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
Headlights Tail and Brake Lights
Chevy Corvette
Ford Windstar SE

How do you change the upper rear brake light bulbs in a 1987 Corvette convertible?

Remove the gas filler door, this is held in place with four small visible screws. Remove the gas cap and put a crumpled up paper towel in the gas filler pipe to be sure no dirt can get in. Remove the rubber boot around the gas filler pipe by pushing down with your fingers, and then disconnect the drain hose on the underside. Detach visible cable harness restraint and move the wire harness to give you clearance. Using a small mechanics mirror on a stick and a bright light, look under the rear deck at the third light assembly via the open space you just created around the gas filler pipe area. You will see two 10mm nuts, one on either side of the third light assembly. Remove them and carefully remove the entire third light assembly. Note, there is a power cable quick connect for the third light that you will have to disconnect. Now remove the two Philips screws to access the three bulbs inside. Warning - Do not touch the new high intensity bulbs with your fingers as you insert them, use a paper towel, or they will self destruct in minutes once you apply power - fyi. Once you have carefully replaced the three bulbs, reverse the disassembly procedure. Plan two beers to disassemble, and a third to reassemble. Enjoy & good luck, Jay

Headlights Tail and Brake Lights
Mitsubishi Galant
Ford Windstar SE
Ford Explorer XLS

How do you change the rear left brake light bulb on a Mitsubishi Galant 2001?

Bare with me because I am trying to remember this from memory. If you open your trunk and look on the inside next to the light being replaced, you should see three black protectors which probably appear to hold up the trunk carpeting interior. Remove these protectors and pull back the carpeting (held on by velcro attachments). You should now see three bolts with retaining nuts. Remove the nuts with a deep 10mm socket and pull the light from the body from the outside of the car. After the light is out, you will see three light sockets. The brake light should be the most inner light. Twist the socket towards the left and the light should easily come out. Remove the bulb and replace it with the exact same bulb. The bulb has two filaments, one for the park lights and the other for the brake lights. After you've replaced the bulb, installation is the reverse of removal.

Bare with me because I am trying to remember this from memory. If you open your trunk and look on the inside next to the light being replaced, you should see three black protectors which probably appear to hold up the trunk carpeting interior. Remove these protectors and pull back the carpeting (held on by velcro attachments). You should now see three bolts with retaining nuts. Remove the nuts with a deep 10mm socket and pull the light from the body from the outside of the car. After the light is out, you will see three light sockets. The brake light should be the most inner light. Twist the socket towards the left and the light should easily come out. Remove the bulb and replace it with the exact same bulb. The bulb has two filaments, one for the park lights and the other for the brake lights. After you've replaced the bulb, installation is the reverse of removal.

Bare with me because I am trying to remember this from memory. If you open your trunk and look on the inside next to the light being replaced, you should see three black protectors which probably appear to hold up the trunk carpeting interior. Remove these protectors and pull back the carpeting (held on by velcro attachments). You should now see three bolts with retaining nuts. Remove the nuts with a deep 10mm socket and pull the light from the body from the outside of the car. After the light is out, you will see three light sockets. The brake light should be the most inner light. Twist the socket towards the left and the light should easily come out. Remove the bulb and replace it with the exact same bulb. The bulb has two filaments, one for the park lights and the other for the brake lights. After you've replaced the bulb, installation is the reverse of removal.

Car Stereos and Speakers
Ford Windstar
Ford Windstar SE
CD and DVD Drives

How do you remove CDs stuck in Windstar player?

You only need the standard Ford radio, U shaped removal tools (readily & cheaply available at an auto parts store), a T15 torx driver bit, and a really small Phillips head screwdriver.

  • 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 until you feel them hit an indent - push 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.
  • Remove the 2 screws per side to release the actual radio from the 'assembly'.
  • There is a ribbon connector - flat plastic "cable" - from the assembly to the bottom of the changer itself.

    The top of the slot is actually the locking mechanism - pull the top up (DO NOT REMOVE, just lift at each end - with the cable released, gently wiggle it to remove from the bottom-side of the changer unit.

