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Ford Windstar Problems

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Comments

  • Help!! Can anyone tell me what is wrong with my windshield wipers. They only work when it is not raining. When it rains they do not come on. Good thing I live in Arizona. Also my Windstar stalls when turning at low speeds. Any pertinent info would be appreciated.
  • Are you in Minnesota? If you were in California, I would want to link my case with yours. If not, I would keep at your dealer. Apparently, the problem is related to the remote buttons drawing excessive amps to open the doors.
  • crkeehncrkeehn Posts: 513
    That program covered '95 model year Windstars with cylinder head problems only,.
  • penguinpenguin Posts: 32
    I have a 98 Windstar also and my wipers are wacky too. The front wipers work okay, except when you use the windshield washer the wipers come on but usually it takes 2 or 3 pushes on the column to get the washer fluid to come out. But the rear wiper is crazy. It just comes on sometimes by itself and you can't turn it off. It's quite erratic, but I never got it checked because it would probably be $150+ fix.
  • chalkychalky Posts: 1
    We bought ours new, with the 3.8, large gas tank, rear air, etc. It has been a good car to date. However the transmission issue does scare me. It has an annoying pause when shifting from 1st to 2nd.

    Worse, my employer has been buying Ford Fleet products including Windstars. In the last 12 months, at least two vehicles locally have lost transmissions.

    I am new to this forum but is Ford standing behind their vehicles with tranny problems?

    Thanks

    Dave
    [email protected]
  • It looks like many people have problems with Ford WS. My story is different. I have owned the WS since May 1994. It has 105,000 miles on it. It has been in the shop twice. Once to change the head gasket and another time when a spark plug broke in the cylinder. The latter cost me about $200. MY DEALER IS FLEMINGTON FORD IN NEW JERSEY. THIS IS THE BEST DEALER WITH THE BEST SERVICE SHOP. THEY DO NOT CHEAT THEIR CUSTOMERS. THEY TREAT THEIR CUSTOMERS LIKE THEIR FRIENDS/FAMILY. THEY ACTUALLY REFUSE TO "OVERSERVICE" THE VEHICLE. I still have the original battery. It has been one of the most reliable and rugged vehicles. My other car is an Infiniti. Currently, I am debating if I should purchase the new WS or the Odyssey? I would appreciate any comments.
  • penguinpenguin Posts: 32
    I would buy a new battery. You are definately riding on borrowed time.
  • Not only was our 95 a lousy car, Ford treated us with incredible callousness. After we replaced the computer, fixed electrical bugs, the head gasket blew (luckily recalled, which paid for the engine rebuild), then the tranny went out 3k miles beyond its warranty. I called the Ford 800 number. After explaining the history, I asked for some consideration on the tranny (figuring they should pony up at least a portion.) Although nice at first, when she found out my warranty had expired, she said "There is nothing Ford can do for you, sir", in a somewhat snobby voice, like I was no longer a member of the club. I replied I knew the warranty had just expired, but was looking for just some consideration, and asked to speak to her manager. "My manager doesn't speak with customers, sir. We have been empowered, and I tell you I have final say. And there is nothing Ford Motor Company will do for you." So I asked who the zone manager was for the Southeast. "He doesn't deal with customers, either. You're just not having much luck today." So I asked for the number of the president of Ford. "I can't give you that number, but I can give you his address, and you can write him a letter, if you like. But I tell, I have final say in the matter." "No," I said, "you don't have final say. I have 3 Fords in my driveway, and this time next year I'll have zero. And I'll never have another. That's my final say." That was a year ago, and I've dumped the WS, the Taurus, but kept the '89 Probe to give to my son, because it was made by Mazda. If they had just agreed to knock off a couple of hundred from the $1200 cranny, I'd have been happy. But, lousy car, lousy company. Back to German products, where they know how to build quality and give service.
  • bluewsbluews Posts: 1
    I bought my 96 used in 98 and had to have the speedometer repaired not long after that. This took about 3 weeks. It has worked fine up until now, when it is surging every so often, no pattern yet. One day I was on the expressway doing about 65 and the needle pegged out to 120 for about 5 minutes. Weird!

    Now I am getting a low squeeking noise whenever I turn the steering wheel. The steering fluid is full and it sounds like it is coming from the steering motor.

