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Ford Windstar Problems



  • davids1davids1 Posts: 411
    Make sure you have copies of your previous repair orders. If you complained of transmission problems during your warrantly period, and you have the repair orders/documentation to prove it, and they said you had no problem, then you can argue your condition existed before your warranty expired. Stick to your guns and fight it.
  • jsiedhoffjsiedhoff Posts: 18
    Has anyone had any major problems with a 2002 Windstar yet? I have one that was a replacement for my 2000 that went totally dead on me. It took 3 months of fighting with Ford to get it. I am having some problems with the driver's side sliding door squeaking and rattling and some other similar noises but so far, no major problems. It only has 3000 miles on it so maybe it is too new to fail.
  • bloemiebloemie Posts: 8

    I'm not sure what is wrong with the 98 transmission. In the 95's it was the forward clutch piston. For more info and history on this problem go to:

    He won his court case against Ford

  • rayt2rayt2 Posts: 1,208
    You do have recourse, you have documented problems prior to warranty expiration! Contact your State Attorney Generals Office and file a complaint, then let the dealership know your not taking this lying down and that you have contacted AG's office. It will take a couple months to resolve but I think once Ford is contacted by the AG's office they will be motivated to replace your tranny at no cost to you. Stick to your guns, let us know how you make out.

    Ray T.
  • queen7queen7 Posts: 1
    I have a leased 2000 Windstar. At under 2,000 miles the fuel pump failed several times and had to be replaced. These failures took place in traffice with a van load of kids - I lost all power - steering, brakes, everything. Now, at 2,100 the compressor "broke apart". This happened while I was on an expressway with a van full of kids - the van filled with smoke. I also have broken seatbelts. The manager of my dealership was at first quite belligrent, but after checking with the service department told me he was going to try to get me a replacement.
    My perception is that the car has other problems they are not telling me about or he would not be anxious to replace it. I want to know if anyone can give me advice as to how to make sure this happens. I don't want to put my kids in that car again.
  • wendy19wendy19 Posts: 2
    I was just about to buy a used '98 Windstar at 51K from a local Ford dealer when I decided to check the internet. I found through Edmund's Pricing I would be getting a great deal, TRADE-IN PRICE(w/ my '93 Escort at 140k). When looking at other vehicles no one comes close.

    When I test drove the vehicle it made a loud sound in the steering wheel. I took it too my mechanic (also my brother-in-law). He found it was the front passanger tie rod. He also suggested to have the surpentine belt changed and the rear brakes adjusted. The dealership has done all of this, plus a front end alignment. I test drove it again yesterday, I thought the brakes where skipping, but then again, I have never drove a van (3.8L V-6 auto van vs 1.9L L4 manual hatchback). They said to have my mechanic check it over again if I wish. My brother-in-law has told me not to buy a Ford Windstar, b/c they have a lot of problems with them (something about aluminum against ? w/ the 3.8 engine). I take into consideration he in not a FORD person, but can't help but see when I check the internet (especially the '98s), I see nothing but tranny, power steering problems and electronical glitches. I can get the extended warranty, but for an additional $1500 and 36,000 miles on 51K is it worth it, especially if it has to be in the shop all the time?

    I have had 2 Escorts both over 130K in 8-9 yrs. Not only do I run around alot, but I redo furniture and have loved my Escort 4 dr. hatchback for that reason. We also have 2 touring kayaks that we put on the luggage rack in the summer. My brother-in-law suggests a truck, but I test drove one yesterday Ford Sport Ranger V-6 manual and I hated it. I think he wants me to keep the gas mileage down plus be able to haul the stuff I do. Viewed the Ford Focus wagons and found brake problems every 20K.

    I'm going crazy making the decision on the Windstar. I have checked Caravan's and Voyager's but they just don't seem to come down in price. Local dealers are way over Edmund's dealer price. PLEASE HELP!!!!! I need to make this decision soon (they have waited 2 weeks-which also scares me).
  • sel3sel3 Posts: 33

    Ask the dealership to show you the maintenance history of the Windstar. If it has a good history and the dealer fixes all the current problems, tell the dealership that you have done some research and this model has some problems with the engine and drive train. Tell them you want a free extended warranty on the engine and drive train. If not, leave your phone number and walk away! SEL3
  • wendy19wendy19 Posts: 2
    SEL3, I thought I mentioned everything. I did ask for a history record and they said they could only go back 90 days. As far as the extended warranty it would cost additional $1500 for 36K. The manager came out and told me that he had gotten it from an Acura dealer b/c it wasn't going to sell there. He said that it got lost in the shuffle when it was brought over and that's why it was put out on the lot with "a noise the the steering" which my mechanic found to be an unpassable tie rod. At first I felt good that the manager told a story about the vehicle, but now I'm thinking that he was only informed and rehearsed what to say.

