1997 Ford Windstar LX 3.8 V6 Split Port Induction from North America


Windstars need a serious recall!!!


Chevy has just won over a new customer. We own a 1997 Ford Windstar; it was purchased used, however it has had a complete overhaul and service before being put on the road. Rings replaced, head gasket replaced, transmission rebuild, COMPLETE new brake system put in, new fuel lines, all new fluids and filters; you name it.

Now the lovely jewel has decided to continually chime (sort of funny that our old Taurus, also made by Ford, did the same thing) telling you the door is ajar. The funny thing is the key isn't even anywhere near the ignition.

Brake fluid just evaporates; apparently for a bit the ABS or brake light would come on, indicating the fluid was low. Nope, I can't put it on the road because it just will not hold fluid, and I may not be able to stop.

The front end has also started making this clunk and hard jerking when putting it into gear or putting it in Park. I'm sort of wondering if the torque converter isn't starting to go out already. Now here's the real kicker; Ford is the one who did all the rebuilds and service to it... never again.

General Comments:

Van is very comfortable, but too unreliable to be put on the road.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 6th June, 2010

6th Jun 2010, 20:02

I have a '98 Windstar with the 3.0 engine and it has been VERY solid.. the 3.0 Vulcan engine has none of the head gasket issues and the tranny is solid, just got to give it time to shift and not force it thru the gears. I think the much more powerful 3.8 is too much for this tranny to handle.

Had my van since 30k; now at 115k the front end is starting to self-destruct (most minivans have front-end issues in my experience).

Mine also clunks, it is NOT the torque converter on mine, it's bad tranny mounts and a bad motor mount as well.

1997 Ford Windstar GL I think 3.8 V6 from North America


A good family car for travel


My steering pump (cause by bad cap) at 114,000 miles.

Tie rods at 114,000 miles (cause unknown).

Tires (replaced for travel) at 114,000.

Regular maintenance (full tune up before move) at 114,000 miles.

My passenger side window gears are going bad.

Power mirrors don't and have never worked

Rear wiper motor is shot.

Rear A/C - Air don't work (could never figure out why the rear heat fan works fine)

My power lock makes loud grinding noise when unlocked.

Interior lights (map lights) work only when manually turned on, not when the doors are opened.

Ignition sticks and is hard to turn.

Van dies or shakes when stopped at a light or stop signs (have never figured out why).

General Comments:

For a Ford I like it. I traveled from Kansas to Louisville Kentucky (700 Miles) and almost froze to death from the A/C (had my mother with me). Never had any problem on the way there; it drove great, maybe even too great considering I caught myself going 85MPH without trying LOL (lead foot).

When I did make it my brakes did needed replacing, but believe that it had a lot to do with long travel, I don't know.

Recently for reasons unknown it's been having a problem when at a stop it dies or shakes bad.

I did have a little problem with transmission sticking, but bought that expensive transmission treatment and haven't had a problem in months.

It's a great van, and as long as you keep it in good maintenance, it's a good traveling companion.

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

Review Date: 18th September, 2008

1997 Ford Windstar GL 3.8 from North America


Honda & Toyota rule!


I can't complain about this 1997 Windstar. I have 230,00 miles on it and the only things I've had done to it is a set of wheel bearings, struts, and shocks and one alternator. However I did buy a 1998 Windstar with 84,000 miles on it and have put an additional 40,000 miles on it and have had the exhaust manifold gasket replaced and the transmission has slipped twice on me at stop signs. The electronic mirrors don't work, door ajar lights sometimes stay on.

General Comments:

My wife and l looked at the Ford Freestar, but have to ask ourselves is it worth the risk of buying another Ford and I think Ford discontinued it after only two years!!! We also own a 2006 Honda Odyssey and love it.

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

Review Date: 22nd September, 2007

24th Sep 2007, 21:00

This "review" is actually parts of what should be three separate reviews along the lines of: 1) our 1997 Ford Windstar has been great!; 2) our 1998 Ford Windstar has been pretty good for a used car, except for a couple of problems; 3) we think our 2006 Honda Odyssey is wonderful.

I can't help but wonder how you'll feel when the Odyssey's transmission starts going. Will you judge it by the same standard as the Ford and say "this Honda is junk" or will you still claim that it's superior because it's a Honda, even though you paid a lot more for the Honda name, even though it still will have a bad transmission?

25th Sep 2007, 16:29

In response of 21:00

Good point. A friend of mine just had his Honda Odysee transmission replaced. Honda warranty, but they still charged him $800.00 in labor. His enthusiasm for Honda took a hit right there. He said it's a common problem for the model year he owns.

Statistics tell the Honda is still the better vehicle, but is it $6000.00 better? In my opinion: no.