Ford Windstar GL

The Windstar GL was a first generation Windstar model which was produced by Ford Motor Company. Some of the standard features of this car are dual airbags and anti-lock brakes.

2,268 Questions
Spark Plugs and Wires
Ford Windstar
Ford Windstar GL

How do you change 3 rear spark plugs on a Ford Windstar?

What's the gap?

The Owner's Manual says the gap is noted on a decal in the engine compartment.

The gap is also cited in the Owners Manual as .052-.056 (around page #261 for 2001)

Taking the Cowl off is the only way to go...

If you have have large hands or arms there is only one way to get'r done. The three plugs in the front are self explanatory. They are just tight. Three in the back, now that's the whole problem isn't it.

The section that has the wipers on it has to come off. Take the wipers off. They unbolt and pull off. Next the black piece there are plastic screws. unscrew them and pull them out along with the little plastic sleeve they are in. pull off the washer fluid line. Using a small pry bar or clip tool carefully pry this piece off from around the windshield.

Pull this piece off. Next the metal part. This has your wipers bolted to the underneath side. Undo the electrical connection from the the wiper motor. There are several screws holding this piece on. Several on the sides and middle. Remove them all. DO NOT UNBOLT THE WIPER ASSEMBLY. The whole metal piece will come out with the motor attached still. (good time to replace the wiper motor if it is bad)

After this piece is removed you will see two box type things the one in the middle is the cabin filter the other toward the firewall goes inside the vehicle. Remove the one on the firewall to have complete access. Only two nuts holding this on.

Now you should be able to reach the plugs in the back. Replace the spark plug wire at this time also because it is the only way to see the coil that they all attach to. Assemble in reverse. Have fun. I did this just two weeks ago.

See "Related Questions" below for another write-up on removing the cowl

Not too easily. I managed it by removing as much of the clutter (such as air filter assembly, etc.) as I could and just reached around the back of the engine. I have long arms, so this might not work for everyone. It was difficult as well as a major knuckle skinning exercise - when I was finished it looked like I had knitted a sweater with barbed wire. I would classify this job as one that is worth paying someone to do if you can afford it.

I changed my spark plugs on my 1999 Windstar 3.8L , the easiest way I could find was to remove the wipers and the cover in front of the windshield then they're is another one underneath I remove this one as well , took me about 30 minutes to change them and put everything back the way it was .Hope it can help !

On my 95, I raised the car on ramps to change the # 3 plug, the one that is closest to the drivers side then I was able to reach around from above and get the #1 and # 2 plugs.

I pulled loose the wires from the coil for more room to reach behind the engine but didn't have to remove anything else. it is a long reach and my arm was kind of sore from the scrapping it took but I din't get ay broken skin doing it.

I have a 1996 Windstar and I put the front end on jack stands, so I could get underneath. Then from below, you can see the three plugs.

Changed it on my 99 Windstar today and it was not that bad. Raise the van up (preferably on the passenger side) and come from underneath. The one on the passenger side requires you to reach from the side, behind the wheel. The other two require you to reach through an area just above the transmission pan (yes there is enough room there).


I had this issue the other day. I evaluated the situation "too" much as usual, but was happy with my choice. Coming from the top by removing the panels on the cowl area was not that hard and there was adequate access to the plugs. Also you do not have to jack-up or crawl and work under the van (biggest bonus!).

The front ones are pretty obvious and straight forward. It's the back 3 of course that are the 'pain'...

Because I have long arms, I was able to reach around the backside and more or less do the plugs by feel.

Many others here have suggested coming in from underneath the vehicle to get at the back 3. If I hadn't already done mine, I would try it for sure!

There are 6 plugs. Three will be on the front of the engine and three toward the rear of the engine. (If you are standing at the frnt of the van) Look between the radiator and the engine block. It is a ways down. You will see three plug wires. One for each plug. The rear plugs will be in the same place except in the rear part of the engine.

You need to raise the vehicle, then access the plugs from beneath, working around the exhaust. Not an easy task, but can be done. Or, you can take it to a reputable mechanic, and have them do the job.

General instructions for replacing spark plug wires

To Remove:

  1. Label each spark plug wire and make a note of its routing.
  2. Starting with the longest wire, disconnect the spark plug wire from the spark plug and then from the coil pack.
  3. Disconnect the ignition wire from the coil pack by squeezing the locking tabs and twisting while pulling upward.

To install:

  1. If replacing the spark plug wires, match the old wire with an appropriately sized wire in the new set.
  2. Lubricate the boots and terminals with dielectric grease and install the wire on the coil pack. Make sure the wire snaps into place.
  3. Route the wire in the exact path as the original and connect the wire to the spark plug.
  4. Repeat the process for each remaining wire, working from the longest wire to the shortest.

I understand that one can lift the vehicle on ramps, crawl underneath and gain access to the spark plugs, you might have to feel for the plugs use your rachet to loosen and place back the new plugs (NGK plugs have a 0.054 inch gap for 1998 Windstar models) . Or if you prefer you can come from the top after removing the air filter housing and some additional components such as the black cowl cover for the windshield wipers. Hope this can get you started. Thanks

1 at a time!

Simply remove each end of the old wire, and disconnect from the holders between the ignition coil pack and the spark plug.

Re-install the new wire following the same path, and insert into the wire holders.

NOTE: Do this 1 wire at a time to ensure the firing order is not changed!!

If you reach around on the left side you can feel the plugs. You can take some of the cowl off but it is of little help. Not easy but you can do it with a little time...

Added 01/02/09:

I just finished the job earlier in the week. If you have access to a hoist, I am told you can feel for them from underneath. I looked at doing that from under the van and decided I would rather go from above.

If you wish to remove them from above, as quoted above, remove the windshield wipers, the plastic cowl skirt, and then the plastic cowl itself. This will allow you to "hug" the engine to feel the three plugs, but it is not a pleasant job, nor a speedy one. In hindsight, I think it would have been worth paying someone with a hoist to change them from underneath. It took me almost 1-1/2 hours start-to-finish, including multiple scratches, one minor burn, and a few choice words for the engineers who decided this was "OK".

U have to take of the cowl cover under the windshield, wipers off. I think the coil pack is to right of the engine on that model. I found it easier to change the them from the top of the van. I jacked it up and found less room to work with from under the car. Even from the top its a tight squeeze.

You pay someone to do it! LOL seriously unless you are mr gadget it is not worth it to do it yourself. there are two ways. take off the cowl ans use a spark plug wrench with a flexible attachment and get really frustrated or put it up on a lift and then it becomes a little less difficult. I did this once. (and I am very mechanically inclined) i have paid the 200 bucks to have it done since then

Take the panel that holds the windsield wiper motor, just below the windshield off. It only has about four bolts and once removed there is room to get to the back three plugs fairly easy.

Actually the rear spark plugs are not that bad to get to once you know how. I have a 98 3.8L and replaced the plugs myself. It will take about an hour and a half to to though. It should be the same for the 96 as well. First you have to remove the antenna and the wiper blades. Then remove the screws holding down the plastic panel covering the back part of the engine compartment. Under that you will find more screws holding down the panel that holds the wiper motor. Unplug the wiper motor and remove that panel. Once removed you have lots of room to access the plugs at the back. I used an old blanket and placed it over the intake plenum to make it a little softer for my knees and had no problem to replace the plugs. If you are handy with tools I am sure you can save yourself lots of money this way rather than over an hour of shop wages in a garage.

you can either jack your van up, supporting it on jack stands & blocking the rear wheels,and using some extentions, universals & socket & socketwrench. you can get to them from the bottom. Or you could remove the wiper arms & cowl and get to the spark plugs from the top. brewski

Put your car up on ramps and then you can get them from under. Make sure the car is cool and then you have no problem. I just did mine on a 1997 windstar.

