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Ford Windstar Problems



  • zim5zim5 Posts: 5
    Greetings Everyone. I have been shopping for a
    van for the last two months and have looked at
    the Mazda MPV, Grand Caravan and Windstar. During
    my search, a neighbor on mine mentioned that a
    friend of hers was looking to sell her 98' Windstar LX. At first I wasn't interested in buying a used vehicle, but then I learned the
    history of this particular Windstar. The owner
    had purchased the vehicle new early in 1998.
    Nine months later he became very sick and had to
    go into the hospital. Unfortunately, he passed away three months ago. He rarely drove the van
    after he became ill, and the van has only 11,000
    miles on it. This van also has every option that was available for that particular model year. I saw the original window sticker and the MSRP was over $32,000. After some negotiation, we agreed on a price of $16,000. I know I got a good deal,
    but after reading most of the posts regarding reliability, I want to head off any problems before they become major headaches. I've had the van for two weeks and I notice that when I accelerate ( such as merging onto a highway) their
    is a vibration coming up through the gas pedal. Has anyone else experienced this problem? Also, if any 98 LX owners have experienced problems or practice any type of special preventative maintanance, I would appreciate any advice. I love the way the Windstar rides and the roominess, but I just want to make sure I made the right choice. Also, I should mention that the original owner bought an extended warranty which is transferable,
    so at least I'm covered for another three years.
    Thanks for your help!
  • rugmankcrugmankc Posts: 133
    I have a 98 Windstar, 51k. Other than the stalling problem at slow turning speeds (taking care of easily and a tsb is out on this), I have had no problems. The Windstar had the best stereo, AC, and most comfortable seats of all the vans we drove in 1998. I change the oil every 3K and strongly urge xmission fluid replacement every 30K. Still have same tires and brakes. Some of these engines have had timing chain covers dripping antifreeze. I would keep an eye on the garage floor or have your mechanic watch for this when your miles get a little higher. Don't know if there is any preventative maintenance for this. Maybe the radiator sealers may prolong the gasket replacements if you ever see antifreeze on the ground. The van rides extremely smooth at highway speeds and 3 to 4 hours at the wheel is not very tiring. Good luck.
  • yamanyaman Posts: 113
    I don't think preventive maintenance helps with the Junkstar.we had all the recommended services done by the dealer and yet by 40,000 miles we were on our 2nd transmission, the check engine light kept on coming on,brakes had been replaced several times,speedometer replaced,tie rods,ABS light etc etc.I wouldn't put my family in another ford if they gave it to me.
  • amp3amp3 Posts: 3
    After a lot of debate, my husband and I finally chose an Odyssey. It is so much nicer and bigger than the Windstar, it is unbelievable. If you drove both, there would be no question. Plus, with the bad Ford service and reliability record of the Windstar, vs. the outstanding record of Honda and the Odyssey, it is a no brainer.
  • smithmj1smithmj1 Posts: 1
    We bought a (loaded) 98 Windstar GL new in Nov 97 and now have 54K miles on it. We bought it for the 5 star crash test rating and the 200 HP engine. Here are the problems we've had to fix. Stalling problem caused by a bad Air Idle Control Valve, loose upper motor mounts caused a banging under the floorboards, fuel mixture was too rich causing soot near the tailpipe and a power steering pump which failed at 43K. Everything was fixed under warranty except the power steering pump which Ford charged me $100 of the $264 bill since I was just out of warranty. We replaced the tires at 50K with Uniroyal Tiger Paw Nail Guard tires (80K mileage warranty). Got them for $264 (sale price and after the $40 rebate), plus they gave me a nice umbrella and a tire gauge. I still can't believe the deal. Anyway, I'm looking to replace the Windstar because the mileage is getting high and the value is dropping rapidly. I was interested in the Odyssey until I read all the problems with the transmission, power and manual doors, pulling to the side etc. I think my best move is to make no move at all. I believe (hope)the bugs are out of the Windstar now and the way I take care of my vehicles, the van should last a long time. I use Mobil 1 synthetic, 5w-30 every 5-6K miles (Mobile 1 used to advertise 25K between oil changes). I've also done the total evacuation and refill of the trans fluid at Precision Tune at about 40K miles. This was 20K miles after the Ford dealer changed the fluid by only dropping the pan (they lied and said it would be a total evac and refill) My wife loves her van and I think one reason we are happy is we took a thorough test drive before we bought it. We experienced no engine noise problems, no pulling to the right, or other noted problems. I think the other part is just luck. I've bought lemons in the past too. So far the Windstar is worlds better than the 92 Mazda MPV we sold in 95. I would consider buying another Windstar even with the problems mentioned. I'll never own another Mazda.
  • nohornnohorn Posts: 5
    All of you out there with pinging problems on 1999 and maybe 1998, 2000 Windstars listen up! There is a solution which is probably associated with a generic intake manifold design problem, admitted by Ford. My problem, originally described in problem #51 is finally solved. There were two basic problems. First of all, the vacuum control module to the EGR valve was defective, resulting in exhaust gas recirculation when not required; however, replacing it did not solve the pinging problem, although it may have accelerated the real problem which was "carbon-clogged ERG passages in the intake manifold". Apparently, this clogging causes the PCM to lean out the fuel mixture, resulting in pinging. According to my dealership, Ford phased in a design modification to the intake manifold sometime during the 2000 model year which makes it less prone to carbon-clogging. After my intake manifold was relaced(on the sixth visit to the dealer)the pinging problem was history. I sure hope it doesn't occur again in 15K-20K miles. Anyway, Ford is definitely aware of this problem so don't let your dealer smoke-screen you with double talk about "bad gas", "use high octane", "it's normal...all cars ping", or "just learn to live with it". Good Luck !!!!!!!!!!!
  • zigsterzigster Posts: 2
    We did the hgasket replacement on our 95 windstar about 3 months ago and were reimbursed by Ford. The van ran ok and so we loaded up the van and the small 900 poud pop-up trailer for a camping trip this last weekend. As we crested the mountain pass the engine shut down and we were stranded. The van and trailer were towed back to the nearest Ford dealer for repair. Since returning home I have discovered this site and I am very intrigued by the number of problems experienced by Windstar owners 1995 to present. The dealership called this morning and offered $9,600 for our van if we purchase another Ford product. They will replace the engine (the serviceman said it was the worst engine blowup he had seen) for free, but, of course, it is a 6-week wait and Ford will only pay for 5 days of a rental car. I don't see many options. The one we are leaning towards is taking the buyback offer and purchasing a new '00 Windstar LX. I am intersted in feedback and/or other options I may not have thought of.
  • agt_cooperagt_cooper Posts: 202
    it seem a bit silly to reward Ford for building such a p.o.s. by buying another of their vans? What incentive do they have to improve their products if you (and many others) continue to buy their poor quality products?

