Ford Windstar Problems



  • crkeehncrkeehn Member Posts: 513
    There are two potential areas for the problem. The sliding door has a series of four plungers on the door and four silver contact spots on the frame. The contact spots can become corroded to the extent that you don't have good contact. Take a pencil eraser and clean the four contacts. The other area will be the two latches to the tailgate. The switch is apparently built in to the latches.
  • barrye1barrye1 Member Posts: 13
    I had the same as well as many others on this discussion. if I am describing right it is either a shudder between 1 and 2nd or a complete jolt into second. If your van is past the warranty, Ford will probably offer you the same it did for me and a couple of others at our dealer. You will have to pay about $500 for the tranny to be replaced. And then they will offer you an extended power train warranty. It sucks because ford will not stand behind their product. But because they have you by the you know what, you have to accept their offer. Next time you take it in, see if you can have the transmission guy ride with you and see if you can drive and make the vehical do it for him, then after showing him under what circumstances it occurs, have him drive it and see if he can get it to do it. This is the only way the will ever believe that there is a problem. Good By the way I am trying to sell mine- And I am not having much luck.
  • ming98mingming98ming Member Posts: 1
    The original message for #556 is:

    Dear w/s user. I am going to by an used van. My friend suggested me a wind star. I looked a 95 LX with 69000 mil. It looked OK for me, but after I checked this message board, I started to think that it may not be a good choice to have a w/s, or at least, I should check it more closely. Do you have any suggestion for that. The owner asked for $86,000. Is it too much. Thanks.
  • crkeehncrkeehn Member Posts: 513
    The 95's were problematic, with head gasket, transmission, brake and electrical problems. I would avoid a 95. There is a difference of opinion with the later Windstars. According to Consumer Reports, the 1996-7 appear the most trouble free of all the vans. However a number of people would be willing to debate that point. If reliability is important, you might want to consider looking elsewhere. Having said that, I have a late 96 model GL which I am pleased with. It has been reliable so far with almost 85,000 miles on it.
  • bkannasbkannas Member Posts: 1
    My 96 Wind star had the typical head-gasket failure, frying the whole motor. One cylinder head had to be replaced and guess what, it is a one year only application and is no longer available from the Ford Motor Co. How ridiculous is that, a five year old vehicle that Ford cannot keep major engine components in stock. However Ford did tell me that they did still offer reconditioned cylinder heads for the 3.8L V6 but had none in stock. It took two weeks to locate a rebuildable head and should have the van back in another week to the tune of about $3600+. All Ford had to say was too bad. I'll have a for sale sign in the windows soon and will never buy another vehicle with a blue oval hood ornament again. The dealership even advised me to unload that turkey and look possibly at a Toyota or a Honda. Ford knows that their 3.8L V6 is an engineering flop but won't admit it or do anything to assist us consumers that ended up stuck with one of these nightmares.
  • tony22rtony22r Member Posts: 45
    Hey folks check out:

    It lets you see Recall details on various makes, models, and year.
  • ajbdajbd Member Posts: 1
    Purchased a 2000 Windstar LX in December 2000 and have tracked its fuel economy over 2,000 miles of driving. So far I have gotten very poor results, 9.5 mpg in city driving and 17.0 mpg freeway. Have had it checked by two separate Ford dealerships, first one found nothing wrong while the second one found problems with a O2 sensor which was replaced and also replaced two spark plugs. However, since these repairs I have not seen any improvement in mileage. The vans mileage is a real disappointment, especially when it was advertised to provided 18 city and 24 highway. Interested to find out what other people are getting for mileage with their 2000 Windstar.
  • 5greyhounds5greyhounds Member Posts: 338
    I just went over 120k on my 95 GL. It was funny—after the extended warranty went out I have only had two problems: ground wire corroded through and now my drivers window has just come lose in it’s track. The transmission is doing fine and I get about 23 MPG. Will I get another—will just have to wait for the 2003 to come out since this is when I understand a total revision is due.
  • rallybearrallybear Member Posts: 1
    My wife couldn't start her Windstar Van yesterday. We left the van where it was overnight (luckily it was walking distance to where we live).

