Last post on Oct 27, 2006 at 7:51 PM
You are in the Ford Windstar
What is this discussion about?
Ford Windstar, Van
#804 of 2608 Greyhounds.....
Feb 01, 2002 (6:57 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 (7:59 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.
Feb 01, 2002 (4:10 pm)
Hi, I am here because of a problem with our 2001 Windstar. We traded off our 95 Windstar on the 2001. It seems we have had problems since day 1.
Ford has not fixed the issues we experienced with the 95. This week we took it to the bank and signed it over to them. We don't need more Ford headaches.
#807 of 2608 Has quality improved?
Feb 04, 2002 (6:54 pm)
The Windstar has been around for a long time. I read a lot about problems but seems like a lot of them are in "pre-2000 models" (totally unscientific seat-of-the-pants guestimate). Is this true or am I just not seeing the big picture? If it is true, is it just that the newer models haven't been driven as much yet?
I am also interested in this because the Odyssey seems like a great van, but certainly has had its problems and I wonder what a 7 year old Odyssey will look like (i.e, comparable to a 1995 Windstar).
#808 of 2608 Problem numbers/dogs-long string
Feb 05, 2002 (4:16 am)
I know most of us on this topic have had or still have trouble with our vans but all in all if you look at the number of complaints on the Chevy, Chrysler, Dodge or even the Honda topics we are not all that many. In this day and age and with the complexity of cars you almost have to purchase the extended warranty. If a power window motor goes bad you are looking at 500 alone. Heaven forbid that your central computer go bad. That is 3k.
It would also appear most of us have trouble with the dealer. I have been buying from the same dealer for about 20 years. I get around 25% off all my work since I bring all my vehicles (I have a 99 Windstar SE, my wife has 94 Probe GT and we just purchased a 2001 Suzuki XL-7 in August) in for service. Yes, I even got a 25% discount on a balance, rotate and align on the XL-7. Had a long talk with the owner about the XL-7. When I went to purchase an Escape they wanted 2k over list and the sales people laughed when I said 500 over invoice. So I got the XL-7. The sales people did not even talk with the sales manager about my offer so they lost a sale. The owner was not really happy about that. When he saw the XL-7 he asked what happened. I told him the story. He told me to come directly to him the next time I wanted a car and I will get anything I want a invoice, plus any rebates on top of that. I said even an Excursion, and he said yes. I told him I would hold him to it in a few years. Anyway, I have a good relationship with
the service people and have not had any trouble getting things fixed. Hex, they had the Probe in just prior to it going out of warranty and the tech who serviced it said they wanted to keep it for an extra day to look at the auto trans and the next thing I knew there was a new one going in. The slightly hard shifting that I felt was the start of a major problem so they just replaced it, not an overhaul of the one in the car but a factory job. Not bad at all. The dealer is Sterling Ford in Sterling VA
Yes, we do Greyhound Rescue as part of Greyhound Pets of America. We will haul around 5 dogs lose or 4 with large crates. And yes, the Honda is a little small on the inside. The Chrysler products seem to have a better layout inside and a little more space. Our four crates require some jury rigging to get them all to fit in the Windstar. In the Dodge they just fit in with no trouble.
#809 of 2608 Paul (Greyhounds)
Feb 05, 2002 (9:19 am)
I could not disagree with you more when it comes to buying an extended warranty. The only person making out on it is the salesman and dealership. What ever happened to vehicle reliability? To have to purchase additional coverage just in case something goes wrong outside the warranty coverage is ludicrous. If manufacturers can't stand behind their products than we as the consumer should show them the door. I say dump the load as soon as warranty runs out not purchase additional coverage at over inflated prices and STILL have a deductable to meet EACH time you go in for repairs. This power steering pump on our 2000 Windstar should have been covered regardless of the mileage since there were so many TSB's issued on it, the dealers stance of TSB's are only there to assist the mechanics when vehicle comes in for this problem (provided you state it properly when you bring it in) is pure baloney and I'm not eating it! FORD is doing a terrible disservice to we, the consumer, with it's handling of problems related to their products. Their commercials constantly harp about their build quality being job #1 but what do they actually dish out in reality?, an unreliable vehicle since it's inception!
I'm glad you have a good repore with your dealer but this is the exception not the norm in this case. Bottom line is that the service dept. is there to bring in money to dealership and if they dupe the customer by NOT informing them of known TSB who pays the price?
Sorry for ranting but dealerships that operate like this tic me off when the only way they stand behind their product is at the customers expense.
