Ford Windstar Problems

Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
edited March 2014 in Ford
Please continue discussing and posting your
Windstar troubles here.


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Ford Windstar Problems


  • koolerbkoolerb Member Posts: 10
    Does the noise happen right after you start the car and last about seven or eight seconds? I had the same noise. You need to make sure the defroster and the air conditioner are turned off before you start the car. The grinding noise is the air conditioning clutch trying to engauge.
  • dontlikeforddontlikeford Member Posts: 3
    We owed 11900 on the 96 Windstar. The dealer said the van was only worth 8100 so they took our 1k down and the 2k rebate and used it towards the negative equity. The van had 80k and was in good condition other than the coolant leaks. My independant mechanic quoted 2400 to fix the head gasket and timing cover coolant leak.
  • ilovefarmingilovefarming Member Posts: 17
    We traded in our 95 Windstar at just under 49K miles back in September '99 for $8100. Bought a Toyota Sienna. I think the word was out about the Windstar among the industry people at that time, but not the general public. When we went looking for vans, several salespeople kind of smirked under their breath when we said we had a 95 Windstar to trade. Our Toyota dealer gave us the best quote at the time, Honda would not even commit to a number. Now it seems the price is dropping since the news reports from Detroit hit the airwaves. It was in good condition, with just some scratches on the paint from the kids. The back hatch lock did not work, but I don't know if they noticed that. Coolant was leaking again (this with the "new" engine after the old one blew on vacation), and I was so glad to get out of that car, you cannot imagine.
  • al_dinal_din Member Posts: 1
    My family and I are thinking of buying a WS. Are the years after 95/96 having the same problems w/ the 3.8L or coolant leaks? I can definitely understand how frustrating recurring problems with vehicles can be - I don't need another! Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
  • arthur3arthur3 Member Posts: 3
    I have a '99 SEL with approx 8K miles. The best looking of all vans, but coming from a '96 Caravan, this has been a worse experience. I have read all of the postings - my transmission problems are similar with one added twist - when moving along at about 10-20 miles an hour, then stepping on the gas pedal to go faster, the engine revs loudly but doesn't go any faster - for about 5-15 seconds - then all of the sudden it shoots out with a violent shake.

    You can imagine how dangerous this is when getting on the highway and trying to accelerate. It's been in for fixing twice, the dealer's noticed it too and said that it was "just the way the engine is built" - ridiculous.... anyone else experiencing this?

    Also - How long, hard is the process for a Ford Buyback (from the resolution board)?
  • 99windstarsel99windstarsel Member Posts: 8
    WE filed with the DSB on Dec. 6,1999- we had our case heard Feb. 24,2000 and accepted their decision on March 6, 2000- the buyback was supposed to be complete in 30 days. It is still not done with no end in sight. The Ford DSB resolution specialist will not return our calls and the dealer keeps passing the paperwork around the place because no one seems to know how to do it. The Board itself is very fair- but once again we are faced with the nightmare of dealing with Ford and the dealership and they just do not care about the customer. So we are still driving an unsafe vehicle and making payments on it while Ford takes its own sweet time- another reason we won't be buying another Ford.
  • HCLEMOHCLEMO Member Posts: 19
    Has anyone had trouble with reverse suddenly going in their 95 Windstars? I had the shift piston replaced under warranty in the fall of 97 (45K mi). I had the transmission fluid changed at 55K mi (summer 99) and was told that it looked clean (no metal shavings or other problems). Now (4/00, 58K mi), the reverse suddenly went. We were driving up to West Va to go rock climbing and biking when I pulled into a gas station and reverse would not engage despite jiggling the transmission lever, etc. The van drove just fine as long as we were going forward! We had some interesting moments on the rest of the trip trying to avoid situations where we had to reverse (thanks to all of the kayakers and climbers who pushed us out of several sticky situations).

