Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Ford Windstar Problems



  • afloydafloyd Posts: 2
    Hi new to this forum, hope someone can help. I did a search and saw that someonelse had a similar problem, but there were no replys to that post so I will try a new one.

    When the van is running, everything operates normally. When I remove the key, all the accessories stay on and the headlights and heater fan turn on even though the switches are off. I've swapped all the relays, swapped out the ignition switch and just replaced the front electronic control module (the one on the inside firewall by the fuse panel). The problem is still there. Anyone have any suggestions before I give in and take it to Ford?
  • mlpntrmlpntr Posts: 61
    An image of a brick wall comes to mind...........

    The problem sounds a little dangerous because if you happen to be working on it and the fan comes on you could get seriously hurt by it. Try complaining to Ford and NHTSA at
  • mmannsmmanns Posts: 1
    where is the air bypass located and will that cause rough idle and misses while driving
  • lilbit1lilbit1 Posts: 1
    Dad has a Windstar, and my brother was trying to fix several problems with the electronics the other day. He asked if I knew what "GEM", means as he was looking in the book re: fuse panel and wiring. I don't and am now curious!? What does it mean or stand for? I would be greatful for a little added knowledge!


  • rugmankcrugmankc Posts: 133
    The Air Bypass is on top of the engine toward the back and a little right of center. Mine is tubular about 3 inches long by 1.5 inches in diameter, silver in color. I don't know the answer to the rest of your question. Replacement of mine was only for stalling while making slow turns. Good luck.

  • mlpntrmlpntr Posts: 61
    DON'T Take it to Ford. Take it to a GOOD mechanic. You may just need a seal replaced but Ford will tell you there's 30 million other things that need to be fixed........
  • 88fan88fan Posts: 2
    Did you ever figure out what the probelm was? My 2000 Ford Windstar has done the same thing.

  • dmack3dmack3 Posts: 1
    Hi, I was hoping there was a way to fix the reverse sensor on our own, rather than taking it to a shop. Does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks. :cry:
  • mlpntrmlpntr Posts: 61
    try using a larger amp fuse.
  • mg62mg62 Posts: 1
    i have quite a similar problem lately with my 2001 windstar. but ibs and brake lights come on occasionally and when i restart the engine everything seems to be ok. i am suspecting malfunctioning of the speed control sensor on the master cylinder, but don't know how to make sure that this is the problem and replace the sensor. any thoughts?
  • debiq1830debiq1830 Posts: 1
    Several months ago, my interior electrical stuff totally went whacko!! I believe I have an ignition switch problem, but I'm not positive. I do not believe it's the GEM module because someone told me I'd have additional problems with the car if it were that. Here are my symptoms:

    When I turn the key into the ON position, whether the car is running or not, the following stops working:
    instrument panel backlights

    the following things never work:
    instruments on the panel (odometer, tachometer, speedometer, all guages)
    "dummy" lights/indicators
    AC/heater fan/blower
    power windows
    and turn signals

    The following things still work:
    power door locks
    interior lights
    hazard signals
    cruise control
    alert chime (to tell me if door is open, keys are left in ignition, or headlights have been left on)
    air conditioner and heater (in that if I put my hand to the vent, I can feel coolness or heat but it's not blowing out)

    What is unusual is that occasionally, when I turn the van off, certain accessories begin to work again. These are the accessories that the car provides residual power to once the key is off before the door is opened:
    power windows

    Also, when the key is in the off position and the headlights are on, I always have instrument panel lights.

    Does this sound like an ignition switch issue?

    Another problem that is likely unrelated is that the windshield wipers don't work and haven't for some time. They don't have power at the wiper motor, but we've not been able to figure out where the power break is because the car doesn't match any of the three or four schmematics we've referred to for the car. Like I said, I don't think it's related, but I thought I'd mention it just in case.

  • I have a 2000 Ford Windstar. The cruise control doesn't work. Thought it may be a fuse, I don't have an owner's manual, does anyone know which fuse controls this?


