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Ford Windstar Problems



  • alingaling Posts: 598
    Try ; they have some interesting Ford inside information which you may find helpful.

    Townhall Community Leader/Vans Conference
  • pjyoungpjyoung Posts: 885
    Nothing's being done for transmissions at this time. If they do offer some extended warranty for the transmission, it would most likely be 7 year/100K miles, like they did on the head gaskets. Given that you've got 95K miles, it might be prudent to consider yourself lucky and get out of the van before that magical 100K miles shows up. Don't expect to get a lot for the van's history precedes it.
  • We bought a 2000 SEL last December and have had it in the shop 3 times. The first two times, we were having problems with the driver's side sliding door and something was draining the battery. They had it two weeks the first time, thought they figured it out but we were back a few weeks later. This last week we took it in again because we were having problems with the passenger side door. We also hear the grinding noise when making a slow sharp turn. Wish I had solutions, but Ford doesn't seem to know what's going on. Not to mention their service is horrible. I'll never buy another Ford again.
  • My 99 Windstar was the one with 2 transmission failures before 35000 miles (The first time it failed it was not rebuilt correctly). See post #196. Well, I emailed Ford customer service on their website to complain, ask if there were any changes made in the transmission, and let them know that they should build better transmissions. They were very courteous and said they'd see what they could do to restore my confidence in the vehicle. They called the service manager at the dealership where I bought the vehicle and to make a long story short they are giving me a 6 year/100K mile warranty with a $100.00 deductible. This is exactly what I was hoping for. So thanks to Ford customer service-I am totally satisfied.
  • I own a '99 LX and also recently noticed the paint
    cracks. I too was extremely disappointed that a
    relatively new vehicle was having that problem.
    I took mine in to my Ford dealership. The person
    that looked at it told me that something
    definitely was not right, but he couldn't tell me
    what might be causing the condition. He said that
    I should take it by the body shop (at a different
    location). I have not done so yet but will post
    my findings when I do. Your hypothesis certainly
    seems reasonable to me. I kind of suspect this is
    a wide spread problem with the way those roof
    channels were designed. Not to mention the
    annoying gushing of water that runs down my wind-
    shield during a rain every time I come to a stop.
  • I had the same problem with the RH power door on
    my '99 LX. I had to take it to the body shop for
    adjustment. Unfortunately, I do not know exactly
    what they did.

