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Ford Windstar Problems



  • mlprewittmlprewitt Posts: 2
    RE: Whistler - The whistle was very loud, could hardly talk over it. It appears to be coming from lower right hand side of windshield area. Dealer thought it was the mirror mount. One of the techs, though, said the Taurus had a similar problem, and that air was leaking in an area under the molding in front of the windshield. My stop-gap solution was to place a piece of foam at the base of the windshield, under the molding....and, voila, the whistle was gone.
  • Does anyone have any problems with their power sliding doors? We have a 1999 SE. The right side power sliding door opened (about 1 inch) while driving; opened (again, about 1 inch) going from park to reverse; opened (1 inch) going from park into drive. Each time we brought it back to the dealership. They have tried to fix it and their final adjustment was to overcompensate for the problem and extend the door out about 1 inch in the back, but the door is no longer flush and it looks terrible.

    We have called Ford and they claimed that only a few people have reported to them any door problems.
    Has anyone else had problems with their power doors?
  • crkeehncrkeehn Posts: 513
    I have a 96 Windstar with 68000 miles on it. It has been quite reliable, I can't even say that I have had the braking problems that others had complained about. I find it to be a very comfortable travelling car, in fact it is making another trip to Grandma's on Chincoteague tomorrow. The big problems with the 98 model year seemed to be with the gas guage, it would signal a low tank with 7-8 gallons remaining, this seemed to be a problem with the optional large tank more than the standard 20 gallon tank.
  • I purchased a used 1998 Ford Windstar GL from Autonation USA last October and have had continuous problems with the fuel injection system running too rich. I had so much carbon emitting from my tail-pipe that I have black circle stains on my driveway caused from the morning dew condensing and dripping the soot. The van would stall on me when I would come to a sudden stop. There is nothing worse than being a sitting duck at a 4 way stop sign while you have to throw it in park, restart the engine, throw it into drive, and get out of the way of the other angry commuters. Some of those situations have been downright dangerous!

    I also have had a problem with the van "shuddering" when on a straightaway or while climbing a hill, also I noted that the transmission sometimes "slams" into gear. I assumed that the shuddering was caused by the fuel mixture being too rich and had the ever so competent technicians at Autonation take it for a spin and fix the problem. Of course, they were "unable to duplicate the symptoms." They also told me that the transmission had normal shifting.

    They were able to correct the stalling, and cleaned up the carbon significantly, but the shuddering continued. I lived with this problem for a few months because my hectic lifestyle kept getting in the way of arranging an appointment where I could drive the shop foreman in the van myself to show him what was happening. I finally was able to take him for a drive last week, and he immediately determined that the transmission was slipping! Why couldn't they have noticed that earlier or interpolated that possibility when I presented them with those symptoms months ago? Probably because they will have to absorb the cost of fixing the transmission.

    I have an appointment this Friday to have the transmission worked on, and they told me that it would be about an 8 hour job at least, possible 2 days! Fortunately for me, I purchased an extended warranty and this item is covered with a $100 deductible. I will re-post after the appointment to let you all know how my van is running, and if I can get them to eat the deductible since this problem was detected by me so shortly after my purchase, yet baffled their technicians.
  • 2akitas2akitas Posts: 19
    We have the same problem with the trans. They still don't know what is wrong with it. It was in the shop for 4 days. They are not even sure it's the trans. It might be a wiring problem. Please let us know what your problem is and if they were able to fix it.
  • I have a '97 windstar gl 3.8 with the same "drop" in the transmission problem. The place where I bought the car is shady to begin with. the tech found no reported problems with it. While on a road trip to Toms River, NJ I thought I'd be on the side of the road. the (abs), (check engine)lights came on, and the engine was running hot. Also the damb thing stalled on one of lake mohawk's steepest inclines! im curious to see what happens with your trans prob. Thankyou, John-wpb,fl
  • zigsterzigster Posts: 2
    Well, we did it. After buying back our "blown-up" 95 windstar($9,600), we agreed to purchase a 00 Windstar. We got it for about $500 under the TMV and $1500 in rebates plus .9% financing. We were anxiously awaiting its arrival from a locate. When it arrived, with a few more options than we had expected, we were guardedly excited. New car smell, new options, etc. Then,are you ready, when we drove out of the lot, I turned on the radio and two of the four speakers were not working. One was completely dead (driver's rear)and the other had an annoying cackle (driver's front). I immediatley returned to the dealer and told him the problem. It is now July 3 and four days later and they still have not solved the problem. They even pulled up a "twin" and started swapping components without success - same problem with either component. Now we will wait until Wed (closed tomorrow) and hope for the best. Meanwhile, has anyone else had this problem? If they can't solve the sound problem, what other options might you suggest? We have now lost out on two camping week-ends due to a Ford Windstar. However, they seem to be holding the "golden handcuffs". I should say, in their defense, the dealership is doing all possible. Sevice Department has kept us informed, said a few surprising things about Ford, and offered sincere sympathy ("a lot of good that does for you" said the service manager). The salesman who sold us the car even offered his personal truck to haul our trailer for the camping trip. We declined. Our beef is with the big guy, Ford.
  • loppetloppet Posts: 2
    I purchased a '96 Windstar for safety and size reasons, now with 51 K and have had a continuous stream of annoying problems. It does drive well however when its not breaking down and with traction control and Blizzaks it is an excellent snow car. Problems include brakes spontaneously freezing up -then as they release they cause an oscillation that eventually turns into a vibration then finally into a earthquake sensation thats begs you to pull over into the breakdown lane-this was times two and corrected with new break rotors. More recently the speedometer broke and it took 4 trips back to the dealership to fix, the tapedeck broke, the rear wiper motor broke to the tune of 200$ plus,, needed new brake calipers 600 miles past the warranty period, sliding door repeatedly gets stuck, the whole van quivers at highway speed despite being realigned and with tires newly balanced, the dash continually chirps at you that a door is open when its not-dealership unable to fix, and now the van comes to a grinding halt 5 feet from home on the way to work with a metal grinding noise that would wake the dearly departed-a broken front spring ! Now I can understand the black marks that CR gives this monster in the reliability surveys. (I did get in a mild accident, thanks to a directionally challenged driver, with it and it crashed great)
    I'm heading over to the Odyssey or the Sienna- see you later Ford!!
  • mrswademrswade Posts: 1
    I just put a down payment on a '96 Windstar LX. It is a custom hi-top conversion, which has absolutely nothing to do with the HG and tranny problems I see posted, mostly for the '95. It has 36,000 miles on it and is immaculate inside and out. I see tons of '95 problems shown and just a few '96 problems. I am purchasing an extended warranty for an additional 4 years 48,000 miles that claims to cover the engine and tranny fully. Am I about to make the biggest car mistake ever?
  • HCLEMOHCLEMO Posts: 19
    Who knows whether you will regret buying a 96. In your favor, the transmission and headgasket complaints are much fewer for the 96s than the 95s.

