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Ford Windstar Problems



  • I have just bought a 99 windstar LX 83k miles and the front blowers will not blow heat and it makes a clicking noise. What is going on? Of course all the dealers want you to bring it in and tell you after they charge a bunch of $$$. My husband can fix anything but just needs some help of what this could be since we have been searching what this is from. The back heater and air all over works just not HEAT in the front. Any help or suggestions?????
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    Probably the blend door assembly has failed. It's up inside the dashboard and it's many hours of labor to remove and install.
  • haulthault Columbus OhioPosts: 130
    Dasher when my drain plug stripped it was the plug only not the threads on the oil pan. I just bought a new plug. Also WIJOCO did FORD ever change the valve cover issue ? When ?
  • Engine Dead at 82,338. Minimum of $1600 to repair. Head Gaskets are suppose to last the life of the car.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Not on 3.8's.
  • I have a '99 Windstar with 74K miles, transmission shudders from first-second, especially from standing start. Can I live with this, it this the beginning of the end, should I dump it now? Any ideas?
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    Could be a torque converter problem, a hangup in the valve body, anything. Has the fluid been changed regularly? If not I would head to the Ford dealer and pony up the $150 for a full flush and replacement. Ford automatic transaxles have to be maintained religiously. I say go to the Ford dealer because so many quick-lube places are careless and will use the wrong fluid.
    If the O/D light has ever lit you will have a code stored for a transmission fault that the dealer can retrieve.
  • Thanks for the info. Firestone did a trans service about 10K miles ago, had one done every 20K or so. I'm bringing it into the Ford dealer today...and will brace for the bad news.
  • If its a '95 Windstar, you might be able to get some relief -- I think Ford did a program for those. If its a '96, you're out of luck -- Ford's policy on the '96 is to pretend there wasn't a problem.
  • Well, the Ford dealer visit was a waste. $185 for "diagnostic services" that meant dropping the pan and looking at the fluid (it was clean). They wanted an extra $1200 to "diagnose further"..and then they'd come up with an estimate for repairs. My extended warranty only covers repairs, not diagnosis, they didn't seem to understand that. So I took the piece of junk home. Oh well.
  • cptpltcptplt Posts: 1,075
    My 95s lasted 48K, my 00s only till 38k.Fortunately I do learn from experience and had the ext warranty for the 00, scary but the service manager said the first replacement they tried to put in to replace the bust one on the 00, "didn't fit" and they had to get a 2nd one!!
    Don't ask why I got a 00 when I had the tranny and engine gasket problem on the 95, its a sore point!
  • I have a '99 windstar. The rear blower works fine, but it isn't blowing out heat. Any suggestions on where to start?
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    Are you checking the overhead vents? They're not supposed to blow hot air, only cold. Hot air comes from one single vent at the bottom, right near the left side sliding door I think.
  • My '99 is in the shop as I type! Guess what for? The clicking noise that my A/C/heating system is making. Had the tranny replaced at 68,000, just in July. Will never and I mean never own another Ford again!!!
  • I am checking the vent at the bottom. It is just blowing cold air even though the rear settings are on full heat.
  • ford6ford6 Posts: 2
    Merry Christmas from Ford..just spent Christmas bonus at Ford dealership to replace REAR main seal(and other assorted items)on 2001 Windstar LX..52,000 miles. At 28,000 miles FRONT main had to be replaced(under warranty of course).

    I have read and didn't see any problems with these. I am going to have to "attempt" to get some $$ back on this..any ideas on who to contact?

    OH btw after reading all these posts I think I'm afraid to drive it!!!!!!!!!!
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    Afraid to drive it? Well, I just returned my '02 Windstar (lease end) without any major problems. There was a few minor things, and even some "check engine" stuff, but everything was repaired within hours under warranty.


    BTW, how could it be that you still have your warranty on an '01 model? Isn't it for just 36 months? Do you have an extended warranty?
  • ford6ford6 Posts: 2
    I don't have it under warranty..the FIRST Front Main was under warranty at 28000. reading all these problems with them I'm wondering what's going to go next!!!
  • Check Engine light on my 2000 Windstar.

    DTC code P0135 and code 1130

    Any suggestion?

