. I was concerned because it was "eating" coolant (no leak - smelled like burning coolant) and wanted them to check it out. Cost me $72 just to have dye put in to be SURE it was not a leak. They had no explanation as to why, 2500 miles later, the coolant reservior (filled before the test) was empty. No leak to be found. After LENGTHY discussions with the Ford Customer Service Representative (CSR - this is my dealerships third in the last four years) she finally came out and said what I was expecting to hear: "Mr. XXX, your vehicle is more than seven years old and at this point you need to take responsibility for your purchase."

    Needless to say, I will never own another Ford. Bottom line, your only cource of action is to start with the dealership's Ford CSR.

    I wish you luck...
  • jem4258jem4258 Posts: 4
    I have just about had it! The sensors on these vans are JUNK! Mechanically, I have had problems, but nothing major so I keep telling myself that is the important thing, but it is so annoying to have the lights on all the time, or the doors locking and unlocking...now the locks don't work at all, and the alarm goes off when i open the door! I have had sensors replaced, just to have the same problem pop up a few months later. Last time I refused to change a $200.00 sensor, and the inside lights eventually went off by themselves. What does that mean...that left alone they eventually fix themselves?!? Now I am debating as to whether to take in in for the latest sensor problem, or give it time to see if it will "heal thyself"...what a racket they have going on with these. And everytime I go the Ford dealership with this problem, they say it is a sensor. I say I just had the sensor replaced...they say it must be a different one, etc., etc....Do I just give up and get rid of it, or count myself lucky it seems to be mechanically sound? HELP!
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,388
    and many of you make my experiences with my late, unlamented Windstall look downright tame.

    As bad as the engine and tranny were (how can a car company stay in business when they can't make a decent drivetrain?) far worse was the attitude at Ford. From 80 - 85,000 miles it cost me $1 per mile for repairs alone. It was no proze before that but it was going downhill os fast we dumped it as quickly as possible.

    I have two Hondas now (and Ody and an Accord) and will never buy another Ford again. I think the only way Ford will get the message is for folks to do that very thing and let them know they have lost your trust!

    There is no excuse either for their vehicle failures nor their attitude.
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,388
    WAS there a secret warranty on the 95 trannies? I eventually got some of my money back on the head gasket but nothing on the tranny or other engine problems.

    A pox on Ford!
  • flackoflacko Posts: 13
    Jem4258, I have the same sort of problem with my 1998. The main culprit seems to be the sliding door switch. You can buy both halves of the switch at Ford for about $40. I usually just take some contact cleaner and emory cloth and clean up the contacts about every 6 weeks (takes about 5-10 minutes) and that normally fixes it. Thank goodness for that hour or two later override feature that eventually shuts off the inside lights, or the battery would be going dead all of the time. Mechanically mine has been good...just turned 90K mostly highway. I bought an extended warranty at 60K which runs out at 100K. I plan on selling the van at about 96K so it still has some warranty left and so I don't eat the big problems (head gasket, tranny) after the warranty runs out. Don't let ford keep charging you $200 for those door sensors. Just try cleaning the contacts yourself.
  • crd123crd123 Posts: 1
    I have a 01 SEL and have been noticing that the temperature display has not been warming up to match the weather. It stays at around 65 when the temperature outside is around 75. Anyone experience this or has their temperature probe replaced?
  • bdbomberbdbomber Posts: 10
    A bit of advice for all Windstar owners who are having multiple problems . Swallow your pride and Dump it Now! I had a chance to dump mine(98) and was talked out of it by the dealer(lemon law). After 26 times to the shop for multiple problems I finally got rid of it before the extended warranty ended at 60k. Took a huge hit on resale value. I lost 75% after 4yrs. Ouch . I now own a Mazda Mpv and so far after 8 mos. No problems. Okay it does have a Ford Duratec Engine in it but I did my research and the Duratec is a decent engine. Face it , if the Windstar was such a good vehicle Why is Ford changing the name?
  • wholiganwholigan Posts: 148
    Here is the link to what was offered regarding transmissions:

    wholigan Jul 31, 2000 4:17pm

    Funny, I have an Ody now as well...
  • luv4beerluv4beer Posts: 2
    My '99 WS began making grinding, Jurassic Park-like noises during slow speed steering. Tuffy replaced the ball joint and did an alignment. 2 weeks later - more Jurassic Park noises, but sounded slightly different. Shortly thereafter I discovered it was leaking quite a bit of fluid from the far left boot(outer tie rod?). They want to replace the power steering rack and want $700. Anyone else experience similar problems? Should I give in or get a second opinion?
  • wholiganwholigan Posts: 148
    FWIW- The "jurasic park" noises are definitely tie rod related. I had both the inner and outer tie rods replaced (at separate times) - and both times the noise was (an excellent descriptor) the "jurasic park" type.

    Yea, that is yet another feature on the WS - after four years you need new tie rods... Just my experience anyway!

    Good Luck!
  • luv4beerluv4beer Posts: 2
    I guess I'll cave - anything to get rid of this psychotic T-Rex.
  • murphy30murphy30 Posts: 1
    The problems with the front end steering box and tie rods on Windstars seem to be common. I've already replaced the tie rod ends at 40K and just replaced the steering box (55K) on my 99 Windstar for a further $800. You would think that a company celebrating its 100th anniversary would have learned how to make steering components work properly. The steering initally locked up when it failed. Lucky it was in a parking lot!
  • mjmentmjment Posts: 1
    My 96' Windstar just had the timing cover leak repaired, the intake & head gaskets replaced, the MAF sensor replaced, TPS and an 02 sensor replaced all at the 145,000 km mark. At this point 3 different mechanics are still unable to detect the cause of why the rpm's hunt when you come to a hard stop or why it stalls when switching from reverse to drive while trying to park. When the rpm's hunt the oil light flutters as it is about to stall, then sometimes it recovers to a normal smooth idle. I'm wondering if someone else might be able to shed some light on what might be causing this??
This discussion has been closed.