    Has anyone experienced either of these problems and have suggestions? Other than this, the van has been very reliable and I have enjoyed driving it.
  • penguinpenguin Posts: 32
    I have a 98 WS and last year when I turned the steering wheel it made a rubbing noise. It turned out to be the tie rods. It is my understanding that this is a common problem with the WS.
  • I've had my Windstar since last May. Bought it with under 12,000 miles and it's been in the shop at least 5 times already. Have already had transmission repairs, tie rods replaced, sliding door lubed, hood latch repaired, etc. Last time I took it in, I told them that the brakes were grinding especially during slow speed, light braking (such as when slowing down in a parking lot). They did not find anything wrong---just adjusted the brakes. Since then the grinding noise has gotten worse. In addition, the brake light comes on often for 4 to 5 seconds when pulling away from a stop sign or stop light. This has been occurring more frequently during the last couple weeks. Has anyone else had this problem? The brake fluid is fine. The 3 year warranty will be up on Feb. 10 and the van is going in again on Feb. 1. I have also noticed that the brakes appear to stop functioning if you hit a bump in the road while applying the brakes. The combination of traction control and anti-lock brakes is also very scary. I recently slid right into the middle of a busy road when the van went into traction control and ABS. I felt like I had no control over it at all. Today I elected to turn the traction control off completely on the snowy roads. Any feedback on these problems would be greatly appreciated!!!
  • My husband and I bought a 95' Windstar in Aug. 2000 and have had the worst ever with it. We just had to get the head gaskets replaced. I've heard about the buy back program but know little about it. Can anyone give me some info with it. We're stuck with a peice of junk!! HELP!!
  • I have read many of the comments on this van. I would like to share some of the most common problems I am experiencing.
    1.Those of you who have whining in the power steering there is a problem with the rack and pinion, Also the return line has a designed flaw. Ford knows about this but it took a few trips back to the dealer before I was made aware of this. They have since replaced my rack and pinion and the return hose.
    2. I had a problem with my transmission not down shifting causing my engine to lug to the point of pinging. At first they said they re programmed it but that did nothing. After complaining at least 5 times Ford replaced my transmission.
    3. Electric side doors Don't GET THEM. They have been a constant problem. They open back up all the time. And intrermittantly the rear switches and door handles don't activate the doors.
    4. The electrical system shorted out twice telling the fuel pump to shut off and the dash cluster to malfunction.
    5.I have have had numerous little problems and my van has spent 86 days in the shop. I know what you are thinking and the lemon law papers are already filed.
  • In response to Snachimson post. I recent purchased a 2001 SEL in November for my wife. While I was driving I noticed the same noise. It only occurs when the van is cold. I plan to take it in at 3000. I currently have 1700. If you find out anything please let me know.
    [email protected]
  • i bought the van new in jan.97.it has about 90k on it, but it has had new front brakes on it once a yr sense we have had it. first set put on at 26k.has any one esle had this problem.when we took it back with 26k on they said it was normal.
  • I am new, this is my 1st message. I have been reading all of your messages and even though it feels better knowing that I'm not alone with my piece of --- I'm still furious! We have had to replace the head gasket 2x under 100,000m. I too have no faith when I get into this vehicle. I too got nowhere talking to Ford. They were sure well rehearsed how sorry they were that they couldn't help me. I was willing to let the other "minor" problems(windshd. wars, hatch not latching, radio buttons permanently stuck,side mirror falling off etc..)go but I am outraged how ford took my $ and refused to back their product up. For 10 years I was a solid Toyota person (Corolla 180,000m NO Repairs other than routine maintenance and still driving it--got van for kids) I am kicking myself right now! I WILL NEVER BUY A FORD AGAIN!!!!!!!!
    PS.. I wish there was some way we could join together and fight for our $ back or at least a fair deal.
  • Vehicle has 78K miles. Hard 1-2 upshift. Dealer says they have to drop the trans to figure out "what's sticking". They say they might as well put in a rebuilt trans, since they're in it. (i.e $2300). I've read a TSB regarding replacing a solenoid, overpressure sensor, and valves. Do they have to pull the trans to do this? Is Ford offering any assistance with trans trouble yet?
  • This is my first message on this board. My 99 Windstar has been nothing but problems since day one. I thought I had done my homework looking into all the pros and cons on minivans. It only has 13K+ miles and it sucks. Everything from flashing interior lights busted speakers and the latest, the rack and pinion. I'm driving around with a case of power steering fluid. But at least you guys have someone to complain to. I'm in the military and about a year ago moved to Italy. Talk about having your hands tied. Unbelievable. And Ford is so evasive. No one can help. The Ford Italy said they have nothing to do with Ford USA. In fact, they don't even sell Windstars over here. There's only one mechanic who speaks English and who honors my warranty but it has taken forever to get anything done. I feel that Ford has short-changed me $26k.
  • barrye1barrye1 Posts: 13
    OK, I read all of the reviews, but a year ago, I thought that the Ford Motor Company, that I have known and loved for many years through 7 different great cars, trucks and suvs, would put out a good van.

