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Ford Windstar Alternator and Battery Problems

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Comments

  • vidirvidir Posts: 5
    edited October 2010
    When i replaced with new battery and alternator the lamp still showed up always in the first start but in almoust all cases in the second start the charging light did not show.

    i have been googleing around about the PCM (Car Computer) and engine light that is not going away when the car is fixed i found a solutions in another forum that after fixing your car you have to remove the battery minus cable for few minutes.

    i suppose that is resetting the PCM´s failure logs or whateaver??

    So i did actually that today, i started the car "two times" drowe around our village until i was 100% shure that the battery was fully charged (meshuren almoust 13 volts) the i removed the battery minus cable for 10 minutes and replacing it.

    Well i have been starting the car in the last hour about 25 times withous seeing any charging light :-D

    I realy hope this is the solution, resetting the PCM with removing only the cable.. ?
    But if this is not working tomorrow or later i will let you all know :-D
  • alshousealshouse Posts: 3
    I have a 2002 ford windstar, It has had a charging, and battery problem just about sice we brought it. I have replace the battery 4 times, and the alternator 2 times. now it has a shut down problem. I did some research, and determined it was the pcm, but it repair the charging problem between the pcm, and the alternator, but did not cure the shut down problem. took it to the repair shop, now he is telling me that the alternator is producing an rf wave which is shutting down the the plusing of the fuel injectors, and stopping the firing of the plugs. reseach indicates that there is a/c voltage riding on the d/c voltage which is interfering with the pcm. it seems that the alternator is the problem. maybe a shield around the alternator or replacing the alternator untill we get a good one. I do not understand why ford has not fixed this problem.
  • alshousealshouse Posts: 3
    I have a 2002 ford windstar, It has had a charging, and battery problem just about since we brought it. I have replace the battery 4 times, and the alternator 2 times. now it has a shut down problem. I did some research, and determined it was the pcm, but it repair the charging problem between the pcm, and the alternator, but did not cure the shut down problem. took it to the repair shop, now he is telling me that the alternator is producing an rf wave which is shutting down the the plusing of the fuel injectors, and stopping the firing of the plugs. reseach indicates that there is a/c voltage riding on the d/c voltage which is interfering with the pcm. it seems that the alternator is the problem. maybe a shield around the alternator or replacing the alternator untill we get a good one. I do not understand why ford has not fixed this problem.
  • fastenerfastener Posts: 1
    We have a 2002 Ford Windstar that experianced an issue like yours, where the vehicle would just shut down while driving it. You would then need to stop the vehicle, put in park, shut key off and then restart. There were no engine codes set and no issues starting and running until the next time. This happened several times so I brought it in to a Skalink Ford in Lake Orion to be diagnosed. They were not able to get the issue to happen for them. They did suggest having the intake cross over and egr cleaned and replaced $250. After I got it back, my wife used the vehicle to go to Tennessee for a weeks vacation with my young daughter. While on the way, she experienced this issue again. While in Nashville, she went to a good mechanic that I used when I lived there prior to 2006. They suggested that we change out the ignition coil and put on new wires and rotor. She drove it around for a while visiting friends and it happened again on the day that she was supposed to come home. I called Skalink Ford and complained that thier fix was not a fix and that my wife and daughter are stranded in TN with an issue they were supposed to fix. I told them that if the Ford dealer could not diagnose it, who could and reminded them that they were responsible for miss-diagnosing the issue. They recommended that we take the vehile to the authorized Ford dealer in Franklin TN. My wife contacted the Ford dealer and set-up an appointment for the next day (Saturday morning). The dealer there diagnosed it as a bad fuel pump and would replace it for $800, but had to wait until Monday because they did not have a replacement in stock. I called Skalink Ford back and after an argument, they agreed to put $250 towards the purchase of the new pump work. The Franklin Ford dealer had the new pump