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Ford Windstar

dc99dc99 Posts: 1
I got my SEL in northern NJ for a cap cost of 28,800, w/out side airbags and traction control, so the 28,450 sounds like an even better price. I was a little picky on color, black, so availability was limited. Anyway at this price with a 51% resid (32,565 MSRP) on a 15k/yr 36 month lease 7%, I was really pleased to settle this fairly and quickly. I also got the $500 rebate off my cap cost.

thanks to this site for much useful information on leasing, comparable vehicles (we found the winidstar much more comfortable and more worth the nearly $30k (why not a little luxury?)compared to Odyssey and Sienna.

Oh yeah, I leased at Mullane Ford in Bergenfield. They treated me like an auto by tel customer working off a 3% mark-up, and they didn't even take a full 3%. I did not try to negotiate the holdback. Again, I think this was a fair deal all the way around, and much less stressful than I expected when my search began only two weeks ago when most dealers were still talking about MSRP (or +) and we'll work with you.

I've gone 100 miles and no problems yet!!


  • Phkck:

    We have a 1997 Windstar (same engine as 1999) and pull our 1800 lb. Coleman trailer with no trailer package. The van performs very well, mostly cruising without noticing the added weight. Our trailer has electric brakes, which helps significantly in stopping. On most roads we can cruise at 65 mph pulling the trailer unless the hills get steeper than rolling grades. It then shifts into 3rd gear to climb the hill at about 3000 rpm. Occassionally, if the hill is really steep it will shift into second gear at about 3800 rpm, with a top speed much less than 65 mph obviously.

    MPG during towing suffers, lowering to about 13-15 mpg, but we don't usually get more than 17-18 mpg anyway.

    Overall I love this van for towing. I just wish it came with a trailer towing package so I could tow up to 3500 lbs. We hope to upgrade to a new Coleman pop up camper that weighs about 2600 lbs.
  • phkckphkck Posts: 185
    Thanks for the towing info. Whichever van we end up with we will go for the towing option. We probably tow 5-6 times a year.
  • lsg1lsg1 Posts: 42
    I just picked up my new 2000 Windstar LX(which the dealer gave me because my 1998 GL was a lemon!)
    I was thrilled that they were giving me a 2000, rather than a 1999.
    I had to bring the van back already, because of 3 things wrong. The power mirror on the passenger side does not work. 3 buttons on the radio(eject, FF and REW) do not illuminate when the lights are on(They told me this is normal-can someone let me know if their 3 buttons don't illuminate and this is normal?) And the last problem was one of the sliding doors made a griding sound when closing. They put more lub on it, and that is fine now, but they have to order me a new power mirror. What I did notice though, is that Ford seemed to get cheap on some items compared to my 1998 Windstar. For example....The floor mats in the 1998 were really plush, and these are thin and junk. The overhead console is now a mini console(doesnt have the mirror or change holder). My old overhead console had rear control for the radio(and I didnt have premium cd player), and the 2000 does not have this on the console. There is no longer a tape or CD holder at the bottom center(just a big open space). They did not give me a cargo net, or vinyl mat for the rear(I took mine out of the 98 and kept them). And lastly, when opening the rear hatch, it feels almost sharp under my hand while squeezing the hatch release. I never had this on the '98.
    Sorry if I am going on and on about this, I was just wondering if anyone else has noticed these things, or it is just me being too picky.
    At least I didnt have to pay for this van!!
  • You are right they did get cheap on some interior items. The old floor mats were great- the new not so good. They also eliminated the double visor which I had really gotten used to. I have and SEL which does include some of the other things you talked about. I will check on radio button illumination thing next time I'm out at night.

