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Ford 3.8 head gasket/trans failures--"secret warranty" Part 2



  • sable93sable93 Posts: 107
    Hi all,

    I don't know if this will help or not, but in early '99, I bought a '93 Sable with the 3.8L engine. Under warranty, the head gaskets were replaced (supposedly with the new design.) One year later, they needed to be replaced again. I think the new design alone is not enough, but maybe all the other improvements that would only be seen in 3.8L engines produced after 1996 and the better designed head gasket working together will solve the problem.
  • enetheneth Posts: 285
    Ford apparently did make other changes to the engine design (besides the improved gasket), but of course those were machining changes that cannot be retrofitted.

    It is also possible that a failed gasket at one point caused warped cylinder heads - in which case, it's unlikely that any new gasket will hold, until the head is replaced or machined flat again (if the latter is possible).
  • stnelstnel Posts: 338
    everyone's responses regarding the head gasket. They've been very helpful.

    jvirginia - I looked up the web page you mentioned and that was very helpful as well.

    Thanks again!
  • frank116frank116 Posts: 1
    I bought my wind star off a used car lot. It now has 102000 miles. It had a blown head gasket and Ford would not honor the warranty (over 100,000). I had a local mechanic do the repairs and after putting it back together he now says the bottom end is blown. It will cost me $2900 to repair. what options are there? What is this buy back option? Can I still try and pursue this with Ford? I never received any notification from Ford about the Extended warranty.
  • I was driving on a Friday on Rt 287 in New Jersey two weeks ago to enjoy a day of sking.
    Lo and behold wouldn't you know it my engine started making a weird noise. I couldn't acclerate
    Pull my car over and got towed to a local mechanic.Told me my engine was shot. For $5000 I could get a new engine with 3yr 75,000 mile warranty. Spoke to a local Ford dealer,I could get
    a rebuilt engine for $3800 with a 2yr and 24,000 mile warranty.The van had only 75,500 miles. I was not aware of the extended warranty.Never received anything from Ford The Ford dealer didn't mention the warranty when I inquired about a new engine. Emailed Ford and waiting for a response back.Went out and purchased a 2001 Honda
    Ody. LX. I will never purchase another Ford product again.
  • Geez... it's seems like it's been yrs since i've been back here and it's only been a week and a half. And don't ya know it, my van is back in the shop again as of tonight. I don't know what happend tonight, but I was on my way to work when i was hitting the average bumps and dips in the road and this awful clunking noise was coming from the front of driver's side front end. It felt the vibrations under my feet. I was terrified the wheel was coming off or something really big was going to fall out from under the hood. I drove right into the service bay of the dealership and demanded a loaner and the van fixed once again. They really don't like me there. They were trying to put me in a escort....hahaha. Not with a family of 5. I got another windstar. Same one i've been driving each time I go in. I think i drive that one more than mine. Anyway i requested that a mechanic drive with me, so they couldnt say they didn't hear or feel the problem, he felt it. Also, the gas gauge is really screwy now. I have no idea how much gas is in the van when it hits 1/4 a tank. I get a different reading everytime I turn it on. One day I can drive for hours on below empty with the light on and then turn it on again, and the light is off and there is 1/4 of gas in it again. The driver side window is now loose and out of track, I still have a leak (still dont know what that is), when they replaced my tires, they bent up my hub cap and now it wants to pop off. I feel like they do more damage, than what it was taken in for. The great news is I have had over 800 hits on my homepage!!!!! Lots of emails, and even some insider Ford emails. Well I will be in touch once again to let you know what they find this time.
  • whataguywhataguy Posts: 1
    Does the secret warranty cover mustangs as well??
  • pjyoungpjyoung Posts: 885
    Yes, as long as you don't have over 100,000 miles on it.
  • any suggestions on getting somewhere with Ford/Mercury helping with repair. Sounded like they were going to cover 75% of $2000, but now they are saying they will not pay anything, "car is 1 year too old to be covered" Car has 65k miles. Thanks!
  • pjyoungpjyoung Posts: 885
    I didn't know that they were doing anything with transmissions. The only thing I can suggest is to go to the NHTSA web site and look for problems under "transmission". Get a count for failures for the past 10 years or so. Escalate the problem up to the executive level (this will get you a denial on the fancy corporate letterhead).

