Ford Windstar SE

Manufactured by Ford Motor Company in 1999-2003, the Windstar SE was a second generation Windstar model. Some of the notable features of this car are dual-sliding doors, rear reverse sensors, and side airbags.

1,860 Questions
Ford Windstar
Ford Windstar SE
Ford Windstar LX

What could cause a Windstar to have no heat - or not be able to adjust the temperature?

NOTE: Be sure to review the "Related Questions" for additional information and tips on fixing these heater problems.A few things to check:
  • Check coolant level
  • Heater core may be plugged or restricted
  • Heater core may be air bound
  • Thermostat may not be operating properly
  • Water pump may not be circulating coolant
No heat from heater

I have a 2001 Windstar which had the same problem. At first when you adjusted the temperature selector you could hear a slight thumping noise coming from the temperature selector. I dismantled everything to get to where the noise came from. After hours of messing around, this is what I found. In front of the housing for the heater and air conditioning, right behind the radio, there is a white plastic module about the size of a pack of cigarettes. It is mounted with 3 screws I believe. This unit has a wiring harness on it that has to be unplugged for removal. It also has an D shape actuator about 1 1/2 inches long protruding from the back side that fits into a damper for the heater core. This unit has a circuit board and motor that rotate the actuator, which in turn opens and closes the damper allowing the air to pass through the heater core. What happens is that the motor drives a couple of plastic gears that strip and do longer drive the actuator. I believe the unit is called a heater damper module, dealer item only. In my neck of the woods it's about $75

When removing radio it is MUCH easier to buy "radio removal tool" from Autozone, about $2

I have a 2001 Windstar with the same problem (thumping behind the dash,no heat)I was able to remove the module without taking out the radio by removing the bottom trim under the heater controls and reaching up behind the radio.. An 8mm socket did the trick. The name of the module is a "blend door actuator" I was able to pop it open and sure enough one of the little plastic gears was stripped.

The answers I found on this site saved me some $$ and time. So I thought I would add my 2 cents worth. Situation:1999 Windstar, thumping under dash, no front heat, rear heat worked fine. Per above, I removed lower trim piece and found the actuator, took it apart and found same stripped gears. Ordered part # 655-1552 from Napa "Heat and AC Actuator" for $44.77. Works perfectly now!

I have a 2000 Windstar with this problem. My husband removed the trim under the controls & replaced the blend door actuator. Problem solved. THANK YOU so much to all those responses above. You saved us tons of money & TIME! I will use this site more for advice.

October 29th, 2008- We also have a 2000 Windstar with the same no heat problem. I took our van to a trusted local mechanic and he agreed the blend door was in fact broken. Being a hands-on guy with a need to know more before I spent ~$800 for the repair I found this site. THANK YOU THANK YOU!! The information about the Heat and AC Actuator was correct and easy to replace. I got the replacement part from Advance Auto parts for $48 and a lifetime warranty to boot. Thanks again

November 5, 2008: Last week, we started seeing the same problems described (cold air only, faint clicking sound when changing the desired temperature on the controls) in our 2000 Ford Windstar. I was able to access the blend door actuator (easily identifiable ... white plastic, size of a pack of cards, three screws) by removing the lower plastic panel. This is the plastic panel that is on the floor and includes the small compartment that opens to store sunglasses, etc. (not the black trim surrounding the radio or temperature controls. I had to remove four plastic screws and anchors (two on each side by the drivers legs and the passengers legs). I had to disconnect the passenger side cigarette lighter to remove the panel completely from the car. Once unscrewed and lighter disconnected, I just pulled hard until the two friction clips gave way. In this way I did not have to remove the stereo. With hindsight, I might buy the stereo removal tools next time as removing and replacing the blend door actuator from below requires that I lie upside down on the seats with my head on the floor ... doable but awkward. Hint: while accessing the part from below is awkward, simply opening the cup holder/ash tray did wonders to make the part more accessible. Once I had removed the old blend door actuator, I opened it to see that the plastic gears had in fact stripped. I went to two auto parts stores and was unable to find a suitable replacement. Napa Auto Parts could have ordered one of the parts I read about above but he said it may not be the exact same part. He recommended I go to the nearby Dealer. The dealer did have the part (he keeps several in stock). It cost me about $70. He warned me that the gears may have stripped because an object may have fallen in the vent and could be blocking the blend door. If that is the case, replacing the part will only result in another broken blend door actuator. Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to investigate this so I simply used a screw driver to rotate the blend door manually until I was satisfied that it had the proper range of motion. I replaced the blend door actuator (again, upside down on the passenger seat with my head on the floor) and the heater now works perfectly.

Blend Door Problem

Your problem sounds like the common blend door problem on the Ford Expeditions, and Ford Explorer. The door is on a vertical axis and when it breaks, it can swing back and forth randomly giving heat or AC or nothing. The difference on acceleration is the force placed on the door swinging it one direction.

You can check the operation by fully opening the glove box, removing the actuator motor on top of the plenum box and examining the blend door axle. Pictures of the common fail signature are available on the web site. There are several "free" fixes that mostly are worth what you pay for them. The solution on the web site is solid and proven over hundreds of vehicles and will resolve the problem once and for all.

The "Related Question" below is an extensive discussion on the 1999-2003 temperature control valve / heater control valve.

It is likely the information will be similar to the 1997 / 1998 Windstar

A Fuse?

This happened to my 95 Windstar-I just replaces the fuse for the air mixture door.

On my 1999 Ford Windstar, the blend door itself broke. This repair is more costly and more difficult, perhaps $700 to $1000 to replace. I just tied a shoestring to my blend door.

When you insert the blend door actuator if there is no slot for it the door is broken and you are up sh... creak. Hope it is the former.

Another option is from a company called HeaterTreater - a method to repair a broken blend door without removing the dash. I haven't tried it, but the ideas behind it seem to make sense - and they have lots of videos showing the processes.


April 11, 2009: Your diagnosis was spot on! I removed the lower plastic panel (4 screws, unhook cig lighter), pulled out the ashtray/cup holder, and access wasn't too bad. Got a new actuator at Advance Auto ($46) and the whole job took about an hour. Thanks from Bay City, Michigan!

Checking the Thermostat


I won't get into too much detail.

This forum saved me a few hundred bucks. How you determine its the heater actuator versus a stuck thermostat is simple. Most Windstars ( I have an 02) have 2 zones. The front zone will only blow cold air, but switch to the rear and turn on heat. If hot air flows, your thermostat is good.

If you hear a clicking sound behind the radio, it's your actuator and it's probably defective.

I ask my son in law to repair it ( he tinkers with cars all day ) and he repaired it 45 minutes.


The part you are looking for is a blend motor. It is made of plastic . The gears teeth are broken or missing. This part moves a flap from normal cold air to the heated air. Only get heat when blend motor is engaged.

I just repaired this problem on my 2001 Windstar. The problem is usually the damper motor which is located behind the radio. The motor has a plastic gear inside and it wears out. If you know what you are doing it takes 30 minutes max to replace the motor. If this is your first attempt, plan on an hour. Go to a auto parts store and purchase the Ford radio removal kit, $5. Place the prongs into the holes on the radio until you feel them engage, no more than an inch and a half. Pull both wire hoops towards the doors and then pull the radio out. Once you have disconnected the radio, you will see a flat plastic unit about 3 x 4 inches. Remove the screws, I think there are three of them, using an 8mm socket with extensions. and one is not the same size as the other two, and pull the motor out, be careful not to break the stem. Remove slowly Get the replacement part from your favorite rip-off Ford dealer parts store. Usually about $70 bucks. I found that by calling around, I saved 10 bucks. Now do the reverse and you are good to go. I had the job quoted to me for $270 bucks so the 30 minutes spent is well worth it.. I hope this helped. edit.......I got the part for $48 at advanced auto parts. I had to plug the electric back up to the new actuator to get the"D" shaped peg to line up with the "D" shaped hole. The peg turned to exactly where it needed to go once plugged to electric. Took about 90 minutes to change out.

