Head gasket was first thing to go bad at 41,000. Our warranty had expired at 36,000. An agreement between our dealer and the Ford rep from Los Angeles, ca. took place and we paid $395.00 for the repair. I received a 12 month warranty on the heads. Found out then that extended warrantys could be issued up to 30,000 mile mark if "we the customer " had asked for one. Ford didn't advertise this to owners (and I wonder why).
I drove the van approx. 18 miles after that repair and the engine started knocking and overheating. It was April fools day and I was towed back to the dealer. Seems the engine swallowed some coolant (was told minimal amount was ingested and no need to worry when head gasket blew) at the number 3 piston (common place for all head gasket leaks so says service rep). The crank bearing froze up because of that. Ford replaced the engine block for that problem, free of charge with a new 24 month limited warranty. However van was out of service for 3 weeks and no loaner car was provided (unlike Toyota who has been dealing with this problem for years now, their V-6 head gaskets and engines blowing and they provide loaner cars while repairs are being done).
Transmission had been slipping (and was well documented during warranty period but never able to duplicate at dealer level) and at engine replacement was advised to replace. Again Ford rep from Los Angeles consulted. At first he denied any problems with transmission and refused to pay any monies since warranty had expired for this vehicle. I brought out scores of documentation showing faulty transmissions with the 95 model and the dealer showed my warranty slips complaining of slippage since the 15,000 mark and the Ford rep then offered a deal and I paid only $189.00 for new transmission.
Ford then announced that they were paying back money for all head jobs done to Ford Windstars with certain vin numbers (Ford Windstars made in Canada). I had one and got my head gasket money back.
Other problems have been minor. Door open light comes on and stays lit for hours. Replacement part is $376.00. Was replaced twice while on warranty, now its my turn to start paying for it.
Haven't had any a/c problems yet (knock on wood) even though they have been well documented for 1995 models.
Ford knows that this van is plagued with problems. It is built on the Ford Sable chassis and has its engine (same engine that used to blow head bolts not so many years ago) and transmission. I paid off my Windstar in 1997 to the tune of $19,400. That same year Ford started selling used 95 Windstars at a high Blue Book value of $11,000. Blue Book at the time was $19,400 in the kelly book. I took a $8,400 loss in 3 months when Ford started doing this. No one would buy a used 95 Ford Windstar from a private person for $19,500 when the Ford dealers are selling them for $11,000 high blue!
Since Ford knows something is wrong with these vans (95 only so far) and they are selling them cheap (I've been told there are no 95 Windstars on the road with over 40,000 miles that haven't had at least a head job or a rebuilt engine put in them, this by a Ford service tech) so as to dump them. I feel that Ford should buy back these vans from the owners who bought them on good faith and either offer them another Ford model of same cost and value or just refund the customers their money back. After all, " Customer service is Fords number one priority " they claim. I say then prove it.
And everyone else, stay away from 95 Windstars, unless you have money to burn. Then come buy my Windstar from me.
On a side note, when I asked the dealer how can I sell my van now, he suggested just not telling any new owners about the head, engine and transmission work that had been done. after all he reasoned, " Who would want to buy this from you after learning that you had all these repairs done on a fairly new vehicle ".
He's right. Who would?
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 10th November, 1998