    Then take them to small claims court and claim that the transimissions were "not fit for the purposes intended". It's all a part of the "Implied Warranty of Merhcantablity" of the Uniform Commercial Code. Use the data you gathered to illustrate that Ford had big problems with their transmissions. Once it's "out of warranty", they will want to blow you off. Take them to court. You may just win, or, they may have a lawyer contact you to settle.

    Dang, sometimes I hate this litigeous society, but sometimes ya just gotta do what you gotta do. And with Ford headgaskets and transmissions, I guess it's just the golden rule "do unto others". They want to screw you - so put the screws to them. Good luck.
  • After many emails to the General Manager and a homepage that was not nice about the dealership. The General Manager has asked me to return the van and will provide me another vehicle!!!! 4 Months of pure anger and frustration has paid off. I have no idea what they are going to put me in, but the General Manager is doing the deal himself. I am going today at 1pm to take this step and will let you all know what I have accomplished and what the new van or car will be. My main gripe with him was that I was not at all confident driving the van with my children in it. That I refused to travel no more than 60 miles at one time for fear of something going wrong. I just got it back out of the shop yesterday for the sway bars breaking. Now even though it is fixed, i still don't want it. The gas Gauge I was told was another issue with the 1995's. that you will get a incorrect reading below 1/4 tank, which really you have no idea what amount of gas is in it. According to the tech. this is a tsb related issue as well. Well wish me luck!!!!! and I will keep you all posted.
  • gregtranggregtrang Posts: 11
    When turning my car to the left there is a fairly loud noise coming from the left front side of the car. It sounds like metal on metal like something in the suspension needs to be greased. It does not seem to occur when turning to the right. Any suggestions as to what this might be?
  • sharonlpksharonlpk Posts: 37
    I think the noise we were having is similar to what you're describing... Anyway, turned out to be tie-rod ends in need of grease. Our mechanic drilled a hole in the 'boot' covering that joint and shot grease into it and no more noise. It was not suspected that there were any problems with the tie rod ends, only that they needed grease which is hard to do with the way it's designed now... By the way, the tie-rod end replacement would have been fairly inexpensive (i.e., under $100) I think, and a repair we would have made if the grease hadn't stopped the noice :-)
  • I have a 95 wind star that has been a relatively good van. It has 73,860mi. In December we had car troubles and took the van to the dealer where they replaced the head gasket under the recall. We also replaced the timing cover and the water pump, required by the dealership before they would touch the head. Now, 3+months and 3000+ miles, we have a lower bearing blown. We have always maintained the vehicle and this is not justice. The dealership says it isn't their fault and there is nothing they can do. What recourse do we have? We still owe a year on it and can't really afford the $4000 to replace the engine. Does anyone out there need parts?:I)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    If there was water contamination in the oil (coolant in the oil) it most definitely could have affected the engine bearings, especially if it was sloshing around in there for a while. Of course, the dealer could then contend that this constituted a lack of due diligence on your part, which is also a reasonable position.

    So you see it's not a simple "proof" one way or the other. You are probably more in the right than the dealer, but also maybe not entirely without some fault, too.

