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Ford Aerostar



  • we have our Aerostar oil sprayed each year by

    their product is the only rust protection method endorsed by the Automobile Protection Association of Canada (a consumer support group)

    when they did the initial application on our 97 Aerosport, the guy showed me the area that is most likely to rust on the vehicle, it is the boxed in area that runs along the bottom 1/4 of vehicle.

    They actually pump/spray their oil onto the inner surfaces of this area.

    At the shop where my vehicle is treated, they have recent pictures on the wall of 10-15 yr old Aerostars, with NO rust...which is remarkable, considering that we have all seen old Aerostars on the road with their rocker panels and/or the bottoms of their doors flapping in the breeze.
  • My dad currently drives the 1996 Ford Aerostar extended-length XLT 4.0L V6 RWD. Purchased it new in September 28, 1996. It now has 110,000 miles and, besides the general maintanence, it has been a very reliable van. Here are all the repairs needed since 1996:

    1. In 1997, cruise control failed.

    2. In 1998, air-conditioner failed.

    3. In 1999, air-conditioner failed again.

    4. In 1999, thermostat needed to be replaced.

    5. In 2000, none.

    6. In 2001, brakes needed work.

    7. In 2002, none.

    8. In 2003, none so far.

    If anybody is considering a used Aerostar, I highly recommend the 1996 model year because, according to Consumer Reports, 1996 is the most reliable Aerostar ever made in history since 1986. 1997 was the last year but the reliability isn't as good as 1996. 1995 isn't as good as 1996. I have heard fewer problems coming from 4.0 Aerostar engine than 3.0. Our Aerostar is still currently on its original engine and transmission.

    The only weak point I can think of is that Aerostar RWD doesn't do well in snow. One time my dad drove on a snowy road, the Aerostar slipped or skidded many times if turning right or left. He almost nearly got an accident. So I do not recommend the Aerostar for snow drive. The Aerostar has no problem on rain drive.

                       Walter Chan
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Would get my vote for the best of the series. Digital dash, 4 captains chairs, leather, etc.
  • txguytxguy Posts: 57
    Our '94XLT is at 167,000 miles and still going strong. A/C is broken for the first time. It's the compressor. Will get it fixed this spring.

    Major repairs include 3 rear ends (don't know what was up with that - 2 done under warranty, the last one was a salvage yard item and has lasted longer than the other two. The steering assembly was replaced at about 85,000 miles.

    Ours has a possessed radio. The volume increases and decreases by itself.

    The weather stripping around both back side windows has been replaced due to leaks.

    This vehicle has been extremely reliable and will likely be part of our stable until the motor gives up. And where else can you carry a sofa or a washer and dryer under cover like you can in the Aerostar? Wrestle those back seats out and the XLT has an amazing carrying capacity.
  • Anyone have any experience with Power Steering on a '95 Aerostar? I have 3.0 liter model XLT. I think the pump went on me. Any idea what a new pump will run? I live in Atlanta, GA

    Thanks in advance.
  • I put some PS fluid in this AM. Seems to have stopped the squealing and it's not such a bear to steer. I'll keep an eye on it for awhile to insure I don't have any leaks.

    I may need new seals if I have a leak.
  • psasakpsasak Posts: 1
    I just wish they still made these vans. Ours has about 120,000 miles on it and it still goes strong with no oil burning. We bought it new in Tucson, and have had it in Ohio since 1998. No rust yet - every spring I have to scrub it down to get the pin-spots of rust off the body.

    We just put about $1500 into it last year for front-end bushings. It clanked like an old truck over bumps - the bushings were metal-to-metal. the tie rod ends went a few years ago, why Ford made them out of plastic is a mystery. New brakes, rotors, bearings, 2 water pumps - the usual replacements over it's life. the major components have stayed together very well.

    Like I said, I just wish they still made 'em.

    It's time for a new van soon... looking at a Toyota Sienna (I wish it was a Ford). This new Freestar is going to go down in flames like the Windstar, I think. Ford does not do front-wheel drives very well, I think.
  • 446pack446pack Posts: 7
    Well, the wife and I bought our '92 Aerostar new in March of '92. XLT extended 2WD with all available options + L/S axle. It was white with red interior. It's lived all of it's life in Western NY (Buffalo). It never let us down at all. With the 3.0 we averaged 30+MPG on the highway all its life. Never had a problem hauling heavy loads for long distances either. Other than normal tires, brakes, plugs, wires, rotor, 1 exhaust system, 1 battery and 1 starter it has been a great vehicle. We tried to sell it for 3 years. However, every time we went to sell it we needed it so took it off the market. Well we fianlly sold it last June with 245,000 miles on it. No rust on it (due to running boards), but do know about those darn loose interior screws. I solved mine with a dab of lock-tite on them. The folks that bought it live in NC and love it. Still great on fuel at over 265,000 miles on it. They haven't put anything into it as of yet. I ran AMSOIL in everything on it (oil, great, tranny fluid and such). Flushed the cooling system out completely with new fluid every 2 years. Also wished they still made them. Just purchased a new Freestar LIMITED. Have a whole 207 miles on it as of today. Like it better than the Windstar. You set up in it more like the Aerostar than the Windstar. Right now it's running about 22MPG highway. Hopefully it'll climb higher.
  • mhoodzmhoodz Posts: 2
    I'm thinking of buying this vehicle but it has one weird problem..the headlights radio and dashlights only work when you hold the high beam switch in the on postition. hold it on in low and I get lowbeam headlights - hold it on in high and I then get high beam plus dashlights and the radio. Is there a simple fix for this or is this a sign of an unending electrical nightmare?
    It has 252,000 kilometers or 150,000 miles on it.
    Everything else seems good on it except the heater fan but I think that is tied into the electrical trouble.
  • navyairnavyair Posts: 202
    Believe your headlight problem is a bad headlight switch. It is about a $50 part at the cost me $300 to get it replaced at a dealer including labor...but I didn't have to tear the dash apart to get to it.

