19th Feb 2009, 10:12
We also own a wonderful Gem!! 2001 Windstar, the check engine light was on within a week of getting it, P171/174, cleaned MAS.. cost me $50.00 and still light was on. We can't have any codes to pass emissions, so we changed out the fuel filter, ran it for over 300 miles no check engine light, engine resets at 150 miles so we thought we had it beat.. think again... dropped it off at the garage and that day the light came on with the same fault. Our door locks never worked correctly, one works with the auto button 3 don't, the drivers side passenger door won't unlock unless you pull the lock and handle at the same time. ABS lights were constantly on, we just changed out both front hubs with new ABS sensors on the units and that cleared up that problem, for now. I saw all of the forums on the faulty electrical issue, guess I'll replace that next, hope we don't have a fire.. we would be LOCKED INSIDE since the auto door locks are junk!! Ford definitely has a lemon here and I wish they would do something about it, this is the last Ford I will ever own.
8th Jun 2009, 11:06
We bought a used 98 Windstar in 2003. It's been driven around town lightly by my Wife ever since.
Since we bought it we've installed 3 alternators. We didn't find out until the last one that a burnt out overhead light was constantly drawing current! Killed the battery too that time. I removed the OH bulbs.
The transmission got replaced before we bought it on a warranty, but now with 122,000 miles the torque converter and seal started leaking. $1400 repair. We also went through the "service engine soon repairs". We've done everything possible to meticulously maintain this car, and it has done nothing but have problems every 6-9 months.
I wish I had done more online research before selecting this car. I'll never buy a Ford again. My other car is a 93 Geo with 165,000 miles. It's had nothing but routine wear and tear maintenance. I know why it's so reliable. It's because the engine is an Isuzu!
9th Jun 2009, 11:35
"...I removed the OH bulbs."
That's too much work for me. I switch the interior lights off at the dimmer wheel.
10th Jun 2009, 14:19
Got a 2000 Windstar with 120,000 miles on it. Have had the lean bank codes for 2 years. Check engine light comes on during cold weather (live in Wisconsin). Luckily, I have to get emissions checked in summer. When weather warms up, clearing the code works until it gets cold again. My headlights flash with the light switch off. The van has done this for years, no one knows why. Solution is to always run with headlights on. I agree, DON'T BUY A FORD!
12th Jun 2009, 15:35
I guess you can add me to the list of crappy Ford Windstars. I just got a 2000 Windstar almost a week ago. The check engine light came on and I went to my mechanic and he told me that it was lean bank on it. I'm not to worried about that right now. but then the O/D light came on and the check transmission came on. It says that "the torque converter clutch is stuck off". I just went back to my mechanic and he told me it was going to run me like 2 grand. I don't have that kind of money laying around, and I took it back to the people that bought it to me and they claimed they fixed it the first time, and here I am 36 hours later with the same problem. I'm ready to push this thing in the river and I didn't even have the car for a week. Don't BUY THE WINDSTAR!!!
15th Jun 2009, 10:51
Thanks. Your comment solved a puzzle for me. My '03 Windstar had a lean bank code in March after rough idling and bucking all winter. The codes have not returned yet. So, I am planning on doing the intake work myself late summer or fall. No need to pay $100 an hour for turning bolts.
5th Dec 2009, 21:47
My friends bought one in 2003 with 40,000 miles on my advice. One of my friends is disabled and uses the van for her wheelchairs. She is very active and drives more than 20,000 miles a year. Driven very gently on the freeway. Needed power steering pump replaced at 150,000 miles, and the autodoor motor controls needed to be replaced at about the same time. Also, the brakes wear out awfully fast for a freeway driver. Mostly acceptable faults until 160,000 miles when the transmission started spraying fluid on the freeway while on a trip. $2000 later had replaced the torque converter and seal at a local dealership. Friends asked me to drive it yesterday because it isn't acting right. I did and found it's not shifting into 4th gear. No torque converter lockup, but no OD light flashing either. Now with 202,000 miles. What should I tell them? They love the van.
6th Dec 2009, 11:42
Wow, if your friends have put 160,000 miles on this Windstar, and all they've done is replace the power steering pump and a transmission seal, I think they've had good service. My feeling is that is more typical than the occasional horror stories you hear of blown transmissions at 30,000 miles. However, a van with over 200,000 miles, I would say is not worth spending $2-5k on a new transmission. For that money, you could find a whole different van. I would say drive it until the tranny really blows, and then junk it. The van has given its best.
23rd Dec 2010, 10:33
I have a 2003 Windstar and agree, I will never buy any Ford again. My father reminds me every time I sink money into the piece of junk, that I should have bought a Toyota. I have replaced 2 alternators, 2 batteries, rack and pinion, a power steering line and a transmission!
Now there is the new axle recall. When I made the appointment to get the recall work done, I asked the mechanic "Why don't you just recall the entire vehicle". All he could do is laugh... Now my emissions light is on.
I hate this van! URGHHH! Not to mention the phantom lights turning on and off and the doors that re~open constantly. Oh... and the outdated VCR that doesn't play movies anymore either...