    The next morning, the car still would not start. When she had a tow truck driver come out to tow it to the dealership, the driver noticed that it was parked on a slight hill and the gas gauge was noted to be less than 1/4 tank, but at least 1/8 tank. He said that when Windstars are parked on hills, and less than 1/4 tank, the van thinks it is out of gas. The driver then towed the van to a more level area, whereby the van finally started.

    We live in the very hilly SF Bay Area and I have never heard of this type of problem in any car. Has anyone had similar experiences?

  • ihateford1ihateford1 Member Posts: 2
    Alain Batty
    Ford Motor Company of Canada Ltd.
    The Canadian Road
    P.O. Box 2000
    Oakville, Ontario

    It is with regret that I inform you of my decision to sell my Ford vehicle and refuse to consider purchasing another Ford product. Over the past 20 years I have owned a Ford Thunderbird, Granada, Grand Marquis, Crown Victoria,Mercury Sable and a 1995 Winstar Van. I would have to say that for the most part I have been very happy with the quality of my Ford vehicles. This year, my Ford Winstar van has had its transmission break down again for the fourth time, and the head gasket blow, both before the vehicle had 100,000 kilometers on it.

    My decision to sell the vehicle is based on my unwillingness to continually spend money on a vehicle which is inferior in quality, and my dissatisfaction with the reception I have received in talking to Ford staff regarding this
    problem. I did talk at length to a supervisor at Ford and was informed that there was nothing Ford would do about these transmission problems and that Ford had an extended warranty on the head gasket and there would be no charge for this service. I have found out since this conversation that the Ford dealership is going to charge me $460.00 for the engine overhaul and the towing charges and loss of a vehicle for a week was my problem. I was also told that my requests for any compensation by Ford was an unreasonable request. I did ask the supervisor at
    Ford to have someone else review my request for compensation for these problems when I was told that “my decision represents Ford Canada and there is no appeal process” and that I could not get a written copy of her decision to forward with this letter and that “not even the president has access to my records”.

    This vehicle was sold to me by an unhappy Ford customer ( although I only recently discovered this fact). I am going to sell this vehicle at a loss of $4,000.00 in the 5 months I have owned the vehicle. This vehicle is likely to be
    sold to another potentially unhappy Ford customer and I am sure the circle of dissatisfied customers will grow. What I tried to impress upon the supervisor during my conversation was that my loss today will reflect in your
    losses tomorrow as my family will not purchase another Ford product. I regret to say that I have always believed that purchasing a locally made vehicle would be a benefit to our community. Sadly I am now convinced that this is
    not the case as Ford has failed to provide reliable transportation and placed undue financial stress on the thousands
    of families like ours.

    I did request that this file be sent to your office for review.

    I would like to give you the opportunity to respond to this letter before I send a copy of this letter to the Lemon Aid buyers guide in order to advise others to look elsewhere for a reliable vehicle.

    I look forward to having some positive dialogue with Ford regarding my concerns.
  • ihateford1ihateford1 Member Posts: 2
    Alain Batty
    Ford Motor Company of Canada Ltd.
    The Canadian Road
    P.O. Box 2000
    Oakville, Ontario

    Dear Alain,

    On Saturday June 16th I received a message in response to my earlier concern ( see attached), on my answering
    machine stating that “we would like to resolve your concern” and “we want to talk to you to see how we can assist
    you with this problem before you consider leaving the Ford family”. I responded to the message and the
    representative informed me that she was able to handle the call ( even though she had not made the original call).
    After a lengthy conversation with the representative I was told that there was nothing Ford was prepared to do about
    my concerns. I enquired as to why Ford had called and indicated a willingness to resolve this problem, and then
    told me there was nothing you were prepared to do. The Ford representative told me that “ I am sorry that our
    original message gave you the impression that we wanted to resolve this problem”. To say the least I was
    disappointed that there is no willingness on Ford’s part to engage in some positive dialogue regarding my concerns.
    It was clear that the representative had not read my letter and I am still baffled as to why the representative called to
    waste my time.