    Thanks a lot
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    P0135 = O2 Sensor Heater Circuit Malfunction (Bank 1 Sensor 1)

    P1131 = Lack Of HO2S Switch - Sensor Indicates Lean


    Make sure the rear upstream O2 sensor harness isn't unplugged or melted to the exhaust manifold
  • tmwtmw Posts: 1
    The electronic sliding doors on my Windstar are sometimes not closing. I hit the button, it starts to go, gets to the point where it is suppose to close, then they go open again. Also, sometimes when they close, they make a funny noise. Has this happened to anyone else, and if so, and you had it fixed was it under warrenty?
  • selooseloo Posts: 606
    I had the same problem with my 2000 SEL. It took the dealer a few times to adjust the doors, so they work correctly 99% of the time. On occasion, depending on the slant of the parking surface, the problem will occur. Once the van is level again, there is no problem. Let the dealer fix this problem, you can really make a mess of your door or paint job if you try to do it yourself.
  • The 96 Windstar be gone!


    The sealer pellets put in by my mechanic worked and the van was running better than it has in a long time. My wife and I decided to ditch the Windstar while we could still get something for it so we traded it in while everything "appeared" to be working well. The dealership gave us $1,200 for the van not knowing of the head gasket problem and I also started getting a buzzing noise when I activated the right turn signal. I checked it and it was definitely something within the steering column because I could push up the lever without locking it in place and it would work (as long as I held it in place) but once I pushed it into place, it started buzzing and wouldn't work on the exterior. At this time, I'm not happy with having a new car payment but I feel much better when my wife takes my vehicle with the kids.


    Good luck with your Windstars! I won't be buying another again.
  • haulthault Columbus OhioPosts: 130
    The "diagnostic fee" should be included in the repair price. I would have them fix the problem and only pay the deductible. If you have problems my response is "If I have it repaired by another dealer or transmission shop should I just have the bill sent to your dealership for payment under the warranty and reimburse for the fee since your dealership could not find or fix the problem ?" They usually are more cooperative. The so called "diagnostic fee" is a new way to charge money to chronic complainers and when they can't "verify" a problem. I don't get mad. They are in business to make money. I have been through the diagnostic fee can't verify problem. I just save my receipts and demand a credit on future visits when they "verify" and fix the problem.
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    I don't know what's more amazing-you doing what you did or posting it here. I regret my wasted time trying to help you. I guarantee if you'd bought the van from the dealer and they sold it knowing it had major engine troubles YOU would be screaming bloody murder and threatening lawsuits. Sure, "little guy" good, "big guy" bad. You don't consider that some poor cash-strapped family who can't afford new-car payments will get stuck paying $2200 for that van and then be left with a $2500 engine repair bill a few months down the road. Or you did consider and didnt care. My only consolation is that in my experience people who trade in wrecks usually get stuck with another lemon. I call it "carma." Good luck indeed, mikejojo!!!
  • I have a 1996 windstar and the interior lights won't go out. I have taken the fuse out so the battery won't die on me. Does anyone have any idea why they stay on? Help
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    The door switches are integral with the latches, and the grease in them gets hard over time. Try spraying a liberal amount of WD40 or equivalent into the latches to soften the grease.
  • cptpltcptplt Posts: 1,075
    Out of town and in laws 00 WS had check engine light come on and stay on. She took it in to dealer, we have ext warranty and they fixed it. But what does this all mean (ok so I could wait till tomorrow and call them but I trust the people here more!)


    " CEL is on - performed EEC test (???) with WDS retrieved codes P0171 and P0174. bank 1 and 2 lean . performed pinpoint test (whats that??) and found intake gaskets leaking.

    replaced intake gaskets and valve cover with updated style. Recalibrated PCM to latest calibration.


    is this the same gasket problem that the infamous 95s had???

    is it time to dump this thing, only 56K miles and had new tranny at 38 already!

    is having my oil analyzed a good idea in the near future to be sure coolant etc is not getting into the engine or vice versa???
  • Thanks for the advice. I called a transmission (national chain) that advertised free diagnosis and acceptance of extended warrantees. The told me a rebuilt transmission, if needed, was only a few hundred more than the Ford dealer wanted to "diagnose" the problem. I guess you are right, it was the dealer's way of telling me to go away...although I never complained to them and have had over $6000 of paid repairs (thanks warranty co.) done at their shop on this one Windstar.
  • Did you get any help with this...I'm having the same problem and would like some suggestions.


