Ford Windstar

The Ford Windstar was the number one challenger last year to Chrysler’s long term domination of the minivan market and has been a stronger and stronger competitor since its launch as a 1995 model-year vehicle.

The TV adverts called Windstar “the evolution of the minivan”. A front-wheel-drive vehicle based on the Ford Taurus platform, the Windstar is bigger and roomier than the base Caravan/Voyager and it’s built exclusively at the Ford of Canada assembly plant in Oakville, Ontario,

Initially the only engine offered was the 3.8 litre V6 rated at 155 horsepower. It’s a low maintenance engine and has hydraulic engine mounts that help suppress engine vibrations. A switch to a split-port induction system, in ’96, increased output to 200 horsepower and coincided with the introduction of a new 3.0 litre V6 base motor. Fuel consumption in the city is rated at 13.7 L/100 km. (21 mpg) and on the highway it’s 9.1 L/100 Km. (31 mpg).

Ford has extended the warranty on 3.8-liter V6 engine to seven years or 160,000 km in the ’95 Windstar. A defective cylinder head gasket can lose coolant and eventually overheat and damage the engine. Ford will also reimburse owners who have already had repairs performed at a Ford dealer or independent repair facility. This policy adjustment also applies to the 1994 and ’95 Ford Taurus, Mercury Sable and Lincoln Continental equipped with the same 3.8 litre engine.

The four-speed AX4S electronic transaxle was originally developed for the Lincoln Continental and is operated by a steering column mounted shift lever with an overdrive lockout button. The quick downshift button is a handy feature when you need a little extra power to get past something or when merging with faster traffic.

Safety is a priority on “the ultimate family vehicle” so Ford went to great lengths to ensure that Windstar was the safety leader. Although classified as a van, the ’95 Windstar exceeded the more stringent new safety standards set for 1997 passenger cars. It came with dual air bags, a four-wheel anti-lock (ABS) brake system and damage resistant, eight-km/h tested bumpers front and rear. And it was the first minivan to receive the coveted five-star crash test rating for both the driver and front passenger.

A partial redesign of the Windstar was made for the ’98 model year. A basic trim 3.0L and a loaded Limited were added to the bottom and top of the Windstar lineup. To keep pace with new competition (offering an extra left-side sliding door) the driver’s door was enlarged to allow access to the rear seat. A tip-and-slide driver’s seat, with a memory feature, was standard on LX and Limited and an option on the GL and 3.0 L

Ford does an excellent job of isolating the passengers from unwanted drivetrain and exterior noises, so it’s possible to parley with rear passengers, without resorting to hand signals, at highway speeds. The Windstar is also capable of pulling up to 1588 kg (3500 lb.), when fitted with the trailer-towing package.

Safe, secure, roomy, comfortable and affordable, a well maintained used Ford Windstar could be the perfect vehicle for your family.


Used vehicle prices vary depending on factors such as general condition, odometer reading, usage history and options fitted. Always have a used vehicle checked by an experienced auto technician before you buy.

Recalls

Recalls to the Ford Windstar include the following:

1995 – (9,268 vehicles)
– An under-dash wire may short circuit due to abrasive contact with a support brace.

1995 – (15,055 vehicles)
– A loose alternator wire connection can result in overheating and a possible under-hood fire.

1995 – (395 vehicles)
– Possible crack in the inflator body of the passenger side supplemental restraint system (air bag).

1995/96 – (62,695 vehicles)
– Air pressure between the inner and outer hood panels may separate the bonded surfaces at highway driving speeds.

1996 – (2,391 vehicles)
– A sharp edge on the park pawl abutment bracket may prevent engagement of the park position.

1996 – (6,310 vehicles)
– Vehicles equipped with the AX4S transaxle, the park pawl shaft may have been improperly positioned during assembly.

1996/97/98 – (282 vehicles)
– Replacement brake rotors may cause wheel shudder on braking or shimmy at highway speeds.

1997/98 – (10,607 vehicles)
– The AX4S transaxle has low/intermediate servo covers that can separate and leak transmission fluid onto the catalytic converter.

1998 – (50 vehicles)
– The rack and pinion steering gears may have a damaged input shaft bearings that can increase the steering effort.

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