Ford Windstar Problems



  • iwasscammediwasscammed Member Posts: 28
    Well after the dealership took my loaner back last night, simply because I contacted an Attorney, I am assuming that the General Manager either got into a heap of trouble, or he realized he was morally wrong and this would not be in the best interest for the dealership, so he called me three times today. The first was a message to just call him. the second two times he called, were to apologize greatly for what he did as far as making me take the loaner back. He asked me to please return to the dealership and pick up the loaner, and keep it until my van was ready. He was going to see if he could put some sort of rush on the engine being put in, since it has been in the shop since Feb. 21st. And his last words were... that if I needed anything, to feel free to contact him. I did get in touch with ABS's John Stossel and left a very detailed email for him, I also got in touch with the local Radio station that is airing a Ted Britt commercial for the loaner for life program. My site has had 116 hits in less than two days, and my Attorney is still anxious to work on the case. I may have gotten the loaner back although I lost a day of work because they took it, but I am still going forward with a possible court case. I'm not sure if I mention this in my other post of not. But I called the dealership last night and acted as a person interested in a used vehicle. I asked about the "satisfaction guaranteed" sign in the window and how that applies to the vehicles. He wasnt sure if that sign was for the detail shop, but thought it applied to the purchase of a used car as well. When asked how they assure that what they are selling on the lot is of value, he stated that they are required to put the vehicle through a 124 point check prior to selling it. this would include major working parts. I guess that didn't happen with mine. I thanked him for his time, and logged it down.
    look for more posts to update you on what happens. Thanks everyone.
  • miesner3miesner3 Member Posts: 3
    i couldnt believe what the dealer priced me for a speedometer on our 1996 w/s for the approx 500 dollars they wanted i could about replace headgaskets for that must be fords way of subsidizing their headgasket pragram by shafting peoplle on their speedometers anyway i located a company that rebuilds ford 1990-1998 mechanical speedometers with better than new parts for 130 dollars plus exchange ford gave me a price of 330 dollars for the original replacement that will fail again due to defective parts the web page for this rebuilder is sure hope this helps take some worris off of some w/s/owners minds who have enough else to worry about with these low quality vehicles
  • rknj62rknj62 Member Posts: 2
    Hello to all... am new to this Town Hall Community Board and as many others I have experienced some problems with my 1998 WS with a 3.0 engine. I so far have been fortunate that I have not had the MAJOR problems such as transmission (yet?) but we only have 11,500 miles on the 98WS as of today and I do get the oil changed every 3 months rather then every 3000 miles. I have had the Tie rod ends replaced because of the loud noise in the steering. I also had (finally) the left side door lock replaced and the drivers side window had a problem. So as you can see so far I am lucky. BUT I do have a very annoying noise coming from the left front (I think) it sounds like a slight thumping sound and so far my dealer has not heard it. I am going to have my tires rotated this week just in case that is it. I have scanned through some of the messages and I see that some have left side noise problem also.... any guess what it may be???? Thanks in advance for any input to this problem. All in all I also hope that I can write to Ford and ask for another chance to pick up a extended warranty after reading all the messages about the transmission problem. Once again thanks for any input on the noise problem.
  • announcerannouncer Member Posts: 2
    Yep, I've got 'em too. Fortunately, I'm leasing, and the vehicle goes back to Ford in four months.

    Since my front end fell apart at 10K (no pinch bolt installed in steering knuckle at factory) we've been relatively trouble free, except for my wife ramming a Bambi in December ($2,500 in damage).
  • vezinivezini Member Posts: 38
    I would appreciate anyones comments on the following:

    1) I own a 98 Windstar (48K miles) with rear air and heat. Now when I switch the control knob to rear heat (from the front console) it turns on the AC. Has anyone had this problem? If so, what was the fix.

    2) I hear a pulley noise up front. I had the serpentine belt replaced, but the noise is still present. It is a not a constant sound but a sounds like a squeeky wheel. Any thoughts on what it could be?

    3) We have a rattle in the dash on the passenger side. Any thoughts on what it could be?

    4) Is it time to trade? And if so what would you recommend?
  • jvirginiajvirginia Member Posts: 65

    1. My '96 Windstar had the same condition regarding the rear temperature controls. I never did find the cause of the problem. I had to switch on the AC in the rear first and then switch to heat for the controls to function properly.

