Ford Windstar

    Overall Satisfaction Rating
    1.85/5

    Based on 33 ratings out of 203 reviews

    • 5 stars3
      9%
    • 4 stars1
      3%
    • 3 stars4
      12%
    • 2 stars5
      15%
    • 1 stars20
      61%

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Consumer Complaints & Reviews

Took our 95 Windstar into Dealership for the 2nd time for head gasket problem. First time they would not do anything about the problem but after constant complaining, Ford agreed to pay for materials (about $450 of the $1200 cost). This happened with about 54,000 miles.

Two months later I get the recall notice. Dealership reimburses me.

Now with 108,000 miles the head gasket is bad again. Dealership says nothing they can do. Gave me Fords customer service number. They are very rude and only quote the specifics of the recall, ie: 100,000 miles or 7 years. They claim there is nothing they can do. Also the timing belt cover gasket is bad this time also.

Frustrated I authorize the repair of $2300.00. We pick the van up and drive it 150 miles and now the engine is gone, needs new block. Dealership says they are waiting for Ford rep to call. It has now been three days and the only contact I have with dealership is myself calling them. They claim that if Ford does not warranty or cover any of the cost of engine repair I'am out the original $2300 plus the quoted new engine replacement of $4300.

Sorry, but we think Tim's out of luck. It's pretty difficult to force the manufacturer to repair anything after 100,000 miles. Our advice to anyone who's repaired the head gasket in a Ford product is to dump the vehicle as soon as possible. Replacing the gasket is not a permanent solution, as Tim has learned.

I bought the one owner 2000 3.8 Ford Winstar even after seeing All the Comments about the Transmission PROBLEMS because I've had good luck with ford explorers. It had 131000 miles and ran great well. Right at 137000 there went the Transmission. I went to ford. They said "it's a 2000, what do you expect?" I said "so it doesn't matter that 137000 miles is the life of the Transmission? So I'm gonna try a 2000$ transmission." God be with me because I've seen complaints about multiple transmission problems with these winstar vans. And I've heard the freestars have a recall for transmissions. The Aamaco transmission shop said they see alot of Winstars and hardly any freestars so figure that one out... Mine is a SEL. Thanks Ford... If this doesn't work out I'm Done with Ford...

I own a 1998 Ford Windstar that should have been taken back by Ford with the LAST recall, wasn't (even the person who worked on this piece of crap was surprised ), now, says the recall wasn't done properly and wants to put yet another band aid on it. This vehicle also has a rotting subframe, which I understand was also a recall but we never heard anything. And from the wall behind the driver's door, which is also rotting out like an old piece of tin, there is what looks like a plastic bag coming out of it! REALLY??? I even posted photos on Twitter and only told we've made a file. Whoopie! Now, I have emailed the CEO, direct. THREE TIMES! Nothing. I have posted on Twitter, publicly, and doesn't seem to mean anything.

This vehicle has been parked. I don't dare drive it any longer. In fact, I had left it at a family home in NY for a few months, came back to get it, and I don't dare drive it back. It won't make it with that frame and the band aid that they want to put on the axle. And I can't afford to buy another car, so I am stranded right now. If Ford would have taken the thing back with the last recall, I could have had something different. But now, if they do a puny couple thousand dollar buyback, I'm just as screwed as I am now.

To be honest, I'm at the point where Ford needs to take this thing back (and it has some other problems now, but I was told between axle recall and subframe, it isn't worth fixing), and let me get the used vehicle of my choice! This last axle recall put me over the top. Ford has basically told me, by this, that I was still driving an unsafe van, and that it should have been take back by Ford when they were taking them back. And with the subframe?

I really don't want to have to go to an attorney on this. I don't want to sue for huge sums or go to court. But I do want Ford to do right by me. With the first axle recall, I would have accepted a buyback, but for some reason, it was decided not to do so, and now, I am screwed. (As bad as the frame rot is, I'm sure they should have seen that at the time as well.) I depend on my vehicle and right now, I don't have one... one that is safe anyway. Even friends wouldn't ride in it. And I'd like to go back home soon! Too bad your CEO didn't have the nerve to respond to my direct emails. Guess I will contact Mr. Ford himself next.

