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Ford Windstar Problems



  • I have a 2001 Windstar SEL, so far it has been great up until now. The vehicle is surging and i do not know why. I am not too familiar with the newer cars and have not had this experience before. This is happening when the vehicle is stopped, both in park, neutral, and in drive. Can anyone out there help me out as to what is causing this?
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    Good strategy, don't pay for the work that was done. A tapping noise would have nothing to do with the valve cover, unless you're talking about pinging or detonation. It won't suddenly go away, especially if the valves and/or pistons are coated with carbon from the burned oil. You may have to have a "decarbon" treatment done. You can also try using a product called Sea-Foam run either through the gas or vaccumed theough the PCV line with the engine running.
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    Any particular temp this happens? Does it stop when it warms up?
  • kmltigkmltig Posts: 1
    We have a 2000 Windstar with about 55,000 miles on it. In December, we had a $1300 repair and last month we had a $350 repair. I am not exactly an expert on cars. I don't remember what was repaired.

    We've had children leave lights on with the result that the car doesn't start. However, this morning, I used the remote and it didn't work. I thought maybe the battery was dead. When I got in the car to start it, the front dashboard lights came on but there was no sound from the engine.

    Somehow I think this is serious. There were no lights on in the van. I don't recall the remote not working before when the battery went dead because of lights being left on.

    Any ideas on what the problem might be? Thanks.

    PS. My husband used his car and jumper cables to restart the car, but do you have any ideas on the underlying cause of the car not starting when no lights were left on?
  • burtiessburtiess Posts: 1
    Bought a Windstar 2001 in the Netherlands (love Us cars) but in Europe the support for it is minimal (so is my english, sorry).
    Having a problem with transmission (read the forum and i know i'm not alone.) but as i am Dutch it took me while to look for Tranny in stead of Transmission.....
    All shifts work fine..very smooth..engine runs fine also...but from idle (i think you mean this for standing still with running engine in gear ?) the Tranny (learning) feels verry irregular and lowers the engine RPM. when pulling up it's very abrupt ....untill end of first gear..then everything is smooth again..

    Can somebody help me out here..? Thanks !!
  • viper70viper70 Posts: 1
    Bear in mind that if your vehicle has a TPS
    (throttle position sensor) you'll get those
    kind of problems as well. A TPS's job is to
    tell the trans when to shift based on the
    position of the accelerator pedal. I'm a mech
    in the Army, seen this stuff for over 15 yrs.
    hope this helps
  • mirandahmirandah Posts: 1

    As a new member of this very interesting website in which we can all benefit by reading each others frustrating experiences with our way of transporting our family. I can't say that I have already learned a thing or two which will help me with some of the problems that we are all experiencing. Yeah....interior lights staying on....going off....whenever they pleased. I would have to disconnect the battery terminal, because I was not smart enough to take the fuse out. :) Which I just read about it today. Well enough of that!!!

    My current situation is that I have no exterior lights. Not to mention my brake lights. None of them work. Just today I pulled out the owners manual and checked every single fuse in both of the fuse boxes. Of course some how fuse #4 is not getting juice....... Can someone please assist me with the smalllllll situation.....(CHALLENGE) :) Hector, Norfolk, VA
  • coderedcodered Posts: 43
    i have a 98 windstar with the code "po743"
    (torque converter clutch electrical)
    does anyone have a clue what means?????
  • starwindstarwind Posts: 9
    My local shop has replaced 5! Power Steering pumps and two steering racks in the last 2000 miles (yes, 2K miles) on my '99 Windstar LX with 80,000 miles on it. The shop has been saying that they are having trouble getting good parts. So, it failed again this week, & they say they will replace the power steering pump, again, under warranty, but have traced the cause to power steering hoses that are disintegrating from the inside out. Anyone heard of this? There are no leaks at all. I believe they are the original hoses. The shop wants over $600 for this work. Before I jump to the conclusion that they are covering up for shoddy work, I'd like to get the forum's thoughts. Thanks.
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    It simply means there is a problem with the ciruit going to the torque converter clutch solenoid. It could be a wiring problem, or the solenoid itself could be failing. Hopefully, it's not a TCC mechanical problem. That's all that can be known until it's diagnosed.
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    It's unusual but entirely possible. If the shop has honored the warranty on the parts and labor for the previous 5 pumps, then it's a safe bet they're not trying to cheat you. After the third or fourth pump, they should have inspected things more closely though and found the source of the problem. I assume they found hose debris in the last pumpand aren't just guessing?
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    Based on what you describe, it may not be the transmission at all. With a Windstar, it could be anything: throttle position sensor, Idle Air Control motor, intake gasket leaks, on and on.

    And "transmission" is actually the correct term. "Tranny" is just a word used by Americans trying to sound cool. You speak English fine, much better than a lot of Americans!
  • We leased a 98 GL for 30 months, no problems, bought a used 95 GL with 65000 mi kept it until 2003 when it had 107000 and rod was "going." Bought a 2003 SE and have had it a year. No problems. I know statistically, I am the odd one, but I do like windstars. I did have an intermittent trouble with the tranny in the 95, but it went away with the next fluid change.
  • starwindstarwind Posts: 9
    I think they're guessing about where the debris is coming from. They don't know why the pumps are failing, but they alternate between telling me they can't get good parts and that debris in the system is causing the failure. We're on pump #8 now. Two weeks ago when pump #6 failed, there was no debris, the fluid was perfect, but a pump seal failed. On that visit they installed an inline filter on the return side of the reservoier, supposedly to protect new pump #7. When pump #7 failed, they cut the filter open and said it had something in it. When I asked to see the filter element, they couldn't find it. They also said a plunger rod in the pump had bent due to debris getting into the pump. They didn't show me that, either. Basically, they have replaced all the parts (7 pumps, 2 racks), they claim they're getting bad parts, but want me to spend $800 for new hoses because it might help. I don't think they are trying to cheat me, but they may be incompetent, & I don't want to pay for their incompetence!
  • steve28steve28 Posts: 1
    Hi, can you tell me if you ever fixed this problem. I have the same exact problem with my 01. Front blower blows but not hot air.

