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Ford Windstar Problems



  • skip32skip32 Posts: 2
    My 2001 came factory equiped with General Ameri GS60 tires.I now notice after about 14,000 miles the sidewalls have bumps in them. Its almost like a bubble is starting to form.I now have begun to check other Windstars in parking lots and I notice I am not the only one plagued with this. Each tire has at least 3 or 4 places that the sidewall seems defective.I do not know what the side I can't see looks like. Does anyone else have this problem, check your tires. If anyone has approached Ford or a tire dealer about it I would love to hear the response.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Depends on why you mean by bumps and bubbles. I noticed "bumps" on some brand new Kirkland Tires (supposedly made by Michelin) - the Costco guy said they were just mold marks and that every one of them in his stack were the same. (I was getting some X Radial Ones at the time to replace the OEM Generals, btw - the Generals wore poorly, bumps or not).

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  • wholiganwholigan Posts: 148
    Just curious if anybody else got the Brake Safety Recall for the 95/96 Deathstar... Looks like they are finally going to reimbuse me the $150 to fix the brake line that nearly killed my wife. In July 2000, she was driving on Interstate 94 through Wisconsin and wanted to stop for a pop. After she got on an exit ramp, the brakes went to the floor and she didn't know what to do. She went through a red light and nearly got clipped by a state trooper. After letting off the gas, downshifting, and getting help from the trooper, she got the van to a truck stop. A brake line had rusted through and all the brake fluid was drained. Paid a mechanic $40 to cap the line (it was the passenger front brake line that rusted through), filled up the system with brake fluid and managed to get home to Minnesota. Got it fixed the next morning.

    Just another day in the Deathstar... Happy Motoring!
    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
  • mslmnmslmn Posts: 13
    I run the carfax history on a 1999 used Ford Windstar SE with only 24K and no problems were found. The dealer is asking $16,500. I saw the van and was very happy with everything it has including color, until I went to the discussion board and saw how many problems the Windstar has. Should I forget about this van or give it a chance? It has some warranty left (I do not know which kind). All your recommendations are very appreciated.
  • tmanttmant Posts: 70
    My 2000 SE is starting to show some strange symptoms with the dash lights. I had mentioned before about my oil light not turning on for a moment. No one here has responded to it, and even the dealer has told me nothing is wrong with it and showed me 2 other WS with the same symptom.

    So I have been living with it by waiting about 2 seconds (2 beeps from the seatbelt chime) in ON before i move it to START. The oil light would show for a few seconds and go away like I expect. Just recently, it seems to have a harder time starting (sounds like the battery is weak) and the oil light will not turn on, and the head lights blink on for a split second. So I have now waited 3 seconds for the oil light to show before I start it, and nothing funny happens.
    Another strange thing that happened yesterday, I think if I start the van in about 1 second, the THEFT light blinks quickly. It looks like how it would behave if I did not use the correct key. But it drives just fine. It has a blinking pattern of like 2 slow blinks, 5 quick blinks. After a few cycles, it goes away completely.

    I have been able to reproduce the 1st problem easily, but not the second. My only (and hopefully correct) idea of a problem is that the battery is just old and needs replacing soon. Any worse and I may have an expensive repair bill on hand (no more warranty for me). I did have to jump start about one month ago. (Stupid me, I left the radio on while I spent about 4 hours cleaning the inside of the van. Obviously too long!)

    Anyone think that the battery really is it?
  • 5greyhounds5greyhounds Posts: 338
    Funny, your situation is just like mine. I had a 95 WS with 135K and it was totaled by a red light runner. This past Sept I picked up a 99SE with 24K on it for $16,400. Love it and my 95, except for the head gasket, never gave me any trouble.
    However, I think you are paying to much. There are a lot of 99s coming off lease so there is a glut. Since I paid $100 less than you did 8 months ago you should be able to get it for around 15K to 15.4K. 16.5 is to much. Also, go to NHTSB and look up the recalls. There were 5 of them. None were really bad but they should be done prior to you buying it.
  • mslmnmslmn Posts: 13
    Thanks for your input.
  • penguinpenguin Posts: 32
    If you ran the carfax what more do you need?
  • mslmnmslmn Posts: 13
    ... am loving it! What a great ride and security. I test drove a Mazda 2002 MPV and it felt like a feather comparing to the handling of my new/used windstar (it kind of says, "I am here to stay!"). About running the carfax, since this is the first time I educated myself to the limit, I just don't know what the carfax could have missed... May luck and God be on my side. I will let know if I run into any problems. I am going to researching any recalls and digging as much as I can about any 1999 windstar problems.
  • rejohnson1rejohnson1 Posts: 1
    We have the same tires and they have the same weird looking lumps in the sidewalls. They were there early on, and I put it on the list of stuff to do for the first or second service visit. The Ford guys basically said to take it up with the tire people. I got lazy and didn't do that, and they still look the same but nothing has happened. But these tires do look bizarre.
  • 5greyhounds5greyhounds Posts: 338
    I am in the same situation as you. I really like my 99SE and it is the first used car I have ever bought. Lots of power, compared to my 95, and I really like the quad seats. The only thing I wish it had was the reverse sensing system. I think my first upgrade will be the side mirrors with the turn signals built in and then I will have to see about a combination cd and cassette player for it.
  • marsh89marsh89 Posts: 1
    Transmission Shifting hard
    Engine Pinging
    Fluid leak