    if you could get some kind of "dealer or factory" participation in the engine rebuild, I'd certainly settle for that if I were you...50-50 or some such.
  • jvirginiajvirginia Posts: 65
    Normally, I would agree with our host's opinion, but not in the case of Ford's 3.8 liter engines and head gaskets and especially in the case of a '95 Ford Windstar. The history and problems associated with the '95 Windstars are well documented, and Ford has owned up to the problems for that model year. Ford has guaranteed to rebuild/replace the engine for all head gasket associated repairs and damage for 7 years or 100,000 miles and reimburse all expenses for all head gasket associated repairs for original, subsequent and current owners. I know several people who have had as many as 4 engine replacements under this warranty extension. Bearing damage is almost guaranteed when the head gaskets on these engines fail. Go to the Vans forum of Edmunds town hall and check out the Ford Windstar and Ford Windstar Problems message centers. And don't waste too much time because the 7 year period is ending soon.
  • pjyoungpjyoung Posts: 885
    The history of 3.8 problems is out there. All you need to do to nix the "due diligence" is to find a mechanic who will describe damage that can be caused by leaking head gaskets. Given the 3.8 was notorious for head gasket problems - you should get a new engine in short order. But don't delay becuase I have a feeling that if your van is 7 years and one day old - you will be SOL.
  • I don't understand how the coolant in the oil could be our fault. How would we have detected it? We had an oil change on the 12th of April. The engine failed on the 30th. I called the oil change place and asked them about noticing coolant or water in the flushed oil. They, of course, said they would have noticed and noted it immediately. The problem with having the engine covered is that the dealers mechanic is stating that the engine failure is DEFINITLY not related to the head gasket. How do we prove otherwise?
  • pjyoungpjyoung Posts: 885
    Go to an independent mechanic. Ask him how coolant can get into the oil, short of adding a little Prestone to the "Oil fill" hole. Tell him it's on a 95 Windstar. You might also ask the oil change place if they had been adding coolant regularly - my Windstar and T-bird seemed to need coolant with every oil change - it wasn't dripping anywhere - so...where was it going??? Into the engine!
  • peterm7peterm7 Posts: 1
    I stumbled onto this site when trying to find what my '95 Windstar is worth because I just found out the engine needed to be replaced B/C of the head gasket problems. Mine has 109k on it and did have the gasket fixed a couple of years ago as a preventative measure.

    I figured I was SOL because of the mileage. Maybe not, based on some of the posts.

    As a very bizarre coincidence, I spoke with a Ford parts guy today. It had nothing to do with my Wind star initially. He's also a part time free lance photographer and I was calling him in that regard. Anyway, to make a long story even longer, he was very helpful and suggested the following:

    1. Contact the dealer and have them run an OASIS report. That will bring up all the programs that are available for the car.

    2. Have the dealer contact the regional Ford rep and get them to work out some sort of deal. If your car is over the 100k, like mine, you won't get a free ride, but you might get something. It all depends on how long you owned the car, where you had it serviced, how many miles over 100k it is and, probably, whether you treat them civilly or act like a jerk.

    3. If the dealer doesn't cooperate (the jerk factor can work 2 ways), Call 800-392-FORD and ask them for a MORS report. That obligates Ford to call the regional rep, who contacts the dealership.

    I'll let you know how it works out.

    Good luck to all!
  • I received a call from our Dealership (Metro Ford) in Lansing. The customer relations Manager, Kathy Hazen, worked really hard for us. After much research and tears. She finally had a meeting with our regional rep and they are going to cover 75% of all parts and labor to replace the blown engine. I am so relieved. At least it will be covered long enough to pay off the van and get something else.

    Thanks for all the tips.
  • rnivenrniven Posts: 2
    My '95 Windstar (HG job completed in March '99 at 40K miles) has a cracked cylinder head. The Ford dealer insists this has nothing to do with the HG troubles. Anyone else have this problem?

    Any thoughts as to running the car, using a Stop Leak type product in the coolant system, until the minivan just ups and dies for good? At a quoted $1900 repair bill I do not want to replace the cylinder head.

