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Ford Windstar Problems



  • selooseloo Posts: 606
    Just replace the switch and you will be fine!
  • clevoclevo Posts: 5
    After reading many posts here, I believe my 1998 Windstar is about to become a money pit. This van has had regular maintenance: oil changes, transmission fluid changes, etc. Up until recently it was a pretty reliable vehicle. But in the last 3 or 4 months, it‘s been having multiple problems as outlined below.

    It has a 3.8L engine with 145,000 miles - many of those were highway miles. An oxygen sensor was replaced in December per a scan tool reading, but the SES (service engine soon) light still comes on occasionally. The ABS light is on, but that may be due to something that happened when the brakes were serviced. Last week the transmission started to slip a bit when accelarating from a stop. Last fall it was also slowly loosing coolant. Never saw any on the ground, never smelled it, and the mechanic pressure tested the system and never found a leak. Nevertheless, the coolant level would drop. Three months ago the mechanic added some sealer to the cooling system, and since then the coolant level has held steady.

    Does this sound like it's time to get a new van? It seems that way to me, which is too bad because I actually like the Windstar.
  • Sorry if I am stepping out of line, but I own a 2000 Windstar and it is the biggest piece of crap I have ever had. I have spent $500.00 on repair bills. The tranny mount got replaced, the cv joint dust boots have been replaced, the egr(exhaust recycling valve) has been replaced, the manifold has beein replaced and that was a $424.98 job,there is alot of engine noise, city gas milege sucks, 17 mpg, and on consumer reports they say that windstars from 1997-2001 is on the list to avoid to buy. When I got this van in May of 2005 it looked good to me too, but I have had alot of problems, I just don't want you to get stuck with a bad vehicle. I have talked to alot of people that have the windstars in the same year, and they have had nothing but trouble with theirs as well. I would do alot of research about it before I bought it, and take it to a mechanic to get it checked out, 2nd opinion might help as well, and do a carfax. Just suggestions.
  • I disconnected a connector (it brings together 6 wires and is located directly below the brake fluid reservoir and sitting atop the transmission casing)in order to clean away the brake fluid (WD40) that had leaked from the speed control switch.

    Now I am unable to reconnect it. I can push it in most of the way but not far enough to cause it to firmly attach to the notch. With a little shaking the connector just comes loose. I've tried to exert force to bring the 2 connectors parts together but this doesnt work.

    I cant find any reference to this wiring connector in the Chilton manual and dont know how to attach it again.
  • jasong1jasong1 Posts: 3
    I have a 2000 Windstar that makes an aweful noise(Sounds like a pulley or belt) upon start up until the vehicle reaches normal running temperature. I have replaced the Belt, Water Pump, Idler Pulley and tensioner, In other words the entire right side. The vehicle acts as if it's going to stall until normal running temperature is obtained...then she runs great! The only code that has popped is the cam shaft positioning sensor, which I have now replaced twice within 5 months.

    Any Suggestions/ideas?
  • jasong1jasong1 Posts: 3
    On My 2000 Windstar - All the plugs have been replaced and regular maintenance performed. :cry:
  • gwb1gwb1 Posts: 4
    Our 1995 Windstar oil light came on and we took it to the dealer to find out what the problem was. They said it was the crank bearings and it needed a new engine at a cost of $3800.! Seems there is a lot of problems with this on the 95 model. Anyone have suggestions on how to get the dealer to fix this at a reduced rate or get legal help on this? We just bought this van from a private party two months ago for $4000 and now we are told we have to pay almost that much to get it fixed. We are sick to our stomachs to say the least. Any advice would be appreciated.
  • selooseloo Posts: 606
    1995's are well known for engine problems! It may be time to cut your losses or try to find a used or cheaper engine from someone other than the dealer.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Not sure why you think the dealer owes you anything since you bought it used from a private party :confuse: .

    $4000 sounds like way to much to pay for an 11 year old vehicle to begin with. The bearings may have been damaged from coolant having gotten into the engine at some time in the past due to leaking head gasket. I think 95s had a lot of head gasket problems.

    A rebuilt engine would be a little less, maybe around $3000, but that is probably still more than the vehicle is worth.