  • Disconnect the very small, 2 wire connector

With the changer unit disconnected, it may be possible to get any cds that are out-of-position back into their tray, or pull them out completely.

If needed, you can take the cover off the changer unit too:

  • Look very closely at all the small torx - or Phillips - screws on the sides of the radio body - you will see small arrows pointing at the screws that hold the top cover on. Remove those and the top cover can be 'pivoted' up & off of the front (spot the 2 notches in the top cover that holds it in place - that's what you are pivoting off of.)

Once the cover is off, you should be able to now reach each of the CD's to be rescued.

This should provide enough access to getting wayward discs out, or back into the tray.

By the way:

  • This will void the heck out of your warranty!
  • Hemostats are better than nail files for retrieving discs
AnswerWhile holding another CD put it in a little the CD player should start clicking push it in and out slowly when it starts clicking pull it out the other one should release also AnswerThe only way that I have found to reset the CD changer is to disconnect & reconnect the battery cables. AnswerIf you have the handy Ford radio tools, it only takes a few seconds to pop the radio out and disconnect the wiring harness'.

See "Related Questions" below for more

I pretty much did that to the 6 CD changer radio in my 2001 to retrieve a stuck CD.

On the sides of the unit you can spot some very small arrows embossed into the metal, pointing at certain screws. Those are the ones that hold the top cover plate.

Be careful of taking unlabeled screws out, as some that are accessible from the outside actually hold internal parts in place. If you start hearing a rattling sound, you'll know you took a screw you shouldn't have.

That should at least get you inside... Not sure what the end-goal is, but good luck from there ;)

Ford Contour
Ford Windstar SE
Ford Expedition XLT
Ford Explorer XLT

Where is the valet override button to override the starter lockout on a 1996 Ford Contour and what does the button look like?

It is usaully in the glove box on most cars check in there, it should be a little round button

Windshields and Wipers
Jeep Cherokee Laredo
Saturn S-Series
Ford Windstar SE

How do you fix the windshield wipers on a Saturn 1998 SL2 if they run at one speed and will not shut off unless you turn the car off?

You need to purchase a new motor. You can purchase one at a dealer, a parts store, or even a junk yard if you get lucky. If you don't know how to fix this yourself you should take it into the shop to have it done properly, and if you still have a warranty the dealership should be able to get you into their service department. Good luck.

There are two screws under the dashboard top plate, and two nuts at the windshild wiper post. That's only if you want to do it yourself. put 'masking' tape on both sides of you present wiper positions. About 2 hours. Care on the screws that hold the dash plate should be observed. It's plastic and fragile.

Ford E-150 Van
Ford Windstar SE
Ford Windstar SEL

How do you program the HomeLink garage door opener on a Windstar?

Here's what my 2001 Owner's Manual (see "Related Questions") says: 1) Prepare for programming the HomeLink Universal Transceiver by erasing the three factory default codes by holding down the 2 outside buttons until the red light begins to flash after 20 seconds. Release both buttons. 2) Hold the end of your hand-held transmitter 2-5 inches away from the HomeLink Universal Transceiver surface (located on your visor) while keeping the red light in view. 3) Using both hands, simultaneously press and hold the hand-held transmitter button and the desire HomeLink button. Do not release these buttons until step 4 has been completed(!) 4) The red light on the visor will flash slowly and then rapidly. Release both buttons when the red light flashes rapidly. Repeat for the other buttons as needed. It's been 5 years since I had to program mine, but it's still working like a champ. :)

Garage door opener programming

First of all; no "garage door opener" came in or on a 1998 Windstar. That said; you may have a "garage door opener" in your Windstar that someone put there. This was probably done by the owner of the garage door opener that was installed in the garage where the Windstar is parked. To reprogram such an opener you need to see the instruction sheet that came with the opener. If this is not available, the manufacturers customer service department should be contacted.

Actually it did!

The above is incorrect, The 98 Windstar LX came with a garage door opener built into the driver's sun visor. I know because I have one! However, I could not get it to work when I followed the instructions in the Owner's Manual, so it's merely a curiosity for now.