    My dealer (Richmond Ford) tells me that I will be out at least $1000 just to pull the transmission to look at it, not to mention parts. They think that it is a "band" that works reverse and first gear. I guess that I will start a letter writing campaign to Ford to try and get them to pay for some of this now that my warranty has finally run out.

    Now, I am beginning to believe those who feel that Ford stands for "Found On Road Dead". This vehicle was great for the first 36K mi, but 2 sets of head gaskets and now the second transmission repair in under 60K mi leaves me doubting about Ford quality. I should have unloaded this bucket of bolts several years ago. The only smart thing that I did do was to get another car for my every day commuting. This thing was retired to weekend duties and hauling of canoes and bicycles.

    I have had the following thoughts about this bucket of bolts:

    1. Push it off a cliff into the New River (the Ford dealer in Beckley who I initially consulted about this problem liked this idea. They could not get to the vehicle for a week because of an onslaught of transmission problems. I drove it back to Richmond to get it looked at)

    2. Leave it where we were rock climbing as a shelter for climbers caught in the rain (the Park Service would probably not approve)

    3. Donate it to the Kidney Foundation and take the charity deduction (the best idea, I think, given the crummy trade in value that this thing commands)
  • melvanmelvan Member Posts: 1
    I just bought a '98 Windstar and although it was used I got a good deal. Only problem was loose steering coupling on steering column. Since there was a 100% 30 day or 1,000 mile warranty dealer replaced tie rod ends and when that didn't fix I assume they sent it to a ford shop where the loose coupling was found and tightened. Steering tight as new now. Actually I bought it at CARMAX. Why did I opt for a '98? Check them out! It seems to me that was the year Ford got it right. If you compare to a '99 or 2000 you'll notice a lot of the nice little amenities have disappeared. The little drawer on the floor under the dash is gone, the overhead console was shortened up, etc. Also I found this nice little door lock switch in the back cargo area which locks or unlocks all the doors. Nice when you have other people, kids, etc. and they want to get in right away. I did not see a lot of problems posted with the '98s either. The 3.8 V6 get's up and goes very smoothly with the automatic trans. I looked for a long time. The '98 was the year they got it right, then they went and "unproved" it for '99 and beyond. The thing is to really compare apples with apples. I think you will be surprised.
  • HCLEMOHCLEMO Member Posts: 19
    Richmond Ford pulled my transmission on Friday--apparently, the clutches and a bunch of other stuff is torn up. They recommend a remanufactured transmission at $2500. I am somewhat confused since this transmission only demonstrated a problem with not engaging reverse. The forward gears worked okay coming back from West Va. to Richmond--the vehicle downshifted appropriately and otherwise cruised okay at 70 - 75 mph on the interstate.

    I am stuck--the resale value on this bucket of bolts is only $2500 without a new transmission, $6000 - $7000 with a rebuilt one.

    I investigated giving the thing to the Kidney Foundation and taking the tax writeoff. The IRS is tricky--you need to get a professional appraisal for anything over $5000 and the appraiser must sign IRS form 8283 where you make the deduction. If the charity sells the vehicle within 2 years, they must declare the sale value on another form to the IRS. As far as I can tell, the only benefit is if you are donating a vehicle worth less than several grand.