  • dturrentdturrent Posts: 3
    Go to and search for Ford. CEO Jacques Nasser is stated to be considering expanding the "secret warranty" on the head gaskets. Good luck, my '96 Windstar is in the shop right now getting the head gasker replaced.
  • hoof1hoof1 Posts: 2
    I just reluctantly decided to purchase a 1996 wind star, mint, 50K for $7500 on a private sale. I have the car and the check to give the seller but just discovered the "head gasket fiasco" during my final bit of research. I can still back out. Should I? hoof1
  • metoermetoer Posts: 1
    We bought our Windstar in '96 with 32000. After about a year, began noticing the smell of antifreeze coming in through the heater vents, and a fogging up of the inside of the windshield. Took it in right away, and bad head gasket was the dx. Had it replace under our regular warranty to the tune of a $50 deduct. We have since taken it on two long driving vacations...from Wis to Myrtle Beach, and to Gulf Shores, Al. We haven't had any real problems with the van besides the head gasket, in fact I really love how well it keeps performing. The only "trouble" we had was on both of our vacations, the "check engine" light came on when we got to the foothills in Kentucky (after about 10 hours of constant driving in temps >90). Were told by a mechanic in S.C. that it might be an oxygen-engine thing, and that after 4-5 cold starts, the "check engine" light should go off. It did, but came on again on our return trip. Again, went off after 4-5 cold starts. Didn't happen again until our trip to Alabama, and again, went off after the 4-5 cold starts. Does anyone know anything about this? Does this mean our engine has been affected by the leaking head gasket? I am hoping not, that we got our hg fixed early enough to avoid major engine damage. I really do like our van, and am sad to see so many people that have had trouble with theirs.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Your vehicle is OBD-II compliant. Whenever the CEL comes on a diagnostic trouble code is stored in the powertrain control module's memory. A scan tool is required to retrieve any stored DTC's and determine the circuit/system causing the CEL to illuminate.
  • rnivenrniven Posts: 2
    Could you post the article from the Cleveland Plain Dealer here (ref: your post #127)?
    The site has only a 14 day history.

  • I just got my 1996 Windstar out of the shop after having a blown head gasket repaired. The van had only 46,000 miles. Ford agreed to pay 50% of the cost, but the dealer was not happy with this. They said because we weren't "preferred customers" that we were not entitled to any more than 50%. Preferred meaning that we did not have every oil change and tire rotation done by them. What does that have to do with engine design flaws. Guess we are luckier than some in that they did pay half. Now we wait for the recall of all the 1996 3.8L Windstars to get reimbursed and get a better warranty than l2/12000. Anyone else with 96 windstar problems?
  • kevin96kevin96 Posts: 1
    Took my van to the shop this weekend for the service engine soon light coming on. Was told that I had a blown head gasket. The van has 87000, while looking at other sites I have found that the 3.8 I engine is Junk,, does anyone know if Ford will recall or fix this problem, any info would be great.
    [email protected]
  • sandymountsandymount Posts: 1
    My 95 hg's blew last August, got repaired. 2k later, the engine went. Ford won't replace/repair the engine, saying they altered the 7yr/100k warranty, so no engine replacements after 1000 miles. Is this accurate, or is my chain getting jerked (meantime, I bought an Olds Silhouette at New Year's)?
  • naesseannaessean Posts: 3
    I am considering buying a '92 Taurus L Wagon. The car has 62,000 miles, which seems low for a '92, but I checked car fax and everything seems to be in order from that end. My questions after reading these postings on the board are about the reliability and potential repairs for the car. Can anyone give me an idea of what to expect from the head gasket, trans, A/C, etc. from this '92 with 62k? What about the possible costs associated with these kinds of repairs?
    I really appreciate it.
  • pjyoungpjyoung Posts: 885
    First big question - What engine is in the '92? If it's the 3.8, I'd pass on the deal. Taurus transmissions from that period are also suspect.
  • jvirginiajvirginia Posts: 65
    I agree with pjyoung, if it has a 3.8 liter engine pass on it. I bought an '88 Taurus L wagon back in January. It has the 3.0 liter engine. It had 122K miles. Since January I've done the following repairs: new tires all around, replace rear wheel brake cylinders, replace front disc brake pads, replace front brake hoses, replace passenger inner tie rod end, replace both front drive axles (cheaper and easier than replacing individual cv joints), repair window washer pump hose and wiring, replace windshield wipers, change oil and filter. Total cost for all repairs was under $600. I paid $1500 for the car. It now runs great, has no leaks, and drives remarkably smooth and quiet. I am very satisfied so far as I don't think I would find another vehicle that would be trustworthy for $2100. My only remaining repair is for comfort, replace the thermal expansion valve and recharge the a/c. I had the system checked and the valve is the only problem. It has already been changed over to R134. I hope this gives you some idea as to what you can expect to find.
  • tony22rtony22r Posts: 45
    FORD SUCKS! (and so does chevy)
    i will NEVER EVER buy a Ford or GM-made vehicle ever again!
    DON'T BUY Ford...:
    If you want a Reliable car, if you care about your Family's Safety, if you want Quality, if you Don't want to mess with Factory Recalls EVERY year!, if you don't like engine/transmission problems, if you don't like your trim\body panels falling apart, if you don't want to be Fixing your Car every WEEK...
    Do NOT Buy a FORD!