I am glad I can actually help someone else for once! It is your blend door actuator. It gets stuck between heat and cool and it breaks. That's what makes the clicking sound. I had to replace mine on my 2000 windstar and it was really easy, about 20 minutes to fix. It goes right behind your stereo and the part was only like $20 online. Just do a search for how to fix a blend door actuator and there are step by step instructions on a few different websites. I ! my 1999 winstar was doing this and it was the blend door


the water pump might be going bad and not circulating as good as it should,i had that happen to an older Buick of mine. i replaced the water pump and it worked like new

That is the mix door actuator trying to move the door, it may be stuck or you might have a vacuum leak coming from the engine. The actuator may be bad as well. Feel the heater hoses in engine compartment if one is hot and other cool try flushing heater core. there is a actuator that moves the temperature blend door,the door that controls hot to cold.the gears in the motor are it makes a clicking noise after you turn the heater on ,it broke answer a flapping sound is usually caused by a leaf or other matter falling down thru vents pull fan cover off and clean debis out, mostdoors are are controlled by cable or vacuum,not you didnt say a clicking sound i doubt very much it has anything to do with motor or gears It's the blend door on the HVAC box. It's what controls what temp air comes through the vents.

have the heater core cehecked out

I found this site when it got to the low 40's in southwest Florida last night and discovered I had no heat in my 2003 Windstar. I picked the part up at NAPA and installed it in less than 30 minutes. The only improvement I will add is to connect the electrical connector to the new part prior to installing it. Start the car and set the temp control to cold. This will position the actuator arm in the proper position to slide in easily. Shut the car off after this step, before finishing the installation.

This site saved me a bunch of money. The Ford garage wanted almost $100 for the part and said it would take 4 hours to install and not to attempt it myself. Thankfully they did not have the part in stock!


2000 Ford Windstar SEL: Problem: Clicking sound behind radio and no front heat.

Solution: Replace "Blend Door Actuator."

Follow the instructions listed above but pay attention to the following:

I would just like to add that if u do this yourself make sure that u use the radio removal tool that u can buy at any auto parts store. And even though I had that I still had a hell of a time getting the retaining clips to disengage and release the radio. It took about 30-40 mins. Once I removed the radio I found out why (And this wasn't explained in the instructions that came with the tool). When u insert the u shaped tool in the 2 holes on each side of the radio, make sure to insert them about one to 1/2 inches and then pull each tool towards the right and left doors (respectively) of the van b4 u pull it out towards you. If u don't u won't disengage the retaining clips which hold the radio in place in the dash. I kept pulling towards me and that was futile b-cuz the clips were still locked in place.

Once I had the radio removed I had no trouble removing & replacing the blend door actuator motor. If this is the factory motor that u are replacing, then finding it will be easy because it's housing is an off white color and it is mounted to the black plastic duct work behind where the radio used to be b4 u removed it. It is held in place by 3 small bolts. Plan on using a long ratchet extension (I coupled 2 together) because it is a long reach to the heads of the bolts.

If the heating/cooling system is blowing cold air, make sure u hook up the electrical connector to the new part and set the front temp. control lever to full cold. This will facilitate placement of the shaft of the replacement part to line up with the "D" hole in the blend door control shaft. This is the part that pivots and moves the door to open, close or somewhere in between depending on where the temp. control lever is positioned. Total time to replace: 90 mins.

December,11,2010 Houston tx,grait tip I had the same problem with my windstar 2000 no heat blowing from the vents and a thumping noise and it really works did't take more than 40 min to raplace and get the part I got it from advance autoparts the part number is#604-203 the name is (air door actuator)this is how they have it named, like it help me

Electric Windows
Ford Windstar
Ford Windstar SE
Ford Windstar LX

How do you replace a window motor and regulator on a Ford Windstar?

Photo How-to Guide

Here is how I changed my power window motor and regulator with pictures:

(clickable "Related Link" below)

Sidebar: Let's hear a round of applause for D0gB0one! If you benefit from his how-to guide, recommend him and add a note to this page's Discussion.

Parts prices

Autozone has motors alone $45-75, regulator plus motor combinations are $70

All are remanufactured units

Check the fuses first

1995-1998 Windstar - Engine compartment fusebox / distribution center: fuse letter "G"

1999-2003 Windstar - fuse #'s 106 (passenger side) and 113 (drivers side) in the ENGINE COMPARTMENT fusebox control the power window motors.

The above information was referenced in the respective OWNERS MANUAL.

See "Related Questions" below for more

Stuck Armature Brushes

Make sure the motor is in fact bad... Many times they just stop working because the armature brushes hang up and will not make contact with the motor armature. Sometimes you can slam the car door and this will jar the brushes and they will make contact with the armature. If this doesn't work you will need to remove the door panel and reach inside the door where the window motor is located and tap the electric motor with a small hammer or some other suitable object. While you are tapping the motor have someone hold the window switch in a functioning position, either up or down depending on the position of your window. I have done this many many times and hopefully it will work for you and you will not have to replace the motor. Good luck

***I tried the above tapping the motor suggestion (what did I have to lose--didn't think it could be so simple) and THANK YOU VERY MUCH! It worked for my 2001 Windstar.****

***Ditto!! I tried the tapping on the motor solution and the motor sprang to life! This just saved me anywhere from $70 for motor alone to $150+ to have the motor replaced. Thanks again!!!!!

****Double ditto! The hammer tap worked the trick. Thank you for the very good advice


I just replaced the LF window motor / regulator on our 2001 Windstar.

Here are the basic steps it took me to get the new motor / regulator assembly installed.

NOTE: The window doesn't have to come out for this repair.

Remove inside door panel -

  1. remove plastic corner piece - it snaps out, a clip and tab hold it in place.
  2. remove lock stem.
  3. remove plastic fascia piece around door handle, it also snaps out, single clip and tab.
  4. remove 5 panel screws (7mm), 2 at base, 2 in arm rest, and 1 in upper corner, where the corner piece was.

    The door panel can now be lifted off some plastic molded hooks that hold it on the frame.

    1. there are 3 wiring quick disconnects that need disconnecting from window/lock switches on the arm rest
    2. The courtesy light needs to be rotated out from the panel as well.
  5. As you work the panel loose from the door:
  6. Remove the foam from door frame.
  7. You should also remove the speaker - the hole it vacates is useful for working on the regulator / assembly replacement

Now, the regulator is held in place by 4 rivets and threaded stem & nut and 2 tabs. With the panel and foam removed, you can easily see them. It is also attached by rivets to the window in 2 places at the bottom of the window. And, it is attached to a guide bar across the large opening in the frame.

The guide bar needs to be removed first. Remove the 2 nuts (11mm) that attach it to the frame and it can be worked off the regulator assembly and out of the opening.

Then, The rivets need to be drilled out, the 4 in the door frame and the 2 holding the window to the regulator assembly., the window rivets can be a pita - I used a Dremmel with a cutting wheel. Before starting the rivet removals, I used duct tape to hold the window up in place. But once the guide bar, 4 frame rivets, and stem nut are removed, the whole thing, window and all can be moved up/down in the door frame - and need to be to get at the rivets that attach the window to the regulator assembly. Move the window to a place so that you can get to the attaching rivets, you'll obviously have to loosen the tape to do so but then tape it where it works for getting at the window rivets (the pita part of this job).

Once the window rivets are removed, the regulator assembly can be removed through the large opening in the frame. New one goes in as old came out. Attach window to it - I used nuts/bolts, short enough to ensure there wouldn't be any interference. Not too tight, need the bushings to move as window goes up/down. Now - the new regulator assembly i got was slightly different in that the threaded stem was about 1/2" forward of the old one - so the hole the stem goes through had to be opened up toward the front of the van about 1/2" (turned it into a slot). With some time, a few choice words, and patience, the stem and tabs can be put in place in the frame and the new regulator assembly reattached to the frame. Again, I used nuts/bolts and couldn't replace the 2 inner rivets because of space constraints. I figured that the tabs, stem and 2 that I could replace could do the job of holding it in place.

Then, replace things as they came off. Don't for get the courtesy light and quick connects!

I've had to replace both assemblies and I was informed of a shortcut (after my first replacement job) that allows the replacement without having to remove the rivets...

once you have the door cover and foam removed look for two small divets/dents located in the area of the four rivets. Once you locate them drill them out with at least a 1/2" drill bit. Right behind the new holes are the two nuts holding the regulator in place. remove the two nuts and remove the regulator then reverse the procedure to put the new regulator in place.

