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Ford Windstar Starting/Stalling Problems



  • Well I wanted to give some feedback and tell you all how I fixed my stalling issues. First it's a 2003 Windstar LX. My stalling issues started after I replaced the alternator. The stalling was under light acceleration and at about 2200 RPMs. In order to get the car to re-start, you had to turn the key to off, then start it. I had the alternator checked but it showed that it was fine. I cleaned out Mass Airflow Sensor and the IAP(?) small valve sitting on top of the engine. The stalling continued. I felt like it was electrical since it just stopped running, like the key was turned off.

    So, I went back to O'reilly's and talked with the counter guy. He came out and put a meter on the alternator and it was only putting out 69 Amps. It should have been 135 Amps. But it immediately went back up to 133 Amps. So, he replaced the alternator and it's now been about 3 weeks without any problems. So, I think the lesson is, the problems one person might be having, will not necessarily prove to be the problems you are experiencing. BUT, I suggest that you look at the electrical system, if your issues are like mine.

    Good Luck!!
  • mfranco1mfranco1 Posts: 2
    edited June 2011
    I am having the exact same problem with my windstar and I need your help to identify what a fuel safety switch is.

    I have called the dealer and gthey don't know what I'm talking about. Please help.

  • jlfonzjlfonz Posts: 3
    I'm not the one that posted that but---the fuel safety switch should be inside the cubby hole hole in back on the driver side---it's just a red button essentiually. Most cars keep it behind the passneger side kick panel. I still to this day have my problem and still only on the coldest of days. I've pulled all of the seats out of it and use it as a family pick up truck now anyway--I think I had finally traced mine to the device mounted directly to and under the battery box. I don't remember what it is. It's easier to see when on a rack and I had disconnected and reconnect the harness to it hoping it might clear a bad connection.
  • mmarino55mmarino55 Posts: 3
    I was driving with cruise control on, suddenly my radio turned off and my power locks started going crazy, they went up and down rapidly on there own for a few seconds .at this time I smelt some sort of burning plastic. I tried to turn off the car in neutral to try and restart the power to get my radio back on and I realized the car would not turn off. When I got home to turn off the car I had to disconnected the battery to turn off because even in off position with the key out of the ignition the car would not turn off. Now the car won't turn on. When I turn the key nothing happens. What could be the problem? It is defiantly electric or at least I think. Please help! Thank you god bless.
  • mmarino55mmarino55 Posts: 3
    Update. Car will not hold charge
  • My 2003 windstar has been a bad girl. Seriously, I can't figure out what the problem is. For months my battery would die, new battery, and it would just drain. I figure that something is draining the battery, and after a series of events, like changing the battery cable and getting a huge knot on the side of my eye, and buying a light tester, I had my husband take my battery in (Oreillys) to be fully charged...and when he put it back...we turned in on and it turned over, coughed a few times, then clicked several when you stick your finger in a ceiling fan. My dad is great with cars, but he lives far away, but our during our phone conversation, he had me try turning it on again, and it didn't click but stayed silent. HOWEVER, my gauges (gas, RPM, Speed, and oil) began tremblings, the moving from one side to the other several times. When I pulled the key out, they continued to move, and the dinging that happens when you have your key in and door open...was going on! The key was OUT! It was freaky!

    See, I have been trying to check my fuses to see if one of them is draining my batter, but I can't get them all out (of course, I am very careful to replace them exactly where and how they came out), but it doesn't really matter at this point if my van won't start. The alternator is good, and I think the starter is good, as before we had the battery charged, my husband would jump the van, and it would run just fine, and when the battery charged enough from running, it would turn on just fine until it was drained again.

    Any help would be highly appreciated to helping me with finding what I am doing wrong or not doing at all...or doing what shouldn't be done.
  • rkarkirkarki Posts: 1
    Thanks so much for your post a the procedure to change the sensor. I am based in Canada and have a 2003 Windstar with exactly the symptoms described in your post. Please let me know if "Crank Angle Sensor" is same as "Crank Sensor" ? Because when I called the dealer he was only aware of Crank Sensor and not the other.
  • hello,

    my name id Manuel and had a problem with my 2003 windstar.

