Bought this van new in 2000. Have maitained van according to manual (mostly). This van has been to FL from WI and back several times, to SD pulling a camper 2 times, KY and TN twice and is used daily around home. It currently has 201,600 + miles on it and is starting to show it's age. We now have some electrical issues with the cruise control, ABS and gauges. Overall this van has been very reliable. No transmission problems eventhough we pull a pop-up camper with it and no other major issues. We have replaced struts, shocks, tierod ends, brakes and an alternator but I consider these items "maintence" because parts do wear out. Wife now has a 2002 Windstar and I plan on driving oldone
Bought this van used back around 2004 with roughly 54,000 miles on it and I have to say it's surprised me for a Ford. It's actually be a reliable van. I had several people tell me not to buy one, but it's been a very good vehicle over the years. It's had the usual things, tires, brakes and the odd sensor or two go bad and need replacing, but over all it has been a good vehicle and never left me stranded. Like most Fords though it does seem to be plagued with recalls and electrical issues, now which I am starting to suffer from. Locks not starting to work, drivers window motor has been replaced several times and gauges starting to go crazy on me. The rear axle is problematic as they rust out in states where salt is used on the roads during Winter and supposedly they had "patched" mine, but got a notice from Ford saying the patch might not have been properly now. It does have 209k plus on it now though so it can't stay perfect forever and people can't expect these cars to stay that way anyway. It did break an engine/transmission mount which has made it undrivable now about 6 months ago. Have been trying to make up my mind if the cost of towing and work to be done would be worth it as I don't know if the trans has been damaged by this break. The engine was still running strong though and I was expecting to get another 100k out of it.
I purchased my 2000 Windstar used 4 years old with 42000 miles on it in the hopes it would last me several years and provide dependable service. I have spent far more maintaining this vehicle than I would have with another vehicle. The transmission is slipping (75,000 miles), struts need replacing, power door locks not working, fuel economy is 17 mpg (which is harder to swallow closer to $3/ gallon) and vehicle has always had problems with alignments. The worst part is that given the dependability and performance of the Windstar, I'll lose a significant amount of money today as I trade it in on a (yes) foreign car to take advantage of the Japanese ability to build dependable vehicles that hold their value.
Bought van with a little over 26,000 miles. I also purchased the extended warranty from Ford to cover for 5 yrs. Or 75k miles. I had to use warranty multiple times for head gasket, intake manifold leak, a/c, and other smaller issues. After the warranty ran out I have had Major brake problems and another manifold leak and now it is in the shop with Major transmission problems at 109,000 miles. I would not recommend this product to my worst enemy. I also think Ford has lost any future business of mine this is the fourth product from them that I have had to put out more money on than any other type of vehicles I have owned.