20th Oct 2005, 12:25

10/20/2005 My 1998 Ford Windstar has transmission problems. It slips in and out of overdrive all the time. I keep driving it. It doesn't use any oil at all. It has 120,000 miles on it. The tie rod ends are worn, but this is from age. My check engine light stays on all the time, but I have gotten use to it. The a/c does not work in the back and sometimes comes out the top vents or the floor vents. Other than that it has been a good van. ljimmy43@hotmail.com.

5th Sep 2006, 10:04

We purchased a 1998 Windstar in March of 2000 ($14K US). It had almost 32K miles at that time. It has the 3.0 engine, which the dealer at the time told us was a blessing. Based on everything I have read since then, he was right.

We had the fuel pump replaced at around 60K miles ($500 US), the alternator at 65K ($300 US), and the front coil springs (replaced for free under a recall). I replaced the IAC valve myself at around 75K miles ($50 US), and have done the brakes myself twice ($200 US total).

Other than that, we have had no issues. I only found this site because I was looking for instructions to change the transmission fluid (I have never had it done : (). We now have 110K miles on it, get about 26 MPG highway and 20 MPG city. The engine/transmission surges ever so slightly about twice per week for the last two to three months. I fear we *may* have a transmission problem coming, but as noted, I haven't changed the fluid, so I accept blame if we do.

I do most of the maintenance myself. We have four children (three when we bought it), and have in general been very happy with it for the last six and a half years.

15th Nov 2006, 12:34

I have a 1998 Ford Windstar 3.8L V 6. It has 165,459 miles on it.

Repairs I have Done on it (Myself)

-Rebuilt transmission @ 117,200

-Replaced VSS about 1 month ago.

-Door ajar light problem

-A lot more I just can't remember.


-Speed sensor stopped working

-transmission slipping

- door ajar light not functioning

-blow by oil ending up in air filter.

Right now the vehicle is running problem free. I will gladly help anyone. You can email me at aleem1986@gmail.com.

22nd Aug 2007, 14:36

I purchased a used 1998 Windstar from the dealer in March 2002. The worst major purchase of my life. All the comments I have read, i.e. Trans, interior lights/bells, etc... I have had the same problems. After a $280.00 service call at the dealer, about three days, later the tranny went. The bells and whistles started the night I drove off the lot and have been ringing since. Was told by the dealer it was a post alarm problem. The problem: the car does not have an alarm. I will ride this vehicle until it goes down and then I will never purchase another Ford. The dealer and the folks in Dearborn are of no help and lack concern when complaints are lodged against their cars. Terrible. Terrible, vehicle.

7th Jan 2008, 12:05

To the owner with the "door ajar" light that stays lit. I had this problem with my F-250. The switch is likely in the latch mechanism. The dealer told me to spray a bit of WD-40 in the door latch (the latch in on or in the door). Then open and close the latch (or the whole door) until the switch is loosened up. This fix worked for me. The chime went off and the lights went out after I did this. Hope this helps for you!

26th Jan 2008, 16:18

It's a 10-year-old car with 160,000 miles. They don't stay new forever, you know.

29th Jan 2008, 22:47

I have a 1998 Ford Windstar 3.8 V6, and have experienced some of the problems mentioned from the other comments. In reference to the door ajar lights and sounds etc. --- I did spray some WD40 and the problem did go away.

This vehicle is costly and most mechanics do not want to deal with it. It seems the transmission with this vehicle is a serious problem.

The cost for one I do not know. I do not have any further comments except that my transmission went after I had a tune up, starter and flywheel replaced. I have notified the mechanic to see what the problem was. I will let those who care for the Windstar know.

Life is a learning process. Thank you very much.

31st Jan 2008, 08:09


I had a similar bucking/ rough idle problem with a high mileage Ford Aerostar. It was electrical. I had the spark plugs, ignition wires and coil pack replaced. Then it ran smooth again. You might also have carbon build up and /or fuel injector problems. Run some Lucas Oil Fuel Treatment for a few tank fills and see if it improves. My current Windstar always runs smoother with it.

Good luck.

4th Feb 2008, 17:07

I have a 98 Windstar... I bought it in 2001 with 36,000 miles on it.

Let's see -- tranny went out on it 3 weeks ago at

129, 000 miles.

I am actually surprised that it took that long, considering it always slipped.

Coil spring broke after I bought it -- Ford fixed it due to the recall.

After that -- the ABS light was on -- and stayed on.

Door Ajar light was on -- sprayed all the latches... still stayed on. Ended up pulling all the bulbs.

Check Engine (or service engine) light came on -- stayed on.

My BIGGEST complaint about Ford Windstars -- crappy transmissions and the stupid sensor lights!

16th Mar 2008, 20:23

I have a 98 Ford Windstar with 170,000 miles. My power steering pump just died at that has been the first major problem. We towed a 4,000lb boat for about 5 years with out a problem so occasionally the transmission slips but its never a real problem. It has had some problems but I have probably only spent about $1,000 in repairs since I bought it including oil changes and brakes.

19th Mar 2008, 12:25

Hello Windstar owners.

I stumbled on this website by mistake by asking answers.com about the dinging and door lock power shortage in my Windstar. We have experienced all of the above Windstar phenomenons.

California is very strict on smogging your car, and when you have the "check engine" light on, it will never pass. Usually the light is due to cracking of the vacuum hoses. Replace them and pull the battery cables off for 5 minutes. This will fix the light in most cases.

I gotta go. On my way to buy WD40 to fix the dinging!

10th Apr 2008, 17:23

Hey all. We retired our 1998 from regular family service in 2006 when we got a Toyota Sienna (nice van), but I kept it as a vehicle to shuttle me to the train station and around town. We had the tranny fail at 90,000 and decided to spend the 2,000 to replace it. 30,000 miles later it is still running pretty well. No other major issues.

For those of you with the check engine light, I failed CA smog a couple of weeks ago and went to my local AUTOZONE, where I checked out (for free) their OBDII meter. I plugged it in under the steering wheel, got the codes and the AUTOZONE staff plugged it into the computer which told me a oxygen sensor had gone bad. I bought 2 sensors for $50 each and installed them in minutes and passed smog like a champ. The diagnostic alone would have cost me $100 at the repair shop. Keep AUTOZONE in mind when you get that light, they can save you big dollars.