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Ford Aerostar



  • tobin4tobin4 Posts: 1
    I have a 1993 Ford Aerostar XLT van with 235,000 miles! I live in New England and the winters can be tough as it was this past winter. I have changed the oil every ten to fifteen thousand miles. I purchased the van almost new from the dealer. It was used as rental. I bought it the end of 1993 with 15,000 miles. It has been a great mini van. I tried the others, none of them even was close. I am 6' 4" tall, so I needed the leg room. That seems to be a problem with mini vans and some automobiles today, no leg room to stretch your legs out. Same original transmission and engine. Other than the usual replacement of brakes, tires, plugs and oil, the van has been good for us. I have used the van for both pleasure and work. I highly recommend the Ford Aerostar.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Good deal! Are you using "regular" dead dino oil in it or synthetic?

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  • dogsruledogsrule Posts: 13

    I have a '91 Aero sport with 90k miles. Its run well and is practically a new van.

    But it has this steering wheel shimmy from 50 mph up and intensifies through 75+. The only thing not replaced so far is the ball joints and tie rod ends.

    Have any one out there had a similiar problem? My dealer says everything is OK. Yea, right. Let him put his kids in there.

    Any input appreciated.
  • 93saturnsl193saturnsl1 Posts: 27
    My family bought a new '88 Aerostar in January of that year. From the get go we had problems, like stalling out and not starting while the drive out tag was still in the window, but we loved it nonetheless. We took it on several vacations, and I drove it all through high school (I was pretty popular being able to haul 7+ people!). The engine (3.0) seems to be amazing, although everything else around it falls apart. We maintained it rather anally... oil changes every 3k religiously, always checking the fluids, anything we could do. It still decided to go through 3 transmissions, with the O/D having gone out long ago in the present one. Blower motor, wiper motor (2x), brakes and rotors out the ying yang, fuel pumps (3), exhaust, tie rods, several a/c recharges (finally had the O-rings replaced about 5 yrs ago, and STILL blows cold with no recharges since), and about 3 heater cores. The engine, on the other hand, has had no repairs... completely original and runs strong with 176,000 on the odo now. Even with all of the nickel and diming, we still love it, and its still on the road every day. I have no doubt it'll go well into the 200k's. Well, hopefully since everything surrounding the engine is either new or repaired.
  • dcompsdcomps Posts: 1
    I'm looking at a 97 AWD Extended Aerostar. Its in great shape with 53K miles. Two thing bother me about its performance. I drove it on a stretch of freeway at 75 mph and got some vibration in the steering wheel. I could also see the rest of the van vibrating. Not a major vibe. But, just enough to bug me on a trip. No vibe at lower mph. Also, at idle, there is a slight miss in the engine after its been warmed up. Any ideas?
  • dogsruledogsrule Posts: 13
    Dcomps: I asked about this a few messages back on my '91 with 91K miles. Your situation could be anywhere from the rubber up to the steering wheel. It will take time and a logical place to start and just begin.

    I started with the rubber and made sure it was balanced, eventually had to replace the rotors, bearings, balance, alignment. I had the dealer check the ball joints and arms to "OK" but i still suspect its either them or the rack itself.

    Only problem is they just had to put in the 4th alternator after it caught fire. ther is a 12/12 warrrantee on Ford parts but with 10 months/14K on this alternator they refused right up to Dearborn to assist with replacement despite a TSB and a dozen NHTSA reports of exactly this fire hazard.

    POINT: Nice van, but it's discontinued, out of warrantee, and Ford won't back you up. I love my Aerostar depsite all the other work. But like like a family dog, once it bites your little girls face, better get rid of it. And this possible van is beginning to growl.

    I'm looking for a 2000+ Odyssea replacement.

    Have a nice day!
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    You may be interested in the Aerostar's IIHS 40mph front offset crash test results. Please click on the link below:

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  • wmy99wmy99 Posts: 7
    I own a 1991 Aerostar, XLT, extended van, 3 litre engine with 160,000 miles.

    I experienced a steady water leak at the top of my window located behind the driver's seat.

    After inspection from the outside of the vehicle, I noticed the plastic window frame of the side, sliding window had lifted away at the top from the metal leaving a space.

    I filled this space all along the top of the window from the outside with clear windshield sealer. (clear silicone sealer can be used also, available at your hardware store). This stopped the leak.

    If leaking still persists, I would check your roof rack where it is attached to the roof.
  • wmy99wmy99 Posts: 7
    I own a 1991 Aerostar, XLT, extended van, 3 litre engine with 160,000 miles.

    - Since 1992 this vehicle has had these problems:

    - All engine gaskets were changed under warranty.
    - Chronic brake problems, rear calipers, emergency brake not releasing.
    - Leaks at windows.
    - Outside door handles and inside window power controls constantly breaking.
    - Heater/defroster/airconditioning needs constant repair.
    - Balanced driveshaft goes out of balance, needs replacement.
    - The Aerostar has no weight at the back of the vehicle and can be very dangerous to drive in slippery and snowy conditions.
    - Trade-in value of Aerostar is pathetic so you are forced to keep driving the vehicle.
    - Engine lights, brake lights flash on & off, gas guage swings back & forth. It's like having an Arcade Game built in your dash.
    - Yes, the 3.0 litre engine has been dependable (after changing all gaskets} and the bucket seats are comfortable.

