26th Apr 2008, 18:39
I have a 1998 Windstar GL, 3.8L engine... My transmission blew out while crossing the George Washington Bridge... finally able to get into breakdown on Cross Bronx Expressway! That's a story by itself...anyway, I'm with all of you Windstar owners with Transmission problems... had it replaced at 83K...now doing fine at 95K, Except for the door ajar light, and interior light that won't go out (I usually remove the 15amp fuse each evening when parking vehicle for the night), and the 'ding, ding' ding' that won't go off until I reach 15 MPH?
Oh well...I'm actually looking for any advice on best method and tools to access Spark Plugs by anybody who knows much appreciated...
13th May 2008, 10:42
I have a '98 Windstar and have every single problem everyone else mentioned also! Does any have a problem with the compressor in the rear end (load stabilizer) going out? Second time in 6 months this has happened. I do not want to spend any more money then I have to on this one again. Has anyone replaced this themselves? Thanks!!!
7th Jun 2008, 09:09
Oil pressure light on my 1998 Windstar started to flicker when I was driving. Brought the car in to change the oil pressure switch, but it still flickers or stays on when I drive, or the engine gets hot after putting a new switch in.
Mechanic said the pressure was fluctuating when he tested it, but could not narrow down the problem of the low pressure.. any suggestions?
23rd Jun 2008, 11:01
Yes, I realize this van is now 10 years old, and we cannot expect perfection. But as a rule I've managed to keep my transportation costs low by driving older cars and doing my own repairs. GM, Volkswagen, Mercedes... they have their problems, but a quasi-handy person can keep on-top of them.
My 1998 Windstar is the only exception.
I've had all of the same problems you list above. Most notably, I had the tranny rebuilt 6 months (12,000 miles) ago, and blew it a second time this week.
I wish my front coils would break also so I could have them replaced under the recall; ford says they need to be completely broken, not just weak. And if I remember correctly, that recall is set to expire soon anyway.
I heard that Ford has stopped manufacturing minivans. That's probably a good thing for everyone concerned.
27th Jun 2008, 23:23
We have a 1998 Ford Windstar which we bought used in 2005. It has been pretty reliable over these few years, although as I read others' comments, I am finding that the little 'nuisances' we've experienced are common with other Windstar owners. The door ajar light does not go off, and my husband finally pulled the interior bulbs since they wouldn't go off. He lubed all the door gadgets, but to no avail. Our sliding door's lock will only operate by pulling or pushing really hard on the actual lock... lubing doesn't help.
I Googled this website looking for help with a front-end shimmy that started recently. It occurs when braking at speeds from 35 mph and up. We are trying to baby the van until we can replace it. We replaced the brakes - rotors, pads, etc one year ago. Could they be bad already?
Our daily driving is only about 25 miles per day, and 20 of that is highway. Thanks for your comments.
30th Jun 2008, 09:55
Oil pressure fluctuates? I would put some Lucas Oil Stabilizer in. That stuff is high viscosity and should raise the pressure. Make sure you have a good quality oil filter. The oil pump could be bad as well.
21st Jul 2008, 10:50
I have a 98 Windstar with the 3.0 liter engine. I paid $6500.00 for it in 2002. It had 84000 miles and now has 209,000 miles.
It has had every problem listed by others here with the exception of the transmission trouble.
I try to buy high mileage cars and drive them as long as they will go, and I do my own repairs. However I will soon be 65 and it is not as much fun as it used to be.
I usually change transmission fluid at 200,000 miles unless there is a good reason to do it sooner, such as burnt smell etc. This has worked well for me until this vehicle.
I stopped at local auto parts store and asked them for transmission fluid for this car and they gave me what their books called for. However it was the wrong fluid and it blew out the seals and shifted poorly. Turns out that Ford switched fluid specs very very early in 98 production. Tip: Fluid specs are printed right on the dip stick.
After discovering the problem, I cut the return line and flushed the tranny with correct fluid, which also flushed torque converter. I have not had a single transmission problem for 108,000 miles since I put in correct fluid.
28th Aug 2008, 23:13
I have a '98 Windstar with 143k on it. I bought it new in 1997 via Ford A plan (worked in Detroit then). I paid $400 extra new for a towing package (never towed anything with it yet) but wanted oil and transmission coolers and also got extra big radiator and alternator. Have had very few problems, except for wear (brake pads, front ball joints, etc.) from a lot of driving, and buying new tires every 50k or so. I preemptively changed spark plugs at 50k (platinum plugs) and cables. I flushed the transmission and put in new fluid at about 100k (would do it again if it got brownish). What has been going on for the last 20k or so, is the oil light flickers; not when it is a cold engine, but only when warmed up and stopped at a signal light. When driving at any speed the light is never on. This also coincides with decreased rpm. Thus, I don't know if lower rpm or decreased oil viscosity (from increased temp.) is the cause. I did add the viscosity enhancer mentioned in an earlier post. It stopped what one mechanic had characterized as main engine bearing wear that caused a thumping sound., but it has gone now. I am tempted to take out thermostat in cooling system to see if it is temp. Are there any suggestions on what to do? Conservatively, I would just drive it until it drops. If someone can suggest what I can do preemptively to address oil light, then I will have a car that I can probably putter around in for another 10 years.
Thank you in advance.
3rd Sep 2008, 17:11
You already do what I would suggest: use Lucas Oil Stabilizer to raise the viscosity of your oil and keep puttering around.
8th Nov 2008, 13:23
We bought our 1998 Ford Windstar in December of 1997.
The first 6 months of the van was constant trip to the dealer. The first problem did not get diagnosed correctly and finally they replaced the throttle body.
Then we had the transmission repaired the first time by Ford dealer, because it was still under warranty.
The transmission went out again and we had AAMCO rebuilt. We bought a lifetime warranty and it has been rebuilt 3 more times. We are due to come back soon. However each time we came back, AAMCO try not to work on it giving us the run around. The original warranty was from an AAMCO shop in Maryland. They always have to call them before they continue with the repair. We have all original paperwork but we always have to be treated this way. They are always very excited to get you signed up for this lifetime warranty, but when you see you come back they always dread it, and if they can refuse to work on your vehicle they would... They work on it, but it is the last one they worked on. You end up out of your vehicle for more than a week at a time if you are lucky.
This warranty goes for tire rotation and balance and alignment. Goodyear also try their way out of the warranty with the fine print in the back of their contract.
We also have the famous light and ding ding ding effect. We took it to the dealers many times with no solution. They even had us to take off our alarm to narrow down the electrical problems. We took it to an special electric shop who ran away with $80 diagnostic fee plus the cost of a brand new battery. Still to no avail the problem persisted. Now it has become part of our family's ride routine. The lights and the sound staying on until you pass 15 mph.
The air conditioning in the back stopped working. It gives off hot air instead of cool air. We just stopped using it.
Besides the frequent trips to the dealer, our family had lots of good trips with the van. We had taken it crosscountry from California to Florida twice, from California to Maryland 2X, up and down 95 North and South several summers. It even helped us move my oldest daughter to college. Now we are back in California with 241,000 miles. We have not retired the van, but took care of most of the repairs ourselves utilizing the local military auto hobby shop. We were diligent with all maintenance, but still were plagued with all the same problems like everyone else. We will continue to use it for as long as we can.