Last post on Apr 10, 2013 at 9:42 PM
You are in the Ford Windstar
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Ford Windstar, Ford Windstar Cargo, Van
#46 of 81 Re: Could it be the altornator? [mrnmrsweibel1]
Dec 17, 2009 (5:23 am)
Dear Mr & Mrs Weibel,
I had the same problem. After fixing a few things I found the answer by taking it to a Ford dealership. Mine is a 2001 Windstar. The stalling like behavior was due to a leak in the air intake manifold gasket. I had to have the manifold, gasket, and pins replaced. This cost about $350. The radio's odd behavior was due to a grounding wire not being screwed in tight and losing its ground. The screw was located on top of the radiator housing next to the hood latch mechanism. This was a simple fix, just tighten the screw down.
#47 of 81 2001 Windstar Electrical Problems
Dec 23, 2009 (9:27 pm)
I have a 2001 Windstar SE with approx. 120,000 miles on it. I got it last year after it had been basically sitting (driven once a week) for about 3 or 4 years. The car worked great for the first 3 or 4 months, except for a rough idle when the weather got cold (bouncing tach), which disappeared when I could get it up to speed. It died on me a few months after getting it; I replaced the alternator and battery and everything was fine until around March of this year. The battery light started coming on at random times; sometimes if I'd just started the van, I would park it and take my other car, come back later, and the problem would be gone. Other times it would come on briefly after starting the van, then disappear after I got the car up to speed. This happened approx. 5-6 times since then, often when it was cold out, once where the ABS, battery, and a few other lights came on,but again I was able to limp home. I was driving it 2 weeks ago and it started wanting to stall out when I would come to a stop, the dash and headlights would dim as the tach would bounce. I got it home and the next morning it stalled out, completely shutting off in the middle of a major road (luckily with no traffic on it), all the warning lights coming on. Curiously though, it started right back up after I got it over to the side of the road. I had a mechanic I trust look at it, and he replaced the intake valves, which he said were causing the rough idle (and it does seem fixed), and checked a few other things, but said my alternator (1 year old), battery (2 weeks old), and any other thing he could think to check were fine. I got it back Tuesday and have put about 200 miles on it since. Today, driving home from work, while stopped in traffic, the battery light briefly came on again. I turned off the heat and the radio and revved the engine, and it went away, and after I got it up to speed it was fine, I stopped somewhere and it started back up just fine. Also, the passenger side windows have not worked in a few years, so I will be interested to see if I can find anything to fix in those door wire bundles.
Thanks for the info.
#48 of 81 More Weird Windstart Problems
Dec 29, 2009 (7:28 am)
I have a 2001 Windstar. It is at the Ford shop getting its fourth alternator and third PCM within two weeks. The first alternator stopped charging. The second one worked for a few hours then stopped charging. The third one began smoking right away, as the meter showed 17.8 volts. The mechanic has done extensive diagnostics, replaced wiring, etc. This is getting very frustrating. Any ideas much appreciated.
#49 of 81 Re: 2001 Windstar Electrical Problems [avespks]
Jan 06, 2010 (10:27 pm)
It sounds like your van is doing the same exact thing as mine. I have a post about it all too. Unfortunately, I have yet to find out what it is and may be getting rid of it due to other issues. If you find out what the problem is would you let me know and I will in same inform you if I find it if I keep it and continue having it worked on. I did have my intake manifold replaced last year when it all started and it wasn't that. I have also had a new battery put in, and the last thing they just did was something to do with the idoling. I can't remember exactly what but it was some switch that opens and closes when idoling and mine was stuck. That didn't help either. I took it to auto zone and they said the alternator tested fine but it showed there was power being drained when there shouldn't have been. It only does it if it is cold outside. Started last winter, was fine all summer and started again this winter. And, as you said it is when you are stopped but doesn't seem to do it while in park if I am warming up the van. Please let me know if you find out the problem. I would like to factor it into the cost of having the van fixed or getting rid of it. I have to have the frame replaced to keep it due to rust and I am trying to decide if I should or just buy something else. Thank you.
#50 of 81 2002 Windstar Battery Drain
Jan 24, 2010 (5:56 pm)
I have a 2002 Windstar with a similar problem to others in this thread. The main issue is that the battery goes flat if the Van isn't used for a few days.
