1999 Ford Windstar from North America - Comments

25th Jan 2009, 08:26

Same problems here with the Windstar, flickering cabin lights, A/C doesn't work (just had if "fixed" 4 months ago), power windows do not work. So yes, we have no A/C and no windows that will open... in Florida! My poor husband was laid off from his job 3 months ago and has yet to find a job so we have no money for repairs. Wish we had gone with another brand. Our 4 children hate going anywhere in that thing!

27th Jan 2009, 11:28

Thanks to Jan 25 2:13 Commenter - very helpful. I have a 7am appointment with the dealer tomorrow and was going to ask them about cruise control and flickering lights, but now I will have my dear husband look into this.

I am not a Ford Windstar hater, but I am tired of the nickle and dime things that have plagued us since we got it. My 10 year old Volvo didn't hurt my pocket as bad as my own country's manufactured auto. With all the stuff going on with US automakers, my pride is fading - next one is foreign. (It even sounds funny to say!)

9th Feb 2009, 21:27

I can't believe how many Windstars have the flickering light problem!! Unreal! I thought it was just some weird thing that could only happen to me :) I also had to replace my tranny within 6 mos. of buying my (used) '95 Windstar, but otherwise mine has been pretty good - I actually loved that van and miss driving it. I do not miss being stranded when my battery died due to the light problem!

19th Mar 2009, 17:02

I own a 99 Windstar with some of the same problems noted.

Transmission just went out after 125,000 miles, so I guess I should feel fortunate compared to some of you. No warning at all, stopped at light, went to take off and nothing, not even reverse. I was wondering if maybe the "brain" or engine computer might have something to do with this, other than just the trans. It seems that these "brains" these days tell the engine and trans. what they need to do and when to do it.

Also I might add that for you people that have had the interior light and door ajar problems, I also had that problem for a long time. It is the wife's car basically and she seem to be able to live with it. But when we went on a family vacation in it, I said no way am I going to deal with this annoyance for 6,000 miles. With reluctance I took it to the Ford dealership (cost $105.00) and had them hook it up to their diagnostic equipment, so I could basically, in my mind, eliminate that part of the problem. They couldn't figure it out without doing some more research and costing me more money and time. I politely told them no.

While driving home I got to thinking about the actuator switches in the sliding doors. You know... the switches that turn your interior lights on when the sliding door is opened. When I got home I checked them out, and lo and behold, the switch on the passenger side door had recessed to the point that it was barely making contact when the door was closed. I super-glued a small button on the end of the switch (didn't want to take apart interior to get at switch) and presto... problem solved. Later I did repair it properly, but I hope this helps many of you out there with this problem. Good luck.

29th Mar 2009, 10:38

We got a 99 Windstar in, well, 1999. At the time, it was either that or the Odyssey for us, and the Odyssey was hard to get and they were charging premium prices. So instead we got the Windstar and extended warranty as insurance, knowing that past Windstars had tranny problems (but this was a new redesigned 99 Windstar with the bugs worked out... yeah, right!).

The 3rd tranny is now died. 1st one went out around 50k, 2nd one went out at 74k (thank God, right before warranty was about to expire) and now 3rd one at 105k. Since the warranty is expired, I'm not gonna pay $2-3k to get it fixed knowing it will last only 30k or so miles (not to mention the engine might die at any time with 100k + miles).

Other than the tranny, the van has been OK. Part of me feels that owning an American van for 10 years and 100k miles is an accomplishment (sadly enough)... but the other part that says a tranny that dies after 30 - 40k miles LIKE CLOCKWORK is inexcusable, and that Ford won't rectify or own up to the problem is revealing. No surprise at all that American car manufacturers are circling the drain... they should not be surprised at all.

2nd Jul 2009, 23:15

I have a 1999 Windstar bought new. It has only 64000 miles. Same story as many--stopped at traffic light and when I started to leave, it felt like the transmission dropped out! Was able to barely move through the intersection but no forward gears. Reverse still works. Had AAA tow it to a nearby transmission shop tonight. I had a friend with a similar problem on a Nissan who says that the problem was a speed sensor--not the transmission per se since it still would operate in reverse. Any comments on this?

13th Aug 2009, 13:16

Well here we go again... at 11:30 today my wife called me at work. Broke down again! This time the tranny is broke. Same as all other complaints... reverse, no drive etc. Kit seems to run $300.00 +/-. This van has worn me down. Will probably rebuild the transmission and get rid of it. We have had all of the same mechanical issues as everybody else here. Thanks for listening.

12th Sep 2009, 09:55

Well, I happened to find this forum after searching endlessly trying to find out the root of the problems with the “check engine light.” I see I am not alone.

In addition, I have a knock coming from under the hood by the passenger front tire. I shudder to think that it’s what’s already been pointed out here, rack and pinion, strut?

Like most, the power steering pump has already been replaced, and the grinding only goes away when the ATF fluid is filled past the full mark. Thankfully with 192,787 km on it I am doing better than most. Although the power lock on the passenger sliding door has become disengaged and now just grinds helplessly, not engaging the door lock pin.

As a Ford owner, tried and try, I do have luck with these vehicles, but, they do require constant attention. Nothing but the best, that NAPA can buy, so to speak. Full synthetic fluids, and the best of the best, when it comes to replacement anything. Nothing discount, as it seems, although Fords’ parts are better than generic, they are not up to par with what’s best or reliable for the life, of the vehicle. 400kms +. Otherwise you’re stuck with bi-yearly replacement parts.

Perhaps the cold Central Canadian climate is proving well for this make of vehicle. 10 years old and no sign of rust, and only a couple mechanical issues.

I would buy another, but as another person pointed out, only with additional revenue for upgrading Fords’ not so great genuine parts.

Regards,

Mike.