    Ignoring all of the problems that the Windstar had, I bought a used 99 Windstar with 28,000 miles for $15,000 just before my wife and I had our first baby.

    (Thought it was a good deal. It was off our local ford dealership rental lot)

    Three weeks after I had it I noticed the tranny was acting up, took it in. Nothing was found to be wrong. Before the warranty ran out, I had it check four times, three of them I had invoices to show that the tranny was checked but never was anything found. I couldn't get the transmission to act up (hard shift and shudder from first to second). Low an behold, at 39,000 the tranny started to act up on command. Then when I took it in, of course Ford said you do need a new transmission. So I brought my invoices and Ford said, "oh were sorry. Because the problem was not identified until after the warranty ran out, your out of luck."

    After dealing with both the dealer and Ford Customer Service (Not) help line, They gave me a 5 yr, 75,000 warranty, but I had to pay $500 for the warranty. This is ridiculous. I have talked to our attorney general to get my $500 back and am trying to sell my van as soon as possible.

    For those of you who ask this site for input on buying a Ford Windstar. DON"I DO IT. I did and ignored the what I thought were just a "few" bad posts, and now I am regretting every buying this piece of... Well you know.

    Serves me right!

    DO NOT BUY A FORD WINDSTAR. FORD WILL NOT SUPPORT YOU AFTER THE WARRANTY RUNS OUT. They do not care about the customer, only about money.
  • We've had so many problems lately, but the newest is a grinding with the brakes. Front and back are new, so we took it in to see what was the problem. The first garage couldn't find a problem. Then the Ford garage said the spindle was bent causing the abs sensor to activate. Will need new spindle, sensor, wheel bearing and alignment for approx. $540. They had a hard time finding it.
  • My 96, which I've had for exactly 4 years, has 84000 miles. Blew the head gasket. Ford says only the 95's had problems and that the 96's were fixed and aren't having any trouble. Guess they don't talk to their customers much or read this website. I'm thinking about getting a 2001 Windstar, thinking surely that all those highly paid engineers have had enough time now to get it right. Perhaps Chrysler can share its head gasket technology and Ford can share its transmission technology and between the two (FordDaimlerChrysler?) things might finally work. Just be glad these companies don't make airplanes!!
  • Here is a brief summary. Transmission problems, hard shifting between 1st and 2nd. Also failed to move after highway driving even though it was in gear. Result a $ 2,500 fix to transmission. Had rattles in right front side. Cost me $ 250 after market repair because Ford used two different metals when press fitting the front wheels. Did a front brake job at 45,000 but had to replace the rear pistons. All were leaking.
    Another $ 150 fix because the motor driving the tail gate lock blew its 'PLACTIC' gears. No more Fords for me.
  • macodymacody Posts: 18
    Every once in a while I "peek" in this forum to see how many people have hit the "60000 wall" with their Windstar and had the head gasket or transmission fail. We put lots of miles on our cars (about 25000 a year) so experienced the pleasure of both the head gasket failure and transmission failure within a 6 month period in the 4th year of ownership (@63000). I can't say I'm surprised to "read" the outrage in posts regarding the poor customer service Ford has and how horribly they treat their customers.

    Got rid of the Windstar when the transmission went out the 2nd time. Fixed it and immediately took to the dealer for trade in (drove from the repair to the Honda dealer in fact). Have never regretted it for ONE minute. I let everyone I know in on the Ford story of poor customer service and poor quality.

    mac
  • I have a 97 Windstar GL w/ 66,000 miles on it. I bought it used. First warning was the documented service records from the previous owners. Cylinder heads were rebuilt. Second warning was a vibration when shifting from 3rd to overdrive. It progressively got worse. Third warning was a "Whistle" from the driver side behind the front wheel. Took it to the dealer and Ford said this was normal!!!The mechanic said it needed the valve body replaced. Sounds like I should dump it.
  • While deciding whether or not to fix the spindle before we get rid of our van to buy an odyssey, our 1998 Windstar's transmission died at 77500 miles. Recently fixed a head gasket too. Also had sensors for engine light go bad twice. Also had the problem of dome light coming on. And never could fix rear heater which you had to turn off and on 10 times to get it to work. The dealer and Ford do not want to hear it. This was one of the early 98's made in Jan 97. Not to mention how often we've changed the brakes. A week berore the transmission blew, had it at Ford for the engine light being on. They replaced an air filter(which was new) and blew out the throttle. This made the light go out. A week later, no transmission.
  • wholiganwholigan Posts: 148
    I'm BBBB AAAA CCCC KKKK! And Oh, how I hate to be here... Nothing against you folks; we are all just part of a club that nobody wants to be a member of... Nonetheless, the 95 WS has bitten me again!

