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Ford Windstar



  • I purchased a 2000 se about 2 months ago and was looking the van over and noticed paint on the roof channels was cracking (both sides). Needless to say I wasn't very happy. I took van to dealer and am in the process of scheduling new paint. Anyway, while at the dealer I took a stroll on the lot to see other SE models and noticed cracking paint on them also. So anyone who has a se or is thinking about getting one, it may well be worth checking out the roof of your vehicle. I would like to hear back if others have the same problem.
  • bblahabblaha Posts: 329
    Interesting idea. Haven't done it and don't know or heard of anyone who has so...

    I would call a dealer first to get a ballpark figure on what one costs. If you don't want them to know what you are planning, offer a white lie and say you spilled rat poison on your old seat and just threw it away rather than trying to clean it. I would think it won't be cheap.

    Personally, I wouldn't do it. For starters, the biggest safety issue is whether or not someone in the back could exit the vehicle in a timely manner if required to do so (think: "My van is on fire!") Also, though your children probably wouldn't mind climbing over it, doing so will put an unbelievable amount of wear on the middle row bench. Not too mention the dirt.

    Have you considered a full size or even church van?
  • cptpltcptplt Posts: 1,075
    The safety issue can't be that much of a problem, GM has 8 seat variants of their minivans today (except the Olds Silhouette) and Toyota had 8 seat Previas everywhere except in North America.Its no worse , maybe better, getting out of the back seat of a minivan with 3 seats in the middle row than getting out of the back seat of a 2 door car! On second thoughts maybe it is a safety issue or at least a potential legal disaster for the companies given my first statement about GM and outside the US only for Toyota!
    I have a 8 seat '00 Venture and a 7 seat 95 WS. The kids love the Venture better, maybe they are still at the age they can bear to sit next to their siblings and get cozy!
  • in this thread for awhile. We got a new 2000 SE under the buyback program in the spring. In light of all the knocking of the WS is these topics, and our prior experience, I was skeptical (we could not wait four months for the Odyssey). However, 4000 miles later, and just coming off a 1000 mile round-trip to Cape Cod, my impression of the WS is becoming more favorable. We loaded it up with baggage and 5 people, including stuff on the roof, and hung 4 bikes off a bike carrier from a rear hitch. I expected the van to be a bit ponderous and sluggish, and I barely noticed a change in the responsiveness - testimony to the strong engine. The road manners were very solid, and I never felt like I was driving an overstuffed and overloaded vehicle. The comfort was excellent and mileage was OK (20-ish fully loaded at 60-70 mph). We also have not had any mechanical problems yet. The radio is good to excellent. My only ture complaint at this point is the noisy engine upon acceleration - it sounds more like a truck than a car.

    In summary, we got a good deal because of the $3K rebate and 0.9% financing, and I am becoming a believer, alhough the real test will be reliability and quality as it ages.
  • am a little nervous after reading some of the posts around here. Shame on me for not searching this site earlier, although it still may not have changed my mind. I'm just interested in some of your seemingly expert opinions on a couple of things:

    1) I know it is extremely early, but has there been any news (pro/con) on the reliability of the 2001 SEL? I would assume the 2000 model year would be very similar in terms or reliability, but most of the posts above are regarding 1999 and prior years. Any ideas/advice would be appreciated.

    2) I got the family entertainment package, side airbag option, and the reverse sensor as options in addition to the standard SEL package. I also purchased the extended, 100,000 mile warranty since I plan to keep the van for a while. The dealer price was $32,820. I got them to come off $1820 plus I signed over the $1000 mfr rebate (for a total of $2820). Finally, I traded in a car for another $4000 (it had over 140,000 miles on it with a NADA trade-in value of $4400). After tax, title, fees and sales tax, I paid $28,056 for the vehicle. Did I get a fair price? Or did my negotiation skills fail me once again?

    Thanks in advance for any comments or ideas...even though the truth may hurt...
  • bblahabblaha Posts: 329
    Did I get a fair price?

    Here is a question. If you had the option of choosing either $28,056 OR the van, which would you choose? If you would choose the van (which you did), then yes, you got a fair price. If you would choose the money, then no, you didn't.

    Peoples negotiating skills vary across the spectrum. The prices people pay are also going to vary across the spectrum (or at least within a range) and is not only related to the buyer's negotiating skills. Don't beat yourself up if you find out someone 4 states over paid $500 less for the same van. Someone else 2 states down may have paid $500 more. Considering you got an SEL, what you paid is only a few thousand more than what we paid for our 99 SE, so I personally think your price is decent.

