1995 Ford Windstar LX from North America


Decent Family Van, not perfect, but what is


Transmission slipping since we got it... never got it fixed, now figure why bother. Poor pick up, but it does have 172000 miles.

General Comments:

Had to comment after reading the first 25 of 70 negative reviews. Yes, the transmission slips and my husband (who is a mechanic) has replaced probably every sensor on the vehicle, but overall nothing really major has gone wrong since we got it with 90000 miles 3 years ago. And, the transmission still shifts. In the process of buying another (used) one, considering a 2000 SE. Love the windstars!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd January, 2004

1995 Ford Windstar GL 3.8 from North America


Frustrating , though comfortable money pit


At 82000 miles the transmission began to slip. The vehicle would surge ahead after the engine revved. The Ford service writer pulled the part I needed from his drawer and told me it was a common problem. That cost $1100 to fix.

At around 120000 miles the transmission gave out completely. The rebuild cost $1750.

At 150,000 miles I had the rapid overheat problem from coolant and transmission fluid mixing in the radiator. I took it to a friend who repaired the heads for $1000.

At 230000 miles the transmission went out again and I paid another $1750 for the rebuild.

I have also replaced one of the computers(used), and an injector. These cost about $600.

The smart things I did were to buy lifetime warranty tires and front end alignment.

I was putting 40,000 miles per year on the vehicle for the first few years of ownership.

General Comments:

I bought this van because it was comfortable and handled decently. I needed a larger vehicle for work and with a soon to be expanding family wanted the safety and utility.

I thought that excellent maintenance could overcome most problems.

Ford taught me the opposite. Bad engineering and cheap materials can only be overcome by companies that care about putting out an excellent or even just a good product. I will never again be a part of Ford's bottom line.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 1st January, 2004

20th Jun 2004, 19:49

1. You bought a domestic vehicle for 60% of the price of a higher quality competing minivan (i.e. Toyota or Honda) and got 82000 miles service from the transmission prior to your first complaint. Not too bad "for a Ford".

2. You paid $1100 to repair a single problem of a transmission with 82000 miles on it. Even in today's dollars a complete rebuild of a Metric AXOD can be performed for between $1400 and $1800 dollars. This choice was not a good decision from an economic standpoint.

3. A required full transmission rebuild at 120000 miles is expected for this vehicle (reference note 1 for quality vs. initial cost comparison).

4. The coolant / transmission fluid intermix in the radiator was probably due to corrosion of the transmission heat exchanger. How often did you test the coolant and have the system flushed? If the answer is never then that is the cause of the breach. Otherwise, 150000 miles service from a radiator is respectable for this level of vehicle.

5. Another transmission rebuild was mandated due to failure at 230000 miles. 110000 miles from the first rebuild is a respectable service life. How often did you have the transmission serviced in the 110000 mile interval?

6. The only other repairs listed were a computer and injector replacement for $600. $6200 repairs in 254000 miles translates to over 4 miles per dollar of repair cost. This is a respectable number. The repair total plus the initial vehicle cost probably is still far below the cost of a competing Honda or Toyota. Not bad, "for a Ford".

Obviously, if you want a vehicle requiring less maintenance you should look at Honda, Toyota, Lexus, etc., but in the end the total out of pocket expense to miles of service ratio is the real "bottom line"