Last post on Oct 27, 2006 at 7:51 PM
You are in the Ford Windstar
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Ford Windstar, Van
#327 of 2608 96 Windstar Head Gasket
Feb 02, 2001 (7:48 pm)
My 96, which I've had for exactly 4 years, has 84000 miles. Blew the head gasket. Ford says only the 95's had problems and that the 96's were fixed and aren't having any trouble. Guess they don't talk to their customers much or read this website. I'm thinking about getting a 2001 Windstar, thinking surely that all those highly paid engineers have had enough time now to get it right. Perhaps Chrysler can share its head gasket technology and Ford can share its transmission technology and between the two (FordDaimlerChrysler?) things might finally work. Just be glad these companies don't make airplanes!!
#328 of 2608 98 Windstar Problems
Feb 03, 2001 (10:00 am)
Here is a brief summary. Transmission problems, hard shifting between 1st and 2nd. Also failed to move after highway driving even though it was in gear. Result a $ 2,500 fix to transmission. Had rattles in right front side. Cost me $ 250 after market repair because Ford used two different metals when press fitting the front wheels. Did a front brake job at 45,000 but had to replace the rear pistons. All were leaking.
Another $ 150 fix because the motor driving the tail gate lock blew its 'PLACTIC' gears. No more Fords for me.
#329 of 2608 Revisiting the Windstar Board
Feb 04, 2001 (6:55 pm)
Every once in a while I "peek" in this forum to see how many people have hit the "60000 wall" with their Windstar and had the head gasket or transmission fail. We put lots of miles on our cars (about 25000 a year) so experienced the pleasure of both the head gasket failure and transmission failure within a 6 month period in the 4th year of ownership (63000). I can't say I'm surprised to "read" the outrage in posts regarding the poor customer service Ford has and how horribly they treat their customers.
Got rid of the Windstar when the transmission went out the 2nd time. Fixed it and immediately took to the dealer for trade in (drove from the repair to the Honda dealer in fact). Have never regretted it for ONE minute. I let everyone I know in on the Ford story of poor customer service and poor quality.
#330 of 2608 97 Windstar GL Transmission Problem
Feb 04, 2001 (7:43 pm)
I have a 97 Windstar GL w/ 66,000 miles on it. I bought it used. First warning was the documented service records from the previous owners. Cylinder heads were rebuilt. Second warning was a vibration when shifting from 3rd to overdrive. It progressively got worse. Third warning was a "Whistle" from the driver side behind the front wheel. Took it to the dealer and Ford said this was normal!!!The mechanic said it needed the valve body replaced. Sounds like I should dump it.
#333 of 2608 our transmission died too
Feb 05, 2001 (11:15 am)
While deciding whether or not to fix the spindle before we get rid of our van to buy an odyssey, our 1998 Windstar's transmission died at 77500 miles. Recently fixed a head gasket too. Also had sensors for engine light go bad twice. Also had the problem of dome light coming on. And never could fix rear heater which you had to turn off and on 10 times to get it to work. The dealer and Ford do not want to hear it. This was one of the early 98's made in Jan 97. Not to mention how often we've changed the brakes. A week berore the transmission blew, had it at Ford for the engine light being on. They replaced an air filter(which was new) and blew out the throttle. This made the light go out. A week later, no transmission.
#334 of 2608 New Engine - Again!
Feb 08, 2001 (7:57 pm)
I'm BBBB AAAA CCCC KKKK! And Oh, how I hate to be here... Nothing against you folks; we are all just part of a club that nobody wants to be a member of... Nonetheless, the 95 WS has bitten me again!
JAN 1999 - 47000 - New Transmission (warranty)
MAY 1999 - 52000 - New Transmission (warranty)
MAY 1999 - 52000 - New Head Gaskets (warranty)
MAY 1999 - 52025 - New Motor (warranty)
JUL 1999 - 53000 - Replace O2 Sensors (warranty - $50)
OCT 1999 - 56000 - New Transmission (warranty)
JAN 2000 - 59600 - New Blower Motor (et al - only $400!) - Extended Warranty is about to expire...
FEB 2000 - 61000 - New Front Brakes & Rotors ($225)
APR 2000 - 63000 - New Inner Tie Rods ($300)
At EVERY oil change from this point forward, I indicated to the service rep that we were constantly smelling coolant....
