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Ford Aerostar

seluselu Posts: 2
edited September 2014 in Ford
I used to own a '91 Ford Aerostar, extended
length. Unfortunately, we bought it only three
years ago, and shortly afterwards all the magazines
mentioned that 1991 was a lemon model year. Was
it ever! We also got rooked by a dealer that has a
reputation in Westchester. What did we know? We
were just a couple of cynical city-slickers,
waiting to be hosed. The truck was sold to us with
a bad battery, balding tires and a leaky power
steering hose. I blew the power steering motor
driving it back to the dealer. Try driving THAT
for a while! During the next year and a half we
had the transmission done twice, the AC done twice
(that blew on our way down to Florida), the exhaust
system replaced, the brake shoes, cylander, and
some other stuff I can't remember. For some stupid
reason, I just loved the van. It had so much
room! I could put a double stroller and two
bicycles in the back with no problem. All I wanted
was a new or used Aerostar. Once it was
discontinued, my husband refused to allow me to buy
one. We now have a '98 Grand Cravan SE, and all
I can do is think of the Aerostar. Somebody
please tell me how your van is doing!!! I'm just
sick with reading (just now, mind you) about the
reliability problems with the Grand Caravan


  • suzyqsuzyq Posts: 2
    We also used to have an '89 Aerostar (Eddie Baur) and loved it. It wasn't an extended version, but that but have been even better. We bought it used and had it for four years. We also had alot of a/c problems along with various electrical problems. We never had transmission problems and after reading some of the information in these conferences I think it was because we had the towing package on it.
    We, regretfully, gave it up almost two years ago, because the electrical problems really started to worry us about how much longer the van had. Now we want to get another mini-van, but are very discouraged with the reliability of them. I don't know what we will end up with, but we are really considering a full size van at this point.
    Our kids (we have 3) still pine for our Aerostar. They really loved the way the two bench seats would lay flat. I miss it too, but not the trouble we had with it. I have been praying we will end up with the right van or mini-van.
  • jboaterjboater Posts: 199
    To Suzyq:

    If a full size van is a consideration, please read my post in topic #26. My '97 Ford/Coachmen now has 1100 miles on it and my opinion remains unchanged.
  • gehgeh Posts: 1
    I am looking at a '92 Aerostar Eddie Bauer extended van. It has 154,000 miles. owner says
    never any major problems. He has changed the refridgerant over to new type. It has lots of room, with the two captain chairs in rear and bench seat way back. Also has LED dashboard.
    I have been seeing on TSB a/c, tran, brake promlems. Are these isolated cases?
    Anybody have any advice for this peticular year.
    He is asking $5500.00
    Thanks for your help..
  • goongoon Posts: 1
    I bought a 91 Aerostar awd. The van has been quite reliable. It now has 90000 miles on it and still looks brand new. I have replaced the water pump 2 times in a year. It has the towing package and 4.0 liter motor. I have worried about the tranny eventually going, but I understand that with awd they are a little more reliable.

    After being in an Astro I would take the aerostar any day.
    It has a nice ride and feel and isn't so tinny.

    Anybody have any insight as to what repairs (major) I can anticipate with this vehicle in the near future?
  • eeleel Posts: 1
    I have a 96 windstar. I am thinking of trading it for a new 97 aerostar,regular length with sport pkg. I want the rear wheel drive in order to tow a small rv. Is this a good van?
  • raddadraddad Posts: 1
    we really like the roomy aerostar, with electronic 4wd, but upon looking for one, used, the dealers say the 4wd isn't reliable and gets costly to repair. Am looking for any yr, xlt 4wd. can anyone tell us if they've experienced any trouble.
  • GoldgaryGoldgary Posts: 2
    I just purchased a used 90 Aerostar with 102K, Eddie Bauer 4wd, ext length. A lot of normal stuff needed to be replaced mostly front end stuff. I found out it had trasmission worked on but I dont know to what extent. Not sure what other major promlems it has had..I like it so far. The kids like it too. How many people out there that has excessive miles on the clock? And what eles can I expect to go wrong with this van.
  • isotopeisotope Posts: 2
    My 1989 Aerostar has 136,000 miles on it. I bought it used four years ago and have put over $3500 in repairs. If these haven't been worked on you can expect them to fail?

