1998 Ford Windstar LX 3.8 from North America


A huge pile of junk!


Speed censor on the transmission replaced two days after purchase. Dealer covered the cost.

O2 censor on transmission replaced two days later. Dealer covered the cost.

Module switch on transmission replaced 200 miles later. Dealer covered the cost.

Speed cemsor replaced again 100 miles later. Dealer covered the cost.

General Comments:

This van is heavy and a gas hog!

The transmission slipped and jerked even after all the repairs. The dealer was a friend and allowed me to trade the van in on a different make and model.

The interior lights would come on at any time they felt like it.

However, the best part of this vehicle is the crash rating. (*****)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 15th April, 2004

1998 Ford Windstar GL 3.8L from North America


Good safe minivan, yet has some reliability issues


ABS light came on and turned out to be a broken sensor, that was a pretty penny. It had actually started engaging the ABS every time I braked. If you get the ABS light take it in ASAP.

The left rear window ceased to work as well, using a repair manual I discovered that all the motors have internal circuit breakers so as not to blow out the entire system. I unhooked the window from the motor actuated it at the switch and it worked again and I have not had the problem since. It took about 15min to complete. Unfortunately the door motors are much more difficult.

The front passenger power window motor went out and I have yet to replace it.

General Comments:

I bought this used for about $4,000 less than a Honda Odyssey which had a comparable safety rating. I am still way ahead even with some extra repairs. I bought it from a rental agency which you can generally count on performing all the scheduled maintenance, perhaps that is the key to keeping this model in good shape. It still runs great!

I have talked to another Windstar owner who has been able to negotiate lower repair bills or even free repairs after the regular warranty expired under an "implied warranty". The implied warranty generally is only applicable to the original owner. Read up on it if you think you can use it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th April, 2004

1998 Ford Windstar GL 3.8 from North America


A very bad lemon


Most recent problem was a blown automatic transmission.

First two years and replaced under warranty: blown fuel pump, failed throttle body sensor, failed catalytic converter, worn out tie rod ends, leaking steering rack, inoperative cruise control.

Other problems never fixed: bad timer control on interior lights, peeling luggage rack paint.

General Comments:

Will never buy another Ford.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 11th April, 2004

1998 Ford Windstar GL 3.0 from North America


Good comfort, bad front end, low consumer confidence


Tie Rods have needed replacement four times.

Steering rack expired immediately after the warranty. The front end on this vehicle is very poorly engineered for the size and weight. A friend told me its really just a Taurus front end, but the Ford engineers didn't upgrade it regardless of how heavy the Windstar is.

I have the same interior light problem as everyone else. This is really a case of poor door latch design. It seems as though this is a failure designed into the vehicle with the intent of owners coughing up the service fee for lubrication of the door handles.

General Comments:

I bought this van for two reasons, the crash rating and the zero percent financing. On both counts the vehicle has performed well. My wife was rear-ended by a kid driving a Neon. His car was badly damaged and the Windstar had some scratches on the bumper. The fact that Ford wanted $500 to repaint the bumper speaks a lot to their corporate shortcomings, but not to the quality of the vehicle.

The financing was great, but in the end the vehicle was worthless for trade in once the payments were done. Even Ford wouldn't give me a decent trade in value. They didn't want their own crap back.

Overall the only value in this vehicle is keeping it for its full lifetime and praying that repairs like the notorious transmission and steering failures don't nail you. I've been lucky so far, but I am very nervous about the future of my van.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 22nd March, 2004