    2. The pulley noise sounds like a bearing in either the AC compressor or the power steering pump. In either case, keep a close ear to the problem. If the squeak becomes more constant and louder get the part replaced immediately. When the bearing problem gets worse, it will cause that pulley to freeze and will destroy the serpentine belt leaving you stranded on the road.
    My '96 had the power steering pump go bad and I replaced it. Be sure you are using the correct power steering fluid for your van. The auto parts store where I purchased my replacement pump gave me Mercon/Dexron III fluid for my new pump and said all Fords use this. This is not true. Also, you should not use standard power steering fluid in most Fords. They require Ford Type F fluid. When I used what the store gave me, the replacement pump was very noisy. I flushed out the system and replaced with Type F fluid and the unit became quiet and operated very nicely.
  • vezinivezini Member Posts: 38

    Thank you for the information.

    If you had this vehicle would you continue to drive it (look to fix these repairs) or trade it. You are a couple of years ahead and I would appreciate your advice.

    Thanks again!
  • jvirginiajvirginia Member Posts: 65
    You're welcome. I feel very fortunate to have had my van till March, 2001 and not have had any major repairs needed. I changed the oil every 5000 - 6000 miles and performed all other maintenance as required. I loved the way the van handled and performed. If Ford were a responsible and reputable company, I would probably still own the van today. After reading all the horror stories of other W/S owners with tranny problems and head gaskets, I became very concerned when my check engine light came on and the van started running poorly. After repeated attempts to have the dealer find and correct the problem, all the dealer service manager could tell me was it was probably the head gasket and Ford was not going to offer any assistance to correct it. I was able to clear the computer and get the engine to run well long enough to trade in my van. I received a good trade-in value from the dealer because of the excellent condition the van was in.

    My van had 90,000 miles on it when I traded. It sounds like your van is being used at a similar rate. If the pulley problem is being caused by the power steering pump and you can do the work yourself, it will cost approx $60.00 to replace.
    If it's the AC compressor, it gets much more expensive, approx $800 at a shop. It's hard to say whether the van is worth keeping or not. Based on the numbers of people who've experienced major problems with their engines and trannies and the average mileage at which these have occurred (the average mileage for head gasket problems is approx 60,000 miles) I would recommend you seriously consider trading in within the next 6 - 12 months. You will get a deduction for high mileage but as long as the van is in good physical condition and there are no service lights on, you will get a good trade-in value. It's a gamble either way you decide. All I can say is I don't trust Ford and won't buy another for a very long time.
  • hch53hch53 Member Posts: 2
    I have a 95 Windstar which has had all of the usual problems (head gasket and sensors).
    But I must say, it has been pretty reliable otherwise. Now I have 122,000 miles on it, and the ABS light stays on. Is this just a fluid level problem? The brakes were replaced about 20,000 miles ago.
    Also, my mileage actually had been about 18 mpg, but the last 5,000 miles it has dropped to 13 mpg overall. Does anyone have any clue why? I do not service my vehicle at a Ford dealership. My mechanic is trustworthy, but he says he does not have any clue why the mileage has dropped.
  • hch53hch53 Member Posts: 2
    Does anyone know why the ABS light stays on? Is it perhaps just a fluid level problem? (getting tired of those $200-$400 sensor bills).
    Also over the last 5,000 miles, my mileage has dropped from a respectable 17 mpg to about 13 mpg overall. Does anyone have any advice?
    I don't use Ford mechanics, and my mechanic that I consider trustworthy and reasonable says he can't figure out why.
  • vezinivezini Member Posts: 38
    Thanks again for the comments. What did you purchase? Was it another van?

