Last post on Oct 27, 2006 at 7:51 PM
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Ford Windstar, Van
#957 of 2608 Horrible sliding door problems! Faulty rear sensing unit!
Jul 07, 2002 (5:00 pm)
I've owned a 99 SE Windstar where the sliding door rattled so badly, that through the Dispute Settlement Board, Ford bought it back! I opted to take them up on an offer to exchange that money towards the purchase of a new 2002 Windstar Limited. The doors are no better. It constantly rattles & squeaks. My rear sensor is going crazy, beeping every time I put it in reverse. I intend to contact the DSB once again to beg them for a refund. I've owned Ford's all of my life and had great success with them. The Windstars that I've owned have required constant trips to the dealer. I'm looking into the Oldmobile Sillouette Premiere edition. I'll watch for your feedback.
Jul 10, 2002 (3:01 pm)
Unfortunately, along with problems with the head gasket, the 3.8L engine has also been plagued with leaking timing chain covers.
#959 of 2608 The Continuing Saga of the Windstar Clunk
Jul 15, 2002 (11:48 am)
Our 1999 Windstar developed a "clunk" in the right front wheel area when hitting bumps. The car was in the shop from 7/3 to 7/8 and is now back in the shop again. The mechanics have taken on this problem as a challenge. So far, the mechanic has replaced the right coil spring and the struts.
Has anyone had a similar problem? Does anyone have any suggestions?
#960 of 2608 2002 Windstar Rusting (front-end parts)
Jul 16, 2002 (5:42 am)
I just bought a Windstar (June 19) and noticed that several front-end parts are rusting on the front-end. i.e. the front wheel drive shaft, an L bracket and bolts located near the top of the suspension mechanism.
Has anybody else encountered rusting problems? The dealer claims this is 'normal'.
Jul 16, 2002 (10:44 pm)
I had a similar problem. It was the tie-rod end. Easy to replace if you have an air compressor, otherwise you'll need to rent a ball joint splitter and use a big hammer (this is no Corolla.) Dry tie-rod ends can feel normal until you remove it when you find that the ball joint it easily movable-it still won't make noise. Good ones can barely be moved using your hands. Common problem. Hard to think the Ford garage would miss it. Cost me $25 for one with a Zerk fitting to grease it when it runs dry. The other one still is OK after 70K.
#962 of 2608 '99 Windstar "O/D Off" light flashes
Jul 17, 2002 (8:27 am)
I bought the van from a Ford dealer in March of '02 when it had 33K miles on it. On 7/3 (about 38K miles on it then), while driving on the highway at about 70mph the "O/D Off" light started flashing. When I was able to pull of the road I checked the Trans. fluid (it was at a good level although it looks like the recommended 30K mile fluid change was never done) and restarted the car. The code was cleared but later when we started up a slight hill the light started flashing again. I can get the light to come on any time I go up hill when the car is in overdrive (highway speeds). It does not seem to shift any harder than usual (it has always shifted somewhat rough). My guess is that it can't engage third gear on the downshift but, again, it does not make any loud noises or jerks. I got the light to flash and went to autozone for the free scan but they insisted I turn the car off even when I told the tech that it looses the code when the engine is off. Sure enough the scanner reported no codes!!! Anyway, I don't want to go on like this so I'm taking into the dealer tomorrow to get it evaluated. I'm pretty worried that they're going to tell me the transmission has to be rebuilt (especially after reading some of these posts!!). I'd like to hear from some of you that have gotten the $400 transmission replacement. What is the best way to approach the situation? Do I come right out and say that I know they have this program or should I just insist that I'm not paying for a new transmission on a car with <40K miles? thanks in advance for all your help!!!
#964 of 2608 Ford Stepped Up!
Jul 18, 2002 (11:29 am)
Follow-up to # 918:
Well the car was diagnosed by the Ford Dealership and this is what they found:
Code P0174, they said that the valve body failed and the torque converter went bad. The code description I found said that "Torque Converter Clutch Circuit Performance or Stuck Off". The dealer gave me an oral estimate of $1625 to repair the valvebody and torque converter. I was pretty annoyed and grilled the service rep as to why internal transmission parts fail after 3.5 years and only 38K miles. He actually admitted that the valve body was defective. I asked for the number of Ford's customer service and he would not give it to me. I then found the number (1-800-392-3673) on www.blueovalnews.com and gave them a call.
Herman, the rep I spoke with at Ford, was very polite and asked me what the problem was. After I told him that my transmission had failed at 38K he said that it was unusual and all he hears are good things about the Windstar. I told him to check on edmunds.com and see all the '99 windstar owners with transmission problems. He then asked what I would like Ford to do for me (remember that the van is OUT OF WARRANTY!). I told him I would like them to pay for my transmission to be replaced. After putting me on hold he got back on the line and asked if I would be happy if Ford replaced the tranny and extended the powertrain warranty to 6yrs/100K miles at an expense to me of $495. I accepted his solution and the new transmission is now on order!!
The experience of dealing with Ford's customer service was pleasant and they offered me a fair solution without argument. Obviously they know that there is a problem with the transmissions on those vans or they would have told me to go fly a kite, but none-the-less it's far better than taking them to court and enduring all of that nonsense.
My advice to anyone with a '99 Windstar that has transmission problems is not to waste your time at the dealer level and instead give Ford a call right a way.
By the way if they don't help you to your satisfaction be sure to visit www.lemonaidcars.com. That site has lots of insight and advice as well as great links.
If anyone has any questions feel free to email me at mike_cloughhotmail.com. Be sure to put Windstar in the subject line because I get lots of spam and I'm quick to delete messages from unfamiliar senders.
Thanks to all those that have posted previously. Without this info I would have been lost.
Jul 18, 2002 (12:25 pm)
Maybe the reason you get lots of spam is because you post your email address on public boards . You can make it available in your profile (mark it "public") and that'll fool some of the spambots.
Isn't it interesting how customer service reps only hear good things about the products they support? I never call those folks unless I do have a problem.
Anyway, great story - thanks for sharing!
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#966 of 2608 Reply to Steve
Jul 18, 2002 (7:30 pm)
Yeah Steve, I think the Ford rep was over-the-top with all of his rah-rah Ford stuff but I really think that perhaps Ford is paying attention to all of the customers who have been dissatisfied in the past. Maybe their record low stock prices and poor quality ratings (well behind GM in the domestic rankings) are finally hitting them right in the wallet. That's really what it comes down to. They're a corporation whose number 1 goal is to increase profits. If it is profitable to treat customers fairly and stand behind their products (read "repeat customers" and "customer referrals") than they'll do it. It appears that it has taken Ford a while to put 2 and 2 together.
...I would guess that the majority of the spam I recieve is the direct result of certain sites (I won't name any names) selling my account info to the highest bidder!!!!