    I will replace the transmission (it will have a 2 year, 24K warranty on it) and then sell this thing pronto!
  • lsg1lsg1 Member Posts: 42
    I had a 1998 Windstar which was bought back from Ford. I did not go through the DSB, so my experience may be a little different. My dealership was totally helpful, and I think they made all the difference in the world. I had a problem that they could not fix after about 5 attempts, and they brought in an engineer who decided it would be better for them to buy back the vehicle than to keep on fixing it, and it happen over and over again. The problem( TRAC OFF light intermittently flashing and ABS light on), was first noticed in May 1999 when I had the vehicle 6 months. It took them until November 1999 to decide to buy back the vehicle when I had it exactly 1 year, and 20,000 miles on it! I was thrilled when they decided to buy it back. I got fair market value for it, plus a $5000 buy back bonus, which put me in a 2000 LX with little out of my pocket. I have only good things to say about my dealership who always gave me a free loaner when ever they had my van, and even suggested picking up my van from my house, and bringing a loaner to me! I worked with the managers in the service department, and I really did notice that honey brings alot more respect and effect than vinegar does.
  • anightmareanightmare Member Posts: 2
    My 95 Windstar has had the head gaskets blow twice and two months after the second time, the engine blew (2/00 at 81000 miles). Each time I had to fight with the dealership to get them to take some responsibility for the costs. On our way to Florida, our engine blew again in the middle of the night in the middle of Alabama (4/00). Only 2 months after a small block engine repair had been made! We had to sleep in our van in a truck stop until we could get it towed to a Ford dealer the next morning. I have a family of six and it was a long night. We continued on our vacation with a rented van. It put a real dent in our trip as we arrived late, and each day we had to call to check status on the repairs. We were not sure how we were going to get home. By Thursday Ford had decided to offer us a buyout of $6650 plus $3000 certificate. I understand that the amount can only be used to buy another Ford product. I really do not want to deal with Ford again!!! Is there anyway I can get Ford to just give me the cash?? I am considering a foreign van now. Any advice??
  • wholiganwholigan Member Posts: 148
    FYI - to this point, I have heard/read of NO PERSON that has received a cash only option. As bad as it sounds, you may want to take them up on the buyback option and get a 2000 WS. See posting #515 in the original Ford Windstar Problems topic for the economic reasons. 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
  • pjyoungpjyoung Member Posts: 885
    It's a low $$ trade in combined with a $4000 credit from Ford. If it were truly a "buyback", then they should have no problem offering a reasonable price (something other than KBB "push pull drag it in" priceing) to take it off your hands.

