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Ford Windstar Problems



  • I bought a 97 Windstar about 8 months ago and have had numerous problems with it, although nothing serious yet. One of them continues to annoy us. The chime is frequently on for no apparent reason. There are only two factors we have been able to identify: 1) It only stays on at speeds under 20 mph, and 2) It is more frequent with the headlights on (sometimes the chime goes off if I turn my headlights off, but not always).

    Has anyone else experienced this?
  • vatnvatn Posts: 4
    my 98 windstar just started chiming indicating the door is ajar and they are not, anyone had to fix this? 57,000 miles
  • crkeehncrkeehn Posts: 513
    There are two possible places to look. The first and perhaps most common is the sliding door. on the Frame there are four silver circles. They are contacts for plungers in the sliding door. If they get dirty, they will cause that problem. To clean them, just use a pencil eraser. Another place to look would be the tailgate latches. The switch is built into the door latch. You might have to clean it. I think people have used something like WD-40 sprayed in the latch. Try the sliding door contacts first as they are the easiest.
  • 5greyhounds5greyhounds Posts: 338
    I concur with crkeehn. I had the same thing happen on my 95. Never did have the trouble with the rear though. Now I clean the contacts as they get dirty and no problem.
  • crkeehncrkeehn Posts: 513
    I never had a problem with the rear either, every time I had the phantom open door, it was always the side contacts. However others have reported a problem with the switch built into the tailgate latch.

    Once I did have a problem when cleaning the contacts didn't work. I carried an old blanket in the rear to protect the cargo area when carrying old leaves, trash etc. It was preventing the tailgate from totally closing although it did APPEAR to be closed. I just moved the blanket and blissful peace. Ahhhhh
  • john936john936 Posts: 1
    I understand that with any vehicle there will always be problems, let's face it with thousands of parts you really can't be perfect. However perfection is something always to aspire to even if you never achieve it. Ford, through its Windstar problems has demonstrated its ability to be consistently deficient in quality. The problems posted on this board reflect a total lack of responsibility and accountability from a corporation to its products and customers. They are the same problem areas over and over, year after year, identified but never resolved in subsequent years. I have owned Ford products for 30 years,some good some not so good. Today I vowed not to spend another dollar on my Windstar. The front end has been rebuilt, the transmission replaced, the strut rods re-welded along with various other items have been repaired on a vehicle with approx. 68,000 miles. I really have to acknowledge GE Capital for their coverage,in particular the transmission. Anyone who reads this board and even questions whether to purchase a Windstar should have their head examined. Ford should be ashamed of the quality of the Windstar product and their failure through the years to resolve known common problems. This vehicle is my last Ford purchase. Good luck to all Windstar owners and remember It won't last forever.
  • socalricsocalric Posts: 1
    I was stopped at a stop light, and tried to accelerate when the light turned green, and nothing happened. Just the whizzing of the transmission for a good while, then eventually the car started moving again. I brought the car back to the dealer the next morning, and they have checked the computer, the transmission, the transmission fluid quality and level, and all supposedly came out fine. I've seen this sort of circumstance listed on this board, but have not seen what is the culprit behind this kind of problem. Anyone know what is wrong, what to do, what to tell the dealer? Thanks!!!!
  • Does anyone know where the daytime running light module is located
    2000 - 2002 thanks in advance for any help.
  • Gang,

    New to this message board, I am interested in reading more of your comments but I wanted to get this out there. My 2000 Windstar was equipped with General P215 70 R15 tires and I have experienced problems with them. You may want to check yours. I have approximately 28K miles on the van/tires and have had them rotated properly according to schedule. Proper inflation, the works... One tire had a bulge in the sidewall which later split vertically from the rim to the tread. Fearing for my family's safety, I went ahead and paid out of pocket for 2 new tires (for equal tread)instead of waiting for an appointment with a Ford Dealer/General Tire Dealer.

    Upon getting the new tires, I noticed that the other two original tires were cracking all the way around the tire where the tread meets the sidewall. Ford/General did agree to give me a discount on two tires for this. Check it out on your vehicles. I would hate for this to turn into another Ford Explorer/Firestone debacle.

    Lincoln, DE
  • Following up on some of the previous postings I have also experienced the intermittant starting problems and the intermittant door ajar chime.

    My starting problems have originated from something to do with the position of the steering wheel. For example if the wheels are cut to one side or another, when I turn the key, the dashboard lights will come on but it will not start. To get it to start, I sometimes have to put the van in neutral and push it or coast a short distance to relieve the problem. After that, it will start right up. Its no real problem for myself but for a smaller female that wouldn't work.

    Lincoln, DE
  • makakiomakakio Posts: 25
    "(The non-start and subsequent pusing it along dead a short ways is) no real problem for myself..."

    Are you DELUDED, man?! It's beyond all belief that you actually write this kind of negligent engineering and quality assurance off as "no real problem"!

    I think the reason Ford stays in business with product this crappy is EXACTLY this kind of apathetic approach to car ownership.

