How to Troubleshoot the Ford Windstar

by Morris Wall

The Ford Windstar is a mini-van manufactured by the Ford Motor Company between 1995 and 2003. The Ford Windstar was superseded by the Ford Freestar from model years 2004 through 2007. The Ford Freestar was replaced by the Ford Flex crossover vehicle beginning in model year 2007. The 2002 Ford Windstar was named the most reliable mini-van on the market in the J.D. Power's dependability survey for that model year, however there are several recalls including rear axle problems that Windstar owner's should be aware of.

Start the vehicle and examine the instrument cluster on your Windstar dashboard for any warning lights or text message warnings that indicate an error condition. The lights will illuminate when you first start the vehicle to show that they are working. Any light that remains on after starting, or illuminates while driving should be checked with your Ford dealer to avoid an expensive repair.

Consult your Windstar owner's manual for troubleshooting steps that are directly related to the model year that you own. The introduction of the manual contains common troubleshooting steps including troubleshooting the check engine light. This warning light can signify that the vehicle has run out of fuel, has water in the fuel, or that the fuel cap may not be secured correctly. Consult your owner's manual for common problems and resolutions prior to spending money on a diagnostic visit to the dealer.

Follow up on any recall or maintenance notifications that you receive from the Ford Motor Company whether you are currently experiencing a problem or not. A maintenance notification can affect other parts of your vehicle that may seem totally unrelated to your current problem. Ford has recalled over 500,000 1998-2003 Windstar models due to rear axle problems. Premature, uneven tire wear and alignment problems reported by many owners have been traced to the larger problem regarding the rear axle recall.

Tip

  • check Examine your diagnostic gauges routinely while operating your Windstar. Driving with your tachometer pointer continuously at the top of the range may indicate problems and damage your engine.

Warning

  • close Check your owner's manual for the location of the fuel pump shut off switch. Sudden vibrations including minor bumps when parking can trigger this condition and prevent your Windstar from starting.

References

About the Author

Based in Atlanta, Morris Wall has been writing about computer technology since 1996. He holds a Bachelor of Science in management from Georgia Tech and is certified in Novell Networking and Lotus Notes/Domino technologies. He provides technical support for Apple computers, iPhones, iPads, OS X and iOS technologies.