    Since my last letter I have spent an additional $2,222.76 on a transmission repair to this vehicle, the forth major
    repair on this component.

    My original letter stated that “ I would like to give you the opportunity to respond to this letter before I send a copy
    of this letter to the Lemon Aid buyers guide in order to advise others to look elsewhere for a reliable vehicle.”
    Today I am sending the Lemon Aid buyers guide a copy of both of these letters as well as the rude response I have
    received from Ford. I have also registered a internet domain name which I am prepared to tell the world my
    concerns about your products and customer service should the outcome of our next contact not be a satisfactory
    resolution to the problem. Further to this I am considering taking the matter to small claims court.

    As I stated in my original letter, I am dissatisfied with the reception I have received in talking to Ford staff
    regarding this problem I still look forward to having some positive dialogue with Ford regarding my concerns.

    Please instruct your representatives to be polite and look for constructive ways to deal with this problem.
  • HCLEMOHCLEMO Member Posts: 19
    I read post #551 that Ford may have extended the head gasket warranty on the 95 WS 3.8 L engine to 7/100. Is this true? Can someone post a link to more information about this? Is there any information about hidden warranties on the automatic transmission in the 95 WS?

    I still have my 95 WS--it is driven on weekends and when I need to haul more than 5 people locally. I have the AAA plus membership which includes flatbed truck transport for 100 miles and carry my cell phone at all times when I drive this vehicle. (useful when you are stuck on the side of I-95 on a 100+ F day with a blown head gasket!) I have offered my 95 W/S to a number of colleagues for use as transportation, vehicle to teach their kids how to drive, storage locker, target for whatever, etc. but they have all turned me down (they know the history of this thing!)

    I have had 2 head gasket replacements, one transmission shift cylinder repair and then a factory rebuilt transmission at 6 years/60K ($2500!). At least the 2 headgaskets and first transmission repair were covered under the 5Y/60000K extended warranty. At 7Y/65K, the vehicle shifts rather abruptly and the engine surges at times. The aftermarket roofrack system and bike/canoe carrying attachments that I bought for this vehicle now are worth more than the vehicle itself! The kids seem to be attached to the WS and get upset when I mention getting rid of it. When something else major blows, I am going to junk it. I am not sure whether I can inflict this vehicle on anyone else!

    We have adapted to my wife's Subaru Outback for long trips--you just have to pack efficiently. At least I do not have to worry about drivetrain/engine problems!
  • nevadamom1nevadamom1 Member Posts: 7
    We bought our 95 LX new in 6/95. Had the usual (for the 95) problems: the interior lights that would not go off, gas tank gauge problems, interior trim that fell off, and exactly one week after we received the head gasket extended warranty notice from Ford our head gasket went at 40K (June, 1998). We now have 74K on it, and had to take it in to our local Ford dealer for a grinding noise when braking, the ABS light was on, and I noticed a small coolant leak on the garage floor. The brake problem was a bad left ABS sensor ($209.00). The coolant leak was a timing cover gasket leak. The Ford dealer refused to fix it. Their suggestion: new engine (we pay for it) or trade in. They cited the high milage at 74,000 as rationale for their refusal for fixing the timing cover gasket leak. We declined both the dealer's suggestions. Luckily we knew of a great, honest mechanic that is fixing it. There is no coolant in the engine oil, and no signs of engine failure, just a small exterior coolant leak. We bought this van after a horrible experience with a chevy suburban. I refuse to buy another new vehicle. The Ford Motor Company should be ashamed of themselves for the mediocrity of this product and the dealers are... well.. words cannot describe their worthlessness.
  • jvirginiajvirginia Member Posts: 65
    Regarding the warranty extension, the following is from a previous post:

    According to all posted information, Ford's extended warranty for 1995 Windstars covers 7 years or 100,000 miles. The service campaign number is 00M09 and this was an addendum to campaign 98M01 which only extended 5 years and 60,000 miles. Original AND subsequent/current owners are covered and it INCLUDES rebates for any costs you incurred for repairs from an independent (non-Ford) repair shop. See the following web sites for additional info:

    The following excerpts comes from an Edmunds site (no longer a current site):

    "The last type of service notification would be a warranty extension, which is just that: an extension of a part or whole of the vehicle's warranty. In any of these service notifications, it does not matter if you are the original owner or if you purchased the vehicle used; the service notifications go with the vehicle and not with the owner."