    Friends tell me to go with my instincts or gut feeling, but I'm more the technical type and the gut feelings come b/c I'm too analytical. Picky as they say, cautious I like to think. But I still need your opinion.
  • sel3sel3 Posts: 33
    Ford keeps computer records on all vehicles ask to see the warranty repair records for this vehicle. If you do not get a free, not a $1500 extended warranty for the engine and drive train my gut says walk away! When I purchased my 2000 Windstar, I told the dealer I liked the van, but was not sure of the engine and drive train. The dealer gave me a 6yr, 100K extended warranty, the dealer cost for the package was only $350. Take your time and look around.
  • jj69jj69 Posts: 1
    I just got it 3 months ago with 25k miles and I am hearing like a bee noise when I go uphill. I wonder if this is a sign of transmission problems.
  • penguinpenguin Posts: 32
    Run, don't walk, as fast as you can to get away from it. Seriously, don't even consider it for one second.
  • regarding speedometer Ford winstar after 54000 miles speedometer malfunctions.From discussions with other
    owners it appears to be a common problem. Is this one those malfunctions that is common knowledge to Ford but
    they do not bring to the publics attention?

  • Has anyone had any luck convincing Ford to replace or repurchase a Windstar based on multiple intermittent problems? If so, what did you do? I have a 2001 Windstar SEL that started having problems at about 600 miles. I have had multiple instances where the vehicle will not start but when is towed to the dealership, starts immediately-dealership claims-no problem found. Other problems include the check engine light coming on intermittently(multiple parts replaced including sensor, vapor mgt valve, heater core), the ignition falling out(ignition has been replaced 3 times), the ignition sticking, a strange coolant odor coming from A/C(heater core leak, steering fluid leak) and defrost system, door controls not functioning etc, etc. I am now going through the lemon law process with Ford and have an arbitration date set. Ford sent a copy of the paperwork that the dealership submitted on the vehicle and it stated that the dealership feels that there is no problem with the vehicle and that all problems have been resolved. Besides the fact that many of these problems remain unresolved, I think there should be some consideration from Ford for the number of times I've had to bring the vehicle in-over 30 days in 12 months. Any suggestions on how to deal with Ford at the arbitration???
  • djacob62djacob62 Posts: 5
    Today my 98 Windstar (3.8L) with 60K on it starting lurching as I was backing in to a parking stall. On the way home the tranny sounded a bit rough (whiring and a short grinding noise). The past few weeks we have noticed it clunks once in a while. I checked the tranny fluid and the level is OK. I also noticed the engine pinging today as well. When I got home, placed the tranny in park and I depressed the accelerator and it ran very rough - I've never noticed any of this before.
    I've gone through all the messages hear and I'm not too thrilled with all the tranny problems and I noticed most of the pinging problems deal with 99 models.

    Anyway, I have to wait till Monday morning to call the ford garage. I don't have an extended warranty on this and I'm sure the standard warranty has already expired. Any advice on how I should deal with ford on this. I don't feal I should have to pay the entire cost of a new tranny, since I have had the van since 2000 I wouldn't mind paying a portion of the repair or replacement.

    For as much as we pay for cars and vans you'd think that the tranny would last *a little* longer.
  • lwylielwylie Posts: 1
    My 1999 LX Windstar was slipping, and I was told I needed a transmission rebuild. The transmission began to slip while the rebuilder test-drove the vehicle.

    The rebuilder couldn't figure out what was causing the slip so they spoke to Ford, who said the problem was with the speed sensor, not the tranny. A speed sensor replacement didn't do the job, nor did a new valve body. Now it appears to be anybody's guess. The dealer simply maintains the speed sensor "should do it."

    I've done plenty of complaining already. What I'm hoping for is some concrete suggestions. Any relevant experience out there?
  • warankwarank Posts: 5
    I was just about to buy a used '99 Windstar SE with lot of options close to SEL for 15000/- mileage of 29k.