  • jeff68jeff68 Posts: 5
    Sounds like vapor lock to me. They switch from winter formulation to summer gas in the spring. Perhaps you got caught in the switch over.
  • wojo2wojo2 Posts: 13
    On July 3rd I heard a whistling noise when the brakes were applied :confuse: Yesterday it was squealing-whistling on almost every brake application. It had been raining, but the road was just wet. I am wondering if messages #2412,
    2425, and 2448 are applicable???? I have 147,000 miles on a 1998 Canadian market WS. Believe it or not, the only problem was at 99,262 when the alternator and the driver's side guide for the window broke. It ain't moving until I take it to my my mechanic :sick:

    Any help would be appreciated, thanks

  • redbaronsredbarons Posts: 4
    Pull your two front wheels * check out your brake pads & remove your two back wheels and check out your Brake shoes . Sounds like they may be down to bare metal. If that is orig. miles and brakes are org. , then they may be worn down .. Try driving and then pull your hand brake only to try & stop & see if you get the noise from the rear . May let you know if just the back or all the brakes . Good luck
  • In my 2003 windstar instrument Cluster, the rpm/speed/fuel/temp gauges intermittently stop working. All the other lights in the cluster always work. Sometimes the digital odometer goes out too. If I pound on the top of the dash, the gages will sometimes start working. I checked for loose connectors from what I could see by laying on the floor and looking up into the dash. And I removed the small plastic cowal held on by 4 screws just under the steering wheel.

    One thing I did notice, I hear a single click sound, just before the gauges start working. Sounds maybe like a relay engaging.

    Can anyone give me some instructions on how to remove the Instrument Cluster?

    Is there a specific connector I should check to see if it's loose?

    If it's not a loose connector, is it most likely the cluster or a sending unit?

    If it turns out the cluster is broke, there are places on the web that say they can repair it for under $200, should I got that route?

    Any other hints.

  • wojo2wojo2 Posts: 13
    Thanks for the ideas.

    RE:instrument cluster, get a manual. I replaced a light in my non-digital without one= 4 hours of frustation but I got it in. The light was in the middle of the speedometer!!!!

    The squealing-whistling noise comes from the driver's side
    of the instrument cluster inside the car. Front brakes and rotors changed around 120,000 miles. I did notice that the parking brake light came on about 3 times while I was driving it on the 3rd. But didn't think anything of it.

    I bought it in Dearborn MI in early 1999 with about 15,000 miles on it. For the past 7 years it has served me well.
    If you buy one get it with the dual heat and air From the winters of Detroit to the hot,hot weather of Oklahoma it has served me well :blush: (147,000 miles now)
  • Hello,
    Well I am one of the lucky ones to own a Windstar. I wouldn't know where to start with the problems it has or has had.

    Right now it is a coupe. The only doors that work are the 2 front. The side doors weld broke a few months ago and the trunk latch broke on me a couple days ago. But this is the least of my problems right now.

    Yesterday I drove it and it was running fine. This morning I woke up got it in and noticed it was not running smooth. There was some blue colored exhaust coming out and it was stinking. Quickly shut it off. Check the oil. That was fine. But noticed the oil smelled of gas. Then went and checked the liquid dripping out of the exhaust and that also smells of gas.

    Talked to a few people and was told it is probably a bad fuel injector. My hubby and I decided to start tackling taking some things apart to get to the injectors. But at this point tonight we are about to take a crowbar to the thing. What a pain to get to anything.

    My question is, before we go any further, has anyone had this same problem with the gas smell in the oil and exhaust? If so, was one of the injectors the problem?

    Thanks for any help,
  • mlpntrmlpntr Posts: 61
    Do you have a check engine light on? I had the same problem but CEL came on. I was driving it around town and it was fine. Turned it off and went into a store fo an hour. Came back out and started it and it was running rough, smelling of gas, and that dreadful light. It turned out to be a bad #2 injectore and a bad computer. Injectors are a beast to get to but if you replace one you have to replace the rubber O rings on all when you reseat the fuel rail.
    Good luck,
    Melissa :sick:
  • Hey Melissa,
    The check engine light is flashing. I am trying to decide if I just want to junk this thing now or not. I was hoping it would hold out a couple more months and then I was going to look for something newer and definetly different.

