Admittedly bought this car "as is" from a used car lot, but seems like an awful lot in repair bills in one year for a vehicle with only about 110,000 miles: Head gasket $1,700. Alternator $560. Transmission $2,300. Already more in repairs than I paid for it. Which is frustrating as otherwise it's comfortable to drive, and has the room I need to haul stuff around when the seats are taken out.
Best vehicle we have ever owned. Bought in 98' with 25,000km in perfect condition. Now have almost 150,000km and have only done tires and brakes (once at 110,000km). Pulls our trailer (albeit a smaller one) and our 16ft boat with ease. Only knock we can come up with is a faulty speedometer (at 40,000km approx). Ford said this was normal and within the tolerances of manufacturing ($800 to fix). If the Windstar had a higher towing rating we would definitely buy another.
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.
The biggest mistake of our automobile buying lives. We like the room and the ride in general. But it is now limited to going only to Home Depot and the dump on weekends. I would never trust it outside our neighborhood. Replaced everything so far, including engine. Read the other reviews here. They won't say anything we can't say.