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Ford Windstar



  • beernutbeernut Posts: 329
    Yes, I do have the light package, but the interiors stay on for 45 to 60 minutes. That's a drag. If the relay could be set to 10 or 15 minutes, that would be suitable. There might be a single wire after the light delay relay that I can get to. The interior lighting fuse also runs the power windows, so a switch on it would kill everything. That's OK, I guess, but if anybody has a better idea, I'd appreciate hearing about it.
  • bostnwhalrbostnwhalr Posts: 128
    I know this sounds obnoxious....

    How about making the Windstar more reliable for a change? How about a quieter, smoother, more sophisticated engine? (Oh yeah, that costs more, sorry for suggesting)

    I'd consider a used Windstar if Ford had a couple of years of average reliability. But it seems they don't get any better. After 7 years (yeah, it was new for 99, but how new really?), you would think the Windstar would be flawless by now. Honda, who had some un-honda like bugaboos with the 99' Odyssey, improved their vehicle dramatically the following year. Even Chrysler seems to have gotten their act in gear since 1998. What's up with Ford?

    I'm not an anti-Ford person. I actually own shares in the company and think they do make some great products. It's ironic how Ford can make the F150 to be quite a reliable truck nearly rivaling Toyota and yet the Windstar has been such a reliability disappointment (yeah, maybe the 2001's are better, but we won't know for sure for a while).

    This fall, Honda's new factory in Alabama goes on line to make Odysseys. That will surely hurt Ford and the other domestic minivans even more. Brace yourself for $3,000 rebates up from $2,000 today.
  • roary0903roary0903 Posts: 1
    I am the proud owner of my first minivan ever and it happens to be a 1999 Ford Windstar. I have just a simple question..does anyone know how the back windows open? My saleswoman took the time to show me all the little details like air, wipers and seats but forgot this one important detail. I have scanned the owners manual with no luck and have considered taking it back to the dealer which happens to be about 50 miles away to see if they are jammed or broke. It appears that some clip flips but it will not budge, so I am afraid I am not doing it correctly and would hate to break the window. Any help would be I would hate to drive that 50 miles back to the dealer. Thanks!
  • crkeehncrkeehn Posts: 513
    Does anyone know if the spare tire carrier for the Windstar is capable of handling a full-sized spare tire? I had a blowout recently and changed the tire with the limited use spare but noticed that it carries a warning not to be used over 50 mph. At that time I was on a 65 mph expressway. At that time, a full service spare began looking very attractive. Luckily I was only a short distance from the exit ramp and with the air conditioning running and windows closed, couldn't hear the cursing of those following me.
  • barrye1barrye1 Posts: 13
    I believe all 99's have power rear windows. On the drivers side door panel, there should be 5 buttons. 1 for the locks, two for the front windows and 2 for the rear windows. I am not for sure that all the vans were equiped with the feature, but every other WS I have seen has them. Hope this helps.
  • beernutbeernut Posts: 329
    Yup, it should hold a full size tire. The Windstar has available options like "tow package", or whatever they call it, that come with a full size spare. Buying the option doesn't change the well or retractor, just the tire. One way to find out is to stick one up there.

    The rear windows are probably powered. The operator "cams" on each window may look like what you call clip flips - don't force them - they will break. There should be a pair of switches somewhere in the cockpit marked only "Rear". That's them. If they don't work, check it out as a fuse issue or maybe a wiring thing.
  • crkeehncrkeehn Posts: 513
    I suspected that it might, it appeared that the cutouts for the spare were wider than the temporary spare. I just didn't know if they were wide enough. Thanks
  • mikehaneymikehaney Posts: 14
    Sorry to hear you are suffering from the infamous head gasket problem. If I were you, I would run, don't walk, and get a Toyota or a Honda. We are going to sell our 99 Windstar, even though we haven't had any problems yet, because I have read too much about the Windstar's problems. I don't even feel like I can depend on the van to take family trips, etc., and I hate the thought of my wife and kids getting stranded somewhere.

