by Sigh... on Nov 11, 2009 Vehicle: 1997 Ford Windstar GL 3dr Minivan
Have owned the car since it was new. Now have 180,000 miles on itso we know the good and the ugly. The good: great concept and design, very comfortable, great highway vehicle (primary use for us - never was a city car which is prob why we have so many miles on it),tranny is orig and fine engine/trans/systems well conceived (but see the bad...) now has 180K on it and runs great - still not burning oil. The bad: it was made so poorly!!! We have replaced virtually every seal in the engine, rebuilt all the brakes, cruise control and ABS computer quit working years ago. Have replaced many parts - it has been an expensive car to maintain.
by Tom on Dec 31, 2007 Vehicle: 1997 Ford Windstar GL 3dr Minivan
Purch van in 97 with 4,500 miles. The vehicle has been fairly rugged, except the 3.8 L engine, 200 hp and tows well. The intake and timing chain cover gaskets failed at ~ 110,000 miles (should not fail), about $2,000 from a private mechanic including water pump. Gas mileage is 22/17, handles and drives well Problems: Speedo bounces @ 40,000 did not repair ($500) 3 sensors $250 for parts Intake, timing cover gaskets, water pump @110,000 ~ $2,000 Alternator @120,000, $130. Power steering pump hose $60. Weld front suspension supports $250. Intake manifold gaskets 2 hours Labor, $25 for gaskets Need to clean the sliding door contacts every few years (10 minutes a little steel wool)
by Joel on Jul 16, 2007 Vehicle: 1997 Ford Windstar LX 3dr Minivan
Blown head gasket from failed sensor. Body scratches very easily, and visibly! Rack in constant need of readjustment. When driving on the hwy, feels like there is a sail attached to the roof. Very poor turning radius. Fix or Repair Daily. Never Ford. Never again.
by Tom on Dec 20, 2006 Vehicle: 1997 Ford Windstar GL 3dr Minivan
Bought demo 4600 miles, 22 mpg on trips, 16 city. Solid vehicle with unfortunately some flaws; front stabilizer bar came loose ~ 70K shop welded both sides for $250, speedometer bounces 40K, $500 live with, intake leaked 115,000K, $1,500, stuck valve before I caught it and radiator leaked transmission fluid $450, water pump $300, couple sensors died $160 for parts. I have a cheap mechanic - cost might be double at dealer. It still runs like new, 10,000 miles on synthetic oil with no oil added. 3.8 still squeals the tires if you want. Advice: Change transmission fluid no problems. If you loose coolant find the leak and fix. Great vehicle, mainly need to fix the gasket problem.
by stevenoford on Mar 23, 2004 Vehicle: 1997 Ford Windstar GL 3dr Minivan
The van itself has been fine. Few
repairs over the past 7yrs. Now, we
were expieriencing a leak of greenish-
brown fluid (uh oh).
$2200 for replacement of two gaskets.
I hope ford comes through and pays for
some of it. But, not likely to
First/last ford no matter if they pay
for it. I mean come on.... seems like
there is a problem w/this 3.8 engine.
They should recall it vs. designing the
engine for 70k miles (just out of
Ford is where quality sucks.
by SteveFromSyracuse on Mar 19, 2004 Vehicle: 1997 Ford Windstar GL 3dr Minivan
Don't ever take this baby on the LONG
HAUL! That transmission will sing you
an expensive tune. It heats up after
an hour or so and everything starts to
blink and go alarmed. Fixed the
traditional things like the mysterious
power windows & lights & warning
alerts. Just over 100k miles now,
front bearings are going. Must sell and
buy anything but a FORD.
Not much is new for the 1997 Ford Windstar. Caught flatfooted by the Chrysler and GM minivans that feature sliding left-side doors, Ford has installed a tip forward driver's seat, on early release 1998 models, to give passengers the option of entering from the driver's side. Hmmm, seems like that won't be enough to satisfy the fickle buyers of the minivan market.