     "...program 00M09, which basically extended the original program from five years or 60,000 miles to seven years or 100,000 miles, whichever occurred first, covering the same vehicles as the 98M01 program. Letters to consumers for this program went out in March of 2000. Ford obtains a current list of owners from R.L. Polk and several other sources".

  • tony22rtony22r Member 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!!!
  • JustinlJustinl Member Posts: 13
    Mini Van ('98 LX - 3.8L) Starts fine... drive it down the street... notice the O/D indicator on the gearshift lever blinking. Within less than 200 yds, the "Service Engine Soon" light goes on.

    So what do you think?

    Am I up the proverbial Windstar creek? Or could I get lucky and have it be something small and inexpensive (less than $100).

    Any bets???

    BTW - Brought it in to the dealer, they checked the codes and found no "Crisis" messages. Scheduled the van in to service on Thursday. They re-set the trouble lights.... no issues for about 20 miles... both lights are now back on.

    The van has ALWAYS shifted hard at lower speeds. The village idiot, ah, er,I'm sorry - Ford mechanic, said that that is typical for the vehicle.

    I think that I should have traded it in somewhere along that 20 miles....
  • pennanjpennanj Member Posts: 1
    Well, I just got back from my local Ford dealership, after having the power steering pump on my LX replaced at 30,800 mi. Took them two days to do the repair, after having the pump and hoses "fedexed" from Ford parts heaven (why is it that the dealer never has anything other than air filters in stock, even for a vehicle that's only 2 years old?). Fortunately, the repair was done under warranty. Unfortunately, as I drove the five miles to my home, the familiar whining returned, and I'm not talking about my kids. By the time I pulled into my driveway, moving the steering wheel was like trying to turn the Titanic. This means that I get to spend yet another couple of days without my wheels while the "experts" (re)fix the problem. The quality of this repair job also gives me a bit of pause when I consider that I just forked over almost $500 to them for my 30K "facelift", in which all "vehicular fluids" were flushed and replaced. Also, it seems like Ford has recalled practically everything on my buggy but the blue oval. I get lonely when a day goes by without one of their postcards. But my main concern this power steering problem just the prelude of more dire things to come? How are other '99 owners faring?
  • drew_drew_ Member Posts: 3,382
    Sorry to hear about your problems. Sounds almost like there is a problem with the steering rack in addition to the power steering pump! I can't imagine having to drive such a large and heavy vehicle without power steering. You may also want to repost your question in the Maintenance & Repair message board here in Town Hall. Perhaps someone can suggest something that may of be of assistance to you.

    Best of luck,

    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
  • bdemasbdemas Member Posts: 51
    justinl: My 99 had the hard shifting at low speeds "feature". The OD light started flashing on one of those occasions while driving in stop and go traffic. It turned out to be Cam Shaft/Turbine shaft Sensor. It fixed the flashing OD, but the hard shift feature never went away. I had read somewhere (I think the manual) about a flashing OD was a bad thing, I got the van in as soon as possible. As far as cost goes, the van was still under warranty and I don't have the paper work anymore (or the van for that matter).
  • crkeehncrkeehn Member Posts: 513
    The Windstar transmission will do a hard 1-2 shift under the right conditions. Generally it is most noticeable in stop and go traffic where your speed is very low. In that case, when the car reaches the shift point, the shift is very abrupt. Under more normal conditions, the shift is much smoother.

    If you are suffering the abrupt shift at very low and gradual speeds, then it is considered normal. If you are suffering the abrupt shift while speeding up more rapidly, then it isn't normal.

    I have a 96 Windstar and it does the same thing, only in stop and go and slow accelleration. Because I hardly ever drive in that type of traffic, I seldom see the problem.
  • liebedaliebeda Member Posts: 13
    I have a '99 Windstar LX and recently experienced the following. The indicator on my dashboard showed that there was a bulb that needed to be replaced. I found the damaged bulb (rear - passenger side - brake light) and changed it. The warning light went away - except for when I step on the brakes or have my headlights on. For some reason the warning light seems to go on whenever the lights are being used. When the bulb was broken, the warning light would be on all the time. Anyone have any ideas what could be causing this?

