1996 Ford Windstar GL don't recall from North America
A money pit to avoid, I feel like I just contracted venereal disease
I returned the van to the used lot where I purchased it for a leak in the transmission. It was under the sixty day, three thousand mile warranty. They then sent it out to a transmission shop, where they supposedly fixed the problem. While driving, especially when engaging from first gear to second, the transmission acted like it didn't want to grab.
Well, ten days and two hundred or so miles after the basic warranty expired, the transmission stopped working while I was on the highway with my family. The engine would rev, but the transmission would not engage, not even in reverse. I checked the fluid level at that time, and it was in the zone. The used car dealer said they would cover the labor, and initially made a verbal comment that another transmission could probably be found for under a thousand. Now I'm looking at anywhere from $1,400.00 to $2,000.00 for a rebuilt. I might as well buy a new one I said to myself.
After reading this board, I now fear that the head gasket will die once the tranny is fixed, and I have no faith that Ford Motor Company will send me a transmission that is problem free. I owe $13,000.00 on it, with financing, and now I just want to pawn it off and take my loss.
I noticed that the tumbler assembly for the lock on the back door is loose and crooked, so I'm just not going to use the physical key in it.
I have had the alarm system come on when I did not intend it to, and it alters the regularity of beeps from time to time. I do not know if this is normal.
The vehicle cannot handle turns on the highway. I did not feel the van was top heavy, it just cannot handle its own inertia.
I feel the wheelbase should be wider.
I wish that the steering wheel was thicker, it causes my wrists to ache on long rides.
The air conditioning is great. In fact, the rear air conditioning is stronger than the front!
I should have replaced the head gasket in my 95 Mazda Protege instead (Ford motor)! It only had 117,000 miles on it. At least it would be paid for by now.
And to think that one of the reasons for purchasing the Wind star was to "buy American". It's too bad that poor folk like me, who cannot afford a Honda, are forced to make do with whatever the corporations decide to feed to the American family.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 2nd August, 2001
2nd Aug 2001, 21:06
Well that's what you get for buying a good old Windstar - they are all lemons my friend! It is a well known fact that Ford cannot build a transmission and yes your head gasket will soon bite the dust! I myself find the Windstar a nice looking vehicle, but I felt obliged to check user reviews first and consequently I ran a mile! I hope you pass the vehicle on to a "newbie!".. Good luck!!!