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Ford Windstar Problems

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    alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    "My engine light came on today. Auto Zone check it and get a reading P0171, told me it is the oxygen sensor but could not point me in the direction it is"

    The diagnostic tool has not been invented yet that will say "this part is defective, replace it". AutoZone sells a lot of oxygen sensors. They'll retrieve trouble codes no charge because they're hoping to sell you parts. After all, that's what they're in business for.

    PO171 = Fuel Trim System Lean (Bank 1). Read the post in the link below, and start by looking for a deteriorated PCV valve grommet or hose.

    alcan, "Got a Quick, Technical Question?" #2217, 2 Dec 2005 6:54 pm
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    christylovechristylove Member Posts: 2
    ">I have a 2000 Ford Windstar that has 85,000 miles on it. My van has been doing the same thing. The engine light has come on. I took it to the repair shop where I was told I needed a new airfilter and some new sparkplugs. The problem did not go away. I was wondering if maybe it has something to do with the fuel injection system. Please let me know if you learn what it is on your van. Thankyou!
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    amyl2amyl2 Member Posts: 2
    We have a 1996 windstar. For a couple of years we have had problems with misfiring...horrible! No one could find the problem. Finally they found a broken head gasket. We got it fixed along with some other stuff. It finally stopped misfiring and the engine light doesn't blink any more. BUT.... it keeps stalling on us. We also left for a trip over the mountains for Thanksgiving and it died on us going up I70--Lookout Mtn area. It just lost more and more power going up the mtn. We were stuck there with 3 kids and a dog for about an hour. It finally started again an hour later (waiing for a tow truck). The mechanics, who are great, can not find a thing wrong with it...nothing shows up on the computer and everything seems to look great. Does anyone have any idea what this could be, or have you had the same problem. We also had a broken speedometer several years ago. Ford said we had to have it replaced for $400, but we went to a speedometer place in Denver and they fixed it for $100. Other than all this, we have loved our van and hadn't had any problems for years. It has 100,000 miles on it.
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    amyl2amyl2 Member Posts: 2
    Along with the head gasket being replaced, we had the intake runner control replaced. I think that is what got rid of the enging light. We had the same problem for years...It is wonderful to not see that light on any more...even though we have other problems :-)
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    bjb662bjb662 Member Posts: 4
    I have the same issue with my 200 greem windstar. Roof is peeling and I now have rust on one of the sliding doors on the bootom. No coverage great deal.
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    bjb662bjb662 Member Posts: 4
    As you had, on my 2000 winstar we had the engine light on. The dealer replaced the manifold and the light is now out. I also have a friend who had the same issue on a 2000 windstar. Seems like pattern but didnt see a recall but did pay aprox $1400 dollars for repair.
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    bjb662bjb662 Member Posts: 4
    I needed to replace the manifold at a cost of $1400
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    bjb662bjb662 Member Posts: 4
    Did it pass inspection?
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    jeffyscottjeffyscott Member Posts: 3,855
    I assume you mean the emissions inspection.

    Yes, it did pass. But that was an '89.

    Now they plug in to the OBDII on any 1996 or newer vehicles for the emission inspection.
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    dani65721dani65721 Member Posts: 4
    I was told by Ford today that I needed to buy HEET and add it to my fuel. So I did that today. I wont know if that worked for a few days since the van doesnt try to die on me all the time. I think it has something to do with the fuel injection system. I am going to see what else I can do after I talk to Ford again this coming week!

    Thanks for replying! That I am not the only one out there with this problem! :confuse:
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    dani65721dani65721 Member Posts: 4
    What does the manifold do??? Did it take care of the van sputtering and feeling like it was going to die??
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    welder1welder1 Member Posts: 1
    My windstar has a knock but not all the time it is mostly at idile or when the engine is coming down from high speed any one know or had this problem. :confuse:
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    selooseloo Member Posts: 606
    Check the Intake manifold.
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    bstepanekbstepanek Member Posts: 1
    i have a 96 ford windstar does anyone have a problem with there anti freeze. after about 3 days i have to refill my reservoir . i put a pan under my van and nothing in it and nothing leaking from heater in the back :cry: can anyone tell me what to look for and did anyone else have this problem
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    jeffyscottjeffyscott Member Posts: 3,855
    Welcome to the club :lemon: :sick: . My guess is leaking gaskets...head gasket, intake gasket, and/or timing cover gasket (aka front cover gasket) are the possibilities.
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    craw624craw624 Member Posts: 1
    Hello,
    Thanks for reading our message.

