1999 Ford Windstar SEL 3.8L from North America
Roomy, but very costly repair
The engine indicator came on at 45,000 miles. The Ford service said that it needed a new head gasket.
The power steering was leaking and had a crack at 50,000 miles.
The transmission blew at 50,000 miles, too.
The head gasket was needed to be replaced. The Ford service replaced a different, smaller and silver metal head gasket cover. He said that it improves the engine performance. It used to be black. The silver part isn't pretty.
When our van almost reached at 50,000 miles, the power steering started to go bad like scraping really bad. The Ford service said that the entire power steering rack assembly will have to be replaced at $800. I decided to find a cheaper repair shop and it costs $300 less, but it had to place an order. It will take 2 days to have it delivered.
The man said that it won't hurt as long as I was being careful.
Then, I was about to leave the repair shop to go home. About a mile later, after the traffic light turned green, I gave a little gas to start driving. All of sudden, there was a loud bang and my van wouldn't drive at all, but the engine was still running in the middle of intersection. I had a help from my friend to push the van to the parking lot. Then, I tried to use the reverse and it worked, but the drive won't work. I had to get it towed to Ford service. He found the problem. The gear and round shield piece (I do not know what to call) snapped off into 2 pieces. This caused other gears to go bad, too. I asked him why it happened. He did not know why and he won't do anything like call Ford headquarter. He said that it is normal if it is stop and go traffic in city. But the transmission should last until 100,000 miles. That means the Ford transmission's lifespan is 50,000 miles.
Also, I called Ford headquarter and she told me that my warranty (3 years / 36,000 miles) was expired. If I had 5 year / 60,000 mile warranty, it will get expired anyway. But she said that there is 7 years / 100,000 mile warranty. When did it come out? I don't think it had back in 1999? Anyway, she said that she can't do anything about it. What should I go?
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 16th August, 2004