Oh... and this is the first vehicle I have ever owned that has rusted out like it was made of an old tin can, the first vehicle I have owned that will NOT hit 100,000 miles and the first vehicle that I can't even wash because the paint falls off! And the inside can be like a light show. Lights go on and off, van can lock itself, windows sometimes don't close, cruise control quit years ago and ALL these problems, I find, are typical of the Windstar. Thanks Ford but I have a feeling this complaint won't mean anything either. Just as letters and Twitter posts haven't. If I could give negative stars on this, I would!

I purchased a new Ford Windstar new in July 4, 2002 with hardly any km. on it. Ford sent recall letters for the rear axle and fixed my ABS as well as fixed the axle. I have no complaints and taken good care and proper maintenance every 6000 km. with oil changes etc. This is my first new van and I really enjoyed driving the Windstar LX with lots space. I have driven it only 84000 km. in almost 12 years now the speedometer, tachometer, RPM needle which get stuck inside the PRND12 and other things act haywire. I replaced my cluster and am still having the same issue after only having replaced by mechanic after few months. I have also read from other Ford Windstar owners with the same problem from 1999 to 2003 and on youtube this cluster issue more in common and not just axle and subframe cluster. Have there been recalls by Ford to fix? The problem seems mostly in Windstar so common why is there no recall?

2 yrs ago purchased a 2000 Ford Windstar. 2nd hand car dealer fixed issues we noticed prior to purchase. No problem there. Had "check engine" light on like, forever, replaced 3-o2 sensors. Light still on but I can live with that. Suddenly, out of the blue, starts running majorly rough. Took it in to mechanic, they found leak on intake manifold, changed spark plugs, supposedly checked catalytic converter, says all engine okay that they could see. Pay bill. Still runs rougher than blazes. They say I need a new engine. Already did new tires, o2 sensors, windshield wiper box, new battery, plus what was done above. Incl. purchase price, up to approx. $4000.00 not counting typical oil changes. Motor runs "uber" rough, idles "hi" drives "rough" then "better", then "rough".

When you get up to speed it seems to run "not as rough" but when you have to stop and start it runs rough again. Since then have noticed tons of articles on web, not seen prior to purchase other than o2 sensors, about problems with vehicle. Just haven't come across this problem as "yet". I am older person on Federal disability (CPD) so $$ is definitely an issue. I don't have any form of pension fund to draw from to fix these problems all the time as they continue to crop up.

Should have stayed with older vehicle that didn't look as nice or newer than what I've had in the past. Haven't had it in to a Ford Dealer as yet. Feel it's important to say that, it's just that they charge exuberant prices and that's why. So, I guess if anyone has any inkling as to what this rough running could be I'd appreciate an answer, and pray it's not a new motor or an expensive fix. I am afraid the whole van will come to a screeching halt on me one day in the middle of the road. I had thought it may be the driveshaft but then found that on a fwd they use what's called a "transaxle" so that is what I'll be checking out on the web next.

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I have had this 2000 Ford Windstar for 1 year and there seems to be so much wrong with this vehicle. We barely passed safety and emissions last year, and this year we did not. The dash has a mind of its own. We never know how much gas we have, or how fast we are going. It could take ten minutes to start our car because the key does not want to turn. The lights inside turn on and off when they want, the back windows are broken, the side door wiring is bad, and the AC makes a clicking noise when it is all the way cold. Why doesn't Ford buy all of their cars back? I know my car is not the only one experiencing this.

It starts with a driver side window malfunction. It keeps blowing off fuse (but passenger side window is okay). The cd/radio is dead. The fuse keeps blowing off when replaced. All interior lights not goes off when turned off the engine (I had to pull out the lamp manually not to drain the battery). The ECM module got replaced, it helps only one day but next day it does the same. The engine/abs/brake light on all the time. Mileage: 72000. Running is fine. Transmission is fine. Original owner of this Windstar. Can you please help the electric problem? Any information to share? Thank you.