    I told my hubby that I want to go buy a big truck with big tires and just run over the thing every time I pull in my driveway and park on it.

    I swear this van has been broken down in my driveway more in the last year than I have driven it. I bought it from my sister in law 2 years ago with 79,000 miles on it and I just turned 100,000 with it. And yes the engine was replaced at about 43,000 miles.

    I will list the problems this van has had, just incase it might help someone else.

    *Engine replaced at 43,000
    *Light always on and dinging showing a door open. And because it thought a door was open the ceiling light wouldn't go off. Had to take the bulb out because it was getting so hot it looked like it was about to catch on fire.
    *ABS light has been on for the last year or more
    *Can't use side sliding door, because the weld broke and door is about to fall off.
    *Door latch broke for truck so I have no way to open it
    *Went through a few sets of spark plug wires because the ones I was first getting weren't strong enough and caused the van to run rough.
    *Passenger side sway bar broke
    *Both wheel cylinders and brake lines had to be replaced. One side about 8 months ago and the other side 2 weeks ago.
    *Just had to replace the starter wires a couple weeks ago.

    I am sure there is probably more, but I am getting too depressed thinking about it. Luckily I have manual windows and locks otherwise I would probably have problems with them.

    Well I guess I will sleep on it tonight and figure out tomorrow if we are going to try and fix it ourselves or just go look for something different now.

  • Windstar in shop (dealer) for several things including a complete transmission service. Paid bill $3300.00. Got car drove 190 miles (HWY) and is no longer shifting. Out in the middle of the desert have it towed to tiny shop. They clean off fluid, dump in a couple of quarts of transmission fluid. Drive it check it can't find any leaks. Drop in a couple more quarts of transmission fluid drive it check it, still can't find any leaks. Total of 7 quarts of Transmission fluid. Call original shop they tell me they will take care of all costs related to problem. Get auto back to original shop - yep now needs new transmission. We'll pay the labour $800.00 you need to buy transmission at $2500.00.?!?!?! Any thoughts? If there was a problem with the transmission wouldn't that show up in the Complete Transmission service that I paid for?
    Thanks for any help
  • mlpntrmlpntr Posts: 61
    Hi Michelle,

    WOW, I think we own a mirror image of each others van!!!

    1. Engine replaced at 60,000 miles
    2. Had problem with door ajar issues and it was a conector on the sliding door. (I think it was a recall item)
    3. ABS light on for longer than I can remember. It's a ground wire issue that takes a $10 kit to fix and an hour of labor. It doesn't affect the functionality of the van.
    4. I think I'm going to check on my spark plug wires now.....
    5. Drivers side sway bar broke a year ago.
    Ignition coil, wires, plugs, computer, fuel injectors all had to be replaced 3 months ago.
    6. Transmission rebuilt at 43,000 miles, 75,000 miles, and 130,000 miles
    7.Rear wiper hasn't worked in a long time.
    8. Brakes wear quickly
    Starter, alternator and wiring replaced
    9. both inner tie rod endsreplaced twice now.
    10. Keyless entry system doesn't always work properly.

    Yeah, I feel some depression coming on.........
    Good luck with whatever decission you make. If you go for another vehicle make sure it's anything but a Ford. The Caravans are nice and the only issue with those that I've had (owned 2 previously) were cooling system issues. The front fan motor and relay tend to go bad but are easy and cheap to replace.