  • kjclowkjclow Member Posts: 29
    Check out my comments on post 398. I think that it is related to the fluid level. The sensor may be set to high in the resevior and any drop in level may set it off. Keep an eye on the level and forget about the light. You can also try to find an open area to see if the abs is still working. When I have used mine, I thought I was tearing up the whole brake system. Definitely not a smooth panic stop. I would almost rather have the wheels lock and listen to the tires scream.
  • tammycampbell8tammycampbell8 Member Posts: 17
    I am a owner of a 97 model Taurus that had problems with the rack n pinnon, stablizer links, motor mounts separations, struts, oil pan gasket, door sensors, and the last thing is the tranny slipping.
    When taking my car to another dealer just for the rack n pinnion, stablizer links, struts, motor mounts, oil pan gasket (this was a 2 week repair job), I had found out that the 1st dealer that had been making attempts at repairing my car, left my car is awful shape. Most of them parts was either lose, or gonna fall off.
    I had to go one step ahead of the 1st dealer and contact Ford Motor Co, the 1st dealer evently got to where they refused to look at the suspenion in my car. Once I contacted FORD, and started a dispute settlement on my taurus, Ford had paid for the taurus to be sent to another dealer, where my experience changed from BAD to GOOD. Ford Motor Co and this Billingsy Ford of Lawton, Oklahoma treated us like we was Kings.
    But we learned our lesson about this BAD dealer in Altus, Oklahoma. Unforunately the state of Oklahoma has no Lemmon law that protects consumers from BAD DEALERS.
    My suspension was repaired, and any other problems that came about the Taurus went right back to Billingsley of Lawton. There is GOOD ONES out there, and there are BAD ONES. But unforunately there are no warnings on these BAD ONES prior to encountering them, I think there should be a board for consumer protection against Dealer that are BAD< or FORD needs to take action against them. 9 times out of 10 its the DEALER not the FORD product.
    I got a free ISP up to 5 years from my encounter on this BAD DEALER, and untill these BAD DEALERS NAMES are kept silent, it happens over and over again.
    Where was Oklahoma law protection for me as a consumer. This Bad dealer mechanics was either not experienced, or experienced enough, or it was simply intentional with the findings that Billingsley Ford found.
    Ford Motor Co does HELP, just give them a chance. They helped me, and I am thankful for them> They are the greatest.
  • wholiganwholigan Member Posts: 148
    Can anyone recommend inexpensive tires for my WS? I am trying to spend as LITTLE as possible (I have no faith in the longevity of this vehicle). My goal is $225 Installed with an alignment (alignment alone is about $60).
    2003 Honda Odyssey EX-LRES - Midnight Blue Pearl
    2004 Honda Accord EX-L Graphite Pearl
    2007 Honda Civic EX - Atomic Blue
    2013 Honda Civic LX - Crimson Pearl
  • slbaron24slbaron24 Member Posts: 5
    I bought my Windstar in May of 1998, and it had 54,000 miles. It is a 95 model (actual production around Aug 94). When I bought my van, the dealership never told me about any recalls. I first found out about the recall on the 3.8L engine (Head Gasket Recall) in the fall of 1999(one yr later!). The only reason I found out was because the tranny needed to be replaced, and the tranny shop said that there were a lot of problems with the transmissions so I wanted to see if Ford had any recalls on them. When I went to the dealership, that is when they told me about the 3.8L Head gasket recall. There was one catch....the recall was up to 60,000 miles, and my van already had 83,000 miles on it so it could not be fixed under the recall. I called Ford Headquarters, and they told me there was nothing they could do for me. Lucky for me the van was not showing any signs of head gasket problems, but I still would have felt better if it was looked at. Ford also informed me that there were no problems with the transmissions..(I beg to differ with that....). I did not pursue it any further because I did not have any problems, and I figured I was an ant trying to fight an airplane. Then at the end of the summer in 2000 I got a letter from Ford stating that the recall had been extended up to 100,000 miles. I thought great, NOT. The mileage on my van had just turned 101,000 miles. (does ford have a satellite hooked up to the vehicles they make?!?) So yet again I got on the phone to Ford, and yet again they refused to honor their recall. I pleaded with them and told them that I had called back in 1999. They said they saw when I called in their computer, but there was not anything they could do because the mileage on my van was over 100,000 miles. I WILL NOT buy another Ford product because of this lack of customer service. I told this to the person I spoke to at Ford, and they did not even care. I am VERY thankful that I have not had this problem with my van because I would not be able to afford to get it fixed.
    I have also noticed reading up on different problems on the w/s, that there seems to be a lot of problems with the speedometers and ABS systems. On my van when you are going around 60-70 Mph, the speedometer jumps to around 80-90 Mph and fluctuates. The dealer wants over $400.00!!! That's ridicules. They also told me that when they pull the speedometer that they have to keep the vehicle for about three days without giving me a loner. Regarding the ABS, when I brake the brakes start to pulsate between 15-5 Mph. The dealership wants $80.00 just to tell me what is wrong. This does not include the cost to fix the problem. I have also had a problem with the rear window wiper not wanting to work when it is cold out.......Something needs to be done with these companies not wanting to stand behind their work.
  • vezinivezini Member Posts: 38
    I am in the same situation. My 98 has 47K and the Goodyear Invicta's are about shot; I will most likely get another month or two out of them.

    I did check Sam's Club. They do have the BF Goodrich Advatange Plus tire, size 215-70-R15, for $53 each. They charge another $11 for mounting, road hazard, disposal etc. So, mounting and tax, you are around $275. The tire is a 65K warranty. This is a good name tire for a lot less the premium brands (and it is made by Michelin).

