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Ford Windstar

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  • guitarzanguitarzan Posts: 632
    Markian, you can also get general info. on remote starters by typing "remote" in the search box.

    Guitarzan
    Community Leader/Vans Conference
  • Just ordered my new 2000 Windstar SE. Spent a great deal of time researching vehicles and prices. The Edmunds 'Buying Tutorial' was a godsend. I priced my vehicle (with CD, TV/VCR, Quad seats, and side air bags) at $26,514. Then discovered that a $1000 rebate WITH 5.9 APR over 60 months was available. With Tax, title, registration etc, etc the final price was $27,998 (including rebate). I figured on giving the dealer 1% over invoice but discovered the vehicle I wanted needed to be ordered. They tried like banshee's to get me into a car on the lot, but I stood firm. Echo's of "Holdback, Holdback" kept coming to mind, so I brought it up. The salesman put me off then started chatting about my trade-in. It is a 1992 Jeep Wrangler Islander with 56K. Kelley Blue book and NADA listed it at $6500 trade-in and $10,500 market. I aimed to split the difference, but when they offered me $7500 on trade-in AND $28,500 on the Windstar I almost gave them the handshake. We spoke for a long time about the holdback. At one point I thanked them for their time and made a legitimate effort to leave. Then they blew me away by offering me $7500 on the trade PLUS $28,000 for the Windstar!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I could hardly believe my ears, $28,000 ON THE ROAD for a 2000 SE with TV/VCR, CD package, and side air bags. At $2 over invoice for the Windstar AND $1000 over Kelley Blue Book for my trade, that deserved a handshake. They'll make $858 on holdback and probably $2000 on my trade, but I'm a busy guy and the thought of a private sell wasn't appealing. My last request was to be able to drive my Jeep until the Windstar arrived. The salesman said "No, absolutely NOT" but after a trip to the manager he came back looking like a beaten man and said "Ok, but PLEASE don't put too many miles on it". I then got a 'price protection' statement to guarantee my deal and left, a very happy man.
    Moral of the story.........Do your homework on Edmunds.com and be ready to walk away if you aren't 100% happy. Also, NEVER fall into the "Lets talk about a payment you can afford" trap.
  • Please let me know where you bought your windstar (city)
  • Has anyone had anyone had a popping sound from the front end when turning or when braking hard. If so let me know what was the problem
  • I am considering purchasing a used Windstar. I saw two just tonight, one was a 96 GL with 55000 miles, and most of the features that make it comfortable, the other was a 95 LX with all kinds of extras, digital display, dual ps, pw, pl, you name it, it probably had it, this one had 74000 miles. I have been reading about the Head Gasket problem in the 95 windstars, is this a problem that disappears if it has been fixed once already or does it come back again? Also, when if I take these vehicles to a mechanic for the once over, what other things should I have them look for. Any advice on the two vehicles is greatly apprecicated. Thanks
  • Go to the Windstar Problems forum. Something like this has been discussed but I don't think anyone has posted a solution.
  • I have a '96 Windstar. I had to have my intake gasket replaced and it caused the same damage as the head gasket problem in the earlier years. The intake gasket had to be redesigned in '96s, they now have a 2% failure rate in '96 windstars. I've been told that Percentage will only go up as more '96s get more miles on them. The intake gasket should last the life of the car! Now my O2 sensor is bad which two Ford mechanics have privately told me is a sign my head gasket is about to blow. My independent mechanic told me to sell the car - THIS WEEKEND IF POSSIBLE! One mechanic at a Ford dealership wrote me today that he has done 3 head gasket jobs in '96s this week!!! I wonder if the owner of the one you are looking at was told the same thing. Point is: It's not worth the Risk!