    My mother has been a Ford/Mazda owner for 30+ years and every one of her cars has always been plagued by some always-repeating issues that Ford could never fix (actually the one exception being a great, dependable 1988 Taurus Wagon). The Mazda MPV was 10 times better quality and reliability-wise than the Ford but in the end electrical gremlins killed it (thanks Ford for engineering the wiring harness) and she promptly went out and bought a Windstar.

    Now she's doing battle with Ford for a buyback b/c the the van has maybe 6,000 miles on it and it's been in the shop for repeated failed repairs to everything mentioned in this thread for more days than she's actually had it home.

    She's finally written off Ford product. Send a message: do the same by simply NOT BUYING these lemons. Force Ford to produce a better product. These vans are not cheap. Honda can do it. Toyota can do it. The apathy is so pathetic it's hurting my head.
  • davids1davids1 Posts: 411
    I think Wayne was only trying to provide some useful information to the members of this board. To chastize him in the manner you did serves only to run off those who have useful information for other owners. He indicated that it was no problem "for him".

    I do agree that apathy, and blind/brand loyalty are some of the reasons that auto manufacturer's get away with building the junk they do. But don't jump down a member's throat for providing some potentially useful information.
  • pjyoungpjyoung Posts: 885
    Seems to be a problem with many Fords, but the fix is easy - spray WD40 on the drivers door latch (the mechanism on the door) I had it on my departed 95 Windstar and my current 98 Taurus. The dealer told me that the latch isn't moving as freely as it should and the WD40 loosens it. It works fine. I tried the side contacts and tailgate, but to no avail. A quick squirt of WD40 will solve that problem - promise.
  • I have a problem with my 2001 Windstar. Today when I put it in reverse to go up my driveway the van jumped back about a foot to start. This would normally not be a big problem, but today I was attaching a trailer. Now it off to the body shop to have the rear door repaired. This is my first Ford and none of my other vehicles have ever had this lurching when putting in reverse.
  • mrickemricke Posts: 1
    Months after the warranty went out on our pampered 99 Windstar SE, the "complete steering system" (pump and rack and pinion) on our car collapsed. The pump still had the correct amount of fluid immediately after the collapse and no dashboard warning lights ever went on. Last year (under warranty) we complained about noises when we turned and tension when turning the power steering wheel. In response to that complaint, the dealer replaced the steering spindle arm and the noise went away (though not the tension). (1) Has anyone had a similar experience (we had just exited the expressway with the car full of children)? (2) Ford says it is just my bad luck because of no extended warranty, anyone know how I can make it just their bad product, support and luck? (3) anyone know if the earlier problem with the spindle arm break could be related (the dealer says no but admits they did not check the rack and pinion or pump) to the larger problem or have an explanation of how this could occur without warning lights or any other hints? Thanks much!
  • davids1davids1 Posts: 411
    I would tell them you will accept nothing less than complete replacement of the rack and pinion at their cost. You brought it in for the problem and they mis-diagnosed it. If they don't accepth that, then sounds like you need to take it one step above the dealer, and possibly legal action. That's what it takes to deal with these guys.
  • jstanle1jstanle1 Posts: 1
    This message is in reply to socalric message #851
    My 1999 Ford Deathstar just had a new transmission at a cost of $2500 (independent charging $3100). My van did the same as yours....only it didn't start to move again. If you are still under warranty....insist that they look inside the transmission. If you are not under warranty (as I was not) I would suggest either getting rid of the van now, purchasing the extended warranty, or be prepared to pay pay pay.
  • rayt2rayt2 Posts: 1,208
    Go back to post 758 to see my power steering story and how we got hosed by Ford. If your out of warranty you may be S.O.L., The dealership can however offer you the good customer discount as with us but I still think it should have been covered.

    Ray T.
  • jsiedhoffjsiedhoff Posts: 18
    I have a 2002 windstar with a squeaking driver's side sliding door. What is strange about it is that it only squeaks and rattles when it is raining. Has anyone experienced this? I had a 2000 that was a lemon and I wish then I stayed away from Ford. My '02 that I got as a replacement (after fighting with Ford for 3 months) has already had two front end alignments, three steering wheels and a squeaky driver's seat also. I will never buy another Ford product in my lifetime.
  • allyhoallyho Posts: 1
    new to the board, and for the most part thought i had a pretty good vehicle until recently, (or at least til i started reading this board.) the major problem i have had with the van has been the power sliding doors. we bought the car new about a year and a half ago, and since early on, the door on the driver's side has often gotten stuck. it will open, and then using the button, or trying to manually close it will not work. we've taken it to the dealership at least 3 separate times, and each time, it starts working and they've done no repair. this time, finally while it was at the shop the technicians saw that it was not working and have agreed to keep it til they can fix it, but even over the week they've had it, they've called saying it's working now and they can't find the problem. the reason it was at the shop in the first place was it had gone dead recently. we re-charged the battery and it went dead again. we drove it to the dealer and they replaced the alternator. we also just had the front end aligned. it seems to me that there is a lot of work being done for a car that is less than 2 years old, and has only 20k miles. i'm learning from your posts, that a lot of others are having similar problems, but i really wanted to find out if anyone could help with the power door issue. and please advise if anyone knows of any power drain problem related between the alternator and the power system/doors of the vehicle. thanks.
This discussion has been closed.