Last post on Oct 27, 2006 at 8:51 PM
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Ford Windstar, Van
#679 of 2608 1995 Windstar
Oct 06, 2001 (6:10 am)
My wife and I bought a '95 Windstar new in 1995, as well as a new Mustang the same year with the 3.8 liter engine for our son. His Mustang blew a head gasket, for which Ford finally agreed to pay the cost of replacement, but our Windstar, for which we were given an extended warranty to 100,000 miles for head gaskets, did fine--until it reached 94,000 miles. Because of the head gaskets we were watching the coolant level and noticed we were losing it, but didn't have "muddy" oil which would have indicated it was a head gasket and coolant was getting into the oil. There appeared to be a coolant leak on the passenger side front under the engine. We took it to our local Ford dealer, they checked and said it was a leak around the timing chain cover, which is in the area the leak appeared to be. The design of the engine, believe it or not, includes a timing chain cover that can leak coolant. That was repaired, due to the problem of getting to that area, I had a new water pump put on, and they changed the oil and filter. My wife was driving it home a day or so after we got it back when the dash lights went nuts and it cut off on her. I went to it, checked the oil, the level was fine, but it smelled like burned rubber. We had it towed to the dealer, they checked it and said we had let it run hot. The van did run hot--when it was brand new and the hose blew off the radiator--but that was 80,000+ miles ago and never since.
The verdict was we needed the engine rebuilt. I got a price from the Ford dealer, but got a better one from an independent I trust. We discussed buying rebuilt engines. He had a company with a 12,000 mile 12 month warranty that he used and had good luck with the engines. I had found a company that gave a 3 year, 100,000 mile warranty on their products, but our mechanic said he had rather have a good engine than a good warranty, that he had used some of those engines and had problems with them. I couldn't get my hands on the actual warranty of that company, so I found it on the internet and printed it. Once I read it I told the mechanic they didn't even have a good warranty. It didn't cover head gasket failures, which I was most interested in with that engine, and it appeared the limit of their liability was one half of what their customer paid for the engine. In addition, the customer had to put the cash out up front to have the engine work done if a failure occurred, send them the alleged failed parts, with no mention of who paid freight, and they would determine whether they would cover the problem or not--with no limit as to how long they could take to make that decision and reimburse the customer.
We went with the engine our independent recommended. Oh, one other factor. We live in a small town, so any problems with a company get around fast and results in an immediate economic pinch on the offender, so they can't hide in the masses of similar companies. The result is only the honest ones stay in business long.
Question. Does anyone know why new oil in an engine would smell like burned rubber? The problem we had came so quickly after the work done at the Ford place that I wonder if they didn't get some sealant or gasket material in the timing chain area that got into the engine and stopped a vital oil channel up, causing our failure.
We have had absolutely no problems with this van since we bought it, other than the radiator hose not being put on properly at the factory, the interior is still in good condition, AC is still good, and the transmission is still working fine. I expect that to be the next thing to go, but if it does we'll put another one in and keep driving this van for a few more years. My wife loves it, and I can stand putting a few thousand dollars in an engine and another transmission better than I can buying another vehicle--especially since she would want another Windstar.
#680 of 2608 bmaige
Oct 09, 2001 (1:47 am)
Your mechanical and oil questions may better be answered in the Maintenance & Repair message board, so I suggest that you try posting your message in there as well.
Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
#681 of 2608 Extended Warranty
Oct 09, 2001 (1:50 am)
Does anyone know how much Ford Motor Co. charges for an extended warranty for the 02 Windstar? When I was on the lot, the salesman said that information could be addressed at the time of sale. I was just curious since that factor can impact your decision before an offer is made. Can't seem to find one on the fordvehicles.com site. Thanks.
#682 of 2608 extended Warranty
Oct 09, 2001 (4:17 am)
autolover3: The price of the warranty can range dramatically. It all depends on the plan you want (deductible, mileage/time limits). For instance, Ford ESP plans (there are 4 available) can range between $700 to $2400. You will be better off shopping this after the deal. I recently bought one for my 2000 off the internet from a ford dealer in Iowa. They had beaten my local rates by about $600. If you want to save $100, buy it before 12 months or 12000 miles. Third party warranties are a different story. The dealer may try to sell you one of those. I had to press one of the dealers near me to get them to quote a Ford ESP plan. You will have to determine which is best for you.
Oct 09, 2001 (6:53 am)
I just purchased a used 99 SE with a little less than 20K on it. It still had 8 months left on the factory warranty and I was able to purchase the new car extended warranty with a zero deductible, 6 years 100K, for $1,500. It is usually $2,400. It is referred to as the employee price. The one with the $50 deductible was around $1,100. I figured the extra $400 was worth the zero deductible.
#685 of 2608 Update to Lemon of all Lemons (see post #'s 640 & 642)
Oct 09, 2001 (11:10 am)
The dealership that has my van just called me and told me they fixed it. I thought they had given up on it but I still do not want that van back. The problem was in the fuse box. There was some insulation crimped in with some pins or wires that was causing a faulty connection. The electrical system was then searching for a ground and that was setting off the relays and that is why they had such a hard time tracking down the problem. This is going to change the deal I had in the works with Ford on a new van but I will see what they can do.
Oct 11, 2001 (4:34 pm)
Thanks for the warranty info. As usual, these boards are full of advice and help. I appreciate it. I will look at the Windstar again.
Oct 12, 2001 (11:14 am)
It is amazing how the little things can get in the way. I was having a real problem with a ping in my engine and finally the Area Ford rep came out and when he started to drive it he asked how could he hear this ping with the speedometer cable making so much noise.
#688 of 2608 Unhappy Windstar owner
Oct 15, 2001 (11:37 am)
I own a 99 Windstar SE. The first few months the van seemed fine. I then started getting a roaring sound when turning the steering wheel. I took it to the Ford service center and was told nothing was wrong. I took it back at a later date and they put a new powersteering pump on. The van seemed ok but after a short while starting making the same sound. I took the van back and another powersteering pump was put on. The van still makes the roaring sound and also makes a clicking sound when you turn the wheel. I have contacted the Ford Consumer Affairs office and they tell me the engineer dept. has deemed this to be normal. So I am stuck with a van that has 31,000 miles and sounds like it needs the powersteering replaced. I am in the process of contacting a lawyer,I am not a happy person right now.