installed and my family was on thier way. They did not get out of Tennessee before the same issue happened again. She ended up limping it home, pulling off the road where she could and restarting and continuing home. I did not nor will I ever deal with Skalink Ford in Lake Orion again. We kept driving the car until the alternator went out and I replaced it as well as the battery. Since I did that, we have not had another issue. It is an ac noise issue riding on the DC that must be shutting down the ECM. Don't waste your money chasing a fuel or ECM issue and do not expect that the Ford dealer knows how to fix everything. They just take thier best guess which of course is subjective and use the process of elimination at your expence and still not correct the issue.
  • oyokidude1oyokidude1 Posts: 20
    This happened to me, but it would jerk before it would shut off, and usually in excess 70mph, it would act up. What I did, was replaced all the plugs with the original motorcraft plugs, they had been running champions. I also replaced the Coil Pack with a motorcraft ford replacement as well. Not to mention cleaning out the EGR ports. What may have been the culprit was a dirty MAF sensor which I also cleaned.
  • alshousealshouse Posts: 3
    On my 2002 ford windstar, I had an alternator that was producing an r/f wave that was causing the van to stalling, changed the alternator, and the van run fine now. also found a communiction problem between the pcm, and alternator voltage regulator. changed the pcm. then had to reprogram the new pcm for the security system for my van. it solved most of the problems. now the battery light is flicking, what that means is it come on, and sometimes goes right off, and other times it want to just stay on, not sure what is causing this problem. hope this helps.
  • fmparksfmparks Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 Windstar, first both brake lights are on, most times the sliding doors wont work, now it wont hold a charge and it looks like I may need a new alternator. I have had Windstars since its conception and find that the 2002s has the most problems I purchased this one used with 122,000 miles, it ran perfectly for 2 months. the liftgate light is constantly on, and what is the liftgate?
  • k80chavezk80chavez Posts: 1
    edited December 2011
    :lemon: This happened to us. my husband refused to drive it again after the first time that the battery went dead on him in the middle of the night. He had it towed to the house and let it sit until I came back from my business trip (a few days) he never attempted to restart it like y'all did. Now I'm wishing he would've. My dad replaced the battery, and it got 1 round trip to the mexican restaurant down the road before it started shutting itself down. I didn't drive it again, and a few days later my mom in law asked me to move it. I hesitantly started it, and that was fine. Then it sat for another month and a half without being started. I got a tow truck to take it to a shop, and the doors wouldn't even unlock. This leads me to believe that there is a short, and that somewhere in the vehicle it is leaking voltage constantly. this did not start until my husband hit a curb and blew out a tire. Maybe something moved around. The passenger side window have never rolled down and neither does the driver side rear vent/window. There are some electrical problems in this car. There are several recalls on it. I'm hoping to just R2 the alternator, limp it to a dealership and see what happens with the rear axle recall. Hopefully Ford will buy this hunk of junk back. I bought it not even a year ago, and I've already replaced the power steering pump. :lemon:
    I took it to Firestone on NW 23rd and Penn in OKC. THEY wanted to charge me $$1700!!! to replace the entire A/C and the alternator, because they said that the A/C belt (which is in some way associated with the alternator) caused the A/C to jam up and they needed to replace the entire A/C system. They are potentially crooks. What do y'all think?!?!?!
    I only paid 3300 for the stupid thing!! I'm not paying 1700 to fix the :sick: crap.
  • vidirvidir Posts: 5
    This i a weird car. i have been trying to fix the alternator battery problem since 2005.

    Last year i changed both the alternator and the battery and the charging light has since then always after 20 secs turned on.

    Have the same problems?

    My only solution is to start the car and wait until the light comes up to then turn off the engine and then immediately start again. As long you are driving it never comes on again.

    Im tired going to the workshops beacuse they can find anyting wrong with the PCM or the charging. I got the same answer from two diffrent car electricians, the car PCM dosent like your alernator charging volts whatever..

