Last post on Sep 24, 2012 at 2:07 PM
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Ford Windstar, Ford Windstar Cargo, Van
#328 of 804 1998 Ford Windstar Brake Problems
Jan 22, 2001 (6:32 pm)
I've had my Windstar since last May. Bought it with under 12,000 miles and it's been in the shop at least 5 times already. Have already had transmission repairs, tie rods replaced, sliding door lubed, hood latch repaired, etc. Last time I took it in, I told them that the brakes were grinding especially during slow speed, light braking (such as when slowing down in a parking lot). They did not find anything wrong---just adjusted the brakes. Since then the grinding noise has gotten worse. In addition, the brake light comes on often for 4 to 5 seconds when pulling away from a stop sign or stop light. This has been occurring more frequently during the last couple weeks. Has anyone else had this problem? The brake fluid is fine. The 3 year warranty will be up on Feb. 10 and the van is going in again on Feb. 1. I have also noticed that the brakes appear to stop functioning if you hit a bump in the road while applying the brakes. The combination of traction control and anti-lock brakes is also very scary. I recently slid right into the middle of a busy road when the van went into traction control and ABS. I felt like I had no control over it at all. Today I elected to turn the traction control off completely on the snowy roads. Any feedback on these problems would be greatly appreciated!!!
#329 of 804 My 2000 Winstar SE does not always stop
Jan 24, 2001 (5:52 am)
On at least 5 occasions since we got our Winstar in May, 2000, my wife and I have had problems getting the Winstar to stop. Each of these occasions was somewhat of a panic stop. In each case I put the brakes on hard and the van slowed down to about 10MPH, then the engine seemed to rev up and the vehicle crawled along at 5 to 10 miles an hour for maybe 100 feet. One time I crawled through an intersection, one time I dodged a car in front of me, one time I slammed the transmission into park and it stopped. Each time I had the brake pushed as hard as I could towards the floor. My wife and I have had several cars with ABS brakes and have never experienced this. We took the van back to the dealer who could not duplicate the problem and acted like we were crazy. Has anyone else had this problem and possibly found a solution? We are very leery about driving the van, which does seems to stop fine in no-panic situations.
#330 of 804 98 Windstar that I can't get rid of
Jan 24, 2001 (9:18 pm)
I've had similar problems as those that I have read here. Just recently, I brought my 98 Windstar in for service because of a grinding noise. They re-did my front and back brakes (for the second time in two years), but it obviously was not a problem concerning the brakes since I still have the grinding noise. The noise seems to be worse in the cold weather. A few months ago, we decided that would should try to trade it in since we were racking up the miles on it. Unfortunately, we were all but laughed at when we mentioned that we would like to get what we owed on the van, or at least a few hundred dollars less. One of the salesmen we spoke to offered us $3000 less than what we owed. We now feel like we're stuck with this thing, and the cost to keep it up is skyrocketing.... and not even fixing the problem.
#332 of 804 2000 Windstar
Jan 25, 2001 (4:45 pm)
Have 12 mth. old 2000 Windstar LX, 11,000 miles, ABS, no traction control, good studded snow tires, 3.8 eng. REside Oregon with frequent slippery conditions snow.ice. Traction with front wheels terrible - much worse than previous Taurus wagons. Rear traction not good either but ABS keeps straight. We removed rear seat for more space, reducing rear weight. Dealer suggests 75 lb. sand bags and says he hasn't heard this complaint before. Main concern is front traction. Considering good weight, front wheel drive, cautious driving, studded snow tires, etc, seems should be decent traction. Is this typical of Windstars?
Jan 27, 2001 (3:31 am)
Studded snow tires are not necessarily better since the tires have less surface contact than the normal non-studded tires do. Except for really icy conditions, I seem to recall that tests have shown that good studless winter tires (ex. Bridgestone Blizzaks, Michelin Arctic Alpins) actually handle better!
If you have to travel uphill, much of the advantage of the traction advantage of FWD is lost since the weight transfers back. That's why one may see cars spin their front wheels on wet roads (uphill) from a dead stop. I know I certainly do and I beat all of them with my AWD minivan I remember seeing a Swedish winter rally where the co-driver was literally jumping up and down on the Saab's front bumper to try to add more weight/traction to the front drive wheels.
I think the Windstar's rear (3rd row) bench is about 100lbs, so removing that made your vehicle's weight distribution even more disproportionate. The 75lbs bag of sand should help. Just try to place it directly over (and if possible centre) of the rear axle.
Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
#334 of 804 '01 Windstar Headgasket
Jan 27, 2001 (7:46 am)
I'm contemplating the purchase of an '01 Windstar with the 3.8 liter engine, however the previous posts leave me a little nervous. Does anyone know what, if anything, Ford has done to correct the head gasket problem? Did they modify the cylinder head or head gasket? If so, what year was the change made, and how is the reliability looking so far?
The local dealer tells me that "only the '95 Windstars had a problem with the head gaskets, and the transmission has been improved on the '01 model."
#335 of 804 Re:door ajar light
Jan 29, 2001 (7:02 am)
Well, if misery loves company, you have it! My door ajar light comes on only occasionally. I believe on mine it is the sensor for the driver's door. Interestingly, my brother (who also has a '98 windstar) has the same problem. I will try cleaning the contacts that was suggested later. Any other help will be greatly appreciated.
#336 of 804 Transmisssions/headgaskets
Jan 29, 2001 (7:54 am)
Kartman7 I believe the headgasket problem was reduced drastically by 97 or 98. The transmission is still a concern of mine. FORD has made "changes" over the years but I believe the transmission is too light for the weight of a Windstar. Regular transmission maintenance is a plus.
#337 of 804 2000 Windstar problems with smelling like gas
Jan 29, 2001 (8:02 pm)
I am responding to the person who says he's been having problems filling his gas tank and the inside of the van smelling like gas. This has happened to me the last 2 times I have gotten gas. The inside of the van reeks! But this time I also noticed as I was driving away that the $10.00 that I put in didn't even budge the gas needle which was almost on empty. The gas smell makes me very afraid, especially with a 2 year old in the van and a baby on the way. Also been having a problem with a terrible grinding/crunching sound as soon as I start the van in the morning. It happens as soon as I've turned the ignition on and nothing else. On occasion it has also happened while driving. Has this happened to anyone? I am really beginning to dislike this vehicle and am sorry I saved some money and didn't go with the Honda Odyssey.