1999 Ford Windstar LX 3.8 from North America


If kept up a great van


The only things that have gone wrong on this van has been the recall items. The windshield cover and a bent brake disc. The rear blower motor sometimes will blow for a second when it is started. My engine light came on and it went out when I replaced the air conditioner air filter. I was told to replace the ERG valve, but that was not it. It also gets pretty good mileage for as heavy as it is. Just the back seat weighs 107 pounds!

General Comments:

This van has been a workhorse. We take very good care of our cars and that seems to be the key to keeping it in good running shape. I had a Nissan Maxima and you hear that they do not break down. My Maxima had many transmission problems, mainly slipping and when at a stop light, the engine would just rev and then it would catch.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th July, 2003

1999 Ford Windstar LX 3.8 liter V6 from North America


A lousy, unreliable vehicle


Check engine light never goes out -- ever!

Transmission died at 67,000 miles.

General Comments:

An unreliable, lousy vehicle.

Get the extended warranty; at least that way you 'may' get your expensive repairs covered.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 18th June, 2003

1999 Ford Windstar SE 3.8L from North America


The power train on this car is a disaster


Rear wiper recall.

Defective side door switch.

Wiring recall.

Exhaust nut recall.

Check engine light reset.

Defective intake manifold.

Locked up transmission (While in dealer's possession.)

General Comments:

We just sent the last payment on our 1999 Ford Windstar to Ford Motor Credit last week. In California a smog test is required in order to license a car when it turns four years old. To my complete surprise, our car failed its first smog test with less than 33,000 miles showing on the odometer. Other than the three recalls that were performed, routine oil changes and a defective side door switch I repaired myself, we have never had any indications of problems. A nuisance check engine light came on but was reset once by the dealer. It came on about a month ago, but I thought I would have it checked at the next service occasion. As it turned out, the light was on because the plastic intake manifold on the 3.8 L engine was cracked.

We took it to the local dealer for repair and was shocked by the $1300.00 repair estimate. What could we do? It had to be fixed in order to get the smog certificate and license renewal. I ordered the repair which was expected to be completed the next day. The following day I received a call from the dealership's service department. I was told that a problem came up with the car. When the technician did a test drive after replacing the manifold, the transmission failed. The service representative although apologetic, said that Ford would offer us a $1200.00 discount on a $2600.00 transmission replacement.

Whoa!!! We have never experienced any indication of transmission problems. Now, while the car is in the service shop it suddenly experiences a complete transmission failure with less than 33,000 miles on it. Normally a car has 36,000 miles or more on it by the end of the 36 month warranty. We drive carefully and conservatively so in four years, we have yet to reach that milestone.

Even with Ford's "generous" offer of a $1200.00 discount on the transmission replacement, it seems that what should have been a $65.00 smog check has exploded to about $2700.00. I have purchased three new Ford vehicles over the past six years. I am returning to the imports and I would strongly recommend any reader of this article to do the same. My recent research has pointed to excessive numbers of head gasket, manifold and transmission failures in the Windstar vehicle line. Watch out for this lemon!!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 1st May, 2003

5th Jun 2003, 08:12

Why was cost an issue on a car that wasn't out of warranty yet? Certainly the transmission is covered under the original warranty!

16th Jan 2004, 07:09

Four years is way past 36 months, last time I calculated it. He was out of warranty because of time, not mileage.

14th Jun 2004, 19:59

I also have a Ford Windstar (1999) I truly think I have made a major mistake in purchasing this van. From Grinding engine noise to a transmission that will not go into 1st gear after a stop when at operating temperature (happens every 150 to 250 miles). Never again will I buy this name plate.