    We absolutely love ours. No problems to report other than a sticky window that they fixed when we took delivery. The single most posted problem involves the blown head gasket on 1995 Windstars. Rumor has it that Ford changed something mid year 96. So there are a couple of early 96s that also report a blown HG. To my knowledge, there is not a single HG post for 97 or later model years.

    The transmission may be another matter; it warrants keeping a close watch. With the 100k mile extended warranty, you are reasonably safe.
  • bblahabblaha Posts: 329
    There is a difference between an intentionally designed 8 passenger seating, and doing it yourself. The flexible seating design that the Windstar has wasn't intended for 8 passenger seating. If it was, they would have included that as an option.
  • lweisslweiss Posts: 342
    Fair price- I agree with the assessment of fair is a subjective statement and if you are happy, then you paid a "fair price". I had a 95 Windstar, had the headgasket problem, but the difference was the dealer I had, which was great. They fixed the headgasket, gave us a free loaner vehicle, gave us the benefit of an extended warranty on the repair BEFORE it had been announced. The 95 Windstar LX we had gave us great service from 10/94 until 8/00, when we sold it on our own (80K miles, $7200), and then bought a loaded 2000 Windstar SE. The list price with taxes, prep, etc. was about $31K- we got the $4K special rebate, another $2K of other rebates, and paid 3% over invoice for the new van. So the price of the van was $24,313 minus $7200 sale, net price of just over $17K. Could we have done better than 3%? Maybe, but the couple of percent to deal with a good dealer (free loaner for life for service, convenient location, etc.) is more than worth it for us, especially if you spread it over the 5 to 6 years that we intend to keep the vehicle.

    By the way, the 2000 Windstar SE is (so far) awesome- plenty of great new features, good power, roomy- and not a single service item yet.
  • I need to know more about these rebates. I thought there was only a $3000 rebate. We are buying soon and are leaning heavily toward the grand caravan sport but WS is still in the running. Price matters so let me know how you did that!!!!
  • lweisslweiss Posts: 342

    I don't know how they arrived at $4,000, but that is what our certificate said. The dealer that we used was Ted Britt Ford in Fairfax, VA.- maybe you should call them- they are a big dealer that knows all about the program. The other $1,500 was the clearance discount and then they came up with a $500 "Internet" discount, because they asked if we ever went to the Ford Motor web site.
  • I read with interest the comments on how well the 2000 model is performing. Our '95.5 LX has been a love/hate relationship. When it is running well...we love it. Has great comfort,features and performance. But the reliability has been poor. We have had blown headgaskets twice, a new tranny (still does the clunk), a major bearing went in the lower engine (had to install a new engine) and can't get it to run smoothly. This is on top of the "little" things like the lights shorting out, the liftgate powerlock jamming (had to use vice-grips and brute force to unlock) and the door-ajar light/dome light/chime malfunctioning in the first 2 years (wife drove 400 miles on I-95 with the chime ringing one time). Had that fixed 7 times before it didn't malfuction again. Did I mention the brakes that only last about 15,000 miles and make horrible grinding noises even when new? I have a folder 3 inches thick with repair receipts. Thank God for the 100,000 mile extended warranty (which we just went out of). It would be easy to buy another because the things Ford has done well to the car is done VERY well. But I just can't. It would be different if we abused the car, but we treat it very well. TO make matters worse, I can buy Fords under their X-Plan. SO when you combine the rebates, I can get a new Windstar way below "invoice". Still not worth it. Not sure what else to consider, but I know I'm not alone in my dissatisfaction with the reliability of the Windstar.
  • I'm a newbie here, so please be gentle! We have been considering purchasing a new 2000 WS LX under Ford's X-plan. We're looking at about $1400 under invoice with 2.9% financing.

    We have test driven both a new 2000 SE and a used LX (they didn't have any new LXs on the lot). While we liked the vehicle, I was a bit concerned about the vibration inside the van. While sitting in the back of the WS at highway speeds, I noticed that the empty front passenger seat was shaking quite a bit. I wasn't really bothered by this until I sat in the seat at highway speeds and definitely felt the annoying shake.

    I became even more concerned when I noticed the same shaking in the second van. My husband says I am being too picky, but it really bothered me. Is this normal for WS?

    Now that I've read about all of the major problems some of you have had, I'm even more concerned.