    In general, I have been very disappointed with
    the reliability of my Windstar. I own(ed) two
    other Ford vehicles in the past: a Thunderbird
    and an F-150 pickup. I've had no problems with
    either of these vehicles. So when it was time
    to purchase another bigger, family car, I boasted
    and pleaded with my wife (a devout Honda owner) to
    buy a Windstar for its safety rating and more
    powerful engine. Little did we know then. Now
    I look like a fool in front of the worst person
    to look foolish (my wife ;-) At the time, we had
    considered buying a Honda Odessy (sp?), but would
    had to wait for six months. We needed something
    faster than that and thought we were getting
    something just as good with the Windstar. Oh
    well, live and learn. Unfortunately, I am a
    young guy and Ford will be missing out on many,
    many years of my business.
  • does anyone else hear popping noise near feet , like the body is flexing . and what you did to correct .
  • 8366683666 Posts: 1
    i purchased a 1995 windstar the car ran fine until
    i took it back for the recall, thats when my problems started. two days later the gasket started to leak antifreeze, i took it back to metro ford in miami they redid the work the problem resurfaced two months later, when i took it back they told me it was the thermo stat and heater hose cost 17900 dollars, that did not correct the problem , next they said that it was the water pump 375.00 , that did not correct the problem, next the radiator had to be replaced 250,00 that did not fix the problem, finally they redid the head gasket ,which incidently i told them that was the problem , they kept the car 1 month. i am sure that the ford motor company knows about this problem and should declare this vehicle a lemon and give all the owners their money back, just like they are doing with those bad firestone tires they put on their explores never by a ford car or suv lets run them bums out of business.
  • Our 97 WS has had its fair share of problems. The tranny went out at 28k, rear disc brake problems at 35k, steering rack at 48k, leaky wheel(!) at 52k and now again at 69k. What a piece o' crap! Any other suckers having any similar problems with the wheels? Called the Ford dealer (Folsom Lake Ford in Folsom, CA.) Says that the rims are on a nationwide backorder. No wrecking yards in Nor. CA have a single steel wheel in stock... Really sucks. Any suggestions?
  • gil14gil14 Posts: 3
    I own a 95 Windstar, which I bought with 34,000 miles on it, and now has 75,000. Compared to some of the stories I've read, I've been relatively lucky. The first owner got to replace the transmission.In the last two years, besides the normal maintenance, brakes, tune-up, oil changes, battery, etc, I've only gone through three starter motors and an alternator. The there was the $10 coolant system fitting which cost us $200 to replace and stranded us for three days of a week long summer vacation last year. The engine is now starting to run a little rough and I've got a little seepage betwwen the heads and the block, and the tranny is staring to slam a little. This year the car only cost us two days of our summer vacation when the brake lines burst when I had to hit the brake hard at about 40MPH. I was not even close to locking them up, and had slowed to about 10-15 MPH when I rear ended a couple of cars ahead of me. Fortunately they took it well and no one was hurt. The mechanic who fixed the brake lines said they had burst in two different places. Even though I didn't think to retain the parts as evidence, I've got a great insurance co. claims adjuster who believes me and is trying to recover their costs (about $7000) from Ford. From what she tells me, though, I'm not very optimistic. Has anyone out there had any similar experiences, trying to recover costs from Ford, or heard of this sort of brake line failure with other Windstars? Any suggestions would be appreciated.
  • jrags2jrags2 Posts: 1
    We just paid nearly 2,200 to AAMCO to rebuild the trans. in our 95 Windstar. Had to take it back for some minor adjustments, but it seemed to be working well. Van would not start after switching engine off, and at the time of this post, sits in a convenience store parking lot. (Did the same thing 6 months ago and had to have a new engine). Anyway, does anyone know if Ford has issued a transmission recall on the 3.8 95 Windstar? Maybe it's just wishful thinking, but I'd love to get my money back! (Incidently, we did take it to the dealer whose mechanic could not find anything wrong with the transmission...the guy at AAMCO couldn't believe it since his diagnostic machine lit up like a Christmas tree). Any info. would be appreciated.
  • dcram1dcram1 Posts: 1
    Yes, I too have had numerous problems with my van, especially with the power sliding doors. It will be my last windstar, as long as the new dodge has a good saftey rating.
  • cptpltcptplt Posts: 1,075
    my 2000 SE did the same thing and would also "click" before it started to do anything, the guy at the dealers service desk, the "advisor", said they all did that. I insisted they check it out, the tech took the assembly apart and found a bunch of plastic chips in there! They replaced the unit and its fine now though there is a slight vibration, my wife can't even tell but maybe I have a sensitive foot or something. But its nowhere near as bad as on a Previa I had before where it really was "normal" on all Previas!
  • cptpltcptplt Posts: 1,075
    are you in search of a 15 inch plain jane steel wheel to fit your WS or some special one or alloy?
    If you just need a plain steel one I found out that the factory option full size spare for a Windstar is in fact a regular Taurus wheel. Unless the guy in the parts dept at the dealer is pretty savvy he won't realize this. I had to get 4 for my snowtires on my 95 WS and it was a lot cheaper asking the Ford dealer to get a Taurus one than a Windstar one! God knows why! There should be after market ones now also, there weren't any in 94 when I needed them. Those Taurus wheels have lasted 6 Midwest winters and I'm hoping they fit on my 2000 WS.Anyone know if the brake rotors/drums are bigger on the latest WS compared to the old one? Try for aftermarket steel ones if the Ford dealer wants too much for Taurus ones, they usually sell them for about $40 each.
  • kjclowkjclow Posts: 29
    I have a 97 windstar with about 80,000 miles. It burns (?) brake fluid. Can't think of where else it is going. I have had to replace pads about every 30,000. Needs done again, probably rotars this time. Has anyone else noticed these problems?
  • rugmankcrugmankc Posts: 133
    this is a common problem on 98's and has been addressed in earlier posts. there is a tsb on the problem and is easily fixed. i think it should be free even if you are out of warranty, but am not sure. i had the tsb done 20k ago and never had the problem recur. good luck.
  • Over the weekend I took my '96 WS into the shop because the Check Engine light came on at 56k miles. Thinking that this would be a relatively inexpensive trip, I was sadly mistaken when the mechanic called to tell me that the head gasket had blown. This of course is an $1,800 repair. After the mechanic called the dealer I was told that the only extended warranties at this time were for the '95 WS and if I came in a complained enough they might give me a couple of hundred dollars off of the total. Is there anyone out there with '96 WS head gasket problems? Maybe if we band together, we'll get the same benefits as the '95.
  • I have a '96 WS that is burning brake fluid. I have changed the brake pads twice in 30k miles. There has got to be something wrong with this...
  • bblahabblaha Posts: 329
    The "rumor" has always been that Ford fixed the HG problem mid year 1996. So if you have an early 96 model, the chances are it has the same problem as the 95s, even though only the 95s are covered by the warranty. What the "fix" means I have no idea.

    If you do your homework, you may be able to build a successful small claims court case.
  • jfmjrjfmjr Posts: 2
    I've got a 96 with almost 100K and its started to burn brake fluid as well. Any ideas
  • Hello,

    I'm going to buy a van, 97 or 98. Possible choices are Ford WS, Nissan Quest, Pontiac Montana, Chevy Ventura (Caravan and Voyager have too bad crash test results, Mazda MPV or Toyota Sienna are too expensive). Now I have Previa 91, it is pretty roomy inside and I wouldn't like to go into significantly smaller car. Any ideas which of those four is better? Also I probably will take an extended warranty for about 3 years. Is it important form which dealer to buy a car in order to be able to get such a warranty? Which warranty is better?
    Thanks in advance for any ideas.

