29th Apr 2008, 21:42

I believe the idler pulley has a right-handed bolt. I changed the idler pulley on my Windstar.

8th May 2008, 19:00

I have 98 Windstar with 125000 miles. I had head gaskets replaced at 123000, then the trouble started; engine started missing while sitting at lights or during shift points. Had cam sensor replaced and evaporator leak fixed, then had shaft going to cam sensor replaced. Vehicle still acts the same. HELP.

24th Jul 2008, 21:15

I have a 99 windstar. I have had to replace the transmission at about 95000 miles. I have had tire rods and wheel alignment. However, my locks don't work, drivers side window won't roll down and have problems with ac/heat rear control. These must be standard problems in dealing with this car. Also need to get rear hubs replaced. Currently have 122000 miles. Hope it will last another couple of years.

4th Aug 2008, 18:08

My '96 Windstar has been fairly reliable. I bought it used in '98 with 108 k miles, and I think a new transmission. My thinking was that it must have been used on highway only getting 108 k miles in less than 2 years and must be well worn in. Now it has 220 k miles and hasn't had any expensive repairs.

I've replaced one O2 sensor, cleaned out the EGR orifices twice, replaced alternator and battery. I also had to replace all the instrument panel lights as it was getting quite hard to read with most bulbs burned out.

It was having chirping noises, and during a school trip with the van full of kids, I found out why. The serpentine belt burst after the idler pulley's bearing seized. Without serpentine belt you can hardly steer as there is no power steering and the van had to be towed.

The doorlocks only work in driver's and sliding doors, and you can remove the keys from the ignition while the engine is on. I tried to lubricate the door locks, but that didn't help. Newly cut keys didn't help either, so I'm living with it.

I also replaced idler control valve. I got a 'new' one from the junk yard from a more modern Windstar.

I replaced the tie rod ends after they started squeaking. Not too difficult and I matched length to avoid having to do alignment. Besides I've been expecting the engine to fail before tires ears out, but the van just keeps going.

25th Jan 2009, 12:11

I have a 1998 Windstar. It was running well, came home and wouldn't start any more. Motor turns over, but no start. There's gas flowing, but no spark. Have had this problem for six months now and need help ASAP.

30th Apr 2009, 17:51

I have a 1998 Windstar and transmission in acting up! Shifts from first to second and that is it, but not slipping. To the comment earlier, what part was changed on yours? Is it bad to drive the way it is for now? PLEASE HELP ASAP... Thanks.

31st May 2009, 20:15

Well I finally changed the spark plugs on my '98 Windstar at 110,000 miles. The front plugs were easy of course. The back 3 plugs can be reached from the bottom. The hardest plug to reach is the plug for the #2 piston (middle-rear). The passenger side rear plug (#1 piston) can be reached from underneath through the passenger side wheel well. Surprisingly, this last wheel well plug was quite easy to change. Oh yeah, yesterday, the check engine light came on (P0156) and it looks like one of my downstream O2 sensors went downstream for good. The downstream O2 sensors are easy to change so I'll take care of that later this week.

1st Jun 2009, 19:32

I have a 2003 Ford Windstar SEL fully loaded bought used with 94,500K. My dome light keeps flashing randomly while driving. I've had my transmission repaired. Sometimes idles really rough and feels as though it's going to leap forward or stall while in traffic or at a stop. Keeps displaying rear door ajar when it's actually closed. Replaced front coil springs after one completely broke in two. Any suggestions on the blinking dome light?

25th Jun 2009, 19:42

Well to answer your question, my van would shift from 2nd to 1st, so I don't know if this will help you, but the problem with mine was the little black box that sits on the top of the transmission where your shifting cable goes to. I hope that will help you.

29th Jun 2009, 15:35

The dome light question has been answered roughly 5327 times. The problem is a sticky door switch. I turn the dome light off with the dimmer wheel next to the light switch.

The rough idle and bucking you describe is a bit more difficult to sort out. One thing that is often overlooked is related to the BOO, which means Break-On-Off switch which tells the computer if you are stopping. If that switch malfunctions or one or some of the brake lamps are burned out the computer gets the wrong message but tries to do the right thing. That results in rough idle.

The other thing is related to vacuum leaks of the intake manifold. These leaks are common on our model and can lead to "loping idle" where idle RPMs keep going up and down. When it goes up while in drive the vehicle wants to move. When the idle drops the vehicle settles down. It feels like the van is bucking. It takes about $100 in parts and 3 hours to fix it. Before you go that route make sure the engine is fully tuned up.

30th Jun 2009, 15:19

I am the original poster. I just changed the two downstream oxygen sensors and cleared the check engine light. The van has been running great since I changed the spark plugs. I have an ABS light ON all of the time. I probably have a bad ABS wheel sensor but I don't have any way to pull the code to see what is wrong with the ABS system. I hope to buy a new Equus Innova 3150 to read the ABS code.

1st Jul 2009, 14:33

Since your ABS light is on you may want to check the pressure switch that sits high up on the fire wall, behind the air filter housing. See if there is any leak.

4th Aug 2009, 12:37

I am the original poster for this 1998 Ford Windstar GL.

I am very sad to announce that my poor Windstar will be crushed as part of the "Cash for Clunkers" program. The ABS light was ON but the engine ran great. We were worried about the transmission since it was starting to shift abnormally and we finally decided to trade our Windstar in.

We replaced the Windstar with a 2009 Hyundai Santa Fe SE. We wanted to buy an American SUV, but none of the vehicles met our price point and mileage standards required by the government program. I hear that Ford has made great strides in quality and I hope that is true. Someday I hope to buy a midsize Ford truck with a clean diesel engine that gets 25+ MPG.

28th Jul 2010, 19:20

I have a 98 Ford Windstar that periodically and randomly misfires even while idling in every weather condition and outside temperature. Most of the time it rides good, but when you least expect it, the rough ride problem occurs. Very rarely, it stalls out.

Is there a way of checking the coil pack? The spark plugs and cables are all relatively good.

There is a #2 302 Cylinder Misfire in the code. T II Bank 1 System too lean, 455 large system leak EVAP.

Any advise would be helpful.

Pete M.

18th Oct 2010, 18:02

Have a 1998 Windstar with 210K miles. It overheats and the heater does not come on. Don't see any fluid.

19th Oct 2010, 09:22

Take it to the shop and if there is any fluid they will find it!

14th Jul 2011, 19:15

About the tie rods. I wondered until I had to replace them. Now I have grease ports. They come on after factory parts. I guess it keeps people employed.

19th Jul 2011, 04:17

In the late 80's, the car industry was preoccupied developing cars that will not require frequent tune ups and chassis grease. The result were "permanently lubricated" ball joints and tie rods. If they are maintenance free, grease nipples are superfluous.

If your joints don't have grease nipples, you can still inject grease with an injection kit, which is a hypodermic needle that fits on a grease gun. Push it through the rubber boot and inject until some grease comes out somewhere.

If you have greased your tie rods and the groaning does not stop, then it is likely the lower ball joints that cry for the soothing treatment.