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Ford Windstar Starting/Stalling Problems

skyloranskyloran Posts: 1
I have a 2000 Ford Windstar SE. I recently moved to an Island off the coast of Washington and noted that when I leave the Windstar in the driveway at night the engine starts then stops (several times). I can keep the engine going for a while by adding gas pedal, but don't want to put it in gear when I am running it at the higher RPM. In the recent past this problem seemed to go away after I drive it a short distance, but this weekend the car engine would even quit after I drove it a short time. Of course when the engine quits the power brakes and power steering also quits.
After driving the car a longer distance of 7 miles to the nearest town the problem went away. The car started fine the next several times that I started it.
It also seems that when I put the car in the garage at night I don't seem to have a problem the next day.
I am concerned with the safety of my Windstar since the engine, power brakes and steering all go at the same time. Any idea what needs to be fixed?
thanks for your help


  • Hello. I have an 03 Windstar and after starting it at times (not always), it dies right away. Then I just have to restart it and it's fine. Lately, it has also died sometimes when I slow down for a stoplight, etc. Then I just have to put it in park and start it and it's fine. The auto shop says it's really hard to tell what is wrong with it since there is no "check engine" light on. The only other problem it has is that it seems to make a noise when I turn the steering wheel, esp after I have drove on the highway at speeds more that 55 mph. The power steering fluid is just fine, though. I would appreciate any input. Thanks. Windstar03
  • I'm also having trouble with my 2000 Windstar. About 3 months ago I was turning a corner and it just died on me. No problems for a month or so. Then my check engine light came on but I haven't had any troubles with it. It smells hot inside the van once in awhile but not always. Then on Friday it died while I was driving down the street. I'm not sure if I let off the gas at all or not this time since I was not turning a corner. So my husband and I took it to the auto parts store Friday night and my computer port under the dash doesn't work so they can't tell us what's wrong. We went ahead and replaced the fuel filter Sat. to see if that helped. It idols a little rough and and the RPM'S go down sometimes while I'm sitting at a stoplight, but not always. It died again on me today when I turned a corner. Once I pull over and get stopped, I put it in park and it usually starts right back up. Today however, I put it in neutral this time and it didn't do anything so I put it in Park and then tried and it didn't start but made noise, I tried one more time and it started right up. If anybody has any ideas I would appreciate it. Since my port isn't working under the dash we can't pinpoint the problem and I hate to go buy a fuel pump and put it in if it's not the problem. Thanks in advance for your help.
  • Hi,

    My ex-husband had the same problem with his Windstar and he told me things improved greatly when he added a container of 'fuel injection cleaner' to a FULL tank of gas.

    Hope this helps.
  • I had the same problem with my 2003 Windstar and it was a faulty O2 sensor. Since having this replaced it has been fine.
  • I have a 3.8L v6 1996 Ford Windstar. Recently, I have been having stalling issues so I used a bottle of Prestone injector cleaner and the van started to run more efficiently. Two days ago, I turned the van on and refilled some antifreeze, let it run for a few minutes, then turned off the engine. Two hours later, the van would not start. It has plenty of crank but will not turn over. I even tried to start it while using jumper cables, but still no turnover. Last year I had all wires and plugs replaced and the fuel filter replaced. I just moved to Ohio and it is fairly cold but not enough to freeze anything. Occasionally, when it won't start, I have to press the fuel pump button located in the back panel of the van and it starts right up, but this button is still pressed down. Any ideas how in just two hours, the engine will not turn over?
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    I once put a fuel injector cleaner in a car of mine and it made it run worse than it did before...started and could be driven but it was really rough. Dealer claimed the injector cleaner may have clogged things up by mobilizing crud in the tank allowing it to clog up fuel filter and injectors. I have no idea if there is any truth to this theory, but a real fuel injector cleaning and new fuel filter fixed the problem.

