1998 Ford Windstar Reviews from North America

1998 Ford Windstar 3.8

Model year1998
Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2009
Most recent year of ownership2014
Engine and transmission 3.8 Automatic
Performance marks 0 / 10
Reliability marks 0 / 10
Comfort marks 0 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 0 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
0.0 / 10
Distance when acquired148000 miles
Most recent distance168000 miles
Previous carToyota Tercel

Summary:

Worst car ever

Faults:

Engine light.

Mirrors.

Heater.

Turn signals.

Side, rear, driver's door latch.

Alternator,

Massive frame rust.

Hubcaps.

Brakes.

General Comments:

Worst Car Ever. I've driven a lot of cheap, old cars in my days, but this Windstar is truly remarkable in its faults. I will never forget how much time and money I've lost on this engineering nightmare. I can't begin to describe everything that has broken. This thing is in the shop every two weeks for some new problem.

I grew up just about a mile from a Ford assembly line, so I've always been loyal to the brand. So it pains me to say that I will never, ever, buy or even drive a Ford. If I need a rental, I shall insist that it is not a Ford. If I am ever gifted another Ford, I will immediately trade it in for anything else.

I am so disappointed with this Ford product that I am beginning a mission to discredit the brand and ridicule any acquaintances who may be driving one.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 6th February, 2014

6th Feb 2014, 18:30

Uh huh. It was 11 years old and had almost 150K miles on it when you bought it, and despite all the problems you have had with it, and your vow to never own another Ford and even ridicule others who drive them, you still have it after five years?

Something is not adding up here...

1998 Ford Windstar Limited 3.8

Model year1998
Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2013
Engine and transmission 3.8 Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.6 / 10
Distance when acquired23000 miles
Most recent distance147000 miles

Summary:

This is the best minivan I've ever owned

General Comments:

I had my Ford Windstar since 2005, and had no major problems. The only problem was to replace the gas pump.

This minivan did good for all of our trips. We have been up and down the state of California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and even Mexico. And on all of the trips, with good maintenance it was more economic than my 2011 Toyota Sienna.

This minivan also has good looks and style.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd June, 2013

1998 Ford Windstar GL

Model year1998
Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2011
Most recent year of ownership2013
Engine and transmission Automatic
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.2 / 10
Distance when acquired49000 miles
Most recent distance62000 miles
Previous carChevrolet Malibu

Summary:

If you take care of it, this vehicle will take care of you for YEARS to come!!

Faults:

Driver's side window motor replaced.

General Comments:

I knew the original owner of the van, and helped with oil changes and tune-ups at regular intervals, as we are both knowledgeable mechanics. The van has been MAINTAINED!!! Other maintenance requirements were done by a FORD trained technician.

We were next door neighbors, so the van has been in our families for 15 years, and other than the above stated costs, the Windstar cost the two us (my buying price included - $23,000 give or take $200).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th February, 2013

1998 Ford Windstar Northwoods Edition 3.8L V6

Model year1998
Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership1997
Most recent year of ownership2011
Engine and transmission 3.8L V6 Automatic
Performance marks 4 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.2 / 10
Distance when acquired14 miles
Most recent distance361500 miles
Previous carChevrolet Blazer

Summary:

Only 4 transmissions and $38,000 later! Reliable as all heck!

Faults:

4 transmissions.

4 head gaskets.

2 engine overhauls.

Umpteen O2 sensors.

Various engine sensors.

Interior wear.

Body panels are non-existent as of 5 years ago (rust).

General Comments:

I love this van! It's been so reliable. $38,000 and 4 transmissions later, and old rusty is still trucking. Only had to do 4 head gaskets.

AAA absolutely loves towing my vehicle. The tow truck operator and I are nearly best friends now. The autoparts store employees know my vehicle year/model immediately as soon as I walk in the door.

When I turn right, everyone knows now to move out of my way before the vehicle stalls and I lose my power steering. My bottom is permanently embedded into the comfortable 1/4" padded seat.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th August, 2011

31st Aug 2011, 12:39

This extremely sarcastic review doesn't at all seem factual. It's almost like a fan of another automaker read the other reviews for this van and added every fault into this review. Multiple times over.

Really, who would pay to have 4 sets of cylinder head gaskets replaced on an old vehicle. It's just ridiculous.

1998 Ford Windstar GL

Model year1998
Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership2007
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission Automatic
Performance marks 0 / 10
Reliability marks 3 / 10
Comfort marks 4 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 1 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
2.0 / 10
Distance when acquired80000 miles
Most recent distance100000 miles
Previous carSaturn SC

Summary:

This is the worst most pathetic car ever built

Faults:

I am not an expert on cars, so I will do my best to explain what happened with this terrible car. My comments will not be 'technical' in nature.

We paid $3300 dollars for this car in 2007.

The day we got it home, the ABS sensor came on and stayed on. We were told that to fix it required a complete overhaul, which would have been expensive.