    We recently bought a 2001 Ford Windstar LX, and noticed a light illuminated on the dash board. It has a "!" symbol with an open circular figure around it. There is a "Tire Reset" button to the left of the steering wheel that has the same symbol. There is no noticable effect when we push the button.

    We really don't know what the symbol means, or the function of the button. We didn't know much about the vehicle beforehand, and it didn't come with an owner's manual. We've bid on one on eBay, but thought we could find somebody willing to enlighten us in our plight.

    We appreciate your help.

    Tim and Brenda
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    bwheelsbwheels Member Posts: 1
    My 95 Windstar's front brakes started squealing a few months ago (as if they were getting worn) and soon after I started getting a grinding feel in the pedal right before the van stopped. Upon inspection (I was replacing the front pads, and was expecting to find damage to the rotors) I found that the pads were only about half worn, and the rotors were in good shape. In heavy or moderate braking, they seem fine...no problem stopping, the braking seems smooth and even. When I am pulling up to a stop sign, into a parking space, or any slow-speed braking, I get what feels like a slight "pop" in the pedal, what feels like a slight release of the brakes, and the "grind". Is this an ABS problem? :confuse: Thanks for your time!
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    nick2006matrixnick2006matrix Member Posts: 42
    The light indicates that one tire is underinflated. Adjust the tire pressure in all 4 tires and start the car. With the car still in park press and hold the tire reset button. I think the light on the dash will start to flash and then shut off. Release the button and all should be ok.
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    alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    Have you removed the rear brake drums and inspected them and the shoes?
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    kevinsvankevinsvan Member Posts: 3
    Your tie rods need lubricating. You will need a needle that you can buy that goes on the end of a greese gun. Stick the needle through the rubber cup on the tie rod end and fill.....or you can replace the tie rod ends with new ones that have a valve on them where you can lub them when they dry up.
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    rhartrhart Member Posts: 1
    Does anybody know what Code 1518 refers to on a 2001 Ford Windstar?
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    charliewincharliewin Member Posts: 2
    Hi there!

    I am new to the forum, and came hoping to get some answers. In answer to your question, YES your van is possessed! Seems both our van are possessed with the same ghost! My toubles are exactly the same as yours. My trouble started last summer and I have had the recurring problem now 4 times in the passed 6 months. In all honesty, I don't think the Ford Quality care folks have any real idea what is going on...We lost our speedometer, odometer, A/C, power doors, trac control, back-up sensors and a few more things I can't recall in the list. If you find the culprit, please let me know!
    Thanks and good luck! :D
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    charliewincharliewin Member Posts: 2
    Here I am replying to myself. :) As with all of us I am so frustrated with my $32K vehicle that I could scream. :mad: But I do have a sense that I have accomplished something very worthwhile tonight. I bet my van too is leaking brake fluid onto the wires and shorting them out. The first issue was the cruise control sensor and that was replaced. I doubt that this event would show up on regular diagnostics. It's not a computer/technical problem, it's a mechanical problem. I will send my mechanic searching for a leaky master cylinder tomorrow. Can you imagine a 30-something woman getting all this info and sending the men to do the work, hopefully correctly this time?