Removing the door panel is the easy part. A redesign of the regulator means that a new motor will not fit on the old original 2001 regulator. Not only are the mounting holes different but so is the electrical connector. You could perhaps find an old motor at the junk yard but it will most likely fail just like the original design. There are six rivets. Two hold the window to the regulator and four hold the regulator to the door. The new regulator requires you enlarge one of the mounting holes. The difficult part for me was the window being riveted to the regulator. I did not want to drill out the rivets on the window and did not have a rivet gun that could handle a 1/4" rivet. Most homeowner rivet guns are for 3/16" and smaller rivets. The door rivets can be replaced with short 1/4" bolts. After many hours and hassles with wrong parts I opted to take the vehicle to an auto glass business and gave them a new regulator/motor assembly ($87 from Ford). Depending on how nice the glass people are it is still cheaper than having Ford do it. If you have the correct tools and rivets plus don't mind working with the glass it can be done at home.


I just removed mine by drilling 1/2" holes in the metal door over the two 5/16" nuts that hold the gear assembly to the regulator(there were dimples in the door above each nut). That allowed me to remove those two nuts. Then the third fastener was a bolt that projected through the door, which could be removed with a 5/32" socket on the torx type bolt head.Once those three nuts were removed the gear assembly fell away from the regulator without having to touch the glass or remove the regulator.

First you remove the back window corner panel. It pulls right off. Then you pop off the black cover from around the handle. There is a screw on the top holding the panel on , remove screw and remove the screws at the bottom of the panel and lift off panel. Roll plastic down. Drill out the 3 rivets holding the motor in place and remove bolts to swing motor to opening. Install in reverse order .Bolt new motor in place. Be careful with spring inside door can cut you use gloves, and watch out for window track, it locks into place.


Remove the door panel first,and the inside cover you'l see three pilote holes drill these out with a 1/2 inch bit this will expose the three small bolts holding the motor remove them with a small ratchet unplug the motor and replace.

How to check...

To check the motor remove the door trim panel, disconnect electrical connector at motor, using a test light put one end of light into one side of connector and other end into other side of connector, (install light in place of motor), activate window up/down switch, if light illuminates change the motor, if not you have a wiring problem.

I am having the same problem as you are with my 95 Windstar but my windows work intermitantly. First thing I would do is check the fuses. There are separate fuses for driver and passenger windows. If this isn't the problem then I would check the relays for the windows. They might be sticking or something. You can buy new ones from NAPA for about $7 each.

I personally try the cheap approach first. If this isn't the answer, then get a tester and see if you have power to the window motor. If you do have power when the door switch is activated, then you have a bad motor. I would then recommend that a dealer replace because glass breaks easily.

Also Try this!!!

Stuck Armature Brushes

Make sure the motor is in fact bad... Many times they just stop working because the armature brushes hang up and will not make contact with the motor armature. Sometimes you can slam the car door and this will jar the brushes and they will make contact with the armature. If this doesn't work you will need to remove the door panel and reach inside the door where the window motor is located and tap the electric motor with a small hammer or some other suitable object. While you are tapping the motor have someone hold the window switch in a functioning position, either up or down depending on the position of your window. I have done this many many times and hopefully it will work for you and you will not have to replace the motor. Good luck

Stuck Armature Brushes

Make sure the motor is in fact bad... Many times they just stop working because the armature brushes hang up and will not make contact with the motor armature. Sometimes you can slam the car door and this will jar the brushes and they will make contact with the armature. If this doesn't work you will need to remove the door panel and reach inside the door where the window motor is located and tap the electric motor with a small hammer or some other suitable object. While you are tapping the motor have someone hold the window switch in a functioning position, either up or down depending on the position of your window. I have done this many many times and hopefully it will work for you and you will not have to replace the motor. Good luck

Remove the door trim panel. Pull off plastic cover. Unplug the regulator. Position glass by hand until you can remove rivets from door glass. Tilt glass and lift out. Drill out all the rivets holding the regulator in. Remove regulator. Install new regulator. Rivet new regulator. Reinstall glass. Rivet glass to regulator. Plug in regulator.


I have a 1995 Windstar and the passenger power window kept getting stuck and wouldn't come down for weeks at a time,then it would work. I pulled off the door panel there are 1 or 2 screws by the arm rest you need to unscrew,then pull off the electrical connector for the power mirror,locks and window.first check if you have power to the switch with a test light,if yes then switch looks ok,then pull off the connector to the power motor ,put the window switch back together.if test light goes on at the connector when you press the power window switch,power is making it to the motor.To remove the motor you have to drill out the rivets that hold the motor to the door,remove the connector then to replace you have to drill out the rivet holes to a larger size cause you have to replace them with bolts to put the nw motor in. BEFORE YOU REMOVE THE OLD MOTOR try hitting the old motor with a hammer not very hard to damage but give it a good hit,because some times the gears bind and that's why the power window doesn't work even when you have power to the motor. It's a pain in the @#$# to change that motor,the the hammer first. I chg the motor then afterward found out the motor was still good. The gears were binding that's why the window would work sometimes and sometimes not. See "Related Questions" below for more

TAke it to a garage and have them do a wet and dry compression test on it and listen for unusual noises.

Worked for me on 1999 Windstar, Thanks!

Just want to say thanks to all for posting the detailed instructions! I generally limit repairs to things I can do with a can of spray lube and an adjustable wrench. What I feared might blow my whole Sunday afternoon was done in under an hour to reinstall ( i.e. after I determined it was the motor, and had the partl). Wife was totally impressed!

$61 US for full motor-regulator assembly at Advanced Auto in Arlington, VA.

I followed the written and the images shown at

Thanks for taking the time to add detail

Excellent suggestion to NOT remove the channel connected to the window, but rather bend the small metal stops and sliding the nylon rollers out. With this method, you'll need to do the same to remove the channel from the new regulator / motor before installing. This is basically a good 'dry run' for what you need to do for the existing channel inside the door.

I had some trouble sliding the existing nylon rollers out of the window channel because there was a small screw from the nylon clamp holding the window. A slight pry with a screwdriver got it past. The replacement nylon slides are much narrower (perhaps for this reason) and insert easily without hitting this screw.

Duct tape was also a great idea. My window was stuck in the up position. During the install, I needed to lower to about ½ way down get the new motor to line up with the holes and everything put together and tested. Duct tape made this easy to adjust and avoided the need to have a 3rd hand, which was not readily available.

Electric Windows
Ford Windstar SE
Ford Windstar LX

Where are the fuses for the power windows on a Windstar?

Front Windowss

1995-1998 Windstar - Engine compartment fusebox / distribution center: fuse letter "G"

1999-2003 Windstar - fuse #'s 106 (passenger side) and 113 (drivers side) in the ENGINE COMPARTMENT fusebox control the power window motors.

Rear Windows

1995-1998 Windstar - ?

1999-2003 Windstar - fuse #'s 18 in the PASSENGER - INSIDE fusebox control the power window motors.

The owner's manual identifies 2 fuses, #34 for the drivers side, #40 for the passenger's side. The Fuse panel is located under the dash, driver's side, close to the side wall. Squeeze the fuse cover plate to remove it and use the fuse puller on the underside of the fuse cover plate to remove the fuse. #34 and #40 are 30 amp fuzes and adjacent to each other

TIP: don't focus just on the word "Power" when looking through the fuse charts! In 2002, the book doesn't use that word - "LH Window Motor" and "RHF Window Motor" are what I found. Fuse numbers #106 and 113 in the "Power Distribution" box in the engine compartment.

There is extensive coverage of fuses and the circuits each one protects in the Owners Manual.

See "Related Questions" below for sources of free online Owners Manuals for 1996+ Ford & Mercury products.

See "Related Questions" below for more about Windstar power windows
Under the hood in the power distribution box.

Headlights Tail and Brake Lights
Mazda Trucks
Ford Windstar SE

How do you change the bulb on the brake light?

Well you narrowed it down to an electrical problem, get yourself a dmm and start chasing wires.

I've also seen a bulb burn out and short causing the fuse to blow when the brake pedal is depressed. double check your fuse again and if its still good have at it with the digital multimeter.

Heating AC and Engine Cooling
Fuel Filters
Ford Windstar SE
Ford Windstar LX

How do you replace the fuel filter on a Ford Windstar?

