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Ford Windstar Problems

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  • Hello:

    I have a three month old 2002 SEL Windstar. My Windstar is starting to have a problem with stalling. The problem occurs after I have driven the car for an hour or so, then turn it off for a short time, then when I re-start the engine, it often stalls. The only way to keep it from stalling is to increase RPM's to around 2K. This is an issue in that when I approach a stop light I have to place the car into neutral and give it some gas to keep it from stalling.

    So far the vehicle has been at the dealer a total of five days and they cannot replicate the problem. They did give me a loaner, so they are trying to give me good service.

    I sure would appreciate any advice!!! The can't duplicate problem answer is getting sour.

    Thanks!

    Vezini
  • doobiedoobie Posts: 5
    1999 REVERSE SENSOR STOPS WORKING WHEN SHIFTED INTO REVERSE. SLIDING DOOR DOES NOT CATCH PROPERLY AT REAR LATCH THUS DOOR IS NOT FLUSH WITH BODY SIDE.

    THESE PROBLEMS HAVE BEEN FIXED BY FORD BEFORE. THE CAR IS NOW OUT OF WARRANTY. I need help.

    Please advise.
  • I have anti-freeze leaking from my front cover. I was told this external leak may become internal?? Has anyone come across this before? The mechanic also said Ford has a goodwill program for certain issues. This one sounds uncommon but would like to hear any thoughts on the leak.
    Thanks, me
  • Hi Guys,
    I am using Ford Taurus for last 5 years and
    was impressed and satisfied with it's performance and hence decided
    to go in for Ford Windstar as we wanted a van because of our two kids. I got a new 2002 Windstar
    just two weeks back for a very good price. The sales people were desperately trying to impress me
    with the Dual Automatic Power Sliding Door feature with a built-in sensors for child safety.
    I initially went to Frontier Ford at San Jose and had a look at the vehicle and while trying to test the above mentioned jazzy feature my hand got
    stuck in the sliding door and was not at all able to
    pull my hand out and luckily the sale's guy immediately deactivated by jumping into the van pressing a switch. I had to scream for help. My
    right hand little finger was badly hurt and was bleeding. To my shock they did not even carry any
    on-site First Aid kit. I immediately left that premises, saying that I will get back to them later. Couple of days later we went to Capitol Ford again at San Jose and got the new 2002 Windstar as we got a very good deal. Here I did not
    have the courage again to test the feature,so I asked the sales guy to test it for me and it was ok at that time. So I thought, that one particular piece ( where i got hurt ) might be defective and hence got the vehicle. But today,
    while loading my infant into the van, my wife accidently closed the side door where I was and it
    hit my ribs very very hard and the door did not stop or move back ( as it is supposed to do because of safety and sensors ) and I had to struggle my way out. My ribs are still paining as
    I write this post. I want to know whether anybody else has faced this problem and their experience with it. What recourse I can get and from where ?
    Advice would be greatly appreciated.
  • wthiru - you ask "What recourse I can get and from where ?" I suggest you submit a complaint to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at their web site - http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/ - - - Then contact a lawyer for advice on recourse.
  • haulthault Posts: 124
    I had a 95 Windstar. It had the timing cover gasket replaced for coolant leak. Check alldata.com for recalls on your 96. This leak was a common problem on 95's and probably 96's. The internal leak is related to the headgasket leaking internally and slowly killing the engine do to coolant being in the oil. Most of the "good will" programs expired by now. e-mail me if you need more info. I lived with a 95 Windstar bought new and bought back by FORD at age 6.
  • 626dan626dan Posts: 1
    Engine Light on my 99 SEL keeps going off. Had O2 sensors replaced and now mass flow sensor. Any other ideas?
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,184
    Lots of auto parts stores will now pull the codes for free. Or is that how you figured to replace the O2 and MAP sensors?

