1996 Ford Windstar GL 3.8 from North America


Reliability doesn't work at Ford


The dome light stays on with all doors closed. I solved the problem with a strong water stream and by lubricating all the door hinges.

The transmission died at 113 000 km. I had to make it rebuilt.

I have the bumping speedometer needle problem. The problem seems to be the very tiny spring that put tension on the needle to make it go back to zero.

General Comments:

The van has a high comfort level.

The engine runs great (3.8).

Interior sound level still good for a 7 years van.

The fuel economy is better than what I was expected (12.5l/100km city and 9.5l/100km highway)

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

Review Date: 2nd September, 2003

1996 Ford Windstar 3.8L V6 from North America


A piece of crap


The van had been running fine, until our first road trip last summer. The transmission went out on the way back from the beach, 3 hours from home. We had our 2 year old and newborn with us. It was a Sunday night, when all the shops are closed. We got off the interstate and took the back roads home so we could drive slow. What a nightmare that was! Ended up being a switch in the transmission that cost $200.

The door ajar light stays on, and I have never understood the doors locking and unlocking intermittently for no reason. The driver side door lock no longer works and makes a horrible grinding noise when I lock the other doors.

The passenger-side automatic window will roll down with ease, but what about coming up? Forget it.

Last week it left me and the kids stranded at the swimming pool in 100 degree heat. White smoke pouring out the tailpipe with a strong smell of gas. Towed it in, and apparently the computer is bad. $650 to repair, which I do not have, so I brought it home to sit in the driveway.

The engine light has been off and on so many times I just learned to ignore it. I've had it checked, and they keep telling me to replace the O2 sensors, at $50 a piece. There are 3 of them on there.

I hate this hunk, and now I know why it was only $5,000. Unfortunately, that was all I could afford, and thought I was getting a really good, used van for my family. It looks good, and is pretty comfortable.

General Comments:

This is my 3rd Ford product. I have had bad luck with all 3.

These things aren't made to last, they are made to sell. Now, I'll have to leave it parked until I can fix it up enough to get rid of it, if there is anybody foolish enough to buy it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 27th July, 2003

21st Apr 2006, 15:05

I have had so many of the same problems with mine, believe me, it was a junker!

1996 Ford Windstar GL 6 cylinder from North America


I would not buy this car again


Multiple problems with brakes. ABS comes on at very low speed. Sensor and a mechanical part (axle) at fault.

Speedometer erratic over 50mph.

Door lock mechanism fails. Doors don't lock.

Inside lights remain on (took fuse out).

Warning lights come on intermittently.

General Comments:

This car drives fine.

However the reliability of its door lock mechanism, anti-lock braking system and electrical wiring is pathetic.

If the reliability was better, this would be a great car. However, as it is, I would not buy a car from Ford again.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 17th July, 2003

1996 Ford Windstar GL 3.8L from North America


Designed for job security for the auto industry workers


Gasket around water pump failed.

Serpentine belt tensioner wheel failed twice.

Wheel bearing on passenger wheel bearing failed.

Battery light comes on and off intermittently.

Frequently misfires after a hot start. Check engine light then flashes and comes on.

Power Steering makes groaning noise when turning to the left. PS fluid level is o.k.

Door closed indicators frequently and intermittently indicate a door is open when it is not.

Passenger door lock solenoid works, but buzzes very loudly when activated.

AC and heater work great! ;-)

General Comments:

I am sorry to say I do not have confidence in the vehicle. I like the style and it is fairly comfortable, but I always have this nagging feeling that it's gonna leave me stranded on the highways and by-ways. Guess it's time to start shopping for a Japanese vehicle again. My old 1985 Nissan Pickup had 281,000 miles and the only mechanical part that failed was a fuel pump and a key!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 13th July, 2003