This YouTube video should be very helpful

Ford Windstar
Ford Windstar SE

How do you replace the alternator on a Ford Windstar?

Where is it, and what does it look like?

It will be usually near the top of the serpentine belt routing. It will be connected to a pulley that belt goes around this pulley. It will have a ground wire along with a connector. It will have several bolts mounting it to the mount that it is on. It will also have on it vent looking openings. If you look in them you will see copper wire coilings. It is sort of cylinder shaped, but lying long ways. I hope I explained this good.

Testing An Alternator

Many auto parts stores will offer free alternator testing, either on the car, or off.

Testing method:

  • Start the engine and allow it to reach operating temperature
  • Connect a voltmeter between the positive and negative terminals of the battery
  • Voltage should be 14.1-14.7 volts
  • If voltage is higher or lower than specification, connect a voltmeter between the battery positive (B+) voltage output terminal of the alternator and a good engine ground
  • Voltage should be 14.1-14.7 volts
  • If voltage is still out of specification, a problem exists in the alternator or voltage regulator
  • If voltage is now within specification, a problem exists in the wiring to the battery or in the battery itself.
Serpentine Belt

Before starting, make sure you have the belt routing diagram - likely inside the engine compartment somewhere, draw your own, or download one.

The belt tension is not adjustable - the belt tensioner takes care of that. If the belt is loose, the tensioner will have to be replaced.

See "Related Questions" below for more about the serpentine belt.

Replacement Procedures - 3.0l Engine
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable
  2. Disconnect the wire from the terminal - 5/16ths (?)
  3. Disconnect remaining wiring connector(s)
  4. Detach the serpentine drive belt- if all you're doing is the alternator, you might try putting a piece of tape on the belt as it crossed the various pulleys to hold it in place.
  5. Loosen the large, horizontal oriented pivot bolt - goes through the top of the power steering bracket
  6. Remove the alternator bracket / brace - 2 bolts & one at the back of the alternator - set it aside for now
  7. Now you can remove the pivot bolt
  8. Remove the alternator- may have to pry it / weasel it out of the mounting

To install:

  1. Position the alternator on the engine
  2. Install the alternator pivot bolt and bracket / brace
  3. Tighten the:

    * alternator brace to 15-22 ft lbs

    * pivot bolt to 30-41 ft lbs

  4. Install the serpentine belt
  5. Re-connect the 2 wiring harnesses, and the wire held on with the nut
  6. Connect the negative battery cable
Replacement Procedures - 3.8l engine

Changing the alternator on the 3.8 is very easy. There are only 3 bolts holding it on. There is 1 wiring plug and 1 battery / hot wire connected to it.

  1. Disconnect the positive cable from the battery as to avoid any electrical shorting,this will clear any codes and the check engine light if it was on.
  2. Remove the nut from the single wire on top of the alternator. Screw the nut back on so you don't loose it.
  3. For the wiring plug, just push in on the drivers side of it and pull up and it will come off.
  4. Remove the belt - grab the backside of the belt the runs from the top of the alternator towards the back of the van, pull real hard on it towards the front of the van, (be careful not to pinch your fingers between the belt and the pulley) and the tensioner will give allowing you enough room to slide the belt off of the alternator.

    See "Related Questions" below for more about the serpentine belt

  5. Then remove the 3 mounting bolts and voila - it's off!
  1. Start with remounting the alternator with the 3 bolts
  2. Hook up your wire - using that nut you did not loose - and wiring plug
  3. Re-install serpentine belt - make sure the belt is around all of the pulleys and lined up correctly and pull again towards the front of the van to slide it back on - careful not to pinch your fingers between the belt and the pulley!
  4. Hook the positive wire back up to the battery and then have an assistant to just bump "NOT START" the engine as to get the belts properly aligned.
  5. Take a visual inspection and make sure the belts are positioned correctly on the pulleys and then go ahead and start the van.

Good luck!

To remove the alternator on a 1998 ford Windstar if it is a 3.8L engine: FIRST - Remember to disconnect the battery!! Then, remove the tension on the belt. There is a tensioner towards the rear of the engine. Use a good box wrench and pull as much as you can because the tension is hard on those engines. Once you have that off, remove the 3 bolts and they just have to be taken off after that you have to remove the ground. Make sure that it is clean. When reinstalling, put some die electric grease on it. There is 1 electrical connector; unplug it. Also put on reassembly die electric grease in there for better conductivity. You should have the alternator off...just do the reverse to put in the new one.

If the 96 is like the 98, loosen the mounting bracket bolts, make sure you remember which way the serpentine belt goes on, pull off the belt, remove alternator, replace with new one, put belt on, use a pry bar to re-tighten the alternator and tighten bolts.

It was about the easiest thing I have done on my '96 with a 3.8L engine. First always disconnect the battery when removing charging system components for safety. Rather than loosen the tensioner, I was able to grab the serpentine belt past the alternator with my hand and pull against the tensioner to gain enough slack to slip the belt from the alternator pulley with my other hand (careful don't get pinched) . Next remove the cables and electrical connectors. Now you can remove the mounting bolts and remove the alternator. Compare the replacement alternator to the one you removed to insure they are similar enough to install the new alternator. Reverse the process above... Install mounting bolts and torque appropriately, connect cables and connectors, route the serpentine belt, pull slack on the belt and slip it over the alternator pulley, reconnect the battery and check for proper operation. Even with the trip to the parts store, it probably took me less than an hour.

It is not hard to do...the alternator is right on top. Just take the serpentine belt off, remove the bolts and plugs, and bolt the new one in. be careful not to torque the top screw too much or it will break off.

Disconnect the batter cables so you, and car don't get a shock. remove the 2 wire connected to the alternator. One is a Plug, push in on the l/s of the clip and lift up. The other one is held on my a small nut on a stud, Once this is done take a picture of write down the routing of the Serpentine belt, so you know that will be correct when your finished. There are just 3 bolts, loosen them all together. Before you remove the bolts even though they are loose, pull towards you really hard on the belt and pull it off the pulley. Remove the 3 bolts, remove the alternator, replace alternator, tighten 3 bolts, then pull on the belt again and put back on in same orientation, reconnect wire to alternator, reconnect battery, start engine

I just did it. It took about an hour. The instructions to replace a 2000 Windstar's alternator work for the 2002. See: How do you replace the alternator on a 2000 Ford Windstar.

I found that wearing an old work glove made it much easier to pull the belt against the tensioner. Also, when you replace the belt, make certain that the belt is inside the grooves of each of the pulleys. It was off the first time I replaced it. Don't bother trying to push it back; take it off the alternator again and re-thread it.

Once I finished, I started the engine and noticed some whining from the belt. I also noticed that it rode a bit outside of the polished spot on the pulley immediately below which rides on the outside of the belt. I double-checked all the pulleys again, and they were all on. After driving the van the couple of miles to the auto parts store to return the core, it quieted down.

First you disconnect the battery. then you need to take the belt off by the back pulley. But you don't need to take it all the way off. Just so you get the alternator belt off. I just replaced the one on my 1997 . then you have three bolts, and one small nut to remove . Then put all back together the way you took them off. Jon

you have to remove belt and disconect neg battery cable 3 15 mm bolts hold alt on,1 plug then pos.

You must have the car well off the ground because the best way to get to it is from the back of the engine. There's a nut back there that's hidden. Might as well change the rear spark plugs while your there. To change the number 6 you have to remove the alt. bracket anyway.

Removing the belt and alternator and replacing the new one is just as stated above, but putting the belt back on isn't such an easy task on my 2000 windstar. It is very difficult to pull back on the belt to replace it back on the pulley. It takes a fair amount of pulling and when you pull on the belt all the pulleys move so you can't easily place it over the alternator pulley. To remedy this jack the car up on the front passenger side and remove the front passenger side wheel. Then securely place jackstands under the van so that you can easily slide under the car. Locate the belt tensioner which is the small pulley closest to the rear of the van. Call a buddy to help at this point. Have the buddy stand by at the topside of the the van. Place a 13 MM boxend wrench on the retaining bolt for the Belt Tensioner Pulley. Push the wrench toward the front of the van as if trying to remove the bolt (counter-clockwise motion) Push it as far as you can. While you are holding the tensioner have your buddy slip the belt back over the alternator pulley. Once this is done slowly release the tension on the tensioner. Replace the wheel, lower the car and give your buddy a cold drink!