    We too had the demon radio problem, which is definately a wiring problem, because it seemed to come/go with temp changes.

    Our '92 Aerostar finally died with 123,800 miles on it. After installing the second new air conditioning compressor in 3 yrs,and spending $1k, the transmission seals gave out in the mtns of VA. enroute to a new home in WI.

    Tranny guy wanted $1800 and 2 weeks to fix it, which would necessitate 4 day round trip to retrieve it. Alas, Aerostar, we knew you well.
  • duckiedduckied Posts: 52
    I currently own a 1990 Ford Aerostar XLT with about 154,000 miles. Within the past few months, the whole exterior of the van is rusting and breaking off. For example, part of the van under the driver's side door fell off because of rust. Is anyone else having rust trouble?

    The rear sliding door has not been closing completely shut. When you shut the door, it is slightly ajar. This problem has been occuring for many years. The only way to resolve this issue is to place your hand on the rear of the sliding door and apply the correct amount of pressure while closing it.

    Also, the A/C and heat have not worked correctly for about five years. I have taken it into the Ford dealer to be checked, but they did not fix the problem. It sounds like the fan is running, but no air is blowing out of the vents.
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    I had all of your problems and more. It was a '92. For 2 years ago, I gave up and decided to lease a new Windstar, and the difference was incredible! (At that time ('02) there still wasn't the '04 Sienna and Quest, just the Odyssey to pay top dollar and wait 5-6 months).

    1990 MY is almost 15 (!) years old, and 154,000 miles is pretty much, although many Aerostars are running great for more than 200K miles. (OK, not great, but still acceptable!)

    Maybe it's time to think of a new(er) one!
  • duckiedduckied Posts: 52
    Thanks for your response. A new van definitely sounds like a good idea, with all the problems the old Aerostar van has. I'm thinking of the new Freestar or the Odyssey. I might go with the Odyssey, because it has more that I want and can be cheaper than the Freestar. I rented a Freestar SEL van a few weeks ago, which MSRP is $30,140, and I still can't figure why it's cost is so high. Thanks again for your suggestions.
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    If you get an '04 Odyssey now (the next month) you can have a steal deal, they're very cheap now, since the new '05 models arrive in September. And they have better reliability than Ford, plus more refined engine with more power and better fuel economy.

    On the other hand, the Freestar is much better than any Ford van, and most customers confirms that. But since sales are very slow, you can get very big rebates - up to $7,000 at many dealers!

    So if you like that SEL model which have a MSRP of $30K, you can take advantage of these large rebate deals and have it (at some dealers) for just about $23K.

    The main advantage I can see to go with Ford, is that you're used to Ford style. For many people it does not make a big difference, but for many other people it could. If you're used to a column shifter, headlights on the dashboard, and wiper controls at the stalk on the left side of the steering wheel, you'll like the Freestar. On most imported models, the wiper controls is on the right side, and headlamps on the left stalk.
  • From what I've heard from my bud's son who assembles the FreeStar, it is a piece of junk. He works for Visteon in Detroit and said a lot of the parts did not fit together.

    The Odyssey's are good but have transmission issues that Honda is currently addressing. I have a '99 that had the tranny replaced at 78K with a rebuilt. Fortunately Honda picked up the cost in full. The transmissions have been warrantied to 100K. So if my new one goes bad I'm SOL.
  • I bought my 89 Aerostar new and it has 172,000 miles on it. The only thing that ever went wrong was a stuck thermostat. Changed the oil every 3K with Mobil 1 Oil. And transmission every 30K. Aside from brakes and tires, no problems. It's always been garaged. And it does not burn oil...yet.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Ford F-150 BEST selling vehicle in America. The Aerostar was a truck whereas Windstar was Taurus based (with all the problems of the Taurus).
         Ford FWD vehicles are about as bad as Ford trucks are good. If you buy a Ford, make sure it is a truck.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Anyone know or have experience with having to have the rear differential, an LSD, repaired or rebuilt?
  • I am having my tranny rebuilt on my '95 Aerostar. I am having a rebuilt Ford tranny installed comes with 36K mileage warranty (so I should be good for 2 years).


