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Ford Windstar Problems



  • kathy36kathy36 Posts: 4
    I was just told to look up this site. Last
    Friday, while traveling to PA with my two young children and senior citizen mother, I broke down with my 95 Windstar. A month and a half ago, the head gasket was fixed by the dealer where I bought the used car 3/31/00. Now, the car towed to the nearest dealer, at least 20 miles in the Poconos, we find out it needs a new engine. And it will only take 8-12 weeks! My husband came up 3 days later to rescue us. Ford says it will repair it under my warranty, with a loaner car for only 5 days! Now that I read everybody else's problems, my sounds the same. I need to find out an address and phone number besides the old customer service (twerps) number. That only gets me dial-an-idiot, a new one everyday! One service rep mentioned a buyback and said Ford will call us. My hometown dealer (more twerps) says about the car in PA - good luck! Nobody wants to hear me. The best part is, before I bought the car, the salesman took it to my mechanic, who said the car had two leaks - antifreeze and transmission. Dealer said they would fix them, we bought the car. Two weeks later, our mechanic said they were not fixed. Back to Ford - alas, head gasket! It's good to know some others are listening to me who will at least sympathize. Whoever said Ford reads these, I sure hope so. Please help if you can!
  • steve68steve68 Posts: 1
    Our 99 Windstar is fine. it is comfortable and reliable.

    When we bought it, we got the "CD prep" radio/tape player. Can anyone recommend where we can find the CD changer to work with the factory equipment? I don't want to get an FM controlled CD changer, and have not been able to find the CD player at Cruthfield, or at the dealer (they wanted to send me to "their" installer).

    Beyond the lack of a CD changer, the vehicle works well.

  • wholiganwholigan Posts: 148
    You have the case Kathy! The following is a press release from RUETERS - March 7, 2000:


    DEARBORN, Mich., March 7 (Reuters) - Ford Motor
    Co. , as part of a plan to fix potential head
    gasket problems on some cars and minivans, will buy the vehicle back in certain cases if a new engine cannot be found in a timely fashion, a spokesman confirmed on Tuesday.

    Ford, the world's No. 2 automaker, announced last
    month that it extended the warranty on head gaskets in certain 3.8 liter V-6 engines to seven years or 100,000 miles. The head gasket is a central seal in the engine that can cause engine failure if it leaks.

    There are about 700,000 vehicles affected. They
    are: 1994-95 Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable sedans;
    1994 Continental large sedans; and 1995 Windstar

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    If a failed head gasket causes engine damage,
    Ford will replace the engine. But if Ford cannot
    locate a re-manufactured engine within five days,
    the automaker will offer to buy back the vehicle
    for fair market value as well as issue a $3,000
    certificate toward the purchase of a new Ford, said spokesman Mike Vaughn.

    Vaughn declined to say how much Ford would pay for
    the damaged vehicles. Based on a guide from the
    National Association of Automobile Dealers, the
    fair market repurchase offer ranges from $3,175 for a 1994 Taurus GL to $8,375 for a 1995 Windstar LX.

    If a head gasket fails during the extended
    warranty time period, owners will be eligible for
    repair refunds. Or they can choose to take a $4,000 certificate to be used for the purchase of a new Ford, Mercury or Lincoln vehicle.

    Vaughn declined to say how much the program will
    cost Ford. A story in this week's Automotive News,
    an industry trade publication, said Ford could
    spend at least $200 million, making it one of the
    five largest warranty campaigns in the industry.


    Don't let the dealer play games with you...
    Tell them that you want to talk to the Ford Customer Service Representative for BOTH your servicing dealer and the dealer in PA (these are the Ford employees responsible for customer relations.

    Educate yourself...
    Read the posts both in here and at to get more information about how people have been treated during their "ordeal". The follwing postings outlines a buyback scenario from Kent25:
    Pay special attention to #493 for a link for the Ford CSRs to use to get more information about the process. Further, see link #515 for the economical advantage. The more you know, the better prepared you will be to work through the issues.

    Work your best deal...
    Here is the latest that I have heard. You should be offered about $6650 for the van. In addition, there is the $3000 "Certificate" (for not having to pay for the repair). Plus any current rebates (I think there is currently a $1000 or $1500 rebate). Unfortunately, you have to buy another Ford, however, play your cards right and you'll be getting $10000+ off your negotiated price and you get a new warranted vehicle. If you keep it for two years (still under warranty, mind you) you should easily be able to get rid of it and get out of the Ford world.

    Don't let your emotions get the best of you...
    Especially when working with the Ford CSRs. I know you had a lousy experience breaking down away from home (mine was with three kids 50 miles from home with a van full of camping equipment). That cannot be changed. You will always come out better being sweet like honey rather than bitter like vinegar.