Perfect tool to release the ford windstar 2003 belt tensioner:

socket wrench breaker bar, 1/2", remove the head (don't know the

name), Normally you can get those socket wrench breaker bar from 15 to

18 inches, I guess. If the bar is too long, you may remove air

conditioner part (don't know how to say the name, you will know what I

am taking about when you get there, )

Brake Fluid and Lubrication
Ford Windstar SE

How do you check - add and what type of brake fluid on a Ford Windstar?

DOT 3 brake fluid - pretty much a universally specified, and readily available brake fluid.

NOTE: The Owners Manual contains illustrated procedures for checking/filling brake fluid - and the specified fluids for the vehicle.

See "Related Questions" below for a free sources of online Owners Manuals D.O.T. #3


Check the master cylinder to see if it's low.


AnswerThis is well detailed and illustrated in the Owners Manual - See "Related Questions" below for more The reservoir is located on the drivers side of the engine back underneath the windshield. It is a black reservoir with a 2 inch cap. Tilting the brake fluid bottle sideways then punching 2 small holes in the foil (one on either side of the bottle opening) is the best way to get the fluid in the reservoir. Resevoir (master cylinder) on the firewall driver's side Inside the engine compartment, above the steering column is the white brake fluid reservoir.

It's a little awkward as it is partially obstructed by the windshield wiper trim piece.

Adding fluid - I usually use a small bathroom dixie cup if you fill it halfway it will fit under there

and you can pour it in

According to the Owners Manual, and the "Related Question" below...


Ford Windstar
Ford Windstar SE
Ford Windstar LX

Where is - and how do you change the starter on a Ford Windstar?

1998 Windstar Starter ReplacementThe starter is located on the bottom at the front of the engine. Quite small compared to older cars. You will find some of the attaching hardware to be SAE sizes and some are Metric.

First you will need to raise the car and put safety stands under it to prevent any possibility of falling. Also you must chock the rear wheels to keep the car from rolling and coming off the jack stands while up in the air. The car will want to roll when you are reefing on the bolts.

  1. Disconnect the battery cables at the battery.
  2. Disconnect the two wires to the starter.
  3. The larger wire runs through a standoff above the starter. It makes the job easier if you will remove the bolt holding the standoff to the engine block. This allows you to move the large wire out of your way.
  4. Remove the two bolts holding the starter onto the flywheel housing. One bolt is easy to get at as it is visible on the front but the second one is hidden up behind the starter.

    NOTE: Starter bolts are 13mm. Brakeline bracket bolt is 15mm.

  5. Do the opposite to install.

While you have the starter off you have exposed the gear teeth on the edge of the flywheel. You should inspect the teeth as your problem could be these teeth and not the starter. Use a crayon or chalk to put a mark on the flywheel so you will know when you have turned it completely around. You can use a large screwdriver or some other tool to pry on these teeth and rotate the flywheel around, one complete revolution

The starter is located on the lower front of the engine and is visible thru the air duct.

Lower front of the engine, accessed from below.

Follow a rather large gauge wire leading down to the starter.

Disconnect the negative wire from the battery before removing the starter.

Disconnect connected wires, remove 2 mounting bolts.

Disconnect the negative terminal on the battery, then remove the wire to the selenoid .

Remove the two bolts holding the starter,and with some manuvering the starter will come out of the vehicle. Reverse the process to install.

everyone should have a manual for their vehicle, and the library should have a professional shop manual available in the REFERENCE section...make copies of the right sections...good luck :)

The starter is located on the front of the engine near the bottom in the middle next to the transmission.

Bolts that hold the starter on: 3 - 15mm bolts and on some you also need to remove the 2- 8 mm bolts on the rear support on back of the starter

the starter is located in the front of the motor in the middle its in eye veiw in front of radiatorGeneral instructions for replacing a starter (2 mounting bolts):

# Disconnect the negative battery cable# Raise and support the vehicle safely# Disconnect the starter electrical harness# Remove the upper starter bolt# Support the starter and remove the lower bolt# Remove the starter from the vehicle

everyone should have a manual for their vehicle, and the library should have a professional shop manual available in the REFERENCE section...make copies of the right sections...good luck :)

Ford Windstar SE

How do you remove a radio from a Ford Windstar?

Ford DIN Radio Removal Tools - $10.95 DIN Tools are required to safely remove the radio from many Ford vehicles. DM-10-22

These removal tools are also widely available and price from free with radio purchase, to around $4.(Auto parts, Walmart,

You only need the standard Ford radio, U shaped removal tools, readily & cheaply available at an autoparts store, Walmart, etc.

- Use the removal tools to pull the radio assembly out of the dash - note: you do NOT need to remove the plastic trim piece! :)

  • Insert the tools into each pair of small holes on either side of the radio face
  • They're all the way in when you feel them hit an indent, or a bit of 'click'
  • Push the tops of the tools to the *OUTSIDE* while pulling the radio out from the dash. This is more "art" & feel than specific instructions.

- Pull the 2 wire harness connectors off & disconnect the radio antenna.

As you can imagine, re-installing is just a matter of connecting the wire harnesses & antenna - align and push the radio back in until you hear/feel the side-clips click back into place.


  • Be sure to spend the few dollars for the wire harness kit - This saves you from having to CUT the factory wiring.
  • This may take a few tries to get the radio loose, but be patient - maybe get one side at a time released and then sliding it out.

Go to your local auto parts store (I went to Advanced Auto Parts in the Chicago area) and they sell the radio removal tool for about $5.00. All the "tool" consists of is two pieces of metal, about the diameter of a metal coat hanger, bent in a "U" shape. You stick them into the 4 holes in the radio and just wiggle it and pull it out.

This is a good start

You only need the standard Ford radio, U shaped removal tools, readily & cheaply available at an auto parts store.

- Use the removal tools to pull the radio assembly out of the dash - note: you do NOT need to remove the plastic trim piece! :)

  • Insert the tools into each pair of small holes on either side of the radio face
  • They're all the way in when you feel them hit an indent, or a bit of 'click'
  • Push the tops of the tools to the *OUTSIDE* while pulling the radio out from the dash. This is more "art" & feel than specific instructions.

- Disconnect the 2 wire harness connectors and the radio antenna wire.

Re-installing is just a matter of connecting the wire harnesses & antenna - align and push the radio back in until you hear/feel the side retainer-clips click back into place.

You only need the standard Ford radio, U shaped removal tools, readily & cheaply available at an autoparts store.

- Use the removal tools to pull the radio assembly out of the dash - note: you do NOT need to remove the plastic trim piece! :)

  • Insert the tools into each pair of small holes on either side of the radio face
  • They're all the way in when you feel them hit an indent, or a bit of 'click'
  • Push the tops of the tools to the *OUTSIDE* while pulling the radio out from the dash. This is more "art" & feel than specific instructions.

- Pull the 2 wire harness connectors off & disconnect the radio antenna.

As you can imagine, re-installing is just a matter of connecting the wire harnesses & antenna - align and push the radio back in until you hear/feel the side-clips click back into place.

Radio removal FordTried the coat hanger deal ended up damaging the clips. Had to remove dash to get to the clips from the backside. Better to buy the "removal tool", it's about $2 at Autozone. Ends are tapered and have a retainer on the end that fits into the radio clips. Follow instructions on package

You need to go to Wal-Mart or Best Buy and buy a removal tool for a couple of bucks. It's u-shaped and made of wire.

You simply put this tool on the notches that show on the side of the radio, push the tool in and pull out the radio. It's really that simple.

If you don't want to purchase the special tools, you can use 4 - 1/8" Allen wrenches. Just be carefull not to insert them more than 1/2". It's a little tricky, but beats buying a tool you may only use once.

Use two radio tools available anywhere insert them into the holes in the face plate (there u shaped and fit vertically. Push them in till you hear a click the push slightly out ward on the radio tools while pulling out on them.

Or you can make the tools out of a wire coat hangar (if you are a cheapskate like me) :) Just fasten 2 "U"s wide enough to span the holes from top to bottom.