    The owner told me that recently at 24k their transmission went down and ford changed the Tranny and gave them a 2 yr 24 month warranty.

    Ford dealer did an vehicle inspection for me and gave a clean chit.

    But in this post I see nothing but tranny, power steering problems and electronical glitches,I can get the extended warranty, but for an additional $1200 and upto 75,000 miles , is it worth especially if it has to be in the shop all the time?

    Any advice helpful
  • dicnicdicnic Posts: 2
    Since the posts on this thread relate to earlier Windstars, especially regarding transmission etc. problems, does anybody have evidence of the 2002 Windstars being better? Does anyone ever post GOOD things about Windstar? They can't ALL be bad! Any thoughts?
  • Why would you plunk down 15 grand on a '99 Windstar after reading all these posts? Hey, it's your money, if you want to buy a pack of problems go ahead.
  • dkatzdkatz Posts: 2
    Bearsfan - Very interesting to hear about your 2001 Windstar SEL having intermittent trouble that the dealer can't diagnose. I have a 2000 SEL with exactly that issue. Since October, after about 18 months and 21000 miles, my van began to intermittently not start in the morning about once every week or two. Normally, I just jump it then take it in, but other times I've called roadside assistance to tow it. I've had it in nine times to three different dealers, and no one can find the power drain. Its also on its third battery in three months. Today, the Ford Field Engineer is supposedly looking at it to decide whether they'll buy it back. The dealers are all nice enough about looking it over, but I find it unbelievable that none of them can locate the problem. One dealer even kept the van for two weeks, but never experienced a problem. If they don't buy it back and the problem persists, the state attorney general tells me I have to go through an arbitration panel to get a partial refund. I'll let you know what the Field Engineer decides.
  • jsiedhoffjsiedhoff Posts: 18
    Dkatz and Bearsfan, I had similar problems with a 2000 Windstar. I have multiple postings earlier in this message board with my continuing saga of problems. Ford has since put me in a 2002 Windstar but I am experiencing some issues with it as well IE: squeaky/rattling sliding doors, etc but so far nothing mechanical. The 2000 I had was about one year old when my family and I took a trip from Illinois to Florida and on both the way there and back four days later, it died in the middle of the interstate. It was towed to a dealer both times. After about three months, they said the problem was a bad crimp on a wire in the fuse box. (Search for my earlier postings for more details)
  • bobaranbobaran Posts: 4
    Several months ago we rented a 2002 Windstar. Since we were in the market for a minivan this was also a chance to test it out. Things ran smoothly for that week but there were imperfections that a car with 700 miles shouldn't have. Everytime we hit any bump the door ajar chime would be set off, and a squeak in the back. A couple of our friends have older models and haven't had any serious problems, but reading this board and our test drive bugs convinced us not to even consider the Windstar. We are now happily driving a new MPV.
  • dkatz-Please let me know what the outcome is of the field engineer evaluation!! I just had my arbitration hearing with the Ford dispute settlement board this week and it doesn't look good. The dealership submitted paperwork to the case file that didn't include half of the problems we had experienced and included a statement that they felt there was no problem with the vehicle. It was pretty hard not to get emotional at the hearing after reading that !?#&. Good luck!!
  • davids1davids1 Posts: 411
    Where are your copies of the repair invoices? These also need to be submitted for review. If the dealership doesn't show invoices that you have, it is clear he is being deceptive. If you don't like the outcome, there is always the option for a lemon law lawsuit. Lemon laws vary from state to state, so you will have to discuss with an attorney. In my state, arbitration is an option and not a requirement. You can sue the manufacturer without first going through arbitration. Do this thing on your terms, not theirs.
  • morknmemorknme Posts: 1
    We haven't had any problems with it aside from the standard squeaky doors and some crackling noises in the steering, but it's about to go out of warranty. Do we keep it and buy an extended warranty or trade it for an MPV now at a loss?