    Be patient!
    This issue will not be resolved overnight.

    Best of luck and PLEASE keep us posted as to how you are dealt with and how the dealerships and Ford CSRs react.

  • kathy36kathy36 Posts: 4
    Thanks to this site plus ccantanese, I've educated myself as to what's up. The customer service reps (dial-an-idiot-a-day), are totally useless. Today a supervisor finally called me back. "I am documenting your disontent." This is the reply I got 6 times! My gripe is, they won't give me a loaner car while the vehicle is being repaired for 8-12 weeks, only 5 days allowed on my extended warranty. Nothing as far as Ford's responsiblity on the repair due to head gasket repair 1 1/2 months ago. Went to Ford dealer where purchased, spoke of the Buyback. You're right - $6,600 plus 3,000 incentive. Would probably only get me another 95 W, as I still owe on my loan! From the frying pan to the fire! Will check out what else is on the lot - maybe a Quest? Dealer feels there must be a number to reach the person who would be able to and should authorize the loaner car, but doesn't know who. Encouraged us to keep trying CSR at 800 number! I'm not done yet! Will keep you posted!
  • Actually, you were already very close at Crutchfield. They carry a 6-disc changer from a company called Mobile Pro that will integrate with factory stereos that are changer-compatible. You will have to buy the correct interface cable, but they sell those, too. You can check out the changer at the Crutchfield web site:
  • cpliucpliu Posts: 1
    I just found this web site from my friend. I got
    a 97 Windstar with many problems on it. Around April 2000, my Spare Tire carrier release broken and I had replaced it with $148 US dollars. The
    reason was release button rusted in side the van. I live in Chicago but I never had any such problem in my spare tire for my previous 5 cars.

    In June, my ABS was broken and my dealer told me that there were 24 signals were wrong out of total 39 signals. The manager ordered replacements for me. The first 2 were all broken and can't match. Manager told me that they call Ford Technician Hotline and the technician support from Ford told them that it would be simple to plug in and that is all. Somehow they all failed. I had been very worried about that since my Windstar only 45K miles and just out of waranty. Finally the 3rd one matched and 24 days passed. The manager told me that he gave me 10% discount and it totally came to $1492.44. The part was $1000.65 and the labor was $474.00.

    It had been a nightmare for me. I was told by many
    friends don't replace ABS since it only had a BRAKE light on. I really regretted it.

    My friend asked me to check this web site and see if similar problems but I only saw 95/96 Windstar ABS problems. I would post this to let everyone know before they consider buying a Windstar.
  • liebedaliebeda Posts: 13
    I finally got a response from Ford.

    They contacted the dealer and spoke with the Assistant Service Manager ....

    "He expressed surprise at what you had written to us. He asks that you make an appointment with the dealership and speak with him personally when you bring the vehicle in."

    I called and spoke with him - he was the guy that gave me the hard time.

    At the end, he agreed to waive the $82 fee in this instance.

    I highly doubt that they will put much effort into finding the problem - but I'll probably bring the car in during the next few days.
  • katjo7katjo7 Posts: 1
    I am seriously considering leasing an SE and havent seen too many positive comments on the board!! I have verbally heard both good and bad, either owners have nothing but problems or none.