    Let me know what you come up with.
  • hoppy5hoppy5 Member Posts: 11
    Does anyone know whether Ford is still replacing engines on 95 Windstars or are they doing a buyback and at what price?
  • jipped1jipped1 Member Posts: 2
    In response to the post by Fullsize, it's real nice to know your WS has a whopping 40,000 miles and hasn't had any problems yet! With such an in-depth track record with your WS you certainly have a right to accuse people of falsifying their postings. HAH! Come back when you've "grown up" to 80,000 miles. Sorry to sound so sarcastic, but I'm bummed. I bought my Windstar last August and immediately experienced trans problems. I did not buy the extended warranty so when I first contacted the dealer they said sorry, but we can't help. But when I went to pick the van up from the service center I overheard the service manager reading to himself from the computer and the words "no prep" caught my attention. I then pinned him down as to whether or not my van was checked out before I drove it off the lot. It was not (can you believe that?). I then immediately called the dealership and pitched a fit over that and they changed their mind about replacing the trans. They charged me $200.00 for that. The door ajar light often stays on (I can live with that) and we have replaced brakes and tie rod ends (I can live with that, too). Also in cold weather my speedometer does a nice dance and is noisy. I don't know if the head gasket has ever been changed or even if the vehicle has the origional engine. Right now my biggest concern is the antifreeze I'm smelling every morning as I am warming it up. I live in Michigan so I have to warm it up every morning. I took it back to the dealer but they said nothing is leaking and all the fluid levels are up where they should be. Could this be the headgasket or maybe the heater core? I'm scared! I'm up to my ears in debt with this thing so there is no possibility of trading it in for something else. I know only 2 other people with Windstars and they both have had their trans replaced. I feel cheated. We have 3 children (1 in college) and a big $40,000 a year income. Doesn't Ford understand that some of us are struggling just to make ends meet? We put our faith in their company only to to be slapped in the face. I wish I would have researched this vehicle before I bought it. The wonderful safety rating doesn't do much good when the reliability rating is only 1 star! From what I'm hearing they will be losing a big percentage of their faithful customers over these defective vehicles. Word of mouth can be a terrible thing and my gums are flappin'! 5 years from now Ford Motor Company may be in big trouble. Serves them right! I would appreciate any advice I could get.
  • iwasscammediwasscammed Member Posts: 28
    This is what I did to make my dealership start correcting problems immediately.


    Hope this helps.
  • matycatmatycat Member Posts: 12
    Just so you know, I too experienced an odor, for some time. At first it would come and go, gradually got worse. It ended up being the heater core and nearly 400.00 later, it was fixed. I don't know, though, I still smell something everytime we have the defrost on. The tech said, "you'll smell something for a little while," yada yada yada. It's been a couple weeks since we've had it back, no problems currently but the slight odor. I swear, these techs know how to "temporarily" fix things so that months later when things go wrong, it's out of the "labor warranty". I also feel like they are jimmying something else loose everytime I bring it in, it seems something else is bound to go wrong. Am I the only one who raises the eyebrow to "Leave the car with us ALL DAY, "(knowing full well we are not about to hang out in the waiting room ALL DAY,) and then you're not allowed to go back in the shop to watch them work on the vehicle, gee, I wonder why. IWASSCAMMED--I am still with you! You are admirable sticking with it. I really hope the best for all of us. And, I too am still working on the situation, class action, etc. Will keep in touch.
  • dannynoonan1dannynoonan1 Member Posts: 15
    The check engine light and O2 sensor going off is the early sign of head gasket leaking. Have dealer add dye to coolant then return a month later. If they pull a plug and shoot "black light" at it they should be able to detect the leaking gasket. All the standard "FORD" tests did not find my leaking headgasket. The dye test I requested did. But be ware I had the headgaskets on my 95 Windstar done at 55,000 miles. The engine failed a year later at 65,000. I believe it was do to the coolant in the oil which caused premature internal wear of oil lubricated parts. Good luck. Hope you have warranty coverage. If not I recommend selling it.
  • wholiganwholigan Member Posts: 148
    I bought tires this past weekend...

    OK, it is my family we haul around so I didn't skimp too much - OTOH, I didn't go crazy either. After talking with a couple of shops I got the impression that the cheap tires (35000 to 40000 mile tires) have softer sidewalls that would not last very long on a 4200 pound vehicle.

    I went to the local Fleet Farm and picked up a set of four Duron Vertex IV. They are a 75000 mile tire made by the Dayton Tire Company. They were on sale for $49.95 each and for the month of March they had free mounting, balance, and valve stems. $212.79 later I took the tires to their Auto Service Center and they had them on the van in 45 minutes. I asked them to do an alignment as well. It turned out I didn't need one. After they put it on the rack they showed me that all four wheels were within spec. Sooooo... They charged me $6 to dispose the old tires and $10 for the alignment "check".

