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Ford Windstar



  • rmscsrmscs Posts: 6
    I have a well maintained 96 Windstar with 75,000 miles. Contrary to most - the van has been trouble free. My question is... Given all we know about the head gasket and transmission problems - is there any steps that can be taken to avoid them. (OK, I thought of trading.)

  • koolerbkoolerb Posts: 10
    For about the last month I have been seeing the base Windstars advertized for $16,500 at more than one dealership in my Sunday paper in NJ. This includes the $400 recent college grad. rebate.
  • koolerbkoolerb Posts: 10
    There is a good looking 98' Windstar at my local dealer. I know one person that owns one and he's up to 120,000 miles with no problems. Has anyone out there had any major problems with the 98'.
  • koolerbkoolerb Posts: 10
    I have a 2000, and the interior lights do illuminate when the keyless entry is used. The interior lights have a three position switch, one of those positions kills that feature. Check different switch positions if you haven't done that already. It wouldn't surprise me if the dealer just didn't know what he was talking about. Most of these guys I talk to at the dealerships are real meatheads. Its rare to find someone that actually know what going on with the vehicles.
  • skirvskirv Posts: 1
    It sounds like your parents' car has a manufacturer's defect. Check out this link: I had an 89 Bronco that did the same thing. I could never figure it out. The day after I sold it, I heard about this lawsuit. The ignition module is located in a place where it gets too hot, and causes the engine to stall. It was infuriating, because I was afraid to take the Bronco on long drives in the summer, especially through the desert with the family. I found the stalling was very sporadic, and didn't happen that often, but often enough to be frustrating.
  • clink1clink1 Posts: 4
    I have a 2001 Windstar with 14,000 km and since new when coming to an abrupt stop or a quick takeoff you can hear the loud thump of the fuel sloshing around in the fuel tank. My Ford dealership says there is nothing they can do until they hear of similar complaints. So, are there any?
  • bdemasbdemas Posts: 51
    clink1: My 2000 SE does the same, I've heard it in a 1999 as well. Usually with the kids on board and the radio turned up we don't normally hear it. I believe someone on this board or the ford windstar problem board mentioned this problem a year or so ago. There is probably nothing Ford can do to fix it other then put in some baffles.
  • clink1clink1 Posts: 4
    There was a reference made to a fix for sliding door using velcro. Hope it helps as I just returned from dealership and had both front seat belt spacer plates replaced on the sliding adjustment mechanism and squeaking/ticking sound is still present, may be sliding door. On another note, if anyone with 2001 WS is experiencing a rattling sound from rear passenger 3rd row area, may be wire harness in this area or screw on car jack not tight and seated. I think too many squeaks and rattles for a vehicle in this era.
  • robigailrobigail Posts: 2
    First time on the Board . . . I'm in the market and have to choose between the Windstar (SEL) and the Toyota Sienna (XLE). I can get the Windstar for abt. $3000 less, but is it worth potential reliability issues down the road?
  • vezinivezini Posts: 38
    Has anybody heard what the changes for 2002 will be?
  • jsiedhoffjsiedhoff Posts: 18
    I had the same problem on my 2000 Windstar. The dealer replace the guides that the sliding door rests on when it is closed (passenger side) but that did not help. I took it back for this problem and some other squeaks (it has been back at the dealer 7 times now and I dropped it off again this morning)and they replaced the guides again (so they said) but they also put some felt on them. That seems to have corrected the problem for now. Check out the Ford Windstar Problems message board for more details on various squeaks/rattles. I have posted three previous messages there.
  • ocdocd Posts: 7
    I picked up my new SEL on Monday night. I am very
    pleased with it. The more I drive it, the more I like it. The stereo sounds great and the convenience of the 6 disc in dash cd changer is very nice. The kids love the power sliding doors and my wife has been very happy with the new purchase as we upgraded from a Taurus. The next thing I will do is de-activate the seat belt reminder as it is pretty loud (scarey)when you are only running around the block and do not fasten your seat belt. I looked at the Silhouette's and decided hands down to go with the
  • jsiedhoffjsiedhoff Posts: 18
    Ocd, If you don't want to wear your seat belt, fine, but think about your kids. I would not recommend disabling the seat belt reminder. This will remind you to make sure your kids are belted in. Think about what your kids will go through should something happen to you. Not wearing your seat belt (especially if you have a family to support) is a selfish act. Most accidents occur within 10 miles of the home (or is it one mile, I can't remember). I am not trying to tell you what to do, I just think you owe it to your family.
  • k9cop1k9cop1 Posts: 78
    I am looking for a floor console to place between the front bucket seats of my wife's 1999 SE. The ones in the catalogs (steel horse et al)are too wide due to the placement of the emergency brake lever. Any help appreciated.
  • clink1clink1 Posts: 4
    K9cop1, I have a 2001 windstar LX and have an after market console called a "clutter catcher" fits perfectly. Try
  • ocdocd Posts: 7
    Jsiedhoff, The only reason to deactivate the reminder alarm was to keep me from jumping out of my seat when I drive around the block to a family members house. Whenever I have my children in the Windstar everyone has their belts on. It's nice to be able to fasten your seat belt without an alarm having to remind you. It's common sense in the driving safely routine.
  • k9cop1k9cop1 Posts: 78
    Thanks, Ill give it a try!
  • callo_callo_ Posts: 18
    As first time van owners, my wife and I chose the 2001 Windstar SEL. Since our purchase we have had nothing but compliments and good times with the van, and the children love it. She has over 9000 miles on it, and so far, we have had no problems at all. The vehicle has been nothing but a pleasure to own.
  • sharonlpksharonlpk Posts: 37
    OK, this sounds silly, but I didn't want am actual console in the front (kids have one in the 2nd row seats for their junk!).... at at SuperK found a two-tier 'stuff holder' which has been great for us. Was only $12 or so, but allows cups, etc. on the top level, which can be lifted up to store other stuff -- hidden out of site, in my case it's usually papers or money...

