23rd Jul 2005, 10:35
Purchased a 1999 Ford Windstar. Transmission had to be completely rebuilt. $2200.00 later and only 72,000 miles. What a disaster. Engine miss-firing again. Have to have tune-ups ever 3-5 months. Engine is slow to pick up, pulls and knocks after reaching 60 mph. Will never purchase a Ford again.
18th Mar 2008, 10:32
I too own a 1999 Windstar that I purchased used in 2003. I really have enjoyed the van for the most part. We've only had a few minor things here and there. I've had the cabin lights flicker on and off while driving, the rear wiper only works when it feels like it, the multi-function switch has been replaced. The check engine light has been on for the past 2 years or so now because nobody has been able to fix the problem. My van now has about 145000 miles on it and the o/d light has been flashing periodically. So, the van is going to Ford to hopefully be fixed... but I know... good luck with that right??!!
For the most part my van has been great... but I think my next purchase will be Toyota!
27th Oct 2008, 13:13
My 1999 Ford Windstar LX with 110K miles in 2004. As of 27 October 2008 it has had 3 sensor failures, EGR failure, AES motor failure, leaking intake manifold that took the dealer 5 visits to diagnose, total and complete transmission failure at $85K miles, a front bearing failure and a window crank motor failure. Other than the $2800 for the replacement transmission, each problem seems to have cost me about $700 EACH; except the window crank motor.
11th Nov 2008, 05:31
One month ago we got rid of our 1999 Ford Windstar, it was an absolute vehicle nightmare. Rack and pinion went out, 2 transmissions replaced, power sliding doors did not work, problems with the interior lights staying on. Initial problem occurred during warranty but was not honored. After writing a letter to Ford I received a snide and terse reply. Add poor customer relations to the list. Is it any wonder that Ford needs a bailout? Recommendation: make a quality product and people will buy it. Just bought a Toyota, good riddance Ford.
21st Dec 2008, 23:21
I own a 2000 Windstar. I am a single mom who needs reliable transportation. I have NO extra money at any given time. So far, in three years of owning this car, I have replaced the transmission, replaced the brake cylinder, and the windshield wiper motor stopped working two years ago. (Thank God for Rain X). NOW, the Overdrive Off light keeps flashing. I swear I think I will lose my mind.
22nd Dec 2008, 17:10
Single Mom: Minivans of any make are not really cheap vehicles. They do need maintenance, they are using a lot of gas compared to cars and depreciation is a real killer. Now it looks like your transmission is on the way out. Did you have the fluid flushed regularly?
It may be time for you to downsize dramatically. Can you get by with a small car? Most likely you will be able to find a decent used car for the price it would cost you to replace the transmission on the minivan. Before you go that route though have the transmission checked and at least have the fluid flushed. You may be lucky and the $70 flush is all you need.
Good luck to you.
23rd Dec 2008, 11:29
Do not get a flush! They do more harm than good. If you get the transmission serviced, have the fluid drained out and replaced, and have the pan taken off to change the filter. That is different than a flush. I would NEVER take my car to some "lube place" for a transmission flush.
Let's help the poor lady out, instead of trying to induce her to be "eco friendly" and "get a small car" in this traumatic time!
28th Dec 2008, 15:03
My 2000 Windstar Van has had all the problems mentioned here, and has only 76000 miles on it. Now I have a windshield wiper problem and the motor must be replaced at the tune of 240 dollars today.
My transmission has been replaced TWICE already. Also, rack and pinion steering within 3 years, intake manifold, electrical, etc, etc,.
And the engine light going on and off. That was not covered. Turned out to be a loose wire after the Ford dealer took hours to track it down. That cost me hundreds of dollars out of pocket for the dealer to find the loose wire.
I have paid hundreds in deductibles, even though I had an extended warranty. There is no excuse for this many problems on a less than 3 year old car. And of course the problems continue even with "light" driving and excellent maintenance through out. I am done with Ford and I suspect many others are too.
I have tried to "Buy American" and be loyal to our own companies. But as far as I can see they are only interested in themselves. Not their loyal customers. I have to agree with many on this sight who have lost faith in many of the American companies, and will be making further purchases with more worthy companies who are more reliable.
Also, I agree with many others here who feel that sub prime companies like Ford deserve no bailouts. Who is bailing out the Ford customers, who are saddled with one major repair on top of another. First we pay for excessive repairs on our Fords, then our government hands over our tax dollars to bail them out of a mess of their own making? It is a big convoluted quagmire of corporate and political games with American tax payers left holding the bag. Sheesh!
9th Jan 2009, 21:41
My single owner 1999 Windstar LX 3.8L, now at 90,000 miles, sits on my driveway. We tired of the check engine light, transmission gear slippage, engine codes associated with the now classic defective intake manifold and valve cover problem. The engine problems may be fixed but estimates I read indicate this is at minimum, a $600 US expense.
Meanwhile, I've purchased a 2008 Saturn Vue for reliable transportation (equipped with one of the world's best engine & transmissions, according to Ward's Automotive)
SO, I may take a chance on fixing the Windstar but it has been a major disappointment. If I do go ahead with install of the replacement manifold/valve cover kit and this does not correct the engine problems, I'll call it quits and get rid of the car.
All in all, the failure of this Windstar following on a similar experience with a Mercury Sable has convinced me that even if Ford has improved its quality and engineering in more recent years, they exhibit a callous indifference to consumers and are not to be trusted ever again.
My father bought Oldsmobiles for years and warned me about Ford. I should have listened. Now, I know better.
31st Mar 2009, 14:11
I, too have a wonderful old 1998 FORD Windstar, OMG trouble, trouble, trouble. If it's not the annoying check engine light, it's the dinging of the door ajar bell, when there's no door ajar, to the overdrive light flashing after a 15 to 20 mile trip. I've got a better idea, DON'T BUY A FORD...
1st Apr 2009, 16:23
I think you have point with the flush. I always thought the flush does include dropping the pan and replacing the filter. Not so. You have to specify that if you want it done.
About the "Eco-friendly" thing: My comment was not about saving the planet, but saving the budget. I think many people get in a used car based on purchase price and not considering what costs will come down the pipe. Then they get frustrated as the bills come in. The single mom indicates that she has no financial wiggle room to fix her vehicle. She is probably asking herself if the car is serving her or if she is serving the car. I state that minivans are expensive anyway you look at it: repairs, depreciation, fuel, registration fees. Maybe insurance premiums are reasonable. So for her maybe a small station wagon would be a better match. Most of the running costs, in particular fuel, would be lower and that could help in her situation.