Another way -which is what I had to do with my 98windstar gl.--is to remove the front cowl where the wipers are. This was a whole lot easier for me than messing with jacks and the sort..

Good Luck!

I have a 2000 SE with the 3.8 Liter engine. It is a real pain getting to the rear plugs, but I found that I had to remove the throttle body and air bellows to get your right hand around back on the right (as you are looking at it from the front bumper) side. There is already barely enough room on the other side for your left arm. First thing to do is use compressed air to clean out the plug wells. You will have to lay over the front hood latch area and you can get each arm around the engine to work blind. You can fit a mirror there to help locate things, but you will be working blind for the most part. Getting the boots off is a little painfull, but feel with one hand to locate each boot and twist and pull with the other. For the plugs, I used a 3/8" breaker bar for best control and a short extension to the plug socket. There is room back there to swing the handle as needed and the breaker bar provides a little more torque with less effort. It is handy to have either a little handle on the extension or a stubby ratchet to get the plug out by hand once you have broken the torque. The first time, it took me a couple of hours to get to them for inspection, but the next day, I was able to replace them in about 1/2 hour. It ain't pretty, but you basically have to lay over the hood latch and engine to reach around there to work. Fortunately, the plugs are platinum and can last 100K miles so you should only have to do them once or twice.

Good luck with it. Chuck the driveway mechanic.

A better alternative is to remove the two-piece cowl below the windshield. You will have to remove the wiper arms, but you will have much more room to work.

++ added info ++

Removing the cowling and wiper mechanism is a must. The wiper is attached to the cowl, the washer hose has to be disconnected. A small puller gets the arms off the mechanism posts. Also some of the vacuum hosing can be removed, instead of damaging it as you yank and pull on wires. If replacing the plugs at 100,000+ miles, why not do the wires at the same time. For all the trouble, its good preventative maintenance. Take care to note the order they assemble on the coils and match their lengths. Use silicon on boots at the plugs and at the coils too.

you will have to remove the piece that goes from fender to fender with the wipers on it. it's not as hard as it looks. also a good time to add brake fluid.

First of all, the engine HAS to be COLD (overnight) so park it where you'll be working on it. Then, either remove the cowl (plastic part just below the windshield), then the entire windshield wiper assembly (again, whole plastic piece now visible once the plastic cowl piece has been removed). Now you can gain access to the rear plugs/wires, etc. If you want to go further, remove the upper intake, but unless you really know what you're doing, don't attempt this. Get ready to get really dirty and you have to use the "feel" method and plenty of time and patience; it's a b!t@h...The reason the enigne HAS to be cold overnight is due to the aluminum cylinder heads which will strip if the engine is hot (besides burning yourself). The best thing to do is first spray penetrating lubricant around each spark plug, then blow out the holes; then break loose each plug, more penetrating fluid and more blowing out, then remove the plugs. Prior to installation and after gapping each plug, put a light coating of oil on the threads and DON'T OVER-TIGHTEN them. Hand install first, making sure they go in easily; if not, clean the head threads and start again. The plugs should "bottom" out by hand, then just give them a firm tightening with the spark plug socket (using a 3/8" drive ratchet). You shouldn't have to give it more than 1/4 turn MAXIMUM after plug bottoms against the head. That should do it! Good luck!

-Andrew (Ford mechanic for 35 years)

The front spark plugs are fairly easy to get to, just be careful in pulling the boots off of them if you are not replacing them, because you could pull the metal snap end off. Make sure the engine is cool and grab as low as you can on the end of the plug wire attached to the plug. The back ones are fairly easy to get to also providing that you get them from underneath the van. There is a section between the block and the firewall that allows you to get to them. The best thing to use here is a 6" extension with a universal joint (wobbler) on the end of it, as to allow you to get into some tuff spots. Good luck!

I have a 2000 SE with the 3.8 Liter engine. It is a real pain getting to the rear plugs, but I found that I had to remove the throttle body and air bellows to get your right hand around back on the right (as you are looking at it from the front bumper) side. There is already barely enough room on the other side for your left arm. First thing to do is use compressed air to clean out the plug wells. You will have to lay over the front hood latch area and you can get each arm around the engine to work blind. You can fit a mirror there to help locate things, but you will be working blind for the most part. Getting the boots off is a little painfull, but feel with one hand to locate each boot and twist and pull with the other. For the plugs, I used a 3/8" breaker bar for best control and a short extension to the plug socket. There is room back there to swing the handle as needed and the breaker bar provides a little more torque with less effort. It is handy to have either a little handle on the extension or a stubby ratchet to get the plug out by hand once you have broken the torque. The first time, it took me a couple of hours to get to them for inspection, but the next day, I was able to replace them in about 1/2 hour. It ain't pretty, but you basically have to lay over the hood latch and engine to reach around there to work. Fortunately, the plugs are platinum and can last 100K miles so you should only have to do them once or twice. Good luck with it. Chuck the driveway mechanic. A better alternative is to remove the two-piece cowl below the windshield. You will have to remove the wiper arms, but you will have much more room to work. ++ added info ++ Removing the cowling and wiper mechanism is a must. The wiper is attached to the cowl, the washer hose has to be disconnected. A small puller gets the arms off the mechanism posts. Also some of the vacuum hosing can be removed, instead of damaging it as you yank and pull on wires. If replacing the plugs at 100,000+ miles, why not do the wires at the same time. For all the trouble, its good preventative maintenance. Take care to note the order they assemble on the coils and match their lengths. Use silicon on boots at the plugs and at the coils too.

1996 Ford Wind star 3.0 Motor

Changing 3 Rear plugs best way and same way i do mine. Is from the top of the engine carefully reach around intake from passenger side you can reach all 3 plugs in this position, carefully break loose plug may have to put extension in there first and then carefully bring your ratchet down in there, break loose take ratchet off and Finnish unscrewing the plug do this one by one and it makes everything allot quicker that's non-sense taking off the Cowl panel that is a pain in the butt.. took me a total of 30 minutes to change all plugs, gap, wires etc.. easy..

I've changed these on my Moms van, because the dealership wanted to charge her $450.00. I can understand its a good bit of work but really $450 that's ridiculous.

Ford Windstar
Ford Windstar GL
Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer
Ford Ranger XLT
How To

How to repair door ajar - chimes sensor on Windstar?

3 Step Cleaning & LubeThis is a common problem and is caused by the door switch plunger sticking (due to dirt, other elements or rust). This can often be corrected by performing the following:

1. Thoroughly spray the door switches (on each door) with:

  • Cleaning spray - clear the sludge out of the mechanism - electronic contact cleaner, carb, brake, etc
  • Air, canned or even better, from a compressor
  • Spray lubricant - a dry lube (best), silicone spray, WD-40 or similar

2. Open and close each door several times to work the lube into the mechanism

This is usually sufficient to clean the electrical & plunger mechanism inside the door switch.

If this doesn't work, you could remove the door panel and do the spray treatment from the inside also.

If this doesn't work, the switch may have to come out for repair (see below), or replacement.

Curling Plastic SurgeryOn my '98 Windstar, the door latch hooks (the part on the door not on the door frame) were coated in plastic. As they got older, the plastic wore through and then started to curl. The curls caused the hook to stick just enough to set off the door chimes and lights.