    That is the least amount of money that I have spent on service for this van since I bought it in 1998!
    2003 Honda Odyssey EX-LRES - Midnight Blue Pearl
    2004 Honda Accord EX-L Graphite Pearl
    2007 Honda Civic EX - Atomic Blue
    2013 Honda Civic LX - Crimson Pearl
  • penguinpenguin Member Posts: 32
    I went all out and got Michelin X-One tires. Yeah, they cost a lot, but how much does an accident cost? But a really good low priced tire is the Dunlop. According to Consumer Reports, Dunlop makes some fine tires and you could probably get something in the $55-65 range for a WS.
  • wholiganwholigan Member Posts: 148
    Well, I really thought the dealership had this one licked...

    I got my 95WS back from the dealership at the beginning of March... That was for engine number three. Put new tires on it last weekend... Now the temperature guage is "swinging" between the O and the L in NORMAL...

    This sucks... Why do I believe them?
    2003 Honda Odyssey EX-LRES - Midnight Blue Pearl
    2004 Honda Accord EX-L Graphite Pearl
    2007 Honda Civic EX - Atomic Blue
    2013 Honda Civic LX - Crimson Pearl
  • bblahabblaha Member Posts: 329
    Man, I have to say this. A lot of people like to vent their frustrations and end up saying things that I personally feel are somewhat exagerated.

    I like your posts though because you seem to generally be trying to get things resolved, and don't get too carried away with rhetoric. Good luck with your difficulties. We have 30k miles on our 99, and I can't say its given us any problems. It hasn't, and my wife loves it (she won't even entertain the idea of letting me get her a 3 series as a daily driver). But I empathize with you.
  • mweitzhandlermweitzhandler Member Posts: 8
    Clarence Ditlow, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety in Washington DC, emailed me that his organization is considering going after Ford on behalf of 1996 Windstar owners who have had head gasket problems if his organization receives enough complaints. His organizations actions, as well as a class action law suit, certainly contributed to Ford being pressured into their extended warranty settlement program (1999) on head gaskets with 1994, 1995 Ford owners. I am urging that all 1996 Windstar owners with head gasket, engine, transmission problems to register their complaints with the Center For Auto Safety. Their address; Clarence Ditlow, Center For Auto Safety, 1825 Connecticut Ave, NW Suite #330, Washington DC 20009-5708. Please copy me as well on your complaint: [email protected]
  • wholiganwholigan Member Posts: 148
    I have had this vehicle since April 1998 and started running into issues in January 1999. I learned early on that the Ford CSRs won't deal with, ahem, "strong attitudes" (which goes against every Irish bone in my body)...

    Nonetheless, I have been through two service managers and two Ford CSRs. The latest CSR seems genuinely interested in resolving the issue and is much more apologetic than the last. This still does not change the fact, however, that the servicing dealership she is a liason for has not been able to get the vehicle to run for more than 20000 miles without something major happening. The part that I don't get: as a customer, I don't care if the problem lies in the hardware (the parts supplied by FMC) or in the maintenance (the servicing dealer). I just want the issue resolved. This is how car companies lose customers - there are too many competitors with comparable products.


    OK - off the soapbox.

    One thing that you might be interested in... The Ford CSR explained to me that the engineering team 'incentive' program has JUST (for the 2001 model year) been modified to measure the quality of their designs. In other words, if an engineering defect occurs, no bonus. So far, from what I have read, it looks like the 1999 "issues" list is pretty short.

