1996 Windstar Speedometer Gone Crazy


atlannie
02-24-2006, 09:25 PM
Hi,

My 96 windstar has 93,000 miles on it and all of a sudden the speedometer has gone crazy and makes a racing kind of noise as it jumps all over the place from 50 to 120. Can anyone shed any light as to what I should do as far as where to take it. Hate to go to the dealership unless I have to. Odometer seems to be working fine along with all else.

Thanks. Annie in Atlanta

dougand3
02-24-2006, 10:05 PM
Your Windstar probably has a VSS (vehicle speed sensor) in the transmission that communicates with the speedo gauge...VSS could be faulty. VSS also commos with the PCM (computer)...do you have a Check Engine Light lit? If so, Autozone will read the CEL code for free. Get the alpha/numeric codes.

Also, the speedo gauge you read could be faulty.

For repair...a competent independent mechanic will be cheaper than a dealer.

wiswind
02-24-2006, 10:15 PM
If you are hearing the sound from the dash....very likely the gears inside the speedo need some lubrication.
I have not done this, but a search in this forum on speedometer should find some posts on how people got some lubricant into the gears in the speedometer.

atlannie
02-27-2006, 04:00 PM
Well, I went to Autozone and had them read the CEL and it came up with the codes P1537 and P1538. Don't think this has anything to do with the speedometer from reading previous posts. But I have no idea.

wiswind
02-27-2006, 07:39 PM
These codes have nothing to do with the speedometer.
P1537 is IMRC bank #1 stuck open
P1538 is IMRC bank #2 stuck open

I would recommend doing a search in this forum on one of those codes.

LeSabre97mint
02-27-2006, 09:30 PM
Hello

I had the same problem with my 95. The speedo head has a small bearing that goes bad. Do you see the center of the needle jumping around when it should be held in one spot with a bearing? If you do, you might want to consider a used speedo head from a bone yard.

Regards

Dan

atlannie
02-27-2006, 10:56 PM
Thanks for your responses. I will look into it. I appreciate all of y'all's posts here. I actually fixed the problem I was having with my door alarm by using the WD-40 that I saw was suggested on another post. So thanks so much for taking the time to share the information. To me it has been very helpful.
Regards, Annie in Atlanta

DanceMama
07-23-2006, 04:26 AM
Bought our used 96 Windstar 06/01/06, about 135K miles, took back to dealer on 06/14/06 for several issues, one of which is the unreliable, bouncing needle on the speedometer.

I sold Fords to fleet companies for 10 years from 1990 to 2000, so I am very familiar with the history of the 95 Windstar w/3.8L engine. Did a carfax on this one and saw no open recalls, no mileage issues, etc...

The night we purchased it there was heavy rain and it was late in the evening, so, like a dummy I didn't take it on the freeway, only on local roads around dealership. It drove nicely, was quiet, had the options I knew I wanted such as quad captain's chairs, rear a/c, rear privacy glass, etc, so I was happy.

The next day I had to get on the freeway to run some errands, and thought I was losing it when I looked at the speedometer and watched it bounce like mad. Basically I didn't know if I was going 50 mph or 75 mph, it bounced that much. I found on the NHTSA website a long list of complaints for this specific issue, but Ford has never issued a recall, nor have I found anyone that Ford assisted financially for this repair that usually runs around $500 with labor. (the Odometer Disclosure act of Ohio does define "odometer" as the device that records mileage and all parts that make it work) so I'm considering contesting the legality of the sale if the dealer continues to disregard my concern as the act of "knowingly" selling a vehicle with a faulty odometer OR not repairing or replacing said odometer once notified by the purchaser that the odometer is faulty is a 4th degree felony in Ohio.....

