Howdy, Stranger!

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

Ford Windstar Transmission

aparkhillpaparkhillp Posts: 1
I need a little guidance. I own a 1999 Ford Windstar Lx 3.8l V-6 with just over 98,000 miles. The transmission has not given me any problems what so ever, then all the sudden driving home the other night it just lost power to the wheels. The RPM's went up and the speedo went down. The shift linkage is just fine. Anyone with any ideas please let me know.


  • duegoodduegood Posts: 1
    I have a 98 Limited 3.0 v6 (100Km) with the same problem. just brought it to Mr Transmission. For $250 they will pull the trasmisiion and make an assesmnet to what the the problem could be. Worst case scenario is $2500. Ouch! Not sure what to do next other than scrap the car.
  • clevoclevo Posts: 5
    Our 1998 Windstar transmission began slipping about 4 weeks ago. It happens when we are accelerating from a stop, the engine revs as if the transmission is in neutral. If we back of the accelerator and try again, the transmission catches and goes fine. Again, this has only happened at most 4 times in the past 4 weeks.

    The transmission fluid level is fine, and the transmission fluid is not burnt. We've had the transmission fluid changed every 30,000 miles. The van has 145,000 miles on it now.

    Two mechanics diagnosed the problem as slipping clutches in the transmission. They both wanted $1650 to rebuild the transmission.
  • I brought my 99 Ford Windstar to the garage because the parking light switch was broke and the lights stayed on all the time, draining my battery.
    I quick electrical diagnosis found the faulty relay but there were no spare parts for a couple of days and left my car at the garage (it was a friday).
    On monday the garage was suppose to have the new part and car ready to go; instead I was informed that my transmission was out. I went to the garage and saw my car backed outside with some lighting switches removes. I had a spare key, started the car and indeed the car wouldn't move. I thought maybe that because they had removed some parts, maybe some transmission sensors were not getting power thus not working. It ended up that the car had to be towed to a transmission specialist where he confirmed that the transmission was gone and needed to be replaces: cost $3500.
    Now; how come I never had any transmission problem before bringing it to the garage and now it is burnt. Could it be that when they removed a component that the transmission defaulted out but by moving the car outside they broke something?
    I always serviced my car as per schedule; can a transmission let go without showing any prior signs or warning lights.
    I"d like to know if others had similar problems.
    Frank N. Stein
  • A mechanic told me that the 3.8-liter powertrain in the 1996 Windstar is compatible with the 1997 model only. I was wondering if this is true and if a transmission off a 1996 would work in a 1995 Windstar, or a '95 engine in a '96 van. I am talking about the 3.8-liter only. Basically I have a 1996 with no engine and a friend has a 1995 who needs a tranny :-) Any advice is much appreciated.
  • I have a 1999 windstar the other day while pulling out onto the highway my van all of a sudden lost its gears had to coast into a parking lot then tow it home. did my transmission go out or is there a control module that is bad ? had my rack and power steering pump repaired 2 weeks earlier. any help on this matter would be appreciated.
  • yvonyvon Posts: 5
    the transmission on my windstar LX 2000 went away eventually. I read lots of stories of transmisison issue on windstar but never thought it could happen to me. The van ran very well and quiet. A few days ago, whenever I switch the gears, I can hear bigger "Pong" sound and I though it was normal.

    today in the morning, I stopped at red light. when the light turned to green, I tried to gas it up and then I heard a click sound from the bottom. The van couldn't move. I tried different gears. all the forward gears are lost. The backward gear functions as normal.

    had to have it towed. called the ford dealer and the new part cause $3000 plus 8.5 hours labor. the junk yard wants $1200 for a used one with 120K miles.

    the van is in pretty good shape, never had an accident.

    bad luck day ...
  • selooseloo Posts: 606
    Did you service the trans every 30K miles?
  • yvonyvon Posts: 5
    it's a second hand and the previous owner said it's always served from the dealer. I had trans oil replaced a year ago. I was told that the trans oil on this van needs to be replaced every 40Km or 2 year.
  • Hello All;

    My Ford Windstar (3.0L) has approximately 110,000 miles on it and has recently developed a serious transmission problem. The van will not start when Drive "D", or the first gear "1", or reverse gear "R" is selected. The only way it starts is to select the second gear "2" and move to "D" when it picks up speed. It then drives well and can even do reverse parking.

    This causes probles at traffic lights, stop signs and other stoppages. I have to manually move the gear selector to "2" and then move it back to "D" when the van is moving.

    It appears that my transmission is on its last legs. Any ideas/sugegstions for fixing this problem will be gratefully appreciated.

