really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
105,400 miles
Total Complaints:
6 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace the head gasket (5 reports)
  2. not sure (1 reports)
1998 Ford Windstar engine problems

engine problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 1998 Ford Windstar:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

1998 Ford Windstar Owner Comments

problem #6

May 012013

Windstar GL 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles


Since I had the car the antifreeze was going somewhere, I could not see it.

Now I know its the head gasket issue.

Looks like a number of people have the same problem.

- doulos378, St Nazianz, WI, US

problem #5

Aug 142012

Windstar LX 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,633 miles

During a normal inspection of the coolant I noticed oil in the coolant reservoir. The only explanation of this highly-undesirable situation is a failed head gasket, permitting oil to enter the coolant channels in the motor, rad and the reservoir. I had this assessment verified using the "block" test whereby a chemical is exposed to the coolant. If hydrocarbons are detected the chemical changes colour. It changed colour.

Because I can do auto mechanical procedures, I decided to park the Windstar in my driveway and fix it. While moving the vehicle on the ramps, a brake line popped. I tried to jack the van onto jack stands in order to fix the rear left brake line. I placed my jack under the jack point behind the driver's-side wheel, but the jack point failed, spilling a pile of metal and rust onto the drive.

In summary, the sub-frame has failed, making it impossible to fix the brake line, making it impossible to move the vehicle, making it impossible to fix the head gasket. I am so disappointed. The interior of this van is beautiful, clean and fully-functional. But the sub-frame and motor are crap.

This Windstar, which took my children to hundreds of swim practices and meets and my whole family to friends, relatives and the cottage is still immaculate on the inside (air, locks, security, captain seats, carpet, mirrors, etc) but f'ed on the underside and in the motor.

The dealer--Donnelly Ford in Ottawa, where I bought this van, says "Sorry."

But what can they do. The interior guys did a fantastic job on this van. The engine/body guys f#cked up big time. This was my first Ford vehicle. It is my last.

- markstack, Ottawa, Ontario, canada

problem #4

Apr 232012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,000 miles

This is the third thing in less than a year that has gone wrong with this vehicle not to mention all the recalls that have been made on this car. Us citizens should be paid by ford for even having bought this piece of crap like this. Why does Ford think that the poeple who buy thier cars can afford to go out and get anohter one before this one is even paid off. I have over 2300 dollars to pay on a loan for this piece of crap car and can't get money to fix it because i was told it would cost of 2400.00 to fix, can't trade it in because the car dealers with all the recalls won't give a person but 100.00 for the doggon thing. SHAME ON YOU FORD for putting us citizens in this type of predicatment by having such crappy vehicles you are slapping together!

- Lisa N., Iowa City, IA, US

problem #3

Jan 112011

Windstar GL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles


I only had the van for 2 months and already dropping this kind of money into it!?!?! I gotta say it (sadly wasnt the first time) I should have gotten rid of it then

- angiehoney2pa, Spring Grove, PA, US

problem #2

May 232007

(reported on)

Windstar XL 3.8 V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,322 miles

Brought the vehicle in for a check engine light and it was "fixed" by the O2 sensor. Light came back a day later and I was told "oh, we found the problem, you have oil in your coolant, must be the head gasket". I asked how he would know that, mechanic told me it was very common on the 98 windstar. I know of two others from work with same problem within 8000 miles of each other. I contacted Ford and they completely ignored my complaint, concerns or frustration.

- Warren G., Fallbrook, CA, US

problem #1

Jan 212007

(reported on)

Windstar 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,400 miles

I noticed that this is a major problem with the 1998 Ford Windstars and Ford won't fix the problem nor will they put a recall for this problem. If you look at the history that Ford has with Blown head gaskets, it's a wonder why there hasn't been a recall for these as of yet.

- longhair, Kenilworth, NJ, US

Not what you are looking for?