    I know every time we try to tell people to get away from Windstars, we hurt ourselves trying to get rid of our own. On one hand I tell everyone who owns one, sell it now why they can! Then I tell everyone who is thinking of buying one - DON'T DO IT! I guess the poor sap who doesn't have internet is the one we are selling to.
  • Hello all...Glad to find a forum where I can hopefully find some info on my new Windstar. First off, we looked for six months before deciding...I loved the Odyssey, but a friend purchased one, had to wait five months, paid TOP dollar and didn't even get to pick the color. The dealer loaded it with extras and nothing was negotiable...I know they are a great van, since I've had a Honda accord for 10 years that was just super. But, anyway, of the rest, we liked the Windstar the best. Found a 99 LX with 9300 miles on it. Still smells new. Perfect condition, paid 19,400 for it, and splurged on the extended warranty since we got them to reduce it from $1900 to $900. Anyway, it only came with one key, and because of the passive theft system, you can't just go make a copy. I have to order it as a part and then have it programmed. Has anyone experienced this? How much $$$ am I looking at? Should I try and get the dealer to pay for it, since it wasn't disclosed to us when we bought it that there was only one key (Found out after we left lot). Any suggestions appreciated. BTW, I did make a copy, and it does open the doors, but it won't start the engine.
  • You will need to order the key from the dealer but you should be able to program it yourself so you can eliminate that part of the cost. Your owners manual should have directions on how to program the key. If I remember correctly the key will cost about $40.00. I would try to make the dealer supply the key and program it for you first before doing it yourself- they should have supplied you with 2 keys. Good Luck!
  • I'm sorry. After posting the first message I realized you have to have both keys to program another key- which is probably why they did not offer to do it. I would definitely make them find a way to supply you with 2 keys- I would assume they did not because they knew it would be expensive and time consuming without having the original 2 keys.
  • My previous experiences with this phenomenon was with my 1991 Taurus with 30k miles. The dealer claimed it was nothing, but upon further pursuit I learned that it was the tie rod ends.

    Apparently Ford uses hard rubber fittings in their front end parts and the tie rod ends take a beating (especially around town). When the tie rod ends were replaced the problem went away. Apparently the replaement parts have brass fittings that should wear better (about 75k miles).

    This may/may not be the same problem. Just thought I would share.
  • No, the head gasket problem does not go away once it is "fixed." See the posts on the Cracked Head in Windstar and Windstar Problems. You will see people having not one, but two or three engine replacements on the 95s and some 96s. We ourselves dumped the piece of junk two months after the first blown engine. It only had 49K miles on it after 4 years! This van was again leaking coolant one month after the engine replacement, and I knew it was only a matter of time.
    We ran, not walked, to Toyota. And if you read the posts you will see a near 100% response of that nature. Honda and Toyota have received so much business from this fiasco it is amazing. No more Fords for us, we shall remain with the Japanese from now on.

    Just some words of warning.
  • Since this is the tax time, I am considering buying a 1998 windstar GL with the 3.8. I test drove two vans yesterday and the windstar seemed like the better buy. I drove a 98 plymouth voyager with 23,000 miles, V6 3.0 engine, and the standard options. I didn't particularly like the performance on the road. It was priced at $12995.

    I then drove the 1998 windstar GL with the V6 3.8 engine and the standard options. I liked the performance, the pick up and the superior ride in general. This windstar had 13,000 miles and was priced at $13,995. I looked around and no other dealership could touch the price.

    I am not hard up for a vehicle but when I purchased my 98 Sunfire in April 98, I found out 1 month later that I was pregnant with my second child and of course a 2 dr coupe was not a practical choice in vehicles for the growing family. I tried like heck to trade my car in for something else but I was told that my car was just too new and I would never get my money back out of it if I traded it in.

