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Ford Windstar



  • I own a 95 or a 96 ford winstar. When it rains, the engine light always goes on and the car trembles and shakes. Can anyone help?
  • bblahabblaha Posts: 329
    For starters, you might want to post your problem in the Townhall "Check Engine Light" Maintenance forum; there are several guys that post who can be very helpful.

    Second, you might check yourself to see if any trouble codes are being stored. Since yours is pre 97, you may be able to get the codes this way.

    If it only happens when it rains, then it seems likely a sensor somewhere is shorting, sending false information to the engine which is causing the "trembles and shakes".
  • Sethmegan: I hope I am not too late getting to you, but before buying any Ford Windstar of any year, I would strongly encourage you to review the many townhall issues that Edmunds has on the Windstar. I think this is one poorly made vehicle, and long after the new car smell wears off (replaced by the sweet smell of antifreeze dripping in your driveway from a cracked headgasket or bad heater core) you will continue to pay for this and also have big repairs bills. Plus, if you ever get fed up with not trusting the van and you go to trade it in, you will REALLY get to know about Poor Resale Value.
    Maybe you will be one of the lucky few, but there are alot of WS owners who would love to give you their van for the KBB average trade in value. Good Luck, happy van hunting.
  • We just bought a 98 Windstar GL (Northwoods) with 19200 miles. Since we just got the van yesterday, I've been driving it around alot and I found that if I had to brake and then slowly drive down an incline (whether in the road or in a parking lot) the car jerked as if the transmission was trying to catch up to the speed of the engine. In both instances I wasn't going fast at all, maybe 30 mph. Also, in both cases I was making a left hand turn. I have to take it back to the dealer tomorrow for an inspection sticker and I'm confused as to what this jerking would be caused by. Any suggestions?
  • rugmankcrugmankc Posts: 133
    I've had similar jerking in bumper traffic ever since I bought the van. Have 56K on it and no problems with tranny. I do HIGHLY recommend 30K xmission fluid changes.
  • I had a '95 Windstar which started experiencing the jerking you mention, initially it was at interstate speeds (felt like it roughly shifted into overdrive or out). However, it mainly happened once I would come to a complete stop. After I came to a stop, then I would get this jerking sensation while sitting still. As the problem got worse, it would remain in neutral even after I hit the accelerator to go, eventually dropping back into gear in a very jerky manner. My van had between 45 - 55K miles on it. I took it to the ford dealer and they played "Village Idiot" with me saying they didn't know what it was, but I would probably need an Overhaul! How's that for fine Ford dealer service! Anyway, I talked to a locally trusted transmission rebuilder who within 30 seconds had diagnosed the problem. The Ford AXOD transmission has been around since 1985 when they first put them in Taurus's. The problem is with the forward shift piston which ford makes out of aluminum. The piston develops a hairline crack which then prevents the transmission from going back into gear after you come to a stop. They have had the problem for a long time, and my boss who has a "99 Windstar" just received a factory recall notice to have her transaxle replaced for that same problem. The recall is just for a limited number of '99 Windstars and Ford denies any responsibility for all the other folks with 95 - 98 Windstars who had to fork out $1500 - 2500 to get tranaxles overhauled. One final point, Unless Ford is going to do the repair for you free, I wouldn't go to them to get it done (even if free, I question how FREE it is). Reason I say that is, Ford seems to like to put in the same crummy parts that failed before, instead of putting in top quality aftermarket parts that have better reliability. Just ask anybody with a Ford 3.8 L V6 engine that needed head gasket replacement - alot of them have had Ford do it multiple times. Beats the heck out of me why Ford would do something so bone headed, but just check out the many sites on the internet for Ford 3.8 L engines and the transmissions. Also, many radio talk shows about cars (Car talk is one) will periodically mention the repeat problems with these components.

    After 86K miles, I finally unloaded my '95 Windstar at a pretty big loss. I could only depend on this machine to break down, and even when I took it to dealers for trade, I could smell antifreeze coming from the engine compartment. What a loser of a van, what a loser of a company!
  • I have been reading the different postings about Windstar with much disappointment. I purchased a 99 Windstar LX with 27k yesterday. I have to tell you, that I am literally sick to my stomach reading all the bad things about Windstar. Does anyone have any good experiences with their Windstar??

  • Looking for technical advice. I have a 95 windstar transaxle that broke the low/intermediate band. The trans. was dealer rebuilt 30k ago. It looks like it broke where the flange joins onto the band and in the process chewed up the drum. What might cause this to happen? faulty part perhaps? the forward clutch pack looks brand new so I think they replaced the piston but I'll have to do some record research. Any info would be helpfull. also any links. thanx
  • 1996 Ford Windstar (purchased new)

    At 11,000 miles, my vehicle's transmission would not shift. The vehicle was towed to Colonial Ford in Danbury, for warranty service. The "fix" was to clear the computer's memory that controls the transmission. A week later the problem reoccurred. For a second time the vehicle was towed to Colonial Ford; and again, the "fix" was to clear the computer's memory that controls the transmission.

