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Ford Windstar Problems



  • kturner1kturner1 Posts: 33
    We've had our 99 WS a year now with no major problems. The engine is noisy, pings a little and rolls/sticks when parking off level, vibrates on acceleration - the usual. The most annoying thing so far was a rattle that sounded like it was coming from the emergency brake at hwy speed. Pulling the brake a little would stop it. Dealer claimed to have replaced the brake hand lever but rattle was no different. I finally tracked it down to a giant pie tin heat shield under the car. Stretched a spring to it and so far so good. Anyone else with this?
  • chp1chp1 Posts: 4
    Maybe I'm just lucky, or maybe I got the only good one in town, but so far, with 15,000+ miles on my 2000 SEL I haven't needed ANY repairs or adjustments on my W/S. In fact, if anything, it seems to be a smoother, better driving van than when I first got it! So far I am completely satisfied with it's performance, etc. Are there any others like me out there?

    aNY repairs
  • snappy3snappy3 Posts: 13
    I usually get 22 mpg on a tankful of gasoline with my 2000 Windstar LX with a 3.8 liter engine. I don't do much city driving and I drive very conservatively. I don't drive much on a freeway either, I think this whale gets best mileage at 35 to 45 mph on county roads. The van is usually lightly loaded. On a road trip at 65 mph I got 25 mpg. Every once in a while I get a tankful that is less than 20 mpg, probably because I did not fill the tank all of the way on the previous fill up. In the winter, mileage is less.
  • snappy3snappy3 Posts: 13
    I bought this 2000 Windstar to replace a Chevrolet Celebrity station wagon. It is no fun on twisting mountain roads--I have to brake for every turn or just poke along. I was driving on unpaved roads and the front cradle bottomed out more than once. So, this is not the great camping vehicle that I hoped it would be. Maybe better tires than the General G4S (?) would fix the cornering problem. Bad ground clearance is something I will have to put up with.
  • jovileajovilea Posts: 1
    I just found out tuesday that my head gasket is blown on my '95 Windstar. Now I have been aware of this problem almost since the day after I bought it last year, and have been waiting for this to happen. I have gathered plenty of evidence to make sure that the problem is fixed at Ford's expense(the van has 75,400 miles on it), but my main concern is getting the dealership to pay for a rental while my van is getting fixed. Any idea on how I can approach the subject nicely and walk out of there without having to pay for one? Also, how can I convince them that the oxygen sensors will need replacing and possibly the timing gasket? I do NOT want to get screwed over any more than I already have. The buy-back is not an option for me since I still owe about $8000 on the loan. Any help would be appreciated.
  • Well, found out that my 3.8L has a bad bearing and
    timing chain cover is leaking. Milage is 65k. The head gaskets replaced at 40k.
    Total cost to me according to the dealer, $495.
    This includes everything for a rebuilt engine, labor, add'l parts ,etc.
    I asked several times and he assures me that $495
    is the total cost.
    I am the original owner and according to the dealer, the warranty was out a few days ago. But Ford rep was in and said"Relace it"
    This is the best news I have heard so far.
    But worried that my transmission will probably go out at 75k like my other vehicle, 1994 Taurus.
    $2500 to replace transmission and no help from Ford.
    Maybe their getting their act together.
    Or maybe this is just dreaming.
    Only time will tell.
  • wholiganwholigan Posts: 148

    Got a "Warranty Extension Notification" this weekend from Ford regarding the 95 WS and their springs... It seems that in "high precipitation climates" (e.g., snow and salt in the upper midwest) can cause the springs to rust through. In some cases, customers have reported losing a front tire after the spring goes...

    I will try to get the verbage from the entire notification into another posting. I think that this is a 10 year/100000 mile deal...

    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
  • FYI-

    Regarding the "Warranty Extension Notification" on the front coil springs for the 95 W/S - it is for 10 years/unlimited mileage. I received the same notice. There is a sticker that you are supposed to put with your warranty book that states:

    "The front coil springs on your Ford Windstar are now covered for 10 years from the warranty start date, REGARDLESS of mileage. This part may prematurely wear or break, especially when operated in high-corrosion areas of North America for an extended period of time. Coverage is automatically transferred to future vehicle owners."