    I bought my 1995 Ford Windstar GL 3.8L V-6 brand new. I am original owner. I take GOOD care of ALL my vehicles. I enjoy cars, am an auto enthusiast, have raced/built/rebuilt all kinds of cars since I was 13 yrs old. I am proud of my rides and take great care of my stable of vehicles; I change oil Religiously every 3000 miles, rotate tires every 10K, flush radiators every summer, keep my engines so Meticulously Clean you could Eat off them!, wash my cars every other week.

    But despite all the care and attention, the Ford Windstar has been one of the WORST!
    It has gotten no less than 7 Factor Recalls in the first 3 years of ownership!
    All sorts of Problems ranging from...:

    * Defective factory Head Gasket.
    * Hood Separation at high speeds.
    * Gas Tank (plastic) needed Reinforcement for hot weather climates.
    * Sliding Door needed reinforcement/welding.
    * Transmission Oil pan leak.
    * "Check Engine" light comes on ALL the time!
    * Hesitation/Jerking/Loss of power at certain temperatures, elevations, engine speeds.
    * Trim, body panels, weather stripping falling apart.

    My friends, neighbors, co-workers, and I have ALL had nightmare stories about Fords... Taurus/Sable, Windstar, Aerostar, Mustang, Escort, Thunderbird, you name it!

    OK, if you're just leasing/renting for a year or two, have at it, go and buy yourself a Ford Explorer with Firestone tires if you like.
    It won't matter anyways, after a couple years it'll be someone else's problem not yours.

    But if you plan to own the car for more than a couple years, Don't buy a Ford! It'll end up Owning YOU!
    Spend a couple thousand extra and buy yourself a Toyota, Honda, Nissan, etc. Trust me it'll be worth it, because it won't be sitting on jackstands in your front yard in a few years.
    If you buy a Ford you'll spend Thousands of dollars on repairs, recalls, wasted time, trouble, and headaches.
    Fords are just huge money pits.
  • ruby44ruby44 Posts: 2
    EVERYONE who owns a 96 Ford Windstar needs to call Ford Customer Assistance (1-800-392-3673) to file a complaint if they are having ANY type of head gasket problem - leaking engine coolant, etc. I called and Ford said if they get enough complaints from customers, they WILL extend the warranty for this head gasket problem. So everyone needs to take 2 minutes to CALL and put your complaint in. PLEASE! My 96 Windstar has 49,000 miles and is leaking antifreeze and I don't want to throw away $1500 to get it fixed - money I'll never see again. I've got to dump it fast and get something else before my engine blows. But the more people who file a complaint, then something might be done about it - this definitely should be a recall. This kind of stuff really ticks me off. Call NOW!
  • jvirginiajvirginia Posts: 65
    I called them back in November when I was also having problems with my '96 Windstar. They basically told me tough ****. As far as they are concerned the problem doesn't exist after '95. Ford deserves to go bankrupt. They totally screw all their customers and only take action to 'help' their customers when forced by legal action or government action to do so. They turn their backs on customers yet give lucrative bonuses to ALL their assembly line employees (over $14,000 in bonus money to each assembly line worker in the last 2 years) and then tell the public they need to raise prices because of assembly costs. BULL! Contact the lawyer listed in a previous post and add your name to the class action law suit. After you get rid of this Ford don't buy any other new Ford. Let their products sit on the lot and rot. I hope Firestone can prove Ford is responsible for all the SUV problems too and the government makes Ford pay for all the tire recalls.
  • kingjtkingjt Posts: 1
    We have a 95 Windstar with the 3.8. We have had 4 I/2 Oxygen sensors replaced and 2 head gasket jobs. The I/2 sensors are definitely related to the head gasket. We experienced the same symptoms you described... long trips, hills, loaded with cargo etc. would produce hesitation and check engine light. Also we would like to hear if the 7 year/ 100,000 Mile extended warranty on the head gasket will be extended... out 7 years are up in November!
  • pjyoungpjyoung Posts: 885
    If you're willing to do a little legwork, you can take them to small claims court to get your money back. They said the same thing about extending the warranty on 1993 vehicles when it first came out. It's now beyond 7 years, and they never included those cars. If you want a reimbursement, you are going to have to go to small claims court. Gather the NTHSA information from the complaint database. You can get additional information from , which has a lot of good info about the 3.8 engine and head gaskets.
  • pjyoungpjyoung Posts: 885
    All it took was for a fellow to rear end us. Dented tailgate = totaled vehicle. The value on 95 Windstars is pathetic. I'm currently shopping for an 89 Yugo. It's about all that the insurance money will buy without me having to dig into my pocket. $24,000 when new - $7,300 6 years later.
  • jvirginiajvirginia Posts: 65
    You did well. We only got $6000 on trade-in for our '96 Windstar and I felt good about that. The fellow who rear ended you did you a tremendous favor. Good luck with your new vehicle. (I'm pretty sure it won't be a Ford). By the way, do you think the GL in the Windstar type means 'Good Luck' or 'Gasket Leaks'?
  • pjyoungpjyoung Posts: 885
    I know he did me a favor of sorts. On the plus side, I am getting retail as opposed to wholesale price for the van. But on the downside, I wasn't really in the market for a car, new or used, for another couple of years. The choices for cars in the price range that I'm getting for the Windstar aren't much better than the Windstar was...for instance, I can't even get a 10 year old Honda Civic with 120,000 miles for that kind of money. But, considering the transmission was getting rather suspect, I suppose it saved me dumping even more into the van.