Dude, why are you asking, im like 12 and i don't know how to drive a car let alone get a radio out of it <3

Headlights Tail and Brake Lights
Ford Windstar
Ford Windstar SE
Ford Windstar LX

How do you replace a taillight - brake light bulb - lens assembly on a Windstar?

  • Open rear liftgate to access tail light assembly
  • Remove the 2 screws from the top of the tail light lens.

    Note: there may also be a 'friction clip' or two holding the lens - gently tug on the lens to release

  • Rotate bulb socket counterclockwise and remove from lamp assembly
  • Pull bulb straight out of socket and push in new bulb.

These steps are detailed, and illustrated in the Owners Manual (see "Related Questions")

Your taillamp lens is not removable on it's own. It is a component type lamp/ To access this lamp you do so by removing the inside corner access panel, Your can change the bulbs from this point buy removing( unscrewing) the wires to the component and you wil have access to change the bulb. If your trying to remove the component, there will be 4 bolts that when removed, allow the tailamp to be removed.

The tailights are sealed units and don't come apart.

Open the rear hatch and likely you will find 2 screws along the inside edge of the taillight lens. Remove them.

There are 2 clips located along the outside edge that will pull out with some tugging outwards on the lens assembly.

  • Remove the two retainer screws from the top of the tail light lens.
  • Remove the lens assembly by lifting the it outwards at a 45 degree angle.
  • Rotate the bulb socket counter-clockwise to remove from the back of the lens
  • Remove the bulb from the socket by pulling straight out

With the rear hatch open, you will see 2 screws at the top of the taillight lens - remove those screws and pull the top of the lens outward at an angle (not straight back, nor straight to the side) to release the retainer clip.

To remove the lightbulb sockets from the lens, turn the socket counter-clockwise about a quarter of a turn.

AnswerRemove the two Philip screws and pull lens strait out towards you to obtain access to the bulbs. Turn bulb holder counter clockwise to remove from lens. Pull old bulb strait out and replace with a new one.

Open the tailgate and you will see the screws that hold it on - take those out and then pull the unit out.

AnswerWith the rear hatch open, you will see 2 screws at the top of the taillight - remove those and the assembly will tilt out and up off the bottom locators.

With the rear hatch open, you will see 2 screws at the top of the taillight - remove those and the assembly will tilt out and up off the bottom locators.

Ford Windstar
Ford Windstar SE
Ford Windstar LX

How do you replace a coolant bypass line that is leaking above the thermostat on a Ford Windstar?

Just had this issue on my 1999 Ford Windstar (3.8L). In my instance it turned out to be a pinhole in the crossover coolant tube that rises up out of the lower intake manifold on the driver-side of the engine (above the thermostat housing and below the MAF) and shoots off at a 90 degree angle across to the passenger side.

This tube is nearly impossible to see until you remove the upper/lower air intake (large black clamshell looking thing) from the lower manifold. Trust me - it is there.

Project details:

You will need to remove the: Neg. battery cable, various electrical and vacuum connections, the windshield wipers and cowl assembly, air cleaner assembly, throttle cables, upper/lower air intake, and of course the tube itself.

While it sounds like it is a pretty difficult project , it was not too bad really.

Just get a Haynes manual for your Windstar (about $20 at most auto parts stores) and read up on how to remove the upper/lower air intake.

It really mentions nothing about the tube in particular though. It is all relatively light work. The largest tool I used was the 15mm wrench to remove the windshield wipers :-)


A set of small 1/4" deepwell sockets, and ratchet made the work go quickly. You will also need a straight screwdriver and some pliers for loosening/removing various hose clamps. I just used a med. sized adjustable wrench for the wipers.

The gaskets on the upper/lower air intake were reusable, and the tube I had welded up by a friend (it is about $55-$75 at the dealer if you have no welding friends).

If you repair your old tube, be sure to replace the o-ring on it while you are in there. My dealer actually *gave* me a new one, so my total cost for the project was a few hours of my time and $0.00 for parts (already had the manual).

AnswerOn my 2002 Windstar, first you disconnect the 2 clamped hoses, then unbolt the 2 bolts,(one on the water pump and one hidden further down behind coolant tubes)finally you pry up the bypass tube with flathead gently from the water pump. may take a while to work it out once loose.

Where to buy: Your local ford dealership parts department

Bypass HoseHaving just changed mine yesterday, I can tell you that I removed the fan shroud, top hose from the radiator, fan from the water pump (this takes a large adjustable wrench as the fan clutch is threaded onto the end of the water pump shaft), serpentine belt, and idler pulley. I then disconnected the battery cables, ac compressor from it's mounting bracket (unplug the electrical connector but don't remove the ac hoses, just pull the unit out of the way), heater hose from the right side of the water pump, and alternator/ac mounting bracket from the engine (pull this out of the way also). You can then change the bypass hose on top of the water pump. Be sure not to pinch the wires going the ignition coil (if mounted to the front of the passenger side cylinder head) as I did this and caused a short unknowingly. All this trouble for a $1.99 hose. :) Answer

As a temporary fix try taking a bigger piece of hose, slitting it in half and placing it over the hole. Next take a hose clamp and place it over the part with the hole and the rubber hose and tighten it down. It might take two or three hose clamps. This wont be perfect, but will allow you to drive it until you get replacement piece or feel like messing with it. Hope this helps.

I don't know what it is called but I had to replace one due to a pin hole worn in the bend.

Not too complex, don't need to remove the pump, need long skinny arms and large hands, otherwise is slow going. Recommend hose clamp pliers. I pulled off the front hose at the water pump first, then the one to the recovery tank, un-boltedat water pump and power steering pump, popped it out of the water pump(pry with large screw driver under flange with right hand and tug tube with left hand), rearranged the hoses temporarily for easier access to the last clamp. There was a tube mounted on a bracket on the PS pump that I had to pop off to remove the ty tube once disconnected. Installation is easier than the removal. Hope this helps.

Fuel Pumps
Ford Windstar
Ford Windstar SE
How To

How to locate and change fuel filter on a Ford Windstar?

It's approximately under the driver's door - a hose clamp holding it in place and two easy connectors. 10 minute job to replace.


* 5/16th nut driver for the clamp,

* needle nose pliers & slotted screw driver for the little plastic clips


* watch out for dripping gas - be prepared with rags & small container. * Chilton's recommends 30,000 mile replacement - 15K under severe conditions * Cost is about $10-15 * Test: blow into it - the more back-pressure, the more plugged up it is * ** used mouthwash before kissing loved ones or smoking after conducting fuel filter test

under the driver side frame, near the fuel tank. the fuel filter is located underneath the vehicle on the driver side in the fuel line( in the area by the drivers door). To change it, first open the fuel cap to relive fuel pressure( shut off the engine first of course) then remove the clip at each end of the filter and remove the fuel line from each end of the filter ( a special tool may be required to remove the lines from the filter,depending on model year) then remove the clamp securing the filter to the vehicle with a flathead screwdriver or appropriate socket wrench. installation is in reverse order, replace fuel cap,start vehicle and check your work for leaks! Click component location. The filter is located under the van on the drivers side slightly ahead of the fuel fill door. The fuel filter is located under the vehicle by the drivers door. It is about as big around as a soda can and silver iin color. There should be a couple of clips holding it on to the fuel line. 5 minute job, just beware of fuel under pressure might spray when you take the old filter off. On the 1999-2003 (and likely all Windstar models), the fuel filter is found under the vehicle, approximately under the drivers seat - mounted to the frame rail.

Very easy replacement job - should be more than 10-15 minutes. The fuel filter is located under the body,at the drivers door, on the frame. It looks like a round silver(or black depending on manufacturer) canister with lines coming in from both ends.

It has snap connectors for the lines. To disconnect the lines, you must squeeze the connectors with small pliers (Ford has a tool for this) while pulling the lines out.

Be VERY careful because the fuel will pour out when the lines come off.

Release the filter bracket (5/16ths nut-driver) to remove the filter.

Replace the new filter into the bracket - make sure the 'flow' arrow is pointing forward

Push the lines in until you hear a click and you're finished

Ford Windstar
Ford Windstar SE
Ford Windstar LX

How do you repair a Windstar door lock actuator?

