30th Sep 2008, 06:23

I've rebuilt a few "worth while" vehicles for our family; fun stuff for me. Anyway, someone gave me their '98 Limited, "top of the line" loaded, with leather, Ford Windstar. The motor started knocking, and they didn't want to bother getting it fixed.

168,000 KM on it (a little over 100,000 miles).

I've got the motor out and taken apart. I've discovered that the intake gasket had leaked anti-freeze into the bottom end, and took out all the con rod bearings. The oil must have foamed up; everything was dry. Total rebuild parts are ordered $1400 (that's everything from pistons, rings, crank shaft, cam, timing, etc). The heads are good.

I was told that the tranny was good, but I decided to pull it apart, since it's out. I found two broken steel plates in the clutch packs; the tranny was ready to go "BANG". Total tranny rebuild kit with bands and bushings is $400.

Everything else checks out fine. Ball joints, tie rods, and the rack/pinion are good. All electrical systems are good. 'Should have it running in two or three weeks of "after work" tinkering in my shop.

I can see your plights with this vehicle; what a mess. You should get at least 200,000 KM (120,000 miles) out of a vehicle. And even then, with proper maintenance, you shouldn't have this much damage.

Anyway, one man's garbage is another mans treasure. If I can get 60,000 to 70,000 miles (100,000 KM) out of this, I'm laughin'.

I had a '97 Grand Caravan with 250,000 KM on it before it burnt a valve, blew the fuel pump, and the transmission seals. After fixing it, I gave it to my daughter. It now has almost 300,000 KM on it, and the original tranny shifts like new. That's the way a vehicle should be!

9th Oct 2008, 20:46

Ha ha ha Guys you make me cry!! Well the same here, but even "worse".

I took my Windstar 1999 SEL to a Ford dealer for an oil change, and inspection, I guess for about $29.00.

Well, left the van for a couple hours, I came back and they said, there is a little problem... Yes?? "well" the transmission went off... and, Fine, !! Now... (I said), are you going to be responsible and fix it, and give to me running the same way I left it here??

SORRY WE CAN'T since we at FORD SERVICE, we drove your vehicle in "your behalf". Sorry but you will have to pay in full for the fix, and he said... Ohhh BTW you can feel "FREE" to contact your "Lawyer", we have been thru this many times..

I ended up paying for the 2200 new transmission,.. just to add to the insult!! Exactly two weeks later (the rack and pinion) went bad... I wonder if they had anything to do with it... Who knows... and about the flickering lights ha ha ha so true!!... NO MORE FORD!!

17th Nov 2008, 13:38

Hello, I have owned 2 1999 Windstars. The first Windstar was a great running van, I had NO problems with it until a drunk driver decided I no longer needed it and he totalled my parked van.

Although the van was totalled, I was impressed on how the injuries would have been at a minimum to any passengers! A strong cabin indeed!

With the insurance money, I got another 99 windstar. Now I am nervous! Sensors going out, and the problems I am seeing in this forum.

I will replace the sensors on this van and hope for the best!

Good luck to you all!

Crazy Tiger.

24th Dec 2008, 16:09

Yep... phantom interior lights flicker off and on, brake lights burn out after 2 months, rack assembly leaks power steering fluid into the boots, a/c just went out last week, check engine light came on at 33,000 miles and has been on ever since (mechanic reset multiple times - back on after a few weeks), shocks are out, power windows don't work and then they do work and then they don't work (which sucks because the AC is out and we live in south Texas), paint on both hood and roof peeling off in large quantities, can remove key from ignition and engine stays running, power locks unlock in back after 2 or 3 tries.

All this and we are still under 70K miles. All that said, it still starts when I turn the key (unless the battery is dead from the phantom lights going on in the middle of the night.)

I don't need advice or even an apology from FORD (although it is probably due), I just find this forum as a kind of therapy for my Windstar issues. Windstar owners, I feel your pain. Next time buy a Honda.

6th Jan 2009, 08:45

Happened to me just last night! Stopped at a stop light, took foot off brake, stepped on gas, heard loud "clunk", stuck at the front of the line. Waved traffic around me for two lights until they stopped back far enough for me to reverse off to the side of the road. Insurance Roadside assistance paid for tow which took almost two hours to get there. Waiting for the call from the dealer. The van has actually performed well since we bought it new. Not much more than regular oil changes. Just drove it about 4000 miles over Thanksgiving break from NE to CT to VA to NE. It's got about 120K on it, and I recently put new front brakes and four new tires on it, so I'll probably pay the $2K and drive it another 50K before it dies. Interior and exterior still look good. Oh well.

14th Jan 2009, 17:39

Guys, I am having the same problem with my 99 Ford. Lights flicker. In the last 4 months I have replaced transmission, replaced "door" for the heater, replaced motor for windshield. The motor mounts went out, ball joints are going bad. I was wondering with all the trouble we are having and it sounds like it is all hitting around the same time. Could there be a problem with these vehicles. Could we file some report? Let's research this and see what we can come up with. conleysj@citcom.net is my email. I think we could have a case.

15th Jan 2009, 18:27

I have a 99 Ford Windstar (I feel that's how everyone starts their story). Anyways it has been a great everyday van. My partner and I have driven across America - twice.

Well now at 110K miles, the car has officially died. I was told the transmission has seen its last leg and I'm better off turning it in for parts. But leading up to this point, the lights have stopped working, the driver side window only works when it's 6' degrees outside (that's for real) and the heater in the front went out two months ago, yeah just in time for winter.

Again I haven't really thought much of these smaller things, but when the transmission threw the car back 5ft and leveled the ground, I knew this was not normal. Well until I read this website. I thought I could fix this trans. thing, but I guess the car is done and done for.

16th Jan 2009, 10:42

I have a 2000 Ford Windstar SEL and just Googled my problems with it, to find that everyone else is having them too! Not that it's expensive, but extremely annoying, my headlights and brake lights burn out every 4-5 months, have the occasional phantom interior lights, and one brake light that sticks "on" or comes on with a mind of its own during the night and has drained my battery multiple times. Check engine light has been on for ~ 4 years. Any fixes for these annoying electrical issues?