2nd Feb 2005, 20:35

We have owned a 1996 Ford Windstar for 3 years, and we like driving it, but it has reliability problems. The "check engine" light comes on randomly, the engine will suddenly run rough, then go back to normal operation, and it has started to leak oil. Our mechanic says to fix it and then sell it- quick, because he is tired of messing with it.

21st May 2006, 10:10

We have owned a 1996 Wind-star since 2000. We have put over 4000 + in brakes/struts in it since then. We have also had to have the Gem Unit replaced and the ignition key mechanism replaces as well to the dome light not shutting off, and the door ad-jar chimes not turning off. For quite awhile, I could not get out of the driver's side door without getting the bell or light stuck on. Also, the Check Engine Light came on last year. I was told by my mechanic that the "Y" connector to the Catalytic had a sensor that was going off, and to replace it would be over 700.00. I know the vehicle is 10 years old, and has 103,000 miles, but this is a little crazy. I can't afford something else right now, and can't afford to fix it. Also, in NY, the vehicle won't pass inspection if the Check Engine Light is on. Thanks! Now I have a vehicle that won't pass inspection without this work. I also have a large family and am out of luck. I've had a 1984 Toyota Corolla that I sold in 1994 for a grand. It had 114,000 on it, and I think I might have had only 800 in repairs the whole time I had it. I can guarantee that my next vehicle will be a Toyota again.

21st Oct 2007, 16:14

We bought a Ford Windstar on December 2004 160000k on it. It was my first car so I was not experienced about the car. First I found the Odometer is not stable, it started jumping, if speed goes over 40k/h. Felt like engine is going to die soon in the middle of the road then come back after few minutes. Dealer helped me to change with the used engine. I have spent 2000 dollars for it. Few days later on the way transmission fluid is falling down I had to change the automatic converter costs 800 dollars. I started to became afraid to go out with this van specially with family. After few months same problem with transmission again, change the converter, 800 dollars. Few days later alternator went out spent 400 dollars. Few days later starter no longer working spent 300 dollars. I can't open the rear side windows, it is no longer working. Stereo is disturbing from beginning. Now for no reason battery goes down need more money. After all this trouble I drove about 4000 Km, because I am afraid to go anywhere with this van. I am unlucky, I do not have enough money to get rid off and get another vehicle. After all, I agree with all the friends, "Ford vehicle means you are in trouble". My suggestion to the drivers to think twice before going for Ford.

18th Dec 2007, 19:29

We too have a 1996 Ford Windstar with all the same problems. Today my dome lights are on and won't go off.

WIll try the WD 40. Mine also felt like it was going to stall so we called our friend who is a mechanic with Ford. He said to take of the top cover of the engine, and clean the ports with a coat hanger. It is carbon build up in the ports. It lasts about 3 months then you have to do it again. MY check engine light was coming when this happened.

It took care of the problem. When it starts to run rough, then you know to do this. It takes about 15 minutes. But as for the rest of the stuff, mine has 159,000 miles on it and I guess it is tired. We have not had much trouble in the 8 years we have owned it. A few sensors, but that is about it. My speedometer is doing the craziness as everyone elses is, it is about 5 miles per hour off. Just add five miles to the speed it is bouncing at and that is how fast you are going. As for the ABS light, we disconnected ours. One of the sensors is bad and needs replaced, when better weather comes. Also, my rear window wiper works when it is warm only. When it is cold, it freezes.. Also our brake light is on... oh well, I guess it is gonna stay on...

Good luck.

17th Apr 2008, 11:23

Putting a new engine in a vehicle that is 13 years old and close to the end of its useful life tells more about the owner than the vehicle. How did the fuel get into that transmission? I put the fuel in the tank.

15th May 2008, 11:04

My wife and I bought a used 1996 windstar about 7 months ago. It was in great condition and had previously been a rental so the maintenance on it had been great. Only problems I find on it are the ABS light that comes on and off when it wants, the turn signal on the left side has to be held in a certain position to work, and when you turn the AC on there is a loud clunk. Other than that it runs and drives fine and just hit 100,000 miles.

I've owned only Ford Broncos both the full size and the Bronco II and the only thing I can tell myself about the problems is that it's a Ford... Fords are Fords and always have problems lol.

27th May 2008, 17:50

I bought the 1996 Ford Windstar from an on-line ad around 4 years ago. I paid $10,000. cash for it from a computer saavy owner smart enough to get rid of it. It had 50,000 miles on it and the second transmission. I put in the third transmission 10 or 20,000 miles later. No one warned me.

I am at 130,000 miles now and the usual has begun. Running a little rough, then missing, moderate temp., no over heat then check engine light blinking and bam head gasket.

As I think back, I remember worrying when I saw morning steam out of the tail pipe. I had a mechanic service it many times and try to fix any problems. He just didn't figure it out either. Thank God for these forums to warn people in advance.

4th Mar 2009, 12:24

I too own a 1996 Ford Windstar. Now I am sorry I bought it.

It was purchased from a neighbor in 2004 for $2,000.

The check engine light was on and wouldn't pass inspection.

The EGR ports needed to be cleaned.

Ran fine for a short time. At about 80,000 miles, transmission blew. Replaced that for a cost of about $2,000. Then all h*ll broke loose.

Seemed that everything from that point on, needed to be replaced.

New water pump, serpentine belts and pulleys, new alternator.

We have replaced just about everything in the engine compartment except for the engine.

Had to replace all brake lines, brakes, rotors.

Now there is white smoke coming out of the tailpipe.

We just had the van in shop in 1/09 to clean EGR ports again and replace fuel injectors, which cost another $800. Now I am afraid to drive it because the engine may blow up!!

It has been in and out of the garage more times than I care to count. We have spent more money on repairing the van than it cost. Now I can't even give it away!!

Ford is not willing to stand behind this piece of junk, and not willing to admit that there are serious problems with the van. I have been taking the van to the same service department since I have had it, and they also are not willing to admit that there have been problems either!! All they want is my money!!

All I have to show for it is a box of receipts that add up to over $5,000 and a huge headache.