    Any suggestions?? (Ford just happens to have low sales in the region right now and have great finance rates on the 2000's)
  • bought 98 windstar new. can honestly say its been a great vehicle. 3.8, no problem. auto tran. no problem. brakes (front) did have to worked at 35000 miles. wife drives it most of time and she has a bad habit of running up to stops to fast, then stepping on brakes hard. one thing i have noticed is that when you let off gas the vehicle does not slow down on its own very fast, and that causes you to step on brake peddle a little hard. one thing i know is i've owned at lest one vehicle from each of the big three, and there's always going to be problems. i've always said that they would be better off if they would just build just so many engines and stick with them. Eg. dodge used the 318 v8 for alot of years, had one and it ran like a charm for 135,ooo miles. this is a lot of rambling just to say don't give up on american. remember, the people who buy foreign and have problems are probably saying the same things i've read under this topic. indy chapell.
  • kent25kent25 Posts: 15
    We have a 2000 SE and like it. WE traded in a 95 under the headqasket program. I wanted to buy the Odyssey but we could not wait the 4 months. In addition, the .9% financing added up to several thousand of interest savings. We also got $3K towards the new one. If you are thinking of leasing, you have no worries as you can flip it at end of lease. If buying, the quality issues discussed above should give you pause. Our 2000 has had no problems. My wife drives it daily and loves it. However, if the van starts to show quirkiness under warranty, it will be traded well before the warranty expires. Do the math carefully, and if leasing, you should be aboe to save some serious $ without taking risk of ownership if quality lets you down.
  • This is in response to #92 & #114 in Ford Problems (I or II). Our 95 WS had a ongoing problem with the door ajar & internal lights remaining on. This problem was corrected by replacing the slider door connection, the 4 prong sensor. It was a $32 part, plus half hour labor to put it in (another $30). Apparantly this has been a problem with WS, however, not a big enough problem for FORD to make it a recall item. You need something big and expensive, like an engine to blow up on you for it to make news. Take it to a repuretable mechanic. It was also affecting our running lights in the tail, unless it was shorted out due to one bulb being out?
    We also have/had water in our back taillight also. It could be the form fitting form isn't that form fitting overtime.
  • I have a 98 Windstar which experienced the same problem, or so my dealer says. i took it in for service, and they said the door chime and light stayed on (never happened to us, so they "fixed" it. Well, then I had no door chime or light. It took a while for dealer to find the problem: 3 trips to them, first replacing the "GEM" module (didn't work), and then finally ordering a sensor which did it. I had to fight with them to not pay my deductible on the ext. warranty since they caused the problem in the first place.
  • My 99 started pinging this summer. Based on previous postings, particularly from Ford Windstar Problems (topic 815), my local dealer reflashed the PCM and reset the octane setting. I also mentioned posting #70 under this topic where (nohorn) identified a design problem with the intake manifold that was leading to carbon clogged EGR passages. My dealer however indicated that this was for a top of engine rattle and based on my build date of 3/99, I supposedly had the redesigned manifold. Bottom line was that the dealer stated he has done everything possible and there is nothing else that can be done if the octane setting and pcm reflashing don't correct the problem. Well after 600 miles, the pinging has returned.

    Does anyone else have any possible explaination for the pinging or additional information concerning the manifold design that I can counter with back to my dealer. I have a hard time accepting a $25,000 vehicle with a consistent ping that the dealer calls normal.
  • pjyoungpjyoung Posts: 885
    Our 95 Windstar had the door ajar, interior lights staying on, and the "key in the ignition" chime ringing. The "country" Ford dealer fixed it with WD40. Spray a little WD 40 on the door latch mechanisms. Dirt has built up and just needs to be cleaned out. That's been the most elusive problem, we've had (blown headgaskets and bad tranny's aren't that elusive!), yet it turned out to be the easiest to fix.
  • The power sliding door will close then reopen on its own as if there is an obstruction in the way. We have resorted to manually closing and latching the door and the dealer says Ford is working on the fix. The dealer stated 9 other Windstar owners are having the same problem (at this particular dealership) and they cannot adjust the door. Is anybody else experiencing this?
  • paula12paula12 Posts: 2
    Yes, I have 2000 SE. The dealer replaced the switch and the moulding and it is still reopening.
    It is going back to the shop this week.
  • wholiganwholigan Posts: 148
    I cannot believe they are balking at giving you that name. Can you try another dealership in the area?

    Once again, I just don't get these Ford dealers...

    Just because misery loves company... I have been offered a free 1984 Chevy Custom Van with 70000 miles on it. I know it has been taken care of (my uncle takes good care of his cars and his kid sells at a nearby dealership) so now I am really going to put my local dealer to the test. I am going to try and get the buy-back without buying another vehicle. I am hoping to use the money to pay a big chunk of what remains on the home equity loan I took out to buy the van in the first place. I should be able to pay off the remainder of the load within a year.

    Barring, of course, that Ford buys it back...

    Will let you know - as I hope you will let us know how your saga continues... GOOD LUCK!
  • I have a 2000 Windstar SE (early 2000 build date), and have the same pinging problem that has been posted elsewhere. The dealer has reprogrammed the computer module, and the pinging lessened for a while, but is now returning. Anyone have any suggestions??
  • jrwangjrwang Posts: 1
    I also have a 2000 WS (production 12/99) Recently noticed a slight pinging also at moderate speed and moderate throttle. Advise dealer about it, advised me that computer says everything ok.

    I'd only notice that pinging exist when ambient temp is very HOT!! Maybe earlier evaporation of fuel in engine??

    Just found Ford TSB# 8233 on nhtsa web site. Will talk to dealer again with this TSB next time.
  • I am considering buying a new Windstar but am scared off by all of the head gasket issues raised on this forum. Has Ford addressed this problem on the 2000 Windstars or is it still an issue. I find it curious that the Edmunds review doesn't even mention the head gasket issue and they seem to like the vehicle, generally.
This discussion has been closed.