22nd May 2001, 16:42
At 67,000 miles, it looks like we are having the head gasket problem with our 96 windstar. I don't know who to contact at Ford and would appreciate any suggestion. I am very unhappy. Also, had problems with the service at one of the Ford Dealers. They were extremely rude.
23rd May 2001, 08:31
Add us to the list. Our '96 Windstar is in the shop right now, waiting for a new engine. Exact same problem... coolant leaked into crankcase and fried the bearings. Same story from Ford... warranty wasn't extended. I plan on giving the dealership one chance to reimburse the $4,000 repair cost, and then it's off to small claims court. Does any body have any ideas on how to start a Class Action Law Suit?
14th Jul 2001, 13:01
As a Ford service department employee, I can say everything Ford builds is junk. Remember, your service department didn't build it, buy it, or break it. Ford's word is final as far as extending warranties. We the service department cannot warranty it, it has to go through the manufacturer. Good luck with calling Fords contracted customer assistance call data center.
24th Sep 2001, 16:48
Our 1996 Ford Windstar blew its head gasket at 78000 miles. We have had it in the shop previously for the check engine light problem. Each time, the fix was only temporary, and the light would intermittently come on and off again. We thought of the light as "The Boy who Cried Wolf" and never knew whether to take it seriously or not. It had been on for several days, and we had decided to take it back in to the dealer, when the head gasket blew one morning in the driveway after starting. I went to the computer to see if I could find any info pertaining to white smoke coming out of the exhaust pipe, and discovered that the words "Ford Windstar" and "head gasket" had been constant companions for several years now, but you're pretty much out of luck unless you own a '94 or '95 model. I have written e-mails to several law firms who were filing class action suits on behalf of '96 Windstar owners, but two weeks later, have received no replies yet. I called Ford Consumer Affairs twice, but on each occasion, I was told that their computers were down, and that I would have to call back later.
After paying the local dealer $2500 to fix the problem, the "Check Engine" Light came on again less that 2 days later. We were informed that the O2 sensor was bad and that would cost us another $255 to repair! I asked why they didn't fix it when they fixed the head gasket, and they said it checked out fine at that time!!!
So now what do we do?
8th Jan 2002, 15:03
I have a 1996 Windstar. We took the vehicle into the shop since the engine light was on. Last night, I was told the head gasket is leaking. The service manager (who says she has seen lots of these) gave me the following options.
1) Replace the head gasket for $1800 (ouch) and telling us the engine will probably shortly there after.
2) Junk the vehicle or drive it till the engine fails (not practical - still owe the bank $$$$$)
3) Replace motor for $5400...
4) Sell the van and not tell the new owner the about the problem (NICE! Real ethical of her).
Today as I search the Internet it looks like the 96 is in the same league as the 95's. The only problem is that I can't see where Ford is going to do a thing about it... Any idea or am I just out of luck?
18th Jan 2002, 15:42
I'm a government employee who was stranded today after an apparent head gasket failure on a government owned 96 Windstar van. Only 69,000 previously trouble free miles on the vehicle which has been meticulously maintained by my technician. Had I known of the head gasket problems on the 3.8 engine, I would have never used it for any long trips and would be seeking a replacement. Why doesn't Ford just admit the 3.8 engine is a lemon and discontinue selling them? From the comments here and on numerous other web sites, it seems Ford was aware of the problem for a long time and still kept using the 3.8.
6th Feb 2002, 07:12
Well here's my story... The Windstar was a lemon from the word GO.. First problem was the electric rear windows. But under warranty. Then there was the brakes, Replaced the front brakes 4 times.
Then we had to replace the front struts 3 times along with the tie rod. Fuel pump went out. Check engine light several times. The rear door lock went out. Water pump went out. And now we pulled up in the driveway with steam coming from the passenger side where the overflow tank for the coolant is. Took it in to find out why the overflow coolant tank was empty. They said they could find no leaks. Hmmmmmm where did it go? They said if we kept having problems then bring it back in. Well...
Three days later while going to work the transmission would not go out of 1st gear in drive mode. But in manual it would go into 2nd but no further. Took it in to Ford and they called me and said your transmission is burnt up. AND you need a new engine, but did not say what the problem with the engine was. They estimated $5500 bucks. It has only 70k miles on it. We have put so much money into this vehicle. Isn't it funny how as soon as the warranty goes out it just falls apart. Maybe they have some little computer chip in there that tells them when to start going out. We took it to a independant transmission shop and they replaced the transmission for $1100 bucks. Ford wanted $2500. Now we are debating what to do with the engine problem, because the coolant is going somewhere. I fear the head gasket is the problem.
27th Aug 2002, 20:33
What are the symptoms of a blown head gasket? our 96 Windstar has its engine light flashing and is running real rough, it has only 66,000 miles.
4th Sep 2002, 15:27
We have a '96 Windstar too!! I suggested that we sell it a couple of months ago after 6 years of satisfactory operation (80K miles). We didn't sell it then... when we took the car in for an state inspection recently the Ford dealer informed us that the head gasket was leaking and it was "repaired" for $2660. A few days later when we took it on the highway for the first time with the new head gasket the engine developed serious problems... loss of power, noise, oil pressure light on, etc. The dealer now wants an additional $3900. to replace the engine. I'm going to get the plates off it and just leave it there. Its worthless.
20th Feb 2003, 17:14
I have a Ford Windstar 66,000 miles and the head gasket went. It didn't leak outside only internally. I didn't realize it until it was to late and the coolant destroyed the main bearings. I spent 3,500 dollars putting in a rebuilt engine in. I started to investigate more and found a lot of other Windstar owners in the same fix. How can I recoup my losses. I called Ford costumer service and got the run around. I read that Ford is sending a letter out to all Windstar owners sometime in March. Where do we all go for help.