    I have until Tuesday to get in on the tax sales but am wondering if I should hold out for another great deal on a different used van. Please help me. Thank you.
  • Before you make such an important decision, read all you can in the posts on the Windstar problems. I am seeing lots of people having problems with the newer years of Windstars. I have already spoken on our experience with the 95, and frankly, I have not seen too much effort on Ford's part to make a reliable minivan.
    Unfortunately, the Siennas are too new and wonderful for anyone to turn them in yet, unless you can find a '98 that was a leased item. And Honda's older Odysseys are a lot smaller.
    If you can wait, do it. That is what we should have done. I just don't want to see anyone stuck in the middle of nowhere with a Windstar broken down, like we were.
    Good Luck.
  • I brought my 98 Windstar, which is out of warrenty "37,498 miles to the dealer to diagnose the popping during turning problem. He said they were subframe bushings that needed to be replaced. $60.00 parts and laborI'll let you know if that does the trick. Thanks Ca2stay for your response. So far I have had very little trouble with the windstar. I bought it because I got it at auction for $15,600 fully loaded with 20K miles on it. I drove the caravan and liked the styling and the handling better than the windstar. However, I like the engine performance of the windstar. It seems to have a lot of power. That comes in handy especially in the hilly region of the country that I am from.
  • Thanks for the info on the key. I called the dealer back, and I found that the new key was $24, plus $63 labor to reprogram both keys. I got them to pay for it, and went ahead and paid out 24 to get a third key, just in case. They programmed them all at once. Thanks for your help.
  • bblahabblaha Posts: 329
    Thanks for posting the key cost. You can program it yourself if you have 2. I've been wanting to get a third to avoid ever having to pay the dealer to program it, but I was afraid to find out that the key was going to cost $75 or something. I can choke $24.
  • bear35bear35 Posts: 1
    I had the same popping with my 98 Windstar recently. The dealership replaced the 2 upper and lower subframe mounts - still under warranty
  • metziemetzie Posts: 1
    I'm considering buying a 2000 Windstar SE. Yes, I've heard about the ongoing problems with the earlier Windstars, and some with the newer models, but does anyone know of problems/flaws with the 2000's yet? I admit, I already own a Escort, so maybe I'm not completely objective, but we have looked at other vans. The Dodge/Chrysler fiascos are off our list,because safety is a huge issue--My wheelchair-bound son would be a sitting duck in a side-impact crash; precisely where Dodge/Chrysler performed worst! I'd be interested in the Toyota Sienna, if I could find more info on it, and if I could find one to test drive, which has been difficult. Any others I've ignored or forgotten, or any suggestions? Your help is gladly appreciated. Oh, and I guess I should mention that our concerns, in order are: 1)sfety, 2)reliability, and 3)price. Thanks.
  • gdmartingdmartin Posts: 1
    Our lease is up in October on our '98 Windstar LX.
    Thank God, I'm tired of this beast. All we ever get is 13mpg!! When the dealer's mechanic attached his trip computer to it and test drove it, he got 24mpg on the highway!. I've never seen that.
    The engine computer has been reprogrammed.
    The disc rotors and pads gave out at 8000 miles.
    The hood and tailgate had to be repainted because of a flaw in the metalflake.
    Interior trim panels have had to be replaced.
    The front seat covers will be replaced soon. The seam is tearing.
    A few other small items also had given problems.

    In the 2000 Windstar brochure and on Ford's website where you can build one yourself; it says you can't get rear air with the 3-door. But I just saw a 2000 3-door LX on the lot with rear air and the full overhead console!
    The wife wants another one exactly like we have now. Cypress Green, tan interior, and all we need is the 3-door. We manage just fine without a fourth door. Besides, why spend the extra money for something we don't need?
    I saw a letter here in the forum that mentions some of the interior changes that Ford has made from the 98 to the 2000. Some of those decisions are rediculous and you want to give that somebody a swift kick in the pants for doing away with something that works and makes life easy in the van.

    Speaking of EASY. Have any of you changed your own oil and tried removing that wonderfully placed oil filter?! Seems to me that those two engineers also need a you know what.
  • koolerbkoolerb Posts: 10
    The vehicle should come with at least two keys. When I picked up my 2000 I wanted a third and got it within 45 minutes of the request. It cost about $55 total for the key and the programing. But I would get the dealer to pick up the second set.
  • sealey1sealey1 Posts: 1
    Hi Metzie. I have ordered a 2000 Windstar SE. It is now being converted for my wheelchair by Independent Mobility Systems (IMS). I'm not sure what adaptive mobility needs you have. Although I am not an expert, I don't think any of the larger adaptive mobility conversion company's work on Toyotas. As far as minivans go, IMS and Vantage convert Ford (Windstar) and Dalmer Chrysler (Caravan and T&C). Braun converts only Dalmer Chrysler. Again I'm not an expert; but after quite a bit of research that what I've found. Hope this helps a little.
  • bluesky6bluesky6 Posts: 4
    We just purchased a 2000 Windstar LX. It was between a Windstar and the Venture and the Windstar won by roominess and comfort. The Venture drove better but the seats were hard and it was slightly narrower.

