Ford Aerostar Electrical Issues

vicki120vicki120 Member Posts: 2
Hi. I have a 94 Aerostar XLT. Yesterday it started making a strange noise. It's kind of like a crackle that comes from above the radio and the door ajar light flickers and goes on and off. I noticed it mainly happened when I stepped on the gas pedal but then it would stop after a few seconds. It would also stop when I stopped at a traffic light or stop sign and then it would start up again when I started to accelerate. I also noticed it would happen when I made a left hand turn but not a right hand turn. It actually stopped yesterday afternoon. Then this morning it started up again. I told my husband but since he didn't hear it, he has no idea what I am talking about. My two children heard it so at least I know it's not just me. If anyone has any idea what this could be, I would greatly appreciate any help. This is the first Ford that we have owned so my husband is not as familiar with this vehicle.

Thank you so very much for any help.



  • 93goodie93goodie Member Posts: 1
    My first posting. I've got a 93 Aerostar, and within the last 6 months when I first start the van, hit the brakes to put into reverse or drive, my dash lights and outside lights come on. When my foot comes off the brake, dash lights and outside lights go off. Any ideas?
  • taurus1234taurus1234 Member Posts: 7
    Try the multi function switch. I pruchased a cd off of ebay that is the ford repair manual. It shows the power from the pedal switch going to the brake lights, anti lock brake control and to the multi function switch. This switch also controls the head lights, although I am unsure how or to what extent. The manual shows the switch to be in the vicinity of the brake pedal switch, under the dash near the left knee. You may want to purchase it from a u pull it wrecking yard that way if this is not the answer than you do not have much invested.

    good luck.
  • overloadedjc88overloadedjc88 Member Posts: 4
    Ive only seen one message with the same problems.
    Anyone have any suggestions. I plan to drive this 94 till the wheels falls off. 194k and still haulin. Use to drive 90miles everyother day untill deployed in 2003. Drove 1600 mile round trip last year, no problems. Im a Chevy lover but cant knock this one. Front end rattles and knocks over bumps
  • dobbs2udobbs2u Member Posts: 3
    had the same problem, it is something called a "clock spring" ( not really a spring, is an contact ring)which is located in the steering column behind the steering wheel.
  • essaygeeessaygee Member Posts: 1
    Well, I've had my '93 Aerostar since....1999. It has about 143K - bought it with 60K on it. Hauls my family of seven everywhere and is usually full all the time. It was wife's primary car. (Got a newer van 3 years ago, kept the Aerostar. She won't give it up) I have a bike. We're in military - don't have much money, but we have a lot of fun! Bought van from dealer with an extended warranty (thank God). Problems - heater core - problem you describe: leaks water/antifreeze into passenger compartment, smokes, smells, can cause overheating. We have had this fixed by the Ford repair shop SIX times - new heater core, hoses, fluids each time. Paid our deductible the 1st time, repair was guaranteed, never paid again. The hose couplings at the firewall suck, and leak because mechanics just can't get them right. One recall - don't remember what for. Your sliding side door will get loose and make a crackling noise from the contacts for the "door ajar" - cabin lights will flicker on/off. Just rotate contacts until they are too worn, then replace. Handle and lock will wear out as will roller track - replace. Transmission - wouldn't go into reverse (high end pkg)3 years ago. Went to AAMCO - they wanted $2400 to rebuild it front to back - said it was shot - no good parts left! I said hell no, it has been running fine, doesn't need all that work, put it back together! After a week + of fighting with them, they put it together. Told me it wouldn't last a week. :mad: Went to my local guy and for less than $250 he had us on the road and have never had another problem with it (we don't tow anything - ever). Clockspring - will disable horn, cruise control (flash airbag light 5-2 I believe). Never have gotten it fixed. Rear ABS light comes on - take top off master cylinder fluid reservoir, clean the little plastic plunger/float thing, check fluid level, replace cap - A - OK. ***change oil and filter EVERY 3000 MILES without fail, or go synthetic! :shades: More? Just ask.............Steve + 6
  • yoshiq85yoshiq85 Member Posts: 1
    I have recently acquired a 1993 ford aerostar 3.0L, and the horn doesn't work. I was wondering if anybody could tell me where the horn is physically located so that I might be able to either repair or replace it. The horn relay is getting power, but the horn itself will not operate.
  • mongoxmongox Member Posts: 4
    When I had the engine pulled about ten yrs ago, I seem to remember that the horns are bolted to the radiator frame behind the grill. (on 90 model) I believe that puts them in front of the radiator but behind the plastic/chrome grill. You can get there by, I think, removing the screws around the grill top and elsewhere. Any guidebook should locate them for you also. Most cars I've owned have two horns and the Aerostar does too - least my memory says so since I seem to remember adjusting one of them to create a more noxious effect. Also, when the Spurs last won the playoffs, I burned out one of the horns by honking too much driving across town and when the van finally died this summer it had a very weak horn.
  • mongoxmongox Member Posts: 4
    I'm visiting forum because considering buying a used 4WD Aerostar but thought my experience with previous Aerostar might be of interest to those asking about reliability and such.

