From huge SUVs and pickup trucks to little sedans, the transmission is one of the most critical mechanical components in a car.
As a result, whenever this component encounters problems, it always has quite serious negative effects.
Ford Windstar is a moniker that sticks out for its complexity, although each brand will have a different design for this component.
That’s why we’ll tackle Ford Windstar transmission problems in this article. So keep reading!
Ford Windstar transmission problems
Ford has put a lot of effort into designing and perfecting the gearbox in the Windstar, with a focus on the operation to reduce mistakes.
Nevertheless, if your transmission does experience issues, being aware of some of the more typical transmission issues can speed up your ability to diagnose and fix them.
So, here are the most common Ford Windstar transmission problems:
Torque Converter Issues
A vehicle’s driving load is connected to the vehicle’s main power source by a torque converter.
A torque converter that is working properly enables the fluid to move and revolve the spinning power for a comfortable driving experience.
Several issues can affect torque converters and cause significant damage to or malfunction of the transmission.
Worn-out or broken needle bearings are one of the most prevalent issues with torque converters.
The transmission will typically make odd noises while driving gears if the needle bearings are too warm.
The transmission probably won’t produce any odd noises when the car is in neutral, but when it’s in drive, it might start to grind or brush.
Low Transmission Fluid
It is impossible to avoid friction between parts when using mechanical mechanisms like gearboxes.
Hence, to ensure slick gears and fewer collisions, the vehicle will always be lubricated with transmission oil.
And when the Ford Windstar transmission fluid drops below the necessary level, a problem will arise.
All metal components will now begin to bang against one another, generating terrible noises. And the cracking phenomenon will happen when a specific threshold is achieved.
Leaks in the actual transmission system are the most common reason for low transmission fluid levels.
A gearbox’s or driveshaft’s seals could develop problems and start to leak fluid.
In some cases, it may be necessary to replace the transmission gasket seals to stop transmission leaks.
The coolant in the radiator can occasionally pollute the gearbox fluid. Cross-contamination happens sometimes, and it is known for it.
It is necessary to replace the fluid or flush and refill the transmission if the fluid is old or polluted.
Problems With The Clutch
The clutch, which is housed inside the torque converter, sometimes becomes stuck.
The solenoid may lock up when the clutch jams and the torque converter’s fluid level may not be calculated properly.
These torque converter clutch issues also resemble low fluid levels in their appearance.
In addition to producing a lot of heat in the transmission, clutch issues frequently result in intense vibration below the car.
The generated power of your engine will typically noticeably decrease as well.
Moreover, the process of transferring the required fluid across the engine also involves the clutch, which is another part of equal importance.
So, if this component becomes stuck, the oil will not move and will become trapped in some areas.
Fluid movement across the transmission is managed by the solenoid.
When fluid levels are too low or there are other electronic issues with the solenoid, the solenoid can frequently suffer damage.
Insufficient fluid levels or fluid leakage frequently cause solenoid problems that are comparable to those of these issues.
The solenoid relies on electromagnetic principles to function, making it susceptible to environmental factors.
To rule out the possibility that the solenoid is the source of any fluid-related troubles, always check it.
Damaged Park Pawl Shaft
The shaft is vulnerable to damage during installation, as many individuals have discovered when fixing a Ford Windstar transmission.
This happens when the roll pin that holds the shaft in place doesn’t line up. As a result, the parking system as a whole is vulnerable.
An unintentional car rollaway may result from a defective or malfunctioning parking system in a transmission.
So when the park pawl is malfunctioning, the gearbox may seem to be in park “P” to the driver, but until the parking or emergency brake is engaged, the car will still roll away.
How Does A Transmission Function In Your Car?
The gearbox is a sophisticated mechanical device containing multiple gears, crankshafts, levers, and other moving parts.
As a result, this section is typically fairly massive and has numerous discrete components inside.
The transmission, like the engine, is essential to how the car runs. Simply put, without this component, you are unable to operate or start the car.
This component operates in the same way whether in a Ford Windstar or another vehicle: power is transferred through gears.
Automatic Transmission, How it works?
What Happens When You Use A Ford Windstar With Transmission Problems?
Theoretically, if the transmission malfunctions, you can still drive the Ford Windstar without completely losing control because other mechanisms are still in operation at this moment.
But you’ll quickly understand that risky occurrences worsen the issue. The car will eventually halt and lose its ability to move.
You’re in luck in this instance, though, because the mistakes may become worse. It causes significant, permanent issues.
If you observe any extremely strange transmission phenomena, stop the car right away and call for assistance.
What Ford Windstar Models Were Subject To Recalls?
As reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there is some corrosion in some sections of 1999-2003 Ford Windstar minivans, so Ford is recalling 425,288 units.
This issue could impair vehicle steering and lead to dangerous situations while you’re on the road.
Additionally, lower control arms could detach from the car’s subframe, reducing steering control and raising the risk of a collision.
This could happen if the rear connecting bracket for the front lower control arm separates.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Does A Ford Winstar Transmission Replacement Cost?
You can expect to pay $2,250 to $4,350 for a Ford Windstar transmission replacement.
A new transmission typically costs between $1,800 and $3,500.
The mechanic may need several hours to install the transmission, and the labor may cost you between $450 and $850.
Consult your neighborhood mechanic and have them analyze your car if you want a rough estimate.
Following that, they will provide expert advice on which equipment should be replaced and which should be kept, along with an estimate of the cost.
How Often Should You Service Your Car’s Transmission System?
If you have an automatic transmission system, experts recommend having the transmission system serviced every 60,000 miles.
Conversely, to keep them in good working order, manual transmissions need to be maintained every 30,000 miles.
Don’t forget that some manufacturers can advise servicing the system earlier than that; make sure to consult your owner’s manual to be sure.
The essential component of transmission maintenance is replacing the old transmission fluid with a fresh one and cleaning away the old fluid.
All of the moving components in a car’s transmission are lubricated by transmission fluid, making clean fluid crucial to the system’s functionality.
How Often Should You Replace Your Ford Windstar’s Transmission?
If the car has traveled more than 200,000 km, the majority of professionals advise purchasing a new transmission model.
Ford Windstars, however, have reportedly been said to hold up even after traveling more than 300,000 km.
Conversely, some automobiles require a new transmission every 100,000 km.
This is due to the fact that the precise replacement window relies on a number of variables, including your maintenance, the state of the road, the original condition, and other factors.
How Do You Know If You Have Ford Windstar Transmission Problems?
The transmission warning lights typically blink to let drivers know if there are any underlying problems.
But you can always find out by doing the following:
- listening to the engine;
- timing the gear changes;
- checking to see if the acceleration is smooth;
- checking to see if the parking lot is dry and leak-free, etc.
Nowadays, it is difficult to identify Ford Windstar transmission problems because the car is no longer in use and the knowledge is dispersed.
However, we hope that through this article, you won’t have to worry about diagnosing Ford Windstar transmission problems.
Hi! My name is Mark Stevens – the founder of Auto News Portal.
I wrote articles in the automotive industry for more than 10 years, published in USA, Europe and the Asia. I love sharing my knowledge and insights with fellow enthusiasts. Join me on this journey as we explore the exciting world of cars together!