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Ford Windstar Problems



  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    Did you ask the mechanic exactly how he discovered the gaskets were leaking air? Not that he's obligated to tell you, but air+vacuum leaks aren't easily pinpointed just by reading codes. Also, if you had an intake leak bad enough to cause pinging you would also have some idle problems. Hunting up and down at a stoplight, etc. When you go for that second opinion, make sure you communicate the first mechanics recommendation and ask the second if he can verify the leak. The other stuff sounded pretty straightforward, but you might be able to get it done cheaper elsewhere. Good luck, driveability problems can be tough.
  • 5greyhounds5greyhounds Posts: 338
    The only thing I have had to get fixed on my 00 was an air/gasket leak that sounds a lot like the one mentioned. The way I knew there was a problem was the emissions light came on because it was messing with the air/fuel mixture. If this is the same problem then the light should come on.
  • mullins87mullins87 Posts: 959
    Thanks for your reply. I apologize for taking so long to get back. I'm glad the reflash was no big deal then. I've been reading the other posts, sounds like our around town mileage is fairly normal at approximately 17.5 mpg. We are currently on our first trip with the van, we drove about 375 miles yesterday and still have just a little under a 1/4 tank left, according to the gauge anyway. I can't wait to fill it up today to see what the highway mileage is. It should be over 20 mpg.

    Over than the crosswind induced sway and it being a little underpowered in the mountains, I was pleased with how well it handled the demands of traveling with two small children. I'm not much of a minivan fan, but it may win me over yet. :)
  • mullins87mullins87 Posts: 959
    Speaking of sway - Does anyone know where I can get a sway bar for this van? I've tried all of our local parts stores and even directly contacted a couple of manufacturers, nobody seems to make one for this van.
  • 5greyhounds5greyhounds Posts: 338
    Yep, 17 to 18 seems right. You are in for a little shock when you go to fill the van up since it is a 26 gallon tank. At a quarter tank you have about 6 gallons left so at 1.50 a gallon it will be about $30 to fill it up now but let it get way down and it costs a bundle. But then again it is about average so no matter what van you drive it is not cheap to really fill a fairly empty tank.
    We use our van for Greyhound Adoption events and we are responsible for what we call our store. It is all the things we use to sell things to make some money for the group. We go to PA, WV and some long trips in VA and it is full. I mean up to the ceiling. I tried to figure the load once and I came up with about 600 to 700 pounds of "stuff". 200 HP is enough to get it up the mountains of PA and WV with some shifting to third on the long ( 2 to 3 mile) climbs and it handles fairly well. After all, it is not a Z4. All in all a good van. Hope you enjoy it.
  • mullins87mullins87 Posts: 959
    Oh yeah, I was a little shocked on the first fill up! Our last car, a '95 Cougar, only took about $18 to fill up. But I drive a 1 ton, so $60 fill ups are routine. I haven't actually crunched the numbers, but 377.8 miles on 18.132 gallons will give me a little under 21 mpg, I can live with that.

    I guess my comments on the van being underpowered shows my point of perspective. Obviously the mountains are no trouble for the truck, but even the Cougar had the 4.6L V-8. We had to cross Mont Eagle twice, going and coming back. The Cougar would never even downshift, in fact would even moderately accelerate going up without downshifting. But, considering the Cougar probably outhorsepowered the van by a good 50 to 75 hp and the van outweighs the Cougar probably by 750lbs, maybe even 1k, it did a really good job.

    The boys really handled the nine hour trip really well and I think we have the van to thank for that. :) And you know, I still have my sanity!!
  • ramouramou Posts: 84
    I saw a 1999 or 2000 Windstar the other day with running boards that had the light that's usually on it. Does anyone have running boards on their Windstar? It looked good and I would've tried to ask the driver where he got it from except he was way ahead of me in traffic. Does this have to be a dealer installed item or could it be after market?
  • I bought it brand new and Here is the problem I have with my Windstar

    1. Knocking when accelerated.. Fixed under warranty
    2. recalled
    3. Driver Sliding door leaking it's been fix 4 time (as of today) .. Thank Beach Ford to fix it free but I just wonder if it's defect and need to do some about it...
    4. Gas when drive city was a problem.. ONLY 12/14 mpg/gal... I talked to Ford service dept but they seem it's normal..

