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Ford Windstar Problems



  • haulthault Columbus OhioPosts: 126
    Wassem I had a 95(FORD bought back) and now have a 2000 w/25,000 miles. I purchased extended FORD warranty off internet. From my experience with 95 I would not own a Windstar without a warranty. I intend to trade it just prior to warranty expiring. I have always liked the Windstar. My 2000 has not had problems yet. Although I only have 25,000 miles. Also I experienced the big loss in value quote when I got a letter from FORD saying I probably had equity in my van come see us. Some equity my 2 year old $27,000 van was quoted at $10,000 and I owed $9900.
  • sel3sel3 Posts: 33
    I can hear a knocking noise coming from the passenger side of the engine, during the morning idle and driving at low speeds. I am also hearing a high pitch grinding noise coming from the passenger side of the engine compartment during hard turns to the left.

    Could these be related?

    Maybe a power steering pump problem?

    Any thoughts?

    2000 SEL 51,500 miles.

  • I am picking up my 2003 Ford Windstar this afternoon. This will be our 7th. Windstar and our 9th. Ford van. Over the years we have had some minor issues.... the biggest of which was probably a dud alternator back in 95. No major problems since.... but a few wee ones that were generally resolved (some I lived with). Nuff sed... we love Windstars. And after being rear-ended at almost 100Km/H a few years ago I will never drive anything else. My van was pushed into the Mercedes in front of me so hard that the Mercedes had to be towed. The car that hit me had to be towed. I got out, put on my leather gloves and pulled out my fenders and drove home.

    What do I dislike about the Windstar? Remote lock should have some means of being differentiated from unlock... in the dark it's easy to press the wrong button on the remote. Bench seat needs to have more rugged wheels for removal. Headphones need to be wireless. The original Windstar seats were wider and more comfy. And the original Windstar had a wider access to the rearmost bench seat for us wider people.

    All in all.... everyone I know with a Windstar has had great luck with them.

  • tmanttmant Posts: 70
    Can you elaborate a little on how this is your 7th windstar? Leasing a new one each year? problems continued...

    The odometer/ABS light problem turned out to be some short in the system. Cruise control switch and servo was replaced. About $450 total. So now my cruise control works. Squeaking noise I had on turning left was a dry tie rod. Both replaced for about $200.

    I had them check into the tranny they fixed. Seems to slip on first gear. Engine would seem to hesitate at about 1800rpm for a second or two and finally catch gear.
  • doncdonc Posts: 1
    Haven't seen that many 2000 vans with Xmission failures. My Winstar SEL at 38,800 just lost it's transmission. Ford is trying to offer me the same deal, $495 for a 100,000 mile warranty on a new transmission, but I am fighting to have them pay for the whole thing, especially since they have been servicing the vehicle all along and did a seal replacement at 24,000 miles. Any other similar experiences with the 2000 vans?
  • davids1davids1 Posts: 411
    Depending on your complaint when they replaced the seal at 24k, i would claim that they missed something that was critical to the detriment of your tranny.
  • sel3sel3 Posts: 33
    Anyone have any ideas what is causing the noises detailed in message 1132.

    Your input is appreciated.

  • haulthault Columbus OhioPosts: 126
    Grinding noise may be the tie rods. I have a 2000 w/25,000. I occasionally here odd clunking noise on start up. Sometimes it does not start on the first or second try. It almost acts like a vapor lock from the old days. It does it about once a month or so. It does not matter whether it is warm or cold start. Let me know what you find out or have had what I described.
  • bobbyo1bobbyo1 Posts: 4
    I have steering noises too. It started out on sharp turns to the right at low speeds, but now makes noises when I turn in any direction. My particular noises seem to be coming from the Mc pherson strut. The noises sound more squeaky than clunky. I am taking it in to my mechanic tomorrow. I will let you know what he says.
  • bdemasbdemas Posts: 51
    donc: I have a 2000 SE that had the torque converter changed just after 36k miles. It was shuddering at the time. I had taken it in for the 30k transmission fluid change to the same dealer. At that time I pointed out a small leak. The repair was covered by an extended warranty. I now have over 78k on it, the transmission fluid was changed again at around 60k per the maintenance schedule. It is starting to act funny again. I feel I will be bringing it in again soon
  • sad4sad4 Posts: 2
    I'm sad that I am about to pay off a $30,000 1999 SE with 60,000 miles and am facing having to take a loss and purchase a more reliable car. Even with the extended warranty I no longer feel confident about my van.