    Not that this is a comfort to you but atleast your dealer is trying to fix things and replaced your lemon with a 2000. My dealer just told me they "never buy back vehicles" and wanted to know why I felt this was a possibility. Obviously, they don't check out the internet.
  • Thats probably not the right term for where you put the gas in ...but has anyone had trouble filling up their Windstar with gas?My Windstar was purchased in Sept. and every time I try to fill up the gas tank the filler tube doesn't seem to vent correctly.Three times it spewed gas back out and all the time you have to put the gas in very slowly.I do plan on taking the van to the dealer,but until this week my schedule has been too busy.I did call the dealer and ask if there were any service bulletins on this and they said no,but would like to check it out. I got a call from Ford about a week later asking about the van and I explained the problem to them.This week I plan on taking the van in to the dealer,but would like to be armed with more info from other people who may have had this problem.I also was promised floor mats and they have been on back order since Sept.The dealer said Ford and the manufacturer who makes the floor mats hadn't got around to making the 2000 floor mats?Do they really think I'm that stupid?Which leads to the question of why would the floor mats for a 2000 be any different than the 1999? Not to mention that in the brouchure for the Windstar it says that floor mats are standard on the LX. I like driving the van and the features and price were much more reasonable than the Honda or Toyota. I guess you get what you pay for.
  • bdemasbdemas Posts: 51
    adgate, We had the same problem with getting floor mats for our 99. We bought our van in the middle of August and just received our mats last week. They ordered a complete set, after 4 weeks only the rear one came in. The salesman finally took a complete set from a 2000 that came in. Haven't had the gas filler problem.
  • Just got some pricing info on a new Windstar:

    MSRP $28195
    Price $26260

    The only options on this vehicle are leather interior and quad bucket seats(of course the SE has most every option we want anyway). The leather option is already figured into this price.

    I would still have to pay tax & tag.
  • Cut my last message short...does the informed group here think this is a good price? If not, why not?
  • rdukerduke Posts: 1
    The 2000 is available with movable brake and gas pedals. Does anyone out there have this option? How well does it work? Any information would be appreciated.
  • guitarzanguitarzan OhioPosts: 832
    Adgate, are you sure it wasn't the gas station? If the vacuum-hose on the pump is not working properly, that will cause gas to flow out. Have you tried more than one station?

    Community Leader/Vans Conference
  • I have a few questions about the Windstar LX.

    1. Is rear air standard on the LX?
    2. Is privacy glass standard on the LX?
    3. When does the $1500 rebate expire?
    4. What kind of gas milage can I expect.
    5. Is the quality of the 2000 LX good. I have 1995 Windstar, it has had many problems. The overall structural integrity doesn't seem too good either. It creeks, moans, and groans.
  • Yes,guitarzan I have been to four different gas stations and had the same result.Last night as I was coming home from a rehearsal
    I tried to fill up at a Mobil station and it spewed out.I couldn't fill up the tank all the way because it kept on shutting off and gas would leak back out.In the morning the inside of the van really smelled like gas.I am going to take the van in this week after my last concert on thurs.Thanks!
  • guitarzanguitarzan OhioPosts: 832
    Adgate, I await the diagnosis, but my uneducated (stress that!) guess would be that the vapor canister is bad. Let us know!!

    Community Leader/Vans Conference
  • It appears you can load up an LX, and turn in into an SE. SE and SEL Windstars go for a higher price, and have less rebate. Can anyone see a flaw in this strategy?
  • guitarzanguitarzan OhioPosts: 832
    If the SE's and SEL's are more coveted, Ford has less incentive to discount them. Discounts are a method of spurring sales. Maybe sales of these models are fine as far as Ford is concerned?

    Community Leader/Vans Conference
  • When we tried to order a 2000 Windstart with the adjustable pedals, we were told that the option wasn't going to be available until production starting next March.
  • We were to have a CD installed under the passenger seat of our new LX. When we went to pick it up, we found it had been installed in the rear of the minivan. Apparently, the install tech was concerned about the unit overheating under the it is close to a vent to the rear area of the van.
    Has anyone else run into this?
    We plan to have it moved to the front, in between the driver and passenger seat.
    As it is now, the rear bench seat cannot be rolled out. Also, cargo in the rear can damage the CD unit.
  • rugmankcrugmankc Posts: 133

    Have a 98 Windstar 43k miles, no mechanical problems. The CD changer has been under the front seat since day one. No overheating problems. It has had some problem starting a cd when the van has sat outside for awhile on cold winter days. But this was only certain cd's and not related to it's location. Other than a wind whistling noise from loose rubber stripping above the front windshield, which was fixed, and a common stalling problem also fixed by a sensor? replacement (TSB?), the van has been great.