    Where is this fuel pump button you mention and what is it supposed to do (we have a '97 and I know nothing about this feature).
  • There is a triangular-shaped panel on the passenger side behind the wheel well at the back of the van, right next to the hatch. Open the panel and there should be a black plastic mount with a red button. If the button is not pressed down, the fuel pump is not getting fuel, I guess it was some sort of fail-safe in case the van was rear-ended. When mine won't start, I check the button, in this case, the button is still pressed down but it still won't start...
  • :mad: :cry: My 95 windstar won't start. It started fine today I did all my erranes came home and half an hour later went to go to work and the van won't start. All you get is the normal clicking sound all dash lights are normal the battery tested full even disconected the battery to reset the computer ( had to do that a few times with my old aerostar) , fuel shutoff switch was not triped the button is still down and still the van will not start. The only thing strange is when I turn the key a few times the power locks will lock and then unlock.
    dose anyone have any ideas as to what to check ?
    Thank you
  • konajkonaj Posts: 1
    Hello every one, I please need help with a Ford Windstar imported into Africa, It is developing all sorts of problem. There is a problem of lack of Computerised equipment to check the fault. The ABS light is on. it is very slugish not gathering speed.
    The brake has been checked and replaced, the Gear-box too, the fuel line helped a little, but it is slow again. Any one knows how to sort out this. Any help will be appreicated.
  • My windstar will not start... I went for drive up north , around 267km round trip no problem , than next day went out to start my van up . it turn over but did not start. like it was not getting fuel. i check the gas line relief valve not much pressure there . so i replace fuel filter, than check the fuel line relief valve lots of pressure but still it will not start does anyone know what the problem is . i need help ,please if anyone had same problem and fixes it . let me know how .
  • I got a '99 Windstar, and been having a problem recently with it starting. One day it starts and works fine. The next day, nothing. It won't make a sound or crank or anything when I turn the key. The next day it starts and works fine. Then the next day, nothing. I can't imagine it being the starter, because one day it works, one day it doesn't, but I wouldn't put it past it. Any input would be appreciated
  • Sometimes you can develop a bad "spot" on the starter and it will only work intermittently. Since it is a disk you can think of it like having a scratch on a DVD. It plays fine until you get to a certain point, then it skips a whole chapter. Depending on how bad the starter is you might "hear/feel" the bad spot when it is starting, like a lurch in the start-up. I hope this helps.
  • We gave our 1995 Windstar to our daughter and her three babies and it has always been an excellent vehicle but a couple days ago she went to the store and when she came out it wouldn't start. It will crank and the first time it seems like it fires once and then nothing other than cranking over but no starting.
    We had it towed home and I went to work cleaning off the battery that was wet from something and cleaned off the corroded terminals and connectors with a wire brush until everything was bright, shinny and clean. I got in, turned the key and walla, she started as thought nothing was wrong.
    yesterday we went out to get her a Christmas tree in the country and you got it, it wouldn't start when we wanted to come home, in fact its still out there. When we drove out there I did notice that there was a slight surging in the rpm at an idle. Not constant but about every 10-15 seconds. Any recommendations? Help!!!!
  • pobopobo Posts: 1
    I tried to start my van on a 15 degree morning - heard a loud bang and now it won't start. Battery seems to be fine. Any suggestions?
  • jlfonzjlfonz Posts: 3
    Please let me know if you figure this out. 95 3.8 Intermittent crank--no start. It seems to be far worse now that its really cold out. Daughter takes it to practice---2 hours later--no start. Come back 4 hours later to diagnose---it starts right away. Happenning more and more often. Has new fuel pump and filter. Something came to me today as I drive away from the Van (again). My 16 year old daughter is the one having this problem--more often than I ever did (when I drove it regularily). Could it be because she is getting in and cranking the key quickly thereby not giving the fuel pump time to pressurize the system fully? Could it have something to do with the pressure regulator? Allmost everytime we let it sit for hours--it will start--colod or not.
  • ZUULUZUULU Posts: 2
    charged battery and still just getting click click click when i turn the key. please help...
  • betty18betty18 Posts: 2
    I just bought the 2001 ford windstar yesterday when we saw it we figured it just needed a new battery but the battery looked pretty new. so we purchased a new battery and it ran nice and smooth this afternoon the interior lights, windows, radio and anything electronic worked. i recieved a jumped and it did fine for 2 mins. my mechanic is saying its either the starter or alternator and is still doing the stupid click click noise if you find the solution i would really appreciate.
  • betty18betty18 Posts: 2
    My car was doing the same click click sound the day after i bought my mechanic checked and found out my cars problem was the starter and when that was done they found out it was also the alternator. so i had the tune up, oil change the alternator and starter fixed. all the parts ran up to about 300 but my mechanic barely charged us. my advise is if you can get your car started take your car and get it diagnosed but they might charge a 25 fee in autozone they dont charge for diagnosing the starter, alternator, and other parts... hope this helped!!! :)
  • negchinnegchin Posts: 2
    A lot of people seem to be having the same exact issue with stalling/restarting issue with Ford Windstar. I had the same exact problem on my '98 3.8L GL. I've had random non-starting behavior and two occasions of suddenly stalling. Then yesterday the car just died while driving and had to be towed back to the house. I was hoping it would start next morning but it wouldn't.

    The symptom was similar to a very common problem with Volvo 740's fuel pump relay. So I was thinking it would be some kind of relay issue.

    I fixed the problem today. It was PCM power relay. The toughest part was to figure out where the thing was located. Be warned this is different from PCM relay that is in the fuse box. On 3.8L engine, PCM power relay is located below the air filter box. Other models have it between the battery and fender. It is screwed on with four star shaped screws which separate the unit into two things; one side has some gears and coils, the other side has computer circuit. The one with the computer circuit is the PCM power relay. I picked one up at a junk yard for $12. It is around $150 new.

    On pre-98 Windstar, it might be called CCRM (Constant Control Relay Module), and it looks different than the newer one. I am not 100% certain they serve the same purpose.

    A mechanic at Ford dealer told me a simple way to diagnose this issue. When you turn the ignition to ON position (without turning the starter), "Service Engine Soon" light should illuminate. If that is in fact the case and the car does not start, there is something wrong with the fuel pump.

    If "Service Engine Soon" light does not come on, but all other panel lights come on, then PCM is not sending power, and most likely PCM power relay is the problem.

    I hope this helps someone having the same issue.
  • (2001 - 3.8) Recently, my girlfriend's Windstar started squealing around the belt area. At the same time, she has experienced the van stalling on two occasions. We decided to try the cheap route and change the serpentine belt. The squeal still occurs (probably more frequently) and now I'm experiencing that the van wants to stall on me. Are the two symptoms related, (i.e. - the belt is slipping and causing the alternator to not send power to wherever,) (something in the engine that isn't working and, therefore, causing slippage of the belt,) or something else? I cannot yet determine the cause of the squeal since it doesn't seem to want to do it when I'm under the hood, just while driving (go figure). I can't really tell if anything is wrong with the water pump other than a tiny bit of wobble in its revolutions. There are no obvious drips from a weep hole or any sounds. I can't imagine that a failing water pump would make the engine stall anyway. I would appreciate any leads as I would rather fully find the problem and fix it than to blindly replace things. Thank you.
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