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
#500 of 804 2001 Ford Windstar Limited or 2001 Chrysler Town & Country Limited?
Aug 01, 2001 (6:27 pm)
I am in a tough position right now. My wife and me are in the market for a minivan to haul around our kids and cargo as well as towing applications. I like the Chrysler, its ex./in. look very high class and it's powertrain is as smooth as glass, it also offers all-wheel drive. My wife on the other hand likes the Windstar with it's no bull engine that gets the job done(not in a very refined way though I hear) and 5 star safety. In any case though, both models have not been known for reliability and quality, which in our family, is a must. I've heard that Ford has had engine head gasket problems and Chrysler transmission problems, are those rumors? And we tend to haul around lots of gear and children, and in which model would they be most comfortable? We also do regular towing and camping and will the engine has enough power to haul us, a boat(3,200 lbs), and itself when we go on long road trips. Both have 3.8 liter V6s so it's a mystery to me of which performs better when hauling around this much. Also I've read that Ford offers a rear entertainment system, does Chrysler or is it an add-on after market. We just want a powerful minivan with all the luxuries of a sedan and the strength of a suv. If you have any suggestions please write back.
Aug 01, 2001 (6:39 pm)
If I were in your situation I would go with the Chrysler. Why?
Third row split seat
#502 of 804 Automatic Locking Retractor seat belts..'99 model
Aug 08, 2001 (1:26 pm)
Hi, I have the 99 model and I THOUGHT it had the ALR's. Those are the belts that once pulled ALL the way out, will "click" back in and STAY PUT. Very safe for youngsters in belt positioning booster seats, and also making it easy to secure the regular child safety seats too. We've not been able to make these work and the dealer is telling us that NO 99 windstars have these. Could this be true? I have three questions: does anyone reading this have this type of seat belt? Has anyone ever ordered the parts and installed them themselves (handy husband, here)? Does anyone know where I can go, call, or website to visit to see if this type of locking belt system is indeed supposed to be on this model?
I am desperate. When my kids were babies, in car seats, I just used lokcing clips and figured "oh well." But now that they are in belt-positiong boosters, I feel that these are very unsafe. In fact I have a friend who drives a Silhouette and she won't let her kids ride in my van because her kids move around too much and she fears a terrible injury if a crash should occur while a kid is reaching for something on the floor, or another seat or whatever. I am now nervous too!
I read the question below from the SEL model owner, and the answer. I'll try that seat belt buckle thingie...mabye that's how ours lock into place too?????
Any answers will really be appreciated, believe me. Preschool carpooling is just around the corner and I'd never be able to live with myself if a child was injured because I didn't know how to operate the belts properly.
#504 of 804 Windstar seatbelts
Aug 13, 2001 (1:59 pm)
All the recent model Windstar's I've seen at child carseat checkup events have not had switchable locking retractors (the kind you pull out all the way to lock). Instead, to meet government lockability requirements, they use a lightweight locking latchplate (the male end that plugs into the buckle). This should be adequate to secure most carseats and keep the lap portion of the belt tight. With some carseats, you may find this type of latchplate may need to be flipped 180 degrees to cinch tightly, or you may still need a locking clip.
The Windstar, like all vehicles with locking latchplates, has an EMERGENCY locking retractor. This will lock the shoulder belt in a crash to secure an adult or child in a booster. While this gives passenger freedom to move, they will be at risk in a crash if they are not sitting properly. This type of retractor is also not any help if you own a booster that has a seatbelt guide that can cause the belt to "catch" and leaves too much slack around the child. Overall, not a big risk, and one that may require more supervision.
I've not heard of a retrofit to put an switchable locking retractor in a vehicle that has an emergency locking retractor, though it may be possible.
If you are still concerned, there are some restraints with higher weight limits that don't depend on a shoulder belt like a booster does. The Britax Laptop is rated to 65 pounds. The Britax SuperElite has a harness that goes to 80 pounds, though it must be tethered after 50 pounds. The Fisher Price Futura comes in a harness version up to 60 pounds. Simpson Racing will have a seat on the market soon with a harness rated to 60 pounds. The Fisher Price Futura (discontinued) and Britax Super Elite (new) may be hard to find, unfortunately.
Though I also prefer vehicles with switchable locking retractors, they are not without issues. In some carseats, they can cause an excessive tilt because the shoulder belt portion has tension and may pull one side of the carseat up, depending on the path for the seatbelt. Overall, the Windstar is one of the most carseat friendly vehicles. Other manufacturers should follow Ford's lead on LATCH and tether implementations, too.
#505 of 804 EVERYONE PLEASE READ THIS!!!!!!!!!
Aug 14, 2001 (8:25 am)
Please check out message number 598 under Ford Windstar Problems for very important information that may benefit you.
#506 of 804 97 windstar front brakes
Aug 21, 2001 (6:53 am)
97 windstar has 35,000 mi. while braking at low speed i hear a grind in front brakes much like when you would need new brakes. mechanic put new struts and cut rotors brake pads were fine. still have the grind. i dont want to take it back to this mechanic because i think he is just guessing, but with low miles i doubt struts needed changing. may have to take it to the dealer. feed back please.
#507 of 804 '95 Ford Windstar
Aug 29, 2001 (5:37 pm)
I recently developed a problem with the van. The
electronic instrument panel does not light up, the
electric door locks do not work , and the cruise
control is not functioning. I discovered a fuse
(#19)in the van is probably the culprit. However,
when I replace the fuse it blows out. Is anyone
aware of any electrical recalls that may be causing this problem?
#508 of 804 Buying Advice
Aug 29, 2001 (8:31 pm)
I am looking at a '95 Windstar LX. It is fully loaded including leather, CD, and fog lamps. It has 75k miles and is being offerred at $5500.
I know that there were many problems with this car. I owned a '93 Sable LS that blew a head gasket at 92k miles. I donated the car because I felt it was not worth fixing and I did not need a car at the time. I now need a car and want something like my sable but with the versatility of a minivan.
I like this van because it has digital gauges and keyless entry, whch were two features I found very useful in my sable but are now impossible to find on newer cars:
I want your feedback. I know only one person who has owned an LX van and she did not have a chance to experience major problem with it because it was totaled in feb. 2000.
#509 of 804 RE: Buying advice
Aug 30, 2001 (9:18 am)
The 95's seemed to be very troublesome, with engine, transmission and electrical problems. There is a reason why the van is so cheap. You might want to look elsewhere.