  • Seems to me that some options are not available on the LX - rear audio controls are not listed, just wiring for it, power door on one of the sides also does not seem to be a choice and I do not see leather as an option on the LX. It does seem as if you can save about $500 on an SE vs and SEL and just lose larger wheels, but resale may be higher on the SEL.
  • yamanyaman Posts: 113
    When we ordered our CD they also put it between the passenger and drivers seat in the front.Wish I could say our ford has been trouble free also but i can't. Latest mishap was a blown out transmission at 33,000 miles. At least it was still under warranty. They also gave us a 24,000 warranty on the new tranny so we will try and keep it for another 2 years or so.
  • tmanttmant Posts: 70
    Hello, I have been reading the messages here and I bought a 2000 Windstar SE a few weeks ago. I was able to get it at invoice price (from Charlie Thomas Ford in Houston) which came to roughly 25,500 with destination. Taxes, etc were extra.

    I didn't get any additional options because it had most of what I wanted. I did consider an LX with more features to make it like the SE but several factors made me get the SE. I definitely like the chrome inserts and painted bumpers/door handles. Also the cornering light. I thought this was nice since I have often found myself trying to see what I am trying to turn into.

    I only got the radio cassette and am planning to add a CD changer later. I checked the lights and the three buttons by the cassette do NOT light up on my van.

    I have several questions about the lights in the cluster. My airbag light stays on several seconds longer than the rest of the lights when the car is started. Almost as long as the seatbelt light when not buckled. The light does turn off. I checked in a 1999 F150 and it does the same thing. My oil light does not seem to turn on with the other lights either. It will turn on if I leave the ignition in ON for a few seconds. Then when I start the van, the oil light will light up and then turn off with the rest. The manual indicates that the oil light "momentarily illuminates when the ignition is turned to the ON poisition and the engine is off." So this sounds like it is operating correctly, but not like most other lights (or other cars). The 99 F150 oil light did turn on on startup.

    Also, I am considering an alarm. Can someone recommend a solution? I have the factory remotes and would like to continue to use them.
  • guitarzanguitarzan OhioPosts: 832
    You can use the Accessories conference as a resource also, tmant. I would think they're discussing alarms over there also :)

    Community Leader/Vans Conference
  • Guitazan.Took the van to the dealer last week and they said nothing was wrong with the gas system,etc.They did say that the filler tube had been shortened somewhat and that the "backsplash" may be caused by me putting the nozzle to far in the filler tube.I have filled up the tank twice since then and have not had the problem,however I put the gas in reallllly slow as I'm sure if I put the gas in at the regular rate I would experience"backsplash"...whatever.If the problem continues I'll start video tapimg my fill ups and have "visual"proof!
    Still haven't gotten my floor mats which are supposed to be standard on the van.Ford said that the manufacturer of their floor mats was substandard and that they had to change manufacturers.
    I'll keep my Tweetybird floormats until then kids like them better anyway!
    I actually like the van quite a bit and hope it will be a great ride!
  • guitarzanguitarzan OhioPosts: 832
    Adgate, I have experienced filling up a vehicle, and the pump kept shutting off. I can't remember what car that was. The situation where gas splashes out, I feel, is unacceptable. And they want you to take twice as long to fill it up each time, because of their design snafu? Unfortunately, people don't seem to find any recourse in going above a dealer at Ford. Just be careful you don't ruin any good clothing while filling up!

    Community Leader/Vans Conference
  • tmanttmant Posts: 70
    On my 2000 Windstar SE (w/power driver seat), the driver seatbelt tongue is different from the passenger side and also the rear. The driver side has a "open" style tongue that restricts if pulled at a certain angle, while the others have a more typical looking enclosed tongue.