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  • larynlaryn Posts: 1
    I have 75,300 miles on my '96 Windstar. I have found oil in my radiator recovery tank. No water is noticed in the crankcase; Am I heading for trouble with a big repair bill? What are my options.
    Please help. thanks.
    Larry N.
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    3.8, right? Unfortunatley, you are looking at a failed engine gasket: either a head or timing cover. Either way, it's about the same amount of labor so you may as well bank on a full upper engine gasket replacement job. The first thing to do: STOP DRIVING IT! NOW! Although you might not see antifreeze in the oil, there could be trace elements in there, or the leak could be about to increase and cause more liquid exchanges. Antifreeze contacting engine bearings will destroy them. Before you plunk down any money for repairs, be certain that you havent heard any ominous knocking or severe pinging recently; this would be a sign that your bearings are already on their way out. Has the vehicle overheated? This is another scary problem that can complicate things. I assume you have had a mechanic determine that there is indeed motor oil in the coolant, and not some other type of sludge? If so, you're looking at about a $500 to $800 repair job. You'll want to purchase a QUALITY (Fel-Pro, etc) upper engine gasket set from a parts store, plus new head and intake bolts. Find a good mechanic who's up to the task, and let him know you want all upper engine gaskets replaced. Insist that he 1.COMPLETELY drains all coolant from the motor before pulling the intake or heads 2. checks the heads+intake for straightness according to Ford specs before reassembly 3. uses YOUR gaskets and bolts you supplied (so he won't be tempted to go with the cheapest line of parts to save $$$) 4. torques all bolts according to specs and using correct procedure 5. changes oil TWICE after reassambly (to remove traces of coolant from the oil). If these steps are followed, you can probably get another 50-75,000 miles out of the van before dealing with the gaskets again. Maybe more, as many of the better aftermarket parts manufacturers have actually reingineered and improved the design of the original Ford gaskets for better longevity. One note: if your mechanic does find coolant in the oil upon intitial inspection, you might want to take a deep breath and decide just how much you really like the van. If the bearings are already contaminated, you're probably looking at a new motor in about a year, which would cost nearly the value of the van. You might be better off selling it as a mechanics special for $800-$1500 and using that money towards downpayment of a newer more reliable vehicle. Good luck!
  • I just bought a used 1995 Windstar GL. The one option that it didn't have that I wanted was the center console.

    Can anyone point me to (or email me at bgmail@yahoo.com) a picture of a Windstar 1995 center console?

    If I can find one in a junk yard, will it be difficult to install? How integral is it with the dash?

    Are there any third party options I should consider instead of OEM?

    Thanks!
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,184
    Try this eBay link for a pic:


    "GRAY"Center Console for "95-99" WINDSTAR.


    If that doesn't look right, try a search there in the closed auctions for other photos. I don't see any for sell there in the current auctions.


    Steve, Host

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  • mted23mted23 Posts: 16
    We purchased a 2000 Windstar SE right after Thanksgiving. We have put about 1500 miles on it and are generally happy. We got a pretty good deal on the van. It had 29,000 miles on it. Based on what I have read on this board and others we purchased the extended warranty. The only problem is the power drivers seat went out this weekend. It will be covered under the warranty. The last tank of gas was 17mpg with about 85% city driving. Does anybody out there have anything good to say about the Windstar?
  • tmanttmant Posts: 70
    Well, I also own a 2000 SE with 60K+ miles on it. My average mpg is about 17, with my worse tank at about 15 and my best I think was 24 (this one was obviously highway).

    I really like the look of my van. I have the sprucegreen or whatever it is called. The power from the engine is GREAT! Of course it is the strongest vehicle I've had the opportunity to drive.

    My power driver seat has not had any problems, yet.

    Might I had that you did yourself a good thing by buying that extended warranty. You don't want to hear about my bad news next...
  • tmanttmant Posts: 70
    My 2000 SE has been fairly troublefree for the 62K or so I have on it. But just last Friday, my transmission stopped working! Reverse works, but drive doesn't. I had mentioned before that my transmission started a slight leak around Novemeber, so I added a bottle of that no leak stuff. It stopped leaking in December.

    Anyways, had it towed to my dealer. They estimate about $2300 for parts and labor and will be fixed by this Tuesday! I think that's rather fast, like they are so used to this repair. Oh yeah, I didn't get the extended warranty which probably would have cost me the same as this repair.