    This site was extremely helpful and I would advise others to scroll through it looking for problems. After reading about the engine pinging issue and the transmission slip I told the dealer that I KNEW these were real problems and I demand they be rechecked since I had been told over and over, "that is the way a minivan shifts", "we did not find any indication of a problem causing the pinging". I told the Service Advisor that any of the problems I reported I would like documentation showing they were checked and mentioned how many other Windstar owners on the internet had the same problems. During that visit both problems were identified and fixed under the warranty - replaced valve cover, reprogrammed octane level, and the PCM was reprogrammed (both of which I read about here). All of sudden the transmission shifting hard was under a recall. I had been complaining and returning it to the dealer from 1 month after I purchased it in April 99 complaining of how it shifted. And like one post I read, DEFINITELY make sure you get something in writing if they try to blow you off with "nothing found". The 3rd issue I had on that day was a puddle of brown fluid on the garage floor and a loud sound when turning sometimes, as if the power stearing fluid was empty. I was told verbally "nothing found on that". My service advisor was on vacation when I picked my car up, so I called a few days later and asked for something in writing. Never got it. One month later the 3yr/36k warranty was up and the Alternator went out. While it was there they found a leaking axle seal and low interim gasket ring. Serv Advsr said this would cause the sound I described and the leaking I described. Luckily I had bought a 7yr/100k warranty. If not I would have been paying $400 out of pocket because I never did get the "nothing found" statement in writing.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Ford Recalls 400,000 Windstars

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  • gsgetzgsgetz Posts: 3 much that we are buying a 2002 SEL as our current lease ends. I hope we don't have so many of the headachs some of the posters here had. Leather, back seat video (ok it's not dvd yet) side air bags, family security II with traction etc. $26,500. Seems like very good value and we like the product. Should we buy the extended warrenty up-front or wait till original expires?

    Want to thank everybody for sharing their thoughts in advance...

    OH, and BTW we wanted just to see one and found ONE Honda Oddity. It was a light slime green with an MSRP of about $30,000 and the dealer had installed another $5,000 worth of dealer installed options. $35,000 and it was sold as we looked at it. Salesman asked us to get out of the van. We were not impressed anyway, but thats what happens when Edmunds gives something its uncontrolled endorsement as the #1 Mini Van. Talk about your price gouging.

  • 5greyhounds5greyhounds Posts: 338
    If you need a car while yours is in for service get it up front, unless your dealer provides free loaner cars. That is one thing about the extended warranty, even if it is during the first three years you still get a loaner for free. I was able to get the zero deductible, max years and max miles for $1,500. That is $800, or about 40% off the list price.
    We had a 95 GL (135K) and except for the head gasket it was a good van. A red light runner hit it and totaled it last year and we got a 99SE with 22k on it.
  • philyjphilyj Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 SE Sport. We have had nothing but problems with it. It has been in the shop so many times. I do like the van, but with all of the problems I can't wait to see it go. It turned a year old on May 31st. We have had it repainted, driver molding replaced, brakes have been worked on many times, parts have been welded in the rear, and sensors replaced. I think we have a lemon. My friend purchased the same model from the same dealer. Her van runs great. No problems yet. Does anyone have a rattle in the rear passenger side? We had a part welded, sealant filled, and foam placed inbetween body molding. The dealer knows that there is a problem and had a Ford tech road test and could hear the load noise. They still have no idea what it is.
  • karvinskarvins Posts: 5
    Well I sure wish I had read this board before my warranty expired and I would have bought the extended warranty. The car is 3 years 2 months with 30K miles. I've had the Pinging problems...pseudo fixed through the TSB's but I'm sure they may still be around.... especially now that the warmer weather is here. I've had the cracking paint in the roof rails... all of these they took care of under warranty. I was taking it in for 30K service and then the transmission thing struck...detailed for others below.

    Now on to the transmission issue. Wife drove it on the highway, OD/ Off light started to flash, Service Transmission light came on, erratic shifting after that when she got it off the highway but it made it home. Then I came home and drove it and could not reproduce the problem in around the block driving or a short highway check. Next morning I drove it to the dealer and after 10 minutes on the highway the OD / light started to blink, Service transmission idiot light came on in the message center, just like the wife said. Shifting did still seem normal. By end of the day I get the bad news the transmission is toast and it will be $2500 to replace. They found metal in the transmission oil and it seemed burnt they said. I ask for the Ford number which they gave me the 1-800 number, they took down my case and it has been a day and a half but have not heard back yet.

