My mistake, I meant to have written 3.8L, but was thinking about my Cherokee (another story). I respectfully disagree with your love of Hondas... Great that you have yet to have a problem, but when you do, the Windstar will look cheap by comparison... Just wait until the water splashes your feet from the rust holes underneath your CR-V... One out of every 10k vehicles does not make the brand or the model a "lemon"... Honda and Toyota make as much garbage as anyone else... Believe me you'll see.
"Just wait until the water splashes your feet from the rust holes underneath your CR-V..."
Your pretty lucky that won't happen in your Windstar, because the sub-frame will rust out before the body gets a chance. That's another very common problem on the Ford Windstar. Check out the other reviews of the Windstar on this site if you don't believe me.
$1800 for a multifunction switch? That can't be. They must have suggested to replace the whole wiring loom.
If they really wanted $1800 for the MF switch replacement, then you know they ripped you off with some of the previous repairs.
To comment 12:21.
Well it's true. I was quoted $1800 for the replacement of a multi-function switch. It was a rip off! And I'm sure I was ripped off many times before that.
That's why I am now driving a much safer and more reliable CR-V that came with a free lifetime warranty. When I told the Honda dealer that I was really looking for a car with an automatic starter, they told me that they would put it into the CR-V I currently own FREE OF CHARGE. That was originally over $600 to put in, completely free.
And I'll admit, I have had a few issues with my CR-V. The weatherstripping on the left-rear door started to come loose. I brought it into the dealer, and they fixed it in 5 minutes and didn't charge me a thing. Told me that they were sorry that this had happened and that if it happened again they would gladly replace the weatherstripping again free of charge.
I had the interior overhead light bulb blow. Brought it in and they replaced it in about 2 minutes free of charge.
Had one headlight blow. Once again, 2 minutes and free of charge. These were all small things, however, they were taken care of immediately.
I was treated extremely poorly by all 3 of the Ford dealerships I tried. My local Honda dealership where I traded in my Windstar and bought my CR-V has ALWAYS been extremely pleasant to deal with, I have absolutely no complaints about them. Prompt service and courteous service crew keeps me coming back to them. I've recommended them to many people, and when it comes time to buy a new car again (if this CR-V ever dies, heck if it does that what the lifetime warranty is for!) I will definitely buy from them again.
I've had plenty of Hondas back in the day, and found them to have extremely cheap interiors, bodies that the life of should have been measured in months, and were built for the average sized Japanese consumer... I have no love of Japanese cars; they are no better or worse than North American cars (save for Chryslers, which are junk).
Warning! Warning! Warning!
Today the sub frame broke while I was driving at 65 MPH. Who can explain to me why a vehicle (2003) could become as dangerous as this?
After getting an estimate of $2000 to repair the Windstar, I learned that the National Highway Safety Board has a multitude of complaints of the sub-frame rusting out and breaking on the passenger side and have determined this to be a dangerous defect.
Have you driven a Ford lately? Be warned you might be taking your life in your hands if you drive a 1999 to 2003 Windstar.
Another Windstar frame rot story. Luckily, we happened to notice the rot when changing brake pads, not on the road. The passenger side rear subframe mounting pad is rotted all the way through, except for 1/4 inch of steel left, one more trip may have done it! I cannot believe there is not a recall for this, my son has received three recalls concerning rear axle deterioration, and no one noticed the rot in the front???
Windstar = Lemon, it's that simple.
Read any used minivan guide or minivan review, and the Ford Windstar has always been the lowest rated minivan in all categories other than safety. The Aerostar was a decent van from Ford, but the Windstar has bad transmission AND Engine problems at low mileage. I've heard from my mechanic that they have a lifespan of less than 8 years on average. In my personal experience buying/selling fleet minivans and from mechanic advice, I've compiled a list of minivans to avoid, ones that are so-so, and ones that I recommend.
If you're shopping for a minivan, I recommend :
Dodge Caravan / Voyager : best budget value, you can buy them for cheap and they are reliable. Dodge has always been the leader of minivans and they make nice ones. Chrsyler Town and Country is also the best luxury minivan. Just get one with a good transmission.
Chevy Astro / GMC Safari:
Can be pricey, but extremely reliable. Commercial grade engine can run for 300k miles or more, lots of power but expensive on gasoline. Can easily tow trailers, boats, very heavy duty van.
Expensive but worth it. Hard to find a used one for a good price, they hold resale value. However, watch out for a very weak transmission. DO NOT tow / haul trailers, or use this for moving, they are not made for that. Very reliable other than transmission.
Pontiac Montana/Chevy Venture :
Excellent people hauler van. Sits 8 comfortably and good for long trips. Fairly reliable if well maintained. Excellent gas mileage. Once again, light duty van, not meant for towing, etc.
Good gas mileage, average reliability. Fun to drive, very sporty. The 4x4 and AWD versions are popular and excellent for winter conditions. Small interior space compared to others. Can be bought at a good price too.
Half Decent (hit or miss) minivans:
Nissan Quest / Mercury Villager:
A collaboration of Ford and Nissan. Good engine, transmission, drives well, decent on fuel.
Comfortable. The only problem is a major one, a ton of of electrical gremlins and just general electric problems.
Good workhorse van with lots of room inside. Reliable 4.0 liter engine is the best one for this van. Strong van, but prone to rust, cheap suspension, fuel injection issues. Only a good buy if it has been very well maintained.
Very reliable and good on fuel. Prone to problems just like any other vehicle, but the engine isn't one. Parts/repairs are expensive. A good van but very expensive to buy, people want crazy amounts for these even in very bad condition. A well maintained one is worth a lot.
Nice styling,good options, stellar fuel economy and excellent reliability. However they are difficult to locate at a good price in good condition. the 1990's Previas are of much better quality than the 2000's ones, Toyota started to cut more corners in quality then, especially in the engines and build quality. Avoid post 2000 Previas.
BAD MINIVANS - AVOID AT ALL COSTS:
Lemon. Plain and simple. Transmission and head gasket problems. Head gaskets go again even after you fix them. Plagued with problems and the lowest rated minivan. The 1990's Windstar was the worst, but the 2000's one is still pretty bad too. Very low lifespan.
Hyundai, KIA - any minivans
Don't BUY ONE! Awful minivans, unsafe for anyone especially a family! Very bad, cheap mechanics, low reliability, weak transmissions. Don't put your children's life at risk please!
Hope this helps someone out!
I wrote the original review, and am absolutely sticking to it... I have now surpassed the 200,000 mile mark and she's still going strong!! I live in Winnipeg Canada, where it's cold as heck, and the roads are salted and sanded all winter, and the Windstar passed the "recall" inspection no problems... No axle problems or sub frame issues to be found.
Like I said above, reviews (both good and bad) are ONE persons opinion only. I cannot agree with people slagging off on the Windstar... Keep over paying for your Hondas and Toyotas... you're keeping the Japanese very very, happy...
Original poster here ---> Now at 207000 miles, and the beast is still going strong. -35 degrees here for the last week and half, and the Windstar started everyday without being plugged in or parked inside. To the poster above who advises readers what vans to buy... Caravans? Montanas? Seriously, you're joking right?
PS Toyota just recalled another 1.7 million vehicles worldwide today... hmm... Keep buying Japanese, they've gotten as complacent as the big three did a few years ago...
"Like I said above, reviews (both good and bad) are ONE persons opinion only."
... but if many have the same issues, it is reflecting on that vehicle of that year. Sometimes it leads to safety recalls.
"I cannot agree with people slagging off on the Windstar..."
...neither do I, because they forget it is about that vehicle of that year.
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