    Brief history:
    JAN 1999 - 47000 - New Transmission (warranty)
    MAY 1999 - 52000 - New Transmission (warranty)
    MAY 1999 - 52000 - New Head Gaskets (warranty)
    MAY 1999 - 52025 - New Motor (warranty)
    JUL 1999 - 53000 - Replace O2 Sensors (warranty - $50)
    OCT 1999 - 56000 - New Transmission (warranty)
    JAN 2000 - 59600 - New Blower Motor (et al - only $400!) - Extended Warranty is about to expire...
    FEB 2000 - 61000 - New Front Brakes & Rotors ($225)
    APR 2000 - 63000 - New Inner Tie Rods ($300)
    At EVERY oil change from this point forward, I indicated to the service rep that we were constantly smelling coolant....

    Luck Me! What now! We are at 75000 and guess what?! We need another engine again! Oh yeah! You'll even give me a rental car? Why? It is going to take 10 days to get another engine! Wait a minute... Isn't there a buy back program? That program for 95WS ended in October.

    I cannot believe this... I'll keep you posted...
    2003 Honda Odyssey EX-LRES - Midnight Blue Pearl
    2004 Honda Accord EX-L Graphite Pearl
    2007 Honda Civic EX - Atomic Blue
    2013 Honda Civic LX - Crimson Pearl
  • Wow!
    I am amazed at the number of transmission problems on this model.
    Our AS 98 has 56K.
    Here's it's dirty laundry list:
    1. The Tracking bar has been replaced at 25K - Warranty.
    2. The Windshield developed a growing crack for an unknown reason - replaced windshield via insurance, beyond 36K warranty.
    3. Door Handle on sliding door coming loose. I have to push in on the handle to get it to work. Dealer estimated $250 to fix. - beyond 36K warranty.
    4. Right passenger side mirror coming loose at base that attached to door ( not the glass itself ). Dealer estimated $250 to fix. - beyond 36K warranty.
    5. 12V DC power socket on center console blew a fuse. Replaced fuse and it worked. 3 months later the same socket stopped working again. It might be a blown fuse. I haven't bothered checking it since I've become accustomed to things breaking in this car and really wish it would go away. If it is a blown fuse again, might this indicate an electrical short somewhere that could cause a fire?
    6. After a wheel rotation, the car started pulling right. I have to turn the steering wheel 5 beg left of center to keep going straight. The pulling seems worse when accelerating or when the engine is pulling at a higher torque.
    First Try: Dealer rotated tires ( back to the original position ), checked alignment to be good. They must not have test drove it because the car still was pulling.
    Second Try: Dealer rotated tires, adjusted alignment with a greater attention to detail. I was told that it was test driven, and I believe them, as I requested the dealer to pick up and drop off the car at our house. The pulling was less severe, but it was still there. Service manager said it was "radial pull" ( tires ) or shocks. Using the old fashion "bounce" test, the shocks did not appear to be a factor.
    7. The rim covers keep coming off. I replaced a missing cover twice( at $50 - $75 each ). I made sure the metal tabs were bent out enough to grip the rim to the point it was difficult to get the cover on. Regardless, I am down to one rim and don't plan on replacing any more. Oddly, that last rim is holding tight.
    8. The last straw. The transmission made a grinding noise that grew Louver over a week, and was most prominent when accelerating. Finally, while driving it the day before I was to take it to the shop the transmission seized up on a hill. If this happens to you, - get behind the wheel, shift it to Neutral and have some one else rock it. Eventually it will break loose and roll back down the hill, so be ready to move out of the way.

    I've owned 4 different cars over the past 18 years each from different manufactures. A couple I have kept over 5 years/100,000 miles. Personally, I have never seen a car develop so many problems inside of 3 years and in only 56K miles. 3 years ago this was a $29,000 car and I was expecting $29,000 worth of quality.