If it's a Home Link like in a 2001

I've linked the instructions provided from the 2001 Owner's Manual in another FAQ to the right. See if they'll work for you.

Not All Windstar 98 LX have itI have a Windstar 98 LX too, but I don't have a garage door opener.
But at roof center, just behind the convex mirror, I have a 3 buttons panel, which I beleived that was a remote control, but it was a coins holder :). I know for you it's a remote control. Try replacing the battery or something.

Which door opener you haveNormally, the instructions in your manual should be accurate. If it's not working, maybe your door opener is too new for the Windstar 98, and the frequencies are not compatibles. Which year/brand is your door opener? Purple or orange learn button?
Serpentine Belts
Ford Windstar
Ford Windstar SE

How do you install a serpentine belt on a 95 Ford Windstar?

I have successfully changed my serpentine belt on my '96 Windstar. After fighting the tensioner nut my neighbor grabbed a pry bar and put it in the notch on the other side of the nut and belt it very easily moved the pulley down and relieved the tension and slipped the belt off. Leaving the bar in place and letting it pull backwards he rested the pry bar against the car while we put on a new belt. Pulling forward again and slipping the belt back over the alternator for the final touch. Forget the wrenches this was so simple I should sell the answer.

First, buy the correct belt, then look on the fan shroud which should give the route that the new belt should take. I'm my 95, it didn't, but the only thing I was doing was replacing the alternator, so I still knew how the belt went. Then release the belt tensioner nut, which is 18mm and hard to reach. Release this nut a few turns, then the tensioner will slide toward the side of the car, and the belt should fit on. To re-tension the belt I am considering buying a tensioner tool, which is a long handled lever for $35.00. If you need a diagram, email me.

New Edit

First of all, you will need to locate the drive belt tensioner and the drive belt tensioner pulley. There should be a belt routing map under the hood.

If you have a 6 cyl 3.0L engine: the drive belt tensioner is located between the crankshaft pulley and the water pump pulley and the drive belt tensioner pulley is located between the alternator (or generator) and power steering pump.

If you have a 6 cyl 3.8L engine, the drive belt tensioner is located at the very back of the engine (if you follow the belt back from the alternator, the first pulley you come to will be the drive best tensioner) and it's very inconvenient to get to. The drive belt tensioner pulley is located between the alternator and the power steering pump pulley.

Per Chilton's manual, use a 15mm wrench on the bolt of the drive belt tensioner and rotate the tensioner clockwise to release the tension. Remove the belt from the drive belt tension pulley. When installing the new belt, make sure that the drive belt is routed correctly and note the position of the indicator mark on the tensioner.

Note: A standard belt tensioner tool will not get the job done. Ford may have a special tensioner tool for the Ford Windstar, but I haven't found one. I used a non-angled 15mm 6pt box end wrench (longest one I could find) and used a section of galvanized pipe to slip over the wrench for leverage and was able to release the tension to change the belt.

Just replaced alternator on my 2002 Windstar. Found easiest way to loosen belt tension was by jacking up(and installing stands) front of van and having skinny son slide under. Could loosen tensioner for removal and re-installation with a **13mm**combination wrench and some grunting. Also, prior to loosening belt, I taped belt to all pulleys wherever I could reach them. That way the belt stayed in place.

My brother has a 1998 ford Windstar 6 cyl 3.8 engine. The drive belt tensioner broke. so He got a new replacement. He tried to put the serpentine belt ALL BY HIMSELF with no avail. just before he gave up. he call me. here is what we did: He installed the new drive belt tensioner using a 18 mm wrench without fully tighten the bolt. We routed the belt correctly (following the belt routing map under the hood). only leaving off the alternator pulley. now the only thing left was to put the alternator pulley. this was accomplished by us working simultaneously. while I grabbed the belt close to the tensioner and pulled it with all my strength toward the alternator to relief the tension ; my brother using both hands put the belt around the alternator pulley taking advantage of the loose belt. Once the belt was in place; He tightened the 18mm bolt fully. Mission accomplished.