    Gentlemen on this forum, "THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!" I will sleep so much better tonight as I believe I have solved this 6 month long mystery! :D
    Good night and Blessings!
    CharlieWin
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    petrstevenpetrsteven Member Posts: 1
    Try checking the power steering fluid. This same thing happened to me and I put some power steering treatment/conditioner in and the noise went away.
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    jimskinsjimskins Member Posts: 11
    The tire reset button is to reset the ABS monitoring system. Make sure your tires are properly inflated and then when you can drive several miles at a constant speed (such as on the highway) press and hold the tire reset button until the light on the dash flashes (I think three times). The light should then go out. If your tires lose pressure after that, the light should come on to warn you. I hope this helps.
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    4wheels14wheels1 Member Posts: 23
    That would be
    "intake manifold control runner malfunction (stuck open)"
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    nick2006matrixnick2006matrix Member Posts: 42
    Is there a cabin air filter in the 2001 Windstar? If so, can anyone share the instructions on changing it?
    Thanks
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    4wheels14wheels1 Member Posts: 23
    Open the hood. It is under a long rectangular cover by the windshield wipers.
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    neilwjrneilwjr Member Posts: 1
    I have 2001 Windstar with 62,000 miles. I have been reading many accounts of stalls after starts and around turns, mine however will stall at 40 or even 50 miles per hour. While driving down the road the van will die. If I take my foot off the gas it will idle usually long enough to get to the side of the road. If I try to give it any gas the engine stalls out. I have been to Ford, the dealer said I needed a new intake manifold and a tune up. $1700 dollars later and the van stalled on the first day back. Second time to the shop the dealer said it was the throttle arm sticking. They fixed it and $171 later the van stalled after having it back two days. Took it back and the dealer drove it for the weekend trying to recreate the stall and can not. There are no codes and the dealer can't figure out the problem. Any suggestions? HELP!!!
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    nbarkasnbarkas Member Posts: 1
    You are lucky. My mechanic said the part for our ford windstar manifold problems would be $400. Labor would be to much to imagine. What was the other website that you saw the tsb on? Did anyone ever help you with the warranty? We got rid of our Mercury because of a manifold problem. Now I find out we are in a new club. Ford help us all. Thanks
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    thoward321thoward321 Member Posts: 4
    That's one of the problems with my Windstar, but right now it's sitting in the garage because it continues to cut off. It appears that it's not getting enough gas, but when we went to remove the fuel filter there are three pipe lines that are preventing the removal. Does anyone know how to remove and replace a fuel filter on a 1997 Ford Windstar? Thanks in advance! :confuse:
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    dani65721dani65721 Member Posts: 4
    I have a 2002 Windstar that has basically the same problem. But it wont die when it is going at higher rates of speed.... our problem was the "idle air bypass valve". All I know is that this has something to do with the fuel injection system. Might want to check that out!
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    tallistallis Member Posts: 2
    try looking at the idle pully bearing.ours just seized and blew the snake belt.We thought it was the power steering pump..making all the noise before hand,and in fact had a mech tell us it was ..saved some money... avoiding the repair shop.buy a Haynes manual if you own a used car i.e Ford,and don`t assume the worst .repair shops will rob you quite happily with false assumpions as to repairs needed.
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    tallistallis Member Posts: 2
    Same problem w/ our 1996 windstar.. stalled on hyway @50mph found that the fuel pump will sometimes shut down if pushed hard or braking hard at turn offs ect ...solution reset button in the rear interior jack storage area or wait an hour or so.Ford had installed too many sensors in the windstar..trouble light will come on for the simplest of problems..take off one battery lead to reset..if light remains on a problem may be present..avoid repair shops it will cost you big $$$$$$.use logic...change fluids regular look and listen get a haynes manual of your car..learn how to not get burned a the repair shop..they have no time to repair parts..they prefer to replace at your expense..
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    jvsjvs Member Posts: 1
    Mine has exact problem-but is 2003 Windstar....my feet are freezing, but windshield clear.....Have you figured it out yet?
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    marcismarcis Member Posts: 1
    My 2000 Windstar LX is in the shop for leaky everything. I have four different leaks, apparently started at the same time (?). One of them in from the manifold, another from the thermostat, and I can't remember the other two. My van has been in the shop for three days so far. To date, I've had to get new power steering box, transmission, driveline, windshield, and something to do with the car getting fuel by itself. It could have drove by itself. Have you had problems like this? I'm almost considering looking at the requirements for the "Lemon Law." Marci :sick: :confuse: :cry: :mad:
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    4wheels14wheels1 Member Posts: 23
    Just traded the pig in for a Sienna. :)
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    jeffyscottjeffyscott Member Posts: 3,855
    No actually our 1997 was pretty free of significant problems until this. I was a little bothered by some re-welding of the subframe that they had to do just after the warranty expired. That was only about $120 at a body shop. The only other repairs were a couple leaky parts on the transmission...what is it with Ford and gaskets. Oh and I just had to replace the alterntor.

    I keep records of maintenance and repairs for each of our vehicles. In 95,000 miles we have only spent a total of about $2200 on all maintenance and repairs on the Windstar.