    I purchased a 1990 XL 3.0 Aerostar in June of 1990 and have retained it since. It now sits, forlorn and dead, after giving great service for 16 years and 230,000 miles.

    Clearly, over this time span and mileage the van has been thru a lot! Overall, I was very very satisfied with it. When you decide to keep a vechicle for this long, a certain amount of service and repair is part of the deal. Consider that even though I refinanced my van's orginal 3 yr note to 4 1/2 years (to get down payment for house long since gone) that I haven't had to make a payment on it for over 11 years. This pays for a bit of maintanence.

    The fall after purchase, I received some offers from out-of-state dealers for an extended warranty - this was/is? a program by Ford to help low-volume dealers. I increased my warranty to 5 yrs?/100K by spending $700. This paid off when my van hit 97,000 and I had to have very major work done on the transmission. The van was shifting sluggishly at first and over-shifting on hills in cruise control. My dealer first did pulling and replacing, twice, and the problems ceased. Not long after this, on a trip to New Mexico for skiing, I had noticed that when fully loaded (4 adults with significant luggage in back and on top) that again I was getting poor performance while on cruise and too much down-shifting. When I returned, I went again to dealer and even though van now had 102K on it, they considered it a continuation of the warranty and fully replaced the transmission.

    The tune-up I had done this trip was first one. I also had same friend replace the shocks or struts, whatever, with heavy-duty ones which lasted life of the van. I never had ANY front end work done on the van and despite curbs and being hit broadside (see later) it ran straight and true for its life.

    At about 140K I failed to notice the temp guage was totally in the red and ran the engine dry. The problem came from a broken heater hose which drained the coolant. I had my friend above pull the engine and he replaced some rings and the main gasket and I was back on the road. (Great to have a friend like this - cost me I believe about $360) However, this was my fault, not the van's.

    Around 170K my van was hit broadside when I avoided a freeway accident! Sounds funny, eh? I noticed a complete stopage up ahead on freeway - love the view from the Aerostar, love a mini-van that drives like a truck rather than a car - and pulled quickly onto the shoulder and on about 20 ft into the large grass verge. I knew the car behind wasn't watching well and was driven by kids so didn't want to be read-ended. Indeed, the kids behind me hit the car formerly in front of me, then veered into middle lane and sideswiped a brand-new car... then careened off the freeway, incredibly finding my van out in the grass and hitting me right on the sliding door.

    My insurance paid under Uninsured Motorist - paid off completely. I chose to keep the van and didn't have it repaired. The frame post behind passenger seat was bent, the frame line under doors was bent. However, the passenger door still operated despite damage and the side door could be carefully opened and forcefully closed. So... it was now very ugly. I hadn't upgraded the AC to the new system so the small opening at top of side door didn't bother me nor did the small amt of rain which dripped in - it drained right out again anyway!

    Well, the next 60K saw the van last but become a bit ragged. Since it had no resale value, I didn't keep up the maint. as I should, allowing the front end to become very loose - worn tie rods and bushings. A fair bit of noise and loose steering was evident but since I didn't drive it a lot, I let it go.

    The final day came when returning from the lake, after serving me again by carrying an immense load of stuff on the trip up. I accelerated to about 75 to pass on the freeway and lost all power - the trans seal broke sending all the fluid out. I was able to get off the freeway and into a Denny's to await my tow.