    I just noticed this the other day, is this normal?
  • Got a quote on a 2000 SEL if ordered or coming in at $100 over invoice from Village Ford in Ridgewood, NJ. Highest quote I have seen is $350 over ( After that, there is $500 rebate on SEL. NO advertising gimmick fees. Try going to There you can request a price quote from a nearby dealer. Village called me within two hours and gave me lower price than all these silly buying services.
  • I have a 99 LX that has 3000 miles on it. The first month I got 19 mpg, 2nd month 15 mpg and now I get 10.5 mpg. Took it into the dealer for it's first service and they say the engine checks out ok. California uses oxyginated gas in the winter months so the dealer blames the fuel. None of my other vehicles have had a reduction in mpg. Any ideas?
  • weslwesl Posts: 53
    Tmant and others,
    As a former Ford salesman, I am suprised and disappointed that your salesman did not point out the logic behind the three lights out on your radio. The uplevel stereo in the Windstar and the Explorer have a feature called selective lighting. When the instrument panel and radio are illuminated at night, only the buttons that you need to use are lit. For instance, if you are listening to a tape the buttons that are only control the radio or CD functions will not be illuminated. A nice feature, once it is pointed out. On a side note I would have to say this is typical. Many salseman at the dealership I worked at did not do proper feature/benefit demonstrations during the sale nor did they properly demonstrate the car at delivery. You would be amazed how many calls our general sales manager got from customers wanting to know how to use the cruise control or operate the stereo properly. Pretty sad in my estimation. My customers never recieved the three "see" delivery. See the keys, see the car, see the road. Later, Wes.
  • tfcistfcis Posts: 1
    tmant, I have a '99 and yes, the drivers seat belt is supposed to be different than the other seats. It is also described in the owner's manual. On my '99 the passenger seat belt tongues hold the strap tight which makes is very easy to use the child car seat locking clip. Hope this helps.
  • I have a 99 and it did not come with locking clips for car seats because of the design of the seat belts. You should not need them. Read the manual though because it does have some specific instructions for how to be sure the car seat is in correctly. It is much easier to put the car seat in and out now and if you need that seat for an adult passenger you are not having to remove a locking clip for them to use the seatbelt. Good Luck.
  • I just took delivery of 2000 sel and the noise comming from the gas tank wakes up my 2 year old!
    A service tech. went for a ride with me and "can't believe how loud the swooshing noise is" from gas going back and forth .At a start it sounds like a bowling ball rolling into the back door! The test drive did not warn me of this, apparently there was only a few gallons in the tank. Dealer is contacting ford to see if they can be authorized to wrap the tank with insulation. This needs to be recalled escort and windstar don't have bafels in tank to eliminate the swooshing noise Any one else have this problem or do you all crank the radio so you don't here it! I'll let you know what they do.
  • I have not heard this noise but maybe that's because my kids are too busy teasing each other for me to hear anything. Ford will probably suggest you have another kid so they can make more noise in the back for you and drown out the noise coming from the tank.
    O.K. just kidding, but that is the way Ford tends to make you feel when you have a problem.
    I have heard this sound while riding in the middle seats of another brand of van so I do understand how disturbing it is and you are right it should be fixed.
  • tmanttmant Posts: 70
    My 2000 Windstar SE oil light never seems to turn on. It only turns on when I leave the car in ON or turning it off and starting the car right afterwards.

    Anyone else have this problem? (I asked this before but didn't get any response.)
  • I've never checked that on my 96. I know I've seen it flash on momentarily while starting so I just assume it works. I would be concerned if I had never seen it on or if it came on after starting.

    If you are concerned that it is malfunctioning, take it to the dealer. They should be able to test that in a matter of minutes.