    I want to trade for Japanese minivan but the value was soooo low... I don't think I ever want to buy American Car anymore because the value was so low.
  • I have a 2002 Windstar SEL with 11,000 mi.that really is a fine car and I love it, but, the brakes grunt. The dealer has worked on this problem and they did solve it for a few miles, but they are back to their old grunts. Anybody else have this problem? Did you get it fixed?
  • haulthault Columbus OhioPosts: 126
    Did your Windstar get new pads and rotors trued or replaced? I have had this done on a Focus and a Windstar. Both times the replacements solved the noise problems. Also don't "baby" the brakes during break in.
  • haulthault Columbus OhioPosts: 126
    FORD claims to have installed a "new" transmission 4F50N in 2001 and newer Windstars. Is this a modified version of the earlier or a "new" transmission ? Has anyone had problems with 2001 and newer transmissions /
  • bmw4me2bmw4me2 Posts: 23
    I had a 2001 Windstar LX and the transmission went bad at about 45,000 miles. It first started to downshift very hard and then was slipping on acceleration.
  • kate48kate48 Posts: 1
    I recently bought an 2002 Windstar lx, At first it was only getting 15.5 mpg then when we had to run the air conditioner all the time the mileage went to 14.8 mpg. A few weeks ago our local chevron changed hands and the mileage went way down to 12.5. I don't know if it is their gas or if my mileage is just going down. The beginning mileage was still a lot less than what others on the message board are getting. We went to Sacramento Sunday and gassed up there so I'm waiting to see what happens. Any ideas on why I'm getting less.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Check your tire pressure lately? Noticed any other driveability issues (brake smells, lack of pep, etc.?).

    Steve, Host
  • jay238jay238 Posts: 13
    is there ANYONE with a 1995 windstar that they are happy with or have had minimal repairs? Not ALL of them were doomed for failure, right? i bought a new 1995 and the only thing done to it was the head gasket recall -no other repairs. tons of city driving and lots of cargo hauling and people around the country, now with 176,000 miles and runs really well! I'm actually happy with my 1995's been put too good use!
  • ramouramou Posts: 84
    Anyone knows exactly how many gallons a 99 Windstar tank holds? The book says 26 gallon, My wife drives it and fills it up but she fills up dollar amount not gallon,she doesn't care about gallon, only dollar, she doesn't let it go to empty so I never know how much it holds. Also does everyone knows how to re-program the Transmission, it's actually simple. The transmission memorizes the consumer's driving habit and that memory is stored by the Battery but it gets errassed when the battery is disconnected. this is good to do if you buy a used one and you don't know anything about the last owner's driving habit, if u suddenly start driving the van different than how it's used to being driven, then you'll probably get a bad gas mileage. I did this when I bought my 99 Windstar with 65,000 miles about a month ago. It's like reprogramming your transmission to adjust to "your" driving habits. Turn off all the electronics in the car before you do this, including the radio and the A/C,cell phone plug...etc then disconnect the battery for "at least" one minute then reconnect it. Start the car and let it run for at least another minute, then drive it and the transmission will memorize your driving habits within a few hundred miles. So remember that everytime you disconnect the battery, the memory is errassed.
  • fezofezo Manahawkin, NJPosts: 10,330
    I may have to kill you.....

    No, seriously that's great. Ford treated us like dirt through a tranny rebuild (known defect), timing chain cover gasket, valve cover gasket, head gasket (they eventually admitted fault there and paid us back), electrical failure that stopped all the power windows and interior lights - all in a 5,000 mile span. That's when I ran.

    Now maybe if I took it from there I'd have hit a smooth coupel of years but I guess I'll never know and corporate Ford's attitude was abysmal. They treated us like dogs.

    There has been another guy in here who had a friend with a 95 Windstar approaching 200,000 miles (didn't quite make it) so you aren't alone. Yours must have been built on a Wednesday...
    2013 Mazda 5 Grand Touring, 2010 Toyota Prius IV. 2007 Toyota Camry XLE, 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999 Mazda Miata
  • 5greyhounds5greyhounds Posts: 338
    I had a 95 with 135K on it till a fella ran a red light and totaled it about three years ago. It was good and I would still have it if not for the accident. Head gasket and a few minor problems. No tranny trouble. As FEZO said, it must have been built on a Wednesday. I had a 99 SE but sold it (no problems--long story) for a 2000 SEL and had a gasket for something to do with emissions go (under extended warranty) but other than that still fine. I have had it for a little over a year now.
  • mullins87mullins87 Posts: 959
    The transmission will make a "clunk" when shifting out of drive into neutral. And, there is a growl and vibration in the steering when turning the wheels sitting still with the engine idling. All fluids are up to spec. No obvious mechanical problems that would be visible. Anyone else had these issues and is there a fix?