My Windstar is still at the selling dealership (5 1/2 weeks later and 4 1/2 weeks into a rental car they are providing) and I am waiting for them to complete the engine installation. In addition to the stalling, the low oil pressure light came on and remained on/flashing when idling after the first week. They replaced the oil sending unit first - still blinked. They replaced the oil pump - still blinked. You get the idea. Now they have replaced the engine entirely, which I'm sure that is only because they sold me an 18 month extended warranty covering repairs on engine/transmission if caused by "internal, lubricated parts". I don't know if they are doing this just as a result of ruling out other repairs, or if they felt the valve gasket issue was rearing it's ugly head but after 3 weeks in the shop with not one call from them about updates, they called to tell me the engine should arrive in town that day - my reaction was "what engine??". They have yet to provide an estimate for my share of the work and in Ohio an estimate can't vary by over $25.00 without written or oral consent from the customer. No estimate, no payment over $25.00 will be given to them.

I'm very concerned about the speedometer issue.They called me yesterday morning to tell me it should be ready for pick up that day. But, he told me to wait as the shifter cable broke twice in the previous 30 minutes. I asked him about the status of the speedometer and he acted like it was the first time he'd ever heard of the issue - not true at all. We bought the van because we had our 3rd child in February and needed something larger and safe. But, if I don't know what speed I'm traveling, I'm not feeling very safe at all. Some message boards on other sites offer names of companies that will provide a replacement speedo head for about 1/4 the cost of new....Maybe I'll try that out if they take care of the rest. Mostly concerned about safety and reliability of the odometer itself....

For those that are interested, the websites that offer discounted speedometers are:

www.dashusa.com (http://www.dashusa.com)
www.car-part.com (http://www.car-part.com)

Good luck, and I'll let you know what happens!

They claim that the front end noise will be resolved with new sway bars they are installing and are going to look at the venting of the rear a/c to see if they can reconnect it, if that's what it is.

drummererb
07-25-2006, 01:57 AM
Yeah, I'm having the same issue too. Instead of it jumping around, persay, it wiggles at low speeds, something like 5 mph either side. When I get on the interstate, it bounces about 10-15 mph on either side. It seems to "bounce" in reaction to the roade. If i can get a flat piece of land, I can see what my needle is sitting on (i set my cruise to that) but when I hit a bump, it bounces around.

Was told I'd have to get a whole new spedometer since the kind Ford uses isn't fixable by any easy or cheap means.

Edit: spelling... must not post at 3am

DanceMama
07-25-2006, 11:33 PM
Yeah, I'm having the same issue too. Instead of it jumping around, persay, it wiggles at low speeds, something like 5 mph either side. When I get on the interstate, it bounces about 10-15 mph on either side. It seems to "bounce" in reaction to the rode. If i can get a flat piece of land, I can see what my needle is sitting on (i set my cruise to that) but when I hit a bump, it bounces around.

Was told I'd have to get a whole new spedometer since the kind Ford uses isn't fixable by any easy or cheap means.

Check out the www.dashusa.com (http://www.dashusa.com) website. A Ford speedometer and installation will run about $500. This company will repair your actual speedometer for around $150 and overnight it to you, if you want to undertake installing yourself. This issue is VERY common with these Windstars.

Mean_Viper
04-30-2007, 11:24 AM
:nono: I would not recommend DASHUSA DashUSA Auto Electronics & Speedometer http://dashusa.com/ to anyone. They have had my instrument cluster for over a month and three weeks ago they were paid and was told by Steve's rep that the cluster would be shipped that day. Its now three weeks later and I have called them various times and left messages. The last two times (about two weeks ago) was the last time I talked to STEVE himself and he told me both times that he would call me back, and to this day has not. I am unable to use my car for over a month now. I left them a message to either send the repaired item back or refund the money and send back the cluster and I can take it elsewhere for repairs, but no luck. They have caller ID, so they are avoiding my calls. This is a sad way of doing business. I found out that I was not the only one complaining about DASHUSA, they have had complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau so I decided to file one myself. BUYER BEWARE OF DASHUSA. I just found out through this site that they have a toll free number. I would hate for you to send in your instrument cluster and go through this. :nono:

onerchprk
11-01-2007, 08:14 AM
What year clusters will fit in my 96 Windstar?I have the same speedo problem everyone else has...Thanks

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