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Ford Windstar Problems



  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    The database I have here at home doesn't cover the 2001 model year, but here's the info for '99:

    3.8L Engine

    Disconnect the negative battery cable.
    Label and disconnect the ignition wires from the spark plugs.
    Remove the ignition wire brackets from the valve cover retaining studs.
    Remove the upper intake manifold.

    To remove the forward valve cover:
    - Disconnect the crankcase ventilation tube.
    - Remove the oil filler cap.
    - Remove the alternator wiring harness from the valve cover studs.

    To remove the rear valve cover:
    - Remove the cowl vent panel.
    - Position the air cleaner assembly aside.
    - Remove the PCV valve.
    - Note bolt and stud locations prior to removing the valve cover.
    - Loosen the valve cover retaining bolts and studs
    - Remove the valve cover.

    To install:

    Clean all gasket mating surfaces thoroughly.
    Lubricate all bolt and stud threads prior to installation.
    Install new valve cover gasket and align fastener holes.
    Position valve cover on cylinder head and tighten bolts in sequence to 71-97 inch lbs. (8-11 Nm).

    To install the forward valve cover:
    - Install the alternator wiring harness on the valve cover studs.
    - Install the oil filler cap.
    - Connect the crankcase ventilation tube.

    To install the rear valve cover:
    - Install the air cleaner assembly.
    - Install the PCV valve.
    - Install the cowl vent panel.

    Install the upper intake manifold.
    Install the ignition wires.
    Connect the negative battery cable.
    Start the engine and check for leaks.
  • segmilersegmiler Posts: 1
    This is a great website! I had the problem with my 98 windstar that the door ajar light was on and the door chimes going off and on. I read a reply on this website - it said to use WD-40 on the black door latches and contacts below - I did it and it worked. Give it a try.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Works for most Fords. The switches are in the latches, the grease dries out and hardens, sticks the switches.
  • luv2cruzluv2cruz Posts: 2
    Thanks for all the help, He's going to do the repairs himself. We were finally able to download a copy of the TSB 03-16-1 that goes with this repair and that along with the above should make everything go pretty smooth. Again, I can't say "thanks to y'all" enough!
  • haulthault Posts: 122
    Can the updated PCV valve/line be retrofitted without doing valve covers.
  • leon111leon111 Posts: 5
    I have a 1995 Windstar and hate it too. I have had nothing but problems with it from early on. I take very good care of my cars (oil chg every 3 - 6,000 miles, all scheduled maint on or before schedule, drive it gently, etc). The famous 1995 head gaskets blew once at 88,000 miles (Ford to their credit voluntarily extended the warrenty and covered it). They (gaskets) blew again at 114,000 miles. Electrical problems, wind noise, etc, etc. There is no excuse for makine a car in America that cant last 100,000 miles without extesnive engine work when the owner takes care of it. So, I broke down and got a 2005 Honda Odyssey EX - L with DVD. I got it for $3,000 of MSRP and figure it is one of the most reliable well build mini vans around. My Dad has a 1993 Acura Legend that he has smashed up twice, drove through the streets of Brooklyn and New Jersey, barely took care of and I just put $3,500 into it and it drives like a Honda Tank. The engine is strong and body has held up well. My Windstar looks like its been abandoned in a junk yard for 3 years and while I dont garage it, I do wax and clean it. That's the difference bwteeen a Ford and a Honda.
  • gmedgmed Posts: 1
    I own the same vehicle with the same problems as you mention in 1,2&3 above. The problem is most likely due to sticking door latches that become gummed up with dirt etc. Try cleaning each door latch by spraying with an aerosol de-greaser and then spray with WD40 or some other lubricant. I did the last year and the problems disappeared.
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    If the valve cover isn't baffled, it needs to be replaced. The unbaffled cover will still pass oil through the PCV system, and cause big problems as the engine carbons up.
  • steph210steph210 Posts: 1
    We got a '98 windstar in october of '03. BAD IDEA. Paid 3200 at the time, but within 6 months, we had to do extensive work that set us back about 2500. Since then, we've had problems 1, 2 and 3 as you mentioned. We pulled the fuse as someone else mentioned, but was only temporary fix as the windows became inoperable at that time.

    So now we have had overheating problem. First time in, two months ago, the thermostat was replaced which seemed to be enough. But a week ago, we had problems with overheating. Fan never kicks in and the car stalls sometimes when first started. Also sounds like something is knocking around sometimes in idle, but this is intermittent.

    For anyone considering a windstar, I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND!

    We were told this morning that the head gasket needs to be replaced for about 2100, and that we will most likely have radiator problems in near future.