  • heidi1heidi1 Posts: 2
    Hi I have 2002 windstar has done the same thing since day one. I have taken it now 8 times to dealer for this one problem. They say nothing is wromg witj it. I tnow also shakes and then dies when i turn the heat on. Warranty ended feb 28TH!! worts car i ahve ever owned, will never buy a ford again
  • I have an 03 windstar with 120,000 miles which just recently began dropping out of overdrive after about one hour driving. After stopping, shutting down, and restarting, I get about another hour before it reoccurrs.

    I have been negligent and have never serviced the transmission. The dealer checked it out and showed me about one tablespoon of filings on the magnet on the pan. He said I should not drive any further until I replaced the whole transmission ($3,ooo). I suggested flushing it and filling it with fluid. He said that would be the worst thing I could do. I asked him to replace the pan and fill it with fluid.

    It drives fine and I am skeptical about replacing the whole transmission and expect that a flush and fill should be sufficient.

    Am I crazy??
  • Early on I had odd electrical behavior. They finally replaced the computer which is covered under warranty beyond the 3 yr 36,000mi. Insist that they do that or at least try a temporary replacement and then observe behavior. Good luck.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Try the Transmission Traumas? discussion too.

    Steve, Host
  • aragonaragon Posts: 1
    I own a 2001 windstar and I love it, BUT last night as I turned the key to the on position (did not ignite) I heard a loud thumping noise from under the dash board. I ignited the car to see if any of the "warning" lights came on, but everything seemed o.k., however, the noise continued. I noticed that the heater was on and decided to turn it off. Once it was off the noise disappeared. What can the problem be?

  • gerb1957gerb1957 Posts: 1
    I've got a '99 Windstar LX that suddenly stopped blowing hot air from the front and rear heaters. I checked with the dealer and discovered that these have independent heater cores that are not controlled by a single valve switch. Can anyone shed light on this issue. They want $500.00 to pull the dash just to investigate. Thanks
  • Does anyone know of a recall that includes 95 windstar brake lines that have rusted out. The one that is leaking is the line between the front brakes. The leak occurred right above the wiring harness for the oxygen sensor,this caused the plastic retainer to break down and let the connector for the o2 sensor rest on the catalytic converter. Anyway, this is a friends car. She asked me to take a look at it be cause she almost rear ended someone and that she smelled something burning. The other things I noticed was that all the brake lines are rusted and the exhaust system was also in the same condition, with the rubber hanger snapped in half. If anyone has had a similar experience please let me know.
  • timmtimm Posts: 1
    #1,2 and 3 was fixed by a dealer by spraying WD 40 in ALL the door latches on our 98 WS.. Spray them well.
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    See, the dealer meant it would be the worst thing for HIM if you didn't immediately pay the $3,000 for the transmission rebuild. If you need to replace it, obviously it can't hurt to try the flush. You may get lucky and squeeze another year or two out of it.
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    This also goes for #1611: Blend door failures are pretty common on Windstar/Taurus models of that era. The assembly is pretty flimsy and tends to break in a number of places. Unfortunately it requires close to ten hours of labor to replace. Sorry.
  • klkklk Posts: 2
    My 2000 Windstar has been blowing the fuse that runs the module that controls the odometer, speedometer, hot/cold air, ABS light and cruise ctrl. It is random as to when it blows, sometimes when I start it, other times when I'm driving. Any ideas?
  • dallreddallred Posts: 1
    1995 Windstar......just returned from a 600 mile out of town trip with no problems. Got in van next morning and started van with a terrible miss. Just pulled all the spark plugs to look for firing of cylinders and cylinder numbers 1, 2 and 3 were competely black and wet and cylinder numbers 4, 5 and 6 looked to be burning fine. Also looks and smells like raw fuel is being thrown out the exhaust pipe. Can an entire bank of injectors go out all at once or does a sensor controll an entire bank of injectors that might cause this? Any suggestions where to go from here would be appreciated.

  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    If your Windstar is so equipped, I would first look at the Intake Manifold Runner Control (IMRC) for that bank. Check the control rod to see if it's bound or jammed shut. Sometimes the IMRC butterfly valve sticks shut with carbon buildup in the intake. Do you have spark on the bad bank? Buy a $5 spark tester and check 1,2,and 3. Could have a failed coil pack. Could be injector drivers stuck open in the PCM, but it's unlikely all 3 switches would fail closed.
  • shealybshealyb Posts: 3
    we bought a used van 3 days ago and it is now overheating when we (try) to drive it. When in Idle it is fine. NEw radiator, thermostat, flush, almost everything has beeen replaced at some point. HAve reciepts.I have 95 ford windstar 130,000 miles
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    Is the electric cooling fan working?
This discussion has been closed.