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Ford Windstar Problems



  • mlpntrmlpntr Posts: 61
    Thank you. You made my morning.
    I for one don't have enough money to keep throwing it at a mechanic. Being a single mom makes money a little tight. It takes 2 incomes these days to survive.
    I will never buy another Ford. LOL
  • i have a 2001 ws i got this van d days ago and today on the way home from shopping with my wife and 4 boys the transmission blew .. its funny becase i had a 99 like 2 years ago the transmission went i figured this would not happen 2 times to the same person but this sucks i think they should recall all ws to fix this stuff
  • forget the 2000 windstar we bought our in 2004 and in the last 4 months have put in 2 transmissions the engine light stays on and the car just wont acelerate fast enough to not get you killed on the . stay clear
  • jimskinsjimskins Posts: 11
    The van won't redline because of the rev limiter. It is to protect the engine so you don't over-rev it and blow it up. Why would you want to redline a Windstar anyway? They have enough problems. I am on my second one (first one was a lemon) and my current '02 has had a bunch of problems. I cannot wait to get rid of it!
  • mlpntrmlpntr Posts: 61
    1. Lift gate won't open - There is a clip that holds a little bar to the handle. This clip is plastic (it's a Ford so what can I say?) On the 95's this clip is yellow. In high temperatures the clip will expand and come unfastened. If it doesn't come unfastened it will just break. Take the inside panel of the liftgate off. Yes, it can be done with it closed. You can manually release the trunk by twisting the metal piece that the lift gate cables are attached to once the panel is off. Take a screw driver and refasten the clip around the bar. Can be done with tiny fingers but a screwdriver makes it much easier. Reattach the panel and enjoy the use of your lift gate again.

    2. Rearview mirror false off - Again a high temperature (and sometimes low temp) problem. There is a professional mirror adhesive at autozone you can buy. The cheap stuff won't work because of a coating on the windshield.

    3. Sway bar snaps - Go to a junk yad and pick up another one (about $45), buy a repair manual for your model,order the link kit from Auto zone ($14), Do it yourself for much cheaper than the dealership. Then you might want to file a complaint here

    4. Reverse (or any other gear) won't engage - This is where you will need a sledgehammer. File a complaint at and then take it to a mechanic for a complete transmission overhaul unless you can drop a tranny and fix it yourself. The overhaul will cost about $2000. Basically the pistons in these lovely tin cans are made of alluminum and break apart. Have them replaced with custom parts (not Ford) if you can. The custom parts are made out of steal.

    5. Check engine light comes on and the van shutters right around 40MPH or 1500 to 2000 RPM's (codes P0301 to P0306). You may also notice gas in your oil - If you are unsure of the gas in the oil then remove your dipstick and sniff it. If you smell gas then guess what? This seems to be a bad computer. A mechanic will tell you it just needs a tune up and then it will need wires, then a coil pack, then it will need fuel injectors, finally they will tell you that the computer is bad too. When you first take it in request that they put a new computer in to test if that's the problem before you pay hundreds of dollars in useless repairs.

    6. To lean or too rich (codes P0171 to P0175)- You have a bad MAF sensor. It is in line with the air intake and right near the air filter housing. It has wires hanging out of it. Pick up a new one at your trust auto parts store, buy a manual while your there, and take the 10 minutes you would spend stressing over how much the repair would cost by a mechanic and just replace it.

    Please feel free to ask me any questions. I will answer what I can from personal experience with my lovely Ford Windstar. I will be purchasing a Dodge Caravan when I trade this one in. If you want to know if you should purchase that Windstar you saw cheap in the paper then ask yourself why it's so cheap. If you can't come up with an answer then read the thousands of posts on this forum. If you still don't have an answer then go to and read the complaints, TSB's, investigations, and recalls for the Windstar. If you then decide to purchase it then I have some ocean front property in Iowa for you to take a look at. I'm selling it real cheap.
  • ClairesClaires Chicago areaPosts: 1,191
    Hi, michel4,

    This would be a great question for the folks in the Smart Shopper Forum. You might also want to ask your question there.


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

  • arnalaarnala Posts: 7
    Dear Mike,
    Could you provide me the "new" Part Number of the "redisigned" valve cove? May be you have it from the dealer when they said "it needs the redesigned valve cover that will prevent oil from traveling into the intake manifold via the PCV Valve and ruining the internals of the intake manifold".