    I should also note the van had a symptom at 12,500 miles where at low rpm climbing hills the transmission was bucking between gears hard, they noted at the dealer the converter does lock and unlock every 2-3 seconds, they noted that the diags yielded nothing and they called the Ford hotline and were informed to re-calibrate and reseat the rear lube tubes...which seems odd but it took care of that problem. My contention is that period of transmission problem while I was on vacation deep in the gold hills of Yosemite area probably shortened the life of the transmission as well. This Rear lube tube and bracket was also noted on the service invoice as being under recall campaign 00B51. I'm not sure how this affects the transmission but that is what they put down on the invoice.

    So now I am waiting and building my case that the 99 WS has chronic transmission issues as indicated in this Forum. I'll let everyone know what Ford comes back with but it sounds like I should talk to a Regional rep as well.

    And also how does the dealer justify a 30K service for $650. This seems outrageous but I called other dealers here in Bay area and they charge nearly the same. I was shocked considering they change about 4 fluids, some filters and the bogus inspection checks. Is this what they charge in other parts of the country too?

    Any advice, comments welcome about my transmission woes.
  • karvinskarvins Posts: 5
    From post #890 - 30K Transmission Toast- here is an update. Ford Customer Care has come back and offerred 50% of the cost of replacing the transmission which means they will foot $1250. It was a final offer situation so I took it. I did mention all the problems I have seen on the Internet in this Forum about 99 Transmission problems. They did suggest to keep my receipts and if they have a recall program that I might get re-embursed. They also mentioned I could take it up with the Customer Relations Manager at the dealer to get to the Regional Rep.

    I also contacted the dealer Customer Relationship Manager at the dealer and gave them the situation...of course they listened patiently and I said I would like to pursue it with Regional Rep. They said they would look into it and would talk to the Service manager. The saga continues....
  • navyjnavyj Posts: 5
    The extended warranty was a good investment for me. As you can see in my post, all the problems that we have had. I am sure I will have more. In fact our van was back in the shop yesterday. The break light always will light up along with the tire low pressure light. They replaced all brakes the day before. Tires are fine, don't know what the problem is there. Good luck with your van.
  • dschwadschwa Posts: 1
    I had severe loss of power, pinging and stalling problems (65K miles). The dealer replaced and charged me for a newly designed valve cover that supposedly fixes an oil spray issue. Even though I'm out of warranty It seems a design fix should somnehow be covered by Mr. Ford.

    Van runs as great as ever now.
  • mslmnmslmn Posts: 13
    Hi everyone: I am still loving my van.

    The only thing is that the transmission fluid gasket is leaking. I knew of this upon purchasing the van and the Dealer is going to fix it tomorrow by replacing the pan. Anyone else with the same problem?

    In addition I noticed that my brakes (at approximately 24,400 miles are squeaking a little. Time to have the pads done or whatever is done to fix this problem? You know, girls don't like to drive squeaking cars... it drives to much attention :). Anyone with the same problem?

    Rather then that, nothing else is up with my used van and I sincerely hope that stays that way.

  • gsgetzgsgetz Posts: 3
    Well, not everything went exactly as we had expected, but close enough. We bought an SEL with side air bags, Security II option and "free" video. When we went into f&i went for the upgrade alarm, $420, which I thought was reasonable but hadn't intended to go for, extended 7 yr 75,000 mile warrenty with 0 deductable if we go to their service, $50 if we go somewhere else (AFTER three years) this cost $1,720 so I guess we didn't do quite as well as 5greyhounds here AND we also purchased service for the first 3 years for $595. We had purchased the service for our '99 lease and though we didn;t use the whole thing, we liked it.

    Grand total was right around $32,000 with tax and tags. We put a chunk down and financed the rest with a bank (not Ford) so we got the $3,000 cash back as well. Got a rate under 6% so not so bad.

    Some say we should wait a few more months for even better deals to come around, but you never know. We are happy and thats all that counts. There is a good feeling knowing that for the first 3 years, at least, we will spend not one cent additionl for this automobile. Thats the idea anyway. If it dosen't work out I'll be back to let you know.

    Thanks to all who posted. It was a BIG help. If any comments, questions I'll do best to answer. Going in this time around we were armed with knowledge and that equals power. Felt a whole lot better about the whole experience. Felt in controll of our destiny. Good feeling

  • tmanttmant Posts: 70
    I've starting reading here about 3 years ago before I finally did buy my 2000 SE. It seemed like I got a great deal compared with other minivans. Anyway, I haven't read much sinse then until now that I am looking to get a compact car (the Hyundai Elantra GT).

