1996 Ford Windstar - Consumer Reviews

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Average Consumer Rating 71 Total Reviews
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SATISFIED
By SATISFIED on 09/04/03 00:00 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1996 Ford Windstar GL 3dr Minivan

Review

THE VAN HAS 107,000 MILES ON. DROVE IT TO CALIFORNIA TWICE AND TWICE TO ORLANDO NO PROBLEM. NEVER BEEN TO A DEALER FOR MAJOR REPAIR. I DO MY OWN REGULAR OIL, TRANS FLUID MAINT AND OTHER MINOR MAINT. I THINK IT WOUD LAST FOR ANOTHER 100,000 MILES
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Never again
By trspd on 09/03/03 00:00 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1996 Ford Windstar GL 3dr Minivan

Review

NEVER AGAIN WILL I BUY A WINDSTAR! Bought it for its 5-star safety rating at 69K miles. Replaced the engine at 70K miles. Engine light is always coming on-$55 to diagnose and re-set computer every time. Since May, I've put in $3300, including new transmission at 120K miles (never had warning codes on dash come on, and nothing showed up on diagnostic machine when trans. started slipping), alternator, partial catalytic converter, O2 sensors, and much more. Driver's window doesn't work, and ignition cylinder needs to be replaced. Stress fracture across windshield. Money pit! I'm buying Japanese from now on.
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Watch out
By NCYankee on 07/21/03 00:00 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1996 Ford Windstar GL 3dr Minivan

Review

As with many of these 3.8L models, my headgasket went out at about 78k, causing the connecting rod on #4 cylinder to break. Dealer wanted 4K to install rebuilt motor, so I fixed the original one for about $500 in parts and many hours of my labor. Running good again, but I'm holding my breath. ABS light is comming on all the time now, but brakes seem to work fine.
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Good for the long haul
By happy driver on 07/16/03 00:00 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1996 Ford Windstar GL 3dr Minivan

Review

I have owned this vehicle since May of 1996. It was the first vehicle I found that could pack all my kid's stuff for college and still ride well enough that my wife did not get carsick during the 4 hour drive to college. During all the time we have owned it, it has always been available for duty and has only needed the routine maintenance. I did finally this spring put new brakes on the vehicle. I look forward to buying a Ford again.
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It coulda shoulda been a better idea
By Mr. G on 07/09/03 00:00 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1996 Ford Windstar 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.
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1996 3.8L Windstar
By 22 yr old on 06/23/03 00:00 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1996 Ford Windstar 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.
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only burnt once...
By mom of 3 kids in OH on 06/15/03 00:00 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1996 Ford Windstar 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!
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Not as bad as it could have been
By flower mom on 05/27/03 00:00 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1996 Ford Windstar 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.
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Very Good So Far...
By MadManMike on 05/23/03 00:00 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1996 Ford Windstar GL 3dr Minivan

Review

Bought used in end of 1999, with the 3.8 Leter engine. Never had any major problems. First Van even owned and love it. But there are electrical problems galore but fortunately none have lead to a significant problem: Engine light comes on and stays for months - mechanic can't find anything wrong, thus resets. Interior lights frequently don't shut off after closing doors for up to 30 minutes at a time. Occasionally, the 'Door is open' alarm does not shut off after the door is shut. 'Door is open' light indicator seemingly always shows that one of the doors (or rear hatch) is open when, in fact, they are all closed and double checked.
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Enjoyable Vehicle
By barns on 05/08/03 00:00 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1996 Ford Windstar GL 3dr Minivan

Review

We as a family have enjoyed driving this Windstar for 5 years, Lots of room for children, Adults and family pets.
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