Lubing the latches sometimes helps, but when the curls are big enough you can use a whole can of WD-40 and it isn't going to help.

Get out some needle nose pliers and a sharp utility knife. Cut and peel away the curls. You might need a magnifying glass to see them.

This has worked on both doors (driver's side usually goes first). My In-Law Taurus Station Wagon had the exact same thing happen. Looks like Ford used the same bad latch hook design.

Long-term FixMany people say that if you spray the latches with WD40 or PB blaster it will *fix* it. Well it is more like a band aid not a repair. It WILL happen again.

Now I will explain the way to fix these sending units. I will be using the rear lift gate as my example.

  1. Remove the trim panel from the rear gate.
  2. Using a t25 torx bit remove each complete latch assembly from both sides of the lift gate. There are 3 of these screws per side. I take one off at a time so as not to stick wrong one on wrong side.. however it really isn't that complicated if you pull both.
  3. Once you have them out you will see an electric sending unit on each latch with a 2 wire connector, remove that. Then if you look closely at where the sending unit slides into the latch.. you will see a plastic backing that has the words "tab" stamped into it. Now... very carefully slide a small screwdriver under where it says "tab" and apply a little pressure upwards, not too much or it will break. While you have the pressure applied rotate the sending unit clockwise so it unlocks and slide the sender out of the latch assembly.

    Now if you want to never have the door bother you again... throw these in the trash and put everything back together and you're done.

    HOWEVER if you want to do it right.. take the sending unit and either replace it with a new one for each latch or use some quality carb or parts cleaner to clean the heck out of them.

    You will see a small metal sliding switch, when this switch gets stuck IN it causes the door chime and lights to stay on. So clean it will it moves easily on its own. A few drops or lubricant will help AFTER it is cleaned.

After you have them moving freely just put everything back together. I myself also use carb or parts cleaner on the complete latch as well till its totally clean of all old grease then I spray on some new white lithium grease before putting everything back together.

Spraying the latch with WD40 will sometimes work, however in the long run it will only last a while. The issue is the sending units are sludged up and the more wd40 and such you spray on the more dust and stuff it will collect... making it sludgy and sticky again.

AnswerInstead of WD40 or other alike product that will cause more dirt to be attracted and make the switch more sticky and harder to move, I suggest to use an ELECTRICAL DRY CONTACT CLEANER, you can buy this product at any auto parts store. I did it and it works, it resolved my CHIME crying all the time. More Answer Thoughts
  • Another symptom of a persistent door ajar situation is the interior lights will no longer work. Fix the false reading and the lights will start working properly again.
  • sounds like you have a door jam switch gone bad. In most cars this is easy to replace, just unscrew old, unplug, plug in new, screw back in. The ford part number is SW5195.
  • Some vehicles have a sensitive switch that controls the dash lights IF the switch is set 2 almost FULL on OR DOME light on THE light will flicker-sometimes.
Answer - LiftgateNOTE: The first 3-step approach applies to the 2 latches on the liftgate as well

I have this problem every 6 months or is another tip: On the rear it, but lift it only about 1 foot or so. I say this, because that is the angle that the lube seems to need to hit the switch just right....then use the WD 40 or similar penetrating lube and spray the heck out of the latches.....get the red tube into the tiny crevices and gaps around the latches on all doors and into the hidden switches that are connected to them. Do this on each side of the rear liftgate door as well as front and sliding door.

I think I now know how to solve this problem. The rear door or 'back lift gate' as it has been called, has two latching mechanisms, one on each side of the door. These are positioned from the inside of the door itself. At the very bottom of this latch is a small spring loaded micro switch that senses if the latch is open or closed. The switch gets dirty and then won't allow the pin to travel to the fully protruding position which should indicate the door is closed.

I found this out by going to a vehicle junk yard and removing the latches from the back door of a scrap vehicle. I was able to disassemble the switches but the latches were on my work bench when I did it. I'm not sure how hard it will be to remove the switch while the latch is in place because I haven't actually replaced the non-working ones in my van yet. You need a screwdriver to pry up a tab which keeps the switch from rotating 90 degrees. Once the switch is rotated, it drops out of the latch.

clean the little square plates at the top of the rear hatch with rubbing alcohol

my 98 has small black plastic box sensors on side and rear door that senses when door is open they are about 1 inch square i sprayed these lightly with wd 40 and moved them to and fro with my fingers to free em up no more unlocking or dinging or lights

The sensors for the rear hatch on the 2003 Windstar are on the latching mechanisms inside the hatch. I sprayed mine with WD-40 today and it worked like a charm. I accessed them by removing the plastic panel from inside the hatch.

In hind-sight, I think that spraying the mechanism from the exterior would have been adequate.

AnswerThis always happens to our Windstar when it rains a lot...

So, I took a blow-dryer (hairdryer) and pointed it in the latch holes of the rear hatch door (right inside the door) and just in case, at the lower spring latch.

After a few minutes, the light went out--without shutting the latch!

It went back on briefly when I shut it-- then went off and stayed off.

Don't know if this is a permanent fix--but it did work.

Answer- Sliding Sidedoors ContactsClean the contacts of on the slider door:
  • an old fashioned pencil eraser effectively cleans the surface tarnish off the contacts. It's an old computer technician's trick and best of all, it works!
  • household cleaner - wipe them down with some wd-40.

    This is just a temporary fix, and needs to be done about every 4 weeks.

  • fine sand paper, steel wool,
ANSWER - Sliding Door SurgeryFinally I realized that it was my sliding door that was the problem. There are 4 buttons on the door itself that make contact with 4 round metal sensors on the door jam when shut. I put toothpaste on the buttons and shut the door. The toothpaste allowed me to see how good of contact the buttons were making with the four round metal sensors on the door jam. I realized that the buttons were only making contact to the far right side of the little metal contacts. I removed the rivets that hold that little contact plate on the door jam and moved the plate over about a 1/4 inch and this allowed the buttons to contact the round metal sensors more in the center. I have not had a problem with the door ajar light or dinging since. I was even able to put my fuse back in for the dome light. This is a permanent fix instead of all that WD 40 every few months.

When moving the sensor plate on the door jam it may be necessary to take a jig saw and cut the square hole a little wider in order for the plate to fit back on the door jam properly. Use sheet metal screws to reattach the sensor plate.

AnswerThere is a problem with corrosion in the wires that run to the fuse box take it to a ford dealer it will be fixed within an hour. I had the same problem. AnswerI had the same problem on my 95 Windstar. I found that one of the switches in the rear hatch had stuck in the "open" position. I cleaned and worked for a month then failed again. I finally bypassed (jumpered them both). They are located inside the hatch close to the latches so you must remove the inner panel to access. Hope this helps. Redsand Answer- How to RemoveIt is located inside the door.

You have to remove the door panel to gain access to the door latch assembly and it is located on the lower side of the latch. You'll find two connectors one for the lock actuator and one lower for the door ajar switch.

Loosen the latch and twist the door latch out and you'll here it pop and come out.

reverse process to install

AnswerI have a 96 Windstar with the same problem. Every night I had to disconnect my battery cable. A real pain in the butt! Along with the light not going off I also had that annoying bonging sound while I was driving! I sprayed WD 40 in all the door wells and after a minute everything quit! It seems to be a cold weather thing because that was when it started. But the panacea seems to be the WD40. AnswerI had this same problem in years past, I spoke with a Ford mechanic and he suggested rather than put it in the shop and pay to replace sensors etc. just spray the door sensors with WD40 and the problem will go away. I tried it and it worked immediately, and hasn't come back to haunt me.

