1998 Ford Windstar GL 6 cylinder from North America


Good job, Ford, love your Windstar!!


I have went through an alternator and a battery and tires, that's it. This van has been easy on my pocket book.

General Comments:

I'm looking to purchase another Windstar that's newer and so we are shopping around, we now have 170 thousand miles on this one and it still is going strong.

We have enjoyed the rear a/c and the smooth ride, the captain seats, everything has been good so far.

Another thing, we have used this van to haul 2x4's home, pcs of paneling, even a mini bike or two. We can take the back seat out and use that space for just about anything... and the gas mileage is great.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th April, 2008

1998 Ford Windstar GL 3.8L from North America


Overall has been a pretty reasonable vehicle


Non-stop noisy power steering - apparently a trait of Fords. The dealership said there was pretty much nothing I could do, but live with it. I've had it reduced somewhat by flushing out the old fluid and installing synthetic fluid that meets the Motorcraft specification. A caution - watch out for shops that try and install generic power steering fluid rather than something that meets the specification Ford specifies.

Power steering hose blew.

Starter developed an intermittent 'dead spot' that was maddeningly hard to diagnose.

Plastic gas filler neck broke due to some overzealous pump jockey - one of the few times I haven't pumped myself (there's a lesson there). You know, plastic gets brittle in the cold, this is Canada, you figure it out - dumb, Dumb, DUMB idea for Ford to save a few pennies or ounces and make this out of plastic.

Evaporative emissions valve plugged up with dirt - had to be replaced. Dealer said it was from driving on gravel roads - funny, there was no warning when I bought it about staying off gravel.

Front spring broke - left me stranded in the middle of nowhere, Saskatchewan.

Shift position sensor on transmission replaced - fixed erratic shifting problem others have fixed by replacing their transmissions at a cost many multiples of what I paid. It took a few hours of Web surfing to find the solution, but saved a lot of $$.

Original equipment Michelins were absolutely brutal when the temperature dropped below freezing - the van was sliding around when others were tracking around curves.

EGR control valve (not sure what it's actually called - not the part that is in contact with the exhaust, but one in the engine compartment that controls things. It has some electronics in it that apparently got tired with age, baked in the heat, or both.

Numerous trips to dealer for Check Engine Light caused me to go out and buy my own OBDII reader - and it has paid for itself over and over.

General Comments:

In spite of the various problems, it's actually been a pretty good vehicle overall.

I have read a lot about the improvements Ford has made, and how some of the current vehicles are actually pretty good (according to J.D. Power, etc.). I'm interested in the new Fords they're making, but, quite frankly, the dealer network spooks me. Every time I go to the dealer's service department I feel they've more interested in the contents of my wallet than in me or my vehicle.

As an example, we also have a Nissan Maxima. The Nissan dealer is still looking out for his business, but at least they do things like waiving the diagnostic computer charge if they do the work it calls for. On the other hand, whether the bill at the Ford dealer is $50, $500 or more, I still end up paying for the computer charge. I just feel they keep poking me in the eye every time they hook up to the computer and charge me for something that costs them nothing to run.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 10th March, 2008

24th Mar 2008, 16:51

"I still end up paying for the computer charge. I just feel they keep poking me in the eye every time they hook up to the computer and charge me for something that costs them nothing to run."

Look for an auto parts store that will run the diagnostics for free, or purchase a scanner to do it yourself. Then you have a way to discuss the charge...