25th Jul 2007, 20:22

July 25, 2007.

I also have a 1996 Ford Windstar. I have run into all the problems all you other people have. Still having a problem with the blinking engine light. I am receiving the codes 302, 401. Starting from cold, I could drive 1000 miles with no blinking lights. The minute I shut down the engine and restart I receive these codes. Seems to only happen when it is warm and eventually the blinking light will go out while driving. I do not believe it is a head gasket as I have checked for leaks. Also the blinking lights go away after driving a few miles. If it is extremely warm it may take me 20 miles before it goes off. I have done most of the repairs all of you have done. Cleaning the EGR ports and all the rest. I suspect the egr valve is sticking as the engine heats up. If anyone has a fix for this just send me an e-mail, n2cyj@bluebottle.com I am using a spam free e-mail service and you may have to reply to confirm your e-mail address. Thanks Dan Niagara Falls New York.

27th Jul 2007, 19:25

I bought a 96 Ford Windstar less than a month ago from a used car dealer (not Ford) with 130,000 miles on it. The door ajar light is constantly on and now the emergency lights <flashers> go on and off intermittently without anyone having pressed the button. Does anybody know what this means?

20th Aug 2007, 20:48

Regarding the previous comment about doors ajar light. Most likely caused by the latches on the rear access door. Get a spray degreaser and soak the latches on both sides. Whatever oil was on them collects dust and dirt and prevents it from latching totally. Mine now (1996) has been OK for over year now. But now I have a problem with the rear window wiper. I guess I need to get a repair manual to check the wire harness.

Like the many above, not pleased with Ford Motor Company.

7th Nov 2007, 20:38

I have a 1996 Windstar with a rod hanging out of the block most probably caused by a head gasket leak. It has 80,000 miles on it. I'll be attempting to replace the engine myself with a remanufactured one sometime in the next month.

17th Feb 2008, 02:57

I have purchased a 96 Windstar GL 3.0 about 5 years ago and the check engine light came on 5 minutes after leaving lot. Dealer said they would not take it back and found out they cleared the codes daily. I have had all the same problems, replaced head gasket 4 times, rebuilt transmission, replaced door sensors, and all still goes wrong. Now I cannot even reregester if in Portland Oregon due to DEQ. It will cost me another $800 to $1000 dollars to fix. I am low income single dad with 3 kids and 2 go to OHSU Hospital for appointments and I cannot afford another car. Ford should be made to replace our vehicles with other brands or refund us on our purchase prices plus repair costs. I agree a class action lawsuit is in order.

9th Mar 2008, 20:08

Sounds like you had better get a compression test, can we say "head gasket"??

12th Mar 2008, 20:10

I am the proud owner of a 96 Windstar with 135000 miles on it. I was very happy with the vehicle until I found out that the head gasket that it needs will cost me $3000.00 if the heads are not bad, and god only knows what if they are.

I have heard horror stories of how DIY's are really difficult. Guess I will just call the scrapyard.

Was Edsel rehired back to Ford and designed this crate???

13th Mar 2008, 11:11

Seems to me that you have a case to sue them. I believe that most states have at least an implied warranty that somebody can't sell you a piece of junk that they know is a piece of junk. Even if they won't fix it like a regular warranty, it seems like if you talk to a District Attorney you could have either gotten your money back or sued them for repairs. You're climbing the wrong tree with Ford, build a case against the used car dealer who sold you a piece of junk.

13th Mar 2008, 11:16

"For years I have been smelling anti-freeze when inside the vehicle at times and have had the problem of anti-freeze seeming to disappear and not knowing where it has gone."

If you smell it inside the vehicle it most likely enters the venting system through a leak related to the heater core or the heater hoses. If it simply disappears slowly without puddles under the car, it's most likely the lower intake manifold gasket failing. Head gasket is a possibility as well.

The most important thing is not to let it go on for years!

4th Jul 2008, 19:46

I purchased my 1995 Ford Windstar in the summer of 1996 with about 16,000 miles on it.

In January of 1997, enroute to Orlando Florida, the check engine light came on. Even though under warranty - this cost me 225.00 because this item was not covered.

At almost 67,000 miles (prior to my extended warranty expiring) the car was in and out the the shop with engine problems.

Finally in the the summer of 1998, the engine "blew up" and almost ran off the road and over the cliff where there is a rock quarry below off I-80. When the tow truck driver appeared, I was covered in tears and dust from the cars speeding by. He confessed to me that my car "had a bad history " and that I was lucky to have survived without having or causing an accident.

I had to fight with Ford to give me a free rental for my inconvenience-and a "brand new" 3.8L 1996 crappy engine that would be just as crappy as the 1995 one. Sadly, I still own this unsaleable hunk of metal-due to life related issues - and coupled with the fact that this was my first car that I could call mine. With that - I have replaced 2 transmissions, rebuilt the engine with 3 busted gaskets, and blocked cylinders, faulty spark plugs, that stupid constant door ajar light (it's a lifelong ghost that lives in my car), 2 broken sway bars, a horrible twice soldered exhaust system, and now I believe a brand new leaking head gasket!

The car has 165,000 miles on it. That's Ford tough.

21st Aug 2008, 14:16

1996 Ford Windstar 3.8 Litre LX

Seems that everyone here is having the same problems, mine disappearing antifreeze overflow always empty, head gasket problems replaced, now heads are cracked and needs more work van in the shop again, it's a continuous nightmare. Has Ford taken any responsibility? Would join class action suit if there is one. It's obvious there is a problem and they should take care of it, these vehicles are not cheap to start with, and you pay extra for quality; not the case here.

If anyone has had any luck contact me ladyjayne777@aol.com

Good points about the vehicle; lots of room, comfortable, but no good if you can't drive it and it's unreliable. It might as well be sitting on my couch with a wheel in my hand.

29th Oct 2008, 18:32

I just bought a 96 Windstar 1 and 1/2 weeks ago. Guess what happened today... Head gasket went!!! I feel used and cheap, I wish I would have known about these problems before giving him my money.

21st Jul 2010, 14:03

I bought a used 1996 Ford Windstar. I started having issues with it after a year of owning it, and checked on the Internet. I could not believe the number of people with the same issues.

I have had the same problems with the dome light randomly staying on, automatic door locks not working, power windows not working, etc.

At about 87,000 miles, I noticed that the van didn't seem to be shifting gears smoothly any longer. It was random though so, I just took it in for regular maintenance.

Then at 90,000 started to get the engine light. It seemed to randomly come on and then stop after a day or so. I took it in for an oil change, and the engine light stopped coming on for about 6 months. After the 6 months, I still didn't get the engine light, but the shifting issue started up again. Since I drive the van locally and no warning lights were on, I just kept driving it.

At 101,000 miles (11,000 miles later), the check engine light came back on and the vehicle began running very roughly. The check engine light was flashing and I wasn't sure I would be able to get home. When I pressed the accelerator, it took a few seconds for the van to move, and as long as I kept the car above 40 miles per hour, all was good. This is the worst car I have EVER owned, and I will NEVER buy a Ford again.

21st Oct 2014, 06:23

Bought my 96 Windstar new. It's the best vehicle I ever owned. I have 267,000 on it, normal repairs, brakes, belts, alternator etc. The trans fluid hasn't been replaced since 29,000 miles, and it just keeps running. Thanks Ford.