Last post on Oct 27, 2006 at 7:51 PM
You are in the Ford Windstar
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Ford Windstar, Van
#1307 of 2608 2001 Windstar won't start after driving on a hot day
Aug 16, 2003 (6:27 pm)
I have seen a few postings on stalling and dying, but have not seen any identification of cause. Please post if you know the solution, TSB, or recall info.
My 2001 Windstar intermittantly fails to start or dies after being restarted a few minutes after driving. The problem usually happens on a hot day and has occurred 3 times in the last month (as described below).
1. extended highway driving on a HOT day. Stopped at a rest area. Car failed to maintain sufficeint RPMs to keep running when restarted 20 min. later. Let the car sit for about 45 minutes with the hood up. Started and continued fine.
2. Round town driving on a hot day. Wife stopped at a shop and returned 15 minutes later. Symptoms as above...Car successfully start 1 hour later.
3. Round town driving of 15 mile on a warm day. Return to vehicle and it will not run. Returned 3 hours later and everything worked fine.
Other (seemingly unrelated) issues:
+ Placing cargo in the rear causes the vehicle to believe a door is open even if the cargo is away from the door. This causes a light to stay on and prevents the auto-lock from engaging when starting. Also prevents lights from coming on when stopping the car.
+ Engine intermittently hunts (surges) when at idle.
Thanks for the comments. I got 225K miles out of my Aerostar...I am at 50K on the Windstar and it looks like I will need to replace it. The family is not too keen on being stranded.
Any suggestions or comments? Experience with Ford?
#1308 of 2608 this n that
Aug 16, 2003 (11:16 pm)
Wow, after almost 4 years of owning this van and thinking I had 5 gears! Wasn't until I noticed the same thing in my Elantra, but I knew it only had 4 gears. The same thing about the torque converter locking up was explained. I can sleep now!
About the black transmission oil, you know the saying, once you go black, you'll never go back! LOL, sorry I couldn't help it. Something is defnitely wrong, though!
ramou, you confused me. You said "So my advice is to drive the van on the highway for extended periods periodically to prevent that from happening" yet you also say running on the highway is what melts this part.
#1309 of 2608 bk3187: Deadstar
Aug 17, 2003 (7:16 am)
By not starting, you mean the engine is cranking but not firing and runnning, rright? I just want to make sure you're talking about a no-start conditions and not a no-crank one. I think your stalling/not starting issues and surging idle problem will end up being caused by the same problem. The next question I have is: Has the check engine or MIL lamp come on? If so,then you need to have that code read and you'll have a good starting point to work from. My first suspect is a leaking intake gasket, because that is a common failure on all of Ford's late-model V-engines. Because the problem is temperature related, I am inclined to suspect something mechanical like that instead of electrical. Also could be an EGR valve sticking open, lots of other things. The door ajar light sounds like a misadjusted door switch. This is easy! To solve, just create the problem (make the light come on with your cargo in the van and all doors closed) then open each door (start with the tailgate and the sliding door) individually and press its door switch. Whichever one makes your light go out was the culprit. Now you'll either have a sticking switch (which can be lubed with WD-40, etc) or a misadjusted door than can be readjusted to strike the switch better. Good luck, please update us on the no-start problem.
#1310 of 2608 will not start
Aug 17, 2003 (1:26 pm)
FYI FORD had a problem for years with an electrical part that when heated up would break the circuit causing the vehicle not to start. After cooling down the vehicle would start and run fine. Your best bet is to put a deposit down at the dealership and drive around with a "flight recorder" which should record the problem when it occurs.
