Last post on Oct 27, 2006 at 7:51 PM
You are in the Ford Windstar
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Ford Windstar, Van
#1415 of 2608 Cooling problem?
Jun 08, 2004 (5:16 am)
I've posted previously about some clunking noise in the front end of my 1996 Ford Windstar. Recently, I've noticed that my temperature gauge seems to fluctuate a lot. I noticed the problem and have kept a much closer eye on it. I noticed the other day that while leaving work, I was 7 minutes into my ride (not even 3 miles away)when the temperature gauge spiked near the top of the "hot zone" without going "into the red" and then went back down towards the cool end of the gauge. The gauge does fluctuate while driving. We recently took a 2 1/2 hour drive (120 miles) without any problem at all. Any suggestions? My van is due for it's yearly inspection in July and I already know that the front rotors are going to have to be replaced as well.
FYI, I did have the entire front end fluids changed in Sep 03 (roughly 4,000 miles ago). My last oil change (at a different "quick lube shop") 2 weeks ago, the shop recommended replacement of the power steering fluid and transmission fluid.
I have a bad feeling that my van is probably on the way out.
Any thoughts or suggestions?
Jun 08, 2004 (6:19 am)
This sounds like the classic "air pocket" in the coolant... If you are losing or burning coolant (over time) - it is VERY possible there is a "bubble" in the system causing the temperature gauge to spike. Since the temperature sensor is on the top of the engine, when the fluid level falls to a lower level an air pocket can rise to the top of the cooling system - close to the temperature gauge - showing a spike in the engine temperature.
The more important question is: Where is your coolant going?
Start by checking your coolant levels...
And YES - The temperature spike was the beginning of the end for my WS...
BTW - the THUNK in the front end is the inner or outer tie rods. another regular repair on the WS - About $350. Enjoy!
Jun 09, 2004 (5:23 am)
You need to confirm the temp gauge is working first, a mechanic can do this with an infrared sensor.
My guess is an intake or head gasket leak. If you catch it early it can be repaired, if you wait too long it will ruin the engine. Have you been adding coolant?
#1418 of 2608 Cooling problem?
Jun 09, 2004 (7:31 am)
Thanks wholigan & wijoco. I did remember something else after I posted my message....I recall when I first noticed the problem, that my wife & I tried to turn on the heat to help alleviate the engine overheating and recall that on 2 separate occasions (one time we had been driving for 20 minutes)that with the heat set as high as it could go, the blower was cold not hot. Other times, since those two instances, it's been blowing hot.
When I had the oil change done 2 days before our trip, the lube shop indicated in their paperwork that the level was checked (OK? - did not indicate that anything was added)I'm going to take a look at the coolant levels next time I get a chance when the engine's cold. I'm also going to see if there's any indication of a visible engine leak.
Jun 09, 2004 (7:11 pm)
May also have a thermostat failure. Lost of things to check, but most likely somewhere in the cooling system. Good luck, that stuff can be tricky.
Jun 10, 2004 (7:21 am)
Hi everyone. I am new to this board. My friend here in the office (in Toronto)has a 2000 Windstar with 80,000 km (50,000 miles) and the tranny is starting to give out. He uses it for his small family but has never towed with it and has it serviced at the local Ford dealer according to the service manual.
He has the extended powertrain warrantee. How have the experiences been out there with getting Ford to pay for this. I see from some other Ford boards that the company has not supported many of its customers with this defect, which I understand to be a common one in this vehicle.
He has been happy with this vehicle otherwise but is concerned about the safety of his vehicle,
Jun 10, 2004 (1:58 pm)
Agree with earlier posts. When head gasket went - I could get no heat out of the heater, which was the symptom to a $940 repair in 1997. The second time I got no heat, it was the thermostat, which acted irregularly. This was $94 parts and labor to replace. My Windstar clunked to the bitter end of my ownership, even after several tie rods. Live with it, if you value money to any degree as replacing them is expensive. If you do have them done - replace inner and outer together. Have ball joints inspected before you dive into this. It may influence your decision to hold onto the Windstar. My Ford Windstar "lifetime" ball joints were just about shot at 115k miles each. I replaced one, and got rid of it before replacing the other which was essentially shot when we part ways.
If you have the financial resources and your Windstar is at or near 100k - unload it. The real financial agony is just around the corner. Neighbor's had the power steering system gearing snap in half - $600 - ouch! at 96k. Interestingly, as I drove by the local transmission shop, three of the nine cars on the lot were Windstars, and since they aren't 30% of the population of all cars on the road, I would believe this to be a bad sign.
Best of luck in whatever you do.
#1422 of 2608 Windstar road noise
Jun 13, 2004 (12:35 pm)
I have a 2000 Windstar SEL which has a bad road noise even at slow speeds. Sounds like a roar possibly caused by tires or bad bearings. Any thoughts?
#1423 of 2608 Re: 1999 Windstar SEL Road-Drivetrain Noise [dambach #347]
Jun 13, 2004 (8:43 pm)
Wheel Bearings, I have been through two sets in 70K.
#1424 of 2608 Re: 1999 Windstar SEL Road-Drivetrain Noise [seloo #1419]
Jun 14, 2004 (2:02 am)
Thanks. thought wheel bearings might be problem. Will go have them checked.