    Repairs in past 12 months:

    Air conditioning: Major Expensive Repair
    Brakes: Entire system, including rotors,
    calipers and master cylinder ($1000).
    Fuel Pump: Expensive repair.
    Universal Joints: Inexpensive repair (Under $150)

    Power Windows: not yet repaired
    Fuel Gauge: not yet repaired

    The van seems to run just fine. I bought it at 65,000 miles, and have always changed the oil and filter every 3000 miles.

    I have a question for anyone else out there. How many miles can I expect to get on the 3.0 engine?
  • isotopeisotope Posts: 2
    Oh, I forgot:

    About 18 months ago I had to replace the power steering. That was expensive too.

    But I agree with what others have said. I really like my Aerostar and all the room it has. I can fit two full-size bikes upright in the back of my extended van. You can't do that with any other van. I wish they still made it.

    good luck with your van. Just set aside about $100/month for repairs and you'll do fine.
  • GoldgaryGoldgary Posts: 2
    I will keep you posted. I have the 4.0 V6 engine. Not sure if this is better or worse. I have had the ball joints and brakes done, drive axels, U-joints and stabelizer bar replaced, shockes also. Had it alinged. Still has a vibration, more noticeable at higher speed. Getting it checked out this week. How has the rust been on yours. The bottom half has all be redone. Touches of rust beginning to come up from underneath. I will wait till later to adress that.

    What specifically on the A/C went?
  • dean42dean42 Posts: 1
    I have a friend who has a '93 Aerostar that caused her to wreck when the cruise control engaged itself and accelerated through a stop sign (from a stop, could not brake it.) Has anyone else had or heard of this problem? She needs to know if Ford knows, also. Thanx.
  • birkiebobbirkiebob Posts: 19
    I have a '92 awd XLT extended with tow package with 120k miles. Just starting to look for a replacement for in a year or so and having a hard time finding something a little downsized with the same towing capacity! I tow a 2500# camper and the 4.0 v6 is low on hp but high on torque for towing. I've had u-joints, a thermostat and brake rotors replaced. Otherwise just routine stuff, but it does have a chronic oil leak that looks like valve covers, about a qt per 1k, and requires premium gas now or pings consistently. I can afford the oil and gas at this point, and have tried tightening the covers but they are hard to get to (have to go through the doghouse and fender well for a couple bolts--like changing plugs). My tech also told me to put a can of fuel system teatment through the tank every 5k or so (just before an oil change). This has been a real workhorse of a vehicle that rides exceptionally well on the highway for a truck! And I never, ever get stuck in the Wisconsin winters.
    Goldgary: The awd transfer case does vibrate some naturally - I've never had a problem with it. I have seen the same case on full-size Econoline Vans (not sure if factory) with V8s so it must be pretty strong!
    The brakes are a little weak when towing, especially in the Rocky mtns, and I've put brakes on my trailer to help. I may be looking for a '97 if none of the new minivans stack up. Wish they had improved them some, with four doors, the new v6, etc. Explorers are just too small and no better gas mileage...go figure???
    Eel: Was the Windstar really a lousy tower? Did you have it properly set up?
    Thanks, Bob
  • mrwhomrwho Posts: 1
    I am considering purchasing a 1995 xlt with electronic awd. The awd has me a little nervous but not sure why. Maybe cost of repairing or failures. Any feed back on this vehicle would be greatly appreciated.