    I wish you luck, and, once again, Thanks!
    2003 Honda Odyssey EX-LRES - Midnight Blue Pearl
    2004 Honda Accord EX-L Graphite Pearl
    2007 Honda Civic EX - Atomic Blue
    2013 Honda Civic LX - Crimson Pearl
  • iwasscammediwasscammed Member Posts: 28
    Hello all remember me... the mom who is really tired of all the problems with my 1995 w/s and made a homepage about the dealer that sold it to me. Well, here I am again, just one week into my second engine since December. And my poor parking spot looks awful. it has new puddles, old puddles, dried puddles, all kinds of puddles... This latest leak I cant figure out though, I think it may be transmission fluid. I was going to place a paper bag under it today to get a accurate spot but it is raining and cant do it. The investigator from my consumer division called me on Sat. to state that he got a letter from the General Manager. This is what it says..
    "Through our efforts and partnership with Ford Motor Company, we were able to install a new (rmp) engine at no cost to Ms. Abrahams while providing her with comparable loaner transportation at no charge. At this point in time I believe she is happy with Ted Britt Ford."
    First of all... I am not even close to happy, Second, They did'nt do this out of the goodness of they're heart like he is making it sound. They have to replace the engine, and they have to provide me with a loaner, Its there policy. Remember they took that loaner away from me at one point because I made them really mad with my homepage and contacting an Attorney. And i'm happy???? I don't think so. Now there is some other leak, and just yesterday I did my own little test for the van missing and it's not a pretty thing. Place a glass of water on the top of the dash, put the car in park, nuetral and drive and watch the water in the glass, if it jumps around like a dancing bean then you got problems. Mine was doing flips in the I have to make funny on this at times, otherwise i'll drive myself insane.
    Oh and I wanted everyone to know that I ordered two bushels of lemons and when I picket the dealership in April, the lemons will be handed out to passer by's with the dealers name on them. Maybe this will show just how happy I really am.
    Thanks for all the support!!!!
  • hawk505hawk505 Member Posts: 8
    I also have some sort of pulley sounds. So far the Pwr Steering pump, serpetine belt and some pulley has been replaced by dealer. It still makes the sound, but it's intermitent. Some days it fine, some it's not. I wonder if it has anything to do with how the AC/Heat controls are set? I will investigate #407's [email protected]
  • robert109robert109 Member Posts: 1
    any ideas why my ws door ajar light remains on and the "chime" chimes.. it starts when you decelerate to 15 mph and then stops when you accelerate past 15 mph.. any ideas would be most appreciated. thanks
  • jims15jims15 Member Posts: 1
    Hello all, I am the proud owner of a 99 WS. I recently got a taste of what it sounds like a lot of other WS owners have already had. I recently had a problem with the idle (thought it was bad gas) and an engine light on. I took it to my dealer. I was told that the problem was a valve that needed replacing and oh yea by the way the front cover gasket was leaking and needed fixing. $415 later ($236 for labor) I was told that the front cover had to be replaced because Ford had a bulitin that said if the cover gasket developed a leak, the cover had to be replaced. None of this is covered by Ford of course. I wrote Ford and so far have heard nothing (surprise?). I currently also have a 94 F-150 with the old in-line 6 that has 94000 on it. The only repairs on the truck were tires, belts, hoses, and brakes. I still have the orginal exhaust on it and I can go the 3000 miles between oil changes without loosing any oil. But guess what, they don't make these engines any more, hummmm kind of makes you wonder doesn't it? Well I think I'm stuck with the WS until the payments run out and then I'm trading fast before more problems come along. I hear the Toyota's and Honda's are excellent. I will let you know.
  • mlraymlray Member Posts: 1
    Everybody seems to be talking about the 1995 Windstar in here. All I need to know is, does anybody out there have a 2001 WS and experienced the same problems? Has Ford fixed this problem? Doesn't the Mustang have this same 3.8L engine? Is the Windstar worth the money?
  • clarawinstonclarawinston Member Posts: 1
    I had to replace the transmission at 49,000 miles which was covered by warranty and then again at 75,000 which was not covered under warranty. Two transmissions in this length of time does not seem reasonable to me.
  • callo_callo_ Member Posts: 18
    No problems at all (5381 miles). Thanks for asking.
  • sharonlpksharonlpk Member Posts: 37
    Hello! Does anyone reading here have these? Have they 'worked' when supposed to? How easily are they replaced?

    So far we like this 2001 (SE Sport, had for a week now, ha!) We bought the 7 yr. extended warranty after all of the problems we had with our '95 (had the extended warranty then too) even tho I don't expect the same problems *knock on wood*!

  • crkeehncrkeehn Member Posts: 513
    Troubles with the 1995 Windstars occurred quickly, in some cases within a year or two and 30-40,000 miles. That was true with both the transmission and head gasket problem. The main cause of the transmission problem was a piston which in 1995 was made of aluminum and prone to fracture. During 1996 the piston was changed to steel, which seemed to have reduced transmission problems, at least in the 1996-1997. The head gasket was supposedly redesigned also, it certainly delayed the onset of failure. Some of the 1996 models are showing head gasket failures, however at a much higher mileage and after 4-5 years. The bottom line.... It's probably too early to tell how durable the 2001 vans will be.

    Unfortunately, a forum like this also tends to attract those who are dissatisfied and seeking redress. It is hard to judge from this sample as people don't tend to write "I have a Windstar with which I am well pleased". Having said that, I have a 1996 Windstar with 82K miles on it, it has been relatively reliable. It is a comfortable van, great for trips and hauling.
  • bblahabblaha Member Posts: 329
    I have a Windstar with which I am well pleased.