    You can buy Toyota Sienna's at a few hundred dollars over invoice, and they are offering special finance rates now. My wife and I were about to buy one, but we decided we like the Honda better. We are waiting a few months for the '02 Honda Odyssey to come out, which is supposed to have more goodies on it (240 hp engine, finally leather seats, video system, etc.). Unfortunately, I will have to pay MSRP, but that will actually be not much more than we paid for our Windstar.

    I, too, hate having to spend more money, since we would have the Windstar paid for in another year and a half, but I would rather spend more money now to get a vehicle I know I can keep for 10 years with very few hassles. I know that would not be the case with the Windstar.

    BTW - I have owned Fords all my life. I always believed that the American cars have come a long way in reliability. It's bull - the Japanese cars are far superior. That's why every rating you see (initial quality, long term reliability) favors the Japanese cars, and that's why the resale value is so pathetic for American cars. I saw the latest JD Powers survey results - only 2 American cars made it into the top 20, and they were both Chryslers. Half of them were Toyota/Lexus. I wish it wasn't that way, and I tried to deny it for a long time, but if you want to get the best built and most reliable vehicle for your money, you just can't buy American.
  • tony22rtony22r Posts: 45
    Hey folks check out:

    It lets you see Recall details on various makes, models, and year.
  • tony22rtony22r Posts: 45
    for Blown Head Gasket repair under the (00M09 & 00M10) 7yr/100,000mi gasket replacement program
    Call Ford at: (800) 392-3673 to find out more.

    Initially when my head gaskets blew and i contacted Ford they warned me that *I* would have to pay a $70 "Diagnostic Fee", and if the dealership felt that my vehicle had enough "symptoms" to warrant gasket replacement under 00M09/00M10, then my $70 would be reimbursed.
    I said "listen pal, 2 weeks ago all my warning lights came on, my engine was hesitating, chugging, knocking Badly, felt like it was running on 3 cylinders, was burning white smoke out the tailpipe, was consuming 1 gallon of coolant per week, and now it is sitting on Jackstands in my driveway waiting for the Tow Truck to tow it to the Ford Dealership!! How many more symptoms do you Need??"

    Also, the dealership said all the Courtesy cars were already taken by Other owners with blown head gaskets! and they Refused to cover a rental car!

    Anyways, the total cost of repairs was $1300 and took TWO weeks! But the "Extended Gasket Warranty" program only covered $1050!
    The dealership said *I* had to come up with $250!! I said WTF?!? WHY do I have to pay $250 for FORD's defective gaskets Scewing up MY engine??!!
    The dealership said the Warranty *only* covered gaskets and installation, but I was responsible for things like corroded spark plugs, block flush, oil, coolant, and waste disposal fees!!
    I just about got in my Ford and crashed it thru their dealership window!
    But decided to drive it home and put a For Sale sign on it instead... at least now that it was running again.

    Over the years of (unhappy) ownership i have spent Thousands of dollars out of my own pocket for parts & service not covered by the recall/warranty, rental cars!, towing, time taken off work, etc.
    So with the Thousands of dollars i've WASTED i could've just bought a Toyota, Honda, or Nissan to begin with!!!
  • ozrod68ozrod68 Posts: 1
    I recently purchased this vehicle and was dismayed to find that the belts do not cinch. I can't understand why Ford would fail to provide cinching belts in a family vehicle. I also just got a 2001 Expedition and this has cinching belts. Do all SEL's have the non-cinching belts? Has anybody had them replaced. All responses appreciated.
  • kschillikschilli Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 SE Sport and the seat belts will lock down but it is not a retraction type like previous windstars. The owners manual explains how it works but it took me a few times to figure it out. Basically, you need to grab the buckle on the belt by the metal part and lift it up. You then put the buckle into the lock. Then pull the belt through the buckle while it is in the lock and it holds. Apparently the buckle has some sort of locking clip built into it. Not as convenient as the retractions but it works fine.
    Good Luck
  • My wife's Windstar has a blown brakelight. I'm not sure how to remove the tail light assembly. I removed the two top visible screws, but the assembly seems to be attached below in some way. Any help?

