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Ford Windstar Transmission



  • kweltykwelty Posts: 10
    Yep - you said it better than I could find the words at the moment. Seems an odd place, but once you find out that's where it's at and think it through it makes a little more sense. The only part of this disaster of mind that does make sense.

    BTW......I let my van set from 9 til 12:30pm or so, trying to see if it would do the same "cold start" shifting error that it does per hubby's opinion, It's quite chilly here today. Colder than the first afternoon it did it, I'm pretty sure. Of course, since he wanted it to do it did not.

    Has he called the mechanic to let him know his brake fluid raining on the shifter switch theory is evidently wrong? No.

    He still thinks it's just positioned wrongly and may need "adjusted." He thought he MIGHT call and tell him he was going to go have someone else look at it. I expressed a fear that if another mechanic touched the shifter switch #3, that they would no longer cover it under warranty because they would blame a cracked shifter switch or something on someone else messing with it.

    While I'm not real confident the guy knows what the problem is, I would PREFER to keep bugging him to death to make it right with as much of it at his expense as we can muster since he was SO SURE this was all the it could be, and this would fix the van and make it a good, dependable car for many more miles. 12 Month transmission warranty to boot. Seems to me I need to squeeze that lemon until all hope of getting it fixed without coughing up a lot more money would be the best bet.

    My husband thinks we should sell it and get a different van. I do see that point, but now that I've put the money into it I'd like to drive it and get that money out of it if at all possible. BUT....if there's any chance it's another $1800 bill for something else like a torque converter or something, then I'm ready to part ways with it while it has no warning lights and runs quite well 99% of the time now......just that cold start thing you may or may not experience. My fear is I'll end up with a different used van that will have it's own set of problems to be dealt with. The plus in that picture is it would hopefully have a lot less than 175,000 miles on it and not be such a gamble to repair, perhaps.

    If I pull in that garage raising heck every morning it does this, and my husband would back me up, they will eventually do something to make me go away and shut up. I'm sitting on a 12 month warranty and my transmission decides it won't shift from first to second on a regular basis . . . I've got just cause to make that my daily morning stop if it happens that regularly. It would be a lot cheaper to fix it than pay somebody by the hour to deal with me every morning of every week for one year.

