How to Replace a Ford Windstar Battery

by Tara Kimball

The Ford Windstar's maintenance-free battery requires little attention until it is due for replacement. When the battery fails, buy a replacement from an auto parts retail store and replace it at home in minutes. When you disconnect the battery in your Windstar, the van's computer will require reprogramming to regulate the fuel mileage, shift indicators and warning systems. If you fail to reprogram the computer, you will notice poor idling, decreased fuel mileage and possible engine error lights.

Replace the Battery


Open the hood of your Ford Windstar.


Remove the bolts on each end of the strap holding the battery in the engine compartment with a socket and ratchet. Set the strap aside.


Loosen the connection on the negative battery cable with a wrench. Remove the cable from the battery. Loosen the positive battery cable as well, then remove it from the battery. Clean the connections on the cables using a terminal brush to eliminate any corrosion or dirt.


Lift the battery from the storage tray. Install the new battery into the tray. Replace the positive cable. Tighten the connection with a wrench. Connect the negative cable, and tighten it with a wrench. Replace the retaining strap, and tighten the bolts with a socket and ratchet.


Close the hood of the vehicle.

Program the Computer


Set the parking brake, and turn off any accessories. Insert the key into the ignition and start the van. Let the engine idle until it reaches the normal operating temperature. The temperature will vary based on your particular vehicle. Wait for the temperature gauge to reach the point where it commonly sits when you are driving.


Idle the engine at operating temperature for one full minute. Turn on the air conditioning and wait for one full minute. Depress the brake pedal and shift the transmission into "Drive."


Hold the brake and let the engine idle for one minute. Drive 10 miles in the van to complete the computer programming.

Items you will need


About the Author

Tara Kimball is a former accounting professional with more than 10 years of experience in corporate finance and small business accounting. She has also worked in desktop support and network management. Her articles have appeared in various online publications.

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