    - If you want to be on the 1st name basis with your mechanic buy an Aerostar.
  • Has anyone had to replace their oil Pan gasket? I have a '95 XLT with a 3.0 Liter engine.

    I'm looking at about $400. Any reccomendations for service? I live in Atlanta.

    TIA (Thanks in Advance).
  • corsicachevycorsicachevy Posts: 316
    One of my friends bought a 1997 Aerostar a few years back and I teased her. I told her that the van, while very utilitarian and pleasant to ride in, was terribly unreliable. Boy was I wrong.

    I'm not sure how many miles she has racked up, but it must be well over 60,000 - its her daily driver - and she has not had one problem. Zero. Zilch. Original brakes, belts, hoses, exhaust - everything. It has been a perfect vehicle. And despite its dated styling, it still looks like a new vehicle. She must have found a real peach.
  • dogsruledogsrule Posts: 13
    as someone who oves their Aerostar like an abused child loves their parent, I recommend saving your cash for more necessary things. You'll never drip $400 oil out that pan. Unless you've got a REAL PROBLEM with it, save it for that "will save your kids lives" type of repair.
  • I found out the problem was not as I feared. The leak was Power Steering fluid. I drove to another location of the same place that diagnosed the problem as the gasket leak. I went under the bay with the technician and he said it was Power steering fluid leaking out. He tightened two nuts with a 16 mm wrench and topped off the fluid with Dexron.

    I gave the guy $20.

    Needless to say I won't be going back to the location that misdiagnosed the problem, if they don't know the difference between Power Steering fluid and oil.
  • dogsruledogsrule Posts: 13
    Way to go! I am in the health care field and am a diagnostician. I regularly use logic to rule things in or out. I can safely say 1/2 of the time the list of possibilities to fix a problem is BS. Last week a rusty catalytic converter was the cause of a rattle. Turns out to be the pipewrench left by the last ford mechanic who worked on the brakes.

    Watch 'em my friend. They''l keep you sharp.
  • hawk54hawk54 Posts: 1
    I have a 96 Aerostar 4.0L with 100K miles on it. Great van so far. No oil leaks or other major problems. But I do have this noise that's driving my wife crazy. Living in San Antonio, you run your air conditioning all the time. Once the car has warmed up, we get this howling noise at idle. It's coming from the air intake. I have removed the air filter, air hose, and have cleaned the housing completely. It doesn't make the noise at driving speeds, but only at idle. You can hear it a half-block away. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Jon
  • Update on leak.

    I had the gasket changed. I got tired of putting in a quart every 2 - 3 days.

    This guy at work seems to think that the place I got my oil changed at messed around with the gasket to make it appear there was a problem (pulled it out to make it leak). I can't prove anything but it is a bit suspicious that it started leaking after I got my oil changed.

    Any thoughts, since I had it fixed?
  • They may have messed with it, but it could've been leaking for a good while and wasn't really bad enough to notice until then. I had a friend's '96 F150 a while back, and the gasket on it had been leaking for a while. I had it loaded down moving some stuff, and the gasket blew out and the oil sprayed out all over the place... had to be towed. Yours may have lasted for a while, but it was something that needed to be replaced. Our '88 Aerostar has never had one, though the list of everything else we've replaced on it is staggering! Still running great with over 175k on it though. Thank god we're backyard mechanics at least or it would've died long, long ago.
  • Hi, I was sent by Steve since Aerostar thread not very active. Need to find out any info on proper adjustment, potential things to look for, in regards to rattle coming from sliding door on 96 Aerostar extended van with running over even the slightest bump. Pretty hard to swallow given the number of potholed gravel roads here. Looking forward to snowfall to fill in the holes!

    thank you

  • Yep, I have a 93 Aerostar with 190,000 miles on the clock. Original engine, transmission and everything else. It's hauled my 3 kids, it's hauled major appliances, it's hauled trash to the dump. The 3.0 engine has low compression in 2 of the cylinders, but it otherwise gets me where I want to go. I paid 15,000 for it. I think I've got my moneys worth. I've decided I'm just going to keep driving it until the wheels fall off.
  • drmaydrmay Posts: 8
    I've got the stretch 4WD 4L XLT with 200,000 Kliks (that's 120,000 mi..) It was in bad shape when I bought it at auction in 1998 but after fixing up all the problems (ball joints, alignment, shifter cable, head light module, big time tune up, sticky door locks, squeaky sliding door, bad front rotors, and a LOT of dirt in the carpet) It's run like a top. I like it so much I got it re painted. I drive hiway to work and in winter that 4WD makes it stick like glue no matter what shape the road is in.