    You could take a chance on getting a used engine installed, to try to salvage something out of this...without spending more than the thing is worth.
  • gwb1gwb1 Posts: 4
    Thanks for your input.
  • gwb1gwb1 Posts: 4
    It's not that I think the dealer owes me anything, it's just that since this seems to be a problem with this van I thought someone might have some suggestions about how to go about getting it fixed without paying an exhorbant price.

    Yes, we did pay to much for it, I don't deny that. Call me a fool--because I am. :blush:

    Thanks for your input, I appreciate it.
  • mlpntrmlpntr Posts: 61
    Did you ever find the problem with this? From what I'm reading it would either be a MAF sensor or a coil. :lemon:
  • mlpntrmlpntr Posts: 61
    OK, I'm one of the unlucky Windstar owners. I have recently had the tranny rebuilt with cutom parts because the first 2 rebuilds were Ford parts. All seems well and I have a 3 year unlimited mile warranty on the tranny.
    The engine had all the gaskets replaced along with the spark plugs, water pump, thermostat, cam position sensor, ECR valve, ECM all in the past year. I recently took it for Illinois Emissions and it passed.
    So my problem began last night when I drove it to the store it ran fine. I was in the store for nearly an hour and when I came back out I started it as normal and it was missing and ran like crap. The check engine light was on and I smelled gas. So I drove it straight home and every time I would try to excel it seemed to shutter. Especially at 40MPH. So I tried to pay attention to the tach and at 2000 RPM is when I would feel it. I checked the spark plug wires and those MAY need replacing but no obvious burns or grounding. Checked PCV valve and it may need replacing. MAF sensor doesn't show any obvious problems. VCacuum hoses look fine.
    I disconnected the neg battery cable and now the check engine light is off but the van runs bad and the exhaust odor is strong.
    Any ideas? I mean other than running it into a brick wall and buying a Chevy.
  • I assume that you engine is not making a knocking noise. Just because the check engine light came on is no reason to change the engine even if the dealer said so. Get a second opinion from a reputable mechanic. Have the oil pressure checked at the oil pressure sensor. My problem was corrosion on the wire that hooks to the sensor. Charlie.
  • mlpntrmlpntr Posts: 61
    I bought my 1995 Windstar for $600 and they had just put over $2000 into it 3 months prior when the tranny lost reverse. So far I have put $2150 into for a complete tranny rebuild with custom (not Ford) parts, $250 for a new set of tires, $45 for a new sway bar. Now I have the check engine light on and it's clearly missing. I just took it to Auto Zone to have it hooked to the tester and it came back with P0302 code. #2 misfire.
    This particular van has some serious issues and the only reason I bought mine was because they had complete service records for it and most of the Ford parts that go bad on the 95's have been replaced with custom parts.
    So I'm starting at the bottom with the latest problem and replacing the plugs and wires. If that doesn't fix it then I will check the coil and so on. Anyone with other ideas? :lemon:
  • josephm4josephm4 Posts: 3
    I have a 1999 3.8 windstar that has a month with a growling noise that is heard in the rear by the gas tank. I have changed the gas tank cap without success. Except for the noise it idles and runs good. Has this occurred to you. Thanks TGR.
  • mlpntrmlpntr Posts: 61
    I've never heard this. Was your's involved in the tank recall? :confuse:
  • josephm4josephm4 Posts: 3
    I purchased used, has there been a tank recall?????
  • I have a 99 Windstar and I found that the door that controls the heat broke where it pivots in the temp select motor. I have to take apart the whole heater housing every fall to put a screw in to hold the door open for heat, I just remove the screw in the summer. It costs about $1000 to fix at a ford dealer and eight to ten hours labor.
  • gwb1gwb1 Posts: 4
    Thanks for your input. I will get a second opinion on it. I did have a new sensor put in a month ago because the local mechanic here in town thought that would solve the problem. Spent $75.00 for nothing. :mad:
  • '01 Windstar manual sliding door on drivers side is stuck in an almost-closed position. No amount of locking/unlocking the door, lifting the handle, pulling on or pushing in the door seems to move it. It's stuck as-is with both front and rear latches locked, although the handle behaves as if it's unlocked. I have enough room (maybe 1/2 to 1 inch gap) to get to the front+rear latches but don't know where to go from here.

