Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Did you get a great deal? Let us know in the Values & Prices Paid section!
Meet your fellow owners in our Owners Clubs

Ford Windstar Problems



  • crkeehncrkeehn Posts: 513
    If they are looking for the most reliable van, they should probably consider either the Toyota Sienna or Honda Odyssey. The first year Odyssey appeared to have some teething pains but most seem to have been cured in the latter years, based on postings in Edmunds.
  • If you're looking for reliability, you might also look at the MPV by Mazda. It's not as big as the Toyo or the Ody, but it's got a lot of usable room inside and handles very well. It's also a lot cheaper than the other two.

    Good luck
  • callo_callo_ Posts: 18
    been as reliable as any, as a matter of fact, much more reliable than many
  • wmy99wmy99 Posts: 7
    Hope this info is of some help.

    --Problem of ABS & BRAKE Lights flickering on & off at stop light & then staying on. (the brake cylinder is known to have a sloppy float causing the light to come on when you come to a stop, fill the cylinder to the top & the light goes out.}
    I had my brake wheel cylinders & brake system checked twice by my local garage & the brake system checked by my Ford Dealer & they could not find any leaks. My master cylinder would lose brake fluid slowly, about 1 inch over 30 days.

    I did see about 1 tablespoon of fluid overnight appear on my driveway. I laid a large piece of cardboard under the engine overnight & was able to catch this fluid stain on the cardboard. I then took the cardboard into the dealer marking where the front tire was on the cardboard. The dealer was then able to pin point the area of the leak under my van.
    The following part was leaking and replaced. {Proportionating valve}. There are 2 of these valves joining the brake lines located under the vehicle, just behind the driver's seat area. The brakes had to be bled.
    -Parts & Labour $185.00
  • liebedaliebeda Posts: 13
    I have a 99 LX and my warranty is about to expire. I haven't had any major issues - but after reading everything here, I am concerned. Does anyone have ideas about an extended warranty from Ford - what it should cost - and whether it is better to buy an extended warranty from another company. Doing that seems to be cheaper - and although you have to lay out the money for repairs and get reimbursed, at least you are not bound to the Ford dealers.

  • wholiganwholigan Posts: 148
    Can anyone explain to me why I need Tie Rods again? This was just done 14000/12 months ago!

    Insights would be 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
  • wbb0441wbb0441 Posts: 4
    I am considering buying either a 97 or 98 used windstar. can anyone let me know what kind of problems they have had with this year of van.

    I am reading about brakes, head gaskets, transmissions.

    thank you for assistance.

    bill in denver
  • crkeehncrkeehn Posts: 513
    Based on Frequency of Repair records, you might find the 97 to be the more reliable. It is also much rarer. The 97 had the updated head gaskets which (so far) has seemed to have led to less failures. It also had a more reliable transmission. The 98 model year had increased transmission problems (why, I don't know) and also seemed to have problems with the gas guage on the optional extended range gas tank.

    I have a late 96 model year van and it has been reliable so far, with 82,000 miles on it.
  • bblahabblaha Posts: 329
    Yeah, those are the key. Blown HGs are fairly common among bimetal engines, until the multilayered gaskets came along.

    For those who have had theirs repaired and the HG blows again, it makes you wonder. Did the repair include the gasket with the new design? Or, if they did, did the service shop fail to check see how warped the head was?

    It seems to me that for anyone thats had the HG blow, if the service shop properly machines the head and cylinder block (you can't take too much off of course) and uses the new style gasket, there shouldn't be a repeat blown gasket.

    Ford ought to have had the appropriate repair procedure by now...there's certainly been enough examples.

    FWIW, I have a '99 with 30k miles, and no problems to date.
  • berzieberzie Posts: 1
    The 2001 SE has the same sliding door problems as the 99's & 00's. The problems have ranged from the door not staying in the closed position, the door not retracting when something is in it's way, and even pops open when nothing is in the way. Sometimes it sounds like its groaning in pain on opening. Manual sliding works fine but what is the point of power slide if you can't use it?

    Have had mine for 5 weeks now and it's been back to Ford 3 times. Yesterday with the advice of Ford Engineering they replaced the sensor and the latch assembly. I was told this should fix the problem otherwise Ford wouldn't spend the money to replace the parts. I hope this works but I'm not very hopeful.

