2000 Ford Windstar LX 3.8 from North America
Great overall design, but unreliable
- Intake manifold gasket problem, at 77000 miles. We just came out from the dealer, no warranty, and the check engine light turned on. After several months of research in different repair shops and several hundred dollars, we found that the intake manifold gasket had a design flaw and would produce this problem.
- Water hose at 80000 miles. Some coolant hose broke and the car run out of water. It did not overheat because we found the problem right on time.
- Steering pump broke at 85000 miles. We replaced that and then the car was problem-free.
- Steering pump broke again, at 103000 miles. Repaired.
- Transmission broke at 112000 miles. The repair cost was $2500.
- Power steering problem at 112000 miles. Pump seems to be OK, so there may be something else...
- Computer died at 113000 miles. For the first time since we bought it 3 years ago, the car just stopped and did not start anymore. We took it to a repair shop. They could not repair it, so we took it to another repair shop. They said that the key was not working because of the passive anti theft system (PATS), so we should buy and program another one. We did not believe and took it to the dealer. They said that it was not the key, but the computer. They ordered the piece that would take a week to arrive, and suddenly the dealership went out of business. We paid for the diagnosis and took the car to another dealership, paying new diagnosis and waiting 2 more weeks for the part to come. After 3 weeks, we are about to pick the car up, hopefully to take it home, clean it, take pictures and sell it ASAP.
We love the design, the power, the room. It is great for trips. Feels really comfortable, powerful, easy to drive.
Although not fuel efficient (around 20mpg on freeway), it is reasonable for such a big car.
However, we think it is unreliable, too much electronics that most repair shops cannot understand, so it takes several hours to find the problem.
The engine is fantastic, but transmission is easy to break, power steering system is noisy and not reliable.
Maintenance is expensive in terms of money and time.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 8th August, 2006