Last post on Sep 24, 2012 at 1:07 PM
You are in the Ford Windstar
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Ford Windstar, Ford Windstar Cargo, Van
Dec 28, 2001 (5:44 pm)
I own a '97 Dodge Grand Caravan with 70,000 miles and am considering purchasing a 2001 Windstar SE with leather and quad seating. The manual side doors on the Windstar seem to require some muscle to close, as opposed to my Caravan which requires the push of a button and an easy slide. Does this bother anyone or am I out of shape?
I was ready to purchase tomorow, but am having second thoughts due to my concern after reading the horror stories regarding blown engines and head gasket problems on older Windstars. The deal seem very good; x-plan, less $400. not to mention 0% for 60 months!
I also have a 2001 Ford Escape XLT and LOVE IT!!
#534 of 804 Head Gasket Leaking in '98
Dec 30, 2001 (8:11 am)
For the record, we purchased one of the last '98 Windstars made in June of 1998. Thought it would be okay because supposedly they had addressed he head gasket and transmission problems. However, right on queue at 3 and a half years and 55,000 miles, it now has significant coolant losses. We also had the standard problems of tie rods and radio replaced under warranty. Also the dealer went through the motions of replacing multiple sending units and gas tanks in a wasted effort to make the fuel gauge read accurately.
So it remains the case that Ford is continuing to sell the 3.8 L engine when they know that it does not last much longer than a set of tires.
#535 of 804 WindStar Problems
Jan 14, 2002 (6:55 am)
I have been reading through the Windstar Problems. The Head gasket leaking and transmission breaking.
I have questions as to why. I'm considering buying a Windstar. The GM's, VW and Japanese vans don't fit my needs and I've read and had experience with the Chryslers and they don't appeal to me at all. So here I'm left with the Windstar.
1. Is the head gasket failure because the gaskets are sub-standard?
2. Is it that the motor has too much power for that size motor (3.8)?
3. Is the Van too heavy for the motor?
4. Does the antifreeze have anything to do with the eating a way the gasket?
I'm planning on installing a pre-lube system for the motor and using synthetic oil. Do you think this would help the head gasket problem?
I see that ford has identified a few transmission hardware problems.
1. Would synthetic trans fluid and a trans cooler help with these transmission problems?
I know if you talk to a dealer they'll try to make a dead mule sound like a new Mercedes so you can't trust them. So does any one know whom I can email about the Windstar problems, like an email address to a Ford Company rep.?
#536 of 804 glenn41
Jan 14, 2002 (11:48 am)
Long story short. I had a 95 and now have a 2000 Windstar. Only own a Windstar if you have it under warranty, factory or extended.
Jan 15, 2002 (3:47 am)
Mine lasted till 135k and then it was totaled by a red light runner. The trans was good to the last day. I did have the head gasket problem and had to replace the speedometer. However, from about 70K on it was routine maintance, of which I am a fanatic. On the transmission. I had the power flush done each 60K and that might be why I never had a problem. Just a guess.
I now have a 99 SE. Good power, quad seats. It is a little loser than the 95 in the ride department and I think at about 30K I will put some after market shocks on it along with a heavier sway bar. We like it. It can hold 4 retired racing greyhounds with room for two more if need be.
#538 of 804 Windstar Problems
Jan 15, 2002 (4:44 am)
glenn41: The head gasket failures were related to a bad selection in the gasket material, the head and block are different material and expand at different rates causing a weakening in the gasket. The antifreeze doesn't eat the gasket, though once the gasket is shot it ruins the bearings thus causing the motor to need replacement. In later years it appears they have fixed the problem and the motors have had more power, so its not power related.
I don't think synthetic transmission fluid would have fixed the earlier transmission problems, those were caused by a part that would crack. There seems to be a lot of complaints on the newer windstars with harsh shifting in lower gears.