    Sounds to me that Ford did not have a choice in this warranty, because if they did, they sure would not be doing it this way......they would be leaving us all out to dry. (But I'm not bitter)

    Also, just for the record I, also, had to replace my transmission on my 95 W/S and, it sure is starting to shift harshly again.....what a surprise.....put me on that 'NO FORD AGAIN' list!!!!
  • h8fordh8ford Posts: 1
    We bought our 2000 windstar in Feb 2001, used with 8500 miles. I think the day we drove it home was the only day we haven't had problems. At first it was minor things like the trans shifter indicator was off( when in OD it was between od and 3). Then it began to get worse. The paint on the drivers side rear sliding door is peeling. The shop needs it for 4 days, and of course no loaner. The windshield rattles,whines, whistles with a cross wind, cant prove it sitting in lot so too bad. CV or ball joints clunking more often then not when turning, told they are well within limits of wear. Passenger side rear slider rattles terrible, been "fixed" twice, but cant tell. Rear bumper clips keep coming unclipped and caused the bumper to split down the middle, was told that i must have backed into something cause they cant just do that on their own. Trans leaks when mates with the motor, this one is getting fixed next week and took everything I had to get a loaner for this one. the factory installed General GS60 tires are seperating and bulging with only 22k on them. Deal wont fix tire problems so have to drive 90 miles to closest general dealer to have them swapped out on adjustment. Asked about the two new recalls for the aux a/c blower and the wiper motor(01s25 and 01s26) dealer new nothing of them so I was SOL, will have to wait for them to get notice of it. I am sure there are other problems i have forgotten, but this gives you a hint of the problems. i blame my self for these problems because i was the idiot that bought my first and only Ford. if there is anyone in NE North Dakota thinking of buying a ford, I would definetly stay away from Hansen Ford in Grand Forks, ND. I know a lot of folks who have bought both new and used vehicles from them and had nothing but problems with them. if you must buy a Ford (why on earth would you want to do that) drive the extra hour and go to the dealer in Fargo. I just wonder how many others are having these same problems. GO CHEVY
  • Any info on changes Ford has made to the Windstar to fix past reliability problems?
  • chp1chp1 Posts: 4
    I have a 2000 SEL and it is an excellent vechicle with 10,000 miles on it. No complaints. I'd buy another one in a heart beat.
  • I bought a 2000 W/S SEL in February 2000, got it one hour after it rolled off the truck. 11,000 miles later and it still runs and rides as good as Day #1, no regrets so far. One one minor adjustment has been necessary to the passenger side sliding door, and a 30 minute fix was all it took. I highly recommend Birch Ford in La Habra, California, I got a first class deal with them using the numbers I got right here at I take the W/S in for it's scheduled maintenance to Capistrano Beach Ford, and so far no bad issues to report, they have been reasonably competent. My wife drives this car the most, transporting 3 kids around town in comfort. This is the best vehicle I have ever owned, and I would buy another tomorrow.
  • We bought our 2000 lx new in August on 2000. When I took it in for the first oil change they replaced some electronic device. Then a few weeks later the sport decals started peeling off on the side, so we took it back in and they replaced them. About a month ago the rear a/c motor started making noise, so we took it in once again to be repaired, that was before the notice of recall came out. about a week or two after that I noticed a whirring sound while driving. when I took it to the dealer they said they couldn't get to it right away. So I asked if they could give me a loaner car and the girl asked if I has an extended warranty. Of course I said no it's still under the factory warranty. She said well then you are on you own. I then told her that if something were to happen to my family I would make sure to name her in the lawsuit. She then had the shop foreman take a ride in my van, at first he said "Oh that's just tire noise" to which I replied, "I haven't had anything done to the tires so why would they begin to make noise all of a sudden?". He then said that it could be a wheel bearing going out. Oh and I forgot to mention that I have had the rear passenger door adjusted twice and it still leaks rain at times. And now the drivers seat has a hole in it where the cheap padding moved off of the metal causing the hole. The seat cover has been or order for about 4 weeks now. We went to our dealer and wanted to trade the damn thing in, they have offered us between $16,000 and $14,000. The sticker price when we bought it was for ALMOST $28,000!! So we still owe about $20,000. I guess that just shows you how over priced the Ford products are since it's now worth about half of the sticker. The van only has 13,500 miles on it! At this point I don't think we will ever buy another Fix Or Repair Daily product. We have been able to talk with the owner of the dealership and he has agreed to give us a rental car so the repairs can be made, but when we have called they say "We dont' have anything available at this time", they are now supposed to call us when they have a loaner car for us. Needless to say I won't hold my breath.
  • Hey Chuck, count your blessings...this would probably be a good time to buy another Windstar because pretty soon you'll need the engine from your new one to replace the old when it blows. The rest of us know only too well that it's only a matter of time. We'll be here when you need us Chuck....
  • Sounds like some people are real nitpickers when they complain of every shake, rattle and hum in a used van. Even the tires don't suit.
  • This is my second windstar. First was a 99 and had bad pinging problems, 3 dead battery's. Went to the sales manager and showed him the stack of work orders we had. He agreed to take back the 99 and put us in a 2000 for Tax and registration cost. Went to drive off the lot and check engine light came on. The pinging was horrible and the car was all over the road. Got the pinging problem fixed, had to replace the tires(generals were cracked and had other issues which were replaced by local tire dealer under warranty), now after only 3000 miles I have had to add a quart and one half and the transmission wont always shift out of first and the overdrive light flashes. Going up to the dealer next week. At least I can get a loaner. I bought this vehicle with 19,000 miles on it! This will be the last ford I own!!!!
  • Start with an automatic door that would open while
    driving down the road, Add Computer module problems that kept it in the dealership while they pulled the dash out a couple of times, Then add a transmission that dry docked the van in the dealership for 15 days to rebuild, Then add bad
    air sensors......Well we filed a Lemon Law complaint down in Texas, but a slippery Ford Consultant wormed out of it on a technicality of the filing date being 7 months rather than 6 months after the vehicle reached 24,000 miles!!!!
    The Ford Windstar Van is a total abortion!!!!From
    inception to present day. Like the Firestone fiasco, Ford wants to sweep a lot of their problems under the rug....silent recalls, poor design, poor quality, poor customer service. This
    is the last Ford for me, and I hope to talk my folks into turning in their Town Car, my father-in-law out of his Navigator, and my company from
    purchasing any more company cars and trucks from Ford!
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    "Ford Motor Co. is recalling 777,742 Windstar minivans because they have faulty parts that could catch fire.