  • eckel1eckel1 Posts: 2
    I am looking for any feedback on a Wind star. We are thinking of purchasing a 2000 Wind star with 15000 miles on it !!! Please give me feedback on how this vehicle stands up !!!
  • datsun71datsun71 Posts: 1
    Hi l just signed up and hoping for a response for my problem. the temp needle swings from the middle up to L position then back down again? I'm not loosing a-freeeze nor any other symptoms is this just a defective device or what!!!!!
  • I know, with a name like mine, how could I own a Ford :). has anyone had problems with interior trim quality? My '98 GL has had interior trim above the sliding door pop off, and now the front seat trim underneath is coming off, catching my slacks (rippppp..) I'm a big guy, 6'5", size 17 feet, 285 lbs, so I'm not easy on things, BUT still..

    Also, has anyone else noticed the SEVERE power drain when you load up 7 people, run both airs, and going on the interstate(freeway for you California types) Man does it chunk down, even with the 3.8!
  • wholiganwholigan Posts: 148
    This happened to me after my engine as replaced. They told me an air bubble was in the cooling system. I think if you take off the radiator (when the engine is cold) and let it warm us so the thermostat opens, you may find that the fluid level drops dramatically.

    You are not loosing coolant - there is just not enough coolant in the system to keep the temperature guage sensor "submerged".

    It is worth a shot anyway... Good Luck!
    2003 Honda Odyssey EX-LRES - Midnight Blue Pearl
    2004 Honda Accord EX-L Graphite Pearl
    2007 Honda Civic EX - Atomic Blue
    2013 Honda Civic LX - Crimson Pearl
  • clink1clink1 Posts: 4
    dear crkeehn, I have a 2001 ws and occasionally the speedo will jump from 85K to 110K like it seems to stick and then "wham" right to 110K.
  • vezinivezini Posts: 38
    Hey all:

    When I step on the accelerator (i.e. merging in on the interstate) I can get some black exhaust. I can even see it in the rear view mirror.

    Any thoughts on what this is?

  • beernutbeernut Posts: 329
    Taillights are removed with the two screws only. They are at the top of the light. There are an additional two retaining pins that hold it to the body on the outboard side of the fixture. They are removed by just pulling straight out. Don't try to bend or twist them. What makes removal confusing is that the weather stripping and sealants used between the body and the fixture are like glue and make the light very hard to pull off the first time, behaving as if there are additional fasteners.

    Black smoke from the exhaust when the hammer is thrown down is probably normal rich fuel not burning clean. If it is accompanied by poor mileage, rough running, engine run-on or black smoke all the time, it could be computer or injector problems (= $$$). My recommendation is that you quit looking out the back when flooring it.
  • crkeehncrkeehn Posts: 513
    Talk to your dealer, that is not normal behaviour and the car should be under warrantee
  • ralmoralmo Posts: 3
    The same happened to me on my 96 speedo,you have a stripped gear on the cable...I hate to be the one to tell you this,if it is,the cost is 400.00
  • zoolandzooland Posts: 2
    When braking at high speeds I get a big vibration on my 95. This seems to get more noticeable the longer I drive. I turned the rotors and replaced the pads. No good. I took it to a mechanic who installed new rotors and cleaned up the pads. Same story. I brought it back to him and he could find nothing wrong with it. Anyone have a similar problem?
  • lweisslweiss Posts: 342
    I had a 95 Windstar that we got in October 1994. It was decent performer but had the head gasket problem- that was replaced under warranty in early 2000 with about 75K on the vehicle. I took advantage of the special $4,000 credit for the new Windstar, and we took delivery of a 2000 Windstar SE in August of 2000, paying about $17,500 with trade and credits for a van that listed for $31,000. I can only say that the new one has better features, no problems whatever, mileage is a little less- about 15 to 18 mpg city. We have about 10K miles on the new van.