I've had this same problem with my 2003 Winstar. The problem is the contacts on the sliding doors. The dealer cleaned the contacts and the problem was resolved for about a month. You have to keep cleaning these contacts regularly or what I did was turn off the dome lights. This problem can kill your battery so I always keep the dome lights off.


Had same problem i checked all doors and the sliding door was the cause fix it by crossing the black wires of the sensor no more chiming or light on

Usually this is a sticking or faulty door switch on the tailgate. It affects multiple years of the Windstar. Typically the only solution is to replace the switch. There is one switch attached to each side of the tailgate door.

Ford Windstar GL

Where is the thermostat located and how do you replace it on a Ford Windstar?

Is it Working?( Copied from the "Related Question" below)

If the thermostat is broken in the closed position the engine would overheat rapidly. If it was broken in the open position the engine cooling system would not reach normal operating temperature and the heater would produce only warm air.

Take the thermostat out and put it in a pan of water on the stove. When the water gets to around 200 deg F, the thermostat should open. If it doesn't it needs replaced. Observe carefully that you have not installed the thermostat upsidedown. Spring-side to the engine

Comment: if you have it out, don't bother with the testing except for curiosity - just replace it for the extra $10 or less.

NEVER EVER REMOVE a radiator cap from a


What to look for:

  • If the vehicle has a radiator cap - run the engine with the cap off and watch for coolant flowing past the opening. This is a good thing - the thermostat if fine

    CAUTION If the radiator is filled to the top with coolant and the engine is run without the radiator cap in place, the coolant will expand and spill over as the engine warms up. Be ready to put the radiator cap back on.

  • Feel the top of the radiator hose to confirm that the coolant is warming up. If the engine is overheating, but the top hose is still cool to the touch, the thermostat is stuck closed and must be replaced.
  1. Drain enough coolant (into a clean container) to get below the level of the thermostat housing
  2. Remove the upper radiator hose from the thermostat housing. See TIP below
  3. Remove the mounting bolts and remove the thermostat housing.
  4. CLEAN BOTH SURFACES of ALL gasket material! Any gasket left behind will likely cause a leak.


    * Compare the size of the thermostat to the old one - make sure the new one matches up

    * Ensure the thermostat fits into the groove in the block or outlet housing.

    * The spring side faces the block - If the thermostat is installed backwards, the engine will overheat

  5. Install the gasket - DO NOT USE RTV sealant

    NOTE - When a paper gasket is used and the recess is in the thermostat housing, it is a good practice to position the thermostat into the recess and glue the gasket to hold it in place. If it falls out of its groove during installation, the outlet housing can be cracked or a coolant leak will result. Before tightening the water outlet housing, try to rock it back and forth to be sure it is flush. Housings are often cracked during this step.

  6. Reinstall the thermostat housing bolts - tighten evenly
  7. Refill the cooling system and run the engine, or pressure test, to check for leaks.

Follow the top radiator hose back to the engine. There is where the t-stat housing is.

  • Remove the hose,
  • remove the housing,
  • remove the old t-stat,
  • clean gasket surfaces
  • install the t-stat into the housing with the spring side sticking out toward the engine,
  • use spray adhesive to attach the gasket (DO NOT USE RTV),
  • reinstall hose(s)
  • be careful to evenly tighten the housing bolts until they are snug -DO NOT TORQUE HARD ON THE BOLTS
  • Fill the cooling system with a 50/50 mix of coolant and water, and burp the system.

I had to take the air cleaner tube\hose off to give me more room.

Your radiator has two big hoses, one on the top and one on the bottom. The upper radiator hose connects to the thermostat housing. On my 1996 Windstar it's a pain to replace it because there are many components in the way.


For anyone working on a car's cooling system, you MUST check out the MUST-HAVE tool for dealing with those spring-type hose clamps!!

This tool has a pinching device on the end to securely grab the 'ears' on the hose clamp - squeeze the handle to open the clamp, and then automatically lock it open.

The next awesome feature of this tool: the clamping action is on the end of a cable - you work it down to the clamp buried down underneath, or directly next to some part of the engine - minimal clearance required.

Sears makes one - check it out at a local store and linked below.

I don't know if this will help, but I am currently replacing the thermostat on my 2000 Windstar, and it is located where the upper radiator hose connects to the engine block.

You have to remove the two screws that hold the housing, and there it is.

I have found this to be true with a number of vehicles I have worked on.

Top right side of the engine.

Follow the larger sized radiator hose to it.

It is at the lower end of the top radiator hose within the water outlet on the engine.

Just below the throttle body where the Rad hose enters the block

Follow the upper radiator hose to the engine. The hose will be connected to the thermostat housing cover. It is very difficult to see due to the location. If you want to get a good look at it, remove the air induction hose in-between the throttle body and the air clean housing.

What needs to be removed to get at the thermostat

Other than the upper radiator hose and the 2 mountings screws, nothing else is needed to be removed to install a thermostat on a 1999-2003 Ford Windstar.


  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable. CAUTION

    Never remove the radiator cap when the engine is HOT. Serious personal injury can result.

  2. Drain and recycle the engine coolant.
  3. Remove the upper radiator hose at the thermostat housing.
  4. Remove the thermostat housing from the engine.
  5. Remove the thermostat from the housing with a counterclockwise twist.

Follow the upper radiator hose to the engine and that housing there contains the thermostat. It is kind of hard to get to but it depends on you.

Be sure to put the spring on the new thermostat TOWARDS the engine.

3 tools should be needed for this job..screwdriver (flat head), 8mm deepwell socket w/extensoin and maybe some pliers to rotate the radiator hose clamp away from 1 of the 2 bolts required to remove the t-stat housing.

  • Step 1. remove the airbox assembly. just loosen the clamp with a screwdriver at the throttle body, a pull back the airbox assembly and unhook all the electrical connectors. under the throttle body you will see the radiator hose leading to the t-stat housing. it's a little tricky to get to, but should not be a problem if the hose clamp is not in the way of one of the bolts. if it is, just rotate the clamp by squeezing it with pliers. (that's the hard part) but hopefully it won't be in the way.
  • step 2. remove the bolts with an 8mm deepwell socket. you'll need a deepwell cuz the bolt on the left is also used to hold a clip for the spark plug wire holder otherwise known as a "stay". REmove the plastic stay to get to the bolt. then remove the 2 bolts and pull the housing back with the hose still connected.
  • step 3. remove t-stat and any gasket material so that both surfaces are clean.
  • step 4. replace t-stat and gasket. use gasket sealer with the gasket that comes with the t-stat.. re-assemble everything and you are done.
  • check for leaks after a test drive.
Ford Windstar
Crankcases and PCV Valves
Ford Windstar GL
Ford Windstar LX

Where is the PCV valve and how to install on a Windstar?

PCV Valve locations:

  • 1995-1998 3.0l - front valve cover

  • 1996-1998 3.8l - rear valve cover

  • 1999-2003 3.8l - front valve cover

INSTALL: Simply pull on the hose to release the valve from the valve cover - pull the valve out of the hose. Insert new valve and push back into valve cover.


  • The valve is in the end of 1/2" or so size hose inserted into a rubber grommet in the top of the valve cover

  • If the valve checkball rattles, it's working

  • Recommended replace interval - 40,000 miles

  • The 'other' large tube going into the opposite valve cover is a breather tube

it should be on the valve pan cover with a hose running to air filter duct or MAF(mass air flow) the PCV recycles the blowback exhaust back into the engine .


