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Ford Windstar Problems



  • jcbear99jcbear99 Posts: 1
    I had a 1995 Windstar. Blew THREE headgasket then Ford bought it back only if we bought another Ford. Bought 2000 Windstar 7/00 and since have had the following problems: stereo speakers at 1000 miles, rack and pinion at 30,000, minor head on fender bender(20mph) with no air bag deployment, and on 4/13/05 at 67,000 the transmission went out. i am no longer a loyal Ford owner. I will get rid of the van and by another brand of van.

  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    My course of action would be to have the flush service done at a Ford dealer. Hopefully the shudder will disappear. But you may be looking at torque converter replacement down the road. Not a good track record in the Windstars.
  • wrestlerwrestler Posts: 1
    On the front of your subframe are two big washer-looking things with rubber bushings inside them...these are the torsion bar bushings. The center is occupied by a steel bushing (tube) that fits permanently inside. These are twisting and creaking and popping everytime the front suspension articulates. You must have these spot welded to the frame to stabilize them or they will make a larger hole created by wear. They are NOT supposed to move with the front end bouncing.

    I think once you secure them, the popping and creeking will go away. I have a '96 that was doing that and spotted that problem...ten dollar spot welding and no more problems with it, at even 230,000 MILES!
  • kgregg1kgregg1 Posts: 7
    98' Windstar. Noticed in winter after a long drive that transmission would start hunting for gear. Now that the weather has warmed the pattern is predictable. The warmer the day the sooner the transmission begins to hunt and then stays in 2nd gear. It will downshift to first when coming to a stop but will upshift only as far as second. This may be coincidental, but the cruise control will no longer engage either. Engine is operating fine. 101K miles.

    There are no indicator lights on. The transmission maintenance has always been according to the owners manual. Earlier message mentioned the throttle position sensor however I would expect the engine to be acting up as well.

    Replies will be appreciated.
  • istellaistella Posts: 5
    How do you get rid of the problem? My driver door (LX 2000 - just bought it) occasionally pops out of its locked position, and my door open red indicator is always on on the dash board. I've had it go out once only. My lights are always on because the computer thinks my door is open. Any mechanical adjustments to be made to the latching mechanism?
  • istellaistella Posts: 5
    I'm totally non-mechanical. What is the door switch? And how do you adjust the door to strike the switch better?
  • Just barely got home, transmission fluid leaking, just added 1.5 qt of 5-30 oil due to it being low and ready for an oil change on Wend (that is if it didn't die today), about 14 miles from home, the van refused to have any pick up, added 1 qt of trans fluid to it too) had a wierd burning rubber smell but thought it was possible road repair in the area, back of van coated in a light film of oil like someone sprayed it on it, full tank of gas, but by the 5th mile from home the overdrive light started flashing and the car started to not shift or want to keep accelerating. Got it home, it poured trans fluid (which it has done in the past but not the acceleration deceleration thing), HELP! I am unemployed and no income coming in, did the van just give up the ghost or what???? It is a 1996, had cylinder work and new water pump and thermostat put in last year. it used to be a construction vehicle, had extremely low mileage on it when we got it but could the engine have been burned out due to what it could have been used for in the past owner?????

    :sick: :cry:
  • 98 Windstar LX 3.8 - rear gets cold but front does not.

    I've also noticed at idle when only the front AC is turned on, the compressor keeps engaging and disengaging making a clicking sound every time it kicks on again.
    It comes on for about 5 to 10 seconds and then disengages again, it repeats this.
    Unless the rear AC is turned on, when the rear is turned on as well, the compressor keeps running and does not turn off and on???

    Even when the rear is on the front air does not get cold, but the rear still gets cold???