  • Every car I've ever owned flashes the oil pressure warning light momentarily on startup to indicate that the bulb is functional(not burned out) - it will also remain steadily lit in the ignition 'on' position if the car is not running(as will most of the other diagnostic lights). The only time the oil pressure warning light remains lit during driving is when you experience a loss of oil pressure, which is generally followed by engine meltdown.
  • rjsvtrjsvt Posts: 1
    I bought a 2000 Windstar LX about 3 weeks ago in Connecticut. Among the options the car has is the Comfort Group which is advertised to include the auxiliary climate control system, privacy glass, luggage rack, and mini overhead console. I am embarrassed to say that I just noticed that while the 2nd and 3rd row windows have the privacy glass, the rear hatch does not - it has the same slightly tinted glass as the front windshield & driver/passenger windows. I called the dealer to confirm that this was the correct delivery of this option and he said he had other LX's with privacy glass on the lot that included it on the hatch. He recommended I check with Ford customer service, which I did. The cust service rep looked up my vehicle build data and indicated the the car was not built with Comfort Group 86C, but with the "reduced" Comfort Group 862 which means that some of the features are 'reduced" from the Comfort Group on the SE and SEL. No where is any of this described in any of the Ford publications that I have seen on the Windstar, and I have not seen another LX with privacy glass that doesn't have it on the hatch window. In case it matters, the other options are driver's side slider, the cd radio w/rear controls, full overhead console, and power drivers seat. Can someone confirm whether the LX Comfort Group privacy glass should be on the hatch? Thanks.
  • Hi. I'm new here. I just bought a '99 Windstar with 25,000 miles on it (used as a rental vehicle by the dealership. Q1: I immediately changed the oil & filter and noted that after putting in the recommended 5 quarts, running it (to fill the filter) and letting it sit an hour, the dipstick shows halfway between Min and Max. On my old Escort, the similar situation would show a mite over Full. What is your experience? After reading about the fuel guage for the 20 gallon tank being installed with the 26 gallon tank, I wanted to check. Q2: After I start the Windstar, the oil light takes about 2 seconds to shut off. On my old Escort, it was almost immediate. Does this mean it has poor oil pressure, or is it just a difference between the two engines (1.9L 4 cyl. vs 3.8 L V6)? If it has bad oil pressure, I can still cancel the deal.
    After reading the Windstar Problems board, I feel jittery. I still bought the Windstar because of its safety (and my two young kids) and because I could not afford the only two other models with similar crash tests (Sienna, Odyssey). Thanks in advance for your help.

  • Sorry to take up two posts with this, I forgot something:
    Or I guess it could be a difference in the sensitivity of the sensors (the Escort's was not as sensitive and went off after the pressure reaches 3 pounds and the Windstar's goes off after he pressure reaches 10 pounds). That is why I want to check with you to see when your oil light goes off.
    With respect to the oil level, more oil is good, as long as you do not exceed the maximum for the engine (good for oil pressure, cooling, lubricating). So I would add an extra cup or pint (so long as it did not go over Max) if I knew that the dipstick was truly correct in being half-way between Min and Max. Thanks again.
  • pjyoungpjyoung Posts: 885
    On our 95 the Jiffy Lube guys always said it was a quart low, but on our 95 Windstar and my departed 93 T-Bird, the word "max" was on the dipstick with a rather long arrow pointing towards the max marker. It ALWAYS looked low at first glance. A second look showed that it was full.
  • Definitely NOT!. For the following reasons:
    The Ford dealerships still tries to sell by the 19th century tactics. Try to get a straight answer from them!. Just ask for the best price for the vehicle "sitting in their lot". GOOD LUCK. They still do their two step shuffle -excuse me, I need to know what my manager/ supervisor has to say about this price. Why do they do this? Just to insult the intelligence of today's buyer? No wonder their lots are always full of vehicles -all models in all colors, all the time.
    I was in the market for 2000 windstar (wife wanted the safest minivan to transport our children) and this gentleman was seriously pushing the 1999 model (the one that he did not have on the lot!).
    Inspite of informing that I am aware of all the figures (invoice, incentives, markups etc.) nobody was ready to give me the bottom figure (I was not trading in any vehicle, and was paying in cash).
    Grudgingly (by this time I knew I was not buying the van, but I wanted to get the feel of driving a Ford product) We went for testdrive (1.3 miles total, and HE was driving for half the way!), the SEL was good but the aftertaste of the experience (dealership) was very bad.
    Bought Honda Odyssey (@ MSRP) without any regrets (5 min at the Honda dealership, 18 day wait). Wife is all smiles. 5 star rating, 5 star drive, 5 star satisfaction.
  • I have in my hand, Ford TSB 99-13-1 dated 6/28/99 on Engine oil mixed with coolant/coolant loss. Its a three page document if anyone needs more info on it, they can email me at [email protected] with a fax number and I can fax it to you.