    Thanks in advance,

  • duke22duke22 Posts: 1
    new to this site and not sure how to find what answers were to dabreleu 9/21/06 question as i have same problem with my 1999 windstar. pulled out on highway and lost gears. could only drive in reverse. garage says must be transmission-could have towed to transmission garage as they don't do. quoted $2,500 for rebuilt -but no one's even looked under the hood. only 27,000 miles on the car and never any indication of problem before this. just passed inspection week before this happened. should i have towed to another garage to check out? was result for dabreleu that transmission was shot or something else? would appreciate any input.
  • i have a 2000 windstar 3.8l tranny seems to be slipping when in drive at about 55 mph slips back and forth from D to overdrive and shifts VERY hard at high rates of acceleration. took it to the shop they thought it was something internal in tranny but would not know for sure til they put it on a bench and opened her up but they want the payment up front which is like 4-600 dollars. is there anyone that had the same problem or similar that might know what my best options are???
  • waschawascha Posts: 5
    Emission light came on. Computor check suggests,"crankshaft position system variation not learned." How do you teach it? What is it referring to ?
  • backmanbackman Posts: 5
    Replace the fluid every 2 years with a good fluid with a good additive thats what i did ,the fluid wears out and we cannot use the good whale oil any more.Rick
  • fmilymnfmilymn Posts: 13
    I'm thinking it holds 12qts total. At normal filter change time 30,000mi only 5qts is changed out. So by 60,000mi over half the fliuds been there a long time, and so on, throughout its life. The other 7qts needs renewed also. This is same as any auto transmission. At every 15,000 I suck out the 5qts in the pan through the fill tube with a hose & pump and refill. At every 30,000 replace the filter & 5qts again. Although I never have all completely new fluid, certainly this can't hurt. Many stations will back flush the system adding all new........for 50 bucks or more, but the filter will still need changed. I'll find out. As of now only 80,000mi but will probably keep till it aint worth a dime. Depreciations terrible with these huh?
  • I have a Ford Windstar van that has had more problems than imaginable!!! Check engine light on twice, ABS light on, have replaced the alternator 2 times in 6 months, and on and on and on. my deal now is I was driving and the O/D light on the dash was flashing that the O/D was off. I stopped and turned car off and light went off. Made sure O/D was on and drove 2 miles and light began to flash again.
    Van begin to smoke like running hot. Pulled over and turned off van and tranny fluid went everywhere underneath. Had it towed to dealer. They just said it ran hot and "pewked" they sealed all the leaks and said the tranny wasn't going out. Everyone I talk to says that when that happens damage is done. I only have 3000 miles left on extended warranty. Need to know your opinion before warranty goes out too!!
  • I had the exact same thing happen to me. Your transmission is probably shot. My experience was even worse. The van smoked so badly and all the fluid ran out. The police officer who was helping me told me I was lucky it did not catch on fire.

    I had to wait 2 hours in the hot sun for a tow truck. While I was waiting, a sound like a bomb went off. That was the transmission exploding.

    At the repair shop, they said it had gotten so hot the transmission parts had melted. A new one cost me $2200 and they told me the transmission had been replaced before. I bought the van used and it has 92000 miles on it. We don't drive it much and in the past 2 months it has left me stranded twice. The repairs since January were almost $5000 for a cracked water pump, transmission and brakes.

    We are going to sell it before something else goes wrong. This is the worst vehicle I have ever owned. It will cause us to go broke if we keep it any longer. It cannot be trusted.

    I have read that Ford put Taurus transmissions in the Windstar. That transmission was meant for a car, not a van. There are so many horror stories about Windstar transmissions that Ford should be ashamed of itself.

    For those of you who bought a used Windstar, I would check to see if the transmission was replaced even before you bought it. Some people have had 3 transmissions put in with less then 100,000 on the van.

  • imikeimike Posts: 1
    I am having the same problems as above, Tranny slipping, low pressure, sometimes D wont engage, 1 or 2 seem better, R always works fine.
    I was told that it could be something cracked, I'd love to hear what the problem was with the other van's out there, and some fix's. Thanks
  • does anyone know whats up with this transmission, i guess it has a high failure rate, I can not find a salvage one as of yet. 4 years ago my brother was driving his 95 ford windstar, it just stoped pulling, (fwd). he had it rebuilt and two weeks later , the reverse went out, the clutch drum was broke in half. the local ford expert said he had never replaced one and called for help and his ally told him those don't break very easy, so he thought maybe user Error, he would not replace the part but ate the labor, within a month the reverse went out again. (drum is cracked in two again) my brother let it set, i offered to by it for 600.00, I know it has a new engine (3.8 that was defective, ford replaced it), and virtually a new trany. Am I going to have to replace the main car computer that sends the signal to the tranny also? is this gong to cost more than it's worth, any Ideas with this freak?
  • Can anyone help me out? my 03 windsrat tranny has 110,000 miles and never gave me any problems or has never given me any indication of a problem. It ran great yesterday,parked it,then started it up the next day,put it in gear and it wouldn't go anywhere forward or reverse. Doesn't make any clunking noises between gears,just won't go anywhere!! Can anyone help me, is there sensors for the tranny that i should know about because I checked all the fuses and they were fine. Thank-You
  • It is your TR (Transmission Range) sensor located on the top of the tranny; part number 7F923. Cost to replace is $55 from the Ford Dealership. But it can be a hassle to remove and replace, so you might need to take it into the shop. However it beats a $2000 to $2500 new trans.

