I wrote the last comment. I just wanted to say that the only year to avoid in the Aerostar line is 1989, all other Aerostar model years should be good.
I have owned 3 aerostar's 87-92 and now an 94 ext 3.0. All have given me great service. As with any thing that man makes, sooner or later something is going to breakdown. Very well pleased with Ford products.
I have a 1986 Ford Aerostar XLT short, 7 passenger van with over 327,412 miles on it.
It has a 2.8 Liter V6 2 barrel carburetor and I am still currently getting an average city mileage of 28 miles/gallon.
I have NEVER had any major problems with this van, and always keep it in good working condition.
Of course, every 50,000 miles I do a general overhaul on it, since I have the privilege of being able to do it myself and I use it mainly to go to dog shows, so I cannot afford to break down on the road. Even the rust problems described by other owners has not plagued me. The van is now 17 years old, still has the original factory paint and not 1 speck of rust on it, but it gets thoroughly washed, in, out and under after each trip.
The only thing not original is the roof (RV type) A/C unit, with the generator on the back bumper. I need this when I am at dog shows to keep my dogs cool.
Overall, just superb and excellent travelling van for me. Currently looking for a newer one, preferably an extended van, since I now need more space. Feel so bad that Ford stopped the production of this van.
We have a 1994 Aerostar XLT, Electronic 4wd, long version which has 135,000 miles. In general, we have loved this vehicle, but two years ago we started having electrical problems attributed to a short in the "cog-spring" within the steering column that the Ford dealer can't seem to fix (no airbag, no horn, no cruise control, no hazard lights, door ajar light always out, fault 2-3 fault code on the airbag warning light) after $900.00.
Now the A/C is out, $1,000 to $1,500 to fix compressor and clutch. Power Steering Pump and Hose are leaking ($560.00), Rear Differential has a leaky seal ($450.00) Side door sticks, won't open, "probably" because latch is worn out.
I just put $1895.00 (with dealer service department) bucks into the electrical problems and A/C and they still don't work. Dealer wants $1,500.00 more to just get it "drivable".
Up to now, the only problems have been in the Radiator: 2 new radiators, all new heater hoses in last four years and the shocks need replacement every two years.
Should I write it off or put another $1500 into it to fix the A/C?
I have a 1994 XLT Extended AWD Aerostar. I have been very fond of the Aerostars. I bought it used in 1996, and the transmission had to be babied to not get a kick when doing a fast take off. I have been quite happy with it. It now has the famous rust cancer (at 119k Mi.) eating away and this is quite pathetic that Ford would make something like this. The remainder of the car is great, but the rust will soon start showing and make it look like a "POS". It still runs very strong & I just had the rusted away shocks replaced.