    Attention Honda, Toyota, GM, and Chrysler: offer 95 Windstar owners a $2000 incentive to buy one of your vans. Ford is offering KBB "poor" trade in values for them, so you can always offer the same and wholesale it to some "Sanford & Son" Ford dealer. I think you might find a lot of Ford owners who are willing to forgo the extra $2,000 and buy one of your vans.
  • anightmareanightmare Member Posts: 2
    With the buyout program, do you know if a car rental offer is part of the deal? And if so, how long is the rental offered?
  • waynerpwaynerp Member Posts: 35
    A while back I posted about problems I have had with engine pinging when under load. I took my '99 SE in for the third time to have this problem worked on. After some discussion with the service writer about by dissatisfaction with their efforts thus far, they apparently contacted Ford and obtained an updated program for the PCM. This new program was loaded, and I was advised to "use the highest available octane fuel if pinging is still objectionable". Well, the pinging is reduced but not eliminated. Some pinging can still be heard with A/C on when going up hill even with 93 octane premium. Pinging is still pronounced with regular fuel. I don't know if the pinging is doing any damage to the engine or how long it would take for damage to become apparent - any thoughts? I guess my options now are to (1) use high octane fuel and live with it, (2) pursue action against Ford via Lemon Law or DSB, (3) trade the vehicle I welcome any comments or advice -
  • bdemasbdemas Member Posts: 51
    waynerp: My dealer tried the same thing, they called it reflashing the PCM. Same results as yours. My dealer has advised against using higher octane fuel due to carbon build up. I had a discussion with the head service manager about the pinging (and other problems). He recommended trying different brands of gas, not different octanes. I told him I usually fill it with one brand while my wife uses 2 or 3 different ones, the pinging is still there. Then he told me that the pinging won't cause any harm anyway, to try and live with it. That goes against what I have heard.
  • ilovefarmingilovefarming Member Posts: 17
    My heart goes out to you, anightmare, and your experience with your 95WS. Makes mine pale in comparison. I think I had angels watching over me, but they must have been on their vacation when you had your troubles!
    PJYoung's analysis of the "buyback" is pretty correct, and you should consider this carefully. As referenced above, too, many have looked at the economics of the "deal," and found it acceptable, many with the intent of getting rid of the new Ford before the 3 year warranty is up. You can do that, too, if you think that would be the only way to get out of this miserable situation. Only you can decide if you would be able to stand getting into another Ford product again. We lost a lot of money when we traded our 95WS in last year, but it was water under the bridge in my book. And I got to get rid of the knot in my stomach.
    I think PJYoung's suggestion to Honda, Toyota, etc is a good one in this climate of the buybacks/trade-ins. But I don't think Honda will take them up on it, considering they don't really have to even try selling the Odys right now!
    Good Luck to you anightmare. I hope you can figure out the best plan for your family.
  • ian17ian17 Member Posts: 1
    My initial excitement of owning my first new vehicle - Windstar SEL - soon turned to despair when I discovered that all was not that it should have been. After 300 miles my oil life setting showed 24%. Result new PC Board including new keys needing to be cut. Then a loud wind noise traveling at 40mph+. Result new windshield. I've only had the van four weeks and have resigned myself that the next wave of problems is imminent. Anyone else having problems with the so called "top of the line" Windstar, and is there any possiblity that the dealershiop will exchange this lemon for another one? Do
  • 1846618466 Member Posts: 46
    I had my share of problems with my 99 LX. Engine and Transmission problems with only 13k miles on it. I traded the Windstar in on a 2000 Sienna LE and never had any regrets. If I was to advise anyone on weather they should keep or trade their late model Windstar in if they are having problems, I would reccomend trade it because every quarter you keep it you loose more and more on trade in value and believe me with time the problems only get worse. Good luck to you all and hope you all do what suites you best but in my circumstance trading was my best alternative.
  • walterchanwalterchan Member Posts: 61
    Believe it or not, some Ford are very reliable and some aren't. Like the Crown Victoria, Grand Marquis, Escort, Town Car, and Ranger is a very good buy for people deserve for a decent reliability that is one of the most reliable American car ever make for those people who are a Ford fan. You should avoid the Windstar, Taurus, Sable, and Continental for it's one of the worse American car ever made. In my opinion, Ford have tricky reliabilty car.
  • lsg1lsg1 Member Posts: 42
    I have always had bad luck with all my vans so far: '96 Plymouth Grand Voyager(the worst), '98 Windstar LX(dealer bought back), and now '00 Windstar LX. Latest problem is when I start the car, and turn the key in the ignition, I hear a grinding sound as though I turned the key too far( but didnt). Also, when first starting the van for the first time, after turn the key, and shift from park to drive, I hear(and feel) a grinding sound in the motor. I really am tempted to trade this van in(Have it 6 months) and get a Sienna, but love the ride and roominess of the windstar, but am getting very tired of going to the dealer. The dealer is also very good, and I don't blame them for my problems, the reliablility of the van is getting to me.
    Has anyone else had this problem of this grinding sound, and what do you think it is?
  • sthevenowsthevenow Member Posts: 1
    My 1998 Windstar with 50,000 miles has the same problem. I have taken it to the Ford dealer who has yet to figure out the problem. It sounds so terrible that I am considering a trade. It doesn't do it consistently.
    I would love to hear from anyone who has solved this problem. I love my van and really hate the thought of getting rid of it.
  • mbriggs1mbriggs1 Member Posts: 1
    We have a 98 GL. At around 20K mi, we noticed a grinding sound at lower speeds on turns. The dealer's diagnosis was "outer tie rods binding" which was remedied by replacement of the outer tie rods. The dealer stated this problem was not uncommon. We are disappointed in low life of brake pads and ease in which the rear brakes seem to get out of adjustment.
  • yamanyaman Member Posts: 113
    We traded ours in 3 weeks ago for a Sienna.We too were delighted to get rid of it.The Ford Motor company needs to seriously think about the products it is putting out. That Windstar was our last Ford product!
  • knight10knight10 Member Posts: 1
    Looks like finding this site is a little too late for me. Yesterday bought a 98 Windstar GL because my Toyota Camry had 161000 miles on it and i needed more room for the family. Today i noticed that it was leaking transmission fluid, brought it back to the dealer were they said it needed new torqe converter. Got the service records on the vehicle and find out that the previous owner had the van in 3 times for the same problem, twice they repaired the seals and the other tightened gaskets. Van has only 26700 miles on it so it is still under warrenty, my problem is that i have to look forward to the day when the transmission goes completely. If i trade it in i get nothing for it so im stuck. Bye the way , the reason i didn't get another Toyota is i didn't think i could afford a Sienna, looks as if i couldn't afford not to.
  • kent25kent25 Member Posts: 15
    and good luck. Our new WS SE is performing as promised and we hope to have good luck with it. I will continue to monitor this site and, hopefully, will not need to address problems with our WS anytime soon. But it is nice to know there is a clearninghouse for info is power. Good luck to all.
  • HCLEMOHCLEMO Member Posts: 19
    If you are curious, a factory rebuilt transmission from Ford (2Y/24K warranty) for my 95 Windstar set me back $2570. I had to put one in just so I could get $5500 used for it (a Windstar with a trashed transmission is only about $2000).