    It has almost 49K miles on it and no major problems. I have experienced some strange and annoying things that I must have gotten acustomed to by now:

    Rattling in slidding doors, usually in cold weather. I think it has something to do with the little black stub on the door that has a matching piece on the door jamb. I'll live with it.

    I've experienced the door open and door relock when the door wasn't open. I'll have to try the eraser on the contacts.

    My brakes seems to have squealed forever. They don't always squeal! I haven't replace the brakes yet, need to check them. It doesn't sound like the squeal you get when they are worn.

    My transmission often 'binds' (and it's normal so I was told) when pulling out of park. I have ALWAYS used the parking brake, but it still happens, more often when I don't use the parking brake. The transmission seemed to have learn how I drove the car initially (I babied it too much at first), so it seems to shift out of 3rd too quickly. Anyone have this problem? I've tried disconnectin the battery to reset the memory but that didn't work. Anyone know how? Safely?

    I've had several recalls that I thought would fix some issues, could someone verify my suspicions? I had a recall for power functions to continue to work after the car is off. I never knew what this was, but if I leave the key in auxillary for so many minutes (haven't timed it), I can remove the key and the radio and power windows still work. Only putting the key into on will reset this problem. Also, another recall about the A/C system, my rear A/C keeps clicking once in a while as if someone is changing the speed. I've only noticed this when I set to rear control.

    Sorry if my message seemed to have gotten long. Thanks for any help!
  • tmanttmant Posts: 70
    OK, I forgot one new problem that may be major. I can head some rattling noise coming from under the van. Very obvious when running over anything that shakes the car. I suspect its somewhere in the exhaust system. I can't get that sound to come out when the car in is park.

    I was thinking it could be related with the steering system as well. I had an intermittent squealing noise with my steering (and my brake pedal for that matter).

    Wow, all these little things add up don't they?

    Anyone have any ideas before I take it to my dealer to check it out?
  • dishnermdishnerm Posts: 1
    I had a similar transmission problem with 45k miles and no ext. warranty. Mine just stopped working(like it was in neutral all the time). Took it to Ford dealer and they told me it was gone, chunks of metal in transmission, and it would be $3600 for a new one. Called Ford and they had a program that replaced the transmission and gave me a 6 year 100k mile power train warranty for $495. I was very happy to hear this but you will need to make a big fuss before they will do it. It is worth it. Hope this helps. They said the program covers any major repair for vehicles out of factory warranty.
  • I own a '00 Windstar that currently has 39k miles on it. I heard that the tranny's were not too good on these cars and and thought that my van was a little rough when shifting. So, at 34,600 I took the van in for a transmission check and was told that the vehicle drove well and nothing was showing on the diagnostics.
    At 38K I was rearended while I was driving at about 45mph. Now that it is out of the shop it will the stearing column will periodically shake when driving on the highway. Also during these periods the car seems to change in power level even though there is no increase or decrease in the gas pedal. I was told that this is not accident related and it is a tranny problem by the body shop service tech - ford can't find a problem at all - it works great they say!a!! NOT!!!!! Has anything happened like this to anyone that you know?
    Please help!
  • rayt2rayt2 Posts: 1,208
    If you were driving along and got hit from behind the transmission may very well have suffered some damage and your insurance carrier should be notified right away or it will be coming out of your pocket. Body shops can make an ammended repair form out for the additional repairs not seen during initial estimate be it body work or mechanical. This issue should be resolved thru insurance carrier since vehicle was hit while in motion from behind. I don't know of any transmission that likes to get a sudden boost from behind while in drive that doesn't cause damage to driveline. The vibration is also an issue that needs to be corrected it sounds like something is out of balance or alignment causing the vibration. Stick to your guns and don't let them BS you on this. The vehicle was fine until the accident.

    Good Luck

    Ray T.
  • rdworski1rdworski1 Posts: 19
    How much should we pay for a 2002 or 2003? Winstar? Invoice, Less than Invoice or or More than Invoice?
    We are in Balt.-Wash.

    Thank you!
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Check the True Market Value for starters. (2002 "new" prices are still up too).

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  • I have a '98 Windstar with 85k miles. Since about 65k there has been a vibration felt in the steering wheel starting at about 60 mph. This vibration is not the typical side to side shake but more of a up and down sshake, the vibration can also be felt in the seats. I have taken the car to the Ford dealer, independent mechanics and two transmission shops. None can find the problem. There seems to be excessive play in one of the transmission couplings, but I was told that this was not the cause of the vibration. I've had wheels re-balance, aligned and new tires. This does not help. The Ford dealer took wheels and tires off another 98 Windstar that was not vibrating and put it on my van. The vibration did not go away. Any other ideas or solutions to this problem? I have an extended non-ford warranty until 93k and would like to get this resolved before the warranty expires. Thanks.
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