Last post on Oct 27, 2006 at 7:51 PM
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Ford Windstar, Van
#996 of 2608 1998 Windstar Gl Transmission Problems?
Aug 23, 2002 (2:37 pm)
Hi! I'm new to this forum but apparently not alone . I bought my 98 Windstar Gl with just over 30K about two years ago. It now has about 60K. We've replaced a fuel pump, tie rod ends, and the front tires.
We do have it stall when coming to a stop and making a sharp turn. Am I correct after reading these messages and other feedback that it may be the air idle control? Yes, I know about the TSB, but my Ford dealer says I must pay for the diagnostic tests so I haven't gotten it fixed. It happens in spells.
My latest problem is possibly related to the transmission. This happened twice about a month apart. The vehicle was "off". I started the vehicle and shifted into reverse. I pressed the gas pedal and the engine only revved without moving or without moving much (much like the sound a vehicle makes trying to get it unstuck from snow or mud and the tires are spinning). The parking brake or foot brake was not on. A month later this happened again. I've been told to check and change the transmission fluid which I'm doing. I think the fluid level is OK though. Other possibilities suggested it was a valve getting stuck (under $1K to fix) or that the whole transmission (2K to 2.5K)! What do you think?
Then there is a whining sound this vehicle makes sometimes when idling. Would that be the expensive power steering pump mentioned?
Thanks for any feedback!
BTW, the trade-in on these things is ridiculous. Two different dealerships offered me under $6500. This vehicle has no body damage, clean well cared for interior, and was running OK the day I took it. Then they want to charge me 15K for a 2000 model with only 30K less mileage? Is there another van in a comparable price range that is any better like Caravan, KIA, Pontiac Montana, and whatever a Mazda MPV is?
Aug 27, 2002 (9:57 am)
I have a 00 windstar SE with 46K miles. In the last month when traveling at highway speed the car will suddenly shake for no reason. The shake comes through the steering wheel and only lasts for about a second. The road is flat with no bumps. The sensation is like a sit down video racing game when you crash and the steering wheel shakes in your hand. The dealer balanced the front tires but this did not help. I am taking it back to the dealer in a couple of days and thought if anyone had a similar problem with possible solutions I could inform the dealer.
#998 of 2608 message 952/shuddering of trans
Aug 30, 2002 (8:39 am)
You probably have a bad TORQUE CONVERTER. I also own a 2000 Windstar SEL and have two friends who own them also.....one a 2001 SEL...one an older 95...and all seem to have torque converter problems starting around 34-38 thousand miles. Mine started at 34 thousand.. took it to dealer but they could not make it display the same problem. Had trans serviced at 35 thousand. At 40 thousand it felt like I was driving on a washboard.
Also be aware that the motor for the power sliding doors are subject to go bad as well as the control module for the doors. There is also a recall/redesign of the power sliding door hinge. Somehow the hinge can cause a senser to send a wrong signal to the control module telling it to open the door.
#999 of 2608 99 Windstar SEL another Transmission story
Sep 01, 2002 (9:59 am)
We have owned our van for three years and two months. The van registers 28K miles and we were informed we need a new transmission. No wonder they only offer a 3yr or 36K mile manufacture warranty. After many calls to Ford and the dealership, they finally agreed to fix the transmission for $1,000, down from the original quote of $2,200. What they sold me was a power train warranty for 100,000 miles. When speaking to the servie manager at the dealership, he jokingly mentioned that the Windstars are know for their transmission and brake repairs. Brousing through this discussion thread, it appears he was correct. Life is full of lessons. Some more expensive than other. Lesson learned - "I will never buy another Van from Ford. We will be car shopping soon.
#1000 of 2608 '98 Windstar Transmission
Sep 05, 2002 (4:25 am)
My transmission needed to be replaced when the van was 5 years old and had almost 72,000 miles on it. Ford replaced it for $500. They know they have a problem. It won't hurt to ask them about this.
Sep 05, 2002 (6:01 am)
I have a 99SE. Mine does a little stumble if I try to coax it into overdrive at 45. I just had the 30K service done and had a long talk with the chief of the service section at my dealer. He told me the hesitation was the torque converter trying to make up it's mind about going into OD. He said not to force it but to apply steady power and it would be fine. This I knew but he is correct. As long as I do that it is fine.
I had a 95 GL with the infamous aluminium transmission piston and at 135K it was still going strong. I had the transmission serviced at each 60k with a pressure fluid change and never had any trouble. It is interesting that the fluid change for the 99 is every 30K, not 60K. Ford also now uses the semi-synthetic fluid, not the old stuff and they do the low pressure fluid flush. It took 10 quarts. I have the 100K extended warranty with no deductible so I will not worry about it for a few more years. I find most people do not do the transmission service. It is like they do not see it as an issue if they are not having any trouble. It is the old out of sight and of mind. These have gotten so complex you have to keep them serviced.
#1002 of 2608 Maybe buying 1996 Windstar LX
Sep 06, 2002 (1:03 pm)
Looking at one at a car lot, has 74,000 miles, $6995, traction control, leather. How is this year on tranny/head gasket problems? Anything else I should look at/be concerned about? Thanks.
#1003 of 2608 2002 LX power steering
Sep 07, 2002 (7:28 am)
After drove home fine with the new 2002 Winstar, it rained during Labor day weekend. The steering felt stange as if there is slipping, binding during the turn. After one week of dry weather, the strange feeling went away. Any one had the same symptons while rainy days?
Sep 10, 2002 (3:26 am)
No problem in my 99 SE. Two questions: did what you are describing continue after the wet weather and disappear after a week or did it go away after the roads dried and it stopped raining? Did it do it on all wet roads or just one specific spot? I had the same feel on one piece of road and when I looked at the van the next day there was some oil on the side of the van. I obviously hit someone's oil.
#1005 of 2608 Re: 957 Maybe buying 1996 Windstar LX
Sep 10, 2002 (2:56 pm)
I read through all of these posts trying to find information on the '98 model since I was having problems with mine. After what I read on this board, I'd stay away from the '95 and '96 models for sure. I've read about numerous head gasket and transmission problems. There are a few, though, that seemed to have escaped that.