    I am now going to get my 95 WS detailed and then off to the used car lot` with it. I will wait awhile before replacing it and make do with my VW Cabrio and my wife's Outback. The only problem is that the Outback is a little small when we pile on the kayak/bicycles/camping stuff/etc. It is also a problem if grandparents want to ride when we are visiting. The Cabrio is a hoot of a commuting vehicle (bombing around with the top down is a great stress reliever) in and thusfar has been trouble free wehicle. I will miss the comfortable ride and big junk carrying capacity of the WS.

    I hope that with a rebuilt transmission and ??new and improved head gaskets (second replacement put on in 8/99) my 95 WS will give someone else at least 40 - 50K relatively trouble free miles (or am I being too optimistic?).
  • birkiebobbirkiebob Member Posts: 19
    Mbriggsl did they put the same tie rods in as the originals, or were they upgraded? I'm having mine done next week. Had the rear brakes adjusted too. Waynerp and bdems: I had some pinging with my '98 GL also (3.8 ltr) and my dealer cleaned the injectors for me and it seemed to go away. Maybe you had some lousy gas in there at some time-check the injectors. I'll be having a DRB hearing next month on a serious whine from my radio when the alternator is loaded with lights, a/c etc. No solution has worked in numerous attempts, including alternator replacement, radio replacement, aftermarket noise suppresor and ground strap adjustment. I still like this vehicle though and will not give up easy!
  • lsg1lsg1 Member Posts: 42
    I have been checking this message board all last week, and there was only 1 or 2 messages posted. Does anyone else notice that there may be a problem with this board? Or maybe everyone is just so happy with their Windstars, that there are not problems to post....Naw!
  • mjevansmjevans Member Posts: 1

    I have a '99 Windstar that so far has been fine, but then again it only has 4,000 miles on it! However, ever since we purchased it in January we had trouble getting the cruise control to work. We've taken it in three times to the dealer who said they found nothing wrong with it. My husband and I have both tried to use it and it only works about 20% of the time and sometimes it will not at the beginning of a trip and work 10 minutes later. Now, I know this is not a major problem. Just annoying.

    By the way, I have also heard a grinding noise when starting. This has happened only a handful of times and no other problems have shown up yet...Thank goodness.

