1998 Ford Windstar GL from North America - Comments

22nd Jan 2008, 17:04

To the excellent mechanic of the previous comment: Doesn't Ford specify Mercon transmission fluid to be used instead of power steering fluid? If so wouldn't it be more in line with the specifications to use "Lucas Oil Transmission Fix" and Mercon transmission fluid? I suppose the seal conditioners in standard power steering fluid are different from Mercon.

26th Jan 2008, 18:31

I own a 2001 Ford Windstar. I purchased from a friend about a year ago, with 113K miles.

The problems I´ve ran over during last year (07) :

- Steering noises

Steering pump leaking. Had to be replaced.

- Suspension noises

Supposedly caused by struts, which had never been replaced. Had to be replaced.

- Water pump leaking. Had to be replaced.

- Check Engine warning On

- Interior Lights On all the time.

I haven´t found the cause of this and is currently at service to diagnose this problem.

In general, I think it has been an OK van (I can´t say a great one). It is 119k by now, so we haven´t run this vehicle that much during since I got it. But I can´t complain. I paid for it around $5k, plus the $900 that I´ve paid for the steering flush and pump replacement, the water pump replacement and the front struts replacement, I guess it hasn´t been that bad (I guess...). The steering maintenance was very poor before and the struts were never replaced... and anyway, it´s a Ford, I was expecting to pay for some fixings and tune ups after I bought it...

The only thing is driving me crazy by now is the interior lights staying on! No door ajar warning, just the interior lights on. It started just since yesterday. I turned on the interior lights with the dimming switch, but I can´t turn it off anymore. Please, anyone who can give me advice about that?? Should I have the dimming switch replaced? I can see some others had the same problem. Please help!

29th Apr 2008, 22:13

I have a 98 Windstar, and have also owned 2 1995's as well.

I like the interior, and I too have had all of the problems spoken of earlier.

If I could offer some advice to others.

As for changing the spark plugs... remove the antenna, windshield wipers, plastic cowl and the piece underneath that, and then you can reach the back plugs quite easy.

The light problem is either the side door contacts or the rear hatch latches on the sides; WD40 them a lot.

Check engine light... check your vacuum hoses, and just to the right of the alternator there is a vacuum assisted unit with a linkage that connects in a small white plastic sleeve that can come loose and disconnect. Also there is the http://www.aa1car.com/library/ford_dpfe_sensor_1.jpg (DPFE Sensor), which can have a break in one of the vacuum hoses, or the sensor needs replacing.

Hope that helps some of you.

14th Sep 2008, 13:48

Hello Everyone,

Now after reading that like 90% of all Ford Windstar owners have had nothing but bad problems, and only 10% are happy with their vans, as foolish as this sounds, I'm looking at buying one, a "98" Ford Windstar GL with the notorious problematic 3.8L V6. It has 126,000mi. Everything works great on it, very clean van. The car lot owner even had the carbo-hydron test done on the coolant, and turned out negative. So far it has good head gaskets, which is my major concern. Now is it true that the famous head gasket problem was corrected or at least decreased by he 1998 year model?

23rd Dec 2008, 20:36

My 1998 Ford Windstar; all lights worked well, interior & exterior, except the licence plate lights, but when I open the back door and as soon as the dome light comes on, the lights for the licence plates are working. But when I close the hatch, they go off. Can someone tell me what's happening?

9th Feb 2009, 20:59

I liked my Windstar ('95) but had to "retire" it due to the light problem. The battery would drain suddenly and I'd be stranded all the time. It's now been sitting in my driveway for 2 years and I want to sell it so I guess I have to figure out this problem and fix it! I am going to try the sandpaper thing (we've already done the WD-40). Other than that it's been pretty good to me!

24th Feb 2009, 19:26

Hi there! I too have a 98 Ford Windstar, and have had nothing but trouble. My main concern right now is that when applying the brakes, say 70% of the time, it makes a horrible "Farting" noise, as my daughter says. I brought it to my local Ford dealership and they said I need a new ABS Sensor for some $400. Well, considering the van is not worth much more than that, I said no way. The mechanic suggested that I unplug the ABS cables, and it will not affect my regular brakes, just no more ABS which is fine with me. The problem is that I don't have the manual, and have no bloody clue where is this cable and how to go about 'unhooking' it. Any advice? You can email me if you have anything to help me... pyjamapaula@hotmail.com.

Thanks so much!

3rd Dec 2009, 19:43

I have a 98 Ford Windstar: Yippee, the engine light is on, the ABS light is on, the traction light is on, the back windshield stopped working, the air conditioner stopped working, the heat for the rear is cold when the setting is on hot, constant brake problems: wheel bearings, tie rods, wheel cylinders, car needs antifreeze almost every couple of weeks. The only good thing I can say is the wipers work or do they?

24th Dec 2009, 23:24

Hi: We have a 1998 Ford Windstar. This vehicle is a real test. We solved the inside light problems by taking all of the bulbs out. Now the door chime is on every time you put the key in the ignition with no end in sight. If I could find the location of the door chime, it would be history.

This is the first time I've used this site, so I don't know how to get an answer to this problem etc. We are in California, and when the muffler brackets broke, we literally used bailing wire to re-brace the exhaust system with no leakage, and we passed the smog test (Sounds like a shade tree mechanic to me). but seriously the comments on wd40 for the sensors etc have not helped us. I just want to remove the chime. Thanks so much for bearing with me.

28th Dec 2009, 11:48

"We solved the inside light problems by taking all of the bulbs out."

How many bulbs are there and how long did it take you?

I solved the inside light problems by switching them off at the dimmer wheel. It took me a fraction of a second and I have lights when I need them.

29th Dec 2009, 10:53

I had the same issue with my Windstar. I tried turning off the dimmer wheel as well, however, not only did my lights STILL flash on and off, it turned my dash lights completely off. If I wanted to see my speed and it just so happened to be nighttime, then forget it, I had to turn on the lights again. Those stupid interior lights got me pulled over more times than I could count.