    I would go by the book in terms of keeping the vehicle well serviced--especially in terms of the transmission being serviced every 30K mi (I would do it more often) and other things. Keep a close eye on coolant levels--if you are finding yourself filling the coolant reservoir frequently, think blown gasket (similarly, if the 02 sensor goes, think this).

    The conversion may add extra weight to the vehicle which will put more strain on the transmission--you may want to think about an auxiliary transmission fluid cooler.

    Above all, drive the vehicle gently--assume there is an egg between your foot and the gas pedal.

    Keep all of your receipts documenting that you have done all recommended services.

    Consider selling the vehicle before the extended warranty runs out.
  • mechanic3mechanic3 Posts: 2
    i have a 2000 winstar 2wks old. the side doors are poorly lined up. plus a have alot of wind noise. i am bringing it back to the dealer next week.
  • jmhansenjmhansen Posts: 2
    I have had a 1996 and 1998 Windstar GL w 45k and 32k respectively. I wish the brakes would last a little longer and have experienced the wind noise at high speed on warm days - but other than that both vans have been excellent! I'll soon get a 2000 SE. Because my problems are minor I have resisted posting, but feel that satisfaction should be reported as well.
  • angel17angel17 Posts: 1
    We are looking at a 2000 Windstar LX vs. a 2000 Chevy Venture. But looking at the forums for each van on this website, now we think we might want to just buy bikes with carseats attached to do our daily commute. Are both vehicles really, typically, THAT unreliable? Now we are totally confused and scared to purchase anything.
  • illinoisillinois Posts: 4

    I'm on day 1 of a 95 WS transmission problem.
    Anyone been through this specific situation before? What was found as the cause? Any other postings welcomed!

    - 95 WS. 51K miles. Routine maintenance, plus ensured that tran fluid was periodically flushed, not just changed.
    - With cold engine, no trouble (so far)
    - With hot engine, and from a stop on level ground, the engine revs to about 2000-2500 rpm in neutral, and then the trans pops into gear. Feels like being rearended.
    - Doesn't occur when on an uphill or downhill slope.

    Going into the shop tomorrow.

  • 2akitas2akitas Posts: 19
    Ours does about the same thing as yours does but when in gear. From a stop when you press the gas and when you accelerate. We are told it may be the forward piston in the trans.We just came back from a road trip through southern Alberta with no problem, except the rough shift. Our mechanic thinks it is an elecrical problem of on the engine side of things. We also would like to hear from others who have had this.
  • I got my 98 Windstar back from the shop Friday night. They found no major problems with the transmission and did a drain & flush of the transmission fluid. I also had 4 new tires installed, oil change, & tune up.

    I have to say that the transmission is remarkably smoother now and the van rides much better. No more shuddering when the gears are at that "in between" point. I no longer feel the transmission slipping at all. The shop manager did say that the transmission should be flushed at around 35,000 miles, mine has 45,000.
    We'll see how long this fix lasts.

    Now that I have had that problem fixed, I actually feel more confident about driving my windstar. I was about to trade it in if the problem couldn't be fixed.

    We are planning a long trip next month and I will let you know how things hold up.
  • gheckoghecko Posts: 6
    This is not good. This is really really not good. We just traded in a '99 Accord EX (great car!) for a '98 Windstar "Northwoods"(?) edition. By the feel of it on the highway it's probably only the 3.0 liter - is there any way to tell which it is? The van is loaded, sounded good and was clean inside and out. It had just come on the lot at CarMax when we spotted it.

    So, my wife is thrilled she finally gets her minivan and this is our first American car since the Jeep Cherokee fiasco a while back.

    Luckily we purchased the extended warranty - bumper to bumper out to 93K miles or 2005, whichever comes first.

    PLEASE tell me you guys don't represent the majority of Windstar owners out there...

  • pjyoungpjyoung Posts: 885
    Go to the NHTSA website and search there. For Make - select Ford Truck. That will list the consumer complaints for vehicles for the year you select.
  • 2akitas2akitas Posts: 19
    As for the size of the engine, It should say either 3.0 or 3.8 on the engine in large letters.
  • liebedaliebeda Posts: 13
    I bought a 99 Windstar LX (3.8) and I'm only getting about 9 miles per gallon. I'm using 87 octane fuel from Mobil. Most of my driving is in the city - but it hasn't been much better on the highway.

    Is this typical of the Windstar or worse than average.

    Does anyone know what can be done about this?
This discussion has been closed.