    Do they think that every time I have to make three or four other families rearrange their lives to cover my driving responsibilities.......or tell all my customers I can't deliver their orders until my van gets repaired yet again........that people don't ask what shop is working on it? The longer this goes on and people find out that after going through all of that and spending that much I still have to call them up and rearrange lives it still isn't fixed that people want to know just where I took it so they can make sure to NEVER go there? Not good advertising guys. When I pull into a residential construction site and start sqawking, or my husband has to stop and meet me at the garage, do they realize how many contractors are affected by that disruption? They eventually hear why he wasn't in the subdivision. Even if I don't squawk and raise a fuss, a lot of people are getting a negative image of their business by the people impacted through me, my husband and my kids. It could be good advertising if they would take care of it. We know a LOT of families driving mini vans all getting to about this same age.....those are potential customers! These mechanics should think about that....
  • We had the same exact thing happen to us with our 2002 Windstar. What was your solution?
    Thank You, Pat
  • Hi Pat,
    Sadly we had to have the tranny rebuilt at an alarming cost. The torque convertor blew apart and forced all kinds of nasty little metal shards to run through the system therefore causing a great deal of damage. It cost us $3,745.00 Canadian to have it fixed. Runs great today.... but could have lived without the massive cost. Good luck with yours.
  • kweltykwelty Posts: 10
    I have had my transmission rebuilt, the cruise control switch replaced (dripping brake fluid on neutral safety switch, and am on my 3rd neutral safety switch. We're still working on it - but the consensus at the moment is that the new neutral safety switch cannot be even 1/2 a hair off. There are marks that have to be lined up when it is put on, and even if you match those marks, that can not be precise it can require some tweaking. Mine for the most part seems to only do it when it's very cold and ALWAYS only when I'm leaving the house on a cold start. Then it runs fine. The prevailing minds thinks it's the cold weather stiffening up that plastic, then once it's heated up, it fits snuggly wherever it needs to be.....and I'm supposed to be waiting to see if it's going to adjust itself with use and repeated heating up. I'm a bit skeptical. What I DO know is I'm tired of taking it back to the garage and if I have to put any further money into it, I'm selling it and getting something else. BTW the Netural Safety Switch is a very inexpensive part, so that part of it is good! Whatever you do, have that cruise control switch checked out too because even though we have not been recalled, we have the exact same switch that was causing the fires and got the other recalled! It sits just over the transmission beneath the brake resevior. Best of luck!
  • Sorry about that. That really stinks. Well hears my latest findings.We live in Michigan were it has been pretty cold lately. We had a lot of rain turning to snow and getting pretty cold. Well come to find out, all that happened from what I could tell was the brake shoes/ pads froze to the drums/ rotors causing it not to move when engaging in reverse or drive. Waited a few hours until it warmed up later that day and everything worked fine. Thank goodness it was not the transmission and thank you for your response.
  • Boy, it sure seems like you got a lemon or just a bad mechanic. I'll be honest with you , I have had really no problems with my van until this situation (knock on wood). But come to find out it was really nothing with the transmission at all.
    Good luck and thanks for all the input.
  • kweltykwelty Posts: 10
    UPDATE ON MY WINDSTAR: I THINK IT'S FIXED (KNOCK ON WOOD) I had my transmission rebuilt, neutral safety switch (a new one came with the transmission mind you) replaced because the new transmission wouldn't shift from first to second that first time on a cold start, cruise control switch replaced because it was raining brake fluid all over the neutral safety switch and transmission (we still cannot get a satisfactory answer at to why they didn't notice this when putting in the new transmission), then another neutral safety switch they thought was ruined by the cruise control switch while I waited on the part AND am on my 3rd neutral safety switch, because after that it still wouldn't shift that first time on a cold start. The last time I posted, my van continued to have an issue shifting from first to second on a cold start, otherwise it was fine. I finally suggested my husband call Auto Zone and describe what our van was doing and see what they suggested. Then, ask for information about installing the part. They said what mine was diong would be the neutral safety switch. When installing, they said that it had to be just right.....a half a hair off and it would do exactly what my van was doing, There are marks to line it up, but even if you get those marks perfect, they can not be precies enough and it might need tweaked by trial and error. My husband made me ride it out before taking it back and having another confrontation with the mechanic because he thought the heat of the van obviously put it where it needed to be....and thought it might finally set itself in the right place after the plastic heated up and cooled off enough times. So, I had the mission of riding it out for a week. It started doing this less and less frequently. I also started accelerating harder after backing out of the drive rather than my usual very slow turtle start. Along that week, it started doing it less frequently, two days apart, then two or three days apart, then suddenly I realized I had gotten busy and it had been over a week. It's now been at least two weeks without this issue recurring. So.....before you put a new transmission in.......even if you aren't having troubles yet, do something about that cruise control switch so you avoid that fire hazard. This exact switch was recalled in other Ford autos, and we'll probably be recalled. I was told by a Ford dealership we will be reimbursed when the recall happens. b) Check on that neutral safety switch before you go spending money on a transmission. The cruise control switch was likely what caused my entire ordeal, because the brakes and cruise control issues came first.....then the OD light joined later, probably due to the damaged neutral safety switch tearing up the transmission. Best of luck with your Windstars! I'm keeping mine a little longer.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Glad to hear thigs worked out okay for you, finally. It'd be easy to read your posts with some paragraphs, though :) .

    Do I understand correctly that the neutral switch essentially fixed itself?
  • kweltykwelty Posts: 10
    Sorry about the paragraphs, I type it with paragraphs....they must not make the transition. There were 3 netural safety switches put on my van in the course of this, but the end, it did correct itself. Keep in mind it this last time there was no brake fluid leaking on it, it was sitting on a newly rebuilt transmission, the marks were lined up and it was only having issues on a cold start and just that first shift from first to second. No warning lights, etc. The colder and/or damper, the more you could bet on it. I forgot to mention for the benefit of anyone else having this issue that the AutoZone guy told my husband that what I was doing was the right thing to do, just let off the gas and keep gently reapplying until it shifts (2 or 3 times usually). I found that accelerating a little harder than I normally start out also seemed to help.
  • I have a ford windstar 2002, have no history of trans problems, will today as I was turning a corner, the trans just stoped working. After pushing it off the road checking the fluid,which was full and fine. The van runs great but now it will not move. I can rev the engine in gear it acts like it's in park. It's like the thing isn't even there. Now no matter what I do the van will not move forward or rev. It just quite for no reason..Has this happened to anyone else..Help me please

  • Same exact thing happened to me, the splined piece that turns the pump shaft stripped out in the torque converter. I replaced my converter and all is well now. I did it myself and it cost me about $250.00. 150.00 for a rebuilt converter, $50.00 for fluid and the rest was new front seal, filter etc. I would say if you aren't a mechanic I would not even think of doing this yourself. Expect to pay a decent amount for labor.
  • My guess is the splined piece in the converter that drives the pump drive shaft stripped and that is all that happened. The tranny was probably fine, just needed the converter.
    That is the exact same symptoms mine had when this happened. That is all mine needed. I would hate to think how many trannnys get sold just because of the torque converter failure. From what I understand, the torque converters are good about doing that.
  • My 2000 Windstar with 125k miles is in the shop waiting on transmission #4. At 30k miles I replaced my first tranny while under warranty.