  • ralmoralmo Member Posts: 3
    I spent some time in the mountains this weekend,as usual took the van out of overdrive. When we stopped for awhile then restarted I noticed I could not take the van out of overdrive anymore. After some checking I noticed the 10A fuse under the hood was blowing out...each time I replaced the fuse it would blow (3 times)after starting. we usually do not drive in mountains, Has anyone run into this problem or have a fix? thanks
  • bloemiebloemie Member Posts: 8
    We have a 95 Windstar. The head gasket was replaced at ford expense at 64,000 mi. They also replaced the timing cover gasket. Tried to charge $ 800 but settled for just over $ 200. Actually I was pleased with the support.

    Now I worry about the tranny problems. Can anyone explain the symptons of what to look for when the tranny problems start. I see a lot of people getting them replaced but very little detail on the actual problems.

    Is there any peventive maintenance that can be done to minimize the potential threat of tranny failure ?

  • wholiganwholigan Member Posts: 148
    Being that I am on my fourth transmission (not to mention my third motor), I guess you could say that I am somewhat "experienced" with the traditional 95 WS Failures...

    Nonetheless, here are what I noticed-
    Original Tranny Failure: Not shifting from 1st to 2nd. When it did, it was VERY HARD.
    Replacement #1 Failure: Flashing overdrive light and tranny was not using overdrive (no shift from 3rd to 4th/OD).
    Replacement #2 Failure: Same as original tranny failure with flashing overdrive light.

    Note that there is no "leaking" fluid, however, I have been told that the tranny fluid can "smell burnt" and be a darker color red than normal.

    Hope that helps!
    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
  • gheckoghecko Member Posts: 6
    Last year we bought a "program" '98 Windstar (3.8l, "northwoods package") from CarMax. Got a great deal on the vehicle and everything seemed fine for a while. I'd sworn off of American cars but we needed a mini van and the Hondas and Toyotas were way to expensive on the used car market.

    Anyway, we're taking it in to CarMax to have the transmission looked at.

    I think we have the hard 1-2 shift problem (although it seems more like a 2-1 downshift) when we're a making low speed hard left and giving it even a little gas. The van will actually lay a small patch of rubber - after nearly a full second of hesitation. I haven't tested it enough to be sure but this doesn't seem to happen when we make hard right turns.

    Is this the "hard shift" problem that is supposed to be normal?

    As an aside, has anyone purchased extended warranties through CarMax - specifically with Ryan Industries? The Ford dealership said they wouldn't even look at the van because they anticipated problems with the warranty company...

    Thanks in advance for help on either issue.

  • bloemiebloemie Member Posts: 8
    Thanks for the info on the transmission failures. Sorry you had so many. However, our symtoms are different. When we stop the trans seems to go into neutral. Then when you give it gas it may kick in. If you give it to much gas it kicks in at to high an RPM and the tires actually squeal. I have been shifting to 2 cnd to get going and then shifting into high gear manually.

    It's going to the transmission shop Monday. No more Ford dealer repairs.
  • haulthault Columbus OhioMember Posts: 130
    I need a copy of FORD program 00M10. I have 00M09. You can E-MAIL me or post. Thanks.
  • bloemiebloemie Member Posts: 8
    Well the transmission finally failed at 67,000 i. The aluminum forward piston went out and was replaced St a steel piston. Cost $ 1620.

    Has anyone had any luck getting Ford to pay part of it ? The dealership would not contact the area re sing I had to go thou the Ford 800 number. It seems to me that since this is the same piston that was failing in 1993 ford transmissions and had extended warranty's against it, then had a service bulletin put out saying that after three versions of the aluminum piston the need a steel one for the transmissions to survive, Ford should pay at least 1/2 the cost.
  • wholiganwholigan Member Posts: 148
    My 95 WS has driven me to the line (three transmissions and two motors before 80000 miles will do that to a person). The tranny is acting up again. Here are what I think my options are:

    Sell it to someone uneducated about the 95 WS.
    In good conscience, I will not do this.

