Used 1996 Ford Windstar Minivan Consumer Reviews - 101 Car Reviews | Edmunds

Consumer Reviews

1996 Ford Windstar Minivan

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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.


Best Features

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


Worst Features

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.


Best Features

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


Worst Features

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!


Best Features

Comfortable seats, large space behind 3rd seat.


Worst Features

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.


Best Features

Power, dual A/C, comfort


Worst Features

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.


Best Features

Good get up and go for a minivan.


Worst Features

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


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