    I do not care about these issues anymore, im satified that the car is working regardless starting two times each time. Im going to use the car until it dies :-D

    The best thing with Ford Windstar is that they do not manufacture it anymore.
  • I have a 2002 Windstar for about 2 1/2 years now, got such a good deal I ignored the lights after I got it that stayed on (ABS and battery). Had no problems with it for all that time until a few weeks ago it wouldn't start up and it made the typical clicking noise of a low battery so I cleaned the contacts and jumped it off to go home. Checked the voltage while it was running and it read 12.3 volts so I figured it was the alternator. I charged up the battery and put on a new alternator drove to town and after a few stops it wouldn't start again. After charging the battery again I tested the voltage of the new alternator and it was around 12 volts again. Thinking that the new alternator may be bad I had it tested ( which I should have done with the original one) and it tested good. Upon further investigation I found that the control/ monitoring plug on the alternator has 3 pins 1 should be around 7 volts, 2 should be around 13 volts and 3 should be the output voltage of the alternator (or did I get that reversed) anyway pin 2 read 0.04 volts instead of the 13 volts it should have had. Made sure I had continuity from the computer harness and the plug. So could it be that because I have no voltage on pin 2 the alternator is not producing electricity and if that is the case do I have to replace the computer to fix it? I would appreciate any suggestions at this point, thanks.
  • vidirvidir Posts: 5
    "do I have to replace the computer to fix it?"

    I had my "computer" or PCM or whatever updated, it seemed to better in my case and i think that can solve it but im not sure in your case?

    I tried to measure the volts before but the thing is the pcm is checking your system for volts and if it get "wrong" feedback it decides to not charge and so on.. and to update or change a pcm can be a good idea.
  • kathiem1kathiem1 Posts: 1
    edited February 2012
    I think our problem is similar to other problems listed here. We are looking for some advice.

    Background....In December of 2010 we had to replace the alternator. Worked great, but sounded louder, until November 2011. Thankfully, it was still under warranty at the shop we got it done at. After replacing that alternator, with an after market part, it worked until December 2011 2 days before the warranty ran out. UHOH why does our alternator have to be replaced again? Will you extend our warranty please!!! Well, the shop that we use has been fair and said they are going to work with us on it. So this time they asked if we want to use the actual Ford part and pay a little extra, but maybe the after market parts are not working well with our van. 1 week later (the shortest time in between) it died again. Now I have to drive this van around with little kids in it so I am getting a little annoyed. They replaced the alternator and some modulator thing which they haven't charged us for until we know if this is going to fix it.

    Fast forward 2 months later, about once a week I go out to my van in the morning and it doesn't start. It appears the battery is dead. I hook up my ever so useful battery charger, put it on jump start setting, and about 5 minutes later it starts. So far this has only happened while it is sitting in my garage in the morning. We live in Wisconsin, but it doesn't seem to pick the super cold days to not start, it is just random.

    After starting it, I can drive it down the street, shut it off, and then it starts fine. This leads me to believe that it is not the battery, otherwise it wouldn't be charged enough to start back up. Also, everytime we have the battery tested it tests good. This is from 3 different sources.

    The starter does not sound like it is slipping or grinding, so I don't think that is missing.

    The alternator has been acting normal (I know the symptoms of a bad alternator pretty well at this point).