    My mileage is about 176K.


    Is this typical of the '95s (mileage wise)? The mechanic said the pump was bad (transmission). Am also getting the rear brakes and new master cylinder (I think its the original??). Have to bring my car to another shop, recently put on a new rack and pinion and there is PS fluid all over the place (mechanic said the Rack and pinion was binding and showed me where the leak was). I will give the other shop a hard time (I am not paying a dime since it's supposed to be under warranty,12 month/12000).


    I just got my alternator replaced last Thanksgiving and have been good on the maintenance. I just hope nothing else needs repaired as I am putting some major money into the vehicle, but I figure it beats car payments for the next 4 - 5 years.


    Please post your opinions.




  • Just got my vehicle back last night. So far so good with the transmission. The shifting is smoth (nice). Brought it back to the other shop for the rack and pinion to be fixed (mechanic said a clip broke). I said I don't care what you have to do just make it right (no money out of my pocket). I'll bring some PS with me just to make sure as the other mechanic said to get it fixed ASAP otherwise the PS pump would go due to lack of PS fluid. Will have to watch the Master cylinder (maybe next week get it replaced, will get pricing).
  • dougd7dougd7 Posts: 71
    Not sure about the 95's but we had a 93 3.0L that had 203K miles when we traded it. However it had developed several issues. It had some coolant weapage around the timing cover - estimated cost to repair - $500 (local mechanic). The vacum modulator was leaking resulting in the tranny fluid being sucked into the fuel injection and burned. I was going through 2 qts of tranny fluid every 8-10 weeks or so. The thing that forced us to trade was when the ABS sort of failed. Light came on, had hard pedal. Wife limped it home to local mechanic. Heres' the interesting part - once you turned off the engine the entire system reset and seemed normal. Mechanic said to drive it again 'til it fails and then bring it in so he could look at it. As this was the wife's primary driver and we could not simply wait for the system to fail again we decided to traded it.


    One other thing. I serviced the transmission once and the fluid that came out was black. I installed a new filter and fresh fluid and really had no problems with the tranny other than when the vacum modulator blew.
  • edoedo Posts: 1
    I need assistance in changing the radiator fan from my wife's van. The fan is cranked in numerous places on the base. I bought a new one and tried to remove the old one but ran across this problem. According to the Chilton manual (8057) 26100 covering Aerostar from '86-96 the fan clutch is attached to the water pump with left-hand threads meaning that I must turn the large nut clockwise as viewed from the front to remove. I have the special tools to hold the fan clutch while loosening the nut. I tried turning the nut clockwise, but the wrench spread, slipped and took some metal off the nut. Then, I noticed that the fan cover has big letters that reads "Right hand threads on Fan Clutch." I tried loosening the nut by hitting on the wrench counter-clockwise, but still not able to break loose. What threads are on this fan clutch to the water pump nut? Is it usually very hard to break loose. Please help before the fan comes apart and causes secondary damage to the engine, radiator, tranny line and other.
    Thanks in advance for any help you may provide.
    Ed Ortiz
  • Hi
    I have a Aerostar 3.0 (130bhp) commercial van with 66k miles. I would like to know what the maximum towing capacity is for my vehicle. The trailer I plan to tow weighs 950lbs and will have a 1100lbs load in it. Any help would be much appreciated.

    Many Thanks
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    You didn't say what year, but I'm guessing they are all the same. The 1996 Aerostar is rated to tow 4400 lbs.

    Steve, Host
  • Thanks, that's a great help. Actually it's a 1995 but I guess the engine/transmission are the same. Anyone had any towing related issues?

    Thanks again
  • japejape Posts: 2
    My brother has a 94 Ford Aerostar that won't start when it rains or snows. It has a lot of miles on it. He put a new distributor cap on it last year.
  • rummerrummer Posts: 2
    I have a 97 aerostar with about 350,000 miles and I have no problems all I do is regular mentainance
  • rummerrummer Posts: 2
    Does anyone know where i can the driver seat to buy?
  • rapprapp Posts: 3
    My 96 Aerostar with 119K miles has been very good since new.In the last week I can press the peddle to the floor and it hardly accelerates or revs. The dealer diagnosed no faults found - suspect trany at fault. It wasn't the transmission per trany shop. Catalytic converter tests OK. Anyone know of any problems that may cause this condition. Several repair shops are stumped.
  • rapprapp Posts: 3
    I found a good mechanic who found the harmonic balancer had come loose. The key then wore to the side. It would idle OK but with acceration the timing went out. Ironically the last shop to remove the hb was the same dealer (7 years earlier) that did an OK diagnostic on the timing etc this time. In fairness, I returned to the dealer with the damaged part for a full refund of their 2 hr of diagnosis. The Van now runs with the spunk of a new one or better.
This discussion has been closed.