  • tl12345tl12345 Member Posts: 1
    i've just put my 95 winstar, which i bot new into shop for a new engine via head gasket problem... (see #396) for details. has anyone recently gotten a buy back offer. my dealer told me it ended dec 2000. i'm very concerned i'll be stuck once the "extended 7 yr (2002) or 100K warrenty runs out. its quite depressing reading all the problems with the 95 WS, this is my first awareness of the depth of the problem. thanks. any advise on
    1) buy back?
    2)loaner car for duration?
    3) any way to get rid of this minivan before more problems arise?
  • distecdistec Member Posts: 9
    cost is estimated to be $4500 from private garage. Ford has refused to pay even part of it. Would it be best just to cut my losses and just buy a new van? I don't want to have to deal with the gasket blowing again in a few thousand miles, although another used van would cost at least $9000. What would the best thing to do?
  • iwasscammediwasscammed Member Posts: 28
    I was offered the buy back in early January, but it was not cost effective for me. I don't even think they offered the right amount according to the internet. My dealership offers the loaner for life with new and used cars now, for the duration of the service which always took about a month if not more with mine. Beware though... if you do what I did, and hired a lawyer or made a homepage, they took it away from me, then realized they were in the wrong. I lost two days of work for that one. I don't know if you have a "carmax" where you are, but they offer a pretty good amount on them as long as they dont have frame damage. This was still not effective for me though as I just bought mine in Dec 2000.

    #439 How many miles are on your van? Ford has to pay for it as long as it is in the extended warranty period, within the 100,000 miles.

    Make a page like I did and send it to the dealer and you may get some things done. I have gotten new tires, brakes and rotor's at no cost, however I am still putting up a fight about a refund of $3000.00 for the down payment and I really don't want the van at all. Here is my site... Hope you have good luck with what ever avenue you choose.


  • distecdistec Member Posts: 9
    Its a windstar 1995 with 61k miles, bought used about a year ago. Unfortunately, I didn't research the car before I bought it. I tried calling both the (ford)dealer I bought it from and Ford, but both refuse to pay for the engine.

    Does the extended warranty come carry over from the original buyer? I purchased a simple 6 month warranty when i bought the car used, figuring that if anything would go wrong, it would go within 6 months. Guess I was wrong.
  • jvirginiajvirginia Member Posts: 65
    They are lieing to you. According to all posted information, Ford's extended warranty for 1995 Windstars covers 7 years or 100,000 miles. The service campaign number is 00M09 and this was an addendum to campaign 98M01 which only extended 5 years and 60,000 miles. Original AND subsequent/current owners are covered and it INCLUDES rebates for any costs you incurred for repairs from an independent (non-Ford) repair shop. See the following web sites for additional info:

    The following excerpts comes from the Edmunds site above:

    "The last type of service notification would be a warranty extension, which is just that: an extension of a part or whole of the vehicle's warranty. In any of these service notifications, it does not matter if you are the original owner or if you purchased the vehicle used; the service notifications go with the vehicle and not with the owner."


     "...program 00M09, which basically extended the original program from five years or 60,000 miles to seven years or 100,000 miles, whichever occurred first, covering the same vehicles as the 98M01 program. Letters to consumers for this program went out in March of 2000. Ford obtains a current list of owners from R.L. Polk and several other sources".

    According to what you are stating, neither 7 years nor 100,000 miles has occurred yet.

  • iwasscammediwasscammed Member Posts: 28
    They are taking you for a ride. Just as the other post states, you have until 7 yrs or 100,000 miles. They HAVE to replace it. My suggestion is to print up the documents on the "cantanese" site and take them into the dealer's General Manager. With the documents in front of him, he would be a wise man not to deny you the repairs at NO cost. For those of you in the Virginia area... I just got this yesterday from the Attorney General's Office.

    Dear Lisa:

    This is in response to your recent e-mail concerning

    the difficulties you have encountered with the 1995 Ford Windstar you

    purchased from Smart Wheels in Fairfax, Virginia. We appreciate your making

    this Office aware of this matter.

    First, let me explain the role of the Office of the

    Attorney General. This Office functions as the law firm for Virginia state

    government. In that capacity, we represent the various state departments

    and agencies and provide advice to state officials. Although able to

    provide copies of statutes, state laws, conflict of interest rules and other

    policy considerations prevent us from being able to provide private legal

    advice or represent individual consumers.

    You have asked about Virginia's lemon law. The

    Motor Vehicle Warranty Enforcement Act, Va. Code §§ 59.1-207.9 to

    59.1-207.16:1, is commonly referred to as the "Lemon Law." To access this

    and other Virginia laws you may visit The Virginia Code Commission's web

    site which is

    <> . Once at this site, click

    on "Code of Virginia" and then type in the code section in which you are

    interested, or in this case you may click on "Popular Names" and then "Motor

    Vehicle Warranty Enforcement Act." Although I cannot interpret this statute

    for you, I can call to your attention that this law applies to the first

    eighteen (18) months after purchase of a vehicle.