    So now we think it is a short somewhere. Does anyone have an idea how to figure out where? Also, is there something else that it might be? Just looking for some help so we can quit hemorrhaging money on vehicles!
  • whiskey3whiskey3 Posts: 1
    I own a 2002 windstar that had all these problems. When my battery was going dead I found it was the brake pedal switch not working right. The brake lihgts would stay on sometimes. I don't recall exactly what I did but, I removed the switch and believe I took it apart to bend something so the plunger on the switch wasn't so sensitive to the pedal. Haven't had a problem in years. You could just change the switch i suppose.
  • srseniorsrsenior Posts: 1
    It seems we all are having the same, or very similar problems; ABS, anti-lock brake, battery and numerous other lights coming on at different times, engine idle concerns and no real suggestions as to what the problem is. After reading these posts, all the way back to 2005, I've gotten some good ideas where to begin looking; wiring in the doors and lift gate, dimmer control, door electrical controls, and so on.
    We bought out 2002 Windstar LS new in Streator, Illinois from the dealer there. The car we traded in broke down there and I'd had enough so we traded on the spot and drove the van back to Iowa. We have 185K miles on the van now and its been a good vehicle.
    This problem first occurred last June while we were work camping in Missouri and only gotten worse. Replaced the battery, alternator tested everything I could, had mechanics look at it and nothing. Not even a suggestion other than to throw parts at it until they find the problem.
    If anyone comes up with a definitive solution please share with the rest of us!
  • get signed up for AAA can sure help out with tow bills
  • Did you ever find out what the problem was. I'm having the same problem with my 1999 Windstar. It is definately random short. It can be parked for weeks with no problem. Move it to the other side of the drive way and the next morning the battery is dead. As long as it's driven every 4 or so hours, it doesn't drain the battery enough that it won't start. I've looked for lights staying on... I've gone to the extreme now of hooking a light switch between the battery and power, so that over night, I can cut the power. But this is very inconvenient. I have noticed that the air conditioning and fan will power up on start up and shut off instantly all by itself... but this may be the after effects of disconnecting the battery and reconnecting to start the motor.

    I wonder if it's a module that is somehow staying powered up after I turned the van off.
  • I have the same problem with the charging light. It is exactly as you say, it takes about 20 seconds for it to come on, but after the first (sometimes second) restart it will not come on again ( I can drive hundreds of miles) until the engine is stopped for a while. If I ignore the charging light and do not restart, the car will eventually die for lack of electricity. I have noticed that outdoor temperature does affect how often the problem occurs.

    Mechanics cannot define the problem. They have check wiring, grounds, replaced the battery and alternator and I refuse to spend any more until someone can describe exactly what the problem is and what it will cost to fix it.

    Does anyone know?
  • The issue is with the power going into the darn Alternator!
    I have had this issue yearly, last year was the first time all the lights went out & the gas pedal didn't even want to work. It was in the day time so not as dangerous as tonight! The dash dimmed down, the blinkers wouldn't work, we were coming home as it was getting dark, no power when pressing the gas so I had to pump it all the way & coasted until we arrived home. Lucky we didn't run into traffic! Many miles from home with the battery almost dead.
    Last year I replaced my 2002 alternator & got another new battery ( new one each year since 2003) it has been almost a year again and now tonight the [check charging system] light came on again... I knew the battery was almost dead when that happens.
    I drove to a shop & they tested the battery very little power he said the Ford Windstars have had an issue with the power going into the alternator. He then wiggled the plug connected to the alternator & it started working.
    I will be replacing the battery again with a new one tomorrow & I will go to the nearest Ford for the wiring for the alternator!! After years of issues I really hope this works! They don't sell the part at parts store. :mad:
  • After reading what everyone had written about this problem, I was really concerned, though that my problem was going to be a huge nightmare, luckily it wasn't or it hasn't yet, after the alarm showed up on my van I thought, easy, take the alternator from my old van a 2001 that has mechanical problems and is on its way to the junk yard, I did and it worked for just a couple of days and then it did the exact same thing again, so I came here again looking for someone with a miracle answer, no luck, so I went to the auto parts to check the alternator I had previously taken off of my Windstar, it was no good, went to a different auto parts, same result, no good, priced it, 171 for the cheapest, had to have one, but since I drive a focus to work and my wife uses the van for errands, I wasn't in a hurry to buy the alternator, went to eBay, found one, brand new for 86 and free shipping, three days later it arrived, installed it and it has been a week, I am knocking on wood, no problem, hopefully it will be the end of it, so far it looks like my nightmare is over, I hope it is, I wish you all good luck.
  • vidirvidir Posts: 5
    edited July 2013
    Hi!
    If your windstar is working fine now, sell it!

    i resolved this alternator issues about 14 times and that says that it did not last for long.