    Does anyone remember when Ford's motto was "Quality Is Job #1" ?
    Is it a coincidence that they don't advertise that any more?
    Instead, "Built Ford Tough" implies "Tough" to maintain one.
  • I bought my 1997 Ford Windstar brand new while living in Arkansas and have since moved to Georgia. Last June while driving from Atlanta to Missouri, the transmission went out completely right at 50,000 miles. This left my family and I stranded somewhere between Chattanooga and Nashville at 5:30 am. After discussing the problem with the Manager of the Ford service center where this was towed, I was told that even without him looking at the vehicle the transmission would have to be replaced. Interestingly the Manager said that this was a "rare" occurance. Later when I talked with a mechanic at that same shop he mentioned that they regularly replace transmissions in these vehicles. After reading about the number of others Windstar owners plagued with similar Transmission failures, it seems to confirm that this truly is not a "rare" occurance. It also leave me with serious doubts about Manager and his misleading statements.

    Without having obtained an extended warranty, Ford did not provide any assistance with the cost of the transmission replacment. This cost me roughly $2,300. The rebuilt transmission was only warranted for 10,000 miles which has now since expired. In addition, I had to pay several hundred dollars for a car rental in order to complete our vacation plans. This was also paid for out of pocket.

    In addition to the transmission failure, have I also had to leaks develop in 3 of the 4 wheel rims during the first 24 months. The entire rims had to be replaced. Although covered under warranty, it was a tremendous inconvenience since one incident also occurred while on an long distance holiday trip during an ice storm. Sounds like I should have taken the hint and started thinking about getting rid of this vehicle sooner.
  • wholiganwholigan Posts: 148
    OK - I am awaiting the call from either the dealership or the FMC representative. FWIW, every Ford dealership is assigned a Regional Representative. This person works for the Ford Motor Company. This person is only available through the Service Manager at each dealership (the 1-800-392-FORD folks will NOT acknowledge that this person exists). If you feel you are not getting anywhere with your dealer, I suggest you ask for the Ford Regional Representative.

    Well, it is now after 3:30PM and I was supposed to hear from them by 3:00PM. I have called the 1800 number again. Another rep (LeRoy) is taking all the information (again). It is just amazing to me that that all I seem to do is repeat the story - over and over - the reps do all they can to keep you from getting upset. Which is probably good. THey have all the history of calls that I have made. Funny, I asked them to send a copy of that infomration to me, however, they wont send anything?! They say that their "system" cannot do it...

    Nonetheless, FORD has dished out a LOT of money to keep this car running. WHY? I have asked, once again, to get the same offer that was made under program M010. While he has not stated so,
    I am under the impression that this program is over. I still can't get confirmation on that. It is now 4:10PM and I have been on the phone since 3:40PM.

    At 4:10PM the Service Manager FINALLY joined the phone conversation. His name is JEFF. Turns out, he knows NOTHING about this! It appears that TERRY, the Parts Manager, was the person who spoke with the the Ford contact yesterday! This is absolutely screwed! Jeff has claimed complete ignorance to this issue. I have asked that Jeff talk with Terry and the Regional Rep to review the situation. Jeff stated that he will call tonight. I'll believe it when that happens...

    More to come...
    2003 Honda Odyssey EX-LRES - Midnight Blue Pearl
    2004 Honda Accord EX-L Graphite Pearl
    2007 Honda Civic EX - Atomic Blue
    2013 Honda Civic LX - Crimson Pearl
  • I own a 95 p.o.s Windstar. Have had all the same troubles tarns at 30,000 headgaskets at 60,000. Hell I even had to replace the A/Crs evaporator coil inside the dash. A $300 part and a$600 in labor job. How does that part go bad? Anyway now I'm at 80,000 miles and I cannot get the @#$%%^&;
    thing out of park. I can start it but can't shift gears. I now have to put the key in the acc position to take it out of park. Then put it in neutral to start and shift from there. Oh and it has a rod knock now also. Its like a action movie you never know whats going to happen. Any info if that buy back still applys please send em-ail to [email protected]
    ps: Don't ever even think about buy a Ford ever! If you do think about it and don't believe these post, then go ahead.But lease it so in two years you can give it back. If you buy it, We'll be waiting to read your comments in say 24,000 to 30,000 miles
  • wholiganwholigan Posts: 148
    Well - I tried... Just got off the phone with the Regional Rep for Ford. I'll give her some credit - she was much more compassionate than the last one; nonetheless, the buy-back is not in my future. According to her, the buy-back option was NOT a part of the head gasket program. It was an addendum to the program because the demand for rebuild 3.8L V6 far outstripped supply. As part of the program, they were offering a rental car for the time that you would be out of your car. Unfortunately, they found that some waits (the combination of getting the motor and having it installed) were running in excess of four months. It was more cost advantageous to buy those people out of their vehicle. According to what she said, for the region that I live in, she had to use the addendum in June, July, and part of September.

