2000 Windstar SE Transmission Problem


Jamisina
10-16-2004, 04:10 PM
Purchased our 2000 Windstar SE brand new and have had few problems-until recently.

We currently have 49,500 miles on it. Unfortunately last weekend the O/D light started flashing and the owner's manual stated that we should take it in immediately. We took it to a local dearlership where we had taken it before, and they initially thought it was the catalytic converter sticking, then come to find out it was something else internally with the transmission. We thought it was still under warranty, but unfortunately we didn't have the transmission fluids changed at 30,000 (yes our own fault, but with moving back to the US with our 3 pre-schoolers and another baby on the way, having the transmission fluids checked wasn't the first thing on our minds).

Well, with the dealership having the van for 5 full days, my husband paid the $2,700 US dollars to have it fixed and picked it up this am. On his way home, the O/D light started flashing AGAIN. Also, it was doing rough shifting as it was BEFORE we took it to the dealership. It's going back on Monday and I'm hoping they figure out what is wrong-we won't pay them again though. You pay $2,700, you would think they would fix SOMETHING. We have a list of parts they had put in, so we'll see.

There were 3 other Windstars in there at the same time, and my husband knows for sure that one was a 2000 with a tranny problem because the mechanic confused our vehicles.

Has anybody else had a problem like this, whether or not you had the tranny fluids changed out at 30,000? I'd really appreciate any info any of you might have. Thanks.

12Ounce
10-16-2004, 05:04 PM
It's a long shot, but you may have a drive-train elect harness rubbing against a/c tubing (at the firewall) ... as my '99 did. Symptoms can be almost anything as there are 70+ conductors in the harness... including tranny solenoid circuits.
You will have to take wipers and cowling off to see around back there.

1diverdown
10-25-2004, 01:01 PM
I am having the same/similar problem with my 2000 windstar SEL. I first noticed that it would not hold the overdrive while on the highway with anything more than barely touching the gas pedal. After a long drive it would only shift into overdrive if I was not touching the gas. During the completion of a long trip, my O/D light would blink but reset the next time I started the van. The transmission would behave more normally when the engine was cold but once I had been driving for a while, the overdrive issue returned. I had the transmission flushed and replaced but no change. Anyone have any idea?

Brownthree
11-13-2004, 09:38 PM
I too purchased my 2000 windstar brand new. I am disgusted to find out that my four year old vehicle with 51,000 miles needs a new tranny at $2900. I too did not perform the 30,000 mile fluid change. Ford will be getting a nasty letter and I will never buy a ford vehicle again.

gdasz
07-25-2005, 04:35 PM
I am having the same/similar problem with my 2000 windstar SEL. I first noticed that it would not hold the overdrive while on the highway with anything more than barely touching the gas pedal. After a long drive it would only shift into overdrive if I was not touching the gas. During the completion of a long trip, my O/D light would blink but reset the next time I started the van. The transmission would behave more normally when the engine was cold but once I had been driving for a while, the overdrive issue returned. I had the transmission flushed and replaced but no change. Anyone have any idea?

I am haveing the same problem with my 1999 Windstar and nobody seams to know the real reason behind it. The neutral switch, oil temp sensor, oil pressure control solenoid had been replaced with no difference.
Is your car fixed?

leungdkw
05-30-2010, 08:14 PM
Some four years ago, the tranny on my 2000 Windstar was making a loud "clunk" when shifting. I took it to the local Ford dealer and they drove it, and agreed that the tranny was not shifting right. At the time the tranny was still about 1500 miles removed from the expiry the extended warranty. However they told me to just keep an eye on it, or they could do some work on it to find out what was wrong, and if they could not find anything wrong I had to pay for the work. I asked them what happened to the warranty, and they said the tranny was still working and so the diagnostic work would not be under warranty. So I took my van back. Two months later, the tranny died. Unfortunately the mileage was now 1000 miles over! I took the van to the dealer about the clunk found earlier, and they had conveneiently forgotten they had driven the van to hear it for themselves. I paid $2400 for a rebuilt tranny. 40,000 miles later, the tranny died again! The tranny was not the only problem on this Windstar: During the 120,000 miles I had gotten out of the van, I had spent over $7000 on the van for various problems. If not for the extended warranty, it would have been another couple of grands more.

So my advice is: Don't buy Ford!!

phil-l
06-01-2010, 02:56 PM
Yeah, this is a really old thread come back to life. But I'll comment anyway...

Ford Windstar transmissions aren't particularly noted for longevity or durability. But they really aren't that bad, either (well, outside of some of the heavily-recalled early years). Note that the transaxle is generally the weak point of *ALL* FWD minivans. By '00 (and probably a year or two before) the Windstar transmission was heavily revised - and again somewhere around '02 and continuing with the Freestar (this last version shares many internals with the F-150 pickup, and is generally well-regarded).

That said: They are very sensitive to fluid quality and frequency of fluid changes.

Personally, I use nothing but Mobil 1 synthetic ATF, in correct Mercon V formulation.

Personally, I change my transmission fluid *far* more frequently than the manual calls for. But I do it myself, so it's not that big a deal.

The net effect of this approach: At 125K+ miles (actually, it's closing in on 130K), the transmission shifts fine and has never been opened up. The only service required has been related to fluid changes. Please note that this transmission hasn't led a coddled life: We have both a popup camper (2500 pound GVWR) and a utility trailer (can hold 1000 pounds). The Windstar has hauled both trailers over many miles. Last summer included dragging the pop-up from MD to WI, through MI's Upper Peninsula and back. No problems.

Important note for towing: I added a B&M auxiliary transmission cooler when setting up the Windstar to tow the pop-up camper, and recommend it - even over the Ford OEM towing package cooler.

wiswind
06-02-2010, 08:54 PM
It is absolutely frustrating to need a transmission.....$$$$
I went through that with my '96.
I did a LOT of reading and am very happy that I did.....and avoided getting a cheapie unit localy for 1/2 the cost......as many folks had problems with those.
I bit the bullet and got mine through FORD, which in 2000.....the one for my '96 would get whatever updates were appropriate.
I had been having the dealership do fluid/filter changes at 30K miles.
I also installed a auxillary transmission fluid cooler (I tow a utility trailer once a year) and went to yearly fluid changes......started off with Mobil 1 , then I switched over to Redline D4..... Either fluid is great.
The replacement transmission had over 140K miles on it when I sold the van (over 220K miles on the vehicle).

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