    It's pretty but seems plagued by all of the same problems posted on this board. I believe it has built in obsolescence. When the 36,000 miles hit I got a call to purchase an extended warranty (had it already) Then at 50,000 another extended warranty sales call.

    In the recent 6 months it has been repeatedly in the shop. Each time I get it back something else is wrong or they can't replicate the problem or they have to order a part. We are supposed to have a rental car and disappearing deductible. Always a hassle and charge. Rarely do we get the rental. (has to be an overnighter)

    The big problems are everything electrical-lights doors windows- steering out (twice), ABS, torque converter, $300 battery, melted plastic smell, airbag-horn sensor out, surging accelerator

    I am convinced there is an electrical problem at the source- but I'm not a mechanic.

    Reading this site has validated my complaints. I know that they are REAL. I also thought about extending my extended for a few grand to squeeze out the lost value of my purchase. Now the trips to the shop are too frequent and not resolving the never ending list of problems.

    I am considering replacing my van with some other line of auto that may cost more but has a solid reliability rating.

    My caution is to look carefully for Ford under the hood. Volvo is owned by them and my last car-Mazda 626 1994 -had a problematic Ford transmission.

    I am disappointed that after such a big investment has been made that I won't be able to keep the van for another 50,000.

    such is life these days.
  • 1998 windstar, 3.8 auto, and absolutely no problems at 72000 miles. All maintainence schedules done at correct intervals, mobile 1 oil, and filters every 4000 miles. Confident enough to take it on vacation this year.
  • 5greyhounds5greyhounds Posts: 338
    Just curious but I assume there was something else involved with the $300 battery?
  • sad4sad4 Posts: 2
    the something more was they did a diagnostic test to determine it was just the battery. I screamed my husband paid just to get it back.
  • klinkedklinked Posts: 1
    I bought a 99 Windstar 3 months ago and it has not given me any problems at all. The only concern I have is sometimes while at a stop sign I can feel a "thumping" through the brake pedal. It is soft and non rythmic and intermitent. My husband says it is nothing to worry about, it is just the ABS brakes. Does this problem sound familiar to anyone?
  • 5greyhounds5greyhounds Posts: 338
    Just to be on the safe side check the fluid. It might be a little low. We traded our 99 SE for a 00 SEL. We did not have a problem either, just that the 00 had on it what we wanted.
  • Sad4, I feel your frustration. In May 2001, I bought a 1998 Windstar LX with 38000 miles as part of the Ford Quality Checked Certified Preowned program. I purchased it with the expectation I would pay it off and keep it for the long term. By November, 2002, I had spent $1500 in repairs and the van had spent almost 4 weeks in the dealers repair shop. The vibration in the right front was never fixed. Ford refused to help. The dealer refused to open the transmission even though it was clearly covered in the marketing warranty agreement. I got rid of it because I lost confidence I would ever be able to rely on it. I would never consider taking it on a vacation. For those of you who have had good luck with a Windstar, consider yourself lucky and get out while you can. For those of you considering a Windstar purchase, take your money to Las Vegas...the odds are better there.
  • bdemasbdemas Posts: 51
    I have a problem with the CD player in my 2000 SE, its a single CD with cassette. I took a 7 hour trip this past weekend. Along the way I was only able to play 3 CD's, by the time the 3rd CD was played the system started skipping and stuttering. The CD's are hot when I eject them from the player. Has anyone else seen this? Is it normal for CD's to get hot while being played? I have noticed this behavior before but not to the point of skipping and stuttering. It's not related to the AC/heater, this happens no matter what time of year or weather conditions outside. If this is a problem with the player, what is the fix?
  • My A/C works except it hardly BLOWS, even on high and the (blower fan works good). I think the vent flap that directs the air is stuck or something? I'm guessing that it may be a vacuum hose leak or the hose that powers the vent has come off.
    I need to fix it ASAP the wife is getting antsy.
    I had a mechanic look at it without success. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  • penguinpenguin Posts: 32
    I've seen a lot of posts concerning the service engine light. Mine came on about 8 months ago and I took it to Ford and they couldn't find anything wrong with it. They said to drive it and after two more tanks of gas if the light comes on again to bring it back. Since the car drives fine and they charge just to check it out, I decided to just keep on driving. The light comes on intermittently and might be on for days or maybe just a few minutes. Then it goes out and it might stay out for days or a few minutes. There doesn't seem to be any pattern. So I've driven about 12,000 miles like this and I see no reason to risk having them take a shotgun approach and start replacing things to see if the light will go out. It's amazing to read all the posts from people who have the same wierd problems that I do with the interior lights, door chimes, etc. It's like the car is posessed by a demon.
  • 5greyhounds5greyhounds Posts: 338
    Which service light is on? My service light came on and I did all the things I was supposed to and it ended up being some gaskets that were letting some air into the engine and upsetting the emissions. The car ran really well and seemed to not be a problem but it was $450 to fix. I have the extended warranty so it was Zero for me. (I have a 2000 SEL with 26k)
  • penguinpenguin Posts: 32
    I took my '98 Windstar to Autozone for their free analysis and they hooked it up and came up with 2 codes; 1537 and 1538. Each code said the same thing, intake manifold runner control (bank 1) stuck open and intake manifold runner control (bank 2) stuck open. Initially they said it would take 4 Oxygen sensors (2 for each side). Then they said it could be that something is clogged or that there might be a vacuum leak. So now I don't know what if anything I should do.
  • drpuseydrpusey Posts: 2
    My windstar had a cracked sub-frame. after many new motor mounts and other attempts at the dealer, I had an independant guy look at it.
  • drpuseydrpusey Posts: 2
    I've had the worst luck with my Windstar. A partial list of repairs (all after warrantee) is as follows. Rotors ground 3 times, steering rack, motor mounts twice, struts, tie rods, steering pump, various belt pulleys and tensioners, cracked sub frame, plus other annoyances AND Now the thing throws a rod and punctures the block. All between 30000 and 76000 miles. It's dead now. Great Value! Honda here I come.
  • I've got a '98 GL 3.8 with 112K miles that has until recently been very reliable - no major repairs.