The PVC valve is on the rear valve cover closer to the driver side of the car. It's easier to see and get to if you pull off the air cleaner housing which is a hassle but once you get it out of the way, you can get to the PVC valve easier. The problem is getting enough leverage to pull it loose from the connector which has a rigid pipe leading to it. It's a snug fit and you have to be able to get a good grip to pull the old one out of the hose. It's fairly easy to pull it loose from the valve cover.

Dashboard Lights and Gauges
Ford Windstar GL
Ford Windstar LX

What does the amber circle dashboard warning light with the exclamation point mean on a 1999 Ford Windstar van?

If the symbol resembles a a U with an exclamation point and there are square ridges on the bottom of the U that means you have Low Tire Pressure. If the symbol is a complete circle and resembles a sun with an exclamation point in the center it means it is a exterior light that has burned out.

All these warning lights & symbols are illustrated and explained in the Owners Manual.

See "Related Question" for a handy pdf version of any Owners Manual from 1996 on.

Car Sounds
Ford Ranger
Ford Windstar GL

What would cause a squealing sound if it is not the brakes or belts?

I have THE answer. You have defective bearings in your Distributor shaft. It is a $300 part. I spent a few hundred dollars and with the help of two very persistent mechanics they found the problem. I know what you are going through. It sounds like a belt. The squealing may even cause your van to shut off, especially when idling. If this is the case, be sure that it is the distributor shaft.basilThe type of vehicle and more information is needed to answer this question, unless you have a parts "shotgun".

What kind of car? engine size? If there is a tensioner and it is weak, it help the belt to squeal. Spray anything wet on the belt -- does the noise stop? If you e the idle without moving will the noise start? Need more info.

This could also be caused by power steering system. Check for leaking tank, low fluid etc.

Have you checked the wheel bearings?

If its not your belts and you got them replaced its possible that your water pump is starting to go.

If you did not get the noise fixed yet, you might want to check on the pulleys where the drive belt is installed and/or the water pump. Pulleys make a high pitch noise when they are worn out either when you first start the engine or during acceleration. Water pump also makes the same noise. Check the little hole above or under the pump, if there is a sign of water/coolant coming out of the hole, your water pump needs a replacement. I hope this can help you.

could also be worth considering your "clutch, thrust bearing", sounds painful I know, not a major job though in the right hands.

In addition to the above, Tires could, PCV valve if not replaced properly on certain engines, alternater.

if its from the rear it could be a fuel pump if your car is efi

Alternator answer could be bearings wearing out in alternator, a/d compressor,or any other pulleywheel on engine.could also be dry thrust bearing in clutch.need more information, does the noise go away when engine is reved does it get worse if you use a/c,does it happen when stationary or when moving


it could be the cylanders

or you could have a mouse in your car.

i recommend you get a cat


My daughter's car had this problem

It ws in deed the distributer. The price wasn't too bad from autozone. $175 remanufactured plus core charge. The local mechanic charge $20 to install it


I agree with the first answer put down, i have an old car but brakes n wheels seemed fine, there was a problem with the cv shaft, it will cost between 300-400 to fix, i got it reconditioned and my care doesnt make a sound when i brake

Ford Windstar
Ford Focus
Ford Windstar GL

Where is the Vehicle Speed Sensor - VSS - and how do you replace it on a Ford Windstar?

Another approach:

There is a way to do this from inside the engine compartment on 1999+ 3.8l Windstars. Tedious & possibly gonna scratch your arm up, but easier than pulling motor mounts and exhaust pipes.

Location: Directly underneath the middle spark plug on the back of the engine - about 3" down, and inserted into the top of the transmission. There is a metal shield that is held in place with the same hold-down bolt that secures the sensor.


  • Clear the right side of the engine compartment - the rubber piece & left side of the air cleaner housing. Couple of 5/16 hose clamps, couple of sensor plugs & 1 vacuum line to the back of the rubber connector.
  • Throttle cables & mount - release the 2 cables & 2 10mm bolts for the mount.
  • I would strongly suggest pulling the cowling! As every Windstar owner knows, this cowling is the biggest impediment to getting access to almost everything at the backside of the engine. Removing it isn't a big deal (especially after you've done a few times ;)), and is detailed in various postings here on
  • Optional: release the coilpack from its 3 mounting bolts (weird size, something like 7mm)

    NOTE: don't rush and forget to secure the radio noise capacitor thingy under the leftside hold down bolt.

Getting at the bolt:

  • Socket extension combination to clear the angles - 8mm socket + universal + 6-8" extension + 8-10" WOBBLE extension.

    TIP: tape the joints together so your extension assembly doesn't come apart as you're pushing & pulling it up and down

  • The opening you're aiming for is to go down alongside the middle sparkplug. There's plenty of interference what with wires & exhaust manifolds, but this is the opening that aligns with the top of the bolt.
  • Your arm, if it's long enough (thank goodness I have monkey-arms!), can go down to the right of the braided covered heater hose and turn left to the backside of the engine.

    Once your hand is down there and has figured out where things are, you're ready to use it to guide the socket into place & onto the bolt

  • Use your left hand to find the correct opening and lower the extension assembly.

    This is a totally blind operation! You will never see the pieces you're working with.

  • Have a 2nd pair of hands to help! They come in really handy when it comes time to operate the wrench.
  • NOTE: because of the angles, the top of the socket extension assembly is going to end up real close to the firewall - thus the universal + the wobble to accommodate the angles from above.

Assuming you don't dislocate your shoulder or bleed-out from scratching your arm to shreds, you should be able to get the 25mm long bolt out!

Lift and remove the cover, and the sensor should rotate in the open pretty easily.

Removing the sensor: This is the hard part because you can't easily get upward pull as you twist the sensor in its opening! Just keep twisting and lifting - it'll come out... eventually!

This is one of the most painful, awkward & frustrating things I have done on a vehicle!

But in my circumstance, well worth the effort.

Btw, don't do this unless you know for 100% sure your sensor has failed - you're not going to enjoy the experience.

Best of luck! :)


Forget what the manual says! It will have you remove the exhaust pipe which is hell if its old and rust; and after that you will have to feel your way around the sensor as the angle is bad. Also, it puts you hand in a cramped position to try and ratchet the mounting bolt on the sensor which is on top and away from you.

I had to change mine and this most direct approach that is least problematic. The sensor is located on top of the transmission right behind the passenger side rear engine mount. Jack up the car and support it safely on a jack stand. Then remove the passenger side front wheel and fender guard to get access to the engine and mount. You got to remove the mount and mount supporting bracket on the engine to get enough clearance to the sensor (which requires lifting the engine some. Last resort you can use your floor jack and a block of 2x4 wood to do it only don't lift on the oil pan or crank shaft pulley. I tend to use the area where the oil pan bolts to the block. Make sure to unbolt the bottom of both the front and rear engine mount first and then lift slowly and carefully so not to cause damage anywhere). As soon as I remove the mount, I usually lower the engine back down to be safe as floor jacks can be unstable.

This part is difficult to describe as I can't accurately remember, but, the transmission has a hump or cap on top of it. You'll see the sensor plugged into it from the opposite side that faces away from you. You'll spot the sensor after removing the mount and you'll see what I am trying to describe. Its common sense. There is only one bolt and you have to feel around the sensor for it where it plugs into the hump/cap. I don't remember the size of the socket but you can research that. Because of the confine space, use a small socket wrench.