    Please Help! Thanks!
  • mlpntrmlpntr Posts: 61
    On some of them. Check
  • burdie8burdie8 Posts: 2
    I own a '96 windstar with about 130k that has been a pretty good car. Lately, however, once the engine gets hot, it will kill when it is at idle. It runs fine on the highway and when I'm giving it gas, and also when it is cold or cool. It also starts back up OK after it kills. It just won't stay running at idle speed once it gets heated up. If I give it a little gas at stop signs with the brake on, it will stay running. Thoughts?
  • mlpntrmlpntr Posts: 61
    Is it running rough? Do any lights come on? If you have an AutoZone around then take it there and have them hook it to the tester.
  • mlpntrmlpntr Posts: 61
    OK so now I have replaced plugs, wires, and the ignition coil. It is running a little better but still throwing the Cylinder 2 misfire code. I'm wondering if I have a bad injector. Gas in the oil and the plug was a little wet on Cylinder 2 when I pulled it. Any thoughts?
    I think the tranny is acting up again too. Some red fluid under the van and shudder during shift changes in overdrive that stop when I take it out of overdrive.
  • burdie8burdie8 Posts: 2
    No, it's not running rough, but the check engine light does come on and stay on. I'll take it in to be tested. Thanks.
  • I own a 99 Windstar 120k 3.8 ltr. I have had few problems with the van, I have driven it 40k and the first problem encountered was a door ajar "light on" when the doors were closed that was a dirty contact in drivers door, recently the van started to hesitate as you accelerated not at any particular speed or RPM and then only once in a while, then it started to die at an idle and sometimes surge at idle trying to regulate engine idle speed. you can always restart the engine and it seems Rich. I hooked it up to my code reader and it flashes no codes and the service engine light has never gone on. the van runs great the only code it has ever shown was a low EGR valve flow, I pulled the egr valve and checked the vac bellows and cleaned and reinstalled no more light .The van is well maintained by me, plugs, tranny fluid ,brake fluid,AF,FF, belts, brakes, coolant flush normal maintenance anyone have an idea
  • mlpntrmlpntr Posts: 61
    I would check the fuel filter and injectors. That's the next step with mine. I still have a P0302 #2 misfire code after changing plugs, wires, and coil. After the new coil was installed I noticed it idled much smoother. But I also had gas in my oil. I had an oil change today and then took it on the highway at 70 miles per hour. I noticed that it shuddered when I let it drop below 40 and then slowly let it creep back up then again at 60. It's in the tranny shop right now because I noticed a fluid leak. The tranny guy said there was a leak between the engine and tranny and they needed to pull it again. I have a 3 year unlimited mile warranty on the tranny after a custom rebuild. I had all the gaskets replaced on the engine as well as the, water pump replaced, cylinders compression tested, and a few other things back in November. The total was over $2000. Tranny was $2150 in January. I do notice that I have an exhaust leak but I think it's just loose somewhere near the front of the van. This is a 1995 Windstar with a 3.8L built in Canada. My next step is to chek the injectors and fuel filter. I want that check engine light off!!! :lemon:
  • stwstw Posts: 2
    Three lights on the dashboard (windshield washer, doors ajar, and oil dipstick) blinks on and off together infrequently, but at irregular times and then quiets down. Seems like it happens more times when after a hard drive and then coming to a stop and at idle, it would then happen. The windshield washer resevoir is full, the doors are closed, and the engine oil is at the full mark. What can couse the problem?
  • I am having the same problems with my 2000 Ford Windstar SEL, but mine is a misfire on cylinder no 3. However, my check engine light is NOT on. I took into two local garages. One told me everything check out okay with the spark plugs and wires and completed compression test on the engine. The second mechanic told me it was the plugs so I replaced them and I am still having the problem. I am thinking the iginition coil, but I have no computer code or check engine light that is telling me it's the coil. My next step is to take it to a Ford dealer. Did you ever find out what was wrong with your van?
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