    My only advice is to go with a good dealer: we usedTed Britt Ford in Fairfax, Virginia, and both the old Windstar and new one were sold and serviced with few hassles. I recommend them and hope that the new Windstar will continue to be problem free and enjoyable.
  • We are interested in 2000 Ford Windstar LX w 20K miles for $16K but are scared about the reliability record of the vehicle. However, I went thru almost 500 e-mails noting that 95 % of the e-mails are related to MY95-99. The latest also says that "the qty has improved over the years, MY00-01 being the best MYs". Am I correct? Has the qty really improved?
  • crkeehncrkeehn Posts: 513
    Your advice is valid, go with a good dealer. With Ford especially, the satisfaction seems directly related to how good the dealer is. We were never happy with our nearest Ford dealer and drove about 10 miles past it to the next dealer over to get our two most recent cars.
  • Our 2001 SEL (3500 miles) recently developed "jerky" ride. The ride feels like someone is pushing the van every 1-2 seconds, i.e it feels like the van is speeding up a bit and slowing down a bit every few seconds. Overall it maintains the speed. Has anyone had similar ride on their Windstar?
  • I am in a tough position right now. My wife and me are in the market for a minivan to haul around our kids and cargo as well as towing applications. I like the Chrysler, its ex./in. look very high class and it's powertrain is as smooth as glass, it also offers all-wheel drive. My wife on the other hand likes the Windstar with it's no bull engine that gets the job done(not in a very refined way though I hear) and 5 star safety. In any case though, both models have not been known for reliability and quality, which in our family, is a must. I've heard that Ford has had engine head gasket problems and Chrysler transmission problems, are those rumors? And we tend to haul around lots of gear and children, and in which model would they be most comfortable? We also do regular towing and camping and will the engine has enough power to haul us, a boat(3,200 lbs), and itself when we go on long road trips. Both have 3.8 liter V6s so it's a mystery to me of which performs better when hauling around this much. Also I've read that Ford offers a rear entertainment system, does Chrysler or is it an add-on after market. We just want a powerful minivan with all the luxuries of a sedan and the strength of a suv. If you have any suggestions please write back.
  • If I were in your situation I would go with the Chrysler. Why?
    Better styling
    More horsepower
    More torque
    Third row split seat
    Newer design
  • elvee1elvee1 Posts: 4
    Hi, I have the 99 model and I THOUGHT it had the ALR's. Those are the belts that once pulled ALL the way out, will "click" back in and STAY PUT. Very safe for youngsters in belt positioning booster seats, and also making it easy to secure the regular child safety seats too. We've not been able to make these work and the dealer is telling us that NO 99 windstars have these. Could this be true? I have three questions: does anyone reading this have this type of seat belt? Has anyone ever ordered the parts and installed them themselves (handy husband, here)? Does anyone know where I can go, call, or website to visit to see if this type of locking belt system is indeed supposed to be on this model?

    I am desperate. When my kids were babies, in car seats, I just used lokcing clips and figured "oh well." But now that they are in belt-positiong boosters, I feel that these are very unsafe. In fact I have a friend who drives a Silhouette and she won't let her kids ride in my van because her kids move around too much and she fears a terrible injury if a crash should occur while a kid is reaching for something on the floor, or another seat or whatever. I am now nervous too!

    I read the question below from the SEL model owner, and the answer. I'll try that seat belt buckle thingie...mabye that's how ours lock into place too?????

    Any answers will really be appreciated, believe me. Preschool carpooling is just around the corner and I'd never be able to live with myself if a child was injured because I didn't know how to operate the belts properly.

    Nervous Nellie
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