    I consider the Aerostar to be the perfect minivan. My experience consisted of dependable performance and low maint. cost. The transmission on the 89-91 models seems to have been poorly chosen, one mechanic told me it was too small, designed for a 4 cyl engine rather than a 3.0 V6. Outside of that, I found no problems with it. Design is great - the rear wheel drive making it a much better towing machine than other minivans.

    I once pulled a old Ford F-150, fully loaded with furniture, with my van also loaded, from Phoenix to San Antonio - 1000 miles. Wasn't a fun trip, especially New Mexico where the round-top roads let the truck steer me - but the van did as well as could be expected. I didn't have the towing package, but added a trans cooler before trying it.

    So, I'm stuck on Aerostars. Would be happy with any low-milage model but am intrigued by the 4WD I found locally. I'll post my experiences with it if I make the jump. Hope all have enjoyed my story!
  • amswoldamswold Member Posts: 1
    Hi. I'm brand new to this site because I found your listing on a google search for "sliding door repair". I also have a 93 Aerostar and have always loved it, but am frustrated with finding the "right" people to repair it. I constantly get the whole "it's not worth fixing it" story from everywhere I go, EVEN the Ford body shop! They hate repairing them! I have a question for you though, where did you get the parts to repair and replace the rollers on the sliding door? Did you do it yourself? I've had two different Ford body shops "adjust" the door and put it back into its track when it was pulled out of the track. Each time it was done it slid less easily. My sliding door now pops out of the track frequently and so I took a metric socket set and put the slide arm back into the track myself, but it really isn't properly aligned any more! It continues to pop out all the time now, and it no longer unlatches easily, and grinds a little when it moves. I want to repair it before I do permanent damage to the track! Do I need to take it to a shop or can I get schematics somewhere so I can just order the worn parts and do it myself? I too love my Aerostar! It's my second one I've owned and I've also had mine since 1999. I especially like the seat option that came on this model year and older model years. They lay flat into a bed, not just fold in half onto themselves. I surprise people constantly with the cargo space I have without ever taking the seats out! . . . and when I do unlatch and lift the seats out, it's an actual cargo van. I wish they still made these vans!
  • aeroman1aeroman1 Member Posts: 6
    Hi, it sounds like the guide arm roller is worn out. You should be able to go to a ford dealer & veiw the exploded [non-permissible content removed]'y of the entire door & order the parts you need from them. Alternatively, go to a wreckers yard & you might well be able to get another door ,or just the worn parts you need for a lot cheaper than from Ford. If your lucky they might even have one the same colour!

    Good luck,
  • joeirish15joeirish15 Member Posts: 3
    here is a website to go to and get some maintenance instructions and possible solutions for any problems with almost any vehicle manufactured here in the USA:
  • sfrensfren Member Posts: 8
    1993 Aerostar has no brake lights. I have checked the fuse and it is good, checked the bulbs and they are good. I even removed the switch and jumped the connector and they still do not work. Anyone have any other ideas of what to do?
  • oort33oort33 Member Posts: 1
    the horn doesnt work and the speedometer sometimes works but not the right speed i changed the abs sensor but it dosent work right. if any one knows how to fix this please let me know. thank you
  • jadedgeekjadedgeek Member Posts: 2
    After replacing the starter on my 92 Aerostar I can not even turn it on. The electrical system is dead. No interior light, guages, anything. Its exactly as if the battery was completely removed from the van.

    Any solutions?
  • denis5denis5 Member Posts: 1
    Hi Guys
    My problem is that I can't get the dash lights to work again.Have checked the fuse's and all are ok.The dimmer switch will turn on the dome light but nothing else.Makes driving at night hard to do.So someone please tell me my next step.
  • daniel1956daniel1956 Member Posts: 1
    The turn signals and emergency flashers quit all of a sudden, any input?
  • tdgootdgoo Member Posts: 1
  • gh2007gh2007 Member Posts: 1
    Vicki I hope you have fixed your problem. It took me awhile to figure that one out as the problem got worse over time. Replace the door latches (on the frame not the door itself), there is a plastic bushing that wears out and only comes as an assembly. Ford dealer part only about $12 each. The noise is the relay turning on and off and it will go away also.
    I hope someone can help with my problem. Lost electrical power to AC/blower, rear defogger, backup lights, rear wiper, turn signals and maybe more. Van runs great.
    1990 xlt 5speed manual 3.0L