Make sure you clean and wipe the area before removing the sensor. Otherwise, debris can fall inside the hole where the sensor goes and re-installing the sensor can be sticky. So a mild lube on the sensor housing (not the gear!) helps to slide it into the hump.

If your car is really old, it might be wise to purchase an extra pigtail connector that plugs the car computer into the sensor. Because the sensor is so close to bank 1 of the engine, the heat and weather overtime can make the pigtail brittle and it can break during unhooking. That happened to me.

Ford Windstar
Ford Windstar GL
Ford Windstar SEL
How To

How to fix Windstar heater air control that is stuck in defrost?

I just finished looking at this problem on my 1998 Windstar. The air ducts are vacuum operated. The short answer is that by sealing off the lines that run to the rightmost switch on the heater control panel (the one that controls heating and cooling in the rear of the van), it cleared up the "stuck in defrost" problem. To test the solution, I unplugged the two-line vacuum connector at the back of the switch and put a piece of electrical tape on the connector to seal it. The long answer follows below:

The rest of these answers are correct that a vacuum leak can cause this problem. I have not looked upstream of the switches (into the engine compartment) for any leaks there, but my jury-rig at the rear fan control switch worked. There are two vacuum diaphragms that control where the air flow goes (defrost/vent/floor). These are located by your gas pedal and the center console, and are silver colored metal canisters about one half the size of a soup can. I sucked on these with a vacuum hose and they re-directed the air fine and held vacuum fine, so they were not the problem.

Moving upstream from the vacuum diaphragms there are 6 vacuum lines in the back of the main heater control switch. One of these lines is black, and is a vacuum source (ultimately from the engine). This black line has a tee in it right behind the switch, and another black vacuum line runs from that tee to the rightmost switch on the console (which controls heating and cooling in the back of the van). That switch has just two vacuum lines to it. The black source line, and the white outlet line. I removed that two-line vacuum connector from the rear of the switch, put a piece of electrical tape over the holes, and now the main heat selector switch directs the air properly to the defrost, vent, or floor. That rightmost switch may be bad since I could hear a vacuum leak in it, and moving the switch to different positions or pressing on it could stop the hissing. It is also possible that the connector leaks, but since moving the switch changes or stops the hissing, it is most likely the switch itself. The only other possibility is that if there is low vacuum to the switch in the first place, it could cause the switch to leak. I will check that further.


There is a vacuum switch that controls an air gate that diverts the air flow to the proper outlet. Blowing air out the defroster is the default setting of the switch. Most common causes of this problem are vacuum leaks. Check the vacuum hose on the passenger side engine compartment first. It usually leaks going through the fire wall. Regardless this problem is most often always the result of a leak somewhere in the vacuum system not the failure of the switch itself.


I would say that something is binding or broken with the blender box unit. It is the mechanism that allows mixing of the different air settings and is located behind the dash area or under the passenger side area. Hope this helps.


On my '98 Windstar, this behavior was the result of a vacuum leak; the HVAC modes are vacuum-actuated.


change the a/c - heat selector switch.

More likely than not you have a vac leak there are to vac lines that run out of the firewall behind the glove box one is red and the other is black trace them out and you will find the leak probably real close to the nipple on the manifold.


Check for a vacuum leak either under hood or under dash

Check vacuum actuators

Defrost is the default setting for this system


The most likely is the vacuum line used to operate the swinging doors to redirect airflow is broken or not in place.

You have a broken or disconnected vacuum line that feeds the HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system, probably under the hood. When ever there is a loss of vacuum, the system reverts to the defrost mode being the most important mode.


Your problem can be caused by either a defective heater control switch or more likely a vacuum leak. The leak can be in the vacuum supply tube to the heater control switch or at the engine where the supply tube originates or the vacuum reserve (usually a plastic ball in the engine compartment with two small vacuum lines attached).

Brake Pads and Rotors
Ford Windstar
Ford Windstar GL
Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer

How do you change front disc brakes on a Ford Windstar?


1. Remove the brake master cylinder reservoir cap. Siphon and recycle approximately half the fluid from the reservoir.

2. Raise and support the vehicle safely.

3. Remove the wheels.

4. Remove the disc brake caliper guide pins.Torx bolt 40 or 45 (can't remember which)

It is not necessary to disconnect the hydraulic lines.

5. Lift the disc brake caliper from the anchor plate.

6. Position the disc brake caliper out of the way by suspending with a wire.

7. Remove the brake pads from the anchor plate.

To install:

8. Inspect the rotor surfaces for scoring or buildup of lining material. Minor imperfections do not require machining. Hand sand the glaze from the rotor using 150 grit aluminum oxide sand paper.

9. Use a C-clamp and wooden block to seat the disc brake caliper hydraulic piston in its bore, as illustrated. This must be done to provide clearance for the disc brake caliper to fit over the front rotor during installation.

10. Remove all built-up rust from the inside of the brake caliper pad contact area.

11. Install the brake pads, with the clip on insulators, into the front brake caliper anchor plate.

12. Install the disc brake caliper onto the anchor plate.

13. Install the disc brake caliper guide pins and tighten to 23-38 ft. lbs. (31-38 Nm).

Failure to tighten the lug nuts to the proper torque in a star pattern may result in damage to the brake rotor.

14. Install the wheel and tighten lug nuts to 83-112 ft. lbs. (113-153 Nm).

15. Lower the vehicle.

16. Pump the brake pedal to seat the brake pads.

Answer to replacing front brake padsThe unspoken crime of the automotive industry is the ease at replacing brake pads. Each year, people spend millions of dollars paying for a service that they can easily do by themselves. It is as easy as changing your oil. It is very easy to change the front disc brakes on a Ford Windstar '03. I have an 03 Limited. First, remove the wheel. Then, loosen the bottom bolt that holds the caliper in place. Swing the caliper up! Next, remove the brake pads by pulling them from the disc. Then, use a caliper tool to reset it. Next, spread the break pad lubricant on the brake pad and the caliper; this will lessen/eliminate noise when the brakes are applied. Lower the caliper onto the new brake pads - the most difficult part in my opinion - and secure the bolt. YOU ARE DONE! It's a good idea to secure your new brake pads by making short stops and pushing the brake pedal down as far as it will go. You've just saved yourself at least $100 bucks!

The front rotors have four to five Allen headed retaining bolts near the center of the hub(around the hub). These have to be carefully removed as to not damage or strip the heads. I suggest spraying with some liquid wrench before attempting to unscrew. Remember, right to tight, left to loose.

How to Install Front Brake Pads

Check Related links below.

There is actually a video on how to install front brake pads.

Car Horns
Ford Windstar
Ford Windstar GL

Where is the horn and what fuses protect it on a Ford Windstar?

Fuses1995-1998 - Fuse #16 on the fusebox inside the vehicle (not the engine compartment)

1999-2003 - Fuse #4 on the fusebox in the engine compartment

1999-2003 - Relay #205 on the fusebox in the engine compartment


Just fixed ours. It is hiding inside the fender behind the left headlight. Accessible by releasing (5 Philips screws) the bottom part of the plastic fender liner, and reaching in. A 1/2 inch socket takes off the bracket, and the wire is connected by the cheapest spade lugs, which had come loose on ours.


