19th May 2003, 21:53

Mine is a 95 it has 114k! I guess I'm blessed. My problems are just starting. It started sputering yesterday and I thought I would change the Plugs, but I can't get to the other Three in the back, Oh well it cost 170 bucks for the work Ouch.. I have been smelling antifrezz for a while I guess this is the sign the head gaskets, are going. So ill call ford in the morning,

Thank you all for the heads up. I may be the first owner to make it out alive because of you.. Thanks again and ill keep you updated.


20th May 2003, 14:03

I am amazed! We own a 1996 Windstar that has experienced all of the same symptoms listed from other owners. We purchased the vehicle in 1998 and it had 30,000 miles on it. At 60,000 miles, the check engine light came on. We had it checked by Ford and they could not detect a problem, reset the light and sent us on our way. Just days later, the light came on once again. We took the van to an independant dealer who said the EGR valve was clogged, costing us $535.00 to replace.

The following week, on our way to Florida for vacation, the light came on again. We were so frustrated we just drove the vehicle.

In 2001, the vehicle began to come apart electronically. The power door locks do not work on the passenger side. The dome lights stayed on continuously until I removed the relay and the door ajar light stayed on all the time. Our power windows in the rear began to malfunction as well.

I have sprayed the sensors on the sliding door with WD40, which works for a short period of time.

We have one final problem to note that I have not read pertaining to this vehicle on this site. Our regular keys do not work in any of our doors any longer other than the sliding side door. A lock smith said the tumblers are all out of kilter. We have tried making new keys etc, thinking maybe it was the key, but it isn't, its the lock itself. We begin to wonder whats going to happen the day our key doesn't work on the side door?

We did contact Ford on several occasions during this ordeal to no avail. Their customer service department informed us that there were no recalls on this vehicle and that there was nothing they could do, it must be an isolated incident. Isolated to the entire US as far as we can read from others here!

We also want to state that we feel a $24,000.00 (Cost new) vehicle should last much longer than 4-5 years before it begins to fall apart.

If anyone is or has made progress on a class action law suit, please let us know via Bran2003cook@aol.com.

23rd Jun 2003, 09:31

I have a 96 Ford Wind-star with 66000 Miles, and the "Check Engine Light" also came on last week.

The mechanics did all of the tune up last week, but we had to bring the car back in because the car was making some rattling sound. This time, the mechanic said the EGR-system needs to be replaced.

What are involved in an EGR-system?

10th Apr 2004, 13:40

I also have a 1996 Windstar that I needed to replace the engine on at 86,000 miles.. Same symptoms, check engine light on sometimes, but no problem until the head gasket gave up its ghost. Had a rebuilt engine installed at around 3300 dollars. Now its left front anti-lock is activating and I can't find out why. Tone wheel looks good and I replaced the speed sensor with a new ford oem one.

23rd Jul 2004, 12:30

I have a 1996 Windstar GL with the 3.8 liter engine. Paid north of $1,500 about two years ago for the head gasket repair when the car had 86K. The car has seen only light use in the past two years, but now, at 99K, the check engine light came on, the #4 cylinder is mis-firing and the mechanic tells me the cylinder is leaking again. I don't know what's more frustrating -- the fact that Ford made a defective vehicle and wouldn't stand by their customers as they did on the '95s, or the fact that the expensive fix was very temporary. The car has had numerous other reliability and quality problems as well.

All I can do is vote with my wallet -- I won't be buying anymore Fords.

16th Mar 2005, 12:08

I have had to replace the engine on my 96 Ford Windstar twice.

10th Apr 2005, 06:59

I also have a 1996 windstar. I am getting ready to put in my 2nd Engine also. Will never buy another Ford Product!

29th May 2005, 08:15

1996 Windstar owner here. At 116,000 miles and in the last 6 months I've replaced struts, strut plates, front steering arms, both front wheels had bearings go, alternator died, an intake gasket just was repaired and it still runs poorly!!

No more FORDS for me!

6th Jun 2005, 07:24

I am also an UPSET owner of a 1996 Ford Windstar. I have had nothing, but problems since I bought the van only a year and a half ago. First the oil pump went, replaced it and it went again causing engine damage. Replaced the engine and here only 5 months later I am dropping off the van again today for problems. Loss of pick up, running rough, and surging. Also, my door ajar light has been stuck on for 9 months and occasionally the door ajar bells will ding forever even when all doors are closed tightly. Sometimes when I turn on my head lights a bell will ding until I turn them off. Kind of a problem when you need to drive at night. I am going to trade it in soon and will not be buying another FORD. Anything, but, as far as I am concerned right now!!

5th Apr 2007, 13:27

I also own a 1996 Windstar GL 3.8L have had it for the past two years with 144,000 miles on it now, Originally had 120k when first purchased. An so far the only thing I've had go bad was a mis-fire in Cylinder #3 which has triggered the Check Engine Light. I plan to get another tune-up an hopefully that will fix the issue an there won't be any serious problem in the near future.

28th Jun 2007, 15:26

I own a 1996 windstar 3.8 GL. Bought it brand new. It has now 168,000 kilometers. First 3 years of ownership, had the transmission replaced. So far all the major parts replaced for the past 10 years are alternator, tie rod ends, upper and lower control arms, front coil springs, EGR, ignition, front door ajar sensors. Currently experiencing a rattling noise which I suppose is not hard to fix. Engine Light came out and diagnostics indicate this vehicle has the IMRC problem. Don't know how much it will cost to repair. SO far the vehicle still runs good and I'm kind of satisfied to have it served me for the last 10 years. Overall the service cost for this vehicle compared to my Nissan vehicles are low.

9th Jul 2007, 01:39

My 1996 GL has given me no problems to speak of for the past 201,000 miles. recently I had the transmision rebuit, but after 200,000 I am very happy with the vehicle.