pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
98,602 miles
Total Complaints:
12 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (5 reports)
  2. new manifold and intake gaskets (4 reports)
  3. replaced oxygen sensor (2 reports)
  4. buy the kit - valve cover, pcv tube, isolator bolts.. (1 reports)
1999 Ford Windstar engine problems

engine problem

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1999 Ford Windstar Owner Comments

problem #12

Feb 132010

Windstar ES 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 144,400 miles


i have had more problems with this vehicle then i want i have replaced all intake gaskets all four o2 sensors and still my engine light is on i have gotten to regret getting this vehicle

- , Otsego, MI, USA

problem #11

Dec 302008

Windstar LX 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,497 miles

i have the 99 ford Windstar and i come to think its a lemon , they should have never be made, for going on 2 years now my check engine light has been on and i have replaced almost about every thing, and i have put in more money then what the car cost. also shops cant seam to know whats rong with it. but the light is still on and i have replaces all this.. o2 Sensors, all of them.. EGR Valve Cover Air Cleaner filter new manifold Intake Plenum , new bolts, and Gasket cleaned EGR Port EVP sensor checked catalytic converter got a new gas cap pcv and soooooooooo much more i think there might be a vacuum leak but cant find it. did find one hose that was cracked and got a new one..

- , Vancouver, WA, USA

problem #10

May 302007

(reported on)

Windstar LX 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 116,000 miles

I have done the change for the codes 170 and 174 new isolator bolts gaskets , seals, but have one problem opened up upper intake to take another look because light returned and I am still getting the codes 170 and 174 and realized that I have a broken isolator bolt. Used torque specs 89inlbs but I guess that is to much. How can I get the broken piece of the bolt out of the manifold. Help please. Thank you.

- , Lancaster, PA, USA

problem #9

Jul 012007

Windstar LX 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,000 miles


P171 - lean fuel mixture. I replaced the O2 sensors. Still had the trouble code. Searched the internet. Found it was an incredibly common problem. The problem is too much oil going through the valve cover, thru the pcv tube, back into the intake and coating the upper plenum with oil. The oil seeps down onto the "isolator" bolts which have a nylon or rubber around them. They can't handle the oil so they shrink and allow more air to leak into the engine causing the lean mixture dtc (diagnostic trouble code). I bought my fix it kit from Summit (so common of a problem you can buy a kit of all the parts you need from many different sources). I have some experience working on cars and the fix took me half a day. I really cleaned all parts (especially the EGR metering ports which were plugged with carbon buildup). Before the fix I was getting 13mpg. After fix I got 18mpg. For about 3 months. Then more trouble codes and back to 15mpg. I've had to replace the idle air control, differential pressure sensor, EGR, it blows blue smoke - (probably valve seal problem) The door ajar light stays on, the abs light is on, it's pinging even with high octane gas. 88k miles on this '99 - makes me sick. I've owned 6 cars - 5 of them Fords 1 chevy. (Had problems with the other Fords as well however not as bad as this mini-van... dont get me started). This Windstar has so many issues with bad DESIGNs that even if I rebuilt it, I'm still dealing with a BAD DESIGN and fear the same problems in the future. And to not even recall it... I don't trust this thing with my precious payload of wife and 5 children. My wife and I are looking at Honda Odysseys now. Found out Ford doesn't even make mini-vans anymore. Fine with me Ford, CYA

- , Meridian, ID, USA

problem #8

Jun 052007

(reported on)

Windstar LX 3.2

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,322 miles

The check engine light is always on with this vehicle even when theres nothing wrong. I took it into the shop after buying this vehicle and they did a diagnostic and told me that the engine was burning too rich so they made an adjustment. The light went off for a day and then came back on. I was tired of paying money for diagnostic tests so i purchased one of those 80 dollar diagnostic machines that reads the vehicles computer codes. Its telling me that the van is now burning too lean.

- , Vancouver, BC, Canada

problem #7

Dec 062007

Windstar LX 3.8L Ohv

  • Automatic transmission
  • 138,000 miles

Check Engine light finally went out...Did the Intake Manifold fix. Manifold is a sandwich of metal with a plastic spacer on top and another plastic manifold part on top of THAT!. Kit comes with seals and new isolator bolts to hold on the spacer, some new hoses (Fuel pressure regulator hose, PCV hose and PCV valve. Also comes with a new bank 2 valve cover which has supposedly been redesigned to not let in so much oil to the throttle body which screws up the whole breathing system.