  • lgelge Posts: 2
    i put 75,000 miles on a 92 xlt with 3.0 engine and the only repair was to recharge the a/c two times. my 95 xlt with 4.0 has 45,000 miles . the a/c has been charged once. the check engine light comes on ocasionaly but that is the only problem
  • bob34bob34 Posts: 1
    We have a 1995 Aerostar with 35,000 miles on it. It needs an overhaul on the Automatic transmission. Is this normal and has there been problems with these transmissions?
  • jan8jan8 Posts: 1
    I have a '92 Aerostar XLT with low mileage that I LOVE, but the A/C is GONE!
    I have heard of this happening to MANY Aerostar owners. I know it is no longer covered under any warranty, but has anyone had any luck in getting Ford to do anything about it?
    It's really HOT where I live and I can't afford any major repairs!
    I have a '89 Aerostar XLT extended length. We have 162,000 miles on it and it still runs strong with the 3.0 V6 and 4sp auto. We have had to replace the water pump and power steering pump once. Had the computer go out just before the warrenty expired at 50,000 miles. We have had to have alot of work done on the dual a/c, it still doesn't cool the best on a hot day (we live in Georgia). I have also gone through several upper radiator hoses and recently replaced a heater hose. Also had the front brake calipers rebuilt and the brake proportioning valve replaced. Other than that it has been routine maintenance. We love our van and I would buy another if they still made them. I want to see how many more miles I can get on this baby before it dies. (Power windows need to be fixed now).

  • Some advice.....AVOID BUYING AN AEROSTAR AT ALL COSTS. They have an old dated body, poor resale value, loud engine, poor ride, unreliable, and poor build quality. If you must get a used Ford van, go for the 95 or 96 Windstars. If you want a van to pull a big boat, at least get an Astro or a SUV. Aerostars are pure junk.
  • jekylljekyll Posts: 4
    We have a 1991 Aerostar Extended E-AWD Eddie Bauer with 110,000 miles (purchased it new). We have been generally happy with the room and flexibility (quad seating, cargo hauling, camper TOWING, bike carrying, etc.) However, since 100K it has become somewhat expensive to maintain - A/C compressor ($850), rear U-joints, front axles, front u-joints, and front driveshaft. It seems to eat brakes, and has had its share of nuisance suspension problems. It currently has a vibration/drone above 45 MPH that three Ford dealers have been unable to solve. The transfer case was replaced three times under the powertrain warranty before $50K miles. Engine has been fine (no oil between changes). Unfortunately, nothing can replace it for utility - the Safari/Astro would be OK if not fof the poor driver and passenger leg room as well as difficult entry and exit.

    What was Ford thinking when they gave the RWD/AWD market to GM ?!
  • jekylljekyll Posts: 4
    I forgot to add that our drivers door power lock failed ($185, NOT fixed), drivers power window is getting slower, and every bulb has been replaced at least three times!!
  • Have a '91 Eddie Bauer Extended version and have loved it. Currently have 109,000 miles and am looking for a new van. Sure wish they still made the Aerostar--nothing else seems the same. Have had some of the same problems mentioned in other responses--air conditioning repaired twice in the past year, mushy brakes just a few months ago, power windows fixed in the past year (only $40 to repair them) but the driver's door is giving the same problem again. Now starting to have some minor transmission problems, but my transmission guy suggested trying Trans-X transmission additive/conditioner and it really seems to have improved the shifting--at least for now. Costs $5 from auto supply store. Trans guy believes my problem was caused by a seal starting to dry out. Even with the problems mentioned above, none started occurring until after 100,000 miles so I feel that I have gotten excellent service out of my van and wish Ford was still making it--do not like the new Windstar--no storage room, no leg room, just no room in general. My current Aerostar has the gear shift on the floor--unfortunately I am finding out that none of the new models provide this option anymore. Something to do with accessibility to the back seats from the front ones--something I have never needed to have in the past 9 years--even with small children and do not expect to need now with my children entering the teen years.

    I was searching this forum for info on the GM mini-vans when I saw a topic on Aerostars and just had to take a few minutes out to read the comments and add my 2 cents worth!!
  • glogglog Posts: 1
    I also have a Ford Aerostar. Mine is a 1990 with 194,500 miles... yes that is correct. (we really drive our vehicles). I to have had A/C problems, radiator, water pump, electric window, stuck fuel gauge problems(some of these problems still not fixed)...But I LOVE my van. I have 2 children (boys) and we enjoy the room. The van has taken us to the mountains, to Disney World a couple of times each.
    I to want another Aerostar. What is the last year that the Aerostar was made? let me know.
    I like the new Toyota Sienna--- but I can't see paying over 23,000 for a van right now.
    I'll be waiting for a response.
  • Glog,

    I believe Ford stopped producing Aerostars in 1997. I have recently seen some new Aerostars in my area (Atlanta), they must be leftovers.