    Thank You
  • jdedvmjdedvm Member Posts: 2
    My 1993 aerostar xl horn and cruise control has quit. Have check fuses? Could it be the horn relay? Thanks
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    No, its the contact ring/wire inside the stearing column at the stearing wheel.
  • jdedvmjdedvm Member Posts: 2
    Thanks. I will clean contact ring this weekend. Last night the left lights on dinger continued the ding after I closed door. Would go off when lights were turned off. Continued for 30 minutes now working normally. Thanks Don
  • loosenutloosenut Member Posts: 165
    when you replaced the starter,did you replace the starter solenoid?
    -and if you did,have you left any of the smaller wires off?>..
    if this is not the case,it sounds like the fusable link..from the battery side of the solenoid-follow the -pos- (+) post of the battery to where it bolts to a thingy on the side of the engine compartment..this is the starter solenoid..
    you will need a 12 volt circut tester..test the curcit tester by clipping the wire end to the ground(-)post on the batt..
    there should be two small wires,along with the battery cable
    -using the pointy end of the tester,pierce through the rubber coating-trying to hit the wire underneath,and see if your tester lights up--if not-pull on this wire--if the fusable link is ok,you shouldn't be able to pull it apart easily..if the wire is burnt through,the only thing holding it would be the rubber insulation..if this is the problem,go to the parts store-a REAL one,and tell them you need a piece of fusable link..use crimp connectors,or-fix it right by soldering and shrink tube--andVUIOLA!! should be fixed!!..good luck!!
  • djmjd5djmjd5 Member Posts: 1
    1993 aerostar. The headlights have decided to have a mind of their own. They will shut off suddenly for a few seconds and then come back on. Both on low and high beam. I drove for 1/2 hour no problem then multiple times over the next 15 miles. Never had a problem before now almost all of time. The dash lights are fine. Is this a dimmer switch problem or is there another componet that might be overheating or something?
  • jfrommjfromm Member Posts: 1
    Hi all,

    After weeks of winter having the heater's blower working most of the time, but not when we really wanted it, I tried pulling the multi-switch on the top/left side of the steering column, as was suggested in another post. The poster said this multi switch could be taken apart once removed, and the contacts within it cleaned. I got the switch off, but did not have the smaller star bit required to open the switch, so I just shot it full of WD-40 and tapped and wiggled the switches on it and reinstalled it.

    Since then (4 days) we've not had a single failure of the heater/turn signals/defogger that had been a regular occurance. I'd say it was definitely that multi switch. Our local parts store has the switch for about $75. I think I'll leave ours in place to see if it really goes out, then spend the $75 for a new one.
  • jimmj43jimmj43 Member Posts: 17
    '92 Aerostar XLT: Both front door switches will activate the 'unlock' function, but neither will activate the 'lock' function. Since I had to repair an electric window problem, I decided to tackle the annoying door lock issue. I sliced some insulation off the Pink/O & Pink/B wires and introduced a cheater battery to test the operation of the solenoid. (For some reason my Haynes manual identifies that solenoid as a 'motor' ?!?!). It behaved just as it should have as I switched polarity back and forth.