    All the 1999 and 2000 models being recalled have a wiper motor that can collect moisture and overheat. About 525,164 have a second wiring problem in the air conditioner."


    Vans, SUVs and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards

  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Ford Assures Customers Its Windstar Van is Safe

    "National Highway Transportation Safety Administration records show that several other popular minivans have been the subjects of multiple recalls during the past three years.

    "They include the Honda Odyssey, with six recalls for the 1999 model and four for the 2000 model; the Chevrolet Venture/Pontiac Montana, with four recalls for the 2001 model, four for 2000 and three for 1999; the Dodge Caravan, with two for 2001, one for 2000, and three for 1999; and the Mercury Villager/Nissan Quest with one for 2001, two for 2000, and four for 1999."

    Vans, SUVs and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards

  • davids1davids1 Posts: 411
    I just purchased a used 2000 Windstar LX with 13,000 miles and the 3.8 liter engine. Really wish I had read some of these posts before i leapt, but that's my fault. My question is this: I'm only getting about 12-13 mpg in combined city/highway driving. This thing is supposed the get 18 city and 24 highway. I plan on taking it to my local Ford dealer sometime next week, but I would like to know if there is anything in particular I should look for before I take it in. Thanks for any information.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Welcome. Lots of us discovered Town Hall "after the fact".

    Not everyone has trouble with their van, but the ones who do are more likely to post.

    Here's a good review to brighten your Monday (yeah, it does sorta read like a press release....)