    Because Smart Wheels is located in Fairfax,

    Virginia, I am taking the liberty of forwarding this complaint to the

    Fairfax County Department of Telecommunications and Consumer Services

    ("Fairfax County DTCS"). Typically the Fairfax County DTCS will conduct an

    investigation and attempt to resolve the complaint through voluntary

    mediation or arbitration. When an investigation reveals a pattern of

    violation of Virginia consumer protection laws, the Fairfax County DTCS

    works with the County Attorney's Office to stop the illegal practice.

    I am also referring a copy of your complaint to the

    Virginia Motor Vehicle Dealer Board ("MVDB"). Among other duties, the Board

    is responsible for certifying or licensing motor vehicle dealers and motor

    vehicle salespersons as well as receiving complaints concerning the conduct

    of persons and businesses licensed by it.

    Finally, because you feel the seat belt issue may be

    a problem in other 1995 Ford Windstar vans, I am also sending a copy of your

    complaint to the National Transportation Safety Board ("NTSB"). Among other

    things, the NTSB conducts special investigations and safety studies on

    various modes of transportation.

    In closing, thank you again for writing to this

    Office. I hope the action we have taken will be helpful to you.

    Very truly yours,

    Linda A. Dickerson

    Consumer Specialist

    Antitrust and


    Litigation Section

    cc: Fairfax County Department of

    Telecommunications & Consumer Services

    12000 Government Center Parkway

    Suite 433

    Fairfax, Virginia 22035

    Motor Vehicle Dealer Board

    2201 West Broad Street

    Richmond, Virginia 23220

    National Transportation Safety Board

    490 L'Enfant Plaza, SW

    Washington, DC 20594

    Hope this will help some of you.

  • kclowkclow Member Posts: 1
    First of all let me start out by saying that I have 85,000 miles without any major problems.

    That said, I still don't like the way the van drives. The shift points are lousy and it wallows around corners. The brakes have always squealed when backing especially first thing in the morning. I think that it has something to do with the pad and disks not being compatible material.

    I feel for all of you out there that are having major problems. Good luck. I know that I will be getting rid of mine as soon as the New Beetle is paid for.
  • murphy07murphy07 Member Posts: 2
    I just took my 2000 SEL in for its 15k check up (no problems to date and very pleased). Even though I repeatedly told the service rep that I had the oil changed every 3000 miles, she still tried to convince me of the need for a $100. oil flush every 12k.

    What gives???

    Also according to the service tech, my tranny fluid looks to need replacing at 20k and my brake fluid should be flushed at the same time.

    Is this common or do I have a dealer that has not sold many cars lately???
  • distecdistec Member Posts: 9
    I will definately follow up with the info you guys gave me.
  • iwasscammediwasscammed Member Posts: 28
    Please keep us posted as to how things go. There is a great bunch of people here and I like to think that since we suffer from alot of the same issues, we can pull together for each other. Thanks.
  • Murphy07, They are trying to sell you maintenance you don't need. 3K oil changes are correct, 5K with synthetic. I would not do flushes for any fluids, especially after higher miles. Proper draining at regular intervals is enough. Many people have had more problems as a result of flushing and would have been better to not have done it. Brake fluid will last a long time. You could do it every 50K, but even that is probably too soon. The tranny is a different story. I did my 98 Windstar at 40K and there was metal shavings in the fluid. I will do it every 25K. My mechanic does it and the filter for about $65. No flushing though. Antifreeze every four years, although I have a 94 Altima with 107,000 miles and all temperature and acid tests show it still good. I am still going to replace it this fall. My 98 has 61,000 miles. Replaced belt at 50K, everything else is original including brakes and tires. No problems. Good luck.
  • compumomcompumom Member Posts: 1
    Hi, had the same problem. The car thinks one of the doors is open and the interior light and chimes are on until the car senses you are moving (15 MPH) and not just pulling away from a curb. It was one of the sensors in the door - my husband tried each door until he got it (ours was the drivers side).

    And that's the *least* of my problems with my '95 Windstar!
  • sharonlpksharonlpk Member Posts: 37
    We had that annoying chiming problem (as well as the overhead light coming on!) with our 95 WS quite some time ago, but I recall that it was easily fixed and there might even have been a Technical Service Bulletin about it. It was just a sensor and that was one fix I was so glad to have had done :-)
This discussion has been closed.