    Could you comment me how is working the car after the works done (2005)?

    Could you provide me the part number of the PCV valve used?

    I have a Windstar 2000 and I belaeve it is the problem.

    Thanks a lot
    Arnaldo M
  • arnalaarnala Posts: 7
    Do you know how mutch it cost? (MAF sensor)
    Thanks a lot
    Arnaldo M
  • arnalaarnala Posts: 7
    Do you konw the kit number?
    Please let me know.

    Arnaldo M
  • arnalaarnala Posts: 7
    Could you inform me how mutch it cost? What technical bulletin is it?
    Arnaldo M
  • Hi everyone,

    My daily driver, '96 Windstar with the 3.8L is knocking really loud. At first, it only happed around 2500rpms, but now it's gotten very bad. It knocks really loud from 2000-3000rpms. It happens when I'm on the gas or off.

    Does anyone know what it is? It definately sounds like it's coming from the bottom, maybe the right side. It's got 157,000kms on it and we've had it since Day 1, and done oil changes every 5000kms.

    Thanks in advance.

    - Jon
  • A mechanic told me that the 3.8-liter powertrain in the 1996 Windstar is compatible with the 1997 model only. I was wondering if this is true and if a transmission off a 1996 would work in a 1995 Windstar, or a '95 engine in a '96 van. I am talking about the 3.8-liter only. Basically I have a 1996 with no engine and a friend has a 1995 who needs a tranny :-) Any advice is much appreciated.
  • hello, i was relieved when i read your message and im praying the same for the 99' that i just purchased,is your van also a gas guzzler? did you have problems with your van not picking up speed right away? and should i be worried that they just had alot of work done put into the van before purchasing? please share, i have a 2yr warranty on the van but it doesnt cover the brakes that they claimed were brand new.....
  • Just changed the oil/filter on our 2000 3.8L Windstar. This is the first oil change since we got the car about a month or so ago. The previous owners had just had a new engine (short block) installed before we got the van. After dumping 5 quarts of 5W-30 and running the engine for a minute, I checked the dip stick and found that the oil level was just touching the bottom of the stick. A quart and a half later, I finally got a decent reading on the dip stick. The manual claims 5 quarts, but it took 6.5 quarts. Did Ford design a new oil pan with a deeper sump on the new short blocks than the factory original?
  • How does one eliminate the tension on the belt to remove it. I need to replace alternator and found the tension idler pulley but it does not move away from belt. What is the procedure for removing the tension so the belt can be removed?
    Trying to repair this evening as neighbor's wife just broke down with alternator problem.
    Thank you,
    K Bunting
  • pepper4pepper4 Posts: 10
    Anybody recommend any?
    I saw a actron cp9135 at auto zone that looked ok.

    Thank You
  • pepper4pepper4 Posts: 10
    I replaced air bleed motor and it fix the the problem .
    It me a few min to replace it. Bought the part at Autozone
    and it was around $40. :)
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Just got our Windstar back after it had spent 7 weeks at a Tech College. Head, front cover, and intake gakets all replaced. While they had the engine out, also replaced water pump, timing chain and gears, plug and wires and a few addtional miscellaneous items.

    I only had to pay for the parts...just under $1000 :D and that was with all OEM parts.
  • ClairesClaires Chicago areaPosts: 1,191
    Hi, Folks,

    You've probably noticed new discussions appearing all over the forums. What's happening is that we are closing generic, everything-in-one pile discussions like this and creating smaller discussions that deal with specific areas of interest. You'll find a number of discussions listed at the top level of this group: Ford Windstar

    When you're ready to post, please check the discussion list there for the appropriate discussion to post in. If you don't see a discussion that fits your question or problem, feel free to create one. We can deal with accidental duplication of topics as things progress.

    While you're at the top-level, don't forget to click on "Track This Group". That way, you'll be able to track all of the discussions that are already here, as well as any new ones as they are created.

    Using the "Read New Posts" link will mean you won't miss anything on the Windstar board. If you see a discussion that doesn't interest you, all you have to do is click on the "Remove Track" link within the discussion.

    Thanks for your understaning and help in making this group a great resource of information for Windstar owners!


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

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