1997 Ford Aerostar LX 4.0 from North America


Great family/utility vehicle with decent gas mileage and performance


The air conditioner is a little on the weak side. I haven't had it diagnosed. Hopefully it's just a recharge or clutch issue.

General Comments:

I really like this van. It holds a lot of cargo. The only inconvenience is the seats weigh nearly 80 pounds. Removing them is definitely a 2-guy operation.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th January, 2003

1997 Ford Aerostar XLT Extended 4.0 V6 from North America


A reliable family vehicle


Engine valves needed to be replaced at 20,000 miles. This was done by dealer under warranty.

Sliding door has needed to be repaired two times; it would not fully close even when closed forcefully.

Ford AM/FM/CD player has been replaced once at 50,000 miles, and the replacement unit does not play CDs anymore.

Driver's side front captain's seat back needs to be repaired; will not return to fully upright position.

Like most Fords, this vehicle needs front brake pads to be replaced at 15 - 20,000 mile intervals, depending on how hard they are used.

Rear axle pinion gears needed to be replaced at 75,000 miles. Expensive ($1000) job replaced by dealer under extended warranty.

Interior body integrity is fair. Many screws for the panels on the rear hatch and sliding door have loosened over time and then popped out. Cracks have appeared in the door panels for both the front doors. Driver arm rest needs repair. Screws for all interior panels need to be tightened one by one on a regular basis. Many rattles have developed that cannot be pinpointed by owner.

General Comments:

This van is roomy, seats seven comfortably, and has been well utilized by this growing family.

It is been extremely reliable and has never broken down and stranded us for any reason. We have been diligent about scheduled maintenance and have changed the oil every 3000 miles. It still does not burn or use any oil between oil changes.

The van is an excellent freeway vehicle and after replacing the lousy stock Ford shocks with KYB Gas-A-Just shocks the ride improved significantly.

Rear A/C is a must and combined with the standard A/C, quickly cools the interior on hot days.

It has been used for mostly around town and regional trips within Southern California. It performed flawlessly on a recent 1700 mile trip to the mountains of New Mexico. Cruising at 85 with a full load of passengers and luggage was not a problem.

Gas mileage has been 13 to 15 mpg around town and 17 to 20 mpg on longer highway trips.

Dated design of interior lacks cup holder for three rear passengers. Many spills by children sitting there over the years. Cloth interior and carpeting came clean after complete detailing.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 31st December, 2002

1997 Ford Aerostar XLT 4.0L V6 from North America


A super family vehicle


Only thing to date has been a vibration of the air filter & hose in high humidity (35C +).

Might be blower motor.

Love to hear if anyone else has had a similar problem!

Also, have not been able to find out if the engine is equipped with a timing belt or timing chain.

Once again, any info would be appreciated.

General Comments:

Love the comfort, ride and performance.

It's got great power and seats my family very comforatably.

Plus, since it's an extended van, there's plenty of room behind back seat for storage.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 3rd July, 2002

19th Oct 2002, 17:09

It has a timing chain, but they have a tensioner that can make noise. Drive on that motor will last for ever.

1st Dec 2003, 09:45

To answer the reviewer's question of a timing chain or belt.. The 4 liter and 3 liter engines use a chain. They generally last the life of the van. Still, though, they should be changed every 300000 kilometers or every 10 years..

30th Jan 2004, 23:16


I have had the same air-filter box noise on my '97. A dealership told me quite a while back that this was due to some sort of vacuum leak, which they were unable to fix. I had an early '90's XLT that did the same thing. Both that one and my '97 are All-Wheel Drive, so not sure if this situation is limited to just those models or not.

As for the interior, I, too, have had a problem with various panel screws coming loose or falling out. They do need to be monitored from time to time and tightened accordingly.

Mine has 96XXX miles on it and I'm not the original owner. Luckily I've not had too many problems. However, my rear window washer pump will not work when it's very cold outside (appx. 30 degrees or less) ; the pump doesn't even make a sound. Had this problem on my other Aerostar as well. Didn't have checked out (yet) by a dealership.

Great van otherwise, and the AWD function is fabulous. I had a '92 Rear Wheel Drive and it, understandably, had terrible traction on wet pavement, let alone snow/ice, etc. But this is my 3rd Aerostar and I really can't see myself ever driving any other car. Too bad there's no cup holders for passengers in the rear seat (as someone else pointed out), nor is there a passenger side airbag (required for '98 models on up, which could be why Aerostar was discontinued in '97 so to avoid the additional cost/upgrade)

--Rick M.

Florissant, MO.