    Or, it can be arranged to make a one-tier longer 'stuff holder' which would be good if we didn't already have the built-in one in the back.

    By the way, it's nice to read some complimentary posts about the Windstar here, overall I really like our new 2001 SE Sport!!
  • rbitdogrbitdog Posts: 4
    I'm looking for more space (for dogs and crates) than my Ford Escort offers- I've had it for two years with no problems. I drive 1 hour each way to work, so gas mileage is a consideration. What I WANT, is an Aztek, which looks totally unacceptable to my husband. It has more width to offer compared to the escort, but not close to the width and length offered by the minivans. I am looking at a 99 with traction control, power everything (14,995 with slight hail damage, before negotiations), but the lesser space of the aztek is looking more acceptable after reading some of these posts. What gas mileage can I expect for combined driving with the windstar? I have to drive it every day to work, with only occasional trips with dogs, so I need comfort, safety, and gas mileage. Any advice?
  • rbitdogrbitdog Posts: 4
    I forgot to mention that the 99 windstar with slight hail damage has 39000 miles, checked carfax and it's ok (they don't tell you much), but don't know if it's had any mechanical repairs. It looks like all four tires need to be replaced, though, with tread wear and cracking almost like dry rot. It has four doors so I think it's an SE (the salesman said LX but can't find an LX listed with four doors). It does not have the power side door but does have power driver's seat and heated mirrors. I expect to get him down some, but what's a good price to expect? The dealerships around here selling new cars with hail damage usually drop about 3500 off the price.
  • We have a 2000 SEL with 21000 on it and the right side sliding door has squeaked since the day we drove it off the lot. Dealer fixed once, lasted about 2 months. I took the panel off today and found the squeak; each of the fasteners that hold the panel seem to be the culprits... We'll see what kind of fix my dealer can come up with.
  • bdemasbdemas Posts: 51
    rbitdog: We had a '99 LX with driver side slider, they are out there. We got between 17 and 21 mpg. I don't know a good price for one now, check the local papers for other windstars of the same vintage. Ours had a pinging problem and shifted harshly at low speeds. We got rid of it at 20K miles, so I don't know the long term effects of these problems.
  • bjaffbjaff Posts: 1
    Windstar speedo problems .
    I have a '97 windstar , 3.8 liter . Bought it used Nov '97 , Manufactured in Nov '96 . In June '98 had the speedo replaced under warranty . Now 3 years later it needs to be replaced again , same problem . When at any speed over 60KM , the speedo jumps around up to 100 - 200KM depending on actual speed . The odometer works fine , rotates smooth & correctly .
    Has there been anybody else with these problems ?
    Reply to "" .
  • crkeehncrkeehn Posts: 513
    Yes, many people with Windstars and Taurus/Sable. It is a problem with their speedometers. I have been somewhat lucky with mine. I had a problem with it about a year ago and in desperation reached behind the dash to make sure that the wires were seated properly. Doing so apparently cleared up some corrosion, to date I have not had a recurrence. I undrstand that the repair cost is fairly steep.
  • k9cop1k9cop1 Posts: 78
    I own a 99 & its great w/exception to gas mileage (12-14) local & 18 highway.
    I ordered the console from JC Whitney. We need it to keep the kids from getting to us! LOL
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    You may want to check out the Ford Windstar problems discussion topic. You may also want to repost your previous message in there.