After the fix you need to go to an auto parts store which will check the trouble codes (OBDII codes)nd see if they went away. I was still getting an oxygen sensor code..(Downstream sensor on bank 2 (The front exhaust Manifold Has 2 sensors and the downstream one is on the Catalytic convertor. Tools are available at Advance Auto under their "Loaner program" and it's a MUST to get the little bugger out! ALL my codes are now gone and the "Ceck Engine"Light is OUT!!!!!! Only took three weeks of screwing around 'cause I couldn't get real info quickly and had to suffer through this pretty much alone! the Internet helped as well as a Ford mechanic whom I lucked onto. Ford should have initiated a recall on this as it involved ALL the 1999 Windstars and probably more. Their lack of caring for their customers IMHO has been responsible for the rise in foreign competition. Dealers are pretty much a wash and they seem to put their dumbest guys at the front desk and call them "Service Managers". All they offer is, "come in and we'll do a "diagnostic", it usually costs an hours time at ???$85.00??? or so.

Simply replacing oxygen sensors is NOT the problem, just the symptom. ONE of mine wad actually bad and when I took it apart, oil dripped out. It is under a leaking seal and each time the engine cools off, the sensor cools and sucks a bit of oil into itself and eventually poops out! Codes MUST be removed after fix. Dealers want another $85.00 to do THAT. Takes 5 MIN. and they call it "REPROGRAMMING"! AUTO PARTS STORE DOES IT FOR FREE IF YOU CAN FIND ONE.

- , Marengo, OH, USA

problem #6

Nov 092007

(reported on)

Windstar LX 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles


I couldn't pass the echeck right after my used car warranty ran out. had the sensor replaced and was okay for about a week , until the light came on again. Guess that wasn't the problem. Seems it was a faulty manifold design that I still haven't been able to fix. NO more money.

- , Middletown, OH, USA

problem #5

Oct 112007

(reported on)

Windstar LX 3.8L Ohv

  • Automatic transmission
  • 135,000 miles

Having trouble with vacuum hose routing on a 1999 Ford Windstar. Is there a routing diagram available. Engine is 3.8l OHV. Someone cut the hose to the AC/Heater controls and I have reconnected it. Need routing of red and blue and yellow(to EVR solenoid) and green hoses(To EGR?)and black hoses (one to a square buffer box, and one to the climate control in the pass. compartment.) Check engine light went off once after I had correct??? routing but came back on next driving cycle and won't go out.

- , Marengo, OH, USA

problem #4

Aug 242006

(reported on)


  • 68,000 miles

8,000 miles after allegedly being fixed by the dealer and the same problem is back! This time, unfortunately the extended warranty has expired!! The car is basically falling apart!!!

Here are the current problems that have occurred since being serviced by the dealer 8,000 miles ago:

Engine light always stays on. Pissing through gas like no tomorrow! Costing me an arm & leg with the high gas prices!! Dealer says an oxygen sensor needs to be replaced (again).

Computer display says various doors are open when they actually aren't.

Auto locks lock/unlock constantly while car is being driven. Inside passenger compartment lights also go on/off.

Left rear sliding passenger door sometimes doesn't close all the way, and the computer says it is closed??

I have considered calling a priest and having an exorcism performed since I am starting to believe the van is posessed!!!

- , Methuen, MA, US

problem #3

Aug 242006

(reported on)


  • 60,000 miles

Car would not pass state inspection, engine light would stay on all the time. Would go through a tank of gas in no time! Oxygen sensor replaced by dealer. Most covered under extended warranty.

- , Methuen, MA, US

problem #2

Mar 082005

(reported on)


  • 60,000 miles

Just another reason to not own a Windstar.

- , Livermore, CA, USA

problem #1

Apr 232004

(reported on)

Windstar LX

  • 100,000 miles

Another common problem - I didnt add the $600 in 4 new oxygen sensors and the $200 in diagnostic work to the figure of $582 I had done previously to finding out this is a COMMON Ford problem. New intake gaskets, manifold, etc etc etc. Had to have REDONE after a hose was not connected properly and a hole was melted into the new manifold just installed.

- , Miamisburg, OH, USA

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