    Am I being silly about this? Any other "little annoying things" that people have noticed about their WS?

    I don't expect that we will be able to get a price this low on any other comparable van (and price is an issue). But so is quality and reliability.

    Any advice would be great. Thanks!
  • cptpltcptplt Posts: 1,075
    I'm not advocating it but ruie asked if there were safety implications and since GM makes their minivan with an 8 seat option and Toyota sells an older model with eight seats everywhere except N America, it suggests to me that the issue of ingress/egress is really not a big deal. If the seat belts are available for everyone and with the rear bench seat in the middle and its a lap, that shouldn't be a problem.I've seen Caravans used as cabs with the rear bench in the middle, so having 3 in the middle in and of itself can't be a problem.
    I wouldn't be surprised Ford will have that as an option everywhere except the US! Its more to do with demand than anything else I suspect. I really wanted an Olds Silhouete with the 8 seat but they stopped doing it for 2000 as there was no demand - most Silhouettes sold are the top of the line ones apparently and its awful difficult getting a Pontiac with it, or an 8 seat with all the fancy options but the Venture with 8 seats was easier to come by but again only in lower trim levels.
    Ford will probably deny they ever knew you if you crash after such a conversion but they do that anyway! If the treads come off the tires and you roll they will say you overloaded the van by one passenger no doubt.
  • Less than two weeks after leasing a 2000SE, we experienced the infamous tranny clunk when parked in our driveway. That quickly turned into a clunk and slipping all the time. At the same time, the engine was badly pinging. The van was delivered to us with a broken power rear venting window motor, warped front windshield trim, and no owners manual!

    We needed a new tranny, the engine re-programmed for the pinging, the trim ordered, the window motor fixed, and the owners manual ordered from Ford. It's now about four weeks since we first got the van, and while all of the problems have been addressed, I can sense that the tranny problem will be back shortly!

    As someone else posted....keep your eyes on that tranny. I can foresee the 2000+ Windstar tranny problem turning into as big a problem as the 1995+ Windstar head gasket problem!
  • Help me out with the rebate amounts too. This site lists only a $1,500 rebate on the Windstar. Is Ford doubling this? Has anyone else gotten the internet rebate or additional clearance discounts?
  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108
    Anyone had to do a brake job on 99 WS at around the 25K mile marker? My buddy is curious if he is alone here. I've checked acrchives back a few pages here and don't see anything mentioned.
  • l_t3l_t3 Posts: 3
    Has anyone left their vehicle and noticed the electrical accessories remain on ?
    Try the following: Next time you turn the ignition off, DO NOT take the key out. Instead turn key to ACCESSORY position and leave it there for 5 min with the radio on. After 5 min remove key, and open any door. Normally the radio turns off when door is opened.
    You Have a PROBLEM if the radio stays on!Other electrical acc. will work such as power windows and wipers ! At the very least inconvienent if your battery runs done, but potentially DANGEROUS if you leave vehicle unattended unknowingly, and a child plays with power windows !
    The dealer took almost 6 weeks with help from Ford, before someone at Ford found an internal bulletin. This bulletin was not released to dealer.Bulletin says with SOME combinations of parts in 99-2000 Windstars this can occur.
    Only solution (if you happen to notice this fault)is to turn key back to start position and back to off.
  • This is a repost of #237, which I mistakenly scribbled out.

    In response to Post #221, I also recently discovered hairline paint cracks running throughout the left and right roof channels of my '99 Windstar SE (cabernet red). I am extremely unhappy and disappointed that the paint is failing on a van that is just over one year old. I am pretty fanatical about maintaining the van's exterior (I am a Zaino devotee -- see Zaino posts in the Maintenance Conference), so I'm very concerned about the long term effects of this problem. I plan to take the van back to the dealer within the next two weeks.

    A coworker who owns a Windstar SE has the same problem. He believes that each roof channel is filled with a thin layer of putty-like material, which hides a weld seam. The filler is painted and clear-coated along with the rest of the exterior sheet metal. He suspects, as do I, that excessive expansion and contraction of the filler over temperature is the cause of the paint cracks. If this is the case, simply repainting the roof channels will not solve the problem.