I have a 99 Windstar and it runs good but the dash goes crazy all the time. I can't trust this van at all. I am afraid to drive it out of town. The tach goes crazy, the speedometer has a mind of its own. Can't trust the gas gauge or temp gauge, the cooling fan only works when it wants. I just wish Ford would buy these junk vans back and burn them.............

While driving (luckily at only 25 mph), the rear axle broke on my van. I had already taken it into an authorized dealer for recall "repair" which in my opinion, failed. The axle broke mid bracket that was supposed to stabilize it. I called Ford and the rep was very polite & apologetic and told me that Ford stands behind recall work 100% - he gave me a case number and told me to contact an authorized dealer to have the work done and that the dealership would be reimbursed by Ford.

Two dealerships told me they would not replace the axle since the brackets had been installed and the recall period was now closed. What?! One dealer told me they had done repairs previously, based on what customers like me were told by Ford, only to have Ford NOT reimburse them. I've owned Ford products in the past, but never again. It's pathetic that I have to consider myself lucky that I'm dealing with such a hassle and paying out-of-pocket for repairs rather than medical or even funeral expenses because of a company that puts out a poor product and then doesn't take care of its customers.

Got my Ford Windstar 2000 with 185000 on it. Have problem with the airbag, the horn is not working as a result. The accelerator will suddenly stop responding while on motion. The gear selection is also a problem. What is the cause of all these and what is the remedy?

I bought this 1999 Ford Windstar a couple of years ago. Hardly used it but maintained it. It is rusted in the bottom and in the sides. The power steering pump keeps messing up. My dash goes crazy. The sticks go haywire and one of my sliding doors gets stuck. I called the dealer and there's nothing that they can do about it cause it's not on recall. I had to fix transmission - cost me 500 bucks. I think there should be some type of recall on any of these things cause my car won't even pass inspection.

I have a 2000 Ford Windstar -- it wasn't getting fuel, had it towed home. Now it's in theft mode. Now dealer wants me to tow them. To charge me $138 but won't guarantee fix the theft mode. I don't think I should have to pay. It's not stolen. Any help.

Great van - I purchased 2003 Windstar at dealer van in 2012 with 111000 mi and had lots of problems due lack of maintenance. For all of you that have a complaint read!!! Check engine light with a diagnose lean bank 1 or 2 - need to change platinum gasket. This will fix problem and better mpg. Transmission - no big problems but some odd shifts due first from platinum gasket high rpm. Change oil every 30000 mi and major killer of trans is heat so install a trans cooler. Now it shifts like new. Front end noise - check bushings on torque bar un sub frame and connecting rods. That will fix noise. Dome light flickering - very simple fix - it’s in your ignition block (where insert key), just need to adjust contact. Rust wheel wells - need to spray fluid film every year under van, under doors, etc. That will eliminate rust. All vehicles have problems the first problem is their owner.

The power steering line got fixed today. It drove fine coincidentally until I hit a bump then the radio, lights, blinkers and dash lights started going nuts. We thought I knocked something loose. We stop for dinner, park... Turn the car off... all that. We head home and it was working fine at first but then the lights start going nuts and the alternator was going out within the next few minutes. Turns out the guy must've knocked the wire loose to the alternator when he was fixing the power steer line. So the whole time we drove from the shop (hour drive) we were just running on the battery & it ended up dying. Thankfully a guy in the Walmart parking lot gave us a jump & we tightened the wire on the alternator and all that. Now it's running fine.

My 2001 Ford Windstar SEL's passenger side sway bar mounting bracket (which looks like a U-Channel that is welded to the subframe) completely rusted away and then separated from the vehicle. This design flaw has rendered the vehicle extremely unsafe to drive. My FORD dealership denies any responsibility. After insisting on satisfaction, the Service Manager told they would take pictures of the sway bar and the rusted bracket and then send them to FORD Corporate. Well, FORD Corporate responded informing me that FORD will NOT pay for any of the needed repairs.

I purchased a 1996 Ford Windstar and the transmission began revving up high on the RPMs and would not go into gear. This happens everyday. We've changed the transmission, still goes on and we were told to change the (TPS) sensor, it is still happening. Now the OD will not work. The red No (OD) light continues to blink. I've noticed a great many people are having the same problem or close to it. They should recall this transmission.