    Don't get me wrong, I understand you are in a tight spot here, but maybe a little research into the various alternatives might be a good idea.
  • 2akitas2akitas Posts: 19
    We are in the same sort of position you are in. we bought our 95 Windstar in Feb. 00 Just this past month the transmission started to shift rough.We have it in the shop at this moment.
    Would like to hear about Windstar transmission issues. Especially resolutions !
  • wholiganwholigan Posts: 148
    For the economic reasons to take up Ford on their offer, check out the following prior post...

    This was in the middle of a series of posts regarding whether or not the BuyBack was a good idea. You should read them through. You know, the thought of owning another Ford really rattles my cage, however, if I know I am going to dump it two years down the road, it makes a LOT of sense...
  • mlprewittmlprewitt Posts: 2
    I have a 98 WS GL. Purchased in Jan '98, and noticed a whistling sound on passenger side, near the side mirror mount. It appears to be wind-related, and isn't noticeable until about 30mph. Took to the dealer 4x, and was told to "live with it". I tried a stop-gap remedy, but now it appears to be coming back. Any one else have this problem?
  • I have a 98 GL and I hear the whistling mainly on the highway. I think it is the air moving over/through the roof rack. I don't think it is anything to be concerned with, because I've heard it for 3 years.
  • bblahabblaha Posts: 329
    I have to ask. What "stop-gap remedy" did you use that has now apparently wore-off?!?
  • 2akitas2akitas Posts: 19
    Are any of you from Edmonton? Would like to compare notes and maybe get something going to present a case to ford. If we band together.... who knows.
  • rugmankcrugmankc Posts: 133
    I have a 98GL also. HAD the whistle at highway speeds and only on hot days. The rubber stripping across the top of the front window was expanding due to the heat and catching the air in a way to create a whistle. The source of the sound was hard to locate, but eventually was and sealer was used to fill the gap. No more whistle. This was a loud whistle and may not be what others are describing but good luck on solving the problem.
  • 2akitas2akitas Posts: 19
    Are any of you from Edmonton? Would like to hear how you handled Ford. Where,,, if any is the brst dealership to go to? Also wonder if anyone knows of a class action here in Alberta??
  • weslwesl Posts: 53
    The posts in this forum have been interesting. My mother owned a 1990 Taurus LX with the 3.8L engine. At 60,400 miles the engine started making a loud clacking noise and had trouble exceeding 40mph. Ford tore the top of the engine down and found that one of the lifters had collapsed and in a chain reaction had bent several pushrods and scored the camshaft. After three weeks of waiting, the dealer called to inform us that Ford had sent them a defective camshaft and that the engine would not run. They agreed to put her in a rental car, and repair the engine. The fun part was fighting Ford for the repair costs. They finally agreed to pay for the parts, which amounted to 1000 of the 1800 dollar repair bill. Keep in mind that the car was only 400 miles outside of Fords 6/60 powertrain warranty on 90 model cars. When the mechanic at the dealer tore the engine apart, he said aside from the damage the engine looked brand new on the inside and it was obvious to him that the car had been well maintained. While they were at it they replaced the head gasket with a revised unit. Never had head gasket problems, and the transmission lasted the 8yrs/85K miles we had the car. The sad thing is the car was beautiful to look at and drive. It was a station wagon with all the factory options, including auto a/c, leather and a power moonroof. Everything broke on that car except for the transmission, and now my mother is a loyal VW owner. The 3.8L was garbage long before you guys bought your Windstars. Later, Wes.
  • amiokamiok Posts: 1
    I just purchased a super-clean low mialeage '98 Windstar. I Thought I made a good buy until I read this forum. Now I feel very uncomfortable. Is anyone satisfied with their Ford van? I can live with wind noise & "iffy" handling, but fear major mechanical problems.
  • bblahabblaha Posts: 329
    I am very happy with my 99 SE. Of course I haven't had any major problems yet (either mechanical or dealing with Ford) so I reserve the right to change my mind in the future. However, the HG problem on the 3.8L engine DOES seem to have been addressed mid year 1996. The only people that are complaining typically have/had the 95. I have a very difficult time beleiving that if the problem was still the same, that a bunch of 97s and even some 98s wouldn't now be having problems.
  • VolareVolare Posts: 15
    My parents 98 windstar which just recently had transmission problems. They fixed it under warrenty but we are woundering if we should get the extended warrenty? Did anybody have head gasket problems on their 98 with the 3.8? thanks
This discussion has been closed.