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Ford Windstar Alternator and Battery Problems



  • mfacdgba33mfacdgba33 Posts: 19
    As a AAA Mchanic i see this all the time. First check for loose battery terminal connections. Then if those are good then get a voltmeter start the van and on the dc side look and see what the volts read. A battery will put out 12.6 volts with no loads. While the engine is running your alternator will put out a constant 14.2 volts with no loads while driving or idle. If this is fine then trace the wires from your positve terminal down all the way to the starter looking for bare wires and places that it might be arcing off on metal. Do the same with the negitive wire all the way to the ground point. If all of those are fine then replace the 12 volt regulator. If none of those are the issue then ignore the light.
  • dthornedthorne Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 windstar - two weeks ago the battery light came on - then on Friday past, I was driving and all of a sudden I lost all power options, just like the battery died completly. Also, at that same time, the abs and hand brake light came on. I hauled over, popped the hood..... I reached in and manually reved the engine over high then everything came back. I replaced the alternator and had the battery tested..... same thing is still happening... If I rev it high enough, the battery light will go off for about 10 secs. I could be driving down the road and lose all the power options again.... rev her high and it all comes back.... this is very frustrating! I check fuses and all are good! ANY IDEAS WOULD BE APPRECIATED.
  • rcode72horcode72ho Posts: 1
    I am experiencing the exact problem. I cleaned the battery terminals and posts and checked all connections - nothing. I put in a new battery and changed the alternator. Still not fixed. The belt is fine. I went to Auto Zone to have it tested. The machine said it was the wiring. I bought a new battery harness assembly from FORD for $199+ tax. Still the light is on. The battery drains after driving with the battery light on, so it's not a faulty light signal. I'm at a loss. ANYBODY??
  • Today, the ABS light came on; after turning off the van the reset the light, it would not start. We waited a few minutes, tried again and it started up with the ABS light still on. After turning a corner, the left signal continued to blink all the ay home while the lever was in the nuetral position. Could not turn it off even putting into the right turn position; then the A/C shut down, then all of the power features: doors, windows and the radio.
    Got the van home and after a few minutes, everyting started working again. Started it later tonight to move onto parking area.
    Thought about replacing the battery, but I think there is something else wrong.Any thoughts???
  • jefbylsjefbyls Posts: 5
    I had the same problem and after much money trying to replace this and that I took it to the dealership. The mechanic said that they see it several times a year. The wires that pass through the driver's door gets broken and shorts out, everytime it shorts out you experience the electircal problems. He said other common places that the wires break are at the passenger door and the liftback door. If you pull off the boot between the door you may be able to find your problem.
  • mfacdgba33mfacdgba33 Posts: 19
    Check with a volt meter connected to the battery terminals while the vehicle is running. A battery will put out 12.6 volts normally. while the vehicle is running the altanator should be outting out at least 13 volts or more. hopefully at least 14 which is perfect. If the battery is draining while driveing then your altanator isnt doing its job.
  • jmarzyjmarzy Posts: 2
    I have a 2003 Windstar. Just last night, abs light, flashing radio, light on an off and when I pulled over it died and would not start. I see the same complaint posted several times but I am not sure I am reading a definitive answer. Did I miss something?
  • jefbylsjefbyls Posts: 5
    I finally took mine in to a dealership and found out it is a common problem with the windstars. It is caused by a wire being shorted out in one of the doors, usually the driver's door or the liftgate. Take the rubber boot off that covers the wires going between the door and the body and check for wires that have been worn or cut. Once you find the wire and splice it the problem will be fixed.
  • tamibtamib Posts: 3
    I just got stranded because my 2000 Windstar quit running but right before that the radio, AC, lights, etc. all went out, then a minute later the van died. I had it towed ot a dealership but after reading this forum I"m beginning to think it is something in the wiring. I can not get the electrical doors to open and close half of the time. I am constantly hitting the unlock button hoping that will make the doors open or close right. Maybe I"ve messed something up with hitting the unlock button so often. Anyway, I'm not sure why I've kept this van so long, it's been nothing but problems since the warrantly went out. The auto place thinks it's the alternator but I"m not so sure after reading this, we just replaced the battery 2 days ago.