    The alternator light is turning up soon...

    It is a problem with the pcm that dosent work with aly alternator in the long run so do as i did and many other, sell that car and buy some other van models.

    Ford Windstar 1999 - 2004 are damaged product.

    Regards Vidir T , Sweden
  • Most of you may not remember the days before there were Check Engine Light or Side Door Ajar & ABS and so on. We had to actually install the gauges ourselves to check (Battery DC) & (Oil Pressure) & (RPM). That was limited then and those are still available today. When we had a light come on... we called them idiot lights. Think about it. Corporate car makers did and they ran with that. What is really worse is now we have computers running the cars we buy. Computers have to be programmed. Guess who does that? Corporate car makers? Well I think your getting my meaning. In one of your reviews someone wrote I asked the dealership? Remember the recalls reworks until date X? Today, as we approach peak oil usage worldwide and the new cars running on fuel other than oil lets remember one thing... A good mechanic can use a volt-meter to diagnose almost any electrical problem. Just as we could install those gauges... we can bypass and hardwire almost every system in any earth vehicle. We can disconnect the idiot light (properly named then and now) and so long as it has no immediate poor affect on the system or no further problems occur we call ourselves geniuses. Our problems today is that we have very few trained mechanics who's training doesn't come from Ford, Chevrolet, Chrysler, GM, and so on. Cross the pond or the Pacific and what do we find? I can tell you none of the aforementioned names have control of those much more dependable car makers. So if you chose to buy American made cars trucks vans and what have you. Find and or learn to use a good mechanic trained by his grandfather first or take yourself a course in electronics paying very close attention to using a volt-meter and other meters that may be offered or ask our leaders to construct pollution less public transportation. In the very very near future the combustion engine will forever live in collections of the wealthy and the Smithsonian museum. Let the Earth and her oil reserves return to their natural state deep in the planet. By the way, I am not a mechanic but I can operate a volt-meter and I can repair a torn piece of wire and I can change a battery. I hope one day soon thats all that will be required..... Good luck.

  • One final thought or insight... The amount of money you spend to replace a part doesn't mean a replacement part will fix your problem, a good rule of thumb is where ever the part is made and the price you pay to purchase it is almost always about quality and yes it too has it's pros and cons because humans assemble the parts and if the part is computer made humans programmed the computers it can be 50-50 no mater how much you spend, myself I prefer replacement parts that are built better than the original parts and generally that means more money. If you think in terms of for example: FOOD... would you buy tacos from China or from the country who is best known for quality. For me I prefer to make my own but that's food... not an alternator, battery, light bulb, or LOL a tail light assembly. I hope this helps you the next time you give up and sell off your Ford Windstar because you replaced everything and it didn't fix it, and the next owner replaced what his volt-meter told him was faulting and is still driving it today. FYI I do not own or have a Ford Wind-star I was just reading reviews cause I need a small van and found one on a Craigs list. I guess I am the idiot and I added this to the already long list of reviews. In the days of ole buying American was the only way, then came corporate America, now we must wait for the next Einstein and Hawkins to discover a way out of the oil mess without disrupting the big oil companies profits and certain future death.

  • Ok here we go guys. I had the same problems I'm reading about. Took the starter off and had tested, said it was good. Went to autozone, alternator tested good. New battery lasted few days maybe week and was drained. wouldn't start, but once jumped ran good. Finally took off the positive cable, put meter on positive cable and other meter end on positive post. Reading was jumping between 9.5 to 10.2. Started pulling fuses under steering wheel. About the 7th fuse I pulled made the meter sit right at 10.15. fuse was in position 22, which says is the LH and RH heated mirrors. I don't think my mirrors are even heated. Left the fuse out and van is starting every time. Only been a day, so I'll let you know if this was the permanent fix.

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