    Because of that, I would not even really be bothered much by the current leaky gasket problems, if they could be replaced without needing such a huge amount of labor. The charge must be like 16 hours of labor for my problem.
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    gehumesgehumes Member Posts: 1
    I have the same problem and the local Ford dealer has had this van in 4 times. I have never been billed and the problem has never be repaired. After the shop works on it, the problem goes away for about 2-3 weeks and then recurs. I can jump the van immediately and it will run but then after shutting it off and when trying to restart it, it acts like a dead short but no one has found it...Can you help? Did you get your problem with the draining battery solved? How did you do it?
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    paddy101paddy101 Member Posts: 2
    from what i learned your better off without the original transmission.
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    paddy101paddy101 Member Posts: 2
    just wondering, had to have my tranny rebuilt in 99 windstar, two weeks later o/d light flashing, ford says it's the speed sencer and has nothing to do with the tranny repair, i figure it must have been effected by the rebuild some how ???
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    selooseloo Member Posts: 606
    After Ford replaced the bottom half of my engine, I developed the following problems:

    CEL stayed on
    Loud Spark Knock
    Rough Idle
    Oil Leak
    Clicking Noise from engine (driver's side)

    Back to the Dealer:

    Found Code P0171

    Fixed the following:

    Intake manifold leak, plugged EGR ports, replaced isolator bolts, 6 gaskets, new value cover (silver not black) and gasket, fuel pressure regulator vacuum hose.

    So far all is well, with the exception of some spark knocking at the higher end of the 3rd and 4th gear.

    Cost $0 Ford Extended Warranty (Only 3 months left)
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    selooseloo Member Posts: 606
    After the recent repair (message 2219), I have noticed a vibration in the gas pedal at different times in the operation of the van (mostly in the first and third gear).

    Any ideas?
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    selooseloo Member Posts: 606
    After further investigation, I found that the dealership left off a support bracket on the throttle cable. Once I re connected the bracket to one of the studs on the top of the driver's side strut the vibration disappeared.

    That is a very sensitive cable. While doing that I found the female portion of an electrical connector (near the wiper motor). I am still for its mate.
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    speedys69speedys69 Member Posts: 1
    :confuse: check engine light
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    alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    It's an amber warning light which is illuminated by the engine control computer when a fault is detected.
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    reisatreisat Member Posts: 2
    Hello, to all the experts on a Ford Windstar,
    I live in Germany and just recently bought a Ford Windstar, produced in 1998.
    The car is running smoothly, but there seems to be a constant problem with that TRAC OFF light that ever so often flashes although the Ford dealer has tried to solve the problem. They replaced that control module (ABS), replaced the cables from the break cylinder and cleaned all the cable ends. But without any proper result.
    Can anyone help on that problem???
    Ford Germany is obviously at a loss here.
    Please, help me, as I still got guarantee on that car, which is great fun to cruise in.
    Enjoy your holidays and have a happy New Year.
    Reinhard from Germany
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    thoward321thoward321 Member Posts: 4
    Thanks, we got it back going but at times it still wants to cut off. We'll try the suggestions, thanks!! :)
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    gil1130gil1130 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 SEL. After taking my foot off the accelerator the vehicle continues to run at the same speed. After the car is stopped the tach reads about 1000 rpm and will slowly drop to about 800 (with foot on brake while in gear). My mechanic replaced the idle air control valve but the problem is still there. We are both stumped as to where to go next.
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    ron49ron49 Member Posts: 1
    I am writing to see if anyone has had a problem with airbags on 2003 Ford Windstars. My mother had a serious potential problem with a head on collision. A young kid went left of center around a corner, and hit her head on in her lane. She saw him coming, and got as far to the right as she could. Any further, and she would have gone over a fifteen foot ravine. He hit her head on from the center of the van over to her drivers side. She had four other passengers also in the van. All were taken to the hospital.

    The bumper was all the way back to the tires, and the air bags did not go off. The engine also did not shut off, as it was supposed to. The person that hit her had skid marks 150 feet long, and hit her really hard, probably totaling both vehicles. Luckily, no one was injured very seriously.
    Everyone had injuries. Has Ford addressed this problem with both the airbags not deploying, and the engine not shutting down as designed in an accident? In addition, she has had continuing problems with the transmission not shifting correctly, and no one has fixed this problem.

    This vehicle is not a safe vehicle for my mother, who is 70 years old. I don't feel safe having here drive this vehicle, and wonder what Ford will do about this problem. We have gotten no where with Ford.
This discussion has been closed.