    I'm also having my engine light that recently turned on checked out. As well as a squeaky noise from the steering/transmission.

    Other problems I'm not fixing yet include my wiper fluid light turning on when the tank is not empty or low, my front heater selector doesn't seem to select heat, and my cruise control doesn't work! :(

    Anyways, I'll fill in more details of my repair later.
  • mted23mted23 Posts: 16
    You could have left the bad news out. Has you trans been serviced until this point? I am glad I bought the extended warranty. Good luck with your reparis.
  • bdemasbdemas Posts: 51
    mted23: I've got about 75K on my 2000 SE. The torque converter was replaced just outside the factory warranty (It would shudder and clunk). Fortunately I had just bought an extended warranty (5yr/100k). All the power options (seats, mirrors, side door) still work. Other then the torque converter, the van has been quite reliable. We do alot of highway traveling and get around 19-23 mpg on average.
  • All things considered our 3 Stars have been very good. The 95 went 135K till a red light runner hit it. The 99 replaced it but I really just got it cause I needed a van right away and the price was good. We just picked up a 2000 SEL and it is very, very sweet, Only 23k on it and power everything. It is a Ford Certified so it came with a 6/75 power train warranty but I upped to the 6/100K warranty. With all the electronics these days it pays to get the warranty. On servicing the transmission I found that Ford calls for a major transmission service every 30k, not 60 like it used to be. Most people do not do the maintenance on them. The 95 was known for a bad transmission but until mine was hit it was just fine. I pull all the maintenance s required and it does pay for itself. My only concerns are the power doors. I have heard they are a problem with the 2000 but I have three years of coverage so I am not going to worry about it now. It seems it is either all or nothing with the Windstar. They are either all good or all bad. So far all good for me. Oh yes, I get about 22 MPG on average.
  • JUST TO LET ANYONE KNOW THE 98 WINDSTAR IS AN ALL AROUND JUNK. I HAVE READ QUITE A FEW POSTINGS AND HAVE HAD ALOT OF PEOPLE PROBLEMS WITH MY OWN VAN SUCH AS :HARD SHIFTING TRANSMISSION (WAS TOLD THAT IT WAS NORMAL),POWER STEERING PUMP WAS NOISE (WAS TOLD THIS WAS NORMAL ON MOST 98'S, POWER MIRROR SWITCH WAS REPLACED, INTERIOR LIGHTS ALWAYS STAYING ON (HAD ALL SENSORS REPLACED 2 TIMES AND STILL DOES IT OCCASIONALLY. OIL IN THE RADIATOR WAS TOLD IT WAS THE WATER PUMP ( HAD THAT REPLACED ALONG WITH CRACKED INTAKE RETAINING CLIP (PARTS 200.00 LABOR 1000.00) TO END THIS HEADACHE I WENT TO PORTSMOUTH NH USED FORD TO TRADE IT IN FOR A 2000 AND UP WHEN WE CHOSE ONE AND WAS READY TO TRADE IN THE SALESMEN SAID HE WOULD GIVE ME 2800.00 FOR MINE BECAUSE 98 ARE KNOWN FOR HEAD GASKETS AFTER 100K. SO TO ME IT Doesn't LOOK LIKE FORD WANTS TO STAND BEHIND THERE JUNK. AS FAR AS I'M CONCERNED THIS WAS MY FIRST FORD AND WILL BE MY LAST. I GUESS THE SAYING IS TRUE FORD STANDS FOR FOUND ON ROAD DEAD. IF ANYONE HAS ANY QUESTIONS ON 98S I'LL BE HAPPY TO LET YOU KNOW ABOUT ALL MY ISSUES WITH THEM AND FORD. FORD BLOWS
  • tmanttmant Posts: 70
    Well, it ended up costing me $3600 for the final bill. About 2400 for the transmission repair and another $1000 for additional engine repair. It wasn't bad enough I had a transmission problem, but my engine light turned out to be a crack in my lower intake manifold. This particular repair seems typical of what I have seen posted before.
  • mslmnmslmn Posts: 13
    I HAVE A 99 SE WITHOUT ANY MAJOR PROBLEMS SO FAR BUT... A WEEK AGO, WHEN THE REAL COLD WEATHER STARTED IN NJ, THE ENGINE LIGHT CAME ON AND HAS BEEN ON. I FOLLOWED EVERYTHING THE MANUAL STATES FOR A PERSON TO DO IN CASE THE LIGHT COMES ON WITHOUT ANY SUCCESS. I HAVE AN APPT. TO CHECK IT OUT, BUT MEANWHILE ANYONE ELSE WITH THE SAME PROBLEM? ANY IDEAS AS TO WHY? ANY RECALLS, THAT I DID NOT HEAR ABOUT?
    THANKS.
  • wholiganwholigan Posts: 148
    FWIW - Three years on a Ford and cold weather sets in... I would speculate one of the Oxygen Sensors, however, the only REAL way to know is to dump the computer code. Check with your local Auto Parts CHAIN (one of the biggies like NAPA or CHECKER). Some of them will read and interpret the code for you.