    Good luck!

    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
  • beernutbeernut Posts: 329
    I use my '97 for camping and want to install a switch on the interior lights so they won't be on with the doors open all day. Any easy way to do it? Any advice on where the magic wire is located so I can put a switch on it?

  • crkeehncrkeehn Posts: 513
    Do you have the light group on your van? I have a 1996 GL with the light group and the lights turn themselves off if a door is left open for a certain period of time, 20 minutes to half an hour sticks in my mind.
  • tony22rtony22r Posts: 45
    I hope you all bought Extended Warranties for your Ford Windstars... you're going to need it.

    I bought my 1995 Ford Windstar GL 3.8L V-6 brand new. I am the original owner. I take GOOD care of ALL my vehicles. I enjoy cars, am an auto enthusiast, have raced/built/rebuilt all kinds of cars since I was 13 yrs old. I am proud of my rides and take great care of my stable of vehicles; I change oil Religiously every 3K miles, rotate tires every 10K, flush radiators every summer, keep my engines so Meticulously Clean you could Eat off them!, wash my cars every other week.

    But despite all the care and attention, the Ford Windstar has been one of the WORST!
    It has gotten no less than 7 Factory Recalls in the first 3 years of ownership!
    All sorts of Problems ranging from...:

    * Defective factory Head Gasket (which Ford refuses to fix unless it is already Blown!)
    * Hood Separation at high speeds (they put more glue on)
    * Gas Tank (plastic) needed Reinforcement for hot weather climates (they put an extra strap on the middle)
    * Sliding Door needed reinforcement/welding.
    * Transmission Oil pan leaks, Engine Oil pan leaks.
    * "Check Engine" light comes on ALL the time!
    * Hesitation/Jerking/Loss of power at certain temperatures, elevations, engine speeds.
    * Trim, body panels, weather stripping falling apart.

    Do NOT buy ANY Ford vehicle with the 3.8L V6. All those nightmare stories you've been hearing about the 3.8L are true. It happened to me after only 65,200 miles.

    OK, if you're just leasing/renting for a year or two, have at it, go and buy yourself a Ford Explorer with Firestone tires if you like.
    It won't matter anyways, after a couple years it'll be someone else's problem not yours.

    But if you plan to own the car for more than a couple years, Don't buy a Ford Windstar! It'll end up Owning YOU!
    Spend a couple thousand extra and buy yourself a Toyota, Honda, Nissan, etc. Trust me it'll be worth it, because it won't be sitting on jackstands in your front yard in a few years.
    If you buy a Ford Windstar you'll spend Thousands of dollars on repairs, recalls, wasted time, trouble, and headaches.
    The Windstar 3.8L's are just huge money pits.

    ...I just got off the phone with Ford Customer Service (800)392-3673.
    (Write that phone# down! you'll Need it!)
    She told me that under Recall# M09 (i think), head gaskets on 3.8L V6 Windstars are now covered for 7 years/100,000 miles whichever comes First.
    So tonight after work i am towing my '95 Windstar in to the dealership. It only has 65,200 miles and I am original owner. I took great care of my Windstar but the head gaskets still blew.

    About a month ago my Check Engine light was coming on Constantly, my engine began to chug/hesitate really bad, felt like it was running on only 3 cylinders, i noticed i was losing coolant fast (1 gallon per week).
    Loud Knocking/detonation on acceleration.
    Now it is sitting on jackstands on my front yard waiting for the tow truck.

    I will NEVER buy a Ford Windstar again. We want to get rid of this vehicle soon as we can. It is just a huge money pit and taking up our time. Trade-in/Resale value is pathetic, because everyone is aware of the horrible mechanical/reliablity problems of these Fords.
    I hope it gets rear-ended like the other Windstar on this board.
    $6000 from the insurance would be Great!

    That doesn't even cover the money and time we've spent fixing it.
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