    At 38,000 miles my vehicle leaked oil. It was determined that the source was the engine seal, a job which called for the engine to be "pulled." I was quoted $1,200 for the repair. Given the history of the vehicle, I objected to this figure to your Customer Assistance Center and Colonial Ford's Service Manager, who addressed the matter with a Regional Representative. It was decided that I would be responsible for $190.

    At 50,000 miles, my $22,000 vehicle's transmission has had to be replaced at a cost of $2,400. Even though it is documented and recognized by Ford that my vehicle's transmission had problems while under warranty (itemized above at 11,000 miles), Ford would not work with me to bring this matter to a satisfactory conclusion. Colonial Ford would not hear my complaint. Ford's Regional Representative, advised me that Ford would not assist in the cost of repair. When I asked to speak with her manager, she kept referring me instead to the Customer Assistance Center. Not only did the Customer Assistance Center (Debbie #226) not help, she refused to put me in touch with a supervisor and, in fact, advised me that my only recourse was to write to --- the CEO of the Company!

    I did that, and received a call from a representative, that basically told me that they were not interested in assisting me with my complaints over their inferior product ... she also told me that there is no record of customer complaints with transmissions for my vehicle .... She concluded by telling me that they would do nothing for me, since I was not a loyal customer (I did not have them do oil changes and basic service), and only brought the vehicle to them with major problems ...

    Additional problems that I have had with the Windstar include .... check engine light going on and off for no reason, oil pressure light flickering at low idle, and the speedometer not working above 40 MPH. ..... My personal mechanic told me not to drive the vehicle too far. This, with only 55,000 miles on it.

    I have since unloaded the Windstar for $8700.00 and purchased an Astro (which I should have done 4 years earlier) ...

    I will never purchase another Ford again ... All of the stories of the Ford / Firestone coverup's are very believable to me ..
  • try a transmission tuneup, not just a fluid change a filter change too. My 95 windstar had problems shifting and this worked, and i didn't have a ford dealer to it either.They couldn't figure out what was wrong with it.
  • I couldn't help but laugh at "Dreamer" #196! Did he buy the '95 LEMON? If not, I've got a '96 I wanna sell'im. CHEAP! C'mon people .Read the LARGE print: F ix O r R epair D aily, F ound O n R oad D ead,F or O nly R eal D ummies, etc...! For those unfortunate saps, (self included), who didn't have the benefit of these indespensible forums,and a crystal ball,check out the "link" from posting #114 and fill out a complaint and find a lawyer and take back control of this miserable abyss of car ownership.We need to alert the media that Ford Motor going to find itself once again in the spotlight of consumer disdain towards its INFERIOR products!It doesn't end with '95! It keeps going and going and...! I'm a Union worker and I believe in buying American cars...HONDA Accords! 'Nuff said. Unite people. Take your position to the right forums, and be heard. Sooner or later, Ford is gonna pay!
  • I've recently relocated back to the USA and have been looking at minivans for the last few weeks (in between all the other stuff). My wife has decided that she really didn't like my Land Cruiser and since it's her turn for the new car, it looks to be a minivan. I had pretty much settled on a used Chrysler T&C (although most of my family now owns Hondas) until yesterday.

    This weekend I came across an ad from a dealer near my folks' place that is offering a new 2000 LX w/comfort group (my wife would shoot me if we got another vehicle without rear AC), fourth door, security group (the traction control is attractive), console and a handful of other options. It all comes in at ~$20,300 after you figure in the rebates, discounts, etc.

    It appears to offer all the basics in a new car package at the price I was looking to pay for a slightly used vehicle. I don't plan on keeping the vehicle for more than 3-4 years so I would hope that if there are any serious problems they will be covered under the warranty. Any comments from the group on the performance and reliability(to date) of the 2000 LXs?

  • lsg1lsg1 Posts: 42
    I just wanted to post that I am usually posting the mechanical problems that I have had with my 1998 and 2000 Windstars. Well, I was in a head on collision yesterday in my 2000 LX and I collided head on with a Tahoe, and my son and myself walked out of the car practically untouched!
    I will not complain any more about nusance problems that I have with this van(or a new one if this one was totalled)because the bottom line is the safety of our loved ones, and this van came through on that!
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,094
    Wow. Glad to hear you and your son are okay.