Repair would be to replace and I have no direct knowledge of the 99 model but my 2001 wasn't so hard and I would guess that the 99 will be a similar replacement.

* Remove the door panel, on the 2001 it's 2 screws located on the inside door handle, 2 on the bottom and one at the top near the mirror.

* With that removed you take off the foam panel and expose the inside of the door.

* The lock actuators are easy to find, they are attached to the lock rod. There is one electrical connector on it that is taken off by lifting the lock clip using a slot screwdriver then just pull the connector out.

* The actuator itself is a bit odd to get out.

To look at the new one it seemed to me that it would click in from the top but after doing the first one I saw that it actually SLIDES in from the direction of the outside of the door.

I found a very thin narrow slit located where the striker hits the lock on the outside door jam and this goes directly to the side of the actuator. I fashioned a tool from a narrow putty knife then pushed it into the slit and then pushed onto the actuator releasing the little friction clip that you can see on the new actuator.

You then have to push and push this whole thing towards the outside wall of the door which doesn't go too easily. On my passenger side i resorted to a long slot screwdriver to use as a lever to help slide the thing forward because it didn't want to budge.

The good thing though is that the new ones slide right into place easily.

* Another thing, the pin on the actuator that moves the lock-rod just sits inside the lock-rod, there is no mechanical attachment and it fairly loose so no need to worry about that part of it. ----

Another Procedure Write-up

# Remove the retainer screw from the door handle cover and remove

# Remove the screw from the bottom left corner of the door panel

# Pull the door panel away from the door, starting at the bottom (may need to start with door half open then close fully to remove). Lift up and off the door

# Peel back the door insulation by working gently at edges

# Remove 3 black screws from the face of the door latch mechanism

# Disconnect the controller arm at the top of the door latch mechanism that connects to the outside door handle. The plastic connector will push up from the metal arm after the locking tabs are pushed in

# Open the door half way and remove the 3 screws from the side of the door around the door latch

# The door latch mechanism is now able to be removed out from the inside of the door. The black wire cables may need to be removed from some of the retaining clamps

# The lock actuator can be removed. The actuator body will twist out of the spring clamp. Then the bar at the end of the actuator can be removed by turning

Another Procedure Write-up

For a 2001 SEL, which likely applies to all 1999-2003 models:

Some of the other procedures here attempt to not have to remove the latch & lock assembly. I found it immensely easier to get the assembly loosened to the point where I could see the backside where the actuator slides into the assembly. The adds a couple of extra steps, but, it was less frustratingthan trying to work blind in the corner of the inside of the door.

  • Tools needed:
    • 7mm or 9/32 socket with 6" extension
    • 11mm socket
    • Small to medium prying tools. I use a $3 set of nylon ones from Harbor Freight
    • Razor blade / knife
    • T30 star fastener bit - for the door latch to door fasteners
    • Magnetic tray to help avoid losing parts & screws
    • Flashlight if your eyes are 2 days past "middle-age"
  • Remove two (2) 7mm screws at the bottom corners of the door panel
  • Remove two (2) 7mm screws just below the pull-handle - actually they just stayed in the deep access holes and didn't come out
  • Remove the black triangle cover at the top front corner

    NOTE: there is a friction-clip near the top of the triangle. Pry/pull at the top to release and then lift up & away. Don't pry at the bottom like I did, or you'll just break-off the internal clip. No real harm as the cover is pretty sturdy even without it

  • Remove the now-visible 7mm screw from the top front corner of the panel
  • Remove the clip-in cover behind the door handle

    NOTE: the friction-clip is at the front of the cover. Pry it up a bit and pull the cover towards the front of the door to clear the other hooks

  • The panel will now lift-up and away from the door. There are NO friction-clips so don't waste your time prying the panel away, just lift
  • Release two (2) wiring connectors at the topside of the panel - push-in clips to release the connector
  • Optional: If your door has the courtesy light, turn the light socket counter-clockwise to release from the panel. Whew! The door panel is now free of the door
  • The foam cover is lightly glued to the door - gently pull it away. The razor blade/knife will help you keep from tearing the material

    Inside the door

  • There are 2 wiring connectors, only 1 of which goes to the door lock. I released the bottom connector earlier-on, and the other one was easier to release after the assembly is loose
  • Remove three (3) 11mm nuts that hold the exterior door handle cover
  • Try and wriggle the door handle to slide it off the top of the connector rod. There's a 90 degree turn to get through, but it should slide & wriggle past it and off the rod
  • Release the inside door handle cable from the nylon holder-clip. Just provides more wriggle-room
  • Remove the three (3) T30 mounting screws from the door latch on the end of the door
  • With the entire assembly loose inside the door, you should be able to turn and wriggle it around the internal window support and get it out to the largest opening in the door to work on it

    NOTE: the interior door handle cable, exterior door handle connector rod, doorlock manual operation rod and maybe even the second wire connector are still hooked onto the assembly - but there's enough play to get the assembly out to the opening for clear access

  • The actuator itself slides on/off the assembly from the outside side of the door. Take note of the retainer-clip on the new one, and then spot it on the old one - press it in and push / slide the actuator off the assembly

Overall, not a bad job and I wouldn't hesitate to do the next one.

Almost forgot to tell you where I bought my part.Autozone wanted $70-100, and one of the local salvage yards priced a used one at $30. I bought a brand new one from for $32 plus $3 shipping.

Be sure to review all the various procedure write-ups in this WikiAnswer and you'll find it pretty easy to stop having to reach across the seats to unlock the darned door for your wife!

One last thing: if this write-up helps you out, please hit the Contributor Trust & Question Popularity links below - I appreciate it and good luck!

---- I just replaced my drivers door actuator - it takes some time and patience. I would suggest that you go to a wrecker and get some "practice". Much more cost effective as well! I have a pull-a-part wrecker with a good selection of Windstars. Door panel off - take it easy on the power accessory/speaker harnesses. Have a good look at the lock configuration - connections from inside handle, outside handle, lock and actuator piston. Start removing clips and wires. You may have to unscrew exterior handle/molding to get some give on the interior - you will be working through cutouts in the door. Good idea to take a quick photo before you start. Good luck.....

Answer...from what i can find in my owners manual, check fuse # 37, this is the fuse for the power door locks AnswerThere could be one of the switches gone bad.... happened to me, the switch by the back door was fried and none of the other ones would work.
Ford Windstar SE
Brakes and Tires
Oldsmobile Alero

Where is 2002 Alero abs relay switch located?

I am a newbie when it comes to this stuff but i found a ABS box in between the two rear speakers.

Ford Windstar
Ford Windstar SE

The speedometer odometer and cruise control quit on your Windstar?

Ford Issues Recall for All Windstars
Ford has issued a recall of all Windstar vans to deal with this leak - and the wiring harness most commonly affected by the leak.One source of information is the Automotive Forums - Windstar forum. See "Related Links" below

I had this problem on my 2000 Windstar. I did the fix myself and documented it on my blog:

See "Related Questions" below for information about the leaking brake pressure sensor - I believe there are additional links to the sensor repair information you (we) seek.

go here, kill two birds with one stone pick a new air filter. you have to remove it just to get to the problem part. if you have a can of compressed air i would have that close by to blow out the connecter slots that have residual fluid.


If the speedometer does work, but the odometer doesn't work, then you have a bad speedometer head assembly. The speedo head is a microprocessor that gathers the info coming from the vehicle speed sensor and translates it for you on the speedo and the odometer. If one is working, but the other isn't, then it is getting the VSS signal, it just isn't processing it right.

I had this on my 2000 Windstar and here is the link to the steps I took: I had to replace the brake light switch(was old style and wet with brake fluid from having done brake jobs) and it also allowed my Cruise Control to work again.


Cruise will NOT work if the speedometer has a problem

I have had the same scenario. In addition, the speedometer did not work, the overdrive was intermittent, the brake light was illuminated, and the cruise control did not function. This was found to caused by an all too common defect in the Windstar. The brake master cylinder leaks out of the area where the brake switch screws into it from the bottom. The switch has control wiring going to it which feeds various other systems. Ford makes a "Brake Repair" package to solve all of this. It only costs $ 20.00. It comes with a new switch and a wiring pigtail adapter. Simply remove the air filter to get at the master cylinder and remove the old brake switch. I would clean the associated wiring with alcohol (on a cool engine) and allow it to dry and then re-tape and/or heat shrink tubing over the wiring for future protection. Install the new switch and adapter pigtail along with another 10a fuse in the driver's side fuse panel and you are all set....... much less than Ford would charge!