It should be behind the splash shield in front of the drivers side tire. Remove the screws from the edge of the shield. Behind this will be pit type fasteners remove these. The horn should be visible. It might be easier to do if you remove the front tire. Then just remove the connector and unscrew or unclip horn. Since the horn is exposed to the weather, the wire connections tend to corrode. Many times just pulling the connector off and scraping the metal will fix the problem.

See "Related Questions" below for more Just fixed ours. It is hiding inside the fender behind the left headlight. Accessible by releasing (5 Philips screws) the bottom part of the plastic fender liner, and reaching in. A 1/2 inch socket takes off the bracket, and the wire is connected by the cheapest spade lugs, which had come loose on ours.

its in front of the driverside wheel well. between the fender and the wheel well.

Behind the right headlight.

1995-1998 - #20 Fuse . On The Fuse panel. 25 amp

in the engine compartment, drivers side behind the battery in front of the around air filter, there is a fuse compartment. Its a mini fuse a #25 fuse. you have find the latch on the compartment to get it to open! According to the OWNERS MANUAL, fuse/relay #4 in the engine compartment fusebox covers the horns.

See "Related Questions" below for more

Another cause

In all probability the air bag clock spring is defective. I strongly recommend that you have a professional repair shop do the repair.

Why they don't work...

Lets start with the basics, did you check fuses? If they are all good, check connections between the horn and harness. You might also have a short in the wires, causing it to not work. As a last resort, you may have a defective horn.

Heating AC and Engine Cooling
Antifreeze and Engine Coolant
Ford Windstar GL
Combustion Engines

What could be damaged when an engine overheats?

How is your heat? Overheating can cause damage generally to head gasket, cylinder head or thermostat. See other posts regarding headgaskets in this forum. answer you can damage whole engine thru overheating but if u had no coolant leak when overheating occurred, u need to check water pump and thermostat in engine

Car Sounds
Lincoln Mark VIII
Ford Windstar GL

What could cause a grinding or squealing noise from a car?


I had an extrememly loud grinding soun under my hood one day when my car ran hot i new it was my water pump and i tried to get home and the car stalled out and would no longer start because it shredded the timing belt. I would have someone look at the water pump and the alternator.

AnswerRemove the fan belt and start the engine to eliminate alt,water pump. Can do the same for power steering to eliminate the pump. If you still have the noise, the noise is normally engine or trany. AnswerIf it's a grinding noise it can also be one of the bearings in your wheels. Don't take apart your engine just yet. :) AnswerI had this grinding or whirring noise when driving my 86 crx Honda hf model. The solution was replacing the berring in the front wheel hub. Upon inspection the hub itself did not need replacing only the berring. It now is free of the noise. AnswerI have a 2002 Chevy Cavalier and I also replaced the wheel hub bearing assembly. YOU CANNOT take the bearing out of the hub, it is an entire assembly.

i agree check the bearings first... you can do this your self by jacking up the front of the car so the tires a off the ground so you can move them. Once the tires are off the ground you grab the top and bottom of the tire and see if it has play in it ( try to move the tire top to bottom ) if you have play then you need to service your wheel barings or replace them

-your brakes can also make grinding or squealing noises but both at once would not be likely


I had mine just like that. and I remove the 2 belts, remove the water pump and put a new one and you can save the old coolant as long as you did not put it to the dirty pale. It's going to run just like normal again.

Antifreeze and Engine Coolant
Ford Windstar GL
Overheating (Engines)

Why would a car overheat if there's plenty of coolant?

You got those 3.8 (60,000-80,000 miles) Blues. Could be a thermostat. Are you going through coolant? If so, the technician is probably right. The 3.8 motor wants head gaskets every 70,000 miles or so. Plan on machining the head flat again too. If you are not going through coolant, it would sound more like a thermostat or possible blockage in the system.


Check the condition of the radiator, the water pump, the thermostat, and the pressure cap. I had a similar problem with my 1991 Chevy Cavalier (4 cyl, 2.2L). When all is well it normally runs about 180-200 degrees F (the electric fan clicks on at about 200 and shuts off at 180, fan runs continuously w/AC on). Because I neglected to flush the system for about 3 years, the radiator clogged and the water pump was on the way out (all but three of the blades had eroded away). The car was running 230 degrees (about 3/4 of the way up the gauge). Even after the water pump was replaced, it still ran hot even though the T-stat and cap were ok and there was plenty of coolant. I flushed out the system and replaced the radiator. This cured the problem instantly. Running temp fell from 230F to 180F (about 1/4 of the way up the temp gauge on my car). I don't know many particular problems that occur with '90 Cougars, but these are several generic problems that cause overheating. Check the T-stat by removing it and boiling it in water on the stove. If it is good you will see it open as the water temp in the pan increases. While the t-stat is out of the engine, start it and run it for the length of time it takes for it to overheat. If the t-stat is the problem, with it removed, the temp gauge won't even lift off the peg. (Don't run the engine without a thermostat longer than it takes to verify the problem). Also check water flow through the system by warming up the engine with the cap off and looking into the radiator fill pipe. With the engine at running temp, there should be a strong water flow out of the tubes (water turbulence for a vertical radiator). Also make sure the fan works.


Bear in mind that any air (as well as gunk) trapped in the coolant lines will cause overheating, particularly higher up around the head gasket. This overheating can definitely cause warping and result in a blown gasket. This is especially common in cars with aluminum head gaskets. (I don't know how the Cougar was designed.) Always "burp" your coolant system after flushing.

Car Computers and Sensors
Ford Windstar
Ford Windstar GL
Ford Windstar LX

Where is the onboard computer on a ford windstar?

computr locationit behind the inde cowling cover next to the gas pedal?

I'm not sure, but i think the windstar (99) has two seprate computers, one is on the fire wall, and one is in front of hte passenger seat, under the glove box

the pcm is under the wiper cover on the pass side i just replaced one.

It is on the right-hand side and is only accessible from the engine bay. You have to remove the plastic cover against the windshield and remove the metal windshield wiper assembly. It is not difficult.


1995: Left inner fender just in front of the firewall

Heating AC and Engine Cooling
Head Gaskets and Valve Covers
Ford Windstar GL

Would a head gasket problem cause a car to overheat at high speeds?

IF it is leaking you're not going to have high pressure. Coolant is under pressure so it does not boil, which make bubbles, bubbles do not transfer heat to radiator walls where it can be dissipated into the atmosphere. It's the same reason it takes water less time to boil at high altitudes: because there is less pressure.

Not necessarily, if combustion gas is pushing out water from the cooling system it will over heat at normal speeds even when idling.Check thermostat is opening ,radiator, pipes and waterways for blockage,air flow through radiator,fan/water pump belt tention and get a proper service /check over.To find out if the gasket is leaking air into cooling system, fill up by the radiator cap when cool,fill expandtion tank to line, make sure there are no other leaks,run and check again when cool,if the rad is full to the top and tank is on line your gasket is probably not the problem.

In my case, the combustion chamber could be leaked and filled with coolant water and then it turned out white smoke coming out from the exhaust. The coolant level will be lower in the result of overheating.

Ford Windstar
Ford Windstar GL
Ford Windstar SE

Is a 1998 Ford Windstar rear wheel drive?

The Windstar, Freestar & Monterey are Ford's front-wheel drive mini-vans.

The 'Econoline' series of vans and Aerostar are the rear-wheel drive offerings.

Ford Contour
Chevy Blazer S-10
Ford Windstar GL
Ford Expedition XLT

Why might the license plate light not work on a 1996 Ford Contour if it is a new bulb?

probably because there is a bad Ground-clean the socket where the bulb goes & coat w/vasoline & if there is metal on the socket housig ,clean that.That is IF U have 12 volts going 2 the socket-the tag light work with the running lights.