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  • I was reading through edmunds, and i see that all 4 door models come standard with the 3.8L V6, is that engine available in the 3 door models? or only with the 4 door? I am trying to compare the 2000 windstar LX with a grand caravan LE, and i would appreciate any feedback.
  • bblahabblaha Posts: 329
    Ummm. On 2001 models, the 3.8L engine is standard on ALL Windstars, including the 3dr LX.

    On 2000 models, the Windstar LX comes standard with 3 drs and 3.0l engine. Both a 4th door and the 3.8l engine are options.

    BTW. If you have young kids, get the 4th door.
  • thanks for the reply, am i reading it wrong then on edmunds under 2000 windstar LX that it says the 3.8L was standard on all 4D models? that is very possible, i've got "cube eyes" from being in my little cube all day
  • bblahabblaha Posts: 329
    The 3.8l is apparently standard on all models in which the 4dr is standard (SE and above). However, just because you see a 4dr doesn't mean it has the 3.8l engine. You may be looking at an LX that has the 4th door option but not the bigger engine. Although from looking at the option pricing, the bigger option is "free", so maybe you'll never find an LX that doesn't have the 3.8l.

    The 2000 Base trim doesn't have the 3.8l option, but does have a 4th door option, so you might find one of those.
  • For POREGON at posting #290 - I have a 98 Limited with 49K miles. No problems to date with just routine maintenance. Fingers crossed here since I've been a little discouraged with the postings as well.
  • Nothing but trouble.Dead batteries (7 in 8 months) sliding doors acting up and going indead battery mode. After sitting in the dealer for last 3 weeks, picked it up and the sterio is on the blink. Seval I notice with same problems . Last ford and windstar (95 victem--should of learned)
  • We have had 14 dead batteries in 6 months. The dealer has tried unsuccessfully 4 times to find the problem. They replaced the battery and the alternator, to no avail. The doors are very unreliable, the headlights flash when the car is just sitting in the garage and we never know whether the car will start up in the morning!
  • bblahabblaha Posts: 329
    Thats rediculous. You need to find a competent dealer. If the battery is being drained, something is doing the draining.

    Re: Headlight flashing
    When you lock the car, the headlights are supposed to flash once letting you know the antitheft system has armed. It usually flashes about 15 seconds after locking the car. Does yous flash just once? Or a bunch of times?
  • On my 98 windstar, the interior lights won't go out. replaced the relay in under dash fuse panel, still stays on..has anyone experienced this problem, and what i might do to correct it
  • I originally posted this question several days ago on under the Red Carpet Lease section and did not get a response.

    I am in NY looking for 36m, 12k m lease on Windstar SEL. A local dealer offered 395 a month with a 14k residual. This is with side airbags and the family safety package 2. If I want the entertainment it would be about another 15 per month. The MSRP is around 32k, with the cap cost being around 30k if I paid cash. Taxes and Tags upfront. Is this price fair, a lowball or could I do better? I realize that the amounts when added together only add up to about 28,5K. However, on this site the Ford Leases Incentive Program seem to imply a price of $421 per month for 15k m per year

    A friend ordered one 6 months ago and just picked it up and is paying 440 per month. Did she just get a bad deal or is there some reason Ford Dealers are more willing to deal now (beyond their holiday stockings). The tire problem (not on the Windstar anyway) or something else? The current incentive runs through 1/16/01, does it make a difference if I buy the last week in December or in January before the offer expiration

    Thank you
  • bblahabblaha Posts: 329
    The forum to ask your question is this one. Car_man is extremely knowledgeable about leasing questions and frequently answers the question "Is this a good lease deal?"

    PS. If you click on that link, you'll probably have to re login to post. The forum is under the "Finance/Warranty/Insurance" conference.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    Liora, here is the proper link to the Lease questions topic in the Finance, Warranty, and Insurance topic. You should not have to re-login if you follow the link in this message.

    Best of luck!
    Drew Townhall co-host
    Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories conferences
  • bblahabblaha Posts: 329
    So that's how you post a link to another forum without losing "Logged In" status!
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    I take it that the link works?

    The login problem has been about 95% fixed. I believe it still bumps you off (or at least think it has) if you have an idle browser window open - such as when you're composing a message - for about 10-15 minutes. Again, something that we're aware of and fixing.

    Drew Townhall co-host
    Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories conferences
  • bblahabblaha Posts: 329
    Yes. The link works. And now that I know the proper structure, I've fixed my browser's Bookmarks so I can jump into forum "logged in", at least so long as I'm logged in on the Townhall side. If I'm logged out on the townhall side (which I think means I don't have a cookie set i.e. I've cleared my cache recently), the forums are read only.

    I'm rapidly warming up to the new software.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    If you're not logged in, the topics are supposed to be read only. This is so that you have to be a registered participant of Townhall to be able to post. Even before the software switchover to WebCrossing, you had to register and log in to be able to post.
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