1996 Ford Windstar GL 3.8L from North America


Good ideas, bad implementation, dismal service!


The transmission sensor blew only two weeks after I got the car and my troubles never stopped after this (it was the cheapest repair!).

The air-conditioning unit failed three times on me. The first two times, the repair lasted less than three months, the third time, I refused to get it fixed.

The radio-CD player was eating up the CDs. We could not extract them normally, I had to unplug it and remove it manually.

A seal broke in the firewall. This seal is located right above the fuse box. The water was linking through the firewall, into the fuse box. It took five visits to the dealer, for a total of about 80 days to find out and fix the problem. They had to change the engine control box, the fuse box, the wire bundles, the radio, a battery, the security system, the remote start system and many other secondary electrical systems. Everything fried! The total cost was about $6000CDN.

This is without mentioning how fast the tires and the brake pads wear out (and I am a very slow driver!).

General Comments:

It is a comfortable car, when it runs!

It does not handle well in pronounced curves. The power steering kicks back in a regular pattern while in a long tight turn (i.e. clover-leaf highway access ramps).

I only dealt with a dealer (the same, where I bought the car, I'm a slow learner!) for fear that garages would try to put the blame on one another if something went wrong. That dealer still used such a tactic internally, each department blaming another one for the slow and poor repair (electrical, body shop, parts, service).

The service was non-existent. They would never return my calls (except when they needed money!). They could never properly diagnose the problem. All they wanted to do is change a part, and see if it would fix the problem! An expensive way (for me anyway) to repair a car.

That was my first and last Ford.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 15th May, 2001

1996 Ford Windstar GL 3.8 from North America


It self-destructs as soon as the warranty is up


The head gaskets blew, naturally after the warranty expired.

The wipers fell off at about 60,000 miles.

Front seats have little or no lumbar support.

General Comments:

With today's technology one would think that a $20,000+ automobile would be more dependable after 100,000 miles. I have owned Chrysler products in the past that had over 250,000 miles and still own one with over 500,000 miles. If Ford products self destruct after only 100,000 miles, and Ford won't back their products, maybe they should go into the toy business instead of automobiles.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 15th May, 2001

1996 Ford Windstar GL from North America


It's a lemon!


Just after getting this van, the ABS light was on and trac off light flashes. In 4 months I've had the van it's been in the shop more than I had it.

It stopped running going down Interstate 70 and would not restart. Towed in on Friday, they got to it Monday. There was nothing wrong with it.

A lot of recalls on 96 Windstar GL! It dies when you back up. But can't find the problem!

Wheel sensor is bad on it now!

I will never own another FORD!

It's only got 66,000 miles.

ABS replaced.

General Comments:

This is a vehicle waiting to be rear-ended when it decides to stop again!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 9th May, 2001

9th May 2001, 18:27

Your problems may have only just begun. Head Gasket is a problem on some 96's as well.

22nd Jul 2001, 10:07

Truly amazed at all the similar problems other Windstar Owners are having. Just informed my engine needs to be replaced and that is what might be causing it to die when I put mine in reverse. I'm just trying to gather info to submit to Ford for some help. Mine only has 53,000 and I have already replaced the head gasket!