    Trade It
    I am not sure what the going rate is; KBB says $5000 and Edmunds had $4907 - Neither of which I believe. I still have a problem with this as it would likely be sold to another unsuspecting consumer...

    Donate It
    The nice thing about this is that I would be able to deduct the full trade in value of the vehicle. Since I fall into the 28% tax bracket, that translates to a tax credit of $1400.

    Any other ideas on what to do with this vehicle would be greatly appreciated.

    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
  • rikhansonrikhanson Member Posts: 1
    I am the "proud"(?) new owner of a 2001 wind star, I recently discovered that when the automatic door shuts it could nearly take an arm off. I did contact my dealership who said that there is nothing they can do and the best I can hope for was a recall from ford. Will Ford feel the same way if my 5 year old breaks her arm in the door. I can not believe that after all of their problems that a MAJOR safety issue is ignored. The door has so much force it could crush a small child, the force it takes to retract the door is enormous. Has anyone else complained about this??
  • married_manmarried_man Member Posts: 6
    If I put my fingers between the front of the door and the post, the door retracts automatically.

    When we bought the van we had the same concern and we let the salesman demonstrate it. (I was not going to risk my fingers !!!). You may want to see it working in a different van to compare with your's and determine if is not working properly or your pain tolerance is different than the salesman :)
  • penguinpenguin Member Posts: 32
    Have the dealer disconnect the power sliding doors and go back to closing them manually. This will eliminate the potential for disaster.
  • sel3sel3 Member Posts: 33
    I have three kids 11, 7, and 3, we have owned this van a year and have had no problems with the power doors hurting anyone in our family. The safety features on these doors work fine. Using these power doors is much safer than leting kids manually operate the doors. It just takes some getting used to! SEL3
  • wijocowijoco Member Posts: 462
    I saw an ad the other day for the new generation Windstar featuring the 3.8 V-6. Someone please tell me this is not the same aluminum head/iron block gasket cracker Ford has been cranking out for the past 15 years!!! Is it? I thought production ceased in '96 on the 3.8, and the new Windstars were available with only the Vulcan or Duratec. I can't believe Ford could still produce that disaster. My friend has a 96 LX with the supposed "revised" 3.8 (stronger head bolts, double steel gaskets, yadda yadda), and the thing still blew @ 60,000 (gaskets between the timing chain cover and block failed). Are they really that stupid?!?!?
  • minivan_buyerminivan_buyer Member Posts: 5
    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?
  • djs10djs10 Member Posts: 2
    Following a 30 minute drive, I turned off the van. About a half hour later, the ignition turned over, but engine wouldn't start. Attempted to start again 20 minutes later unsuccessfully. An hour later the van was towed to the dealer. Soon after that, the service rep called to say the van started immediately without any problem. Mileage is around 7000. Any ideas?
  • jvirginiajvirginia Member Posts: 65
    I don't know if this applies to the Windstar, but it happened on a Ford Taurus with the 3.8 liter engine and maybe your van has a similar electronic switch. The car started having similar non-starting ocurrences like you described and then started stalling while driving for no apparent reason. It would quit on the expressway while driving at 55 - 65 mph and not restart for about an hour or so. It turned out there was an over-temperature switch which was malfunctioning.