    I note in the Haynes wiring diagram for the door lock circuit that a "lock relay" (as well as an "unlock" relay) lies in the circuit between the incoming 'hot' and the switch. BTW, the switch tests good. I want to check that 'lock' relay, but I'd rather not have to pull out the entire dash to track it down. Not surprisingly, the little owners manual that came with the van was no help. WHERE should I look for that relay, and how can I positively identify it? Oh. And while you're at it, could you wash my car? :P
  • jimmj43jimmj43 Member Posts: 17
    You can save a buncha $$ by purchasing a small set of Torx drivers. Some years back I got a set of 5: T30, T25, T20, T15, T10 for ~ $10-15. Money well spent.
  • grummpygrummpy Member Posts: 1
    my mother inlaw tries to start the van and sometimes it just cranks andsomtimes it starts its not somthing the local mech. apparently can find. they live in mcallen tx. i live in il. or i would be fixen it by hit and miss like thier mech is doin ,i would be cheaper. theyve changed the fuel filter and the connector on the dash (?) for the ign. but nothing helps i keep sug. they change the nuetral safty switch and my mother inlaw states they did this.every nuetral safty switch ive seen has been on the linkage or on the trans. by the way she is 86 and her husband is 89.he is pretty bo. and they need thier van any and all sug. would be app. except the obvious they wont get rid of it.ha ha
  • jimmj43jimmj43 Member Posts: 17
    Have yoiur MIL do a simple test. Next time she wants to start her Aerostar (especially it's been sitting a day or two), have her just turn the ignition key "ON", and give it about 30 seconds in the "ON" position before she engages the starter. If after the delay it starts right up then chances are the fuel pump (inside the tank) is on its last legs. If the pump's diaphragm has developed "fatigue cracks", those cracks might allow the gasoline in the line to seep back down into the tank. The longer the Van sits idle, the more completely evacuated the fuel line can become - and the longer it'll take to get gas pumped back up the engine where it can do some good.
  • aerofan3aerofan3 Member Posts: 7
    I've an 94 Aerostar where the horn, cruise control is not working and the airbag control light is very often on. An electrician stated that I've to change the column clock spring. Ford is charging more than $ 200 for this item, too much for such an old car.
    I wasn't able to find it researching online the whole sales.
    Does anybody have an idea where to purchase?
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    The more common problem is not the clock spring itself but the "slip ring" and/or the slip ring brushes. Disconnect the battery, remove the airbag and then the stearing wheel and clean those brush contact points on the "slip ring".

    You can sometimes verify "this" being the problem by turning the stearing wheel back and forth, widely, engine running, 15-20 times. That will often "clean" the contact area enough that those functions will work for a few drive cycles.
  • firealarmguyfirealarmguy Member Posts: 8
    I put door locks from a 88 areo in my 95 and I think they are by the drivers side kick panel but you simply operate the locks and listen and feel for the relay noise and vibration and the other relay is beside the one that works . good luck pete
  • tim222tim222 Member Posts: 1
    Inerior lights and speedometer not working someone said it could be the cluster relay switch??? what and where is it? could it call the problem??? please help as I am in dire need!!!!!!
  • recondocrecondoc Member Posts: 1
    Did you ever get an answer your headlights having a mind of their own? I am having the same problem with my 1993 Ford aerostar. Thanks
  • diyselfclimberdiyselfclimber Member Posts: 1
    On my 1992 Ford Aerostar XL van, both of my headlights stopped working at the same time. Would that not indicate that either a fuse or a relay needs replacing? If so, 1) which one? 2) And where do I locate it? 3) And how do I access it? If you have an image you can show me that would help, but is not absolutely necessary.

    Please help me if you can. I normally do quite a bit of my driving after dark, but cannot do so until I resolve this problem.
  • dminnichdminnich Member Posts: 1
    I have a 93 aerostar that started making a donging noise,as if you left your headlights on with the car turned off.I wiggle the ignition key a little and it stops,but then when i pull out the headlight switch it starts donging,and won't stop while driving. Is there some where i can unhook this so it stops donging,or do i need a new switch some where,ignition or headlight switch?
  • lovemyfordslovemyfords Member Posts: 2
    97 4.0 engine 4x4 starts and idle but anything else it stalls was told it is the coil plugs and wires need replaced. does this sound right and if so is it hard to do
  • flaco3flaco3 Member Posts: 1
    No singal lights, and no reverse lights are coming on. I checked the fuse box and fuse #5 is burned out but there is a short in it.
  • aeroman3aeroman3 Member Posts: 1
  • mikenzmikenz Member Posts: 1
    When I turn ignition on the check engine signal lights up. As soon as it starts it goes out. Is this a problem? Can I reset this
  • hollyplacehollyplace Member Posts: 1
    Replace the alternator and the problem should be fixed.
  • shuwb218shuwb218 Member Posts: 1
    What did they have to repair to make it possible to shift into reverse again? Was it a part in the tranny, or some other issue?
  • pegleg59pegleg59 Member Posts: 1
    When the key is turned on the engine light should come on then it should turn off after a few seconds. This indicates that the system is operating correctly.
  • rsdmtdrsdmtd Member Posts: 1
    I have put new switchs and new motors in for the windows but they still will not work on our 93 aerostar and also same problem on 91 aerostar all wheel drive that we also picked up. Someone stated that it might be in the wiring that goes thru the door jams. Has anyone had this problem and what was the fix for it. Doing it manually really does not work well.
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