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Ford Windstar Transmission

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  • I love these vans and recently bought another 1998. I just experienced the van not upshifting. After reading the forums I suspected it was the output shaft sensor. I jacked the vehicle up and started looking for this component. It must be internal so I just started looking for any electrical connection on the Xmission. After the removing the complete air cleaner assmy. I found the main electrical connector for the tranny under the air cleaner assmy. I removed the connector to check for corrosion. This must be a replaced tranny for the clips on the connector were broken. Any way I checked for corrosion (none) and sled the connector off and on a few times just in case. Seems to be working again. However I saw a speed sensor recall that describes problem as being heat related. Anyhow this would be a good place to start if you are experiencing similar problem.
  • My 03 Windstar has an issue it's been having for a year or so now, not any better or worse with time. But when I put it into reverse, sometimes it goes right into gear. But sometimes it won't kick into gear at all until I give it some gas, and it'll slowly move backwards and eventually "grab" reverse and start moving as it should. Forward gears seem fine. Being a sporadic issue, it's been tough.

    Is there a reverse clutch band to tighten? Maybe a valve body overhaul/replacement? Fluid level is good and doesn't smell burnt. No check engine or tranny light. Any help would be appreciated!
  • ralphstypistralphstypist Posts: 5
    edited November 2013
    We have a 1998 windstar van 3L engine, 4cylinder, and it's giving us a problem with the transmission. After it warms up, it only goes to 2nd gear. Cold it shifts fine, the fluid is up. We tried "rebooting" the computer and it ran okay for a short time, then went to 2nd gear and started all over again. I know that other people have had the same problem, but if we could get some information on what we can check ourselves it would be great because an expensive repair is not in the cards at this time. My husband can fix stuff, but just needs some guidance as to where to look. In the meantime, I just have to resort to driving slow when the problem occurs for now. Thank you.
  • Our 1998 Windstar van is acting up. It stalled a few days ago, would fire up, but not start. We did get it to start (on it's own) after waiting awhile, but it stalled again today and will turn over good, but just won't start. Last time we disconnected the computer, let it sit then connected it again, and after some hesitation, but this time it just doesn't seem to want to start. Is there something we can check or change? Any suggestions? Thank you.
  • there are a few test to be done to get you headed in the right direction. Sounds like a fuel pump or clogged fuel filter. But that is a guess make on very limited information.
  • Thank you for your reply. We removed the fuel pump (in preparation for replacement) and it seems to work. We tested it, and it pumped gas, is there a chance it's just weak?? Van will turn over but not fire. If it was a relay, would the pump not run at all? If it was a clogged filter, wouldn't it fire and be sputtery or stall? We're at our wits end, when it first started, we hit the gas tank (me laying on the cold ground whacking on it) and it would almost fire, but stop hitting, then just turn over. Our next thing is we're gonna change the filter (at least HE is) and see where that takes us.
    ps, my hubby is a body man so he made a place in the van to get at the fuel pump from above, making it east to remove/install or test. When we're done, he does his magic to fix the hole we cut, but this way no dropping the tank.
    Thank you.
  • There is an easy test. On the engine there is a chrome fuel line with a Schrader Valve. Much like the valve stem on a tire. It should even have a little cap on it. The Auto parts store may loan you a fuel pressure gauge. Pressure should be around 35-40 psi. Even with out the gauge you can depress the pin in the valve and gas should come out with great pressure. Something else to know to check the fuel pump is this. If you turn the key to run before moving it all the way to the crank position you will hear the pump run for three seconds. This builds up the pressure to prepare the engine to start. So you can do this repeatedly to listen for the fuel pump. So to recap We must know if there is pressure at the fuel rail(Schrader valve). If you hear the pump but do not get 40 psi at the valve I would then replace the fuel filter. You will need to buy a special $5 tool to remove. Get the one that is built like a pair of Scissors. I have solved the problem you describe twice buy replacing the filter. Once I was driving down the hi-way and my van quit and would not restart until I replaced the filter.. HERE is the other test that must be done anytime you have an engine that will crank but not start. An engine requires three elements to run. Fuel, Air, and Spark. So it must be determined also if there is spark. This is easy. Pull one of the spark plug cables loose at the coil pack. Set the cable back very near to its connection but far enough away (about a quarter inch) to watch for an arc. Do not hold the cable or you will feel the Thousand volt blast. You can alternatively pull the cable from the spark plug and set it near a bolt or metal bracket and watch for the arc. Now crank the engine and watch for the arc. If you can see and hear the pop you have a good ignition system and as soon as you have good fuel pressure the engine should start. If this does not solve your problem let me know and we will get into the fuel injectors.
  • Thank you for the information. We are definitely changing the filter FIRST because I imagine it's dirty. We have checked for spark and yes it's there. I hope this solves the problem because we don't want to get into injectors, but if need be..........
    Thank you again.
  • Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!!!!!! s'all fixed, van is running and doing well. We did have to change the fuel pump because although the old one ran, it only went "blaaahhhh" while the new one "zips" !!! Thank you again.
  • I need help...Today my 2003 Windstar just stopped moving POOF just like that..I pulled over to check my mail went to pull off drove maybe 25ft and my van wouldn't go any further..RPMs going up but van not moving..Iv had no trouble with my tranny since we bought this vehicle.In fact I had been out running errands most of the morning...When I put the car into gear nothing happens no reverse no drive nothing and it dosnt even make a sound like it normally does when you go into gear..Anyone know what it might be? Transmission fluid smells a little funny..

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