  • jmarzyjmarzy Posts: 2
    Well, as I have posted recently I experienced the same problems in my 2003 Windstar. I first took it to my local mechanic who said it was the battery. Now it was the original battery and I have about 97k miles logged. So I crossed my fingers hopping it was just the battery. And I thought changing the battery after 5 years was a bad thing. Well after 3 days of driving the car did the same thing. But this time I was prepared for the symptoms and had enough time to park in a safe place before calling a friend to pick me up. The next day I drove it limping into the Ford dealership and they said it was the alternator. Now form reading the posts I am not sure if it will make it more then 3 days but I will keep you updated.
  • tamibtamib Posts: 3
    I can't remember everything I said in my first post.... But on Monday after the van died the mechanic said the alternator was shot. He's been a trustworthy mechanic for our van for a long time. He said a bad alternator would ruin the battery so I can see how that's connected. After reading the posts I called the mechanic and told him to take the "electric" door switch off because we've been having a lot of trouble with the doors not opening or not shutting all the way for a few months. Someone said the wiring in the doors can cause the same symptoms. At least now we're driving around with our sliding doors closed all the way where they never closed right lately. I will never buy another Ford van, it's been a horrible experience all along.
  • I own a 2003 Windstar and the first hing that started on mine if that when ever I would go over a bump the ABS and the Brake lights would come on. Once I tuned the van off and restarted the lights would go out. Now my battery liht has come on and Iam not sure if I am going to run into the same problems as everyone else. I purchased this van in 2004, they were using it as a transport van taking customers to other lots or using it to go pick up parts, either way it has taken me a long way at times, so I am hoping that it is the wiring, because it is probably cheaper than replacing the battery or alternator if it is not going to work. Any suggestions? Please help is you can.
  • tamibtamib Posts: 3
    My guess is that it is the battery, which is less than a $100. Just don't go to Wal mart because mine never last 2 years so I keep getting a new one replaced for free under their 2 year warranty, but I'm beginning to wonder if it isn't the quality of the batteries. Someone said that you can go to Auto Zone, Jiffy Lube, O'Reilly and they'll check your battery for free. Have you noticed your car not starting as easy lately, I did have that happen but just chose to ignore the battery light but it wasn't long before the battery went dead and left me stranded in a parking lot. It's amazing to me how many people have the same problems with their vans, these vans are lemons.
  • I was pretty sure my moms van needed a new alternator. She called me saying she was driving and the battery light came on, then the abs light i think, and she parked and it died and wouldnt start again. I met her and hooked jumper cables up to her car. It started right away, but after disconnecting the cables the battery light came on again and it started clicking and died. After reading the posts in here, im getting closer to thinking it is a wire connection making it short out. If it had been the alternator, the car would have been running on pure battery and even with cables it would not have started as quickly. I will be reposting whether or not i found a bad wire connection and if it fixed the problem. :D :mad: :P
  • i have a 99 windstar the alternator died i had it rebuilt now the battery light stays on and everything is strong also the abs light comes on
  • Since I replaced the battery and alternator, I've had no problems with my 2003 Windstar. Hope you find the problem.
  • fordsuxfordsux Posts: 8
    Ford Tells everyone they have never heard of their problems. When you call them make sure you refer to your van as a 2000 windcrap and maybe that will help them pull their heads out of their asses. Now everyone knows why people refer to fords as fixed or repaired daily or found on road dead!
  • My problem with the warning lights have been over a year, but just last week my 2001 Windstar's lights flashed, and it died just like that! I had it towed, on the charger for 10 minutes, and it ran fine. But it the battery will go dead in a flash and the problems all exist. I take my key out of the ignition, and my interior lights come on, stick the key back in and they go off, all while the car is dead. Finally the batter will go completely since lights are on. It even was at a point where my key would not turn the ignition, but that finally disapeared. Can this be the alternator, or is it more likely to be the wiring? I am far from a Auto Zone.
  • There are two options for my 2001 Windstar, it tests bad, and I have nearly ALL the problems in this forum. There is a choice for high output and another with a little lower. I do not have power doors, just power windows (like all new cars) and drivers side power seat. That is about it for special functions. Can I get by with the cheaper one?
  • I have a 2003 WIndstar with all of the aforementioned issues. We have replaced the battery, and been though 2 alternators in the last year and STILL last week it was dead once again!!!! We do have an issue of the interior lights flashing off and on as you drive down the road, and the drivers door lock not working properly. The idea that there is a wiring problem somewhere makes a lot of sense to me and if I can't find a sucker to buy my van while I have it running, I will check that out. This possessed van is definitely my first and LAST Ford! It's a shame that such a nice, comfortable vehicle is not more mechanically sound :(
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