    If anyone has a '99, '00 or '01 Windstar with this problem (any trim level), please respond to this post. I'd really like to find out whether this is an isolated or widespread Windstar problem.
  • Has anyone noticed a grinding noise in their 2000 Windstar? My 2000 SE has made this noise from day one, and the Ford technician (not dealer tech) tells me that this is a characteristic of the 2000 model. Says they are working on a solution, but the noise is awfully annoying and could be potentially damaging to the power steering.
  • Has anyone noticed a vibration feedback in the accelerator pedal in their 2000 Windstar? My 2000 SE has done this since it was new every time I accelarate. The Ford technician (not dealer tech) tells me that this is a characteristic of the 2000 model. We even drove another new van in the dealer lot and it did the same thing. He say that the engine vibrations are normally isolated from the accelerator, but that in this model, they are being fed back into the pedal. Obviously, since you accelarte all the time, this problem is extremely annoying , with no solution being offered by Ford. The tech says there's no solution in sight, if ever!
    Has anyone experienced this, and was the problem resolved?
  • alingaling Posts: 598
    You may want to try reading, or copying and reposting your two posts over in the Ford Windstar Problems II topic. Other owners there may be able to answer your questions.

    Good luck!
    Townhall Community Leader/Vans Conference
  • Drew,
    I thought you were only in the MB ML320 community board? What brings you here?

  • Has anyone purchased a 2000 Windstar recently. If so, I would be interested in what kind of deals can be had. My understanding from phone conversations with dealers (haven't visited any dealers yet) is that there is a $1500 or $1000 rebate plus low financing (0.9% to 2.9%). Anyone seen or gotten a better deal? Are the rebates off MSRP or lower?
    Thanks in advance for any help.

  • alingaling Posts: 598
    I've recently had the pleasure of becoming community leader of the Vans conference area, so I lurk around the topics keeping my eye out for trouble .

    Just kidding, I'm here to help out people, just like in the M-class topic. :-)
    Townhall Community Leader/Vans Conference
  • I leased my 2000 Windstar on August 11. Ford was offering 0.9% financing for up to 36 months, 1.9% for 48 months, and 2.9% for 60 months.

    We decided to lease the van rather than purchase it. The interest rate for my 36-month lease was 1.5%. Oh yeah, we also got a $1500 rebate.

    We love the Windstar so far. We also have a 1997 Grand Cherokee Laredo but we needed more room for our new baby, our third child. The Grand Cherokee rides pretty decent for an SUV (have you ever driven an Explorer?) but the van rides even smoother. The Windstar has a long wheelbase, quite a bit of power (not as much as the 5.2 litre V-8 in my Grand Cherokee, though), and lots of room.
  • See response #190 at Topic #111
  • Has any body heard about a recall of 2001 ford windstars with regards to the air bags? I am in the market for a 2001 model. When I visited the dealer they did not let me take one for test drive because of the recall.
  • You mentioned that you have had a door ajar, light/chime, etc malfunction in your 95. I purchased a 98 a year ago and something like that happened only twice last winter, I think it was about -10 out when it happened so I contributed it to the cold. I mentioned it to the dealer but because it wasn't happening when I took it in they said they couldn't diagnose it. Nothing like that happened again until about 2 weeks ago while driving down the road I heard an odd beep and then the auto door locks clicked as if it were trying to lock the doors again. Then yesterday afternoon it did it again but with a few more tricks added in. This time while driving out of a parking lot the door ajar light came on the beeping started, door locks kept clicking and the interior lights started to go on and off with the beep. I pulled over and reshut my door which seemed to help it for a short distance then it started to do it again. This time I pulled over and turned off the engine and then restarted it. This seemed to help it as it only beeped a couple of times and then stopped. I started to think that my van was possessed until I read what you posted. Does this sound like what you were experiencing and if so what did you find out to be the cause of the problem?
  • lrbesqlrbesq Posts: 1
    Last month I purchased a new 2000 Windstar. The power passenger door does not close electronically most of the time. It has been to the shop for repar three times and will go for the fourth time some time this week. If this attempt at repair fails, I want out under the lemon law. The dealership is trying to scare be by saying returning a vehicle under lemon law is a long drawn out process. That can't be true.

    Does anyone know how the process works.
  • crkeehncrkeehn Posts: 513
    One of the quickest and easiest things to try with the phantom door open is cleaning the contacts on the sliding door.

    I had it happen to me about a month ago. It started with the door ajar light flashing on and off. As I went it got worse and worse and the chimes started ringing. By the time I got home from the trip, the light and chimes were almost continuous. I took a pencil eraser to the four silver contacts on the sliding doors doorjamb and cleaned off the corrosion. So far I have not had a repeat. It is certainly worth a try.
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