Used 1996 Ford Windstar Minivan Consumer Reviews | Edmunds
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1996 Ford Windstar - Consumer Reviews

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101 Total Reviews

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It coulda shoulda been a better idea
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Mr. G
on

Vehicle

1996 Ford Windstar Minivan GL 3dr Minivan


Review

I too had the trouble with Check Engine Light. Dealer told me at 80,000 that the #4 cylinder had a head gasket leak. PLug was carboned up they said and it was anti-freeze. Funny no antifreeze in the oil! They started to take it apart to replace head gasket and found the intake was all carboned up. Two cans of brake cleaner($3 ea,) and $350 bucks and it was fixed. They denied the head gasket was a problem anymore. Even Ford said it was fixed. Had the intake cleaned again at 100,000. Check Engine lite went out and then came back on and will not go off even when you disconnect neg terminal.


Favorite Features

Great hauler for the taking the kids to school or camp. Sure can haul a lot of stuff.


Suggested Improvements

The 3rd seat is too damn heavy for one person. The engine reliability and the fact they wll not stand by it is a bummer. Back to Chrysler for next van one.


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1996 3.8L Windstar
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By 22 yr old
on

Vehicle

1996 Ford Windstar Minivan GL 3dr Minivan


Review

Get an extended warranty because it's worth it. There were a few minor repairs and the transmission had to be rebuilt at 72K miles when the warranty ran out at 75K. At 94K there are some electrical problems popping up, but nothing too bad. The speedometer has been replaced once and it's getting a bit shaky again. The right windows stopped operating, but my dad simply took the motors apart and put it back together and it just started working again. The door light started coming on even though all doors were closed. I cleaned the contacts where the doors close and now the light only stays on for an extra 5 seconds every now and then. Despite its problems, I like the van.


Favorite Features

Has better visibility than most cars. Comfy and plenty of room.


Suggested Improvements

Better gas mileage. I tried looking for a car to trade in for but no luck. Hope the newer Windstars have fewer electrical problems.


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only burnt once...
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By mom of 3 kids in OH
on

Vehicle

1996 Ford Windstar Minivan GL 3dr Minivan


Review

Bought Windstar based upon safety ratings at the time. Thought we had a great van- but the Check Engine light went on every time we drove on a trip over 200 miles. Ford dealer never could figure it out - or why we had rough cold starts. Now at 112,000 miles, already fixed the gaskets and now need a new transmission. Wish I had checked consumer reports before I had purchased. Going foreign, but only because they have forced me. Will never buy a Ford again!


Favorite Features

Comfortable seats, large space behind 3rd seat.


Suggested Improvements

Provide reliable engine and service people who can & will fix instead of waiting until 100,000 mile warranty is up.


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Didn't Learn
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Unhappy in TX
on

Vehicle

1996 Ford Windstar Minivan LX 3dr Minivan


Review

We've had the Windstar 6.5 years; only 55K miles. No major problems until 54,400 miles. Transmission disintegrated; the internal differential came apart and spewed pieces all over the inside of the trans. A re-manufactured trans was installed. Thankfully, the $3600 bill was covered under a third party warranty. This van was not driven hard by any means. Had a 1988 Taurus wagon. Same engine (3.8 L), same trans, same result (trans died at 60K miles). I didn't learn. I'm sure the head gasket is next. I have friends with similar stories about Windstars. No more Fords. Our other mini-van is a Venture.


Favorite Features

Power, dual A/C, comfort


Suggested Improvements

Reliability must be improved. Reviews of newer models show Ford has ignored the problems.


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Not as bad as it could have been
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By flower mom
on

Vehicle

1996 Ford Windstar Minivan GL 3dr Minivan


Review

Well, the car is only OK. The head gasket problem, allegedly fixed by the 1996 model, is not fixed; it will need replacement at about 80K miles - a surprisingly consistent benchmark. If you buy a used one, make sure it's already been replaced. And the speedometer breaks. And the ABS. Luckily, the brakes themselves still work fine. Nuisance stuff.


Favorite Features

Good get up and go for a minivan.


Suggested Improvements

Until American cars start putting out better quality, I'll pay the extra 2000 and get a Honda or Toyota.


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