We have had a 95 that blew the gasket, a 99 with the harsh shifting and persistent pinging problems and now a 2000 that had a clunking in the transmission at various speeds. They replaced the torque converter on that one. Of the 3 the 2000 has been the best. No pinging and the transmission seems better though not perfect. I don't think Ford knows how to build a decent transmission.
I wouldn't go beyond the 3yr/36k mile factory warranty without getting an extended warranty. The torque converter replacement was right at 36k miles.
#539 of 804 FED UP WITH FORD
Jan 15, 2002 (9:29 am)
I had a 95 Windstar. It lived at the dealership with numerous electrical problems and recalls. It blew head gaskets at 35,000 miles and 77,000 miles, which Ford stood behind eventually ( the second occasion destroyed the engine and a factory rebuilt was provided). The liquid filled motor mounts were shot at 77,000 and cost about $500 to replace. Fortunately I had an aftermarket policy from an excellent company which picked up the cost, minus a $25 deductible. Unfortunately, my Ford dealership in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angels lost my car the day all the repairs were completed. The vehicle had been inspected and I was told it was in top mechanical condition, with no other problems. The dealership was in the habit of parking cars with keys inside and leaving the lot entrance unattended. It was stolen, recovered six weeks and almost 2,000 miles later, with the interior stripped and over $13,000 damage. The interior panels, seats, radio, tow bar, never used Michelin spare tire and jack were stolen. The radio wiring harness was cut, the body damaged and the transmission severely damaged. Negligence was clear in this matter. After telling me what needed to be done to properly repair my vehicle, my Ford dealer turned the matter over to their insurance company, which screwed me - beware if you deal with "F" Insurance. I was underpaid the loss sustained after a year long dispute and orignally being low balled. The dealership was totally indifferent. They would not repair my vehicle because their insurance company refused to pay the cost. I attempted to talk to the owner, but got no closer than his son, who felt no responsibility for their blunder. I have a new vista on how this dealership treats its customers. I eventually disposed of the defective van for salvage cost plus the pittance provided by the scum insurance company. I called Ford Motor Company, but they said they have no control over what their dealers do. Does this sound like the kind of company you want to deal with? I am now looking for a late model Toyota Sienna. I have had it with Ford.
#540 of 804 mjsu - I wish someone would steal my 95 WS!
Jan 16, 2002 (8:05 am)
As we all know, it is worth more as an insurance reimbursement than anywhere else!
BTW - you have a very clear case of negligence (seeing that the van was stolen from the Ford Dealership with the keys left in the vehicle by their employee) on your hands. If you did not recover the blue book value of your van, I think it is well worth the small claims $50 filing fee...
#541 of 804 to Bloemie re 95 windstar transmission
Jan 19, 2002 (1:31 pm)
Could you tell me how you were able to determine that it was the forward clutch piston? We have what sounds like the same trouble. Did you have to tear down the transmission? What was the cost and who did you have do it?
#542 of 804 Ford Windstar .....Last Ford I will ever own
Jan 19, 2002 (1:45 pm)
Purchased Aug of 2000. Has had 3 recalls since. Poorest paint job I have ever seen. We are Fords attempt to "win us back" as a valued customer. Our '95 Taurus LX wagon blew two headgaskets. Ford purchased it back for $6300 + $3000 coupon and 0.9% interest for 5 years. It was a good deal at the time. Took delivery on the Windstar, first thing I noticed was all the small particles of hair and dirt in the paint. Left year quater panel had a piece as big as a pencil eraser! They offered to paint it. I said I did'nt want it. They said I would lose the 0.9% rate if I didn't purchase by following Monday. They put us in a corner, found out later I could have got the rate on a different unit, because they could'nt deliver a satisfactory product. It goes on further with problems with service dept. Never, EVER, will I buy a Ford again. Purchased a new Kia Sedona minivan totally loaded for $22,995 last month....no comparison...great van...great warranty for the money and a first rate paint job!