#1311 of 2608 Tmant/Transmission
Aug 18, 2003 (7:43 am)
Sorry Tmant but I didn't mean to confuse you, I know that it's difficult to explain mechanical stuff on the internet than in person sometimes but let me try again. About that part that melts in the Windstar transmission that causes the tranny to go out: From the way that transmission specialist explained it to me, he said that if the van has a high mileage on it and mostly city mileage than highway then it will probably never go out as long as you continue driving it in the city traffic. But he said that when it has all that city mileage and you start to take it on the highway for extended periods at first is when the tranny breaks down because that part that only works in the highway driving setting hasn't been exercised often and now all of the sudden it has to work hard after all that time, causing it to break down and basically melt. He described the way it breaks down as that you could be on the highway for 3 hours and when u pull in the exit or come to a stop and you start to go again, the tranny doesn't go anywhere, which is how some people with transmission break downs described it to be. He said that usually happens when people buy a used van that was mostly being driven in city and now the "2nd" owner does a lot of highway driving. I know that it sucks because ther's no way of knowing this or even preventing it even if you knew it. Now keep in mind that he said that this happens with "most" of those transmissions. But it can still happen with someone that drives the van both equally on the highway and the city, you just never know with those transmissions which I think is why they have such a high failure rate. My advice is to exercise the van on the highway little by little until that part gets addapted to the highway driving and also service the transmission, change the filter and use Mercon, also for your info the transmission pan gasket on that transmission is a permenant gasket that usually doesn't need to be replaced so make sure the shop doesn't throw it away as it's a $50 gasket from what I understand. I hope this clears out some of the confussion as I tried to explain it the best i could. I'm not the expert but I'm just relaying what he told me, I have a 99 Windstar with 70,000 and I'm always interested on understanding what causes things to break down in that van, especially mechanical stuff.
#1312 of 2608 wijoco / hault : Won't start on hot day...follow-up
Aug 18, 2003 (8:43 am)
Regarding questions... The car turns over, but will not fire....or....fires as long as you have the gas pedal depressed. (Move your foot to the brake and the car dies). There is no Check Engine light or code.
I went by the Ford dealer this morning with the intent of leaving the van, but the service writer was candid that without a code he was only guessing. He suggested it could be the Idle Control Motor, several different valves, and even the fuel pump. To his credit, he was hesitant to start replacing things without more info. He suggested a couple of diagnostic tests...Next time it happens, turn on the ignition and wait about 15 sec before cranking to check for fuel pump bleed back. ...Second...tap the Idle Control Motor and retry. ...Third...tow it into the dealer real quick before it can be started back up (hmmmmmm).
I followed up with a call to my regular mechanics to ask about the Idle Control Motor. As luck would have it, one of the guys consistently experienced the same problem on his Explorer. He indicated that the problem went away when he cleaned the ICM. I am going to clean or replace the ICM and let you know how it ends up.
Re. the door switch....where the heck are the door switches? I have looked all over for the traditional switches but I cannot find them. I thought it might be incorporated in the latch mechanism.
Thanks for the comments........Bill
Aug 18, 2003 (8:43 pm)
"Re. the door switch....where the heck are the door switches? I have looked all over for the traditional switches but I cannot find them. I thought it might be incorporated in the latch mechanism."
Shucks I don't know. I don't actually own a Windstar. I think you're in line for a Haynes manual at Autozone. Theyre only $15, and if you only learn one thing, then it's paid for itself. I guarantee Haynes will show the door switch locations. Shoot, every new Ford should come with a bonus Haynes manual! Sounds like you're on the right track with the stalling problem, you made the right move by not leaving it at the dealership: mechanics have a lot of ways of hinting that "I don't really want to work on your vehicle." I guess he had too many $30 oil changes lined up. Sheesh.
Aug 20, 2003 (11:01 am)
I had a similar problem with my '00 Windstar. It would start, but would cut off once I took my foot off the accelerator. Once it ran for awhile with my foot on the accelerator, it would stay on, but was kind of random. It turned out that the idle control valve needed to be replaced and that fixed the problem.
#1315 of 2608 95 windstar rpm fluctuates up and down while on gear
Aug 20, 2003 (11:27 am)
Since I refill the freon (about 2.8 lbs) on my windstar, the car been acting funny.
1. Started the engine, no problem (rpm about 600)
2. put on max a/c no problem (rpm about 600)
3. put on R, with brake on, the rpm goes up and down (500 - 900 rpm).
4. release the brake and the car will jerk
5. Put on D, same as R, (rpm 500 - 900)
6. Put on P, the rpm stablize
7. Drive for a short while, the rpm stablize (about 700 rpm)
Anyone had this problem before and how do you fix it????
#1316 of 2608 hot starting
Aug 21, 2003 (8:13 pm)
A few years ago I owned a Taurus and Sable wagon. One had a 3.0 liter V6 and the other had the 3.8 liter V6. Both eventually experienced random hot starting/stalling problems that were cured by changing the fuel pumps. I tried several other things before doing that. The fuel pressure was ok, but the fuel volume delivery was not enough to overcome a "vapor lock" condition. After having the fuel pumps changed, both cars ran fine until I sold them at about 150 K on them. Hope this helps. The Windstar engine could be causing you a similar problem.