Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Ford Windstar Problems



  • bdemasbdemas Posts: 51
    mikec123: The deal the ford rep gave sounds typical of what others have received on this board. Our 2000 had the torque converter replaced at just over 36k. We didn't have the OD light sympton, ours would shudder a bit. The mechanic didn't even hesitate when I brought it in, I told him how it was acting and he said it was the torque converter. Something tells me he had seen a few before me.
  • I have read over 100 posts so far but did not see anything mentioned about my latest problem. The needle for all dashboard readings (RPM, Speed, Fuel, Temp.) occasionally go crazy. They bounce from zero to 140 mph, rpms redlined then zero, or just freezing at a certain level before reverting back to proper levels. This is not a problem with the engine just a chip or sensor I assume. Has anyone one else had this problem and if so what was the approx. cost? I want to have a heads up going to the dealer. I, like most others here, have had my share of problems; transmission, rack & pinion, fuel pump, lights staying on, etc.
  • 5greyhounds5greyhounds Posts: 338
    I think the 99 still had the speedometer cable. My 95 had to have the speedometer head replaced at 35K. My 99SE is just going over 30K now and no problem.
  • tmanttmant Posts: 70
    I just replaced my front disc brakes with $40 semi metallic Raybestos brakes from Pep Boys. In replacing them, I noticed there are little metal clips that hold the brake pad onto the disc (2 for each pad, or 4 for the tire). On the driver side, there was only 3 clips, on the passenger side, there was only 1! I thought this was very unusual, but the brakes never had a problem doing their job.

    The old pads were a little over 1/8 inch thick left. But I went ahead and changed them because I started hearing this strange grinding-like noise when I brake moderately. It sounded like the pads were worn out and scratching up the disc, it wasn't.

    Its only been a few days and maybe only 100 miles since the change, but I have not heard that grinding noise again. I suspect that perhaps my brake fluid level was a little low before the change (its close to max now after pushing the brake pistons back in).

    Another thing was a rattling noise I thought was coming from the exhaust system seems to have stop. I was going to buy replacement rubber mounts for the exhaust pipes, but since the brake change, I haven't heard the rattle. I am now suspecting those missing clips on the brake pads may have caused the strange rattling noise when I hit bumps.

    Oh yeah, the replacement pads did not come with the clips.

    Other than that, I've gotten over 50000 miles in almost 3 years with this van, without significant problems. I've brought it in for some routine maintenance and recalls and thats it so far!

    Can someone suggest a source (perhaps local to the Houston area) for brighter bulbs (halogen?) for the backup lights for the Windstar? Or even for other aftermarket products for the Windstar.
  • 5greyhounds5greyhounds Posts: 338
    I guess you and I are the exception. I had a 95 GL with 135K on it and was very please with it but it did not survive a truck that ran a red light. I now have a used 99 SE with just under 30K and love it. I am in the DC area so can not help with your request for information but good luck.
  • roadrascalroadrascal Posts: 35
    We had a head gasket, timing cover gasket, water pump gasket and new intake manifold replaced on our '96 at 72,000 miles (under warranty). Less than 100 miles later the engine seized up on the interstate. The mechanics stated that there was an engine knock and the oil pressure was low. They didn't give me a logical explaination on why the engine blew, but a couple of friends of mine (non Ford mechanics and specialized race car engine builders) say that Ford crank, oil pump and connecting rod bearings absolutely do not like the presence of coolant in the oil. So I would say that coolant leaking into the engine would cause the engine to fail. You can read more about our van at and click on the Ford Windstar problems link.
  • oregon4oregon4 Posts: 2
    I think what you are saying may very well be true. The wrecking yard that is supplying a replacement engine for my Windstar mentioned the same thing. So it goes something like this- you drive around with coolant in your oil for thousands of miles and Ford is finally forced into doing the head gasket replacement... then your engine prematurely fails down the road and you are the one that gets stuck for their screw up. This is especially disheartening since we changed the oil and filter in this van religioulsly every 3000 miles!! I think this would make a very interesting lawsuit vs Ford if someone had the time and energy to work on it. How many people are having premature engine failures and have no idea that the previous coolant problem is probably the culprit?
  • haulthault Posts: 124
    I had a 95 Windstar purchased new 6-94. Coolant problem started around 25000 miles. Head gaskets were finally done after my persistence around 55000 miles. While on vacation in Florida the engine bearings were replaced. Engine died on way back to Ohio. Vehicle had 65000 miles and was one month out of 6 yr extended warranty. My local FORD dealer salesman helped me with the FORD Buyback program. That got me about $10,500 off 2000 Windstar. Any way my experience and all that I have read indicates the coolant in the oil prevents the oil from doing all it's lubricating and the engine internals wear out sooner. If FORD won't help small claims court is good solution. Contact me I have experience with FORD but did not have to sue for help.
  • kelleyokelleyo Posts: 182
    worst quality I have ever seen in a vehicle. It has only 20,000 miles on it. We have had it in numurous times with Service Engine light. The last time they had to replace the gas tank to fix the problem.

    The Low Tire pressure warning light stays on constantly. I keep the tires set at 32 to 35 lbs and reset the light and within an hour it comes back on. Dealer has never been able to fix.

    We have a gasket leak around the drivers side sliding door that has never been fixed.

    We have had many (4 ?) recalls.

    It is now leaking oil like a sieve. They replaced the oil pan gasket but it has started leaking again.

