CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA -- I have a Ford Windstar 2001 Van. At one point the ABS light came on. During the next few weeks, the light would go off and on intermittently. While I was gone on business trip, the light came on and stayed on. My wife takes it in for service and we were hit with an 2100.00 dollar bill for brakes, labor, and some other nice expensive part. When I got home a few days later, the ABS light popped on again.
Scanning the forums online, I found a switch underneath the brake fluid tank that people wrote about. I looked it up and bought it for less than 40 bucks. It took all of 10 minutes to replace, and the ABS light has not come on since. I am thinking I was ripped off 2100.00 dollars, but too late and I have no used parts to look at.
Then less than 3 months (vehicle at 110,000 miles), another light pops on which indicates a problem with the emissions system. This time I went online first, and found it to be the heater core. I am not a mechanic by any stretch of the imagination, but when looking at what people paid to have this done (700.00 to 1100.00 dollars), I decided to get a drawing from Ford showing where the part was when I bought the heater core (100.00 dollars roughly). I spent Sat. taking it out, and Sun. putting the new one in. Not really hard work, the hardest part was getting the hoses off on the engine side of the firewall, and then getting the lower cover seated on the firewall in the cabin.
The last thing to happen is the Driver's side power window started flaking out, sometimes it would go down, sometimes not. I am currently in the process of trying the switch assy. (82.00 dollars), then if that don't work the FEM/GEM, not sure of the price for this, imagine it to be around 200.00 - 300.00. Then if that does not work then the motor. Unfortunately the motor is pinned to the door with some kind of snaps and I don't have the tool to pop those. Also the motor does not have a "brake/release" button like you have on a garbage disposal or other similar motors, so I can not raise my window, it is in the down position. I am willing to bet that this will cost around 500.00 - 1000.00.
Oh yeah, forgot about the transmission. Driving along, come to a stop, can't move, engine running. After about 20 minutes, finally get it to move, transmission fluid leaking, take it in, the gaskets have to be replaced, and "sun" gear assembly inside has to be replace. It was also knocking, so they replace another part which name escapes me at the moment, all of this cost 2200.00. It still knocks, I hesitate to take it in for fear of paying more for nothing.
With the door switch, I will have spent 4500.00 dollars on this vehicle. Sad to say, but I will be stuck with it the rest of this year. When I finally own it. I will be trading it in later this year and I will MOST DEFINITELY NOT be buying a ford product. They make crap, they treat you like crap, and they could give a crap about your problems. They think very highly of their service at the rates they charge for CRAP repairs. FORD does not care about service, they only want your money, do yourself a favor and buy from some other company.
Found out about the Windstar axle recall and went to dealer to have them check it out as we haul our grandkids around in it. Was told that the recall doesn't affect my van as it is not recalled in the state of Idaho. If I want it inspected I will have to pay for it. Looked up the recall list and found that only the "rust belt" states are on the recall due to the heavy use of road salt use in those states. Does Ford really believe that these states are their only ones that uses road salt? I've lived here all my life and every fall you can pass state transportation sites stocked with winter road gravel and see the white salt mix in it.
Where I live now they use a liquid salt solution to spry on the roads for black ice but when the snow covers the roads, guess what they put on the roads. Yep, you guessed it! Salt. So why is Ford trying to weasel out of fixing the problem? My wife refuses to drive the van and so I had to buy another auto and put this up for sale. My daughter dove it down to the tire shop to take off the "STUDDED SNOW TIRES" before I was to list it for sale. Parked the van to shop and came back later to find the van not able to go in gear. Transmission went out without a hint of warning.
This is another PROBLEM that Ford has refused to address. I am 62 years young and have driven Fords all my life and still own 2 of them. I have purchased 3 Ford in the past 5 years but with the attitude I'm getting from my dealer on this one there will probably be no more Fords in my driveway. I have a beautiful van that runs great but never leaves the driveway and nobody wants to buy it as most have heard about the problems and I couldn't live with myself if I sold it to someone else with these problems and they were injured or killed because of it.
So I say to Ford, get your head out of your A-s and do what is right. I will be joining as many class action suits as possible until this is resolved. It is just a matter of time before you will have to address all of the Windstar's out there. I also see now that the NHTSA is also looking at the rest of the undercarriage for more corrosion problems now. By the way, I replace this van with a brand new Kia with a 10 year 100,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty.
I am a single mom who does not have money to throw away with 3 children and I have a windstar and my windstar went out in traffic with my children and mom present in the car. Ford is selling a product that can and will in certain circumstances cause harm or death. I plan to take action against them and I am asking that if you feel like you have bought a product that has been harmful and a waste of money then please hit my email so that I can petition the courts about this. Ford is a giant and yes they do fall.
My children safety and yours matters. They are getting profit on vehicles that do not last and they wonder why foreign cars are so successful in the usa. Stop selling us garbage. Build the cars to last for as much as you guys charge! Ford I will be heard and I will expose you guys! Ford Windstar 1997 a machine built to last while you purchase another one. Get real Ford. You are short cutting and the buyers are suffering. All I see at this point is to boycott you guys. If you cannot build quality you should not build by quantity!! Stop closing productive plants! Close ford!!!
BEAUMONT, TEXAS -- I bought this lemon new in 1998. I had the transmission, front wheel lines, etc., etc., were replaced after 2 and a half years. Before that it was electrical problems and front wheel problems. The car would just die on the freeway. I don't know how many times I took that van in and they told me there was nothing wrong with it. When they finally came clean and told me there were problems with the transmission, and they would put another one in at no cost, I had already almost been hit on the freeway several times.
That was done, fine. Now here it is, again, leaking transmission oil, and this van only has 52,000 miles on it. The window doesn't go up, and the back air-conditioning doesn't work. One day I could not get the locks to work. This car has been taken care of. I am the only one who has driven it, and I am so disgusted with it. If this transmission is changed out again I will have to pay for it. No car should have to have three transmissions with only 52,000 miles.
I have already decided I am turning it over to a lawyer if I have to pay for it. I should have done it after the last one was changed out. In this family, we have three Expeditions, one Ford Crown Vic, three Ford trucks, big ones, and here their mother sits with a Ford lemon!!! I had to get this off my chest, as I will probably park this car and put a sign on it, DON'T BUY ONE OF THESE!!
PALO ALTO -- After shopping around for a good used minivan last year, I settled on a 1997 Ford Windstar. It had about 75K miles on it, but it looked good. I had seen the talk on the web about the earlier model years having trouble with blown head gaskets - but the dealer assured me: "That's not a problem anymore. We have since fixed it."
At 82K miles, the head gasket has blown. It will cost me somewhere between $1500-$2000 to repair. I have since learned that there are increasing numbers of Windstars from 1993 all the way through 1998 with the infamous 3.8L V6 engine that seem to share the same problem with the head gaskets.
In spite of the fact that Ford quietly acknowledged the problem in the earlier years and that the manual states that the head gasket "is expected to last at least 120,000 miles or more", Ford has been of absolutely no help. Every mechanic I have spoken to assures me that head gaskets are not considered parts requiring service and that the Ford 3.8L V6 is notorious for blowing head gaskets. I think that ford should be held accountable for this, and should offer to repair these vehicles.