I have done some diagnostics and found the following:
1. The drain seems to be related to the interior lights, based on pulling fuses. The biggest change comes when pulling fuse 1 of the internal fuse panel.
2. The entry lights for the sliding doors seem to stay on sometimes, even when the Van has been turned off and locked for quite a while. It may be happening regularly but because they are down low behind the driver they simply don't get noticed, especially in daylight.
3. I took the bulbs out of these two entry lights and checked the current drain through the battery and it seems to be in the 500-650mA range - it gets lower with time; 500mA seems to be about the minimum.
4. This remaining current looks to be related to coil current on internal Relays 1&4. If I pull them the draw goes down to around 50mA, which is probably about the lowest it will go on a normal vehicle.
I haven't yet looked at the connector under the driver's area carpet - a suggestion from another forum. That will be next on my list. (I am still confused as to why the two internal entry lights for the sliding door areas would stay on while other internal lights switch off - probably a clue but I don't have a decent wiring diagram).
I did also check the door open alarm on all the doors and it works well, suggesting all the door switches are operating correctly. Alternator checks out OK, as does the battery.
(Also it seems this problem is worse in cold weather, but that may simply be related to battery capacity vs. temperature).
#51 of 81 Re: 2002 Windstar Battery Drain [eesofgraham]
Feb 18, 2010 (4:22 pm)
Hi Guy, I have the same problem as you have with you Windstar, have tried everything I know to fix it. I just now try and start it every day, I am almost positive it is in the light control. The dim light is to me the issue, I can get the dim wheel in just the right position and all is well for weeks at a time, but if I touch it to turn on the overhead lights then I am back to a dead battery in the morning. I have noticed that the rear interior lights have stayed on a time or two, but don't know if it is the switch or the auto turnoff relay/control.If you know of any cure let me know please. Also the dash display ( MPG, Miles To empty Compass etc} has quit working, have no idea why. Had it scanned and nothing showed up . Love my Van except for these issues. Any ideas, please if you would let me know. Regards... Art
#52 of 81 Re: alternator [umwijaya]
May 07, 2010 (11:57 am)
Nice to hear this. At least I can find another way of checking the alternator. I have a 2000 Windstar 3.8L 125000. My alternator died after 3 months when we bought the van. Luckily I bought a replacement with life-time warranty. It last for 1.5 years then died again. I had to replace it again for free except my own labor. I used a iron bar to pry the alternator back to its origional position instead of adjusting the belt tensioner. I don't have the fuse problem. For these DIY, one can try to use a iron bar to push the alternator back to its position. Simply put one bolts (has 3 bolts) first and use the bar to adjust the alternator to correct options, ask helper to tight 2nd bolts. This way, you don't need to mess up with the engine belt system.
#53 of 81 Re: Ford Windstar charging problem [rose19805]
May 12, 2010 (8:17 am)
Rose19805 - Did replacing the battery and alternator correct your interior lights flickering issue too? Or does that still occur? And if it does still occur, does it cause any problems? I just bought a used 03 Windstar and the lights flicker (which is probably why the seller had the interior light setting set to the off position when we looked at it). I'm just hoping that it isn't anything more than a nuisanse. Thanks.
#54 of 81 Re: Ford Windstar charging problem [my3kids2]
May 12, 2010 (9:56 pm)
Actually the problem with my interior lights happened after the battery and alternator. When I checked my past messages didn't realize this problem had been happening.Now the passenger side window does not work correctly at times.
I also have to turn my interior light setting to off.
Even with these problems the van runs great and I'm keeping it until it dies or the repair gets to be a serious problem. Good luck with it!
#55 of 81 Re: Ford Windstar charging problem [rose19805]
May 13, 2010 (6:11 am)
Thanks for the quick response! We knew buying an older vehicle would come with some issues, but glad to know that the interior light issue is minor (and temporarily fixed with turning the dimmer switch to off). The previous owners replaced the alternator and battery about 18 months ago so at least I don't have to worry about that. We also plan to run this van till it dies or is too costly to repair, but hoping it still has a long quirky life! Thanks again, and good luck with yours too!