Last post on Oct 27, 2006 at 8:51 PM
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Ford Windstar, Van
#1349 of 2608 1996 Windstar clunking, etc...
Nov 18, 2003 (6:52 pm)
I have a 1996 Ford Windstar with just under 88,000 miles on it. I really started noticing a clunking in the front end about 1 year ago. I'm not sure if it's the front end suspension or something with the steering. I just spent $850 for all the front end fluids to be changed, filters changed, the tie rod ends and ball joints changed (the mechanic said it was a common problem). He showed me the parts when done and they were in some real bad shape. The noise was back after 2 weeks of operation. Two weeks ago, we had a cold weekend in which the van sat all weekend but when I went to start it, it started very rough, the check engine light was flashing and now it's on constantly. The battery is less than 2 years old. I also noticed that I could smell some antifreeze since the work was done but there's no indication of any leaking (no dripping under the van) and I'm occasionally hearing a "whining" noise when the van's running. Any thoughts anyone?
#1350 of 2608 96 Windstar...uh oh...
Nov 19, 2003 (12:20 pm)
Guess what folks, it's head gasket weather. First cold snaps of the winter and those gaskets that have been slowly leaking all summer finally shrink, pop and give up the ghost one cold November morning. Back to that in minute.
As far as your clunking problem, when exactly does the clunk occur? Turning, stopping, applying power, etc. Could be anything from an engine mount to loose strut towers.
OK, back to the bad news. I would bet money your rough running, check engine light, and anitfreeze smell are from blown head and/or intake gaskets. Have you been losing coolant for a period of time? Check your engine oil dipstick for discolored yellow/green/milky deposits. Even if it looks OK, I would have the oil analyzed just to be safe. You can also have a pressure test done on the motor to isolate leaking cylinders. If you do end up having to get new gaskets, you'll need new head, intake and timing cover gaskets plus head and intake bolts. That job plus the front end repairs will darn near come close to what that van is worth, and that's assuming the engine is worth salvaging. I hope I'm wrong and it ends up being something simple, but if I'm right you might consider how much more $$$ you want to sink into that Windstar, man. Good luck. BTW, do a search for "Winstar head gasket" on Edmunds for more info.
#1351 of 2608 1995 Windstar Fogging up
Nov 24, 2003 (4:04 pm)
I have a 1995 Windstar LX. The problem I have is, the van fog’s up, even if I set the controls on defrost, I have to put the blower (Front and Back) at the max setting and it still takes forever to defrost. I have looked at the AC compressor to see if it comes on when the switch is moved to the defrost position, and it dose, but it looks like it might not stay on long enough. Any ideas
#1352 of 2608 Thank Goodness for the Extended Warranty!
Nov 24, 2003 (4:12 pm)
Well I more than broke even on the extended warranty on my '99 Windstar with just today's bills. No hot air from the heater---broken blend door. "All day job to replace"..$1400. Also repair leaking axle seals $250. Add to that the $500 they spent on other things just 3000 miles ago, and I wonder if the warranty company would like to buy the thing from me in order to save money!
#1353 of 2608 Re: 95 Windstar fogging
Nov 25, 2003 (7:08 am)
Is there a sugary or sweet smell when the windows fog? If so you may have a leaking heater core. If the A/C compressor is cycling off too much, you may have a bad ground wire or other bad wiring.
#1354 of 2608 Interior lights staying on even when engine off
Nov 29, 2003 (9:00 am)
My 95 Windstar door warning went off yesturday. We rechecked all doors. Not the problem. Now the lights stay on even after the engine is turned off. Had to disconnect battery overnight. My guess is that the sliding door system finally died completely. It hasn't worked without a key for awhile. What do you think?
#1355 of 2608 Hi everyone I'm new here
Nov 29, 2003 (11:18 am)
I've just discovered this forum. I've done all of my own "simple" work for many years now; I am also a voracious reader & collector of tech info. Here are answers to some of the above noted comments/problems:
wijoco & flaco: many thanks for the ABS info
flaco & everyone: Alldata information will pay you back triple/quadruple & more than what you pay for it (US$25).
vanwoman: when changing power steering fluid, you must use Ford fluid, Mercon 5 I believe.
mikejojo: front end clunking is covered in TSB's 97-26-14 and 97-26-24, both published in December 1997. I also have part of a TSB here (12/22/97 which may be superceded by 1 of the above 2 I mentioned) which pin points a loose front tension strut bushing retainer in the sub-frame. I strongly suspect your problem is here. Welding a piece in place, may be necessary.
4wheels1: 99's have a weak blend door prone to warping. Your problem could have been just the door being warped, or its little actuator (motor with an arm). In either case its not a difficult repair. Suggest your dealer replaced the whole unit.
cgennaro: interior lights remain on-door ajar warning light does not go off! This is usually rectified by spraying the black plastic door switches (approx 3"x2 1/4")with WD 40. They are somewhat diamond shaped. 99's & above have 2 on the tailgate. 98's & older have those 2 plus 1 on the rear of the sliding door. These proximity switches have a square sliding part to them. Make sure they are somewhat clean & well lubricated with WD 40.
Hope some of this helps someone. Cheers from the frozen North (we're having a snow storm right now)
#1356 of 2608 00 tranny problems
Nov 29, 2003 (9:07 pm)
just needed a new tranny in my 00, only had 39.5K miles and 3 1/2 years on it! I have the ext warranty so it wasn't a total disaster. Dealer said it cost $3800 to put my new one in. They had to do it twice as the first replacement unit didn't fit!
I know the 95s had tranny problems, are the 00 affected by the same problem or different?
Also, does anyone know if I can extend my ext warranty????
Dec 01, 2003 (6:47 am)
cptplt, glad you got it taken care of without eating the full cost! You might want to take your extended-extended warranty question to our Finance, Warranty & Insurance board for advice.
Roving Host & Future Vehicles Host
#1358 of 2608 Door warning stuck on
Dec 01, 2003 (7:09 am)
Best thing to do is reconnect the battery, close all the doors, then open each front door and rear hatch individually, testing each switch. To test, pull the rubbber boot off the door close switch, spray it with WD40 or similar, then manually press the button to see if the light goes out. If after testing all but the sliding door the warning never went off, you know it's the sliding door switch. How to disconnect that I'm not sure, you may have to chase some wires.