    Any one have any idea why the front wont get cold and why the compressor won't stay engaged when the rear is not on???
  • I got my '98 Windstar (105K mi) cheap, cheap, cheap, from someone who was told she needed a new transmission for the same problem. My husband did some networking with other car repair people and our fix was relatively painless. We replaced a transmission sensor, Ford part number F5DZ*7F293*BA, for about $55 plus one hour of labor. I believe it is on top of the transmission. There is an problem with rough shifting from first to second if I've driven more than an hour, but I'm unsure if it is related or a separate issue. Good luck!
  • ellspieellspie Posts: 1
    First thing you need to do is find and remove all the screws(2 buy the pull handle & 3 or 4 at the bottom of the panel).On the opening handle you need a flat head(slotted)screw driver and gently but not to gently pry around the insert that sits around and behind the handle.Also good to have is a door panel tool,you'll need this to remove the little black panel on the top right corner of the door panel.Once you do all this grab the bottom of the panel and pull up and then away from the door.As far as the actuator goes have a good look at how it works and see if you can see a little yellow rubber like grommet or ring by the central mechanism(where everything joins together to make the lock work).Try removing this and spray some silicone spray on all the moving parts.Hope this helps.
  • tomyytomyy Posts: 1
    After driving 2.5 hrs of running fine on the interstate I got to a stoplight & it began running rough & started pinging which it never did before. I got home within 5 mins & shut it off. The next morning it started but idled extremely rough for about 30 seconds then it seemed fine. I drove it to work (5 miles) & all was fine. After work I started it & the check engine light came on, but it ran ok, but was pinging. Had the code read & it says :"fuel too lean. Bank1", & the same for bank2. Now I notice the temp gage fluctuates (drops to almost cold then back to normal) I have 138,000 miles on it & had a rebuilt engine put in by Ford at 80,000 & a headgasket at 120,000 and most recently a water pump at about 135000.
    Any ideas on what this new problem might be?
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    You may have the transmission lever position sensor checked. Both symptoms could cause what you're describing.
  • jbixbyjbixby Posts: 1
    I have experinced brake failure on two different occasions. :( When I come to a stop and apply the brake the pedal goes to the floor and nothing happens. I here the anti lock system chatter noise, but the car does not stop. I pump the brake and nothing. On both occasions I was lucky not to get in a accident. The brake will reset itself after I apply the emergency break, stop and re start the car, the brakes work again. I have brought the car to the dealer twice, one time they claim it was a brake line and replaced it, the other time some sort of electrical sensor. Now I am wondering if they really know. Of course I am not driving the car anymore till the problem is found and fixed. Does anyone have any ideas or experience on what is going on with the brakes?
  • has this happened to anyone? we have no reverse. it runs great now (no shifting or shuttering). but can't go backwards. we took it to a ford dealer and he said $3100. for a new tranny but he never told us what caused reverse to go out?
  • dashcapdashcap Posts: 1
    My '96 Windstar just started doing this on the front right side. I checked out the Torsion Bar Bushing and its blown. It looks like it is bolted to the frame with two bolts. One is accessable, the other is very hard to get a wrench on. :(

    Anyone know how much to replace these bushings (parts) or how much the dealer wants to gouge you to have them replaced?
  • bradbbradb Posts: 2
    i have a 99 windstar , wife driving it the other day, it died, has power but won't turn over , 20 mins later starts fine, driving home died again, power but will not turn over, 20 mins starts and makes it home, any ideas :cry: something seems to get hot then cools :sick:
  • artist2artist2 Posts: 1
    I had a similar message in my 99 WS, and a mechanic diagnosed it as a sensor that thought the car was at 3000 ft, so it thought the fuel mix was too lean. (We're in flat Florida, no where near that altitude.) He said to get the computer bios flashed. It took care of that problem, but not other electrical mysteries, like the compass that registers only between north and northeast and a Check Taillight message for a light that worked. Replacing the taillight bulb finally left it not working. Turns out the taillight had a short in the wire from the jack being "improperly stowed" which also blew a module. The dealer quoted me over $500 -- to fix a bad taillight!? They said the compass module is also $400; then I found a receipt from a previous owner which showed the compass module was replaced in 01. The passenger window motor was replaced once and promptly quit again. I also had that ticking in the dash that was the blender (is that the right term?) switch for the AC/heat. That was replaced once, I am afraid it's going again too. This $500 taillight thing is the last straw... I think I need to go shopping again.
  • klkklk Posts: 2
    I had asked for help about my fuse blowing in my 2000 WS. My great mechanic found the problem. Blake fluid was leaking into the cruise control switch...the same problem that has caused fires in F150's. There is a recall on some Fords but Windstars aren't listed...apparently they should be! :surprise:
  • dup1dup1 Posts: 1
    i have a 98 windstar check ingine light came on and had it checked at auto zone said it was egr valve replaced it and still says same thing after it was reset does anyone know what the problem could be . also the steering wheel shakes when you reach 30 or 50 mph think it may be in the steering wheel but not for sure please help this is driving me nuts instead of me driving my windstar :cry::cry::cry:
  • lbalba Posts: 5
    Check front temp control rotary switch. Sounds like front blend door which allows air thru heater coil or over evap (or a mix) to reach the cabin front outlets. Is there hot air blowing out of the front outlets when it's set to cold? Blend doors can stick in full hot or cold; I recommend not dialing full hot or cold on the front rotary control switch. All this is vacuum controlled. Let me know what u discover. I replied once before but apparently did not make it to posting.
  • sicksick Posts: 2
    I have a1996 Ford Windstar 3.8 doing the too lean in bank 1 and bank 2 ,we have
    changed 3 oxygen sensors and still not corrected the problem. Did you ever find
    out the mystery. I would appreciate if you could tell me where to begin looking.
    Thanks Sick
  • sicksick Posts: 2
    I have a 1996 Ford Windstar with the check engine light on . We have changed
    3 oxygen sensors and now it is running too lean in bank 1 and bank 2. Does
    anyone know where to begin looking.
  • ahmed2ahmed2 Posts: 3
    Hi Tomy,
    I have the same problem with my van. The analyzed read the same codes as yours did. I was told that the oxygen sensors may be the problem. I changed one last week then cancelled the codes (banks one and two too lean). After 2 days, the check engine light came back on. I was told to keep changing one at a time and cancelling the codes until all are changed.
    Please let me know if you were able to fix your problem somehow.
    P.S. I also heard that clogged fuel filter may cause the problem. I changed mine but it didn't solve the problem. I also heard that a bad spark plug could be the cause and I haven't changed mine yet.
  • ehallehall Posts: 6
    Funny, I have the problem with my 1996 Ford Windstar, First, the light is the oil pressure light. Mine sometimes will die, and will start back up shorly after. I was told it could be that the oil was low. Not much, but was low. but it continues. Someone said I should have the sensor checked. The book says this about the light.