    Good Luck!
  • Hello, i would like to share an experience and then ask a couple of questions...

    my 99 le has been running perfectly for the last 3.5 years..55k miles ...babied and well taken care of..imagine my surprise when the power steering pump starting grinding and finally gave out....then the engine light went on...the dealer said i needed a new power steering pump ($400) and a new EGR valve ($400) whatever that is...i asked the service guy if this is normal and what i could have done to prevent this...he indicated that service manual recommends changing the power steering fluid at 35k miles, and an induction service for the EGR at 20k miles....i told him i dont recall those items ever being in there, as i have followed it religiously...he insisted it was....SO I CHECKED...and it is not...and i checked the website and it isnt there either...so i confronted him and asked what was going on....he indicated the Ford has TWO SERVICE SCHEDULES....one for those who buy the warranty and one for everyone else....and that if i had BOUGHT THE EXTENDED WARRANTY that this could have been prevented....I asked to speak to the Service Manager..and he confirmed this....so I then asked the manager if i could expect to replace the power steering pump and EGR every 55k miles...costing me $800...he said no...which i dont understand how he can say that....anyway i called customer service and they said i should submit my paperwork to see if Ford will cover it...since my point is....this is INSANE that this much work will be required for technically a new car...my relative (who used to work at Ford Cust Service) indicated that i would be lucky if Ford picked up half...but i am going to push for more...Ford is not doing that well...and i guarantee this will be the last Ford i own if i continue to have repairs...the 3k dollar savings off the Oddysee certainly doesnt seem like much any more...if this continues...i will have to cut my losses, dump it, cough up, and buy something more reliable, such as the Sienna or Oddysee...anyway here are my questions based on this experience:

    1. Can this be True on the dual Warranty Schedules?

    2. Why should I have to pre-pay repairs for a $25k vehicle...which is essentially what you are doing when you get the so called extended warranty...just so i can make sure the BRILLIANT ENGINEERS AND MANAGERS AT FORD didnt screw something up along the way? Apparently, according to many GM engineers this is normal, and that this is common among all makes except ..."they dont get the publicity"...yea right..

    3. What would a warranty cost to get it on my vehicle?

    4. Relative to what I am reading on other posts...how I can i be sure the trans is going?...(before i have to take it in for repairs)...i want to dump this car as soon as this arises..as i dont have $3-$5k to repair it...rather invest that money in a new vehicle)

    Thanks for all your help...looking forward to the moderators opinions as well as others...
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,184
    We don't have "moderators" here, just hosts, but I'm happy to throw my .02 in :-)

    I've not heard of an "extended warranty service schedule" I don't think. There's often two factory service schedules - one for normal driving and one for severe driving.

    And most dealers try to talk people into doing more maintenance than the minimum required by the factory schedule; some of the extra service may be a good idea -- other stuff is just a profit center for the service department.

    You can also check The Edmunds Maintenance Guide for maintenance schedules - all I see off-hand is biannual inspections of the power steering fluid and nothing about the EGR valve (they do fail though and can cause pinging, etc.).

    Before you go back to the dealer, you may want to get another opinion and quote from an independent mechanic. Good luck!