    Any information will be very helpful!
  • heli212heli212 Posts: 1
    Does anyone knows why???

  • chp1chp1 Posts: 4
    So far, with 7000 i. on the speedo I have had no problems. I don't seem to be able to find a comfortable position in the drivers seat though, and the steering feels heavy to me. Maybe that's because I traded a '95 Town Car in on it, and I'm expecting to much out of the van. My brother has 169,000 on his 96 WSwith no problems at all. That's why I purchased a WS before I heard about all the problems.
  • Thanks for the info crkeehn and bill mckinley. I told them about it and they have decided that it would be a good idea to shop more around and look at other models. They are kind of new at this so they are a little unsure of which, but they will check out Mazda, Toyota, and Honda and see which is the better value and holds the best reliability record. Thanks Again!
  • workman1workman1 Posts: 3
    We just purchased our 2000 Windstar, used with 24,000 miles. We previously had an Aerostar and got rid of it with 230,000 miles. Loved it.

    When I first started driving the Windstar I noticed that when I would put on the brakes to slow they would catch slightly then release then stop. I am new to anti-lock breaks so I just thought it was normal. Now I am not sure.

    Yesterday I was driving less than 25 miles when started to break at an intersection. I put my foot on the break, but the van acted like it did not want to stop and I heard the engine rev. The whole thing lasted on a second or two, but my vehicle did move about 5 feet before it came to a complete stop. Called the service center and was told everything is on a sensor and unless the engine light came on they have no way of telling what it might have been. They have not heard of this happening with others so just keep an eye on it and if it happens again let them know. I'm a little nervous now when I break. Anyone else had that experience?

    Secondly, when it is windy outside and the windows are down the roof of the vehicle will make a loud noise, almost like the luggage rack it being ripped off the roof. Sounds like what you would hear if you took a piece of tin and shook it. It happened again yesterday when I turned on the air-conditioned and then shut the windows. It is very loud and I jump every time it does it. I don't know how to explain this to the service center, so if anyone else has experienced this I would appreciate some advice or help.
  • hudson6hudson6 Posts: 17
    I did some research on additional warranties and found the best deal to be offered through Warranty-by-net. If I remember correctly it was about $1300 to add 5 yrs or 50k miles to my 98 Windstar. This quote was done a few months ago. Additionally, you could pay over several months. I can't comment on their service just price as I chose instead to trade my WS.
  • bdemasbdemas Posts: 51
    Workman1: When you came to the intersection, were there any turns involved right before the intersection? We have a 2000 that does something similar when we pull the van into our garage. We have to turn left into the garage, we do it while idling. The vans tends to rev up and surge forward. We have been told by our dealer that it is normal (as is every other problem that they can't rectify), it is caused by the power steering unit putting a load on the motor. The extra load causes the engine to rev. Unfortunately we have no fix for this, we just have to be careful and on the breaks pretty hard when pulling in.
  • liebedaliebeda Posts: 13
    Thanks for the feedback. I actually just signed up with 1 source. They had a $100 discount until yesterday and because my van is still under factory warranty, I was able to get a 10 year (7 additional after manufacturer), 100,000 mile warranty with no deductible - for $1,100.
    I read through the posts about 1 source in the town halls and I did some research on other sights and they seem to be a reliable company - most customers are satisfied - and because it is under factory warranty, I don't have to worry about pre-existing conditions.
  • workman1workman1 Posts: 3
    Bdemas: It was not an immediate turn, but I did turn to the left about a half a block before the surge happened. Since Ford says this is normal, are they going to be responsible for any damages that might occur as a result of this surge?

