Last post on Oct 27, 2006 at 8:51 PM
You are in the Ford Windstar
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Ford Windstar, Van
#796 of 2608 1996 Windstar Question
Jan 28, 2002 (1:32 pm)
I have a 1996 Windstar 3.8L V6 with 97,000 miles. Was in at the Ford Dealer getting new plugs and wires, (because of the high miles), when they told me that the "water jackets" were leaking into the engine. I have had no white smoke or over-heating in fact the van runs fine. I marked the level of the coolant overflow tank and check it weekly for change (its been a month now, the level is still at the pencil mark) I have changed the oil twice at 150 mile intervals and have not seen any coolant or foam in the oil, no engine lights either. What else should I look for? I have a feeling the Dealer is full of it.
#797 of 2608 2000 Windstar Power Steering Pump
Jan 29, 2002 (10:36 am)
Hello to All,
First time posting here because of a problem my wife pointed out to me last night. I am hearing a hell of a racket with engine running when turning steering wheel left or right whether driving or just standing still. I checked power steering fluid and found level OK but it looked like chocolate milk and smelled terrible, the pump sounds like something is going wrong internally but I have no clue. The van was dropped off at dealers this A.M. to be checked out and I'm holding my hand on my wallet. TSB's I got from NHTSA site don't go into any detail on this, is there something one of you mechanic's out there might know or anyone who has been thru this with their Windstar? The van has 48000 miles so a warranty fix is outta the question.
Thanks for the help........
#798 of 2608 Elarsz
Jan 29, 2002 (11:59 am)
What proof is the dealer showing you for their concern of internal coolant leak? Since you have been monitoring fluid levels and found no change where is their info coming from? I think your summation may be the correct one, their looking for a big dollar item to fix that isn't needed based solely on mileage. My take on that is "if it ain't broke than there's nothing to fix"
My 2 cents worth.
#799 of 2608 rayt2 RE: Power Steering Pump
Jan 29, 2002 (12:11 pm)
My '96 had that same problem. I had to replace the power steering pump. In my case, the problem was caused by a local garage that topped off my fluids when I brought the van in for an oil change. Ford uses ONLY Type 'F' auto transmission fluid in their power steering units. This fluid is not compatible with any other type of power steering fluid or power steering fluid conditioner. If other fluids are mixed in, the seals in the pump and the system begin to break down, the fluid gets clumpy and smelly, and the pump gets very noisy. You will need to replace the pump unit and flush out the entire system. Hopefully, the seals in the system haven't been destroyed and will not leak after you refill the system. When I told my garage about the problem, they tried to convince me that all Ford power steering units get noisy and that it was normal. They also said they were unaware of any special fluid requirement for the Ford power steering systems. I showed them the manual and they still tried to convince me any transmission fluid would operate in the unit. I don't allow them to touch the fluids any more. After I replaced the pump and flushed the system, the noise went away and the system worked fine.
#800 of 2608 JVirginia.......
Jan 29, 2002 (2:33 pm)
Too Late, Dealer Service called said seals leaked and they think the pump may be damaged so they recommend changing pump, seals, flush & refill system, and realign front end all for just $753. I guess to remove pump requires disassembly of front end. Imagine that a 2 year old vehicle with 8 TSB's issued on this problem and because I'm outta warranty with mileage it's my wallet to foot the bill. Well I called the General Manager & explained that the very first time my wife brought it in for service she complained about a noise from power steering and service said it was "normal", now here I am 2 years later needing a major repair on it. He is going to look into this issue and get back to me, hopefully today !
Jan 30, 2002 (9:17 am)
If, and that is a big if, you have the paperwork from the first visit where you complained of the noise in the power steering pump, you should be entitled to a repair free of charge. You need that documentation. Don't let them talk you out of it. You complained about the problem within the warranty period and they failed to fix it. It is as simple as that. Don't even settle for the "we'll pay parts if you pay labor routine". Also, If you can find TSB's that also address the subject, that gives you even more ammunition.
#802 of 2608 Davids1
Jan 30, 2002 (3:09 pm)
Yea, I had the 8 TSB's BUT there was no written documentation of the problem on the first service visit when my wife brought it in, they just told her it was normal, so we got screwed! She was not acertive enough nor did she notice it wasn't put on the service ticket at the time, so NO written documentation.(That service writer no longer works there either) They looked over our service history and FORD has a Good Customer Award Program, or something like that, so based on the fact we are a good customer they are willing to deduct $273 off the $873 repair bill, whoopi ! The service manager said that was the best he could do for us and he could find NO TSB's for our van listed, I told him I pulled 8 off the NHTSA site directly related but they got an attitude after that. My wife told him that as soon as it's fixed we are selling or trading it in for anything but a FORD. FORD will be history for ever more in my book, never again.
Now how about a Grand Voyager?
Jan 31, 2002 (5:24 am)
You think you have trouble now, just wait. If you want real reliability go with the Honda, but you will pay for it. From what I have read the wait is 60 days and you will pay a few K over list. BTW-I am on my second Windstar and have nothing but good things to say about it and my dealer. Good Luck
#804 of 2608 Greyhounds.....
Feb 01, 2002 (7:57 am)
I can see you deal with dogs as is the case with my wife's van needs, she breeds/raises/shows Siberian Huskies and after trying her fathers 2001 Odessey she says it seems smaller inside compared to Windstar and may not handle the 4 crates and grooming equip. she takes to shows/competitions. So it's either a Chevy or Chrysler/Dodge for our next choice. We have 48000 miles on the 2000 now & she averages 25000 miles a year so I don't want to wait till another major out of warranty issue arises before unloading this thing. Kelley Blue Book figures show we have already lost $13k from our $27000 purchase price in 2 years time, time to get rid of it now before it's absolutely worthless for anything other than a donation to a charity.
If FORD would just own up to the persistant repeated problems with the Windstars & do right by the customer they could bolster their credibility and sales in the market, rather than throwing away customers as they do.
My 2 cents.......
#805 of 2608 Agree with rayt2
Feb 01, 2002 (8:59 am)
I took my '98 with 67,000 miles around last fall and looked at various cars and vans, including the Forester, Caravan, and Sienna. By the way, I was really impressed by the Sienna. For a van that cost 22,000 I couldn't get any more than 7000 in trade. I thought they were just trying to take me until I looked around at what they were selling for on the open market. The Toyota dealer said if I had a '98 Toyota, they could have given me 4,000+ more. I really do like the features and feel of the Windstar, but every week it's another oddball problem that crops up. Then there is always the realiabilty problem lurking in the back of your mind. Even if you haven't had a major problem like trans. or head gasket, you know that it could happen any time and that Ford will just leave you hanging.