    One BIG problem happened a while ago when the driver side front axle fell off at the inboard CV joint. The axle flange is held to the CVJ by 5 special bolts with lock nuts. Not one nut was left, the bolts were intact and still on. Were they even bolted when I got it? I don't know. Either way, it was a snap to repair.
  • I've had 2 Aerostars, a 1990 4.0l I bought with 30,000 miles and a 1991 3.0l I bought with 167,000 miles. Both reached 250,000 miles till their transmissions needed rebuilt or replaced. They are workhorses and I will continue to buy them as long as they are still around. Not impressed at all with their replacement, Windstars. Who knows, they brought back the T-bird, maybe the Aerostar some day too!
  • I have had two Areostars also, a 1988 and a 1991 that I just replaced with new 2001 e-150 Traveler. They all needed constant repair and upkeep, especially the brakes, the front end and both had leaks in the same place (behind drivers seat)I had to rebuild the engine in the 1991 and the A/C has been shot for a couple of years (a $1000 repair) The sliding door hardware always had to be repaired or replaced in both as well. Basically they aren't much good past 100K without a lot of work. On the positive side, they are comfortable and have lots of room that you can't find in their mini van replacements available today (hence the E-150). The transmissions have been excellent in both. I have about 165K on my 1991 and will use it as a beater around town until the wheels fall off. They neither were very reliable past 100K.
  • I own a '93 Aerostar XL Plus w/ 4.0L. I bought it from a rental agency with 97,000 mis. in September of '97. I now have 137,000 mis on the vehicle. Although maintenance seems to be expensive, it is only relative to why we bought the vehicle. It has done exactly what we intended it for (haul a family of six and double as a work vehicle if my full size van breaks down; good traction in winter w/ AWD).

    We just had the van serviced w/ new serp belt and front brakes, oil change, etc. We then drove 800 miles over the Colorado mountains with no problems. I can't say enough about the 4.0L engine for powering through the passes. We averaged 20 mis to the gallon.

    I can see most everybody on this discussion board is bummed w/ AC. Mine is shot too. I think the brakes are a little weak also.

    My questions: A short time after I got the van I wanted to deal with the surging problem at idle. I ended up replacing the oxygen sensor, intake manifold gasket, and got new plugs and wires. Amazingly I got 29mpg shortly after this tune up (no my calculations were not off, I have a science degree). Anybody else record this kind of mileage? I was informed by Ford about 20,000 miles later that my intake manifold gasket was leaking again. Are there any Ford service write ups about the intake manifold that they are not telling us about? Anyway my rpm surging at idle has returned and the check engine light comes on at strange times (only high speed on the highway).

    Anyway I bought the van for about $7,500.00 when they were selling locally between $10-11K. Now the resale value on the TMV page is down to about $1800.00. That's hardly justice to this vehicle.
    I am seriously considering keeping it now. Maybe like VW's bug they will be forced to bring this one back.
  • I do not have one but my sister-in-laws has one. It has been in garage in their house for over a year. The best use he has had for it was to use it to lock up the Christmas presents.
  • pjksrpjksr Posts: 111
    After 207,000 faithful miles, my '91 XL E-4WD popped its rear transfer case seal. Looks to need some transfer case work, in addition to replacement of engine gaskets, which have been leaking. Anyone want it?
  • 94 XL, 3.0 V6, 48K, bought new and made the last week the 94's were made in Aug. May be a winner due to this fact as all 94 bugs were fixed?. Never garaged. Sticky elec. passenger window button first year or so and corrected itself. Bad connection on TSU lead cap and soldered it and temp gauge works great.
    24+ MPH with CC on long freeway trip. Use severe maint. schedule. Tires will go to 60K?. Have done nothing to it other then the book maint. instructions. Being tall, older, and with arthritis, I can drive on CC all day and not have any discomfort. Love the room to haul anything I have ever wanted to haul on a trip or a new washer, 4x8 sheet of plywood, etc. Wife hates to drive it. Will probably keep it and fixed it and paint if necessary until the end of my driving days. Happy owner.
  • Have a 93 extended XLT. 125000 miles and the 4.0 engine. Love it but wife won't drive it. I use it for everything. It's my pickup with a roof. Glad to see someone else get good gas mileage. Couldn't get anyone to believe me when I told them I was getting 22 mpg at 80 mph.
    Wish they still made them. definitely a veheicle for tall people. Only vehicle that long trips didn't tire me out.
  • We are looking at a 93 Aerostar and a 94 Voyager. Seems the Aerostar is liked over the Voyager.
    This is a former RCMP vehicle, well maintained with 150,000 km on it.
    Is there anything anyone can offer here about a 93 Aerostar? Thanks
  • bjfrank42bjfrank42 Posts: 51
    Air conditioning is the only problem I have had with mine. Had to replace the compressor. Cools well though when working properly. Other people I know had trouble with air also. Might want to check that out closely.
  • Thanks, will check that out.
This discussion has been closed.