Luck Me! What now! We are at 75000 and guess what?! We need another engine again! Oh yeah! You'll even give me a rental car? Why? It is going to take 10 days to get another engine! Wait a minute... Isn't there a buy back program? That program for 95WS ended in October.
I cannot believe this... I'll keep you posted...
#335 of 2608 98 Windstar Transmission problems - plus
Feb 09, 2001 (2:25 pm)
I am amazed at the number of transmission problems on this model.
Our AS 98 has 56K.
Here's it's dirty laundry list:
1. The Tracking bar has been replaced at 25K - Warranty.
2. The Windshield developed a growing crack for an unknown reason - replaced windshield via insurance, beyond 36K warranty.
3. Door Handle on sliding door coming loose. I have to push in on the handle to get it to work. Dealer estimated $250 to fix. - beyond 36K warranty.
4. Right passenger side mirror coming loose at base that attached to door ( not the glass itself ). Dealer estimated $250 to fix. - beyond 36K warranty.
5. 12V DC power socket on center console blew a fuse. Replaced fuse and it worked. 3 months later the same socket stopped working again. It might be a blown fuse. I haven't bothered checking it since I've become accustomed to things breaking in this car and really wish it would go away. If it is a blown fuse again, might this indicate an electrical short somewhere that could cause a fire?
6. After a wheel rotation, the car started pulling right. I have to turn the steering wheel 5 beg left of center to keep going straight. The pulling seems worse when accelerating or when the engine is pulling at a higher torque.
First Try: Dealer rotated tires ( back to the original position ), checked alignment to be good. They must not have test drove it because the car still was pulling.
Second Try: Dealer rotated tires, adjusted alignment with a greater attention to detail. I was told that it was test driven, and I believe them, as I requested the dealer to pick up and drop off the car at our house. The pulling was less severe, but it was still there. Service manager said it was "radial pull" ( tires ) or shocks. Using the old fashion "bounce" test, the shocks did not appear to be a factor.
7. The rim covers keep coming off. I replaced a missing cover twice( at $50 - $75 each ). I made sure the metal tabs were bent out enough to grip the rim to the point it was difficult to get the cover on. Regardless, I am down to one rim and don't plan on replacing any more. Oddly, that last rim is holding tight.
8. The last straw. The transmission made a grinding noise that grew Louver over a week, and was most prominent when accelerating. Finally, while driving it the day before I was to take it to the shop the transmission seized up on a hill. If this happens to you, - get behind the wheel, shift it to Neutral and have some one else rock it. Eventually it will break loose and roll back down the hill, so be ready to move out of the way.
I've owned 4 different cars over the past 18 years each from different manufactures. A couple I have kept over 5 years/100,000 miles. Personally, I have never seen a car develop so many problems inside of 3 years and in only 56K miles. 3 years ago this was a $29,000 car and I was expecting $29,000 worth of quality.
Does anyone remember when Ford's motto was "Quality Is Job #1" ?
Is it a coincidence that they don't advertise that any more?
Instead, "Built Ford Tough" implies "Tough" to maintain one.
#336 of 2608 Another Windstar Transmission Failure
Feb 09, 2001 (7:11 pm)
I bought my 1997 Ford Windstar brand new while living in Arkansas and have since moved to Georgia. Last June while driving from Atlanta to Missouri, the transmission went out completely right at 50,000 miles. This left my family and I stranded somewhere between Chattanooga and Nashville at 5:30 am. After discussing the problem with the Manager of the Ford service center where this was towed, I was told that even without him looking at the vehicle the transmission would have to be replaced. Interestingly the Manager said that this was a "rare" occurance. Later when I talked with a mechanic at that same shop he mentioned that they regularly replace transmissions in these vehicles. After reading about the number of others Windstar owners plagued with similar Transmission failures, it seems to confirm that this truly is not a "rare" occurance. It also leave me with serious doubts about Manager and his misleading statements.
Without having obtained an extended warranty, Ford did not provide any assistance with the cost of the transmission replacment. This cost me roughly $2,300. The rebuilt transmission was only warranted for 10,000 miles which has now since expired. In addition, I had to pay several hundred dollars for a car rental in order to complete our vacation plans. This was also paid for out of pocket.
In addition to the transmission failure, have I also had to leaks develop in 3 of the 4 wheel rims during the first 24 months. The entire rims had to be replaced. Although covered under warranty, it was a tremendous inconvenience since one incident also occurred while on an long distance holiday trip during an ice storm. Sounds like I should have taken the hint and started thinking about getting rid of this vehicle sooner.