1998 Ford Windstar GL from North America - Comments

23rd Jan 2003, 09:27

Well, we purchased our Windstar in 2001 used with only 24,000 miles and I was so happy. It has been a great van until about 2 months ago. The power steering went out completely. It started with a high whining and tight feeling and the next day no play in the wheel at all. My arms and shoulders ached from the effort to steer. We took it in and had the lines replaced and the pump which had failed.

Today I took my daughter to school and the same thing happened. I came home to discover a puddle of fluid on the driveway and a dripping from the engine. The smell was terrible. I'll be taking it in soon and praying. I do not recommend this van if you will need it for major transport. You just can't rely on it.

4th Feb 2003, 09:19

I have a 1998 Ford Windstar that I bought used. It had been in an accident by hitting a deer. Everything seems to work OK except for the door ajar lite comes on periodically and stays on. Seems to be the sliding door. I've heard many people have had this problem. Is there an inexpensive fix that I can do myself other than taking out the fuse?

Neil P.

25th May 2003, 22:24

My husband and I recently purchased a 1998 Ford Wind star and exactly one day after the purchase the Check Engine Soon Light came on. We called the dealership that sold the vehicle to us and they recommended a automotive shop. There we were told that the torque converter and the solenoid sensor needed to be replaced. I got the van back and it started making a high pitched whining coming from the rear end. I was then told it was the fuel pump. I took it to a local Ford Dealership for a diagnostic and I was told there is nothing wrong with the van, one day later the Check Engine Soon Light was back on. The van has died on 2 occasions while driving down the road. I can't imagine what it could be. Does anyone have an idea??

31st Jul 2004, 09:33

I have a 98 Windstar we already replaced the transmission. I had the door switches replaced. Now I have this high pitched noise from the rear at 40 mph. Also I suffer from the windstar clunk from stop to go.

Jim N Branford Ct.

14th Jul 2005, 22:13

I purchased a 96 Windstar with 146,000 miles on it. Rides great and was in excellent shape. But, the problems soon arose. The first was wheel bearings and new spindles, then the head gasket and water pump, then transmission is out. Now the strut bearings are bad, along with all of the other windstar problems. We have had the vehicle for 7 months now, and we only have driven it 2100 miles. I drive 20 miles each way to work, so you can do the math as to how many miles I should have on this van. I would recommend to never purchase any windstar.

22nd Jun 2006, 12:24

If your van dies suddenly while idling you may have a vacuum leak. In my case, the mysterious vacuum leak was caused by a bad intake manifold runner control (IMRC). There are two IMRC's on the Windstar and, yes, they are very expensive ($180-$250). The IMRC's are fairly easy to replace so it can be done quickly by most do-it-yourselfers.

2nd Sep 2006, 02:58

I have a Windstar 1998 with 150k, my main problem is the Sensor IMRC, I need replace one, the price is very expensive for this part about $220. I had noise very strong in the belt motor and I don't have any idea. I am sad, because I going to stop my car and review every component in the belt motor.

25th Oct 2006, 12:47

OK, the top two causes of door ajar light in the Ford Windstar are:

1) Switches in back door hatch need lubrication. Use WD-40 to fix this problem. For some reason Ford dealers seem clueless about this issue.

2) Dirty contacts on side sliding door. Clean with electrical contact cleaner. I have never had any problems with the sliding door on my Windstar.

I found out that Ford's IMRCs don't last too long. If you have already replaced one IMRC you should be ready to replace the second one soon. Both of the IMRC's in my Windstar failed after less than 5 years of ownership.

2nd Nov 2006, 11:54

NEIL P. This might help, cause I didn't run into a deer. Right after I bought my new windstar the door open light would come on when they were closed and it would beep and beep. So what I tried was I got a screw driver and pushed in the door latch of the door I thought it was, my driver door, and it worked. Hope it helps.

8th Feb 2007, 13:45

...from another windstar owner, FORD- Found.

On the Road Dead.

What do you expect from a bankrupt corporation!

As far as failing parts, the quote on them in most cases is 30.000 miles... stop wasting your $$$$, let them die.

15th Feb 2007, 10:57

I own a 2000 Ford Windstar and just came back from Autozone with a troubleshooting code of P1518 - Intake Manifold Runner control (stuck open). Can anyone advise where I can find pictures/instruction on how to do this? Can I do this myself? the guy behind the counter said wd-40 the throttle to see if it is just stuck, if it is disintegrated I will have to replace.

I would appreciate any comments or suggestions anyone could offer me.

Thank you.

10th Mar 2007, 19:15

I have seen several owners who have had door-ajar problems in Windstars. To assist in troubleshooting, I'd like to add something I just discovered... The chime only sounds when one of the front doors is opened, so if you have the door-ajar problem WITH the chime, the problem is likely in one of the front door switches. If you have the problem WITHOUT the chime, it's likely in the sliding door or the back hatch.

14th Mar 2007, 18:19

The IMRC (intake manifold runner controls) regulate the openings in the long tubes and short tubes of the intake manifold (I'm -the large black plastic tubes on top of the engine). Which tubes are opened and closed is affected by your acceleration. There are 2 IMRC's located on the passenger side of the engine, immediately next to the I'm and are small round "pods" with some connecting arms. These arms go in and out depending on the amount of vacuum. To test if they are shot, remove the rubber hose at the top of the IMRC, push the connecting arm in, place your finger over the opening of the IMRC where you removed the hose to block any flow of air. Let go of the connecting arm, if it returns to its original position, the IMRC is cooked. Be sure to cover the hole in its entirety, any leak at that opening will cause the arm to return. The part is about $225 and only available at the dealer. You can try the salvage yards, but most 98 Windstars are missing the entire engine. It is very simple to replace the IMRC, but there is one catch. I have replaced the front IMRC and the bolt at the bottom of the IMRC is too long to remove without moving the alternator. Be sure to look at the existing one and compare it to the new one well before removal. Be sure the part box has the plastic insert locks for the connecting arms. The malfunction of this part will cause the engine to die, esp. when coming to a stop and making turns.

Djs69stang.