    At 95k miles I purchased my third tranny. Recently the over-drive light started flashing at 125k miles and it was time for the trans fluid to be replaced, so I took it in to the dealer. I got the call that my #3 tranny was shot, and then, Ford has taken a week to decide what to do for me.

    Ford has decided to rebuild this transmission going against the mechanic's rec of replacing it. My warranty on this tranny expires in 5k miles and you know I will need another one soon.

    I know the cruise control recall was replaced a long time ago on my Windstar. So something is causing my transmission to fail repeatedly. I drive 20 miles to work and back and that is it!. This is no excuse.

    All of my transmissions were replaced by the dealer. After hearing of the issues with Windstar's trans I decided to keep it repaired at the dealer so I would not be accused of using substandard quality work on my trans. It apparently is not the mechanic but the poorly designed trans from Ford.

    I am a victim of the 1995 Windstar that blew a head gasket and Ford made me a deal to swap it out for the 2000 Windstar at a reduced cost. We also own a Taurus SHO and Five Hundred. Both Windstars have repeatedly been in the shop. The Taurus needed one transmission after 9 years and 120k miles.

    Since Ford decided to REBUILD a rebuilt trans rather than replace my 3rd transmission, I have decided to say good-bye to Ford. I have been a loyal customer but no more. :mad:
  • yvonyvon Posts: 5
    it happened to my 2000 lx exactly same as yours. can only backward, not forward. replaced trans and costed $2500 for a used
  • shemar2shemar2 Posts: 1
    About a week ago, I took my van to a car wash and had the undercarraige washed too. It was below freezing. Later in the day, the trans and ovd lights started flashing on the dash. In a while the trans started slipping, then stopped and wouldn't go. I turned the van off and then back on and it moved for about 1 block, then it would stop again. Turned it off then on and same thing would happen. Did this all the way home. I towed it to trans shop and he told me that shavings would get into trans and then it would freeze it up and stop working. He said that when I would turn it off the shavings would go to the bottom and when i started it up, they would get into the trans again and shut it off. I said just change the fluid and lets get the shavings out. Reluctantly he said he would. Next day I picked it up and it worked fine for the next day and 1/2. I got it home and checked the fluid and it was barely showing on the stick. To make a long story short, the van is doing the same thing and I don't think that they really changed the fluid and filter like they said. Can someone help me?
  • isd4isd4 Posts: 1
    I have a 2003 Ford Windstar with 76,000 miles, last week I was turning the corner and the trans shifted into neutral. So far it cost me $2,500.00 to have it rebuilt at AAMCO. Since having it built, the O/D light flashes and the check engine light comes on after 20 minutes of driving (But it resets with the button and when you shut off and restart the vehicle). This is a new problem since having the transmission rebuilt. I have noticed that this is an ongoing problem with the Winstar since 1999. Ford will not stand by it's product. I contacted them and was told they would not provide any help, but did recommend I look at the Ford website for information on incentives for new FORD vehicles. Good Luck with yours.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    I don't think it is reasonable to expect Ford to do anything since you had the transmission rebuilt at AAMCO.
  • mfacdgba33mfacdgba33 Posts: 19
    i was told on here that my torque convertor lockup is messed up causeing my jerking and fluttering while maintaining a constant speed. where is this located at and what does it look like and what does it accually do.
  • I have 1999 Ford Windstar and lately after driving for awhile, when I stop at a light or stop sign, then try and take off it will either slip or jerk as if it does not want to go in gear. Then it will grab hold and go. It does not do this all the time. Then at the next stop light it may not do it. Just spearatically. It is driving me crazy. Anyone with answers. I am afraid to leave town. Thanks in advance :confuse:
  • smithasmitha Posts: 1
    Bought my 2003 in 2004, have had to replace the transmission, airconditioning unit..including compressor, 5 alternators..yes 5. the rear windows don't work, the heat had to be fixed in the front, warranty has run out. FORD states there is nothing wrong with this vehicle... I guess they have their blinders on, last ford i'll ever purchase. :sick: :lemon:
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