Ford Windstar
Ford Windstar SE

What are the fuel pump fuses and relays for a Ford Windstar?

1996-1998 ModelsEngine Compartment - Fuse/Relay "N"

1999-2003 ModelsEngine Compartment fusebox - fuse #5, and relay #207

NOTE: You really need to have a diagram in front of you when looking for these specific fuse/relay locations. The Owners Manual is a good resource.

Autozone's free online Repair Guide is another source of fusebox information and illustrations.

See "Related Questions" below for links to free, downloadable Windstar Owners Manuals

Answer Look on you radiator support their is a block about 4" x 3" with the id# 12b577 on it that is a relay pack it houses 4 relays that are not serviced separate from the unit.. it called the powertrain conrole relay. about 140-200 depending on the model.

Answer what is the problem is the vehicle not starting? try the reset button at the back of ur van behind the jack see if that works first.

AnswerI would guess try replacing fuel pump, But before you do , spend 20.00 bucks on a Haynes manual at your local Auto Zone or Advanced Auto and do a little multi-meter work before buying the wrong part. Everything is electronic so you never know. I had an older Ford Tempo once and the fuel pump did the same thing then eventually went out and had to replace. Hope this helps!!

Added by CamaroLuver: Kudos on the mutimeter advice! Better than going out and buying a bunch of parts, and doing the guess work. It COULD be the fuel pump then again could not. Just because you replaced the relay doesn't mean it's working right. Touch the fuel pump relay when you don't hear your pump come on, have a friend turn your car on (not crank) and see if you feel the relay click over. If not then you aren't getting power to your relay. Then it's a different problem entirely. Wiring, a ground, possibly computer problem, do alot of testing before you go out and buy parts. Also test if you have spark before you rule out to be a fuel delivery problem (which I'm guessing it is) I learned that the hard way. Had the exact same symptoms, bought a new relay, went through 3 pumps before we realized it wasn't either one, got a new ignition coil and switch, ECM, fuel injectors. Turned out to be some bad wiring and a fusible link. Electrical problems are the greatest!!! :-p *sarcasm*

Headlights Tail and Brake Lights
Ford Aspire
Ford Windstar SE
Ford Explorer Sport

How do you change the brake light on a '95 Aspire?

You need to pull out the entire light from the out side it pulls out hard (has clips holding it in) found out the hard way. after unscrewing a few screws. On Certain models make sure to move to either the left or right (depending on what light) a little first

Auto Parts and Repairs
Head Gaskets and Valve Covers
Ford Windstar
Ford Windstar SE
How To

How to step-by-step replace a head gasket on a 1998 Ford Windstar?

AnswerI have gone through this two times now on my Windstar! Both times because of a broken valve springs, one in each of the heads at different times! You have to: Remove the windshield wipers, the cover between the windshield and the hood. The rest of the wiper assy. also comes off by removing the bolts on the ends and around air ducts. Once you remove this you should have access over the entire top of the motor. Remove the air intake assys., throttle assy., spark plug wires from the front three spark plugs, top intake cover, bottom of the intake cover, the fuel injection manifold, coolant manifold, intake manifold, back three spark plug wires, remove coil pack along with the valve cover, remove the back exhaust manifold nuts and studs. It is VERY hard to reach the back exhaust studs and nuts. I found that loosening the nuts with a 13mm wrench and use a 5.5mm socket on the stud and take the stud all of the way out made it alot easier to work with. Use a 1/4" drive ratchet and socket on the studs. You WILL need the room!! Remove the the nuts from the exhaust headers, both front and back headers. Unbolt the a/c compressor. Use a six sided 15mm impact socket and a long handled 1/2"drive ratchet or breaker bar to loosen up the eight head bolts, 4 inside of the valve cover and 4 along the front edge of the head. The frond head removal will require you to remove the idoler pulley. this will help get one of the four bolts out that hold on the altenator. Then the valve cover,and the eight head bolts. I do not have the torque specs or pattern at this time for the head bolts. As you put the motor back together you will see that everything almost "snaps" back together. The hardest thing is the back 6 exhaust manifold studs because of the tight space and having to keep the gasket lined up all of the same time. I used 16 penny nails to hold it. The job is'nt really hard to do! Time consuming and at times a little agrivating but not hard at all. GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!

I just finished doing that on my van and its also a 95. I removed the fans, then the A/C pump and the Power steering pump, afterwards I removed the intake manifold. after that remove both exhaust manifolds and then you should have a clear room to take the heads off

You'll need to remove everything in the way, pull the rocker cover, remove the head then take the head to a machine shop to have it milled. Almost every time the head gasket blows, it's because the head is warped from engine overheating. Do NOT try to put it back together without having the head tested/milled by a qualified machine shop. You can't determine if it's flat just by looking at it. Only a machine shop can do that for you.

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.

Headlights Tail and Brake Lights
Dodge Stratus
Ford Windstar SE

How do you change brake light on a '98 Dodge Stratus?

Pop the trunk, there are three plastic wing nuts that hold the lens to the body (one is hidden under the carpet which can be removed by two screws), remove the wing nuts, pull the lens away from the body. On the back side of the lens twist the grey cap firmly that holds the bad bulb and remove cap. Pull the bad build out replace with a new bulb.

Ford Windstar SE
Ford Windstar SEL
Ford Windstar LX

Why does my 99 Ford Windstar power seat fuse keeps burning out intermittently?

Usually if a seat motor is causing the fuse to blow then the motor is going bad. It could be using more amperage than it is designed to use. This will cause the fuse to blow. DO NOT be tempted to put in a bigger fuse. This can cause a fire. Good luck.

Power Steering
Chevy Venture
Ford Windstar SE
1995-2005 Chevy Cavaliers

How do you replace the Power Steering Return hose on a 98 Chevy Cavalier 2dr?

pay 18 dollars for a new one and just screw the fittings on. Make sure system is bleed afterwards. The line is good for about 13 years.

Headlights Tail and Brake Lights
Lincoln Continental
Ford Windstar SE

How do you change the brake light in a 1996 Lincoln Continental?

pop the trunk and right behind where the lights are pull the carpet down and their will be either light sockets that twist and pull,or there will be plastic nuts,just unscrew and take the lens off

Electric Windows
Pontiac Firebird
Ford Windstar SE
Ford Explorer Limited

How do you get the windows of a 1996 Firebird to roll up if they quit working once they are down?

The first thing I would check is the switch and motor (if they are power windows which most late model Firebirds are) if it is burned out, a replacement will be necessary. A more likey possibility is that the window simply went off it's track, after it went down. This is most likely if the windows were working fine. Use a screwdriver to revove the door panels from the inside and remove the plastic sheet to access the window and hardware, be careful however, because the plastic protects your cars electrical work from dirt and moisture Ok, what he said above is true, but unless it dropped or clearly jammed, its probably not off the track. I recently changed out the motor on my 92, and I will warn you, its EXTREMELY HARD. Once you do it, you will see why a shop wants around $200 labor for it. I heard that in 94 they started making them with nylon pulleys and belts (always trying to come up with something cheaper), so it might not be that hard. Basically, buy a new motor, have someone hold the glass up while you detach the motor/regulator assembly from the door, then work it out of the door the best you can (it will take a while, a long while) then replace the old motor with the new one (if there was a tensioner spring, make sure before you put it back in that the tension is in the right direction, you dont want to have to take that sucker out again). Put it back in the door, reattach it, and there you go, just make sure its the way you found it.

Car Sounds
Ford Windstar
Ford Windstar SE
Ford Windstar LX

Why is your 2000 Ford Windstar heater making a flapping noise and blowing cold air?

there is a actuator that moves the tempature blend door,the door that controls hot to cold.the gears in the motor are it makes a clicking noise after you turn the heater on ,it broke answer a flapping sound is usually caused by a leaf or other matter falling down thru vents pull fan cover off and clean debis out, mostdoors are are controlled by cable or vacuum,not you didnt say a clicking sound i doubt very much it has anything to do with motor or gears


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