    We had $2600 off msrp plus the special APR rate.

    The van is really nice and the kids love it. We're really going to use it this afternoon when I bring my wife to the hospital for a check up with the kids. They should be more comfortable in it than in our Escort.

    One thing we have been noticing is that when we brake to stop at a traffic light, there is a loud "thump" in the engine compartment.

    My theory is that this is the transmission shifting down. But it could be anything else.

    Has anyone else experienced the same thing?

    Thanks.
  • bluesky6bluesky6 Posts: 4
    We just purchased a 2000 Windstar LX. It was between a Windstar and the Venture and the Windstar won by roominess and comfort. The Venture drove better but the seats were hard and it was slightly narrower.

    We had $2600 off msrp plus the special APR rate.

    The van is really nice and the kids love it. We're really going to use it this afternoon when I bring my wife to the hospital for a check up with the kids. They should be more comfortable in it than in our Escort.

    One thing we have been noticing is that when we brake to stop at a traffic light, there is a loud "thump" in the engine compartment.

    My theory is that this is the transmission shifting down. But it could be anything else.

    Has anyone else experienced the same thing?

    Thanks.
  • jh45jh45 Posts: 2
    We purchased a 98 Windstar GL as a new car exactly 2 years ago this month. We have had some unusual problems with it and I have not seen anything similar listed on this forum. At about 28,000 miles we started stalling out whenever we slowed to a stop, such as in turning lanes, at stop signs, or when backing up slowly to a stop. As this problem increased in frequency we brought it in and were informed the throttle box needed to be replaced as the engine was not getting enough oxygen at low speeds - thus stalling. These problems all occurred under warranty. The warranty just ended in January, 2000 and in February we started feeling friction in the steering column and hearing a loud squeaking on slow turning. We took it in 2 weeks ago and found out the tie- rods were out of sinc and needed to be replaced - but it was not dangerous, yet. We were told the squeak would get progressively worse. Today I had the work done - out of warranty for almost $200.
    I am very surprised that a 2 year old van with just 40,000 miles would need new tie-rods!! I am starting to look at other vehicles and hoping to trade or sell this van before something else happens! Has anyone else heard of these quirks??
    jh45
  • rugmankcrugmankc Posts: 133
    The stalling problem is well documented and has a TSB on it. My 98 did the same thing at about 30K, was fixed and have not had a recurrence. I have 50K on van, no other problems and still have the original brakes and tires. I highly recommend replacing the transmission fluid every 30K or you will have early transmission problems. Otherwise, the van is superb on trips and very comfortable and safe in all driving situations.
  • I would like to use my hard-shell Luggage carrier on my '00 Windstar, and when I went to Sears to
    get the clips or brackets for my vehicle, The specs book indicates that there is no fit. The Sears salesman said that no fit means that the roof rack on the Windstar is probably not rated for at least 150 lbs. and it is not recommended that I use the luggage carrier. The manual does indicate that the roof rack is rated for 163 lbs, but has anyone had any experience with using a luggage carrier with the '99 or '00 Windstar?
  • cmcsandicmcsandi Posts: 2
    Thanks for your post on the steering problem...I too have had my 98 GL in several times for the same noise in the steering after 30,000 miles. After the steering crank shaft(?) was replaced twice and the steering pump once, the local Ford dealer told me it was a "characteristic trait" of the car and maybe I was "too sensitive to the noice"!! As of this date, I'm still waiting to hear when the district rep will be in our area so I can discuss the problem with him, the answer I received from the dealer is unacceptable! I'm going to give them a call to make an appointment to have the tie rods looked at, while the van is still under warranty.
    has others had the same problem?
  • rugmankcrugmankc Posts: 133
    I have a 98 with 50K and no steering noise. That is not a characteristic of the van and should be fixed. As I said in a previous post, I have had no problems other than the stalling which was fixed under warranty. I still have original brakes and tires. Definetly replace the xmission fluid every 30K. It may all fall apart in another 20k, but so far so good.
  • Indytab...My 96 Windstar had 80k,was in good shape except for the coolant leak. We owed $11,800 and were given $8100 for it as a tradein. The dealer used the rebate and downpayment to cover the negative colaterial.
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