    Whatever the case, I did find out one VERY interesting thing... The first motor replacement (in June 1999) did NOT include the re-designed head gasket - as I was told...

    Soooooo, tomorrow I get a rental and wait for a motor to be installed. I can't wait for the Customer Satisfaction Survey on this one...
    2003 Honda Odyssey EX-LRES - Midnight Blue Pearl
    2004 Honda Accord EX-L Graphite Pearl
    2007 Honda Civic EX - Atomic Blue
    2013 Honda Civic LX - Crimson Pearl
  • callo_callo_ Posts: 18
    I must say after reading all of these posts, I am a little nervous about our new van. My wife and I chose the Windstar for the five star safety rateing and settled for what it had to offer. So far we have been very pleased with all the options of the 01 SEL (except the price). I will keep my fingers crossed that the problems Ford has been having will not show up in our production vechicle. But if not, I will keep everyone posted.
  • callo_callo_ Posts: 18
  • This post is mainly to reassure "call_" (#334). I have owned my 2000 SE since January 2000 and currently have 27K miles. We take 3-4 trips from Atlanta to Chicago every year and my wife drives it about 45 miles daily. I have experienced no major problems. The only minor inconveniences to date:

    1. Blew a fuse on one of the front Power Ports. (dealer replaced fuse)
    2. Plastic cover for rear seat belt assembly came off (dealer has ordered entire new assembly!)

    I can verify the slightly raucous nature of the 3.8L V6 engine, but I will also verify that it really moves this van! I have hauled 6 adults averaging 200 lfs with no noticeable difference in power or acceleration. And I've surprised many an unwary driver at a traffic light with the acceleration from a standing start.

    For prospective buyers of the 2001 edition, the rear seat is heavy. Unless you're used to lifting heavy weights and have long arms, it takes two people to remove it. But the trade off here is comfort - it's almost like your sofa at home (especially if you have a 19" TV running off the power ports).

    One note - in the interest of "not taking any chances" I only use Mobil 1 synthetic oil, Mobil 1 filters, and Amoco Ultimate gasoline.

