Last post on Oct 27, 2006 at 7:51 PM
You are in the Ford Windstar
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Ford Windstar, Van
#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.
#337 of 2608 Un Flippin' Believable...
Feb 14, 2001 (2:26 pm)
OK - I am awaiting the call from either the dealership or the FMC representative. FWIW, every Ford dealership is assigned a Regional Representative. This person works for the Ford Motor Company. This person is only available through the Service Manager at each dealership (the 1-800-392-FORD folks will NOT acknowledge that this person exists). If you feel you are not getting anywhere with your dealer, I suggest you ask for the Ford Regional Representative.
Well, it is now after 3:30PM and I was supposed to hear from them by 3:00PM. I have called the 1800 number again. Another rep (LeRoy) is taking all the information (again). It is just amazing to me that that all I seem to do is repeat the story - over and over - the reps do all they can to keep you from getting upset. Which is probably good. THey have all the history of calls that I have made. Funny, I asked them to send a copy of that infomration to me, however, they wont send anything?! They say that their "system" cannot do it...
Nonetheless, FORD has dished out a LOT of money to keep this car running. WHY? I have asked, once again, to get the same offer that was made under program M010. While he has not stated so,
I am under the impression that this program is over. I still can't get confirmation on that. It is now 4:10PM and I have been on the phone since 3:40PM.
At 4:10PM the Service Manager FINALLY joined the phone conversation. His name is JEFF. Turns out, he knows NOTHING about this! It appears that TERRY, the Parts Manager, was the person who spoke with the the Ford contact yesterday! This is absolutely screwed! Jeff has claimed complete ignorance to this issue. I have asked that Jeff talk with Terry and the Regional Rep to review the situation. Jeff stated that he will call tonight. I'll believe it when that happens...
More to come...
Feb 15, 2001 (6:22 am)
I own a 95 p.o.s Windstar. Have had all the same troubles tarns at 30,000 headgaskets at 60,000. Hell I even had to replace the A/Crs evaporator coil inside the dash. A $300 part and a$600 in labor job. How does that part go bad? Anyway now I'm at 80,000 miles and I cannot get the #$%%^&
thing out of park. I can start it but can't shift gears. I now have to put the key in the acc position to take it out of park. Then put it in neutral to start and shift from there. Oh and it has a rod knock now also. Its like a action movie you never know whats going to happen. Any info if that buy back still applys please send em-ail to ato53cyahoo.com.
ps: Don't ever even think about buy a Ford ever! If you do think about it and don't believe these post, then go ahead.But lease it so in two years you can give it back. If you buy it, We'll be waiting to read your comments in say 24,000 to 30,000 miles
#339 of 2608 I Guess Its a Motor and a Rental...
Feb 15, 2001 (1:21 pm)
Well - I tried... Just got off the phone with the Regional Rep for Ford. I'll give her some credit - she was much more compassionate than the last one; nonetheless, the buy-back is not in my future. According to her, the buy-back option was NOT a part of the head gasket program. It was an addendum to the program because the demand for rebuild 3.8L V6 far outstripped supply. As part of the program, they were offering a rental car for the time that you would be out of your car. Unfortunately, they found that some waits (the combination of getting the motor and having it installed) were running in excess of four months. It was more cost advantageous to buy those people out of their vehicle. According to what she said, for the region that I live in, she had to use the addendum in June, July, and part of September.
Whatever the case, I did find out one VERY interesting thing... The first motor replacement (in June 1999) did NOT include the re-designed head gasket - as I was told...
Soooooo, tomorrow I get a rental and wait for a motor to be installed. I can't wait for the Customer Satisfaction Survey on this one...
#340 of 2608 New Ford Windstar owner
Feb 17, 2001 (1:52 pm)
I must say after reading all of these posts, I am a little nervous about our new van. My wife and I chose the Windstar for the five star safety rateing and settled for what it had to offer. So far we have been very pleased with all the options of the 01 SEL (except the price). I will keep my fingers crossed that the problems Ford has been having will not show up in our production vechicle. But if not, I will keep everyone posted.
#341 of 2608 Sorry, I missed the Spell Check.
Feb 17, 2001 (1:58 pm)
#342 of 2608 Update on 2000 Ford Windstar SE
Feb 17, 2001 (2:27 pm)
This post is mainly to reassure "call_" (#334). I have owned my 2000 SE since January 2000 and currently have 27K miles. We take 3-4 trips from Atlanta to Chicago every year and my wife drives it about 45 miles daily. I have experienced no major problems. The only minor inconveniences to date:
1. Blew a fuse on one of the front Power Ports. (dealer replaced fuse)
2. Plastic cover for rear seat belt assembly came off (dealer has ordered entire new assembly!)
I can verify the slightly raucous nature of the 3.8L V6 engine, but I will also verify that it really moves this van! I have hauled 6 adults averaging 200 lfs with no noticeable difference in power or acceleration. And I've surprised many an unwary driver at a traffic light with the acceleration from a standing start.
For prospective buyers of the 2001 edition, the rear seat is heavy. Unless you're used to lifting heavy weights and have long arms, it takes two people to remove it. But the trade off here is comfort - it's almost like your sofa at home (especially if you have a 19" TV running off the power ports).
One note - in the interest of "not taking any chances" I only use Mobil 1 synthetic oil, Mobil 1 filters, and Amoco Ultimate gasoline.
I am debating on whether to trade it in before the 50K mile mark. I would be especially interested in hearing from 2000 Windstar owners with high mileage on their vehicle.