  • msiglermsigler Posts: 1
    Runs great drives great but! I have no speedometer, ABS light just came on and No odometer, It lights up but shows no mileage, just little green lines were the miles should be.
    This all happend at once, i shut it off one day it was fine, the next day i started it and had all these things go wrong at once! The tack and engine temp and gas gauge work fine.
    So im puzzled... can you help me?
  • telfordtelford Posts: 2
    My front AC will only blow out of either defrost vents in dash or floor vents. Also, the rear AC will not blow at all. The only air that will blow from rear is hot air from floor. Cant get ANY air to blow from side vents or ceiling vents in rear? Any suggestions???
    I have enjoyed reading the various posts on here as I too have experienced SEVERAL of the same problems-transmission, interior lights staying on, service engine light staying on, transmission "clunks", passenger window not functional, etc.
    My trans went out while we were vacationing at the coast 2 years ago and we had to have new trans put in while we continued our vacation w/ a rental car. We picked up the van on our way home and didn't get 50 miles down the road before the overdrive light on the gear shift started to blink and the RPMs shot way up. When we contacted the Ford dealership that installed the new trans we were told it had nothing to do w/ what they did! To this day the light continues to come on after driving it about 20mi and it seems to switch back and forth between manual and overdrive.We refuse to put anymore $ into this pile of
    #%*@ because we are hoping to get a new car soon!
    Any help w/ the above AC problem would be appreciated as living in Texas, having AC is a MUST!!
  • mikandjenmikandjen Posts: 2
    i have the same problem with my also not working,any solutions?
  • nate15nate15 Posts: 1
    My 98 Windstar GL has recently been running very rough off and on. It seems to mainly happen when the AC is on, but does happen sometimes when it isnt. It usually shakes and seems as though its going to quit. When revved..the RPM's go up but it feels like its getting more air than anything...almost a slight delay while the engine tries to catch up. We're supposed to be heading out soon on a long trip...any ideas what this could sound like? We did try replacing the spark plugs and help.
  • redbaronsredbarons Posts: 4
    You really hate to have to pay the dealers or the high price repair shops but sometimes you have to SUCK IT UP and pay the Fidler !! Since you are going on a trip it sounds like you will be way ahead of the game to pay for a diognostic check up . With all the CRAP that they put on the engines ( to make our air clean -- HA ! HA !! ) it could be anything . If you brake down , you are looking at a tow , food , possible lodging & or a rental to get back home !! We have a 99 and the wife loves it but a nightmare under the hood ... Check for coupons in the papers for shop specials .. GOOD LUCK !!!
  • I just fixed the same AC problem on my '98 a couple of days ago. The rear AC control switch is also a vacuum switch that switches the rear AC off and on. Its bad. Here's how to fix it: The control panel has 4 controls on it. You will be fixing the one on the far right. First, pull all the knobs off, then pull the cupholder out, look below it and you will see two little bolts, I think they are 8mm, remove them. Then, pull the cupholder all the way out, there is a little latch thing on the back of it, push it down with a screwdriver if you have to, to get it out. There is a plug to the light that you can unplug to get the cupholder out of the way. Now, you are going to pop off the panel that surrounds the 4 controls. Gently pull on it all around and it will pop off. You may have to help it along with a screwdriver. I think there are a couple more 8mm bolts in there. You should be able to see some more bolts holding the panel on. Remove them. Now, on the back of the far right control are two vacuum hoses, one white and one black. They are held in by a little connector. Remove it. I took a piece of 14 gauge wire and spliced the two together. The air should now work in the rear. You can also replace the entire switch from Ford for about $25.00. Anyway, I hope my instructions were clear. I recommend getting the Chilton or Haynes Windstar book from the library which gives pictures and a better explanation than I can give. Good luck.
  • mlpntrmlpntr Posts: 61
    Has anyone ever thought about the CCRM next to the battery? It is a relay assembly that controls the fuel pump and a few other things like fans and AC.
  • jessie23jessie23 Posts: 3
    My 2001 windstar recently started hesitating at certain speeds, between 25-40 and then it stops. I really have to "floor" it for it to keep going. Will bring into shop monday but just curious bout any ideas from the board
This discussion has been closed.