    Oil Pressure Light,
    This light indicate the engine;s oil pressure, not the oil level. However, if your engines's oil level is low, it could affect the oil pressure. The light should come on every time you ignition key is turned to on or start, and shoulc go out when the engine starts. If the light stays on or turns on while the engine is running, you have lost oil pressure and continued operation will cause severe engine damage. Do not operate the engine if the light is on regardless of the oil level. Contact yournearest dealer for further service.

    That is all that is says. I hope this will help you. When I have my van fixed next week, I will let you know what the problem I have was.

  • ehallehall Posts: 6
    Would you care to elaborate as to what the cause of you AC/Heating system making the clicking noise was?

  • ehallehall Posts: 6
    When the coolant wasn't flowing back it to my over flow, and it was using coolant, but not over heating, We were told by our vehicle expert that we should try replacing the radiator cap. Something about the rubber gasket on the old cap was wore out. This made our problem go away. We were ever so thankfull. Thought we were gonna have to put more money into our 1996 Ford Windstar POS.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    What you've done so far is shoot the messengers by replacing the O2 sensors. They've done what they're supposed to do, indicated a high oxygen content in the exhaust of both cylinder banks due to a lean fuel mixture. Now it's time to find out why the engine's running lean. Start by looking for vacuum leaks at any hoses, check the PCV valve grommet, check fuel pressure.
  • deadstardeadstar Posts: 3
    The repair is common and should be a recall. $700 USD should do it. The Ford Motor company has a seal that leaks because of mismatch of cover and engine. The official fix at the dealer is TSB 02-1-4 JAN 02 Engine Head Gasket - Approved Replacement Procedures . Yes back in Jan 02 they knew there was a problem. AND WE PAY FOR ALL THE PARTS (As soon as I find my bill I will post) :mad: :lemon:
    YES the error code is the same and it will not go away.
  • 4wheels14wheels1 Posts: 23
    Based on my experience, deadstar is right on with this one. First they wanted $950 from me, settled for $250..and that fixed it.

