11th Jan 2002, 06:37

I too have a 1996 Ford Windstar. My Check Engine Light has been on for a couple of years. It did start on a long (9 hr) car trip. But it has been on pretty steady since then.

As of late, it jumps, hesitates and acts like it is having serious trouble.

Today I am taking it for a tune up. If this is a common problem it looks like Ford would do something about it.

A co-worker had a Windstar. He said his was a good vehicle except for some trouble they had with their warning lights...

28th Jan 2002, 18:08

Yes, we also had a problem with the check engine light coming on during long trips (over 100 miles) then it would turn on during shorter and shorter trips. Routine service checks (over three years) yielded no conclusions. Until around 75000 miles we were told that we needed a new head gasket.

Good luck.

12th Sep 2002, 19:53

We have an 1996 Windstar and have experienced similar problems. The "Engine" light was on for a whole year; they checked it in several shops and none was able to find anything wrong with it.

The transmission burned and we had to replace it (during a vacation of course). The replacement was not good when the mechanic replaced the replacement the motor broke down.

Don't buy a Windstar!

16th Feb 2003, 11:35

Hi everyone.

I also own a 96' windstar with the same problems. the only thing different is that the engine light came on only a month after we bought it. We took it back to the ford dealership where we bought it used and they said nothing could be done. its normal when it comes on. when I asked about the history of the vehicle, they could not answer that. well 2.5 years later, the van still runs like crap. I did find the history on car fax and it said it had been a rental. if I had known it was a rental, I know I would have never bought it. now we have the problem of trying to get rid of a vehicle that we owe more than its worth.

8th Mar 2003, 14:45

I have a 95 Ford Wind-star with the same similar problems. What they found was the Fuel Injector were split open which caused a mis-fire in the engine and they had to replace them. The control module was causing this. They replaced that and everything is fine.

11th Dec 2003, 15:12

We bought a used ford Winstar (1996, with 60,000 miles) after having rented one on a family trip; enjoyed the space, power, etc. Within the first few months, on a family trip with our new (used) car, the speedometer malfunctioned, head gasket blew, plus a few other assorted problems. The cost of our first visit to the dealer was well over $1500. On the second visit a few months later, we need a part on the front suspension welded and another few odds and ends: cost was over $1000. The third visit to the dealer was for an oil change. The dealer called back and said your oil plug is loose and we need to replace the pan (???), you need new tires, and again another few odds and ends: estimate approximately $1500. I asked if they could put in an oversized plug for the oil pan? They said no it was not possible. I called the dealer back after about 1 minute and said give the car back and don't do anything. Suddenly, the plug wasn't a problem, all of the other problems disappeared and the bill was about $30.00. Bottom line: I will never buy another Ford and I certainly will never go back to that dealer; who IMHO should go to jail.

16th Dec 2003, 14:11

I recently purchased a used 1996 Ford WindStar Van. The very next day my check engine light, came on, and my interior lights would not shut off.

I am stuck with it, as it was sold "as is". Doe anyone have any information as to what typically makes the Check Engine Light come on and stay?

As well as the interior light?


30th Oct 2004, 18:12

I am the proud owner of a 1997 Ford Windstar. Here is what you do if the check engine light is on, Do not let a dealership or mechanic talk you into a tune up first. If they have a diagnostic scanner and it comes up with a misfire on a cylinder, have him or her remove the intake plenum. What happens is that carbon deposits clog the idle air passages causing the engine to run rough and almost stall at idle speed, example: your driving along and you pull up to a red light, and all of a sudden the van starts to shake and stall, then comes back to life. My van has 165,000 miles on it, and I tune it up every 60,000. and part of that tune up is pulling that plenum off and cleaning those passages. And I know this isn't so affordable, but try to use premium gas, or add Techron to the tank every 6,000 miles or every other oil change.