    I am debating on whether to trade it in before the 50K mile mark. I would be especially interested in hearing from 2000 Windstar owners with high mileage on their vehicle.
  • callo_callo_ Posts: 18
    Thanks for that quick response nuceng1. We (the wife,two children, and myself) love the van. In all honesty, I picked the safety and she picked the options. She only missed the painted mirrors and heated seats. The children have their theater and daddy has a piece of mind. The performance of the van has been great, but she only has about 3000 miles on it. The motor does seem a little loud, but your right it is snappy. We find the interior very appealing (except I feel that the instruments panel is lack luster since I like gauges). The seats are incredibly comfortable, and in general we have never had a vehicle with so much luxury. If the rest of the vans life is anything like the first 3000 miles, I would recommend this van over any other.
  • I just traded my other make and model van in for a 1995 Windstar. BIG mistake. asked the salesman if he new why there was coolant on the engine... he stated it was just filled and extra was spilled. two weeks later it wouldnt stop. took it in for service, they said there was a broken head bolt and only a hand full of techs new how to extract it, so it was sent to the main center. two days later, the tech calls, tells me it needs a new engine, that the 1995's have a problem with gaskets and the engines needed to be switched out. Gee... i thought it was a broken head bolt. He ordered the engine, and meanwhile I fought with management, upper management and the general manager about even keeping it. I wanted my down-payment back. Nope, they were not budging. I just bought the thing two weeks ago. the other major problem... PARENTS ARE YOU AWARE THAT YOU ARE REQUIRED TO HAVE "H-LATCHES" ATTACHED TO THE SEAT BELTS IN THE REAR IN ORDER TO HOLD A CHILD SEATS IN?????? My childrens carseats wouldnt stay in the seat when you came to a stop, Ford knew that this was required with this year van, but didnt say anything. They wanted to drill holes in the floorboard to attach a anchor for tether straps, didnt the tech know this van already comes with 6 anchor's???? No he did not. Well after two weeks of fighting about the van, I ended up having to keep it. The new engine is in, and 10 mins later I drove it right back... another coolant leak, grinding noise, sqeaking noise, and RPM's jumping up making the car jerk forward, even though the brakes are pressed.(thanks to this, i came dangerously close to hitting a woman walking in front of my van, my husband came close to hitting the back of another car). back in for service 1 week later. The problem... the rocker arms and push rods. This is on a new engine, what in gods name is going on. The rpm's was air in the hose. They said there was a special lubricant and this was a TSB about the rocker arms and push rods. The special lubricant is NO-WHERE to be found. They called an old worker who just happend to have it in his garage and brought it in. What kind of place is this, that doesnt carry a TSB related product. After talking with several other non-ford mechanics, I was told this should NOT happen with a new engine. 1 week later I pick the van back up (yesterday) and the coolant has stopped (but for how long), however the RPM's are still going nuts, the engine is stilling ticking, and there is still a grinding noise. Not to mention when you put the van in park, drive reverse or nuetral the whole engine moves forward and backwards. I wasnt aware engines did this. The brakes are sqeaking now, the van misses, the van hesitates on acceleration, and when you come to a stop, it jerks to a stop. Called the GM again, this time he was more pleasant, and said to bring it back today and he will have a customer rep. drive with me, so i can point out exactley what its doing. This should be interesting.
    I have done extensive research on the net and found some very interesting articles on this van. Wish i had done this before the purchase. Oh and just for the record... TWO reps from the Canadian Ford Cutomer Relations Center stated that the Dealer was LIABLE for informing me prior to the sale transaction that there may be potential problems with this year engine and might require a engine switch. They did not. They are also Liable to tell any family with children that this van requires "h-latches" to ensure the safety of the children riding. They did not. Do I have a case against them... YES. I dont know how many of you have checked the internet for information, but I have printed over 300 pages of documentation that can be used as evidence in the courts against my dealership. They really messed with the wrong person this time. If I invest good hard earned money into a 5 star safety related product, I expect it to work. no... if, ands, or buts about it. Check your internet for information, it may help you win your case. I am determined to get what I am entitled to. They knew about the problem, they knew they were liable to inform me, they knew about a serious issue with the seat belts... and didnt say a word. They will be held liable. Email me with information you may have, or if you need information. Good luck to you all. And parents... please check with your local dealer about providing you FREE of charge with a required latch to hold your carseats in.
  • Some of you have mentioned the "Buy Back Program" and stated that it ended in OCT. Just wanted to inform everyone that according to Ted Britt Ford in Fairfax, Va. They have re-instated the buy back program as of two weeks ago... because of all the issues with the gaskets and engines being replaced. Mine, being one of them. The buy back program in my opinion is nothing but crap too. any money that you are ahead, MUST be applied towards a NEW vehicle on Fords lot. If you dont spend the money there, you dont get the buy back program. Alot of help that does many of us who only have some $800.00 and dont want over $400.00 payments. Especially since I just spent $3000.00 for a downpayment two weeks prior and can only afford $218.00. Bottom line.... if I wanted a new car in the first place, I would have bought one and another thing.. who says I want another Ford after all these problems and very rude service.???? Not me, EVER AGAIN.
  • callo_callo_ Posts: 18
    My Windstar is averaging 13mpg. Not exactly what the sticker said. WasssssUp!!
  • Have been a very satisfied 1995 Windstar LX owner and just parted with it at 97,000 miles. Purchased a 1999 Windstar SEL with 30,000 miles, and I'm extremely dissapointed with the drivetrain noise... beginning at 45 mph and terminating at 68 mph. Up until 45 mph, the vehicle is extremely quiet. The Dealer Service Manager requested that I first rotate the tires, to insure that I didn't have a defective tire creating the noise. The noise is of lower frequency than the normal Michelin Symmetry Tire noise, which sing loudly on concrete surfaces. I could live with that...however, this noise pulsates on and off, which makes one want to go above the 68 mph point to achieve the quietness! Since the front tires were worn, I replaced them with two new Michelins.The noise level remained the same. Could this be a bad wheel bearing or transmission problem? Has anyone had similar problems? I would like to solve it before the warranty is up. Thanks for your assistance...
  • suzersuzer Posts: 2
    We have had our 2000 SEL for 11 months and have loved it. We have had no mechanical problems since we got the key fobs fixed (they didn't work from day one and it was a problem in the computer in the engine, it also took three visits to get it fixed because Ford wouldn't authorize the dealer to replace the part until they had tried all the "fixes" and it still failed). We are only at 12000 miles but so far so good.

    Our gas mileage around town is 14.7 by the computer. We live in the suburbs of SLC, UT and I do a lot of running kids here and there. I can't remember for sure but I think we get between 19 and 22 mpg on the road.

    I would recommend the late model Windstars (and in fact we did recommend it to my husband's sister and they have also loved their 2000 LX).
  • I have a '99 LX and because I live in New York City and a good portion of the driving is carpool, we only get about 9 MPG in the city. I thought there was something wrong with the car - but when we drove up to Montreal, I was getting over 23 MPG on the highway.

