1996 Ford Windstar LX from North America


I love my van because I have 3 children. It's a shame the manufacturer won't stand behind it


Door ajar light stay on.

Interior light stays on.

Speedometer jumping at 50 mph.

ABS light on intermintantly. Replaced with new stuff. Still got same problem.

General Comments:

I wish ford would do the right thing and recall if these are universal problems.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th October, 2004

1996 Ford Windstar GL from North America


Squeaky, leaky, bad investment


Fan Belt blew at 156000km,

Windshield-wiper motor blew at 156000km

Head gasket blew at 156000km.

Rust erosion has now deteriorated both intake and return gas lines, causing gas to leak from the vehicle fairly rapidly.

Both break lines are nearly rusted through.

Anti-lock break signal on dash flashes on and off.

Parking-lock break flashes on and off.

Air-conditioning has never worked.

General Comments:

Ford's Customer Service:

The van was sold to me with a power-train warranty and air-conditioning (as stated in the invoice and receipt). The latter has never worked at all and the former was never transferred over to my name. Only when the head-gasket blew did I realize the warranty wasn't in my name. After more than a week of hassling them they finally transferred the warranty over to me. No apologies from them. In the meantime I took the bus.

Now I face a bigger problem: gas and break lines (both intake and return) have all been rusted and Ford no longer makes these for the 96 Windstar. Fixing this problem requires shopping at the scrap yard, but it will still take well over a thousand dollars in labor to get the vehicle running, plus whatever the scrap-yard charges for the second-hand parts.

The Vehicle:

Its sort of comfortable, pretty good on gas and handles reasonably well. But, mechanical problems occur about once a month and keep me pretty broke. I strongly advise those in the car market to be wiser than I was. If the van isn't in the garage, you can assume there's a problem pending.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 27th September, 2004

1996 Ford Windstar LX 2.8L from North America


A shameful product by Ford Motor Company


Head gasket blown at 103,000km.Ford won't help.

Vehicle oil pressure light comes on when idling and engine will stall when very warm.

Replaced brake system 3 times, ABS unit a problem, requires replacement

Speedometer presently defective, does not work properly over 50km/hr.

Replaced every gasket on the vehicle once, not cheap either.

All door sensors are unreliable and require replacement, what a joke.

The weatherstripping at the sliding door is loose constantly, I give up.

The transmission slips.

Pulling a 3500lb trailer, good luck.

Windshield prone to cracking due to design.

General Comments:

The vehicle is a major money pit, and Ford should be ashamed of themselves.

All those people involved in the design of this vehicle should be fired, and have their license revoked.

Ford should at least reimburse those who have experianced head gasket failures under 120,000kms.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 10th August, 2004

31st Dec 2005, 14:43

Have no more comment.

1996 Ford Windstar from North America


This is to all those Windstar owners who are spending their hard earned money on that stupid check engine light. Mine came on and continued to be on for a year until finally it ran really rough. The solution turned out to be simple. The problem was a vacuum leak!! I have the 3.8 and there is a vacuum line that goes from the PCV valve right next to the throttle body on the upper plenum. There is a 90 degree elbow made from the cheapest rubber imaginable which breaks down thus creating a vacuum leak. Replace the elbow or duct tape it, unhook your battery for a half an hour then hook it back up to reboot the brain and voila!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th July, 2004

24th Apr 2006, 14:46

Thanks. I tried that, but it didn't work.

1996 Ford Windstar GL 3.8 from North America


Total waste of money and my time!


I bought this van from a dealer that made me believe that everything was OK with it. I test drove it and everything seemed fine. I get the thing home with 98,000 miles on it and it all went down hill.

My front suspension went out at 98,000 miles. This cost me $415.

My speedometer head went out at 98,000 miles, total cost $350.

My air condition went out at 98,100 miles, no cost on it yet. I have been told that it will cost around $800 to fix the problem.

My alternator and starter went out at 98,200 miles. This is going to cost around $250 to fix and that is only because my fiance is going to do the work for me.

General Comments:

The van has good get up and go, when it is running properly. I am not happy at all with the replacements that have been put in to it already. I have heard nothing, but horrible stories from other Windstar owners and I can only hope that this piece of junk lasts me a year so that I can trade it in for something other than a Ford. Never again will I buy one!!

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

Review Date: 15th July, 2004

14th Feb 2006, 12:20

You purchased a vehicle with almost 100k on it. Also by what you are saying you will have to spend almost 2 grand just to get it fixed. If you add the numbers that comes out to a nice down payment on a brand new vehicle. A person once told me to avoid used cars. You are just buying somebody else's problems. Don't be surprised if the previous owner didn't maintain it that well. I hope that you have better luck with your next car.

20th Feb 2006, 16:48

Depending on what you paid for this vehicle, these repair costs are not all that unreasonable. The starter and alternator are things that you can just assume will need to be replaced on any older/higher mileage car, and these are things that can be changed on your own. Regarding the front suspension, you didn't say exactly what was wrong, so it's hard to say if $415 in repairs was necessary or reasonable or what. If it was a case of replacing the front struts or something, then that's to be expected. Regarding the AC: it seems like $800 is the magic number quoted for AC repair, because I was told the same thing for a totally different car. I decided I could live without it for the handful of days per year when I would actually use it. If you got a good deal on this car, even having spent $1,100 on it could still be a good deal. The proof is to check Kelly Blue Book. Use the method of splitting the difference between the retail value from the dealer and private party value in good condition, which is about what you should have paid. If you paid a couple thousand less than that, then you're still coming out ahead. Just be sure to take gentle care of the car and make it last. The key is maintenance and taking care of things. It is possible to drive a used car successfully and much more cheaply than making the big monthly payment for 5 years, but you do need to gain some knowledge about cars and repairs.