1998 Ford Windstar GL from North America - Comments

19th Nov 2002, 19:51

I have a 1998 Windstar. It started stalling on and off last summer (2001). The service engine light has also been on for the last year.

It has been in and out of the shop 6 times, and hooked up to the computer test 3 times. Nobody can figure out what is wrong with it.

Now a new problem.. White smoke coming out of the exhaust that smells like anti-freeze. I am being told maybe the head gasket or the engine block.. I am out of money to have this thing checked for a 7th time, and guess what now, the service engine light went off for 3 days and no white smoke??? I am afraid to drive too far cause I have kids and I am afraid to get stuck somewhere.

I was very happy with my van when I first got it, but now I am nervous about what will be next.

17th Feb 2004, 14:09

My 98 Windstar is now a 2001, 2002 and a 2003. I've replaced at my cost, transmission, engine and power steering in those years respectively.

31st May 2004, 20:15

I have a 98 wind-star. I wish I didn't. I hate this van. the lights stay on even when all of the doors are shut. my battery has died three times now because of it. it's been in the shop every time and they still cannot fix that. the van is blowing white smoke out the tail pipe now, the brakes are awful and one tire locks into place when I go to stop - causing a terrible burning of rubber. I'm so mad. I have not even had it long. I wanted something reliable and I got a money pit. do not buy. big problems!

1st Jun 2004, 20:07

I have a 98 Mercury Sable and I came across this page while looking for problems with my own car.

I noticed that a lot of you have problems with the interior lights staying on even when the doors are closed.

The way to fix this is to buy a can of WD-40 and spray it into the keyhole of the door, and soak inside the latch part on the side of the door when the door is open.

It worked for me - I saw the suggestion from other Ford/Mercury owners on the web - some who had paid HUNDREDS of dollars to get a new sensor only to have it break again a few months later.

Good luck.

26th Jul 2004, 05:30

My dad has a 1998 Ford Wind star that has begun to have transmission problems lately. It will not go from a complete stop sometimes, you have to put it in park, turn off switch, then restart, place in drive again, and then it might move. This also happens in reverse too. This is very dangerous in the middle of the road at a traffic light.

Seems to me that Ford has an issue with these transmissions and should be held accountable for their problems,IE repair costs.

29th Sep 2004, 09:22

We bought a '98 Ford Windstar with 23,000 miles. Luckily we got the extended warranty. At close to 75,000 the power steering pump had to be replaced. It was still under warranty (barely). Without the warranty it would have cost us $2500. Now 50,000 miles later it needs replaced again. Also, the rear power windows have never worked consistently. Now the side sliding door-lock gets stuck and the passenger side window needs a motor replaced.

The Service Engine Soon light comes on all the time, but apparently nothing is wrong.

10th Oct 2004, 15:48

We purchased the Windstar in Jan. 2003 with a "burning smell." In June '03, the dealership found the source of the smell, a leak in the head gasket. They repaired it in July. When I picked up the van, there was a chirping noise which they said was a belt. They replaced the belt. Two days later, when driving the van, it would not shift. They said a sensor was out on the transmission. In Feb. 2004 we drove out of town and transmission fluid leaked everywhere. The repairs were over $1,200. The idler pulley was also replaced for the continuing chirping sound. When we picked up the van, there was a grinding noise. The front tire was rubbing against the fender wall. They had to grind down part of the wall. Days later, there was still a chirping noise. They replaced the belt again. Now, in Oct. 2004, we drove 2 hours out of town. Surprise! The transmission went out. It is slipping badly. We had to leave it parked as is and hitch a ride home. We still owe on this van and every time we try to trade it in, they only want to offer anywhere from $1,800 to $3,000. That's barely enough to pay off the loan. Worst vehicle we have ever owned!

11th Oct 2004, 13:37

I purchased a 1998 Ford Windstar GL, 3.8 V-6. Since day one the vehicle has been an electrical nigthmare. First, all the gauges went bad, it was in th shop for over a month, and they ended up replacing the whole front panel and the computer. Couple of months later, the transmission went bad, one of the relays got wet and it would not shift out of overdrive. Ford ended up installing a new transmission that never shifted right, and would make a lot of noises and vibrated when the engine would re'ved up to 2,500 rpm. Then the Service engine light went on for ever and ever. At the end it would shut the vehicle off, no matter what driving regime you would be engaged. Then all the power items went bad (i.e. windows, power locks, cruise control, etc) Had to change several relays to fix it. Power steering was always marginal, changed both spindles, power steering pump, new front tires, but never worked as advertised. One day while changing the oil, noticed all the ground/shield wires were burnt out, took it to the dealer in Sunrise, FL and was told that they could not find anything wrong, but just in case, they would do a tune up to make sure all was working as advertised.

The transmission went bad too.

To sum up, since 2003, invested over 8 grand just to keep it running from school to home, and to run errands around the neighborhood. Not even 15,000 miles in 2 years. Ended up pushing it to a dealer, where I got 2,000 dollars for it. Guess, who else is driving a Toyota.

I love My new 2005 Toyota Sienna.

14th Feb 2005, 08:08

I just had my 1998 wind star serviced (oil change, transmission flush and cooling system flush) on 2/7/05. It has 62,000 miles on it. I left my hometown to meet my son at Camp LeJuene marine corps base which is a 9-10 hour drive. They came home from a 8 month deployment to Iraq. My Ford dealer assured me I should have NO problems since my wind star was in perfect mechanical order. Guess what? My transmission went out on the 2/10/05 while I was on my trip! I have had NO problems with my transmission before this! I called my dealer from the Ford dealership I went to in Jacksonville, NC. and they basically said "We're sorry, but we can't help you in any way"! Also the girl at Ford customer asst. was very rude and NO help at all. I have also had problems with the "door ajar" light and Ford can't seem to fix it! I am LIVID!!! Not only is this costing me a small fortune it took away precious time with visiting my son! A class action suit sounds good! Contact me!!! robbysmama@yahoo.com.