Feb 05, 2002 (10:50 am)
I understand your point, however, we keep our vehicles for a long, long time. I would still have my 95 Windstar if it has not been totaled. It had 135k of hard miles on it and was tight as a drum. The nice thing about the extended warranty is when you bring it in for service, even for routine maintainance you get a car while it is there and if they need it for a few days you get to keep it. Also, I know of no car that goes 100K without some kind of major repair needing to be done. Even the high end cars break down. To my wife and I it is not a question if something major will break, it is when it will break. I get the Ford extended 6 year-100k 6/100k for 1K less than a regular customer.
It would be nice if more dealers stood behind their cars as mine does. That is one of the reasons I go back to them. Now then, I do not expect them to repair the trans or AC unit for free at 150K. I maintain a reasonable stance with them and it pays benefits in the long run.
Feb 05, 2002 (11:56 am)
I can't agree with your conclusions. I believe every car maker eventually introduces a product that turns into a complete bag of worms for both the consumer and the manufacturer. In this case, Ford's 3.8l engines and transmissions are the culprit. Ford can make a very decent product, as evidenced by their line of trucks. But they screwed up big time with this engine and transmission combo. And, unfortunately for the consumer, they used that catastrophic combo in multiple car models and for many years before the problems were discovered. I say unfortunate because had the use been limited to a select model, Ford may have been more willing to stand behind the consumer. But, the usage extended for so many years and models, Ford can't afford to foot the bill for each and every one of those disasters. It's happened before and it will happen again. Chevy had the Vega, Ford also had the Edsel and the infamous fireball, the Pinto, and there was the explosive GM sidemount gas tank pickup trucks. These were just bad ideas, mistakes. That is what the 3.8l engine and associated tranny are, a mistake.
Just about any expert will tell you that extended warranties are a waste of your hard earned money.
Outside of the infrequent disaster model, most major problems that are likely to develop will occur in the first 50k miles. Most manufacturers are providing 3yr/36k miles bumper to bumper coverage and some provide an extended drivetrain warranty of 5yr/60k miles.
Did you also know that some polution control devices on your car, such as the ECU/OBD (computer), catalytic converter and a few others are actually covered by a federal mandated warranty for 8yrs/80k miles if you live in an area which has an EPA approved emissions inspection and your car fails this inspection because the specified device is defective?
There are three specified major emission control components, covered for the first 8 years or 80,000 miles of vehicle use on 1995 and newer vehicles:
* Catalytic converters.
* The electronic emissions control unit or computer (ECU).
* The onboard emissions diagnostic device or computer (OBD).
There are also other emissions related parts covered under the EPA federally mandated Design and Defect Warranty for the first 2yrs/24K miles. Did you know that if you fail an emission inspection in the first 2yrs/24K miles on a 1995 or newer vehicle due to a bad PCV valve or defective spark plugs, you are fully covered under warranty for parts, labor and cost of testing and diagnosis?
Of course, the longer you own and drive a vehicle eventually parts will wear out and require repair.
I have a 1989 Chevy with 140K miles. The only major repair has been the timing gear at approx 90K. Everything, including the A/C, still operates. I have a 1988 Ford Taurus wagon (3.0l engine) with 130K miles. No major repairs required on that vehicle yet. I have a 1995 Ford Thunderbird (4.6L engine) with 107K miles. No major repairs required on that vehicle yet. If you spend your money on proper care and maintenance instead of an extended warranty, you'll be ahead of the game. I've only ever driven 2 vehicles for less than 100K before I sold them or traded them. A Chevette that was damaged in an accident and my 1996 Windstar. At least there was a good excuse for the Chevette.
Feb 06, 2002 (4:22 am)
I am aware of all the things you have said. However, from my experience I have used all my extended warranties way over the cost to me on every car I have ever owned. It is a personal preference with my wife and myself.
I am a fanatic about maintance. I use Mobil 1 with a new filter every 5k. All maintance is pulled on time. I have the transmissions power flushed every 60K with new transfluid installed after the first 5k and put in synthetic fluid that meets Ford specs. I never let them use recycled fluids. I do all the things to keep them up and running. However, the miles we put on are hard ones. The Probe and Windstar do about 60 miles in DC rush hour traffic every day. That is 15K a year just going to work. We have a third vehicle (the XL-7) for the weekends and that will be suplimented by a 1990 Maxima next month. My mother died this past December and we now have the Maxima being shipped from Arizona later this month. It is the car driven by the "gray haired little old lady". It only has 72k on it and is in prime shape so that will help. I put over 6k a year doing greyhound events with a full load of either dogs or display materials. How you use your vehicle is also a part of the equation on an extended warranty. As I said above, I have used all the ones I have had way over the cost to me so in my instance the up front cost has been worth the investment.