    Did Ford change anything between 97 and 2000? When we bought the van they said they had fixed the engine and transmission and they were different. From reading these forums it looks like maybe that's not true? What was only happening in 95's 2 years ago seems to have started in 96-98's now. Is it really just because the 2000's haven't gotten that high in mileage yet? Was it a sign that we got our 5th recall notice in the mail today? What do you think?
  • 5greyhounds5greyhounds Posts: 338
    If it has been reliable I would keep it and buy the warranty. You lose money by selling it and then go deeper into debt.
    I am on my second Windstar. I had a 95 GL with 135K on it and would still have it if a man in a truck had not run a red light and totaled me. I did have the gasket go on me but the tranny was still is good shape. I presently have a 99 SE and had a squeaky right rear door (A little lube on the hinges and silicon on the rubber and that took care of that) and that is it. My service manager told me the 99 was better than the previous year since the transmission was changed and so far I have no reason to doubt him. I always get the extended warranty. We keep our vehicles for about 7 to 10 years and in that time something major will break. Face it, just a power window motor will be $400 to $500 to fix. If the CPU goes it is about 2k to replace.
    As to recalls I do not know what it was for but with today complex machines they are a fact of life. Look at the 1.9 million recall from GM. How can you tell there will be a heat build up due to electrical current that would lead to that kind of problem and it may impact only one or two percent of the cars. Even the big guys (BMW, MB, etc) have them. It is of course your call but from a financial point of view you would lose a ton on selling it an then getting a MPV. (However, the 2002 MPV with the 200HP engine is very sweet, but small) So much for my two cents--or close to a dime I guess. One more note. It was really funny on my 95. Just after it went out of the extended warranty I only had one problem in 50K ( ground wire corroded through and it would not start). Go figure.
  • dkatzdkatz Posts: 2
    Bearsfan and others - Field engineer looked at my 2000 Windstar and decided the brake light switch was sticking intermittently. They changed the switch, but the next morning, the battery was dead again and the van wouldn't start. I towed it back to the dealer, who has had it for three working days now. I went there yesterday to get a loaner and they now have decided the accessory module comes on intermittently when the car is off. They are expecting a replacement module in today, and we'll have to wait and see if that fixes it. If this is not it, I'm not sure what I'll do. This is the 11th time its been to a dealer for intermittent starting issues.
  • 5greyhounds5greyhounds Posts: 338
    I was just browsing around and thought I would read the Chevy Venture board and see what their problems were. I have a 99 SE that I bought after my 95 GL was totaled and from reading the chevy board I am really happy I did not get a GM product (I gave it a thought for about 2 seconds). They have a lot more problems than the Windstar.
  • birkiebobbirkiebob Posts: 19
    Here's a positive note. I have a bit over 56,000 miles and will be taking it in for the 60,000 mile check shortly(before heading out from the Midwest to Yellowstone in July). I have not had any problems with head gaskets or the tranny, just find it difficult to remove front wheels to rotate(lug nuts seem to corrode too tight) occasionally. But other than a bad radio ground(resulting in buzzing) that was fixed under warranty about 25,000 miles ago, the van has been pretty trouble free. I do my own "easy-routine" maintenance(oil change, air filter, serpentine belt, rotate tires(are originals), etc.), but will have Ford garage do the spark plug, tranny oil(third time), coolant, and fuel filter changes. I figure it will run about $300, but that's pretty small compared to what I've read here. I will continue to do what I can for preventative maintenance (regular oil changes, tranny fluid every 20,000 or so, rotate tires, check brakes, etc.) and hope to get another 56,000 miles out of the vehicle. I NEVER get the extended warranties on my vehicles, and consider myself way ahead now so as to be able to afford any bigger repair that may come along-but I've never had to yet. Happy motoring!
  • 5greyhounds5greyhounds Posts: 338
    I guess you and I are in the minority. I had a 95 GL that did have the gasket problem but overall for 135,000 it was a reliable vehicle and I had no trouble with the transmission. It was totaled by a red light runner. I now have 99 SE and am happy with it. I pull the routine maintance per the book and so far I am happy with my used 99. Like you I do the easy stuff. I use Mobil 1 and change the oil and filter every 5k. Routine maintance is the key. You should be able to get more than the 112 you mentioned above.
  • After my 2001 Windstar(24,000 miles)came back from getting an oil change at the dealership the other day, we noticed that while driving it seemed like the vehicle was not in the correct gear-almost like it in D1 or D2 and there is a weird noise coming from the motor. Also, we noticed that there is a hot smell-electrical burning smell after driving a few miles. We have had all of the typical Windstar problems like failure to start, the check engine light, the door controls etc. but this seems to be a new one. Anyone have any thoughts as to what these symptoms might be?
This discussion has been closed.