New Edit

For my '98 Windstar 3.8 liter, the first issue is that the picture in the service manual pointed out the idler pulley as the Belt Tensioner; the BT is actually nearer the firewall. I loosened the bolt (18mm) that secures the BT to the engine and the BT pulley bolt(15mm) but was still unable to move the BT in any way.

I then put an ~8" loop of 1" webbing around the BT's arm, slid a crowbar thru it and using the top of the strut housing as a fulcrum, lifted the crowbar. The BT shifted and I was able to reach down with one hand and remove the belt from off the idler pulley.

Chevy Blazer S-10
Ford Windstar SE
Ford Bronco II
Ford F-150

You need a hose diagram on a 88 bronco 2 29?

try they have a very helpful section in their repair info pages.

Steering and Suspension
Nissan Pathfinder
Ford Windstar SE

How do you replace the tie rods and idler arm in a 1987-1995 Nissan Pathfiner?

#1i have the exact same car and i had to buy a book. That is all the info that i can give you.


NEW ANSWER #2Cutting to the chase; unless you can align it yourself too; your better off paying someone to replace all those parts. It is a long, dirty; on your back job. Watch out for the parts stores; THE LEFT AND RIGHT; INNER AND OUTER TIE ROD ENDS ARE DIFFERENT!!. Tell them (Advance and Oreillys) their catalog/computer is wrong; if they argue. I learned the hard way. If you have a good mechanic friend; pay them $100; buy all your parts at NAPA and rest easy. And by all means, replace everytghing you can afford to. Don't just do one or 2 components. If the boots are shot on your cv-axles; THEY CAN BE REPLACED!! You probably don't need axles; unless they are bone dry or damaged. About 10$ a boot. Go to Ebay and get a repair CD and it will tell you how to dis-assemble the axle(s). It's not hard, but very greasy. I just did this last month...... The Real Dirt On Replacing Tie Rods And An Idler Arm, For 1987-1995 Nissan PathfindersThere are two options for replacing an idler arm, stock Nissan style or MOOG style. The MOOG unit (produced, quite predictably, by the MOOG company, or Federal-Mogul) will not last and is NOT recommended, even for strictly on-road driving. If your stock idler arm is bent or twisted, you will probably need to replace the whole assembly, not to mention that it probably means your centerlink is ruined already and should also be inspected for play. Just a tip. If there is simply slop in the idler arm at the pivot pin, you can easily replace the bushings that the arm rotates on. They're plastic and cost about $14 a pair at a dealership. Remove the centerlink joint from the idler arm with a balljoint or tie rod puller, then remove the nut on the bottom end of the pivot pin. The idler arm will slide off.

For replacing all four tie rods you need two outers and two inners. They're entirely reversible if you get one out of order. I've swapped them around outer-inner wise and they still work perfectly fine. You just can't get four inners or four outers to work together because the threading on the inner and outer are reversed so that after they screw into the center adjusters, they can be adjusted in and out for alignment purposes. The center adjusters can be re-used unless you need new ones due to them being stripped or damaged.

To change tie rods (both at once), remove the cotter pins from the tie rod end studs, remove the castle nut, then use a balljoint or tie rod puller to separate the joints from the centerlink on the inside and the steering knuckles on the outside. Try to avoid using a pickle fork, they can damage both your hand and the rubber boots on the (hopefully) still good parts you don't need to change. When removing the tie rods, you need to pay close attention to the length of threaded rod remaining outside the adjuster nuts in the center before you loosen the adjuster nuts. Try to keep the length the same as it used to be, or as close as you can get it. Measuring the amount of exposed threads on the old tie rods will give you an idea of exactly how far to thread together the new tie rods. Keep them even when you thread them into the adjuster so the inner isn't all the way in while the outer is all the way out, or vice-versa. That way they have a full range of adjustment travel in the adjuster for alignment.