  • while happy with comfort,ride and towing capability of my 1990 aerostar XL, the transmission is giving me a pain. It was done
    at 105,000 km and now needs to be done again at
    157,000 km. What is the problem? Can anyone help
  • Just some comments to those trying to figure out what to do since Ford stopped making the Aerostar. See my other comments back at post #13, then see my posts at TOPIC #2 (Windstar). After a great deal of debate, I made the decision to go with the Windstar, and am glad I did. You may still find a decently equiped '98 on a dealer lot but act quickly if you intend to buy. I fully intend to use the Windstar as roughly as I did my Aerostar and expect the same reliability. Best of luck whatever you do.
  • davehadaveha Posts: 1
    I'm a pre-owner of Areostar van, I give all of you a best advice about this van GET RID OF IT ASAP. First I bought it at Wondries Ford in Alhambra, California, then the dealer never disclosed to me the spare tire is not the original one so it won't fit to any tire of the van until I tried to replace the flat tire. I brought this issue to the dealer the answer is my van is out of warranty so I have paid for the new spare tire. WHAT A LOUSY ANSWER. Secondary problem are all the screws came loose from interior of the van then I can't figure out where them came from. Don't mention the air condition unit, I recharge the freon every summer and that only last couple months. Now I swear I won't buy any FORD products anymore. Compare w/ my wife Toyota Camry that is a perfect masterpiece even after 4 years w/ 80000 miles on it still running smooth like silk.

    A victim of FORD Areostar.
  • We are now looking to replace our 1990 Aerostar w 127000 miles. It's rusting very badly and the brakes are going (again) and the tranny is finally letting us know that it's getting tired. We LOVE the way it cruises and will miss it, I'm certain. We're looking at the Astro now and are somewhat apprehensive about the lack of foot room for the front seat occupants. We've been scared away from the Windstars. From what I've read on this site, I guess we were pretty fortunate with the lack of major repairs needed on our car.
  • Not to mention the Aerostar platform was introduced in 1986 and has changed harldy at all. I surly do not want to drive a thirteen year old style around.

    If you buy a ford, make it Windstar. The 1999 model that is.
  • I have a 1989 Aerostar with approx 110,000 miles. Its had its share of AC and Power window problems over the years, but even after buying a 98 Expedition, I couldn't let the Aerostar go. Its go so much room for hauling stuff around that you wouldn't want to put in a new $30,000 truck!
    PLEASE NOTE THAT FORD HAS RECENTLY RECALLED THIS VAN FOR REPLACEMENT OF LEAKING FUEL TANKS. I paid $400 to have the fuel tank replaced 3 years ago. Luckily, I kept the receipt! 3.0L V-6 engine and transmission have been flawless over the past 10 years though, and it still runs great.
  • bob112bob112 Posts: 1
    To all potential Aerostar buyers....I had been looking for a van to replace my full size Chevy Blazer for the past 2 years. No one has done more research than me. I looked at all vans and for my needs narrowed it down to three; the Astro, Aerostar and Grand Voyager. All are great vans. I went with the Aerostar and am very very pleased. Of all three vehicles the Aerostar was priced the lowest yet had all the same options plus the most room. I knew I wanted a second vehicle to drive into the ground so resale value was not a factor (important to some...on a used vehicle I have no idea why). On the average I found the Aerostar is priced $2,000 to $3,0000 less than the other 2. I also consulted more than one Ford mechanic and asked about maintenance. I was told on more than one occasion that the 3.0 and 4.0 motor in the Aerostar was more reliable than the Windstar motor and that it was not uncommon to see these vehicles with over 200,000 miles. I bought a 95 XLT with 57,000 miles in showroom condition for under $10,000. I did not want AWD as I know there are too many maintenance costs that goes with "ANY" 4WD or AWD and does not justify the 2 or 3 times I use it (in New England weather) per year. The only criticism I have is that the 3.0 seems to lack a little omph starting off up hill but more than makes up for itself in gas miliage. I am very pleased so far.
This discussion has been closed.