My wife complained of vehicle gauges going up and down erratically a week ago. I looked online about it to find that this is almost a common thing with this year Ford Windstar 1999. Unfortunately, before I could take it in to get it repaired, the engine overheated and the head gasket gave way or the heads warped or cracked. We are unable to drive this vehicle at all now. I'm happy to take the blame of any event that I am responsible for but in this circumstance the temperature gauge failed to show the correct temperature in order to allow me to stop the van before it was too late.

My rear axle cracked while I was driving. The good news is that there was a bracket on the exact spot it broke because Ford had a recall situation with their axles doing exactly this. I had the recall done in 2011. The break happened in 2014. They would only repair it for free if the axle broke within a year of the 'repair'. I called 3 dealerships (I even sent one of the dealership's pictures) and the Ford home office as well. They all told me the same ridiculous story. So I had to shell out at over $800 for a new axle repair time.

Rear axle cracked. Under where they put the part both rear tires are tilting in at the top. Recall repair failed on my Windstar.

1999 ford windstar sel 70.000 miles - Had a transmission in the beginning. Electric doors don't work right. Brake lights don't work - had to bypass the module because FORD doesn't make it anymore. Headlights are shot - very foggy. Paint is peeling on the roof. Where are the recalls for this car. Had already at least 4 recalls. LEMON - FORD should buy them back. Very nasty on the phone. This is my last FORD. Bought a Cadillac SRX. SHAME on Ford. Can't even get 100,000 miles on this one. FORD I am done with you. After 3 problems it should have gone back. Can't wait to see what else will Happen. Use this around town only.

I have had 2 Windstars. 1 was 1998 which I drove for 9 years. It had it's typical maintenance along with a few minor issues too. My interior lights would randomly come on and stay on for periods of time. The heater blower motor died and could not defrost on winter days. I did receive the recall notice for the rear axle after I scrapped the van. My next van was the 2003. I have had this one for just over 3 years and just experienced the cracked rear axle first hand the other day. I was fortunate enough to get the van off the roadway.

The rear of the van would jump and slide when you hit a manhole cover or a bump in the road. I was able to be towed from where I was to the US/Canada border. AAA got me to the border and CAA. Brought me home. I spoke to my local dealer and told him my situation. He replied by saying that it was a recall issue and would be repaired along with the sub frame brackets also. I like the Windstar and have enjoyed them. As long as the dealer repairs what needs to be done I will just keep on motoring.

My Winstar 2001 cost me over the 2 months replacing battery twice, fuel pump, spark plugs twice and changed the oil twice. fuse and took it to the service station and they said it was the starter, but found out later it was not the starter. The Gas is spurting out gas on the sparkplugs and in oil every time he try to start the car. I like my Windstar but I know it has recalls and now I was told if I take it to the dealership, they will charge me an arm and a leg. Just diagnosis it. Why is this happening to the Ford Windstar 2001s. Why buy any car if it just comes down to a problem that may cost a fire, or even death to a family. I love the room it has for hauling people. I m having a hard time to even sale it as is.

I purchased a used 1999 Ford Conversion Van with the 5.4 liter engine. Nice looking van. Engines runs very smooth. Electrical problems are door locks work when they choose to, even while driving. Up and Down! Then the starter began to grind one day. I would have to turn the key once or twice to get the starter to engage and start the van. It got progressively worse. Up to 10 turns of the key to start. So I replaced the starter. The starters would work great for about a month then start the same thing as before. At starter number 6, I began to question auto store clerks and mechanics who told me everything from plastic failing inside the gear drive body to it not lining up with the flywheel. Some said they had never heard of my problem and didn't know what to do.

Then I was told I had to have a Motorcraft starter. It had one recently installed when I purchased it. It was the first to fail. I then call the Ford dealerships and talked to service Managers and mechanics who didn't know what to say. Now 10 or more starters later, no one knows what's wrong. I then learned that Ford started installing this 5.4 engine in 1997 through 2000 and has had nothing but problems with it. So why keep putting it in vehicles?

