1999 Ford Windstar from North America - Comments

1st Aug 2005, 22:20

Transmission just went out on my 1999 Ford Windstar today, 90,000 miles. Same symptoms as all the other posts. I noticed the overdrive light flashing on and off while on the highway going 65mph. I had been noticing recently that it shifted hard, like a jolt into first and second gear. When I stopped at the next stop sign after exiting the highway, it didn't want to go forward. I got it to the side of the street, and saw a trail of transmission fluid behind me. It's at the shop now. They said they could either put in a rebuilt tranny or over haul the old one. What a money pit!

15th Sep 2005, 10:22

I bought my 1999 Ford Windstar 3 years ago. I am a Foster Parent and grandmother. I needed a safe vehicle with a lot of room. I have plenty of room, but the van is not reliable enough to have children in it. Less than a year after I bought it. The Check Engine light came on. I had that fixed. At 60,000 miles the Tie Rods had to be replaced. A week later the Rack and Pinion had to be replaced. That cost me over $600.00. The Power Locks quit working. The Interior lights come on while driving down the road. The rear light in the hatch hangs down. Last winter a tire peeled off the rim. This morning on my way to work the Transmission went out. It has just over 80,000 miles on it. I am trying to decide if I should put the money into fixing it or get what I can out of it and get something else. After reading the comments I think I will get a new vehicle.

29th Sep 2005, 20:02

I purchased a used 1999 Ford Windstar SEL, it had 93K. I was looking for a minivan with dual sliding doors and Captain's chairs in the second row instead of a bench. I have 2 children, 1 is disabled, so I thought this van would be perfect. boy was I WRONG!!!

Less than 24 hours ago I was driving home and the check engine light came on. I then started to smell a "burning rubber" odor and a vibration in the car.

Since then I took it to an auto parts store to have the "code" read and it said Cylinder 1 Misfire Detected. Of course I'm panicking because. as a single mom in a city with limited public transportation, this van is my sole vehicle.

Anyway the dealer referred me to their mechanic who told me I need to have the Spark Plugs and Wires replaced, at a cost of $209.19!

Needless to say I don't have that kind of money, plus with all these horror stories I'm wondering if there will be more costly repairs in the months ahead. I have an extended powertrain warranty so I'm covered if something major happens (I think).

Any thoughts, suggestions?

I am clueless when it comes to cars so replacing the spark plugs myself is not feasible. Also I think my power steering fluid needs to be refilled. My car makes an awful noise when I turn the wheel.

6th Oct 2005, 14:40

WOW! I too have a 99 Ford Windstar. I bought it used in February of 2005. It had about 71,000 miles on it. I have had trouble-free driving until about 2 weeks ago (Mid-September '05). I took it in for routine oil change. It has 82,000 miles on it. The mechanic said I needed to replace the outer tie-rod ends. I asked if it would be OK to do it in the beginning of October after I got paid. He said that it shouldn't be a problem, it was not an emergency situation.

The next day the "check engine" light came on, but the van continued to drive just fine. I figured maybe an O-2 sensor. Then, this past Saturday, October 2, I put the van in drive and for a couple seconds heard an awful grinding sound. Sure enough, after that, no gear worked. I had the van towed to a garage. They said it was probably a major transmission problem and might run well over $2000 to fix. Add the O-2 sensor and the tie-rod ends and I might be looking at over $3000! Kelley Blue Book says the van is worth only between $3000-3700. I still owe over $7000 on it. Joy of joys!

Oh, by the way, I noticed that during periods of hard acceleration (such as when merging onto the freeway) the van would "shudder" when it changed gears. Was this a warning sign of things to come? I think so. Have others noticed this with their Windstars? Beware!

14th Oct 2005, 09:44

I also bought a 1999 Ford Windstar new and can't believe what I am reading here. Almost carbon copy of the same problems I have had since purchasing. Had problems with the rack and pinion during warranty, brought it in twice and couldn't find anything. Just after warranty it went out altogether and all of a sudden they know what's wrong with it, at my cost. Transmission just went out for the second time. Interior light stays on, have to manually turn it off. Wrote to Ford and they might as well have replied with a photocopied hand with the middle finger up, basically, we got your money now too bad and tough luck. An absolutely, unbelievably, unreliable vehicle.

17th Oct 2005, 17:33

On 9/11/05, I purchased a 1999 Ford Windstar with 62,000 miles on it. On 10/15/05, the Overdrive light started blinking. As soon as my wife told me that, I knew what I was in for, and only days outside of the 30 day warranty form the used car lot. The Ford dealer who inspected the transmission fluid is suggesting that we replace the transmission, at a cost of ~$2000. I knew these vans had problems. I should have heeded the advice from my brother who is an engineer at Ford. I got such a good deal from the used car lot I thought I would take a gamble. I lost.

The automatic locks do not work reliably either.

4th Nov 2005, 13:51

I have a 1998 Windstar that I bought new and for the most part it's been reliable. I did however have a transmission blow on me with only 48,000 miles. Of course it was past my extended warranty period and the dealer wanted 3200.00 for a new one. I took it to a local AAmco shop and they rebuilt it with better parts for 1925.00. The Trans has been working great for the past two years. I still like the van compared to the others from that year, it large and the 3.8L engine has some gitty-up. I'd suggest to anyone that buys one of these Vans used to purchase an after market warranty. I think Chrysler has had worse problems than Ford with their mini van Transmissions.

16th Nov 2005, 13:31

My 1999 Windstar has 64,000 miles on it and after reading all of these comments I am scared to death. I just replaced the rack and steering pump for 980.00. The geers are shifting harder than usual and my check engine light will not go off. Any more ideas???

20th Nov 2005, 13:39

Well can we stand ONE MORE 1999 Windstar Transmission/Steering/Door Lock/Window horror story??? Stopped at a stop sign, took foot off brake, stepped on gas, heard loud "clunk", slammed foot on gas (didn't really need to as van was NOT going anywhere, just a reaction) reverse driving is underrated I do believe! I am in agreement with all those who said "I will NEVER buy a FORD again" With all these people on this ONE list have had almost identical major problems, can you imagine how many more people have not found this list or just did not post? I realize FORD could care less about this issue, so I won't waste my time writing or calling. I am going to try to get out of this without going broke and NEVER even look at a Ford vehicle again. FOR SALE - 1999 Windstar LX, 92k, Dark Blue, runs great in reverse, $2000 CASH today only!