Last post on Sep 24, 2012 at 2:07 PM
You are in the Ford Windstar
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Ford Windstar, Ford Windstar Cargo, Van
#468 of 804 I hope you all bought Extended Warranties for your Windstars.
Jun 14, 2001 (10:52 am)
I hope you all bought Extended Warranties for your Ford Windstars... you're going to need it.
I bought my 1995 Ford Windstar GL 3.8L V-6 brand new. I am the 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 3K 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 Factory Recalls in the first 3 years of ownership!
All sorts of Problems ranging from...:
* Defective factory Head Gasket (which Ford refuses to fix unless it is already Blown!)
* Hood Separation at high speeds (they put more glue on)
* Gas Tank (plastic) needed Reinforcement for hot weather climates (they put an extra strap on the middle)
* Sliding Door needed reinforcement/welding.
* Transmission Oil pan leaks, Engine Oil pan leaks.
* "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.
Do NOT buy ANY Ford vehicle with the 3.8L V6. All those nightmare stories you've been hearing about the 3.8L are true. It happened to me after only 65,200 miles.
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 Windstar! 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 Windstar you'll spend Thousands of dollars on repairs, recalls, wasted time, trouble, and headaches.
The Windstar 3.8L's are just huge money pits.
...I just got off the phone with Ford Customer Service (800)392-3673.
(Write that phone# down! you'll Need it!)
She told me that under Recall# M09 (i think), head gaskets on 3.8L V6 Windstars are now 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).
Loud Knocking/detonation on acceleration.
Now it is sitting on jackstands on my front yard waiting for the tow truck.
I will NEVER buy a Ford Windstar again. We want to get rid of this vehicle soon as we can. It is just a huge money pit and taking up our time. Trade-in/Resale value is pathetic, because everyone is aware of the horrible mechanical/reliablity problems of these Fords.
I hope it gets rear-ended like the other Windstar on this board.
$6000 from the insurance would be Great!
That doesn't even cover the money and time we've spent fixing it.
#469 of 804 Interior Light Question
Jun 15, 2001 (11:26 am)
Yes, I do have the light package, but the interiors stay on for 45 to 60 minutes. That's a drag. If the relay could be set to 10 or 15 minutes, that would be suitable. There might be a single wire after the light delay relay that I can get to. The interior lighting fuse also runs the power windows, so a switch on it would kill everything. That's OK, I guess, but if anybody has a better idea, I'd appreciate hearing about it.
#471 of 804 Suggestion for changes to 2002 model
Jun 15, 2001 (8:35 pm)
I know this sounds obnoxious....
How about making the Windstar more reliable for a change? How about a quieter, smoother, more sophisticated engine? (Oh yeah, that costs more, sorry for suggesting)
I'd consider a used Windstar if Ford had a couple of years of average reliability. But it seems they don't get any better. After 7 years (yeah, it was new for 99, but how new really?), you would think the Windstar would be flawless by now. Honda, who had some un-honda like bugaboos with the 99' Odyssey, improved their vehicle dramatically the following year. Even Chrysler seems to have gotten their act in gear since 1998. What's up with Ford?
I'm not an anti-Ford person. I actually own shares in the company and think they do make some great products. It's ironic how Ford can make the F150 to be quite a reliable truck nearly rivaling Toyota and yet the Windstar has been such a reliability disappointment (yeah, maybe the 2001's are better, but we won't know for sure for a while).
This fall, Honda's new factory in Alabama goes on line to make Odysseys. That will surely hurt Ford and the other domestic minivans even more. Brace yourself for $3,000 rebates up from $2,000 today.
#472 of 804 1999 Ford Windstar back windows
Jun 16, 2001 (6:31 am)
I am the proud owner of my first minivan ever and it happens to be a 1999 Ford Windstar. I have just a simple question..does anyone know how the back windows open? My saleswoman took the time to show me all the little details like air, wipers and seats but forgot this one important detail. I have scanned the owners manual with no luck and have considered taking it back to the dealer which happens to be about 50 miles away to see if they are jammed or broke. It appears that some clip flips but it will not budge, so I am afraid I am not doing it correctly and would hate to break the window. Any help would be appreciated...as I would hate to drive that 50 miles back to the dealer. Thanks!
#473 of 804 Spare Tire Carrier
Jun 16, 2001 (7:49 am)
Does anyone know if the spare tire carrier for the Windstar is capable of handling a full-sized spare tire? I had a blowout recently and changed the tire with the limited use spare but noticed that it carries a warning not to be used over 50 mph. At that time I was on a 65 mph expressway. At that time, a full service spare began looking very attractive. Luckily I was only a short distance from the exit ramp and with the air conditioning running and windows closed, couldn't hear the cursing of those following me.
#474 of 804 rear window (roary0903)
Jun 16, 2001 (11:22 am)
I believe all 99's have power rear windows. On the drivers side door panel, there should be 5 buttons. 1 for the locks, two for the front windows and 2 for the rear windows. I am not for sure that all the vans were equiped with the feature, but every other WS I have seen has them. Hope this helps.
#475 of 804 Spare Tires and Rear Windows
Jun 18, 2001 (9:44 am)
Yup, it should hold a full size tire. The Windstar has available options like "tow package", or whatever they call it, that come with a full size spare. Buying the option doesn't change the well or retractor, just the tire. One way to find out is to stick one up there.
The rear windows are probably powered. The operator "cams" on each window may look like what you call clip flips - don't force them - they will break. There should be a pair of switches somewhere in the cockpit marked only "Rear". That's them. If they don't work, check it out as a fuse issue or maybe a wiring thing.
#476 of 804 RE: Spare Tires and Rear Windows
Jun 18, 2001 (11:25 am)
I suspected that it might, it appeared that the cutouts for the spare were wider than the temporary spare. I just didn't know if they were wide enough. Thanks
Jun 19, 2001 (12:03 pm)
Sorry to hear you are suffering from the infamous head gasket problem. If I were you, I would run, don't walk, and get a Toyota or a Honda. We are going to sell our 99 Windstar, even though we haven't had any problems yet, because I have read too much about the Windstar's problems. I don't even feel like I can depend on the van to take family trips, etc., and I hate the thought of my wife and kids getting stranded somewhere.
You can buy Toyota Sienna's at a few hundred dollars over invoice, and they are offering special finance rates now. My wife and I were about to buy one, but we decided we like the Honda better. We are waiting a few months for the '02 Honda Odyssey to come out, which is supposed to have more goodies on it (240 hp engine, finally leather seats, video system, etc.). Unfortunately, I will have to pay MSRP, but that will actually be not much more than we paid for our Windstar.
I, too, hate having to spend more money, since we would have the Windstar paid for in another year and a half, but I would rather spend more money now to get a vehicle I know I can keep for 10 years with very few hassles. I know that would not be the case with the Windstar.
BTW - I have owned Fords all my life. I always believed that the American cars have come a long way in reliability. It's bull - the Japanese cars are far superior. That's why every rating you see (initial quality, long term reliability) favors the Japanese cars, and that's why the resale value is so pathetic for American cars. I saw the latest JD Powers survey results - only 2 American cars made it into the top 20, and they were both Chryslers. Half of them were Toyota/Lexus. I wish it wasn't that way, and I tried to deny it for a long time, but if you want to get the best built and most reliable vehicle for your money, you just can't buy American.