    Now the transmission is downshifting without warning, and I'm getting "Service engine soon" warnings.

    Waiting for the shop to let me know what's going on. Has anyone experienced this recently?
  • Didn't eat the tranny, just a sensor.

    All things considered, it could have been worse.
  • 5greyhounds5greyhounds Posts: 338
    That was a quick answer. My 95GL went 135K with no transmission problems--till a truck ran a red light and totaled it.
  • I have a 98 windstar with 31,000 miles on it. The van has been taken care of, serviced regularly, and is in showroom condition. A few months ago I had the recall spring plates installed which keep the spring from puncturing a tire should they break. I also had to replace the tie rods at that time. Since this work was done there is a high speed vibration coming from the front end. (45 mph and higher) I put new tires on, had them balanced and rebalanced, front end alignments and it still does it. The Ford garage even swapped tires and rims off another Windstar and it didn't correct the problem. The Ford mechanics have no idea what is causing it. They say the front end is tight and the alignment is perfect. Does anyone know what could cause this problem?
  • I will not attempt to argue that Ford builds a great minivan. I had an Aerostar that I was thrilled to have totalled. Currently renting a Windstar, and find it to be pretty impressive, but it's new.

    But, I digress. My point is, better check the Honda Accord problem board before you go out and buy your Odyssey...... You'll be amazed.
  • mted23mted23 Posts: 16
    You make a good point about the Odyssey. I think the same could be said for many vehicles in the Town Hall. The Town Hall is a place for many people to come and vent about their vehicle problems. I keep an eye on the Town Hall everyday to see what people are saying about the vehicles I own.
    I do own a 2000 Windstar that I bought used in November. Got a great deal. Many of you know, the depreciation if you bought new is horrible. I like our Windstar as it serves its purpose for my young family. Only problem has been the power drivers seat went out and the motor was replaced free of charge. I did purchase the extended warranty on the van though.
    BTW, my opinion of the Freestar is that its redesign is uninspired and already our of date when compared to the Sienna and Quest.
This discussion has been closed.