1997 Ford Windstar GL 3.8 from North America

Summary:

Loved it

Faults:

I only had two major repairs:

New radiator.

New transmission.

I had to replace the hubcaps twice, because they got stolen.

There was one time where the van sliding got hit when it was parked, damaging the whole sliding door. This was like a month before I traded it in, and the sliding couldn't close properly. We had to slam it hard to shut it.

I do miss this van; it's a pity Ford discontinued them.

General Comments:

It has great handling for a minivan, comfortable seats, lots of leg room.

I like how it sits high, although I wish it had two sliding doors.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th March, 2012

1997 Ford Windstar GE 3.8 from North America

Summary:

A keeper, if Ford would fix all the manufacturing faults

Faults:

The first thing is the ABS light that comes on and off, and gives a weird burnt smell. One day the light is on, and the next day it's off. I have been going down the road, and the light goes on, and the have the vehicle serviced light comes on. Have taken my van to Auto Zone and had it checked for free, and been told to replace the spark plug that behind the engine against the fire wall. That was done, but the service light still stays on.

The door ajar light comes on and specifies that the rear door is still open, and I have re-closed, slammed the door, and that doesn't help. Re-closed all the doors, and nothing seems to work to turn the light off. The very next day, I get in the vehicle and the light is off. The vehicle was my late brother's, who passed away in 10/18/09, and I sometimes think it's him warning me, but since that year I inherited the van.

Another problem is the passenger's seatbelt. Someone was riding with me, and the seat belt got taut across his neck and shoulder; we pulled over to the shoulder of the road, and I pulled and he helped to no avail. I finally released the belt by pressing the release button. Has anybody had this scary problem?

The last thing I had problems with are the tail lights; they just stop working. Had all the fuses and relays checked by a fuse and relay tester. All were in good working order, and didn't need to be replaced, but the lights didn't work. Backup lights, stop lights, turn signal lights and the emergency flashers worked, but the tails didn't work. They are now; must be a bad connection somewhere in the vehicle.

General Comments:

I like the vehicle; very comfortable and warm. I don't have a small family, so I don't have the rear seats in the van.

I use it more to carry stuff from garage sales and grocery store. I ride my motorcycle to work, since I drive 78 miles one way; gas prices!

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

Review Date: 22nd May, 2011

26th May 2011, 09:08

Hi there. Since you are new to the Windstar I suggest you read the reviews and on-topic comments on your specific model.

First I worry about the ABS light and the burnt smell accompanying it: there are two issues and one of them you have to deal with right away:

1. Under the brake master cylinder (on the firewall above the air filter box) sits a pressure switch that turns the cruise control of as you touch the brake. It may leak brake fluid and the fluid runs down the wires into the ABS control module. When it gets wet it causes shorts that can set the module on fire. Check the wire harness on the ABS module. It is under the vehicle near the drivers seat.

2. The ABS control module may have an internal fault. There is a heat sink glued to a circuit board and that board may have broken from the expansion and contraction cycles the heat sink is going through.

If your ABS control has survived problem 1 and then displays problem 2 you can continue using your van without ABS function. Do a Google search and you get more details.

You can find information on the other funky electricals as well. Key words: flickering interior lights, door ajar light.