    As for the cruise control, the repairmen said that he has a Windstar that does the same thing and that sometimes you just have to play with it a little to get it to work. I hope that's not his answer for everything that goes wrong from now on!
  • birkiebobbirkiebob Member Posts: 19
    Mjevans: You probably know this, but cruise controls vary from one vehicle make to Malibu's works RIGHT NOW and then is always on for resume until I turn it off, but my Tracer lags a bit before engaging and shuts off if I turn the ignition off, while my '98 Windstar "usually" comes on with the first push of the button but sometimes takes two pushes (as if to ask "do you really want to do this?") and shuts off if I turn the ignition off. I'm use to how they all work. Figure out how yours is "supposed" to work, then if it's not working properly keep pursuing it, maybe with another dealer. If still no results, go the Dispute Settlement Board route (ask your dealer for details).
  • pencilpusherpencilpusher Member Posts: 7
    You are going to be seeing him often. I'm thinking about setting up a standing monthly appointment.
  • 38413841 Member Posts: 4
    2000 windstar Vibration in steering wheel, door seat. Not tire or rim related.Balance 5 times new Mich. X1s Still there. Brought to dealer they tryed everthing, no help. This is what they said on the repair order. Test another Windstar same concern call Hotline they said there is no known conerns for this is a normal road to vehicle torsional Vibration there is no repair for this concern. What is a normal vibration? I called Ford they said I was too much in tune and to sensiative to things.Others dealers have said they can not healp as long as Ford said what they did. What do I do now? Help
  • stewartjohn40stewartjohn40 Member Posts: 1
    I would like to start by saying I bouoght a 98GL and from the first days I have had problems starting with the Lieing salesperson who was fireed for telling my wife that she was only signing the milage verication and not the title release (lie) we got stuck with a 98 when we wanted a 99 to late they would have to take it back as a trade in and we would have to lose about 3000.00 because it was used.They also saide I did not need to have a emission test besase it was new but found out I did because it had 3000 miles on it and was considere used even if it was only used by a manager. Two weeks later the brake lock up and has to be towed in. Also found that the rear shock need to be replace I could talk about this for atleast two more paragraph but I don't like to talk about how bad I fell I got screwed by this dealer ship here in Colorado Springs Co I really hope people check out this site before they buy.
  • kc_flynnkc_flynn Member Posts: 45
    I definitely feel for all of you. It's puzzling that Ford would ship out and hype such an inferior product without thorough quality assurance testing.

    You see all the commercials about how safe and sound the car is, and it's a piece of crap. Poor engineering, poor build quality. And to think at one time, I was actually considering buying a Windstar (I didn't).

    For anyone considering a Windstar, please read these posts and strongly familiarize yourself with the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna.
  • pe49077pe49077 Member Posts: 2
    We currently own a 1995 Windstar and have had no problems with the vehicle. However, we have started to notice the signs of the head gasket problems. We have been considering a 2000 Windstar SE but are now wondering if the problems have ever been addressed. Our 1995 has 52000 miles on it and we have a Ford Extended Warranty that will cover the coming repairs, but do not understand all the rebate programs dealing with this problem. Are we better off trading it in before or after repairs? Any thoughts?...
  • wholiganwholigan Member Posts: 148
    If you go to the very first post here (#0), there is a link to the original Ford Windstar Problems topic. There is LOTS of helpful information in that topic starting around post number 450 to the end of the topic that deal with the buyback and the economic incentives of such a deal (specifically #515).

    Unfortunately, you will find that the trade value on the vehicle is bad (to say the least). Most auto dealerships are now aware of the infamous 95 Windstar and the 3.8L engine troubles, therefore, they offer a pittance compared to what it is worth. My 95 with 63000 was worth $4500 to a local dealership when I started looking to trade (Jan-Feb-Mar this year). I have since decided to wait until the van either dies or I manage to pay it off (in about two years).