    Vans, SUVs and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards

  • davids1davids1 Posts: 411
    You are right, does sound like a press release. I have another question for Windstar owners. My van has the 2 passenger bench seat in the middle row. It looks like the seat can be moved from side to side, allowing easier entry to the back from any side you may choose. It also looks like I cannot put bucket seats in this middle row even if I could find some in a junk yard. Is this true. I would like to have the option to upgrade to the buckets at a later time, but I may just be out of luck.
  • Davids1 -- I believe the spacing on the middle row anchors is the same as individual buckets, so you should be able to put buckets in later. Also, the rear seat can be put in the middle row.
  • It's been a while since I last posted messages but after reading some others, I have had similar problems. Please see messages 589, 590, 591, & 595. I do not remember the # of my previous posts. I purchased my van in October of 2000. I have had some minor problems that seem to have been corrected (finally). They were mostly squeaks/rattles on the passenger side sliding door but there were also problems with the parking brake cable making noise and it took the dealer 4 tries to fix it (after numerous visits to the shop for diagnosis). My van now has 10003 miles on in and I just returned from a hellacious trip to Florida from Illinois. I had my wife, sister in law and my 18 mo. old son with me. We drove to Decatur Alabama on the way down (the Sunday before Labor day) and spent the night. The next morning when we were continuing to Florida, the van stalled in the hotel parking lot. After several attempts, it restarted and we drove about 3 miles and it just died. We were able to coast into a gas station and the van would not restart. I called Ford roadside assistance for a tow. Since it was now labor day, we could not find a dealer that was open so we could get a loaner car. We luckily reached Enterprise rent a car and the manager just happened to be there even though they were closed and she answered the phone. She brought us a Chevy Suburban to continue our trip. (great vehicle)! The next day, I called the dealer in Decatur where my van was towed to and they told me the computer and a relay had to be replaced and that it was fixed now (they also fixed the latest recall items). We headed back to Alabama on Friday to get the van. The dealer did not leave the key locked in the van as I suggested but I had my spare key. Well, the key would not start the van because of the chip (since the computer was replaced). The dealer made no mention of this. We spent the night in Alabama and I picked up the van on Saturday a.m. While driving back to Illinois, the van hiccuped and the check engine light came on while driving down the interstate. After coasting for a couple seconds, it kicked in and kept going. We made it to Illinois (about 50 miles from home) and the van went totally dead. It would not restart. I called for roadside assistance and had major problems with them (another story). Anyway, after 2 and 1/2 hours stranded, the tow truck showed up and I was towed to the nearest dealer where my van now sits. Also, the dealer in Alabama that fixed my van the first time told me they fixed the same problem on another van at the same time. Interesting....... I will post a follow up when I find out what is wrong this time. Any advice I can get will be helpful. I am trying to ghet Ford to buy back the van or overcompensate me for all of the trouble and danger my family and I were in.
  • you should read my post #597 for advice. ANYONE WHO WANTS TO GET FORD'S EXECUTIVE PHONE NUMBERS AND GET A REACTION, READ MY POST. #597 !!!!
  • Has anyone had any problem with their wipers? I replaced the ones on my 2000 WS and it is still horrible.
  • Just a suggestion, keep on it at the exec's office. I know it's long distance, but keep at them, try telling them what you expect them to do. It worked for us to some satisfaction, I sincerely hope it will help you too. Like I've said before however, if EVERYONE starts calling that number, they might take us all seriously.
  • I just called the dealer where my van has been for almost two weeks now and they finally received the new computer (pcm). They replaced it and they are still having the same problems I have already experienced twice before. They told my that an engineer was called in and he is currently looking at the problem now. For some reason that they cannot determine, the computer is not communicating with the rest of the car. I have informed the dealership where I purchased the van and they know that I will be trading out of it asap whether it is fixed or not. Even if they think they have fixed it, I told them I am not comfortable with it and I will not drive it.
  • I just purchased a 99 Ford Winstar. Where can I find a complete list of all recalls so I can go to the dealer and have the fixes done?


This discussion has been closed.