    Be sure to have the car in neutral when changing it per instructions.

    PDF by Ford discussing the TR / MLP sensors: Seems as if MLPS were used on vehicles at or before 1997, and TR sensors used after 1997.

    Also see this link... - ndstar


  • Can anyone tell me if they have encountered the same problem as I've just experienced or know what the problem is. Just yesterday, we were on the highway (about 120 kph) and the van just stopped accelerating (it's as if we dropped it into neutral). No noise at all it just stopped accelerating. We have never had any tranny problems with the van at all. The van easily goes into any gear but just acts as though it's in neutral. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
  • If anyone has come across this same problem or knows anything about it I would appreciate the assistance. Our brake lights quite frequently stay on (while driving and while the ignition is off). Although I am in the habit of checking this when leaving the van I sometimes forget and this of course drains the battery. So many times know our battery is toast. I would prefer not to bring it to Ford for them to bankrupt me in order to tell me what's wrong so any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanx
  • selooseloo Posts: 606
    I lubricated the switch at the base of the brake peddle that control the brake lights and speed control; the problem has not returned. I hope it is that easy for you.
  • Thank you so much for your input with regard to our "sticky" brake situation. Our van sits currently at a Ford dealership roughly 2 hours from home right now with a tranny problem that popped up on Saturday (of course when everything was closed, and it was a long weekend). Hopefully your suggestion will correct the sticky problem. If you happen to know anything about the tranny problem I also wrote about I would appreciate it. Thanx
  • We have just experienced the exact same problem (to a tee). Could you kindly tell me what needed to be done to your vehicle in order to correct the problem. Please tell me you didn't need a new/rebuilt tranny.........
  • yvonyvon Posts: 5
    i'm having the same light problem. it's on and off when driving. but never been on when ignition is off.
    the trans went out a year ago.
  • I am going thru the same thing right now with 90k miles. More than likely the torque converter needs replaced. Part of it that is splined to run the pump shaft is probably stipped out and not turning the pump shaft anymore. I wonder how many trannys get changed when all they really need is a converter?
  • By now you have probably taken care of your tranny problem on your windstar, but just thought i would chime in. I just fixed mine yesterday, 01 windstar cargo van with 198k miles. had the same problem you experienced in a drive through at Macdonald's. It wasn't the first time i had this issue, but it always cleared up on it's own after restarting the van.

    basically everything was either slipping or burnt or whatever, so i had a total rebuild including upgrade package to make it ready for towing, HD parts and tranny cooler. including new CV joints it came to just under $2300 American.

    Probably not what you wanted to hear, but after having almost 200k miles on it and being paid for i figured it was a bargain compared to buying a new van. I use mine for work since it has the complete Adrian Steel service van package in it so for me it was a no brainer.

    My taillights have also stuck on in the past and actually drained my battery once, I'll try the lube idea offered in the previous post.'

    Good luck.
  • Has anyone else had this happen? I have a 2002 Ford Windstar it has 92000 miles. I came to a stop then started again when I heard a loud crack I also felt something under my feet. a few minutes after I was going up a hill and it felt like my tires were slipping then it slammed into gear. I had just had the fluids changed and filled. I brought it to a garage he said the transmission fluid was down 2 qts. That seemed to fix the problem for that day. It started acting up again each day it got worse. I brought my van to a transmission garage. He said he found a large crack in the transmission he had to use a mirror to find it because it was up and behind the back. I asked him how it happened because it has been running fine and has never been in any accidents (only lots of road construction) he said it looks like faulty manufacturing. Has anyone had anything similar happen. ty
  • I have a 2000 Windstar SEL. Every couple of months, generally in the morning after the first start up of the day, sometimes on a damp day, the O/D Off light starts to flash with "Check Transmission" also on. If I stop and turn off the car, everything resets and I can drive on for the rest of the day or another month or two. On day this summer I was on a busy road and could not find a place to stop quickly and the flashing O/D Off light turned off by itself. While the light flashes the trans does not shift smoothly. After the flashing stops, everything seems to run fine. Does anyone have any ideas what is going on?
Sign In or Register to comment.