    My shuddering transmission goes in for a rebuild later this week, thank goodness for the extended warranty. :lemon:
  • missy14missy14 Posts: 1
    Can anyone help?! My 2000 Windstar just started to squeal, like a belt is loose. When it does that when I am driving I loose power .. HELP! :mad: :cry: :confuse:
  • homertrainhomertrain Posts: 1
    my 98 windstar is doing the same thing(s) any solutions????
  • deadstardeadstar Posts: 3
    It rained the other day and my 2001 Deadstar started sputtering. Error code 303.
    New wires, plugs and tune up. ($221) Dry day OK. Rain yesterday. Sputtering today with a rapping and Check engine light on again. What kind of tree works the best and at what speed?
    Where should I start to replace parts that are obviously getting wet and causing cylinder 3 to misfire?
    Thanks :cry::cry: :confuse:
  • bridgetownbridgetown Posts: 1
    For the third time we are taking our 2000 windstar in for this problem. We end up with oil in the air filter and bad gas milage as a tip off of the problem. dealership is talking $1000.00 to fix again........ This is not covered under our extended warrenty. any advice??
  • xomaxoma Posts: 2

    I own a 96 windstar, 74,000 miles. I too smell the odor, even while stopped at traffic signals. Mechanics checked exhaust system and undercarriage and found no evidence of leaks in exhaust, antifreeze or oil. Has anyone provide you with help?

  • bowlgodbowlgod Posts: 3
    Hi there. I have the EXACT problem you have there on a 2003 SEL. Had it in the shop for a week and nothing was done because no codes were found. Speculation from mechanics that i know (NO, NOT Ford mechanics if they can be called that!) is that the torque converter may be at fault causing slippage. They suggested after a total drain including torque converter and a new filter, adding an ATF friction enhancer may overcome the problem and reduce the liklyhood of the problem from going from bad to worse. Ford has their own brand of this product, and I have seen products from Lucas Oils that make wonderful claims to this effect. Going to do it this weekend and let you know how things turn out after about a week. Good Luck!
  • omegasomegas Posts: 2
    My wifes 2000 w/s has flickering dome lights at all hours and runs the battery dead every couple weeks when it decides to have a spell. It also continuously blows the 15 amp fuse that controls the overdrive button on the end of the gearshift. Im tired of replacing the battery and the dealer says (everything seems to be working fine for me) I need an exorcist! :mad:
  • bowlgodbowlgod Posts: 3
    God I love this forum!! Anyhow, another problem other than the shuddering transmission and the other 5 or so problems was a stuck tailgate switch. About a year ago, the lights started to flicker in our Deathstar too. Eventually, the liftgate ajar message stayed. If you have this message, it may be the switch causing your lights to flicker. Remove the rear door panel, disconnect the latch swithes by "sqeezing" the prongs together, not pulling them apart as this will cause the prongs to break. Then using a t-25 torx bit, remove the 3 bolts on each side of the door and remove the latches. Lift up the tab at the switch connection point and turn the switch in the direction of the tab you lifted and twist the switch out. Now, liberally DROWN the switch with WD-40, work it in moving the switch in and out. Check the switch continuity and re-install. Voila...fixed. No more liftgate ajar message and with all luck, no more flickering lights. The grease that Ford puts in the switches hardens with age and sticks up the switch. Hope this has helped you.
    Have YOU driven a ford lately? :)
  • xomaxoma Posts: 2
    I have a 96 windstar, 3.8 L engine, 73,000 miles. The odor started a week ago. I only get it when I turn the heater on. Did replacing the heater core solve the problem?
  • bradbbradb Posts: 2
    My wife 99 windstar died the other day, she said it would not turn over, 20 minutes later started fine, half way home did the samething. I have been checking this thing out for a week. Drove it a bunch of times not once did it happen to me, anybody have any ideas, I don't know what to check?
  • clove1999clove1999 Posts: 2
    I have the problem to, I bought a code scanner and clear the codes every so often.. What would the problem be if I left this unchanged?
  • clove1999clove1999 Posts: 2
    I have this problem too :P

    where would I find these vacuum hose to see if its loose? I have re-connected all the connections behind the control switches, should i follow the tubes?
  • coderedcodered Posts: 43
    do 99 & up windstars have same troubles as the 98????
    i have a 98 and looking to trade

    thanks :)
  • themainmanthemainman Posts: 5
    I know this issue has alreay been hashed through but I just want to make sure...The other day I started my '00 3.8 SEL and it was "feeling" weird. Seemed to be a loss of about 10K RPM and began stalling while at stops. I got it home, change the fuel filter change. Took it to a local AZ and had the battery and Alt. checked....everything AOK. Had them read the computer even though the check eng. light wasn't codes. Took it to a local mech and he says he believes its a leak in the upper manifold but wasn't sure. I've never taken anything to him before but he seems up to date, even researched the TSB's.....I've done the research work myself and it seems to be the case but I' just want to toss this out there to see if there are any other suggestions.....