    [email protected]
  • The problem with the interior lights not going off is common and is often related to the vehicle thinking that the door is still open. So first, is the "door ajar" light on the dashboard lit? If not, I don't know what to tell you. If yes, you may pursue the following theories, all of which I have heard:


    1. The contacts are dirty. Clean the contacts (little silver circles) on all the doors with WD-40.


    2. The rear hatch (or perhaps one of the other doors)has become slightly misaligned or bent probably from being slammed shut too many times on something that was sticking out farther than it should've been. The result is that the contact on the hatch/door and the contact on the body aren't in alignment or aren't touching. Open the rear hatch/door and jiggle the hatch side to side and try to close it correctly. You have to play with it a bit. Do the same with other doors. Experiment a bit. I've heard it suggested that you can get in the car, turn it on and pull on the closed doors from the inside to see if you get a different result.


    3. The car has an electrical gremlin of some sort -- take it to a dealer and get out your wallet because he will replace the electrical "switch" or somesuch.


    4. The car has a defective door sensor. Dealer will replace the "sensor". Wallet is again involved.


    5. Give up on a solution and remove the interior light fuse from the fusebox and get used to getting into your car in the dark.


    My own '96 WS has had this problem on and off for several years. I've sprayed the contacts and played with the hatch and slammed the sliding door. Sometimes it makes the light go off, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes the light and door ajar indicator go on and off in rapid succession while driving (with the door ajar chime sounding each time) for an hour or so and then stops. Currently, after six months of being fine, it started doing it again the other day and then stopped after a week. My wife believes that the problem is related to changes in the weather -- humidity? contraction-expansion of metal due to temperature change? She might be right as we had our first subzero temperatures followed by a rebound to the 50s followed by the door light going on.


    Good luck and remember you could (and probably will) have much more serious problems with this vehicle.
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    Basically, the dealer did everything perfectly. The intake gasket and valve cover replacement were correct procedures. No, I wouldn't worry about it. Don't dump it, you've already assumed the biggest risk by buying it. ;)
  • cptpltcptplt Posts: 1,075

    having just checked out how much the darn thing is worth now, its almost not worth trading in! At least it will be paid for in 3 months! I'll keep it till it dies, or my teenager destroys it while she is learning to drive!!:-)
  • fmilymnfmilymn Posts: 13
    Manual sliding door rattles over bumps like the rollers are worn or the tracks have been expanded. REAL annoying. 2000 SE, 60,000 mi.. Anyone else?? Also..........banks 1 & 2 lean, paint chipping/peeling here and there. I have the interior light problem rarely also.
  • selooseloo Posts: 606
    My 2000 SEL is working on its third set of front wheel bearings. Each set lasted about 25-30K. Why does this Windstar eat wheel bearings?




  • selooseloo Posts: 606
    Take some sticky velcro and place it inside the female side of the plastic guides at the the top and bottom of the door. You will need to replace the velcro about twice a year. This will stop the rattle.
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    Not sure about the door, maybe check all the rubber bump-stops to makes sure they're contacting. Banks 1+2 are usually vac leaks from bad intake gaskets or PVC lines. May need replacement valve cover, but I'm not sure on the year. Interior lights are usually rusted door sensors. Check the side door and hatch. Read past posts for more info on Windstar lean codes or just do a Google search for "Windstar bank lean".
  • bobv6bobv6 Posts: 4
    I had this problem with my 95. Its the back latches, you have to spray them with wd40 or if they are really dirty and gumed up with carb cleaner, just don't get any on the paint. Once you soak them, they will not stick and the lights will go off. Hope this helps Bob
  • I have a 2002 van with an odd noise nobody can track down. It sounds like a noisy moaning or whining power steering pump. It seems to be from the rear of the engine near the bellhousing and EGR valve. Heres what has been done to locate it:


    Transmission shop thought it was a faulty converter (they just rebuilt the trans) so they installed another new one and the noise was still there.


