230,000 after 12 years & still going strong despite slight oil and radiator leaks. Very dependable 22mpg av. Drivers door damaged by 3rd party, $1,990 estimate to repair! Found complete salvaged door and professional paint job all for under $500. Easy to do. Four bolts and door is off, pull wiring harness out of body not door and unhook two snap connectors- interior trim comes off easily after extracting 4 screws, 3 on exterior last is visible when you extract control panel which snaps off. Had same dinging problem but in wet, caused by faulty sensors beside lock mechanisms. Highly recommend vehicle but you should change engine oil regularly, transmission oil and rear axle oil after 130,000
It sounds like this vehicle is hit or miss with a lot of folks. For us, it's been a total hit with a few caveats. Bought used in '04 for $6k, from day one the cruise control didn't work and every once in awhile the dome lights will not turn off. Spray some W2-40 on all contacts for each door seems to fix (and a hint I read elsewhere). Otherwise, the master cylinder went out but no biggie. This thing holds a ton of stuff and is very roomy. It's been an awesome family car for us. Be aware there is 1 side door, not two like most these days.
I bought this car from a owner dealership because my former car had been in an accident. I'm a poor college student (how many are there that aren't, lol) and needed something to get around town. I was looking for cheap and safe. Well, I got the cheap part! This van has been nothing but trouble now that it's about 10 years old. The ABS computer system is malfunctioning which is supposedly supposed to cost 1500 dollars at least! The head gasket is leaking and soon to break. My oil leaks constantly regardless of attempts to fix it. The side sliding door doesn't shut and causes the indoor lights to stay on, (you have to pull the fuse to reset it). It just has issues. I hate this van!
Purchased new. Even though it only has 100,000 miles, it's on it's 4th set of tires. It's noisy, the front end clanks, and has since new. The door ajar problem has existed since it ran out of warranty, along with various and sundry check engine lights. The transmission is on it's way out now, so it's time to get rid of the thing. The passenger seats are nice. The front buckets are terrible. I'm glad to see it go away.
I don't recommend a Ford windstar van, at least not a 1998. When I first got the vehicle the transmission was bucking and when I went to have it replaced with a new trainny, it did the same thing, and they told me this was normal for '98 Windstar vans. Visiblilty is not great on highway. I had to replace the whole ABS system costing me over $1100 and nearly everything else except the engine has had to be replaced. On a more positive, it is a very comfortable car to drive, and it rides very smooth with a quiet engine. Safe car to drive if you do well with poor visibility on the highway. I would not get a Ford Windstar van again, and may not even get a Ford again.