    It seems that the van is just not optimized for the city and I have no idea what city they printed the window stickers in.
  • callo_callo_ Posts: 18
    No wonder they gave us such big tanks.
  • After transmission problems, rear brake cylinder problems, rear hatch locking mechanism problems, rattle in left front side and finally a front coil spring just breaking as the car sat in a garage, I'm trading this lemon.

    Can you imagine a front coil spring just snapping while the car sat there doing nothing! Had to be towed 65 miles. If anyone owns a Windstar better get 'AAA PLUS' It has saved me a fortune.
  • jasdmwjasdmw Posts: 118
    We test drove an '01 SEL on Saturday. We are trading a '96 Voyager LE. Noticed the W/S is quite a bit noisier on the highway. Can hear exhaust exiting the tail pipe on acceleration. Also, engine noise greater than in Voyager. Plus, noticed the W/S "wallows" or floats up/down and side to side. Any current owners notice the same? Are these normal for the van? Anyone know of aftermarket suspension mod that would tighten up the suspension?

    Thanks;
  • callo_callo_ Posts: 18
    I find the van to be a little loud, but the performance seems to just fine. It cruises at 90mph with little effort, rides like a limo, and plays my passengers favorite movies in complete surround sound, while providing seats as comfortable as any Lazy-Boy. About the only complaint I have heard about the van is GETTING OUT.
  • kioukiou Posts: 1
    Bought the 95 Windstar LX just before Xmas. I was not aware of the recall and the many problems. The sales manager of the Ford dealer told us that the van had a new engine replaced because the head gasket had problem and convinced me that this was a good deal. A week after driving it the over drive light would flash intermittently. The mechanic at the Ford dealer could not diagnose the problem and told me to bring it back when it occurs. Three weeks later the remanufactured engine failed. There was a lot of noise coming from the cylinder head and the engine had no compression. The van was towed to the same Ford dealer and was later told another new engine would be put in it. After 2 weeks of waiting we were told we had to wait for another 2 more weeks because the engine had not been shipped. We asked for a loaner but received a NO answer. We also asked for our $2500 downpayment back and was told NO. We asked that the downpayment be applied to a new Ford but was told that the dealer would buy back the van from us for $3000 less than we paid for it 4 weeks before. We said No. We contacted the Better Business Bureau and they said they would look into our complaint. So far no answer from them. We decided to wait for the new engine to arrive and it took 5 weeks before we got the van back last week. Now the over drive light flashing problem has started again. We took the van back to Ford with the light still flashing and the mechanic said he didn't know what's wrong and he would have to open the transmission to look at it. We are to call back again next week for an appointment. My wife love the van but the 2 months since we've bought it spent more than half of the time in Ford's garage. NEVER again will we buy a Ford vehicle!! We would love comments from others with similar problems.
  • My daughter just bought a New Windstar. IS ford Still having Head gasket and other major mechanical problems with this model???
  • kjclowkjclow Posts: 29
    Check out my post on the other Windstar site. I will not buy another Ford, unless I can find a 64 1/2 ragtop Mustang. But that's another story.
  • cbeldacbelda Posts: 2
    I've already had to replace the engine at 38,000 miles. Now the transmission is gone at 50,000 miles. What is the secret warranty or buyback program. The Ford dealer here is playing stupid. Any information would greatly help.
  • Should have checked this website back in August when the transmission on my 95 Windstar went out on a steep hill in SF!.....this was the culmination of many problems with this car - had the tranmsission replaced at about 30,000 miles, the engine replaced at about 50,000, the transmission replaced again at 90,000 - now it has 120,000 and obviously needs another transmission.... After it died in SF I had it towed to a Ford dealer - they agreed that the car had had a lot of problems (!) and felt they should at least replace the engine for us (oh yeah, there were engine problems, too...) When they called Ford, however, they were denied - so the car sat on their lot for many months - had a rental until the fix-it was denied and then just had to get a new car so went out and got a Sienna (much smaller, bur drives so much better....not to mention it's reputation for reliability - let's hope). The Ford dealer finally called and said I had to get the car off their lot - and why didn't I just donate it to charity. Thought about that - but would really like Ford to cough up something for all the money I put in this car - and the time and aggravation it cost me. So, someone tell me more about the buy back program, please. I already have a new car - so, don't know how that would work. This car was a lemon from day one - what can I do about it? It is sitting in my driveway like a big hangnail - advice please!
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