    And, a tip for any 95 Windstar owners - if you're planning on getting your Windstar totaled (getting rear-ended at about 15 to 20 MPH should do the trick), move to Minnesota. Dealers have them on their lots up their for over $10,000. Studies are being conducted to see if cold weather effects the brain. Just show the insurance company what the "going rate" is, and they'll have to come up with the money. I found that little ditty after doing a search for 95 Windstars on for vehicles within a 500 mile radius of Kansas City. I found several in Minnesota with dealers asking over 10 grand.
  • sweekssweeks Posts: 1
    My 95 Windstar at 103,000 miles had the front bumper swiped off the front of it by a passing Explorer last Sunday afternoon. News is it's totaled. Insurance company is dragging on getting this worked out and it would be nice to know how much money I'm going to have to work with. I was wondering how long ago you had your accident. $7,300 is more than I figured the insurance company would give us.

    Like you I wasn't looking for a new van. Had all the same problems with this one that everyone one else appears to have had. The engine went just days before the initial head gasket recall. I paid to replace the engine--had it done at an independent garage. Took it in to file the paperwork at the dealership and let them fix another recall and while they had it they yanked the head and replaced the head gasket on the new engine without consulting me. Then, they had the nerve to file the claim making it impossible for me to file a claim on the legit repair. Ford wouldn't listen and didn't care even when they realized they had a dirty dealer. I still like the looks of the Windstar, but I don't need another headache.
  • I'm trying to find out if others are experiencing this pinging or detonation problem as everything I've read tells me the problem only gets worse add ends up severely damaging the engine. I'm having visions of being stranded with a blown engine. My 1999 Windstar has been pinging for approximately 14,000 miles and I've been back to the dealer's five times. It's pinging again and we're going to arbitration and hope to get a buy back before any disaster takes place. I welcome all suggestions.
  • pjyoungpjyoung Posts: 885
    Actually, I ended up getting $8800 for the Windstar. I don't know the rules in your state, but in Kansas, you take the price from other vans at a local dealer. Kansas also said that sales tax, registration, etc. should be included in the settlement. I got prices from NADA, Edmunds (thanks guys), and two local car dealers (one van with 98,000 miles was listed at $7,988). So, I pretty much averaged the prices, came up with $8,200 added 7% in sales taxes and $50 in registration fees to get a total of $8,827. The other guys insurance didn't balk, and the adjustor thanked me for the documentation, since he said it made it easier for him to justrify raising the settlement.