    When the engine temperature exceeded the setpoint of the switch, it would shutdown the fuel pump circuit. The car wouldn't start until the engine cooled down again. Every time I had it towed to a shop, there was nothing wrong and it would start right up and no error codes on the computer. Somehow, instead of the switch just totally breaking, the setpoint changed to a lower temperature and would shut down the circuit at the higher end of the normal operating temp range.
    Good luck at finding your problem, I hope this helps you.
  • djs10djs10 Member Posts: 2
    JVIRGINIA, thanks for your response. I convinced the dealer to keep it overnight and check TSB's. They called in the early afternoon and stated the the problem finally occurred but the computer codes were 'strange'. They called Ford Motor Company and were told to replace the 'cluster'. When I asked what the cluster was I was told it was the computer. Cost: $600 just for the part. The good news is that it was covered under warranty. The bad news is that they will need to keep the vehicle for a total of 5 days! I will keep the Temperature Sensor that you mentioned in the back of my mind - just in case the problem reappears. Thanks again.
  • sld5sld5 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 99 SEL Winstar. 30,000 miles and the transmission is going - again!!!!......In the last month the van has been out of commission for 16 days. When I call the dealership, all they do is apologize. Called Ford, they noted that I wasn't happy, and what the issue was, but I still don't feel better. Has anyone had this kind of problem and have they gotten a positive result.
  • jvirginiajvirginia Member Posts: 65
    It's been extremely well documented and posted numerous times how very unreliable both the 3.8 liter engines and transmissions are in the Windstar vans. If Ford had resolved the problem with it's faulty head gasket design, we would not be seeing numerous customers returning for a 3rd, 4th and 5th engine replacement due to blown head gaskets on Windstars as well as other models with the faulty 3.8 liter engines. I believe the number of complaints on '98 and newer models will rise as mileage increases towards the notorious 60K and higher figures. And I can't begin to explain why their transmissions are so poor. The transmission problems are not limited to Windstars, or a particular model year or engine size even. My '88 Taurus with 3.0 liter engine has transmission problems. My in-law's 94 Taurus with 3.8 liter has had transmission replaced twice, my brother's Probe had transmission replaced, a friend's '92 Mustang needed two transmission replacements. Ford apparently either has no clue how to fix the problems or doesn't care and wants it's customers to keep coming back for additional repairs. Just browse the message boards and read all the complaints about Ford vehicles, except their trucks. Go to an internet search engine and search on 'Ford problems'. See what type of response Ford's customer service reps have given their customers in regard to transmission and engine problems. It's not a pretty picture.
  • wenlitzwenlitz Member Posts: 4
    Just got my 99 LX out of the garage. The power steering gear went out of it at 41,000. I have the extended warranty so no problem. Paid the deductible only. Do have the 2nd to 1st downshift problem but cannot pinpoint any special driving habits with it.
    I really like this van and so far has been an excellent vechicle. I would buy another one.
  • fantascpfantascp Member Posts: 175
    hi everyone- this question is to try and help my daughter and son-in-law- they have a 2000 windstar that has now twice had the electronic ignition lock up- their keys with the chips would not work to start the van- ford claims that both times someone might have tried to steal the van- maybe the first time- but this time there was no signs of any forced entry, tampering of the ignition etc- absolutely nothing to not allow them to start the van- anyone of you had any similiar problems, and if so, how did it get fixed?