    I did a search, but only turned up one result with the tranny clunk and no responses.
  • 5greyhounds5greyhounds Posts: 338
    I do not think you have any problems. The vibration is simply the power steering having to work extra hard to move the wheels since it takes more power to do it. As to the clunk, all my windstars (95, 99, 00) make this sound. Do not think you have a problem, unless these are both really, really bad.
  • jay238jay238 Posts: 13
    The steering wheel on my 95 vibrates a little while turning the wheels at a stop, but more noticeable is a whining/growling noise while doing it. Most likely, that is my power steering pump that is about to die.........ahh well i'll just keep on driving until it gets unbearable or fails.
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    Ford steering pumps are notoriously noisy. But that's more of an annoyance than a real problem. Just keep an eye on your fluid levels and you're probably OK
  • mullins87mullins87 Posts: 959
    The clunk in the tranny I figured was probably fairly normal, but an annoyance. The growl in the power steering pump does concern me. I've never had one make that noise before. It's a completely different setup, but the Superduties have had some problems with their PS pumps going out. They all made a growling noise prior to kicking the bucket.

    Oh well, I guess that's what extended warranties are for.
  • dlarkinsdlarkins Posts: 2
    I have had the same blinking light problem in my van. After many attempts at repair, I have given up. The dealership could never figure it out. As for the leaky intake gasket, replacing it made a huge difference in the pinging and poor acceleration. Of course, it took the dealership 3 attempts to finally diagnose the problem. Currently my van in in the shop having the front struts and the transmission replaced. Thank goodness for the Ford EXP has more than paid for itself. Tie rods have been replaced twice( gee ya think bad struts had anything to do with that?)rack has been replaced , tranny has been rebuilt twice (finally being replaced), a/c switches have been replaced(took care of the rear air coming on mysteriously)rear wiper has been replaced(kept falling off), the main light control has been replaced(took care of the headlights going off at inopportune times), the power steering pump has been replaced twice and the air intake valve controller has been replaced. All of this on a vehicle with less than 75K miles at 4 years...WOW...think next vehicle will be Japanese...I've had it with American made cars and the manufacturers refusal to own up to problems!!!
  • just4fun2just4fun2 Posts: 461
    Yes, you have have more than your share of problems. I think that your dealership is your biggest problem. For a dealership to give up when they can't solve/fix a problem is unacceptable and this should have been taken up with Ford at the highest levels. A bad dealer will only create more problem than they can solve. Good Luck.
  • ramouramou Posts: 84
    Sorry to hear about your (( Windstar problems, I have a 99 LX with 68K miles, I must agree with Justforfun2, I said the same thing he said before I even read his post which is that I think that your biggest problem is the dealer you're taking it to, there's no reason why a Transmission should be rebuilt twice then replaced on a car that has less than 75K miles on it, that's rediculous, they either never even opened the transmission in the first 2 times or they're just ripping you off, and I think most people on this post will agree with me, also your power steering pump was replaced twice....something is not right, you're definetly having electrical problems of some sort and unless they're effecting your mechanical parts then I don't know what to tell you, keep us posted and maybe try another dealer.Good luck
  • ramouramou Posts: 84
    just wanted to remind everyone with not to forget the schedule maintenance stuff, it's extreemly important for that engine, such as Transmission service (DON'T FLUSH THE RADIATOR COMPLETELY, JUST CHANGE THE FLUID IN THE PAN AND THE FILTER), radiator and engine block flush, PCV valve, belts and hoses, air filter, fuel filter. refer to your owner manual for additional stuff.ALSO READ MY PRIOR POST ABOUT RE-PROGRAMMING THE TRANSMISION.
  • mted23mted23 Posts: 16
    After reading several posts here and trying higher octane gas, fuel injector cleaner etc I had the computer reprogramed yesterday. Funny thing is the ping may be worse than before the reprogram. I guess now we look at the intake gasket? Any other suggestions?
  • tylerapextylerapex Posts: 14
    I had a 2000 SE and just traded in....I couldn't take the problems anymore. I've had to have the speed sensor on the transmission replaced, the fuel pump replaced (because the gas gauge broke), the idle valve replaced (van kept stalling with idle), power door lock on driver's side randomly worked (never did fix that), and the pinging problem you mentioned. I took it to the dealer for the pinging problem and they were able to use the OBD-II computer to diagnose the problem. They said the intake gasket needed to be replaced and wanted over $500 to do it. I did find a Quality Care authorized Ford Service Center NOT associated with a dealer in my area that does work for much cheaper so I'd try to find one of those. I never got it replaced so I can't tell if that actually fixed the problem or not. Sorry.
  • tmanttmant Posts: 70
    I've disconnected the battery to reprogram my transmission but it never seemed to work.

    Just to clarify, does the Windstar have 4 or 5 gears? (I have 2000 SE) I always thought it was 5 gears (including overdrive), but I'm starting to think it is 4 gears. And that the 3rd to 4th shift that I think I'm seeing is something with the differential locking and unlocking.

    I say this because I now have a 4 speed automatic Elantra GT that does this. The shift from 3rd into 3.5 changes the RPMs just slighty, then another shift into the real 4th gear. I know the Elantra is only 4 gears including the overdrive gear (being the 4th gear itself). I just thought the Windstar was 4 gears plus a 5th overdrive gear.
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