    Steve, Host

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  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    Wow, that different-warranty-service-schedule is a load. NO manufacturer recommends steering fluid replacement or EGR service under 50,000 miles! I would certainly take down in writing a factual account of that conversation and let someone higher-up at Ford know about this service manager. I would also recommend looking for a more reputable Ford dealer (or a good independent mechanic, since the van is out of warranty) to do the work, as I wouldnt place much faith in a guy who tells you stuff like that. Regardless, you will most likely have to pay for the repairs out-of-pocket unless a miracle happens with the Ford arbitration department. Your only chance is with the EGR valve, as that could possibly be interpreted as an emmissions-related part (which I believe most manufacturers are federally requires to warranty up to around 60,000 miles? Am I correct on that anybody?) One note about the EGR valve: before having it replaced, make very clear to whomever technician does the repairs that you want to be CERTAIN that the EGR valve is indeed the problem. The reason? Many lazy technicians will read a computer code, for example "EGR valve not closing fully," and immediately start ringing up a bill for a new EGR valve. But the valve itself is rarely the culprit. A rich running condition, a malfunctioning EGR solenoid or vaccuum device, or even oil consumption (which along with running rich can cause carbon buildup in the EGR pintle) can all give a bad EGR code to the main computer. SO make clear to your tech that you want a full diagnostic check, which includes (NOT ONLY!) extracting the error code, doing a full visual inspection of the suspected area (looking for obvious causes like cracked vac lines), and, after removing the offending part, asking himself the tough questions like "is there something else that caused this part's failure?" Let him understand that you do not wish to pay for replacement of parts that aren't faulty, and are willing to pay for a thorough diagnosis in exchange for getting the repair right the first time. Be friendly but firm, take the time to explain your problem and how you think it should be handled, ask for his input, and above all: Find somebody you trust and stick with him!
    As far as the transmission, are you asking about a problem you are having? The best thing you can do for late-model Ford transaxles is change the fluid and filter, according to manual specs, around every 30,000 miles.
  • This should be covered by the emissions warranty. Most go for 70k or something like that regardless of the age of the vehicle. I also would find a new dealer.
  • mslmnmslmn Posts: 13
    IT END UP BEING THE GASKET! I HAD IT REPLACED AND SO FAR SO GOOD! LET'S SEE WHAT FOLLOWS NEXT. ACCORDING TO THE WARRANTY PREFERRED MECHANIC, MY 1999 VAN WITH ONLY 32K IS IN TOP SHAPE. LET'S KEEP OUR FINGERS CROSSED.
  • You seemed happy that it was just the gasket! Sounds like you are still under warranty - or had an extended warranty. The check engine light came on in our '99 Windstar SE yesterday. Took it in today and was also told that the intake manifold was losing vacuum because of a leaking gasket. They are replacing the manifold gasket as well as the manifold bolts that have special o-ring seals on them. $440 bucks! Man what a rip-off. This van has 51,000 miles on it and we have taken care of it very well - change the oil every 3000 miles and get the recommended service done. We've had no major problems like transmission problems - but we've had trouble since the van was new. We have had to run premium fuel in the thing since it was new to keep it from knocking. Have had to replace the alternator, the starter, and a few other things. Some of these problems stranded us and we had to have the thing towed. Now this. I like the way the Windstar drives - but I'll never buy a Ford again - ever. I hope to keep this vehicle for another 2 or 3 years, but I don't have a high level of confidence it will go that long befoe something happens that will cost thousands to repair. Live and learn.
  • bdemasbdemas Posts: 51
    mslmn: The check engine light on our 2000 se with 77ki miles came on the other day. I had the codes dumped at a local AutoZone. There were 2 codes pointing to the oxygen sensors, bank 1 and bank 2. The tech at the store said it will cause the engine to run either lean or rich, but nothing major. What codes did you get when you brought yours in?
  • tmanttmant Posts: 70
    Just wanted to add that my transmission seemed to have failed without warning. Was driving just fine on the way home, and stopped engaging when I 'went' on a green light at an intersection. It never got stuck or made any wierd noises until it just stopped working.

    I suppose that the light leak in transmission fluid just 2 months before could be related.
This discussion has been closed.