    It covers the 96-97 Thunderbird, 96-98 mustang, WINDSTAR, 97-98 E150,f250,f150 and 96-97 cougar.

    Engine coolant may be leaking into the engine oil on some vehicles. The internal coolant leak may be difficult to identify. This may be caused by the lower intake manifold side gaskets and/or front cover gaskets allowing coolant to pass into the cylinders and/or the crankcase.

    Revised lower intake manifold side and front cover gaskets have been released for service. Refer to the following text and Application Chart for details"

    I've talked with a mechanic at Ford who says the intake gasket was redesigned with this fix because it wasn't able to withstand the heat. If you redesign something, doesn't that mean the first one wasn't designed properly? And shouldn't anyone who has to replace an engine because of this error, be reimbursed? (I know, I'm talking to the choir) It sounds like this may be Verse 2 of the head gasket problem. It may answer why the 96/97 Windstar are having problems even after the head gasket was redesigned.
  • tmanttmant Posts: 70
    I replaced my oil with 5 quarts and it is very close to the center of the min and max marks, which was where the oil level was with the original oil. I have a 2000 Windstar SE with the 3.8L engine.
  • I guess it depends on the dealer you go to. If you come in with invoice prices, you will get a good price. I requested info from Ford's web site from a local dealer. In an hour, the dealer called me and gave me a price of $100 over invoice. I had been talking with another dealer who had quoted me $300 over and he met the price. THEN, I said, let's lease it. We went thru the numbers together on the computer. No hassles. Just gotta get the right deal I guess!
  • I hear the Ody guys say how meaningful the MSRP on the Honda is. If that is the case, why do the Honda dealers play the same games as any other dealer?? They low ball you on your trade. They try to add options. And if possible, they try to sell you at or above MSRP.

    Ford low balls you on your trade. They try keep you far from invoice and they want to add options where possible.

    Doesn't sound that much different to me.

    Now, if you walk into the Ford dealer invoice prices in hand, put in a reasonable offer, you walk out with a low hassle deal as mentioned above. And if you walk into Honda and willingly pay MSRP, again it's a low hassle deal.

    Again, not much difference to me.
  • Good luck with your Windstar. I hope you got my email regarding your decision and my experiences with the Windstar. Do you have any idea why the van had 25,000 miles on a 1999 and was traded in? Was it a lease maybe or demo? Again, good luck and keep us posted on how things go for you.
  • The bottom line is always important. I would like to know if, on the average, the price of a WS is on/slightly over/way over the invoice price. Or does this have more to do with the old supply and demand. Info I am looking for a 00 LX, but I want to know what people are paying before I go to the dealer.

    Thanks James
  • The bottom line is always important. I would like to know if, on the average, the price of a WS is on/slightly over/way over the invoice price. Or does this have more to do with the old supply and demand. Info I am looking for a 00 LX, but I want to know what people are paying before I go to the dealer.

    Thanks James
  • tmanttmant Posts: 70
    I don't know where you are shopping for your Ford, but here is Houston, just about every dealer has an internet sales staff. I was able to get my 2000 SE at invoice (plus the other typical fees) of around $25500 with delivery.

    Just call and ask for their internet department!
  • I have a 96 windstar and I need to put brake fluid in, but the reservior is back by the firewall under the big black plastic shelf. How do I put some in????
  • My wife got an unplanned Xmas present this week when the tranny on her '91 Camry died. Time to upgrade to a minivan. The arrogance of Honda dealers on the Odyssey is offensive..."We'll arrange a test drive, but you must commit in advance to buying the vehicle." If the Odyssey is such a hot vehicle, how come they can't seem to produce very many? So, upon recommendations from a couple other Windstar owners (who haven't had any more or fewer repairs than fellow Toyota/Honda owners), we bought a 2000 SE from Jerry's Ford in Leesburg, VA. MSRP was $31,035 including various options and destination. I offered $27,000--$150 over invoice, including the $500 rebate. They took it without further discussion.

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