Installation is the reverse of removal, only you don't need a puller, just tighten down the castle nuts to the proper specs before installing new cotter pins. Remember to grease your new tie rods, most new ones come with grease zerks even if the old ones didn't. By the way, you DO have a Chilton's book for the vehicle, don't you? If not, they're only $15 and one is definitely worth having. To be honest, if you're a screwdriver mechanic I would find someone you trust to help you on this project, it's not something to want to half-ass and then find out about later. -88pathoffroad

Fuel Filters
Ford Windstar
Ford Windstar SE
Ford Windstar LX

How do you replace the fuel filter on a 1995-1998 Ford Windstar?

96 thru 98 should be the about the same, on a 98 the fuel filter is located about mid van in a clip above the chassis frame on the driver's side. The filter is about the size of an oil filter. The inlet side has a plastic holding clip that must be removed by pulling down perpendicular to the line, it usually breaks, but the new filter comes with two new clips. The outlet side on the 98 requires a special tool that inserts into the "bill type connection" which is available at NAPA for about $8.00, it is labeled as an transmission oil cooling line coupler release. This tool slides along the filter line under the bill connector to release it, if you have the new filter you can check that the tool you get fits the filter line and is not larger than the raised ring on the line that the clip holds to. There is also a safety metal clip that goes over the bill clip and is attached to the fuel line by a wire so it doesn't get lost. Be sure to release the fuel line pressure before removing the filter clips. There are several ways, the easiest is remove gas cap, using hand vacuum pump apply about 25 HG to the fuel regulator on the injection manifold. Even with the fuel line pressure released, it will spill some fuel so be prepared.

AnswerUnder the car about 1/2 of the way between the engine and tank. It is in the fuel line and requires cheap special tools to r&r. AnswerBe sure to review the "Related Questions" below for much more fuel filter information.

According to the repair guide at, the filter is mounted to the frame-rail, directly under the drivers seat location.

The link below is to the repair guide page with a diagram showing the fuel line connector clips.

It is also likely you will need a 5/16ths nutdriver or socket to release the clamp which holds the filter to the frame rail.

Start with disconnecting the fuel line coming from the fuel tank to the filter. This process is simply using a small flat tip screwdriver and removing the plastic clip from the connector. Once the pin is removed the line will come off. The next step is to remove the filter from the bracket. You can use the screwdriver to pry the filter out of the bracket. Don't worry about the filter, your replacing it. The next step is the tough part. The connector at the other end of the filter requires a special tool. (Some vans have the tool attached near the fuel tank. It is a small plastic round tool.) If it's not there, you will have to get one. Any parts store should carry it. The removal tool should be placed around the end of the filter and inserted into the fitting on the fuel line. The secret is to push the fuel line and the removal tool towards each other, then attempt to pull the filter off of the line. Not a lot of fun. Once the filter is removed, attach the line you removed with the special tool to the filter until it snaps. Put the new filter into the bracket. Then put the fuel line from the fuel tank on to the other end of the filter until it snaps. The new filter should have came with the same type of plastic clip you removed from the first fuel line. Simply insert the plastic clip into the opening in the fuel line and you are done.

Answerunderneath there is one clip from the "in" of the filter...raise the white clip all the way up,the black clip should be easy to remove since it's in plastic. then the other side "out" of the fiter, you should brake the tip by moving it up and down until it brakes then there is still going to be a liitle piece (tip of the filter) inside the line just remove it with a small screw driver and your done. i did it myself today, very easy. WARNING...A LARGE AMOUNT OF GAS SHOULD POUR OUT...WATCH YOUR EYES :(


You can make a special tool out of a small orange plastic electrical wire nut cut off the head leaving only the orange taper it will be wedge shaped. then split the plastic length wise with a pair of tin snips. This slit allows you to slip it over the fuel line. Then use a round file and remove the internal plastic threads down till it's smooth. Now you have a perfect wedged shaped tool to work with... slip the smallest part of the wedge over the fuel line pointing towards the rubber fuel line metal cap.

Then place a slip joint pair of pliers right behind the cone and apply sideways pressure to force the cone into the metal hose connector and pull on the fuel filter at the same time and it will pop loose - it has maybe four spring loaded flat bent down fingers in there that has to be lifted up past the small metal ring that's crimped on to the fuel filter line in order to separate... Simple little tool that costs pennies and odds are you have one in your electrical drawer.