    The van has only 80,000 miles so this is extremely disappointing. I had a 95 Buick that ran great with over 202,000 miles and i STILL sold it for 2,000 in '03.
  • windeadwindead Posts: 1
    Took the 01 windstar to the dealer for a "tapping" noise and the check engine light. Sure enough $617 later and the valve cover "BS" is done BUT WE STILL GOT THE TAPPING> Ford will hear and the bill will not get paid!
  • I have a 2001 Windstar SEL, so far it has been great up until now. The vehicle is surging and i do not know why. I am not too familiar with the newer cars and have not had this experience before. This is happening when the vehicle is stopped, both in park, neutral, and in drive. Can anyone out there help me out as to what is causing this?
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    Good strategy, don't pay for the work that was done. A tapping noise would have nothing to do with the valve cover, unless you're talking about pinging or detonation. It won't suddenly go away, especially if the valves and/or pistons are coated with carbon from the burned oil. You may have to have a "decarbon" treatment done. You can also try using a product called Sea-Foam run either through the gas or vaccumed theough the PCV line with the engine running.
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    Any particular temp this happens? Does it stop when it warms up?
  • kmltigkmltig Posts: 1
    We have a 2000 Windstar with about 55,000 miles on it. In December, we had a $1300 repair and last month we had a $350 repair. I am not exactly an expert on cars. I don't remember what was repaired.

    We've had children leave lights on with the result that the car doesn't start. However, this morning, I used the remote and it didn't work. I thought maybe the battery was dead. When I got in the car to start it, the front dashboard lights came on but there was no sound from the engine.

    Somehow I think this is serious. There were no lights on in the van. I don't recall the remote not working before when the battery went dead because of lights being left on.

    Any ideas on what the problem might be? Thanks.

    PS. My husband used his car and jumper cables to restart the car, but do you have any ideas on the underlying cause of the car not starting when no lights were left on?
  • burtiessburtiess Posts: 1
    Bought a Windstar 2001 in the Netherlands (love Us cars) but in Europe the support for it is minimal (so is my english, sorry).
    Having a problem with transmission (read the forum and i know i'm not alone.) but as i am Dutch it took me while to look for Tranny in stead of Transmission.....
    All shifts work fine..very smooth..engine runs fine also...but from idle (i think you mean this for standing still with running engine in gear ?) the Tranny (learning) feels verry irregular and lowers the engine RPM. when pulling up it's very abrupt ....untill end of first gear..then everything is smooth again..

    Can somebody help me out here..? Thanks !!
  • viper70viper70 Posts: 1
    Bear in mind that if your vehicle has a TPS
    (throttle position sensor) you'll get those
    kind of problems as well. A TPS's job is to
    tell the trans when to shift based on the
    position of the accelerator pedal. I'm a mech
    in the Army, seen this stuff for over 15 yrs.
    hope this helps
  • mirandahmirandah Posts: 1

    As a new member of this very interesting website in which we can all benefit by reading each others frustrating experiences with our way of transporting our family. I can't say that I have already learned a thing or two which will help me with some of the problems that we are all experiencing. Yeah....interior lights staying on....going off....whenever they pleased. I would have to disconnect the battery terminal, because I was not smart enough to take the fuse out. :) Which I just read about it today. Well enough of that!!!

    My current situation is that I have no exterior lights. Not to mention my brake lights. None of them work. Just today I pulled out the owners manual and checked every single fuse in both of the fuse boxes. Of course some how fuse #4 is not getting juice....... Can someone please assist me with the smalllllll situation.....(CHALLENGE) :) Hector, Norfolk, VA
  • coderedcodered Posts: 43
    i have a 98 windstar with the code "po743"
    (torque converter clutch electrical)
    does anyone have a clue what means?????
  • starwindstarwind Posts: 9
    My local shop has replaced 5! Power Steering pumps and two steering racks in the last 2000 miles (yes, 2K miles) on my '99 Windstar LX with 80,000 miles on it. The shop has been saying that they are having trouble getting good parts. So, it failed again this week, & they say they will replace the power steering pump, again, under warranty, but have traced the cause to power steering hoses that are disintegrating from the inside out. Anyone heard of this? There are no leaks at all. I believe they are the original hoses. The shop wants over $600 for this work. Before I jump to the conclusion that they are covering up for shoddy work, I'd like to get the forum's thoughts. Thanks.
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    It simply means there is a problem with the ciruit going to the torque converter clutch solenoid. It could be a wiring problem, or the solenoid itself could be failing. Hopefully, it's not a TCC mechanical problem. That's all that can be known until it's diagnosed.
This discussion has been closed.