Ford Windstar
Ford Windstar GL
Ford Windstar SEL
Ford Windstar LX

Once removing the door panel from the passenger door how do you install a new window - Windstar?

This is a pain in the butt. Had to fix the windows on both my 98 windstars! The key to getting the window out is to remove the front & rear metal slides. The trick to doing that is to drill out the rivets. You can replace them with bolt & nut from the local hardware store (pan heads work best :) Good luck, and get some band-aids for your knuckles - you're gonna need 'em!!!!

Ford Windstar
Check Engine Light
Ford Windstar GL

How do you reset check engine light on Ford Windstar?

You need a code scanner, I bought one on eBay for about $40.00 It's called (OBD II).

AnswerThe computer has detected a problem that affects the emissions controls. After having the computer scanned and the problem corrected, they will reset the light. Answerremove the negative battery cable,wait 5 min,put it back on,computer will reset itself AnswerOn all cars 96 and up disconnecting the battery to reset a fault code will also result in very poor fuel economy and driveability issues for a few hundred miles. Go to your nearest Autozone, they will scan the computer and clear the code FOR FREE! AnswerYou get what you pay for.Pull the codes from the computer, match the code to the troubleshooting procedure, follow the procedure to find the source. Repair the source, light will go out if that was the only problem. There are "monitors" or self tests the computer runs the car through a drive cycle, if a problem occurs, it may not run all of the self tests until that problem is taken care. Therefore, another problem may exist. It is emission related. OR hook up a scanner that is capable of clearing codes, and hope that none are still active.

The " check engine light" is by far one of the most misunderstood technological advances by the public. I am sure I will revise this as time goes on, as it is an in-depth understanding for the public. It is a warning light that is illuminated when there is a problem with the EMISSION SYSTEM only. Emission system being the pollution control system. Don't get a hard on against it as it is a good thing once you understand it. One point that was brought up a a recent meeting of technicians was that the amount of hydrocarbons is greater when the gas cap is left off than when the engine is running. Hydrocarbons are part of pollution emitted as gasoline evaporates. Going a step farther, one facet of the emission system is the "Evaporative" portion. This is when the fumes from the gasoline are leaking from the system into the outside air. This is one part of the emission system that can trigger a check engine light. I would say that about 7% of the vehicles that have a check engine light are the result of a loose or inadequate gas cap. But understand that many scenarios are possible with the "check engine light" The vehicle's powertrain computer (note that some vehicles have 17 different computers) will run a series of self-tests. They will only run under certain criteria. And they can be vastly different from manufacturer to manufacturer. Some self-tests are not run until preceding ones have run successfully. So if there is a problem in one particular area that is preventing another self test from running, you can have a situation where one problem is fixed, but another still exists. If you fix a problem and drive the car through a drive cycle that sets the monitor (or self test) the light will go off as it passes that criteria that triggered it in the first place. After 1996, the auto industry went to a idea called OBD II (on board diagnostics). This was to get all the manufacturers onto a similar plane for troubleshooting and powertrain control. While they still differ vastly, many corrections and adaptations were made for technicians to better fix the check engine light problems. Prior to this there were so many different and poor troubleshooting data from a check engine light problem that resolving the problem was much more difficult. Many early warning light of this nature were set to illuminate based on mileage. An Oxygen sensor was one of the things that were meant to be replaced when that mileage was hit. This is much like many current "Change oil lights� that are set based on a pre-set mileage.

AnswerDisconnect the negative battery terminal and wait 15 minutes and hook back up. AnswerEasiest way is to disconnect the negative battery cable for a couple of minutes, then reconnect. This will erase the error codes from the computer. If everything is okay, the CHECK ENGINE will stay off. AnswerNote that disconnecting the battery will turn off the check engine light, however, the on board computer is then temporarly rendered incapable of giving a reading for emissions testing. This will result in a failed test until the system has re-activated. What this means is, if you have a problem passing emissions testing, you will still have that problem. AnswerEither try disconnecting the battery for about 10 mins. or have vehicle scanned to determine the problem and have codes cleared

You can't - you need a scanner / tool to reset it. However - you can disconnect the battery and that will clear all the codes.

By far the easiest way without the computer scanner is to disconnect the battery for a few minutes - that will clear everything from the computer.

Car Electronics and Lights
Windshields and Wipers
Ford Windstar GL

Do relays affect windshield wipers and Air conditioning?


You might be a fuse box under the hood that u dont notice, look through the wiring incase u see one. You might have to pull a plug or two,just remember to plug it back in! Good Luck.

Absolutely a relay can be sticking always short or even always open. Depends how your car i wired one could affect the other

Oil and Oil Filters
Cadillac DeVille
Ford Windstar GL

Why would the oil pressure light on a '98 Cadillac DeVille blink?

Hey Oscar- this happened to me too, I replaced the oil sending unit on the bottom of the engine just behind the passenger front wheel but behind the engine. This will fix it.

Oil and Oil Filters
Ford Windstar GL
Ford F-150

How much oil do you use to flush the engine?

There is good maintenance that should be performed on engines. Changing plugs, wires, throttle bore cleaning, air induction service, fuel injector service, air filter, pcv replacement etc. I do not believe in oil flushing. If you change your oil regularly at 3000 miles or 3 months, you should have no need to flush. If the oil is getting dark too quick, then change it more often. Putting things where they don't belong causes trouble...Ask Micheal Jackson. 77,000 miles is not a lot of miles on an engine these days, if it is properly maintained. If you have a voice telling you to do something nice for your engine and just can't control it, then switch to mobil 1 synthetic oil, but don't switch back and forth.

Cars & Vehicles
Ford Focus
Dodge Ram
Ford Windstar GL

Where's the vehicle speed sensor located in a 2001 ford focus sohc?

if you look on the back of the fire wall, you should see a cable coming out of it which eventually leads to the axle. Within this cable will be a larger section which will contain gears that spin and produce the reading.

Car Shaking Problems
Car Sounds
Ford Windstar GL
Ford Explorer XLS

What would cause the tires to wobble at medium to high speeds?

Alignment will not cause a noise...directly. It may cause tires to wear irregularly to cause a noise. Run your hand over the tire tread. is it smooth?Maybe the rear wheels were overtightened and the bearings are shot.

If they wobble and your steering wheel moves back and forth, it is usually a bad tire (s).

If you are getting a noise as you describe it is usually uneven chopped wear of tires. Or bad bearing(S).

Rotating them every 5-8000 miles should keep them wearing evenly if the alignment is good. If they alignment is out, they may wear abnormal regardless of rotation and may make noise. Rotating abnormally worn tires will shift the noise if they are the cause.

Balancing a good tire keeps the tire from vibrating at various speeds.

Bearings in most cases would need replacement.Your description makes me think tires and or bearings.

Or you could just check to see if there is anything inside the rim like gravel or dirt, or in North Dakota, snow. i know this for sure only happens when driving faster like on a highway, it happens to me quite a bit and the shaking is caused because there is more dirt stuck on one side of the rim than the other and causes your tire to become unbalanced

Ford Windstar
Ford Windstar GL
Ford Windstar LX

Where is bank 1 on 1998 ford windstar?

bank 1 is the side of motor near the firewall that's where the #1 plug is


Copyright © 2020 Multiply Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. The material on this site can not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with prior written permission of Multiply.