  • wtapiawtapia Posts: 2
    We bought a 98 in the summer of 97. Just before we got to 60k miles, the tranny blew. We also had a whining noise coming from what we thought was a pulley bearing. Wrong. Power steering pump was shot. All service but 2 oil changes were done at the dealership that we bought the van at.
    I would like to say that Ford did pay for the tranny, but we had to come up with $500 for labor and another $900 for the power steering system.Not to mention that it took 10 days to get fixed and I still made the payment on it even though I didn't get any use out of it.
    HEY FORD- ARE YOU READING THIS!!! This is only the 2nd Ford we have owned. We also had trouble with the 87 Taurus we bought. I don't know what would compel us to buy another new vehicle from Ford, but in this case two strikes and you're out.
    If you are reading this, I bought my van at Korum Ford in Puyallup, WA.
  • dnj2dnj2 Posts: 4
    Here is the documentation on the "Valve Cover Assembly Kit" that is the Factory Fix. It is TSB 00-21-8 [4 pages] and it is dated 10/09/00 so its brand new news.
    The parts are allegedly on natl back order and very hard to find.
    This fix is covered by both bumper to bumper & emissions warrantys.
    FoMoCo allows 1.5 hrs to complete the fix which also includes carbon removal.
    I have been working this problem on my Windstar with my Dealer since Apr of this year @ 19k miles and am hopeful that this TSB solves it as during optimum pinging conditions the pinging is brutal. Dealer has had my car for about a week so far but has given me a no-charge loaner 2000 Contour to keep me rolling.
    Dont let anyone tell you to use premium gas.
    Good luck to us all - and there are a bunch of us pingers out there.
  • I have seen several posts for a grinding noise in Windstars just after starting and after sitting for a day. I have the same problem, doesn't happen all of the time, but does sound almost like trying to restart the van after it's started. Has anyone found the solution to this? Of course the dealer says if they don't hear it, they can't fix it....and since it only happens every so often, it's impossible.
  • crkeehncrkeehn Posts: 513
    Has anyone had an experience with the speedometer of the Windstar malfunctioning. The Odometer and cruise control both work correctly, however the speedometer needle bounces all over the place, registering speeds as high as 80+ mph.

    What was the problem and how was it corrected.

    Carl Keehn
  • yamanyaman Posts: 113
    We had the same problem in our 96 as well. Had to get a new one.
  • deariedearie Posts: 2
    I come from a family of Ford owners. We've had Taurus's, Windstars, etc. My sister-in-law, cousin, and myself all have 1998 Windstars. Unfortunately, all of us have had problems with the vans, none of which Ford will own up to. My sister-in-law had to replace her transmission twice, my cousin has a knocking noise coming from his transmission, I've had to replace the brakes, and now I've just learned that my engine needs replacing. I am leasing my van and am sick at the fact that I'll have to put $4000 into this van that I will give back in 5 months (yes, I'm over the mileage so it's not covered under warranty anymore). My feelings are; who would get an extended warranty on a lease when supposedly you'll only have the car until the lease is up. Anyway, has anyone else had problems like these with the '98s? What about dealing with Ford's customer service? Do I have any backing when I insist that they replace the engine at no cost to me? Any info would he greatly appreciated.
  • weslwesl Posts: 53
    How bad is your engine? Could you nurse it along for five months or even park it until the lease is over? If it is still driveable, sideline the van, rent something in the interim, and dump off on Ford later. If you have to replace the engine, don't go through Ford. Find a junkyard, replace the engine with one from another 98 WS, and hopefully no one will notice. Could save you 2,000 +. You could always try to fight Ford. Good luck, Wes.
  • I just unloaded my 95 Windstar after 2 1/2 very expensive years ownership. It was the worst vehicle I ever owned! Furthermore, corporate HQ's and the dealers are terrible- they tried to ignore the problems or disavow any responsibility for them. Anyway, among the problems I had was getting the transaxle overhauled to replace a cracked forward piston. Ford disavowed any responsibility for this too, although it has been a common problem since the tranaxle's debut in the taurus in 1985. Anyway, apparently Ford has still not fixed the problem, as a coworker just got a factory recall on her 1999 Windstar for transaxle replacement - Cracking forward pistons again. Ford did that repair at no cost to her. Has anybody heard of Ford finally reimbursing owners for repair of the AXOD transmissions in '95 Windstars? I am holding onto the receipt for this work, JUST IN CASE they do something like they finally did for the cracked head gasket debacle.
    I guess at Ford, the motto IS NOT "Produce a good product and the profit will naturally follow". Instead, it's "Lets get the profit now and hope we aren't forced to fix our longstanding screwups". I have returned to GM and I hope to God that nobody in my large family ever buys another Ford. They are one lousy company!
This discussion has been closed.