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Ford Windstar Alternator and Battery Problems

selooseloo Posts: 606
edited July 2017 in Ford
Has anyone changed these items?

Do you have a link detailing the process?

Do you have any other helpful hints to successfully accomplish this task?



  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Do you have a link detailing the process? gives free access to repair manuals, you might check there.

    I successfully replaced our alternator by giving a mechanic about $325. :) ;)
  • selooseloo Posts: 606
    Good response!

    A new alternator is about $180,a new belt is around $20.

    $125 for labor is not bad, but I like a challenge.

    Anyone else have any good tips?
  • aceladyacelady Posts: 10
    My alternator died on the way home from work and left me stranded on the roadside.

    The final bill, including the tow, was over $300.00.

    It sucks to not be mechanically gifted! Wish I could have done it myself.

    I know the mechanic said that the alternator alone was almost $200.00, the tow was about $50.00 and the labor around $60.00.
  • selooseloo Posts: 606
    Well, it may not be the alternator or battery, both tested good at Advanced Auto last night.

    Maybe something is draining the battery? Has anyone has this problem?

    Or maybe that can of WD-40 I sprayed (yesterday) into the inter workings of my alternator fixed the voltage output problem found during the Autozone test on Monday? Or maybe not!
  • I just finished replacing the battery about a month ago in my 2003 Windstar. The battery light had been coming on but the battery was strong. Now the light is coming on with the new battery in it. I thought about the alternator but this seems weird since the van only has 32000 miles on it. I will be having a mechanic look at it next week. Has anyone had this problem? I also have noticed that at times the abs,brake parking and battery lights come on when I'm driving. Also the inside lights come on at odd times when I'm driving.
  • I have the exact same problem with my Windstar. I also had my altenator checked and replaced my battery. Do you have any idea what is causing this? Any information would be great.
  • Still haven't gotten to the mechanic. The van is running fine except for the darn battery light coming on most of the time. My friend said he thinks it's programmed to do this so you'll take it in to the ford dealer and be charged big bucks. I'm not convinced of his theory although I wouldn't be surprised. Did you have the alternator checked out and if so what did it show?
  • selooseloo Posts: 606
    Go to Auto Zone and have your battery and alternator tested for free!
  • Hi everyone! This is the first time on the site for me and i've read most of the comments but not sure if anyone has had my experience. Here goes-- I have owned my vehicle for almost 5 years actually I have 2 pmts left and the only problem so far where the transmission replacement and the open door light staying on. I've had it pretty good considering what the rest of you have been going through. Recently though I have MAJOR issues!!! In February, I had driven my car all day with no problems and when I was on my way home, I noticed my ABS light on seconds before the stereo shut off and the lights (head and dash)dimmed and shut off, my interior lights and flashers came on and the car stalled within seconds of me getting off the road. All of this happened at the same time and in a total of about one minute. My husband installed a new alternator and the van ran fine until this Mon.(Apr.9) and we had a repeat. The car jumped fine, I got back home, put the overnight battery charger on, took the car in to check the battery and ended up replacing it. Thinking that is all fixed. I drove it today, I made it 5 miles on a brand new battery and the vehicle shut off again and the battery was completely drained. Charged it for 3 hours, made it four miles and stalled. Jumped it, drove one mile home and it stalled again. The first two times it happened the ignition justed clicked when I tried starting it, the third time it did nothing. Does anyone know what the heck is going on?? I have called Ford and been told it is probably a short but they have never heard of it happening before.
  • umwijayaumwijaya Posts: 4
    Go to the forum sedan, ford Taurus, alternator, I just read and the guys said .. the problem is mega fuse located on the compatrment engine fuse box and cost him only $5...good luck... i had the similiar problem but on my mPV MAzda 2001... nontheless MPV MAzda is using FORD Engine :surprise: ...

    TJ wija
  • emuagdemuagd Posts: 1
    My 2003 Windstar is doing the same exact thing right now. We just replaced the alternator and battery too. I was wondering with your van, what ended up being the problem?
  • Hi, I just read all the msgs regarding the Windstar. Wish I knew all this before I bought my "great deal". I am having an issue with a 2000 Windstar, which seems similar and just looking for advice before I replace the alternator, battery or fuse. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.
  • umwijayaumwijaya Posts: 4
    I brought my Mazda MPV Van to the dealer. They checked it up for almost one hour and told me that they need additional hours to check up the wiring system and asked if i am willing to come back next week. I told them i am an electrician mechanic, i had checked up all the wiring system and found nothing wrong. My assumtiong is the computer data system that need to be address. I decided not to go back with them and do nothing with warning light. MY alternator is working. the only problem is the light only. So i didnt bother to go back with them. Today, most dealership just looking for opportunity to make money.

  • Ok, thanks for the info. I replaced the battery today and seems ok right now the alternator tested out OK. Thanks again.
  • gcasegcase Posts: 1
    I also own a 2003 windstar iam experenceing the same problem except when i removed the key my head lights came on tried to get them to go out they started flashing. did you ever find out what was causing your problem what was the out come
  • I found that the wiper motor had water inside the electrical connection. If you need to take out the wiper motor get the manual (Haynes) for the steps. But, to make a long story short, take out the cover (plastic and metal) then the motor is accessible. So, after I replaced the motor I added silicon to the cover of the motor and the shroud to avoid water getting in again. Best of luck.
  • I just bought a used 2001 Ford Windstar Limited with 74K on it. The exact same thing is happening. I am going to AutoZone today to have the battery and alternator checked. I am wondering what will be next. I read the posts on the megafuse and the wiper motor and will check them as well. Why is there so much trouble trying to get a straight answer from Ford? Have you gotten a remedy of your situation yet? If so, what did you finally do to fix it?
  • Front or Rear wiper motor?
  • See my previous post #18 for the remedy to my situation. You might be able to tell if the FRONT wiper motor is bad just from physical inspection. The outside was rusting a little and had paint chipping off. The plastic shroud or cover that goes across the front has holes in it for water to pass through, well one of the holes was right above the wiper motor...nice hey? Silicone to fix that.