    Update on the roof noise...The roof actually bows in and out. It can be popped out by just a push from the inside, but it is rather annoying. We had the vehicle for about two months before it started doing this and it seems it only does it when the windows are down.
  • bdemasbdemas Posts: 51
    workman1: It doesn't matter which way you turn, the surge will happen immediately after the turn of the steering wheel. Try this in a empty parking lot sometime: Come to a stop, press the brake a little so as to let the van creep forward, turn the steering wheel to the left or right and see if the engine surges. Thats what we experience everytime we go into our garage. I never had this surging with any other vehicle I have owned (including a 95 windstar). No, Ford will never be responsible for any damages this may cause. As far as your roof goes, do you have a roof rack? What part of the roof is bowing (front, middle, back)?
  • 1995 WS 65K miles, head gasket blew causing engine to sieze. Had van towed to local garage I use & trust for all my repairs. Garage recommended having local ford dealer assess van and recommend repair. My borther-in-law had similar problem and ford offered him kelly blue book value + 3,500 for engine replacement to use on purchase of any new ford. Has anyone had a similar experience. I need to know what my options are.
  • workman1workman1 Posts: 3
    Bdemas: I will try what you suggest to see if I have the same pattern of surge. Does the engine also rev?
    We do have a roof rack, and the bowing is in the back part of the roof.
  • wholiganwholigan Posts: 148
    You're going to be too late for the buy back (it ended in November 2000), however, the head gasket and engine are covered by a 7 year-100000 mile warranty and should be repaired for free...

    This is post #442. Especially read the third link.


    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
  • sel3sel3 Posts: 33
    I know there are a few persons on this site with this problem. Dambach (MS 368) stated that the dealer fixed this problem by replacing the hub and bearing assembly. Does anyone else have any experience with this problem?


  • rknj62rknj62 Posts: 2
    Hello all I have found this board very informative and have two questions that maybe someone can help me with. #1. I have a 98 WS 3.0 liter which has had the usual problems as all have BUT I have complained about some sort of thumping noise coming from the front end seems to be the right side and does vary with sound when I go over some bumps, I also can hear it faintly on smooth surface. I did rotate my tires. My dealer has not heard it even when we test drove it anyone ever had a similar problem? The tie-rod ends have been chaged also. I only have 11900 miles on the WS and after reading all the PROBLEMS with the trans I was able to purchase a extended plan from Ford for 2 more years, we did not want to spend the extra money buy wanted to be safe just in case!!

    #2. My nephew just bought a used 96 WS with 66k on it from a private part, he did not see me first or I would have warned him BUT to late now. After oinly 2 months the head gasket needs replacement and I just wondering if like the 95 WS that had the extended warranty is Ford also doing the extended warranty for 96 WS head gasket failure..?

    Thanks in advance for any reply to this message.
  • skott613skott613 Posts: 1
    Just when I thought nothing else could go wrong with my 95 Wind star, the front drivers side spring BREAKS! While making a right hand 90 degree turn at no more than 10mph I hear a loud hunk from the front of the van and the front end drops down. The spring broke IN HALF, (due to a stress fracture) dropping down around the strut, rubbing hard on the tire and almost threading the tire due to the sharp break in the spring. THANK GOD I was not doing 65mph on the freeway with my family when this happened. Ford of course offered nothing, just saying I would be notified if a recall was issued.
    This is only the latest of my headaches added to the shifting/transmission, speedometer jumping, dome light staying on, alignment problems, the infamous head gasket blowing, engine light, and engine chugging. Did I miss any??

    Has anyone else had a spring break??
  • crkeehncrkeehn Posts: 513
    The NHTSA has opened an investigation on the Windstar in reference to breaking springs. Be sure to log your break on their website.
  • wenlitzwenlitz Posts: 4
    Thanks for the info. I decided I would keep my 99 LX and I bought an ESP plan for it. We'll see how it goes as I really like it.
  • hawk505hawk505 Posts: 8
    I have the owners manual for my 99 Windstar, but I cannot
    find the smaller maintenence manual. Does anybody have
    one that would be willing to email an image, fax , or mail me
    a copy of. I only need the pages that show the required
    maintenance schedule for noraml and servere driving.

    [email protected]
  • jvirginiajvirginia Posts: 65
    Any of the following sites will provide you with the maintenance schedule for your van:

    The following site will give you the maintenance requirements for your make, model, year and mileage and also advise you when your next scheduled maintenance period is:

    I hope this helps you.
  • hawk505hawk505 Posts: 8
    Those are the recommened schedules. Not all those items
    are required for the warrenty. The site does not
    have maintenace scheds for 1999 WS's.

    Still looking for a copy of the OFFICIAL maintenance sched
    if anyone has one. [email protected]
This discussion has been closed.