Oh, I plan to solve my problem by getting it to start like it did when I purchased it and then getting rid of everything Ford in my drive. Even if problems haven't started yet with the other products. When I purchase another vehicle, it won't be Ford, GM and definitely not Chrysler!!! Of the 3, they are by far the worse. I went to foreign cars some years ago and never had any major problems at all. They ran for many years and very high millage. Yes, the foreign car manufacturers did put their money where their mouth was with their warranties.

Why did I come back to American? I felt guilty because of all the family members who at the time worked for one of the American auto manufacturers. It's a move I should have never made. I've given them their final opportunity. I'm sorry but I'm about having the best for my hard-earned money and right now, it's not the American cars. I hate to say that too. Greed and an unwillingness to listen to its customers has caused them to make a substandard product and have a great falling away of customers. I'm not the only one who feels this way. Many of my friends feel the same way and they too feel bad that they cannot put any confidence into what's made here at home.

I remember when back in the 70's and early 80's the foreign car manufacturers were the butt end of every joke. Look now who's the joke. What a difference a few years, blew up egos, and management greed has made. Yes, I am upset, angry and disappointed. I did own a few American made old school cars a few years ago. Now these were cars with style and class. I've said enough. Now it's time for me to search the net for a nice, dependable FOREIGN car!

So we sunk all our saving into a Ford Windstar van. Had it less than 2 months and we think the transmission went out! It'll start up, go into reverse but will not move forward! It gave absolutely no warning to this happening, no check engine light, no strange sounds, nothing! I am beyond livid! Now we have to spend 1000 dollars that we don't have to fix this van! Anyone know if I can call Ford and make them pay for these expenses!?

Well, I took my 2001 Windstar to Vallery Ford for the recall. It was a quiet van before I took it to them, but now it sounds like a big loud truck. I don’t know what they have done to make it sound like that and now it shakes real bad. I called them and they said all they did was what the recall was for, but no—they did something to it because it never shook or sound like a big load truck. I am so upset with them and Ford for making my van worse than it was. Something needs to be done. Now, my van is in worse shape than it was before the Ford recall. Ford or Vallery Ford doesn’t want to do anything about it. Is there anything that can be done?

1996 Windstar 220k miles - It blew the head gasket at 80k miles. It was properly repaired by the dealer. No other major problems other than normal wear, battery, bulbs. The A/C and cruise worked until few months ago. I hit a pothole and now have power steering leak. The only annoyance is intermittent misfire codes and check engine light. I also have a '95 Taurus Wagon 80k miles and runs like a top.

On February 4, I went to the auction place in Harvey to purchase a car (2003 Ford Windstar). I even ask question and read the information they give you so I decided to buy a van. I didn't drive it until the 7th. I was in the highway with my kids in the car. When the car keep going sideways, I decided to get out the first exit and try to make it home. Almost halfway home, I heard a breaking sound that made my van go sideways almost flipping. I decided to slowly press the brakes and stop the car without harming my babies. When I got out the car, I noticed the car back axle had broken in half which had made the tires go on one side. I had to call a flat towed truck to come and take the car to a shop. At the shop, they told me we were lucky nothing bad happen to us because there's been a lot of accidents with this vans. And that the van was a recall car and it's not suppose to be sold by law because it can cause an accident. I've been calling the auction place to get a refund but they keep putting me on hold or hanging up. They are still selling these vans at this auction place. A lot of people could really get hurt.

I bought my Ford Windstar in 1995 (first model, 3.0l V6). Since then, I had none of all these problems. In almost 17 years, I only had to change the tires, brakes, v-belt, one battery (my own fault, I kept the GPS in the plug during a 5 week holiday) and some front light bulbs. Today my WS is in the garage, because I couldn't measure the coolant. After this long time, it was almost black, but that's more than normal. Mileage is 156 k mls. It's always outside during the year, no own garage. I know, this is an exception, but because of his (yes, his) reliability I truly love this car. Greetings from Germany.

I just purchased a 2000 Ford Windstar, and despite quite a bit of research, never came across this site before.