    The answer from Ford was this was a recall back in 2000 I think, this site will have that info too. But, the recall is only good once or 10k miles. BS. Good luck.
  • mfacdgba33mfacdgba33 Posts: 19
    Replaceing both of these is not really that hard. Almost anyone can do it if you really wanted to. I am a certified mech in TN and if anyone told me or anyone i knew that it would cost me 57.64 for a alternator than i would smack him in his left nostril. If you want to try to do this yourself you can go to auto zone and they will give you a print out for the step by step process on replaceing it. A few socket wrenchs and a metal bar to apply pressure to add tension to the belt and bingo your done. It should only take you about 30 minutes to do if you dont run into any more issue while doing it.
  • mfacdgba33mfacdgba33 Posts: 19
    As a AAA Mchanic i see this all the time. First check for loose battery terminal connections. Then if those are good then get a voltmeter start the van and on the dc side look and see what the volts read. A battery will put out 12.6 volts with no loads. While the engine is running your alternator will put out a constant 14.2 volts with no loads while driving or idle. If this is fine then trace the wires from your positve terminal down all the way to the starter looking for bare wires and places that it might be arcing off on metal. Do the same with the negitive wire all the way to the ground point. If all of those are fine then replace the 12 volt regulator. If none of those are the issue then ignore the light.
  • dthornedthorne Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 windstar - two weeks ago the battery light came on - then on Friday past, I was driving and all of a sudden I lost all power options, just like the battery died completly. Also, at that same time, the abs and hand brake light came on. I hauled over, popped the hood..... I reached in and manually reved the engine over high then everything came back. I replaced the alternator and had the battery tested..... same thing is still happening... If I rev it high enough, the battery light will go off for about 10 secs. I could be driving down the road and lose all the power options again.... rev her high and it all comes back.... this is very frustrating! I check fuses and all are good! ANY IDEAS WOULD BE APPRECIATED.
  • rcode72horcode72ho Posts: 1
    I am experiencing the exact problem. I cleaned the battery terminals and posts and checked all connections - nothing. I put in a new battery and changed the alternator. Still not fixed. The belt is fine. I went to Auto Zone to have it tested. The machine said it was the wiring. I bought a new battery harness assembly from FORD for $199+ tax. Still the light is on. The battery drains after driving with the battery light on, so it's not a faulty light signal. I'm at a loss. ANYBODY??
  • Today, the ABS light came on; after turning off the van the reset the light, it would not start. We waited a few minutes, tried again and it started up with the ABS light still on. After turning a corner, the left signal continued to blink all the ay home while the lever was in the nuetral position. Could not turn it off even putting into the right turn position; then the A/C shut down, then all of the power features: doors, windows and the radio.
    Got the van home and after a few minutes, everyting started working again. Started it later tonight to move onto parking area.
    Thought about replacing the battery, but I think there is something else wrong.Any thoughts???
  • jefbylsjefbyls Posts: 5
    I had the same problem and after much money trying to replace this and that I took it to the dealership. The mechanic said that they see it several times a year. The wires that pass through the driver's door gets broken and shorts out, everytime it shorts out you experience the electircal problems. He said other common places that the wires break are at the passenger door and the liftback door. If you pull off the boot between the door you may be able to find your problem.
  • mfacdgba33mfacdgba33 Posts: 19
    Check with a volt meter connected to the battery terminals while the vehicle is running. A battery will put out 12.6 volts normally. while the vehicle is running the altanator should be outting out at least 13 volts or more. hopefully at least 14 which is perfect. If the battery is draining while driveing then your altanator isnt doing its job.
  • jmarzyjmarzy Posts: 3
    I have a 2003 Windstar. Just last night, abs light, flashing radio, light on an off and when I pulled over it died and would not start. I see the same complaint posted several times but I am not sure I am reading a definitive answer. Did I miss something?
  • jefbylsjefbyls Posts: 5
    I finally took mine in to a dealership and found out it is a common problem with the windstars. It is caused by a wire being shorted out in one of the doors, usually the driver's door or the liftgate. Take the rubber boot off that covers the wires going between the door and the body and check for wires that have been worn or cut. Once you find the wire and splice it the problem will be fixed.
  • tamibtamib Posts: 3
    I just got stranded because my 2000 Windstar quit running but right before that the radio, AC, lights, etc. all went out, then a minute later the van died. I had it towed ot a dealership but after reading this forum I"m beginning to think it is something in the wiring. I can not get the electrical doors to open and close half of the time. I am constantly hitting the unlock button hoping that will make the doors open or close right. Maybe I"ve messed something up with hitting the unlock button so often. Anyway, I'm not sure why I've kept this van so long, it's been nothing but problems since the warrantly went out. The auto place thinks it's the alternator but I"m not so sure after reading this, we just replaced the battery 2 days ago.
  • jmarzyjmarzy Posts: 3
    Well, as I have posted recently I experienced the same problems in my 2003 Windstar. I first took it to my local mechanic who said it was the battery. Now it was the original battery and I have about 97k miles logged. So I crossed my fingers hopping it was just the battery. And I thought changing the battery after 5 years was a bad thing. Well after 3 days of driving the car did the same thing. But this time I was prepared for the symptoms and had enough time to park in a safe place before calling a friend to pick me up. The next day I drove it limping into the Ford dealership and they said it was the alternator. Now form reading the posts I am not sure if it will make it more then 3 days but I will keep you updated.
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