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Ford Windstar Problems



  • beachnybeachny Posts: 1
    I've had my 95 windstar (the lemon from hell) for about 5 years now. I bought it for the roomieness and found it very comfortable, but what nightmares. So far we've been through 2 trannies, both before 110,000 miles. Just replaced the head gasket last week at 126,000. Had I think they were the intake valves replaced at 67000 miles. Now we've found there was damage done to the sensors because of the head gasket, but mechanic said it may work itself out after driving it around. Have the same problems with the door buzzer. Have WD-40'd them numerous times, lasts about 2 weeks and then starts up again. Every time it rains we have to replace all the main fuses (door, horn, etc) and at 12 bucks a pop, it gets costly. Switch for back windows doesn't work and of course it stopped working with the window open, so now we can't shut the window. Airbag light stays on, and we've had it checked and both airbags are there. Now, there is a light, last one on the left, looks like an oil can with a drop, but I know that's not the oil since the dipstick is for the oil, well that light keeps coming on now. Ask me why I still have this car, can't afford another one. Figured eventually at the rate I'm going with this it should be like brand new in another year or so. LOL Believe me, there was a lot more work done to this car that I've forgotten, have been at war with Ford ever since the tranny problem, but to no avail, just tons of paperwork.
    Thanks for listening and if anyone knows what that light is on the left side of the dash please let me know.
  • vwkurtvwkurt Posts: 2
    Thank you very much for your reply and I guess I will just have to take it in to the shop and pay the diagnosis fee.
  • I'm new to this forum but not new to Windstar problems! My wife has had a '98 and now has a 2003 w/50,528 miles on it. I drive it infrequently and usually to diagnose some potential problem that she complains about. The latest one is what she referred to as the tires bouncing a bit. Cut to the chase. OK between speed of 55-60 when the converter locks up there is a noticeable shudder. Especially so under a load. No load or downhill, no shudder. Also, with the selector turned to "OD Off" there is no shudder. Is there any adjustment to the converter? After reading many of the posts here, I'm getting a little gunshy to the Windstar world.
  • chrbchrb Posts: 4
    Hello folks,

    I have a 2001 Windstar SEL with a problem. On cold mornings, when making a left turn and accelerating, I hear a grinding or shaving noise coming from the left wheel area. It sounds like the tire may be touching something, but I checked and found nothing loose or out of place. Also, it happens even with just a slight left turn, so the wheel does not have to be turned all the way left to hear the problem. Also seems to only happen under power.

    I’ve had CV-joints go on some other cars in the past, and this is not the same noise (cluck-cluck). I also searched this forum and could not find any problem that resembles this exactly. My Ford dealer is one of those where you have to do the troubleshooting yourself. They could not find anything wrong when I had the car with them the last time. Also took it to some trustworthy transmission guys for a service. They found the transmission to be in good order with little wear.

    Any advice on where to start looking?

    Thanks you
  • vanofvanof Posts: 1
    I had the same with my 01 sport windstar

    Have Tie-rod checked and link kit .
  • crankkycrankky Posts: 45
    We had a similar problem with our 2001 that ended up being caused by low power steering fluid levels. When we would turn left, the fluid in the system would slosh to the right and apparently cause the steering system to be "unlubricated" briefly. The way it is designed, it wouldn't happen if we turned right. We topped off (dealer actually) the fluid level and it hasn't happend since. They could not find out, nor explain, why the fluid level was low.
  • lbalba Posts: 5
    Autozone will scan and read the codes for free and can reset (turn off) the light.
    If no Autozone, perhaps another parts store would.
  • dbogey1dbogey1 Posts: 2
    Sounds like the first signs of CV joints going out. They usually make this kind of noise when the wheels are turned full right or full left and rolling at slow speeds. If that's it the problem will only get worse. Usually you can check the rubber boots on the ends of the drive shafts and if they're showing signs of cracking, more than likely that's the problem.
  • dbogey1dbogey1 Posts: 2
    I've got a '00 Windstar SEL and the driver's side door lock actuator seems to be on the fritz. It's getting to the point where it won't go up or down completely. Has anyone replaced them theirselves that can provide me with some advise. I'm in search of actuator part numbers, and possible suggestions of where to buy them (other than the "stealers"). And any advise or lessons learn on removing the door panel.

    Please advise... Thanks
  • selooseloo Posts: 606
    I had the same problem with my 00 SEL, but I had an extended warranty to cover the cost.

    Here is the information off of the work ticket:


    'Found that the door lock actuator is very weak in it's operation, door latch/lock cot sticking at this time. Replaced door lock actuator.

    1 3L3Z-25218A43-AA Actu Frt Dr
    2 94978 Lever Clip
    1 94566

    I hope this helps.
  • 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.
This discussion has been closed.