    Whatever you do, please provide a posting of how the dealership treats you and you general experience with the vehicle update process. 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
  • mike121mike121 Member Posts: 3
    I will try to keep this as neutral as possible. I had a '95 Windstar. It served me well up to 70k miles and I had the gasket problem. I wanted to buy a Honda but I could not find any in stock. Fearing that my '95 Windstar would have more problems (and it did) I went to Ford and they gave me a good deal on a 2000 Windstar. Six weeks and 2000 miles later, I had a major transmission failure. The car is currently in the shop for 10 days now waiting for a new transmission (in my state a waiting for parts period does not count towards time in the shop under the Lemon Laws) and still no availability on a transmission. I am currently pursuing through various avenues however with regard to the question on the 2000 Windstar I will leave that up to you.
  • mike121mike121 Member Posts: 3
    I will try to keep this as neutral as possible. I had a '95 Windstar. It served me well up to 70k miles and I had the gasket problem. I wanted to buy a Honda but I could not find any in stock. Fearing that my '95 Windstar would have more problems (and it did) I went to Ford and they gave me a good deal on a 2000 Windstar. Six weeks and 2000 miles later, I had a major transmission failure. The car is currently in the shop for 10 days now waiting for a new transmission (in my state a waiting for parts period does not count towards time in the shop under the Lemon Laws) and still no availability on a transmission. I am currently pursuing through various avenues however with regard to the question on the 2000 Windstar I will leave that up to you.
  • mike121mike121 Member Posts: 3
    I will try to keep this as neutral as possible. I had a '95 Windstar. It served me well up to 70k miles and I had the gasket problem. I wanted to buy a Honda but I could not find any in stock. Fearing that my '95 Windstar would have more problems (and it did) I went to Ford and they gave me a good deal on a 2000 Windstar. Six weeks and 2000 miles later, I had a major transmission failure. The car is currently in the shop for 10 days now waiting for a new transmission (in my state a waiting for parts period does not count towards time in the shop under the Lemon Laws) and still no availability on a transmission. I am currently pursuing through various avenues however with regard to the question on the 2000 Windstar I will leave that up to you.
  • breezygbreezyg Member Posts: 2
    Last mo. my husband surprised me with a '00 OD EX NAV so we sold our '95 Windstar for $7500 to our best friends who were in dire need of a larger vehicle (their "family car" was a Suz. Swift htchbk- not quite big enough for the 4 of them.) After reading just a few of these posts I'm afraid selling it to such good friends was a mistake even though it had served us with 58K trouble-free miles. My question is this - is the ext. war. covering the head gasket problem transferable to the new owners? I'm fairly confident I read/heard somewhere that it is, but I was just wondering if anyone knows for sure.

    Thanks in advance.

    P.S. Love the Odyssey and would definitely recommend it (or the Sienna) to those of you who will soon be parting with your current van due to reliability issues.
  • civis1civis1 Member Posts: 1
    I'll keep this short because the whole subject infuriates me. I'm taking my '95 WS to Car Max this weekend. My second transmission is now going out after only 26K. Then there's the head gasket that blew 2 days after I replaced the first transmission; and of course the starter and continual brake jobs. Then you add in the horrible treatment you get from Ford in general (as I experienced at several dealerships AND through their National Hotline)... You've got be nutz to want a Ford when there are much better choices out there.

    My second vehicle is a '92 Honda Accord that has 240,000 mi. and I've never had a major problem, and hardly even a minor problem. I'm sorry to say, but generally I've determined that while Ford (WS in particular)is clearly at the bottom of the barrel, domestic cars in general can't stand the reliability tests that Hondas and Toyotas can. I will probably never own anything else again other than a Honda or Toyota.
  • cherylw1cherylw1 Member Posts: 1
    Our transmission went out at 60,000 miles in August of 1999 and they had to rebuild ours. Now, this month it went out again. Supposedly, it was a sensor in the transmission. And its supposed to be fixed. Now we're wondering what to do, if we should unload it now. It looks like trade-in is about what we owe on. We're considering a 1999 Sable. Better gas mileage. I commute to law school and have two years left to go so we're looking at a couple of high mileage years ahead. Any thoughts would be appreciate.
  • kc_flynnkc_flynn Member Posts: 45
    A new tranny at 60K on a 98 and you're thinking of getting a Sable? Are you a glutton for punishment?

    Read Post #45. Do yourself a favor and go with either a Honda or Toyota. I have a 99 Accord and an 89 Camry. The Camry is rusting away, but it takes licking and keeps on ticking.