Within a week, all of the engine lights went on -- even the oil light, which deterred us from our trip that time. This same problem would occur periodically. We never figured out the cause.

Within 8 months, the engine would start knocking going up hill.

Within a year, the engine would chug and 'miss', and behave very poorly.

Within a year, the engine light would be on permanently, which made me fail my emissions test, which made registering it hard.

Sometimes the sensor that registers whether the door was closed would malfunction.

After about 2 years of owning the car, it would squeal when driving it. The brake pedal was nearly unresponsive. The front end suspension degenerated, and the Ford became a death trap. We took it to Firestone, and got taken advantage of. They fixed the brakes, which wasn't the 'problem' to make a quick buck, but it didn't solve the problem, and the car was still a death trap.

We recently gave it away to friends who work on cars -- they confirmed that we had been ripped off, and that the car was indeed a death trap. They spent days and days fixing the extreme suspension problems. They have it running, but little problems crop up constantly.

General Comments:

This is the worst car I have ever owned.

*** REPEAT, THIS IS THE WORST CAR I HAVE EVER OWNED.

I should have checked out the reviews. I'd like to go American, but my only experience with an American car was this (and a Dodge, which was only marginally better), and it was so absolutely lousy -- so unforgivable -- so expensive and aggravating, all I can do is post on these forums to say: NEVER AGAIN. When a car almost kills you -- you tend to not be so forgiving.

I forked over hard earned money to keep this car running, but the problems with this car were so many and so hard to find, the stumped mechanics had no idea what to do, so they just found things to fix that they thought would solve the problem.

No mechanic could do anything about the engine light, which kept coming on. I was not able to register my car in the city I live, because if the engine light is on, they wouldn't pass you. I spent beaucoup bucks to fix it, but all the money I spent achieved nothing. The mechanics could never figure out the source of the problem. They charged me all the same, however.

It got really bad toward the end when the car became 'a death trap'. My husband and I tried to have it fixed, but the problems were such that only a major overhaul on the suspension would have fixed it. The mechanic did not tell us this. At this point, we were taken advantage of by Firestone to a extreme degree, when they fixed the brakes, and left the crucial problem untouched. They told us that what they were fixing would solve the problem. We could have died.

The problems that this car has are mechanical, electric, and with the suspension.

This car has so many problems, that unless you are able to work on cars yourself, you will spend more in maintenance than you spend on the car itself.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 2nd January, 2011

3rd Jan 2011, 17:57

I'm sorry to hear of your misfortune. Our Fords were the best cars we ever had (the two worst were a Pontiac LeMans and a Toyota Camry).

You should have taken it to a trusted mechanic before purchase. You said yourself in the survey that you didn't research the vehicle. There's this site, Motor Trend, Consumer Reports, Edmunds, and Epinions to name a few. Very easily you would have found that the Windstar model line is hit and miss, with more misses than hits.

The important thing is that you and your family are safe, albeit being frightened to drive American vehicles again.

One final thing: NEVER take your car to a tire place like Firestone or Jiffy Lube et cetera. Take it to a Ford mechanic or dealer because they look only at Fords. At the other little shops, they get all kinds of things, so what may be wrong with a Sienna or Sedona would look different than on a Windstar, even though it is the same issue. A Carfax report will also tell you if the vehicle was labeled a lemon, how many owners it had, any possible mileage rollback, and how many collisions it had been in.

All car manufacturers make lemons. Our 2001 Camry was supposedly one of the best model lines Toyota ever had, but ours was a lemon for sure. Maybe we got the 1/1,000,000 2001 Toyota Camry lemon, and I'd sure never buy a Toyota again, and right now I don't blame you if you feel the same about Ford.

25th Aug 2011, 13:32

Toyota may have had 1 out of 1,000,000 lemon cars, but the Windstar is a 1 out of 4 lemon.

26th Aug 2011, 09:22

In my experience there is no reason to think the dealers are better than the tire franchises. Both groups tend to be overpriced and tend to fix things that don't need to be fixed yet.

In fact I have the best experience with an independent shop that sees all kinds of cars. I advise people to look for such a shop. Ask people who they use and why. Eventually you find a shop that is trustworthy. Look for one that has been around for a long time, and where personal turnover is very slow. In the end, it depends which individual mechanic is working on your vehicle.

26th Aug 2011, 09:32

I understand your attitude towards Ford. But the fact is that you bought a used car, and you admit that you were uninformed. That means that you could have been ripped off with ANY car of any brand.

You don't have to be an expert to avoid that kind of grief. Have a car inspected by a mechanic of your choice PRIOR to purchasing. You will know what's wrong and how much it is to fix it.

My Windstar has some of the same issues as yours, but Ford is taking care of the subframe (recall) and the rear axle (recall), but not (yet) the ABS controller. Some smaller stuff I took care of myself or I live with it. Same vehicle - different experience.

Average review marks: 6.2 / 10, based on 109 reviews