    They took out the trans again and tore it down, going over everything again and it all checked out ok. Put it back and noise still there.


    They put a bell housing shell on and started it up and it still made the noise.


    They then removed the serp belt and the damn noise was still there!


    They were really great with me as they put 20+ hours into my van under warranty at no cost.


    Took it to the ford dealer and they went over it for a few hours with a steth and tried to say it was the trans after I told them it made it without one! Then they just threw their hands up... They had never heard it before and couldn't pin point it... well worth the diag fee.


    Anybody have any ideas or heard of this??? It is quite annoying and came on all the sudden. Does it at idle and it varies with engine speed. I just don't want to have something suddenly fail.


    I did also just change the oil even though it didn't need it hoping for a stupid fix... no change


    Thanks -Joel
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    The techs in the Got a Quick, Technical Question? discussion may have some ideas too.


    Steve, Host
  • Good idea! Thanks seloo. You have this problem too huh?
  • Hey wijoco. Thanks for the info. Did the replacement valve cover thing last year. I believe you were right about the sensors needing some shiny metal showing through. I just can't believe the paint on this thing! One miniscule chip with a pebble and there goes the process of the chip getting larger and larger. Touch up paint won't stop it either. PITIFUL! If is wasn't for having 3 kids this thing would be gone. I knew I should have bought a Honda.
  • haulthault Columbus OhioPosts: 130
    What years were affected by the valve cover design? Does Ford replace them for free? What is the cost and benefit of new design valve cover? I have a 2000 w/ 40,000 + miles. Few problems so far, but I have extended warranty.
  • Mine is a 2000 model. The cost is on us. The original cover lets the pcv valve suck oil mist into its passage ways eventually causing a clog. Pinging occured in mine. Engine light appeared. Intake had to be taken off & cleaned out. A quite common problem according to my mechanic. A simple design flaw directly under the pcv valve. No recall on it though.
  • what was the shudder problem? i have a 2002 and it seems to be haveing transmission problems too. looking into it my self and testing, i think it might be the transmission range sensor (TR). can you help me? thanks
  • Had the tranny rebuilt at 62,000 miles. Now my check engine light is on (at 62,500 miles) and I need a new intake gasket and valve cover. Another $500. Anyway, the van has sounded like a truck when slowing down to stop. There is a loud humming sound that seems to be coming from the front of the vehicle. Could this be the brakes (no sound from the brake sensors yet), or maybe the wheel bearings? Is it easy to replace either if they are bad? I can't afford any more repairs!
  • Bought an 02 WS Certified with 32K miles. One month shy of the 36/36 warranty -- but 1000 miles OVER the limit, my odometer, lights, and all electrical started acting like something from Poltergeist. Barely made it to my usual mechanic, who found an overcharging alternator and EXPLODED battery. Now, two days after picking up from service, my brakes failed while driving... completely! Managed to stop safely and, when I started moving again, the brakes feel like they are not power brakes (remember the old "pump to stop" on your 70s car?). Called dealer - not much they can do, of course, but may be able to get the brakes fixed under NY Lemon Law.


    Am concerned because my pregnant wife uses the car to haul our two other infants -- is all this left wondering what will the next week bring...


    Can I pursue with Ford to get back the $600 for the alternator? My mechanic says its unusual for a car with only 37K on it -- but doesnt seem so unusual for a Windstar, according to you folks!


    Any suggestions or advice are REALLY appreciated. Sorry for the ramble.


  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    Lemon Law won't apply in your case. Unless you had the repair done at the Ford dealer, it's unlikely you'll get any financial assistance. Unfortunately you'll probably have to pay up and hope for better luck. If i had to guess, the previous owner probably traded it in because of the mystery problems and you got stuck fixing them.
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    I don't believe Ford uses the noisemakers some manufacturers llike GM use on their brakes. If you're hearing grinding noises, the pads may have broken and cut into the rotors, especially if you haven't had pads replaced in a while. Have them checked.
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    I think it was 98-00, but it may have been 98-99. You can probably find it on Google. You can pull the PCV andcheck it and the hoses for oil soaking. If they're OK you probably have the updated design.
This discussion has been closed.