I had an '03 Ford Windstar that managed to make 105,000 miles before I needed another repair and traded it in for a nice Honda Civic. It needed about $5000 in unexpected repairs within the 3 years I owned it. NEVER AGAIN WILL I OWN A DOMESTIC. I bought an '08 Civic brand new, and so far, not a single issue, all I've done is change the oil and put gas in it (and at 45 MPG, I haven't really even put in that much gas either.) So done with the poor quality of domestics. It'll be imports from here on out.
I own a 2003 Windstar LX. This past August my wife was driving along the highway with all 4 kids in the van, when the tranny just quit with no warning. No forward or reverse gears at all, just a whirring sound from the tranny when you pressed the accelerator.
We got the vehicle home, and I knew better than to even try to take it to a dealer. I took the vehicle to a very reputable tranny specialist (and I would HIGHLY recommend them to anyone!). He immediately knew what the problem was because they have seen this same issue many times over. A faulty shaft between the torque converter and the tranny pump was the problem. There are splines on the end of the shaft that engages the torque converter. Over time those splines wear down to the point where eventually the shaft just spins and spins. A flaw in the fabrication process, the mechanic told me... soft metal. The mechanic replaced the torque converter and the shaft with aftermarket parts. Total bill, parts and labor, was $900. Not bad considering what a new tranny would cost.
I've also had the problems with the interior lights flashing on/off and the "door ajar" light not going off. I fixed that problem by spraying WD-40 on the door sensors on the rear lift gate.
I also now know why my ABS/E-Brake lights come on intermittently as well.
This probably explains the mysterious burning rubber smell I've noticed from the left front fender area from time to time.
I just went researching the check engine light problem, because every year I have to deal with not being able to pass emissions inspection. Lean 02 bank... I stumbled across this site as a result. I have the blinking interior light, check engine light, and jerking like the car wants to stall problem. I actually feel blessed that I have 163K miles on it. I vaguely remember possibly having a transmission problem, but that would have been over 8 years ago. You all have helped me know what to look out for. I have done some minor replacements/repairs (power steering and tie rods) but since the car has been paid for 7 years, I grin and bear it. Thanks for all of your warnings.
Wondering if there's a fix to the jerky, feels like the van is going to stall issue.. or at least a technical term?
Well, well, I am also the owner of a 1999 Windstar SEL that I bought new in 1999.
From the start it had problems, multiple scratches and dents, upolstery tears, tail lights didn't match, recall on rear heater, peeling paint on the top, bad shock, recall on the transmission and damage by the dealer while fixing some of these problems (dealer damage was never fixed). This was in the first 6 months of ownership!! Well the problems continued.
Rack went out at 37K miles (just after the warranty went out) $700, heater box went out $1,200, interior lights flicker, air plenum had to be changed (check engine light came on) $450, water pump extension pipe went out $245, Heater core $400, idle sensor went out $100, sliding doors quit working, driver side lock quit working, ABS light stays on. None of these I consider regular maintenance items.
Finally the engine began knocking.
The positive, I did get 180,000 miles out of it and the transmission didn't go out. However it has been a love/hate relationship but I feel the maintenance costs have been far too high (poor design and manufactuirng quality). Would Ford have discounted this van by $4,000 at purchase to cover the unnecessary repair costs. Doubt it, they were my burden. I paid for their failure.
I'm voting with my dollar. I have bought two new vehicles since. One an Impala, and the other a Volvo. Both have been far better than the Ford. I will never buy another Ford product and encourage all friends, family and you not to buy one either.
After the van warranty ran out, the Ford motor company ran out. I had no support from them what so ever. I finally quit writing them.
I didn't mention this van had all the required maintenance and was well cared for. Regular oil changes, regular transmission fluid changes, 100K tune-up, etc!! I am donating the van to the church, thank God no more Ford in the driveway!!!
May 17, 2010.
I have a 2001 Ford Windstar, which has had a few problems. Fuses were burning out all the time. Cruse control stopped working. Finally brought it to the Ford mechanic. We thought the problem was fixed, but again the fuses were burning out. We had to disconnect the cruise control and the fuses stopped burning. Mechanic cannot figure it out. The other thing that I am upset about is my passenger door rusting; anyone else out there with these problems?
1999 Ford Windstar:
Well let’s see if I can sum things up on my side.
The interior light goes on while driving, I have done over $2000 work on the engine, not to mention the alternator, which keeps dying because the sliding doors don’t close properly.
Now I am dealing with the actuators not working at the front doors so back to the caveman days of using the keys :(. The heat in the front doesn't come on anymore, and the AC is not as powerful as it used to be. The word is it’s the actuator as well.
Also, the back wiper works when it feels like it :).
Also I think I have changed my rack and pinion twice since buying the car and recently the cluster went nuts. The needles have a mind of their own, dancing to what music I don’t know.
Wow. Much more to say, but I think everyone here have similar problems, so I will stop myself.
"The interior light goes on while driving."
Door lock switches need cleaning.
"the alternator, which keeps dying because the sliding doors don’t close properly."
You can turn the power to the doors off with the switch near the rear view mirror. You can also clean the bottom runners for the doors so they can close properly again.
"The heat in the front doesn't come on anymore, and the AC is not as powerful as it used to be. The word is it’s the actuator as well."
That's a $65 part at the parts store. It takes about an hour to exchange. It's a DIY job.
My 1999 Ford Winstar van has run perfectly since we got it.
About 3 months ago the rack and pinion had to be repaired. It has 118000 miles on it. I got in it, started it up - it ran so bad, missing, I thought it might jump timing! I drove it one block, parked it and turned off the engine. I got in it about 2 hours. Later I drove it one block, it ran worse coming back than going, missing so bad. I parked it after the one block of driving back and turned the engine off and locked the car up.
Hubby checked the oil the next day. There was water in the oil. He drained the oil out, put a new oil filter, refilled it with oil, the oil still looked murky! He drained it again, put new oil in it! No water in the radiator.
A few days later, I started it back up. There was water in the oil again. We don't know if it is a cracked head or blown gasket.
Can any one help?