1994 Ford Aerostar XLT E4WD 4.0L from North America
You can't beat the spaciousness and E4WD piece of mind!!
Leaking manifold gasket, was using 1 qt oil every 500-700 miles, dealer said this was within the "standards" and couldn't find a leak. They even did a die test by adding die into my oil, still couldn't find a leak. Took it to a mechanic friend of my brother and he found the leak immediately - who the heck do they hire at the dealers?? Leak was fixed to the tune of about $400, then about a year later started leaking again. Had it fixed again by a mechanic near my new home and has been fine ever since.
Other than this, basic tune-up, tires, brakes due soon, battery.
Have a funny problem with the driver's side power window binding when trying to open it, a little oil on the window surrounding felt cures it, but needs re-oiling every 6-8 months to keep it from binding again - haven't figured this one out yet.
We bought the Aerostar 3 years ago with only 36K miles on it, and it has been wonderful to us. You simply can not find a minivan on the market today that has more passenger room and storage space than the extended Aerostar van! Believe me, my wife and I have tried to find one but they simply do not exist! We would love to own a new minivan with 4 doors, but the thought of paying $300/month to get an extra passenger door and lose: 4WD, passenger captains chairs, front and rear A/C, digital dash and upgraded stereo, PLUS the storage space, makes absolutely no sense to us.
We just returned from a Florida vacation, had the Aerostar all packed up in the trunk area needing no other space for our bags. When we got to Florida, we rented a brand new 2001 Ford Windstar. When I opened the trunk door, I could only laugh! Where the heck are we going to put all of our bags?? Had to use up all of the trunk space AND the rear bench seat for everything. We did love the dual passenger doors which was great for putting our 2 kids in the car seats, loved the cushy ride, but hated the smaller interior feel and the LACK of storage space.
Got home and had a new appreciation for the Aerostar, all of the bags fit in the back trunk area, including all of the XMAS presents, and still had room to fit a kitchen table top for my mom which I simply layed on the rear most bench seat behind my kids passenger captains chairs.
The E4WD has been awesome, never had the van spin or slide in bad weather, and it performed flawlessly in the 12+ inches of snow we just got here in NJ. If this van had dual doors, I would never want to get rid of it! But until we find another minivan that has the space and all of the options we have in our Aerostar that won't break our bank, we'll just keep on riding along in this great minivan.
We'll have to take a closer look at the Dodge Grand Caravan as it has a rear adjustable seat that may get us close to the trunk space of the extended Aerostar, but the adjustment will sacrifice the passengers leg room (we use the rear seat for in transit diaper changes or stretch breaks for the kids). The Honda Odyssey looks nice, but only has the storage space if the rear seat is stored away, want both benefits, not a trade off.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 2nd January, 2001
The problem you had with the windows happens to all Aerostars after a few years. We used WD-40 on the window-felt and never had a problem again. This happened to our '88, and started on our '93 before we traded in, and we didn't have our '96 long enough for this to occur.
As to the size of the van, it definitely feels wider on the inside, especially in back, due to thinner trim on the walls, and wider (bench) seats. The Windstar looks as if they are storing spare tires in the walls.
I've also had trouble with my windows. I use a silicon spray to lubricate the lining that presses up against the glass window in the from windows. I also have had problems with those small plastic buttons on the front drivers door cracking and not being able to engage the power windows. Those buttons are just plain cheap and not quality materials. I put a coating of JB Weld on these buttons and cut the square hole out that engages the mechanism. That works perfectly and solves the problem.