1996 Ford Windstar GL 3.8 from North America


Very reliable as long as you change its oil!


Check engine light came on at 65000 miles. The dealer said it was two bad O2 sensors.

Have replaced serpentine belts twice.

The van makes weird cracking noises under the driver's side when turning or moving from a full stop or when braking.

Replaced the rear shocks and two front tie rods.

General Comments:

I drove the car across the country from NY to LA and it was great. I drove it it from VA to NY several times and never a problem. Only thing that has me worried is that wierd cracking noise on the chassis.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 26th November, 2001

26th Nov 2001, 11:00

Tie rods replaced at 38,000 miles.

Thumping noise in the chassis when moving from a stopped position since 25k. Dealer never hears it. Now it has moved to under the drivers seat and is getting louder. Only happens on rainy days or very hot days.

20th May 2002, 01:14

I just bought our 96 Windstar and have noticed the same popping/cracking noise under the driver seat chasis area. If someone has an answer what this is It would be greatly appreciated. Is it something serious?

27th Mar 2003, 14:06

We bought our 96 Windstar at 22,000 miles and have noticed the same popping noise under the driver seat chassis area. Popping sound when driving down dirt alleyways or roads, moving from full stop, braking, backing off driveway onto the street and turning corners. Dealer can hear it and says it is a known quirk with the Windstar.

22nd Oct 2003, 03:20

A popping noise could be a CV joint. My 1989 Ford Escort had a popping noise which turned out to be the CV joint. Repair cost was $150 at local shop.

Check engine light on my 1996 Ford Windstar has come on several times. Autozone store gets diagnostic code and resets light for free. If something malfunctions for a fraction of a second, the check engine comes on and will not go back off without being reset. Before having your Windstar "repaired", have Autozone get it diagnostic code and reset it for you. Then, wait and see if light reappears.

1996 Ford Windstar GL 3.0L V6 from North America


Typical American car that lasts as long as the warranty


Built in child seat would not stay latched: 100 miles.

Power steering pump replaced at 16000 miles.

Speedometer went out at 16000 miles.

Temperature gauge went out at 16000 miles.

After replacing entire instrument panel at 16000 miles, the speedometer went out again at 38000 miles.

General Comments:

We like the Windstar for the room.

The 3.0L V6 does not have enough power for this vehicle if you have all 7 passengers.

When the car was under warranty, service was great. Now that the car is out of warranty, it is hard to get the dealerships to work on it.

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

Review Date: 26th October, 2001

1996 Ford Windstar GL 3.8 from North America


This car is poorly built and a future money pit


We have had nothing but problems with this car since we acquired it.

The bearings and right front spindle deteriorated and had to be replaced. $450.

The front suspension has a constant wobble. We have been to the dealership, and two separate tires stores to balance the tires and have the problem checked out, and they have found no cause for the problem. It's balanced and aligned but still wobbles.

The transmission has started to slip and skip during acceleration. I have also taken that to a transmission shop and the dealership, and they can't find anything wrong. They told me that a full diagnostic found nothing, So they pulled the pan and still no help. Another $120 down the pit that this car has become. Just this week it has slipped completely out of gear on a number of occasions after a stop. So back we go. None of this should be happening to a vehicle this old.

The engine is also giving me problems. It is real sluggish now. It can't hold a steady speed. The throttle flutters and the power is inconsistent.

Don't even get me started on the interior and workmanship. All the windows seals are coming loose. The outside trim has pealed away twice. The wiper boots won't stay seated.

That's the short list.

The brakes have given me trouble as well.

Last thing. All these problems are obviously well known to Ford and the dealership establishment. The van has lost nearly $8,000 in value in two years. That is criminal. I didn't even buy it new. I couldn't give this car away now.

It's too bad. I like the design and layout of the car. Wish Ford cared enough to build it better. This is my first Ford and last. My Toyota has 175,000 miles on it, and I only had to replace a front seal and master cylinder.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 15th September, 2001

2nd Oct 2001, 19:04

For the fifth time I have visited the dealership to have them repair the faulty inside light / door not closed warning light. Today was told it was fixed, walked over to car on lot, got in, warning light on. Gee, did the dealer in Guelph Ontario miss something!!! Assurred they would fix it tomorrow. Trip #6 to the dealer coming up.