Anyway, on with the comment...

I think you guys need to accept that sometimes it shouldn't be down to the manufacturer! If you go into a shop and it turns out many years later to be a substandard item, tough! We live in a consumerist world these days - a chuck away society - deal with it, and don't spend so much in the first place. Furthermore, don't ever buy on credit! Isn't that obvious. If you can't afford it now, don't buy it now, buy it later when you afford it (apologies for the uppercase - sometimes I feel it's important to emphasize).

Some stuff you buy will be dangerous. Life simply is dangerous. Everyday. I really can't understand this litigious, pass-the-blame attitude. We need to get back to where we were a good X years ago, where we had a realistic outlook on life.

You seem to want to know that Ford are looking out for you, but they, like any other capitalist company are in the business of pressing steel together for $$$$$ - if you buy it, expect a little support during your warranty but then you are on your own. Don't buy the advertising bull. Ford are a big company, made big from you going into debt to buy that shiny new car. Don't get me wrong. I don't want to single Ford out here. I think they make decent-ish affordable metal to move people from A to B, as do many other automotive mfrs.

Humbly heed this advice if you may:

1) Don't be suckers people - get to know how a car works, treat it well, service it regularly yourself if you can. If you're elderly, bus services still run almost everywhere.

2) Be different! Don't buy a new car - once you know how cars work you can actually get quite reliable motors working for you daily for about $2000 a piece (that's what I paid for my 2000 Windstar, and, ok, I've since found out it might be badly dangerous underneath. Ok, I'll get a spot welder to sort it or perhaps learn how to weld myself. Sounds kind of fun! ).

You all sound like lawyers to me, and that's a very bad sign for humankind.

I've ranted enough. If you choose to flame my comments, feel free. Freedom is wonderful, and everyone is entitled to their own opinion!

I am a current owner to a 2001 Ford Windstar that was bought used less than 5 years ago. Have had several recalls done to it since it has been in my possession.

I brought it to the attention to a local ford dealership, John ** of Phoenixville, PA, the district sales manager of the Philadelphia territory, Brad **, and Karen **, Executive Officer, that the recall 09S09 was still leaking even though my vehicle was band-aided with a jumper harness to the SCDS. Ford knowingly knew that the original part for the SCDS was defected and still cause leaks despite the harness. When this leak occurs, it still has the potential to start an engine fire due to the leaking brake fluid. The brake fluid then shorts out the ABS/ECM module, which affects the brakes locking up, speedometer, odometer, cruise control, traction and O/D compartments to fail. The recall was only to remedy the immediate fire by the SCDS but not the fires that are caused by a defected SCDS part which is made by Texas Instruments.

Ford has already been replacing the old SCDS part with a new SCDS that is not being manufactured by Texas Instruments. However, this is all done by the owner’s expense! The ABS/ECM module is suppose to last the lifetime of the vehicle except since the recall was not done the proper and safe way. It has to be replaced to prevent a fire. In my case, my ABS module needs to be replaced for the second time, which will be the third ABS module in a used 2001 Ford Windstar.

This is not new for Ford Motor Company on this particular recall involving the SCDS. Fifteen of Ford model cars are affected by these defected SCDS; however, the Windstar owners have only received the band-aid solution with the jumper harness. The other ford vehicles' recalls includes a brand new SCDS part not made by Texas instruments.

At this time, I have not been able to use my van to transport my young children and for me to go to work. The repair costs more than we can afford on a used car. Not only are we making payments on the vehicle that cannot be used, I can not also get a good trade in offer because to the current problems due to the lack of accountability that Ford Motor company has not taken to prevent this problem!

I would like Ford to address this recall properly by putting in the new SCDS part in the Windstar. Ford needs to fix the damages caused by the defected Texas instrument SCDS, which includes the ABS/ECM module and any other electrical damage from the leaking brake fluid. This should be all done by the expense of Ford Motor Company. Owners who have already received the repair should be reimbursed with any repairs that had to do with the SCDS, ABS/ECM, and electrical parts affected by the leaking brake fluid. My overall experience with Ford is a 0!