    In respons to you question, I'm sorry but on't have any information to share with you. I had to take it to a mechanic and he took care of the problem.
  • hello, I have a 94 windstar, I am dealing with the electrical problems the van is well known for but my biggest problem is that when I first crank the van it will not go, it acts like it's not getting fuel and spits and spatters, i can have the gas pedal all the way to the floor but it will not go and then all of a sudden it will run fine....but if I let it run for 20-30 mins before driving it runs fine until I cut it off and let it sit for a few mins. then sometimes when I use it at first it sounds like it gets stuck in a gear but then after it warms up it won't do that anymore... what in the world is causing this to happen? :confuse:
  • jlindleyjlindley Posts: 1
    Same problem with 2002 windstar. Did you ever solve your problem?
  • Some of this seems a bit redundant. Starts fine. After 3-5 minutes, when coming to stop, idles down, chirps like a tiny belt squeal (as if the engine were seizing up) and dies where it sits. I have noticed this occurs whether the van is in gear at a stop light, or in park in a driveway. On the most recent occurrences, the vehicle has also been on a slight upward incline. It will start again, seemingly as if there were never an issue. It happens with decreasing frequency as the van gets to normal operating temperature. I have noticed recently that my drivers side window switch will ignore me intermittently when I try to put my window up. Not sure this is related. An additional piece of info is that the van seems to accelerate and run like poop at low speeds, kind of noisy, straining, as if compression is bad...but once up to speed runs nicely, with no performance issues. It is an SEL, with only 76,000 miles. It was VERY well cared for, and the interior is like new, with many amenities, which is why I would love to make this thing be reliable and trustworthy again. I have read the posts about the crank sensor, IAC, PCM relay, Fuel switches, etc. What I am hoping for is some FEEDBACK or new post from someone who has finally figured out this problem, and could help me not waste money on shot in the dark repair techniques. Thank you for helping!
  • If any of your symptoms include a noise that sounds like a fan belt squeal, then your issue is the crank sensor. It has a bushing that goes dry. This causes the squeal noise and throws your engine timing off which will sputter and stall the engine. If you want a way to test that crank sensor, I would take the black cap off and spray some lubricant into this area.....that should loosen that bushing and you should see an immediate improvement. By the way, when you take that black cap off, you are looking at the very top of the crank sensor assembly. If you remove the whole assembly, it is about 10 inches long and goes deep into the engine area. The busing that goes bad is almost at the very top of this assembly and a shot of WD-40 sprayed into it will tell you if this sensor is your culprit. Best of luck to you, Jim in Delaware.
  • Thanks, Jim. In my heart, I was always leaning toward the crank sensor, because of the short squeal associated with the stall. I kind of figured that the problem would not present itself at higher speed, because a bad bushing would be less apparent due to the higher RPM. What I was struggling with was the fact that once the car is warmed up, it seems fine, no matter what RPM. This issue only seems to occur during the first 10 minutes after a cold start. That fact led me to think IAC or some other malfunction in the throttle body. I threw away $28 at Autozone the other day, as the 2 "pro's" just KNEW it was the TPS. Didn't do a thing. I am all too happy to swap out sensors and gadgets at $50 a pop as they are easy, but am not looking forward to getting all greasy and icky replacing the synchronizer. I am going to do it, though. I will post results in hopes that someone else may be helped, although one assumes all the issues in this forum have been resolved, based on the age of the posts. Thanks again! Tim
  • this van will stall after running fine for aprrox. 45 minutes, sometimes will start right back up. usually you have wait about an hour for it to restart, turns over fine, what the ???? any answers?
  • hi we have a 98 ford windstar lx, when we go to start it up the engine dies, no check engine light is on, we have had the coil spring replaced, withe the intake manafold replaced, no vacume leak, fuel filter replaced, brand new spark plugs put in as well, but it does the same thing still
  • hello. i am new to this so please excuse me.. i have a 99 ford windstar that will click multiple times but will not start. we have replaced several things on the van, but the other the car would only click and wouldn't start.. i finally got it today to click multiple times.. (don't ask me how).. i am thinking i am getting a bad connection on my battery or the starter is bad.. not real sure..
    the starter cable going from the starter to the battery had pulled off of the starter which is what made it not start before hand.. we fixed that but yet it still won't start
  • I have a 2003 Windstar that has had the same problem...we changed the "crankshaft sensor" and it continued, then changed the "camshaft sensor" and it continued, then changed the "camshaft synchronizer". It has run 7 days without a problem...knock on wood !! good luck Jay
  • Check your relay fuse. My van did that i could kick start it by sticking a screwdriver on the starter which I dont recomend if you dont know how. The relay fuse had blown.
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