    Thanks for any help

  • birdsibirdsi Member Posts: 6
    I've been driving a 99 LX since June 1999 (leased company car). It was been reliable and capable since it was new never giving me anymore than minor grief. Had it into the dealer for pinging several times. They reprogramed the Engine computer and it helped for awhile but came back. I just ignored it. This summer, the pinging has been greatly reduced. I wonder if it has something to do with the reformulated gas that is required in Kansas City now.
    The 3.8 engine in the 99s and later is completly redisgned from the ones used earlier. In mixed driving with my heavy foot I get 18-23 MPG.
    The speedometer has always had a rather strange anomoly. It reads about 3 MPH fast at 75 indicated but the odometer is about 3-5% slow. Go figure. Never tried to get it fixed since it helps me stay out of the speeding ticket zone(:>
    The transmission is supposedly redisgned as well but don't know for sure on that. The shifting is never predictable. Sometimes I get a really rough shift when driving around town and other times it seems to turn loose between gears. If I stick my foot in it always takes off and shifts with authority so I haven't really worried about it.
    The company got out of the car business so they made me a deal on my WS. 2 years old and 53K for $7800. I figured that if a transmission went, I could afford to replace it after paying that price. Of course just after I bought it, a new trouble came up. The windshield wipers would take off and run and you couldn't stop them. After 4 trips to the dealer the problem seems to be taken care of. There was a TSB on this problem and replacement of the multifunction switch took care of it. The first switch they put in didn't fix it. They claimed the wrong switch was sent and installed the first time.
    So now I await the next adventure. Probably the battery since most Ford OE batteries don't seem last any longer than about 2 years in my experience.
    I wonder if keeping the cooling system flushed would minimize the head gasket failures since it seems that most of the failures relate to coolant leaks either internal or external.
  • matycatmatycat Member Posts: 12
    It's been a while since I've been on this site, but I haven't forgotten. LLOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNGGGG story short, I too have had nothing but trouble, nightmares just like yours. My family and I have finally got rid of our nightmare by trading it in (obviously for a small amount). Anyways, there is a long distance (sorry) number to call. Maybe one person won't get anywhere, but IF YOU ALL CALL, maybe Ford will do something. Even if not, for me, there is some small satisfaction knowing they will spend the next whatever listening to everyone complain. And guess what? You won't have to listen to some cruddy radio station, or some peon operator, you will get a receptionist because THIS IS THE EXECUTIVE OFFICES PHONE NUMBER. When you call 313-845-5831, during eastern times of 9-4, ask for Murium (sp?) Wilson, they will probably ask, "May I tell them who's calling?" And you should respond, " Yes, it's (your name), and I am RETURNING her phone call." This will get you in without any crap of the receptionist "weeding" out phone calls. When you speak to Murium, explain your dilemma and then give her YOUR options of what will satisfy you. If you don't get a positive response from her, tell her you want to be transferred to Bill Ford's office. (He is the vice-president.) Tell her she better start taking note of all the windstar calls she is going to have to take, because there will be plenty until Ford takes responsibility for faulty products. THANKS AND GOOD LUCK!
  • ukrickukrick Member Posts: 66
    Please read posting #2804 under the Honda Odyssey forum. It's definitely worth the read.
  • judi_njudi_n Member Posts: 5
    Hi, we have had our 2001 WS a total of 2 weeks, traded in our tormenting 95. So far it has been in service twice and has to go back. Our locks and remote opener were not working . Service tech called ford and was told to reset the codes??? This on a new van??? Anyway it sounds like it might be the problem with your daughter & son in laws van. Would not hurt to ask.
  • fantascpfantascp Member Posts: 175
    Thanks for the information- i'll pass it on to my daughter- i hope this solves their problem and yours- she has a very legitimate concern with this VAN in that she has two little children and what happens if the keys won't work when she has both of the children with her . I'm not a ford owner and right now i'm trying to talk them into
    not buying this VAN when the lease runs out!
    Again, thanks for your help.

  • mweitzhandlermweitzhandler Member Posts: 8
    We received notification from N. California Small Claims Court today that they have directed Ford to pay us $3600. as reimbursement for expenses associated with engine replacement for our factory defective 1996 Windstar. This is in addition to having already received 50% engine replacement reimbursement ($2000) and partial car rental reimbursement ($1250) from Ford. The settlement completely reimburses us for engine replacement, oxygen sensor replacement, diagnostic bills, engine tuneup, and car rental expenses. If you want a copy of the court judgement against Ford or documents that we used to win our case, email me at [email protected]
  • yamanyaman Member Posts: 113
    Congratulations.Glad to hear that the courts are starting to hold Ford accountable for the stuff they produce.Apparently the word is getting out about the junk they make.Ford sales were down 12% last quarter.We also had a 96 Junkstar-last Ford we will ever own
  • trankin1trankin1 Member Posts: 5
    Long story short - 95 Windstar - Head Gasket blows out of warranty -cost $2200 (Ford paid $800) 7 months later the whole engine blows - cost me ALL of $4427 for re built engine
    Have filed suit against Ford of Canada, and at their insistence we all sat down and met with a court appointed arbitrator to try to avoid having to go to court. The whole arbitration process lasted less than 15 minutes with Ford unwilling to entertain any thought of "settling". Ford claims that the Head Gasket problem could have been caused by the water pump since they BOTH went bad at the same time. WHAT A CROCK!!
    Does anyone have documentation of the "order of destruction" when a head gasket blows?
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