    I would not recommend this car to my worst enemy.
  • My 95 Windstar has stalled twice in the last 6 weeks with vapor lock symptoms. I live in C Springs, both days it was hot and A/C was running. Car surges, then eventually stops running. I let it sit for about 10 mins, then the car starts up and everything is fine. Right now I have a fuel pressure gauge hooked up to the van waiting for it to happen again but the fuel pump seems to be okay (its within the PSI range of 30 - 40 psi). Anyone else experience this problem? I have 115K miles on the car, but a new engine (of course) and a rebuilt tranny (also of course). Once I fix this problem, I'm selling the van.
  • pandboypandboy Posts: 28
    I have a '96WS that had a similar problem 6 months ago. I bought new in 96 and have 40K on it. I visited the local dealer they estimated the cost for replacing speedometer head was $360.
    I called up to Ford Customer Service and complained the problem that they should pay for. In the end, I paid $60 for labor and Ford paid for the parts.
  • crankkycrankky Posts: 45
    We just bought a 2001 Windstar LX with 30k on it. I've noticed a slight shudder when the transmission shifts, especially under a load, i.e. loaded up for a vacation and driving through the hills. I'm going to take it in for a check in the next week or so and will ask them specifically about the torque converter that I've seen mentioned hear.

    I'm also going to buy an extended warranty for this van, since it looks like there may be some problems in the future. Are you folks using the Ford ESP warranty? Or a third party warranty. My gut feeling is to go with the Ford ESP plan even if it is a couple of hundred more. I tend to use dealerships for service anyway, and that would hopefully lessen any arguments over who pays. I've got a quote for $1540 for a 6yr/100k Premiumcare warranty. Sound like a decent price?
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,016
    "Manufacturer-backed warranties score very highly when it comes to ease of use. However, aftermarket warranties are often cheaper."

    Understanding Extended Warranties

    Extended Warranties: Extending The Joys Of Ownership



    SUVs, Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards

    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • Rather than scroll through 900some messages I think I'll just post anew. We have a 1999 3.8 liter LX Windstar with about 80,000 miles on the ticker. Lately the van will crank and start but only "run" for a second or so. It doesn't do it all the time. When it will do it is very difficult to predict. Outside temps and engine temps don't seem to matter. Sometimes once running it will be okay. Other times it'll run okay only to stall at traffic lights or other poor locations. It's definitely a safety issue not to mention an inconvenience. We recently had it tuned up (new plugs, fuel injection system cleaned, throttle body cleaned). My Chevy truck was doing the same thing. After tuning it up myself, the problem disappeared. My 1999 Crown Vic I drive at work did the same thing our van is doing. A new mass air flow sensor solved the Crown Vics problem. I'm wondering if maybe that's the van's problem too. ANY input would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!
  • haulthault Posts: 124
    Try They had the best prices. Less hastles when making claims.
  • I haven't finished troubleshooting my problem on my '95 Windstar (see "Vapor Lock Symptoms") but if it turns out not to be the fuel pump then according to my friend (ASE Certified Mechanic) the mass airflow sensor is the next culprit. I'll post the result whenever I get there....
  • My Windstar has been serviced 3 times by a Ford dealership for the same problem. The first time they charged me for the diagnosis, tested the O2 sensors and said they are fine, and then gave it back saying they didn't know what was wrong. The second time they put a PFE sensor on but shortly thereafter the check engine light was back on with the same code. The last time they cleaned all the injectors and intake manifold, replaced the plugs and wires, and air filter. I knew within 15 minutes of driving the van that they still did not fix the problem because of the odor that seems to be associated with this problem. Why is it so hard for this problem to be solved?
  • We had problems with the transmission getting "locked" in park (very hard to shift out) and a strange rumbling sound when putting it into park (but not all the time). The dealer was pretty much no help even after leaving it there for three days.

    My solution has been to make sure to do the following when parking: 1) stop the van and keep pressing the brake pedal, 2) shift into neutral 3) apply the emergency brake, 4) shift into park.

    This seems to help with both the locking in park and the mysterious rumbling sound no one at the dealership seemed to be able to help with. We opted to not get the extended warranty on a gamble. I just hope we're not sorry.
  • tmanttmant Posts: 70
    I have a similar problem with the "transmission binding" when pulling out of park. I was told that this was normal. I have not had any strange noise when putting it into park. Only sometimes do I have difficulty pulling out of park. The problem is usually more obvious when you are on an incline, but doesn't always bind on an incline. I use my parking brake out of habit, or maybe its a new habit so I don't have to hear that ugly shifting.

    Oh yeah, I have a 2000 SE. Change the transmission fluid at over 30k. I'm at 53k and will have it changed again shortly.

    My van came with Goodyear tires (215/70R15) and seems to be balding slightly on the inside edge. I'd like to think I have taken good care to balance/rotate and maintain proper air pressure. Am I about right on life expectancy of these tires? They are original and I'm at 53k now. I will be replacing them soon too.
  • There is a little pin in the transmission that is used to hold the car in park. It is not made to be the parking break as most people use it, as in my wife to speak of one. She pulls into the driveway (slight incline), puts it in park and then puts on the hand break/ When you go our later to drive the car the pin is wedged into the slot in the transmission and is hard to get out. that is most likely the problem.
    windstalker has it right. Put on the hand break, let it settle in and then put it in park. If that pin goes you will need a overhaul. I finally have my wife trained: Park in the street.
This discussion has been closed.