Last post on Jul 15, 2013 at 7:03 AM
You are in the Ford Windstar
What is this discussion about?
Ford Windstar, Ford Windstar Cargo, Van
#72 of 83 Ford Windstar charging problem
Jan 03, 2012 (1:06 pm)
I have a 2002 Windstar for about 2 1/2 years now, got such a good deal I ignored the lights after I got it that stayed on (ABS and battery). Had no problems with it for all that time until a few weeks ago it wouldn't start up and it made the typical clicking noise of a low battery so I cleaned the contacts and jumped it off to go home. Checked the voltage while it was running and it read 12.3 volts so I figured it was the alternator. I charged up the battery and put on a new alternator drove to town and after a few stops it wouldn't start again. After charging the battery again I tested the voltage of the new alternator and it was around 12 volts again. Thinking that the new alternator may be bad I had it tested ( which I should have done with the original one) and it tested good. Upon further investigation I found that the control/ monitoring plug on the alternator has 3 pins 1 should be around 7 volts, 2 should be around 13 volts and 3 should be the output voltage of the alternator (or did I get that reversed) anyway pin 2 read 0.04 volts instead of the 13 volts it should have had. Made sure I had continuity from the computer harness and the plug. So could it be that because I have no voltage on pin 2 the alternator is not producing electricity and if that is the case do I have to replace the computer to fix it? I would appreciate any suggestions at this point, thanks.
#73 of 83 Re: Ford Windstar charging problem [mcscookiejar]
Jan 04, 2012 (1:19 am)
"do I have to replace the computer to fix it?"
I had my "computer" or PCM or whatever updated, it seemed to better in my case and i think that can solve it but im not sure in your case?
I tried to measure the volts before but the thing is the pcm is checking your system for volts and if it get "wrong" feedback it decides to not charge and so on.. and to update or change a pcm can be a good idea.
#74 of 83 2002 Ford Windstar Electrical Problem
Feb 17, 2012 (12:28 pm)
I think our problem is similar to other problems listed here. We are looking for some advice.
Background....In December of 2010 we had to replace the alternator. Worked great, but sounded louder, until November 2011. Thankfully, it was still under warranty at the shop we got it done at. After replacing that alternator, with an after market part, it worked until December 2011 2 days before the warranty ran out. UHOH why does our alternator have to be replaced again? Will you extend our warranty please!!! Well, the shop that we use has been fair and said they are going to work with us on it. So this time they asked if we want to use the actual Ford part and pay a little extra, but maybe the after market parts are not working well with our van. 1 week later (the shortest time in between) it died again. Now I have to drive this van around with little kids in it so I am getting a little annoyed. They replaced the alternator and some modulator thing which they haven't charged us for until we know if this is going to fix it.
Fast forward 2 months later, about once a week I go out to my van in the morning and it doesn't start. It appears the battery is dead. I hook up my ever so useful battery charger, put it on jump start setting, and about 5 minutes later it starts. So far this has only happened while it is sitting in my garage in the morning. We live in Wisconsin, but it doesn't seem to pick the super cold days to not start, it is just random.
After starting it, I can drive it down the street, shut it off, and then it starts fine. This leads me to believe that it is not the battery, otherwise it wouldn't be charged enough to start back up. Also, everytime we have the battery tested it tests good. This is from 3 different sources.
The starter does not sound like it is slipping or grinding, so I don't think that is missing.
The alternator has been acting normal (I know the symptoms of a bad alternator pretty well at this point).
So now we think it is a short somewhere. Does anyone have an idea how to figure out where? Also, is there something else that it might be? Just looking for some help so we can quit hemorrhaging money on vehicles!
#75 of 83 Re: 2002 Ford Windstar Electrical Problem [kathiem1]
Mar 28, 2012 (6:04 am)
I own a 2002 windstar that had all these problems. When my battery was going dead I found it was the brake pedal switch not working right. The brake lihgts would stay on sometimes. I don't recall exactly what I did but, I removed the switch and believe I took it apart to bend something so the plunger on the switch wasn't so sensitive to the pedal. Haven't had a problem in years. You could just change the switch i suppose.
#76 of 83 2002 Windstar electrical problems
May 31, 2012 (7:30 pm)
It seems we all are having the same, or very similar problems; ABS, anti-lock brake, battery and numerous other lights coming on at different times, engine idle concerns and no real suggestions as to what the problem is. After reading these posts, all the way back to 2005, I've gotten some good ideas where to begin looking; wiring in the doors and lift gate, dimmer control, door electrical controls, and so on.
We bought out 2002 Windstar LS new in Streator, Illinois from the dealer there. The car we traded in broke down there and I'd had enough so we traded on the spot and drove the van back to Iowa. We have 185K miles on the van now and its been a good vehicle.
This problem first occurred last June while we were work camping in Missouri and only gotten worse. Replaced the battery, alternator tested everything I could, had mechanics look at it and nothing. Not even a suggestion other than to throw parts at it until they find the problem.
If anyone comes up with a definitive solution please share with the rest of us!
#77 of 83 Re: alternator replacement [acelady]
Oct 08, 2012 (6:01 pm)
get signed up for AAA can sure help out with tow bills
#78 of 83 Re: 2002 Ford Windstar Electrical Problem [kathiem1]
Nov 12, 2012 (11:31 pm)
Did you ever find out what the problem was. I'm having the same problem with my 1999 Windstar. It is definately random short. It can be parked for weeks with no problem. Move it to the other side of the drive way and the next morning the battery is dead. As long as it's driven every 4 or so hours, it doesn't drain the battery enough that it won't start. I've looked for lights staying on... I've gone to the extreme now of hooking a light switch between the battery and power, so that over night, I can cut the power. But this is very inconvenient. I have noticed that the air conditioning and fan will power up on start up and shut off instantly all by itself... but this may be the after effects of disconnecting the battery and reconnecting to start the motor.
I wonder if it's a module that is somehow staying powered up after I turned the van off.
#79 of 83 Re: Ford Windstar 2000 v6 3.0 charging lamp. [vidir]
Dec 14, 2012 (8:58 am)
I have the same problem with the charging light. It is exactly as you say, it takes about 20 seconds for it to come on, but after the first (sometimes second) restart it will not come on again ( I can drive hundreds of miles) until the engine is stopped for a while. If I ignore the charging light and do not restart, the car will eventually die for lack of electricity. I have noticed that outdoor temperature does affect how often the problem occurs.
Mechanics cannot define the problem. They have check wiring, grounds, replaced the battery and alternator and I refuse to spend any more until someone can describe exactly what the problem is and what it will cost to fix it.
Does anyone know?
#81 of 83 Re: Stalls while driving [alshouse]
Apr 10, 2013 (8:42 pm)
The issue is with the power going into the darn Alternator!
I have had this issue yearly, last year was the first time all the lights went out & the gas pedal didn't even want to work. It was in the day time so not as dangerous as tonight! The dash dimmed down, the blinkers wouldn't work, we were coming home as it was getting dark, no power when pressing the gas so I had to pump it all the way & coasted until we arrived home. Lucky we didn't run into traffic! Many miles from home with the battery almost dead.
Last year I replaced my 2002 alternator & got another new battery ( new one each year since 2003) it has been almost a year again and now tonight the [check charging system] light came on again... I knew the battery was almost dead when that happens.
I drove to a shop & they tested the battery very little power he said the Ford Windstars have had an issue with the power going into the alternator. He then wiggled the plug connected to the alternator & it started working.
I will be replacing the battery again with a new one tomorrow & I will go to the nearest Ford for the wiring for the alternator!! After years of issues I really hope this works! They don't sell the part at parts store.