    Our accident was over Memorial Day and the van had $75,000 miles on it. Hope this helps you. Jvirginia was right, we were "lucky" to have it totaled.
  • judi_njudi_n Posts: 5
    I bought my 95 Windstar in Feb. 2000 . So far it has been fine. The last few weeks I have noticed that the rad and reservoir keep going dry. I also smell antifreeze. I have heard about the Windstar HG problems and wonder how do I know if this is the problem with mine?
    I have noticed what looks like dripping coolant from the area of the reservoir tank but only one or twice. Can anyone tell me how to figure this out. My oil is clean and not cloudy. Thanks, Judi
  • pjyoungpjyoung Posts: 885
    Have them check it IMMEDIATELY!!! At least make sure that the coolant loss in the resevoir is because of a leak. If there's no leak there - then it's leaking SOMEWHERE - most likely thru the head gasket! In hindsight, that's the ONLY clue we had to head gasket problems in my 93 T-bird (with 3.8) and 95 Windstar - we found them adding coolant at every oil change.
  • judi_njudi_n Posts: 5
    Thank you for responding. I am leary of taking it in since my Husband works out of town. Last time I took it in (Ford dealership) to see why it seemed to shift funny, Ford told me I needed a new trans. I took it into an independant shop (trans ) and was told it was shifting normal for a Windstar.That was over a year ago and trans is still the same.
    I have found a good mechanic (not ford ) who is very honest.I guess the best thing to do is get it checked.I wonder if I have that much water going places it should not, if the motor will already be beyond hope.
    As I said in my first post, my oil is not milky as others have reported. I have only noticed a drip a few times, after the A/C was on.I can't see that I am loosing that much to a leak. I just topped it up on Sun, it was dry today.
    It seems this is quite a common Windstar problem. If I didn't own on it still I would trade it off.
  • tony22rtony22r Posts: 45
    I just got off the phone with Ford Customer Service (800)392-3673.
    She told me that under Recall# M09 (i think), head gaskets on '95 Windstars are covered for 7 years/100,000 miles whichever comes First.
    So tonight after work i am towing my '95 Windstar in to the dealership. It only has 65,200 miles and I am original owner. I took great care of my Windstar but the head gaskets still blew.

    About a month ago my Check Engine light was coming on Constantly, my engine began to chug/hesitate really bad, felt like it was running on only 3 cylinders, i noticed i was losing coolant fast (1 gallon per week).
    Knocking/detonation on acceleration.
    Now it is sitting on jackstands on my frontyard.

    I will NEVER buy a Ford again. We want to get rid of this pile of garbage as soon as we can. It is just a huge money pit and taking up our time.
    I hope it gets rear-ended like the other Windstar on this board.
    $6000 from the insurance would be Great!
  • kmason5kmason5 Posts: 1
    I have a 95 wind star which suffered the "Blown Head Gasket Syndrome". It was repaired once at a Ford dealership, but less than a 1000 miles later the gaskets blew again. This time Ford took almost 3 months to put in a "long block" which supposedly was cured of this problem. Now my Wind star has less than 70,000 miles, a "new" long block engine but is still consuming antifreeze.

    Ford did pay the full cost of the new long block plus the cost of a rental vehical. I was responsible for the mileage cost of the rental however. After three months and a summer vacation,the cost was still quite high. My advise, make Ford pay directly to the rental agency for the time it takes them to repair your vehicle. They wanted me to put it on my credit card at first, but a call to Ford's customer service center was all it took for the Ford Dealership to work out an agreement with the local rental company. Good Luck.
  • 5stars55stars5 Posts: 1
    Our Law firm needs people who have headgasket problems on their 1996+ Ford 3.8 liter engine. Specifically, has your Ford been diagnosed with the following: 1) white smoke out of tail pipe; 2) "possible headgasket" diagnosis by dealer; 3) loss of power on hills; 4) Check Engine light is constantly lit and/or blinks. If so please e-mail me at [email protected] I am a lawyer initiating a class action against Ford. Also, be warned before settling for current problems, I have been given information that indicates that "headgasket problem" is unrepairable. This info is corroborated by Kelly Blue Book prices for Windstars, etc . . .
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