    Spend the extra $$ on a Honda and Toyota and you won't have to worry anyomre about replacing transmissions and worrying about headgaskets.
  • HCLEMOHCLEMO Member Posts: 19
    Thanks to Chuck Catanese for the EMAIL that he sent everyone on his list about now what appears to be Ford's acknowledgement that the transmission on the 95 WS has a much higher failure rate than normal. Apparently, they knew this from earlier Taurus/Continental/Sable models with the 3.8L engine and transmission.

    Chuck's EMAIL notes that Ford has an internal document about transmission failures and that presently they are compensating transmission victims on a case-by-case basis.

    Further information is available at:

  • nancyc1nancyc1 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 Windstar and both myself and my daughter experience knee pain after long driving sessions. This happens espically during stop and go driving. We figure it has something to do with the position of the gas pedal. Any comments?

  • hengheng Member Posts: 411
    I think it is the brake pedal. It is too high off the floor. The tendons on the top of my right foot got enflamed.

    What I had to do was to make sure the seat was as far back as possible to comfortably work both the gas and brake pedal. This allows me to work the brake pedal without pulling my right foot up excessively to get the brake pedal. I pull my foot up at the ankle therefore working the tendons in the top of my foot. You probably lift your whole leg therefore working your knee. Stop and go traffic causes you to work the brake more.

    I had to compensate for the seat position further back with a more upright seat back (than I usually like) to maintain the proper arm position.

    The car manufacturers raised the brake pedals higher off the floor than the gas pedal so that the idiot drivers wouldn't get the 2 pedals confused (ala Audi 5000s remember).

    Let us know if that works.
  • nohornnohorn Member Posts: 5
    I have a 1999 Windstar and began to notice a worsening pinging problem at around 16k to 18k miles. It's most noticeable when cruising at 40-50 mph under light load with hot engine and hot ambient Tucson temperature (rattles like a jar of marbles). Took to dealer at around 20k miles and they "solved" the problem by replacing a "bad" mass-air-flow sensor; however, there was no improvement in the pinging. Took back to dealer and they did a caustic soak to remove what they "suspect" is carbon build-up in the cylinder heads. Said it was due to "bad gas". This too resulted in no significant improvement. On the same visit they also reset the computer and loaded what they described as an "octane-corrective setting". Sent letters to Ford customer service but so far have not received a viable explanation nor a satisfactory fix. However, they did get in touch with my dealer and, as the latest shotgun attempt to solving this problem, suggested that the dealer remove the heads to de-scale the "suspected" carbon deposits. This sounds awful fishy to me. Why would they op to go to this extreme to remove suspected carbon??? I believe there is something more fundamentally wrong which Ford is not yet willing to reveal. I'll keep you informed as to the progress and if anyone has had a similar experience or knows what the real problem is, please inform me!
  • nsimonnsimon Member Posts: 1
    Just purchased model SE 4 nights ago & are already experiencing problems. My greatest concern is while the car is idling waiting at stops I noticed that the drivers seat & steering wheel vibrate!! This is very irritating and pray there is a solution, or is this just the nature of the beast? Other problems include the manual sliding door doesnt disengage properly & makes a squeaky noise while trying to release it when locked in the open position (the int. trim around the door is coming apart--most likely related). Didnt realize the difference in height of the brake/gas pedals which make them uncomfortable and am also unable to to find a comfortable driving position. Lastly, there are numerous scratches on the surface of the body paint and window glass. Unfortunately, all these items went unnoticed during the test drive. Has anyone else experienced these problems and how were they resolved??? With all these problems right from the start I fear we may have purchased a lemon. Thanks for any and all suggestions!
  • lanny3lanny3 Member Posts: 4
    We have a 2000 Windstar and have recently at about 2700 miles noticed that occasional grinding sound when shifting from park to drive or has happened 3 times so far....we plan to check with the dealer...has anybody gotten any feedback as to the cause?

    We have not had any problems at all with this van and love everything about it otherwise, but this grinding noise is something we will be checking into!
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