    He's quoting me the following:
    valve cover gasket, left bank(b) ...........?? what the left bank (b)???
    intake manifold gasket
    manifold gasket upper, lower, right
    Manifold gasket upper (B)...........???? see above :)
    intake bolts
    valve cover

    this with labor is $315.00.....

    any body have 1) thoughts....
    2) links to the parts and pictures....
    3) maybe pictures of a job being done....??

    Thanks for any help
  • sandih1sandih1 Posts: 1
    I stumbled on this forum trying to figure out "what's wrong now?" with the 2000 Windstar I have. I too have experienced or am currently experiencing most of all the issue listed here. It started with the fuse for the cd player/and remote entry blowing randomnly. Then is blew everytime I replaced it. Then it was the check engine light...the bank 1 and bank 2 thing. Fixed that, then it randomnly wouldn't start. Took it to the shop...drove fine for him no problem. Well it got worse and finally got to the point that when it WOULD crank it took all you had to keep it running. That was some vacumn issue. Finally got that fixed. Then the heat stopped working up front, followed by a very annoying clicking from under the radio. Well I've learned here that this appears to be some blend door issue. Last but certainly not least, this morning went out to crank it and all I get is this weird clicking noise. I'm almost certain it's electrical because the gauges go all the way to the top and then back down and the ac/heat comes on and it's not turned on. If anybody had any ideas I could really use them! We don't have cliffs where I live high enough to drive it off of. :sick:
  • momstaxi1momstaxi1 Posts: 1
    Purchased my windstar for $34,000.00 cash (money thrown out the window), 1st week wire harness burned out, dealer made repairs, next month sliding doors either wont open....or stay closed (while driving) in the shop 5 times for that......then transmission the shop but was "unfounded", lets see...steering wheel replaced due to cruise control NOT turning off, hummmmmm next side molding on driver door paint just rolled off, to body shop replaced not correctly so that was 2 more trips to dealer, more transmission problem...again "unfounded, VCR not rewinding, stopping, nor fast forwarding, new VCR ordered and replaced. Last weekend suddenly bells and whistles sounding off like a 5 alarm fire, went from 45 to 3 mph, pushed the gas pedal needle says I'm going 100 mph...lucky I could go 3 mph, drove to dealer got a loner car, guess what is wrong???? TRANSMISSION, "something leaked from somewhere and ruined the tranny" Included in the $34,000.00 was a 7 yr, 80,000.00 comprehensive coverage warranty so no cost to me on repairs,, My windstar only has 45,000.00 miles. I pick up my Winstar Monday afternoon, driving it from ford right over to another dealer and tradeing it in!
  • mammabecmammabec Posts: 1
    I was driving our 95 Windstar down the highway the other day doing about 60-65 mph. All of a sudden, I began to lose power. . .then I heard a loud noise and the next thing I know there was tons of white smoke coming out of my exhaust, and of course filling up the vehicle, since the only windows that work are the rear wings.. The car died at about 45 mph, total power loss. I was able to get over to the side of the road where I found the entire back of the van covered in oil. Additionally there was tons of oil leaking from the car. It would not start or even fire, just clicks. We replaced the head gasket about 3 years, less than 10k miles ago. I think that it's fatal but my spouse would like to fix it and keep it. . .My dilemma is that I need a diagnosis. . .any help and/or experience. Thanks
  • themainmanthemainman Posts: 5
    Great. Thanks for the link and pics......My problem is I didn't take it to the dealer for $$$$ reasons.....I just want to make sure this guy's assessment is correct....I hate to spend $$$, it still isn't fixed, and spend more $$$$$....
  • shealybshealyb Posts: 3
    we went and got an estimate for the van because the guy we got it from is no longer there (of course). Was told it was a timing chain cover and would cost at least $1700.00 to start work because they have to take the engine out. Does this sound right? Debating??!!
  • haulthault Columbus OhioPosts: 130
    Not yet. I have not smelled it lately. I had check engine light come on and stay on. Dealer said it was DPFE which is of course not under warranty.
  • themainmanthemainman Posts: 5
    Welll my woes just keep getting worse......They didn't replace the intake gaskets, etc...because they said it looked as though it had already been done. Now they're standing around scratching their heads. They keep testing stuff and THINK it's the MAF sensor but aren't sure....They've had my Windstar for 4 days now and I'm at a loss as to what to do....any suggestions?
This discussion has been closed.