The wire nut has a smooth part on the outside that is about 1/4 in long that's the part you need - cut behind that and discard the part that has the metal threads that holds electrical wires together and then cut the slit length wise as described above. You'll find it works perfectly and beware of fuel pressure - there is a valve on the fuel rail on the left side motor that sticks straight up and looks like a valve stem on your tire - take off plastic cap press that down the needle with something small with a rag around it to catch the fuel spraying out to relieve the fuel line pressure and shield your eyes while your doing this...

You also can make larger size wire nut cones for larger size fuel lines for other different fuel systems...

Ford Windstar
Ford Windstar SE
Ford Windstar LX
Ford F-150

What are the engine cylinder numbers in a Windstar?

Since the Windstar motor is a transverse mount (faces sideways towards the passenger side), sparkplugs 1,2 & 3 will be the ones on the back side of the motor, with 1 being the first one at the front of the motor - back left corner.

Cylinder numbers:

1 2 3

4 5 6

Front of vehicle

See "Related Questions" below for moreThe cylinders number left-to-right, and back-to-front.

1 2 3

4 5 6

(front of vehicle) 3rd firing order cylinder is at the back of engine by fire wall battery side
Facing the engine, #4 is the left / front end.


1 2 3

4 5 6

(front of vehicle)

Plug/cylinder #5 is the front middle, and #6 is the front right corner.

1 2 3
4 5 6

See "Related Questions" below for more about Windstar sparkplugs and firing order

Buick Park Avenue
Ford Windstar SE
Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer
Ford Ranger XLT

Must the steering knuckle be removed to replace the front coil springs in an 84 Park Avenue?

pop that knuckleSure. Support the lower control arm with a floor jack, separate the steering knucklefrom the upper control arm with a "pickle fork", or other ball joint separating tool.Some auto parts stores will rent the tool to you.
Power Steering
Pontiac Sunfire
Ford Windstar SE

How do you change a pressure hose on a power steering pump for a 1997 Pontiac Sunfire?

At the back of the power steering pump, you will find two hoses. One is a simple rubber hose with a clamp on the end near the pump, the other is a rubber line with a steel fitting that screws into the back of the pump. Follow these lines down to the steering rack and you will see where they connect. For the high pressure (steel) line, simply unscrew the fittings on the ends of the line. For the low pressure(rubber) line, remove the hose clamps at each end of the line. Both hoses just pull off once undone. You will need a drainpan under the car to save your driveway! Once the lines have be replaced, add more fluid to the power steering pump and with the engine running, turn the steering wheel from lock to lock repeatedly while checking the fluid level. When the level no longer drops, you are done.

Ford Windstar
Ford Windstar SE
Fuel Economy and Mileage

What is typical gas mileage for a Ford Windstar?

Answer Mine is a 99 and I get 21.5 miles, didn't tune up yet

Answer About 15 to 17 on highway with AC on

Answer 2001 get's me 20 in the city and up to 25+ on the highway. Good routine maintenance & tire pressure! Just changed the plugs at 86,000 but didn't improve the highway mileage on the next roadtrip :( My 2001 will average 20+ mpg during the warmer months. Cold weather drives the average down to about 18.


This is how to calculate your mileage.

Calculating MPG MPG can be calculated in four easy steps:

Step 1. Filling the vehicle's gas tank completely and writing down the vehicle's odometer reading (mileage). Example: The last time the tank was filled, the odometer reading was 32,645.1 miles.

Step 2. When it's time to refuel, filling the tank completely and writing down the number of gallons it took to fill the tank and the vehicle's new odometer reading. Once two odometer readings are taken, MPG can be calculated. Example: The next time the tank was filled, the odometer reading was 33,001.3. It took 13.5 gallons to fill the tank.

Step 3. Calculating the distance driven by subtracting the previous odometer reading from the new one. Example: The distance driven would be 33,001.3 minus 32,645.1, or 356.2 miles.

Step 4. Dividing the number of miles driven by the number of gallons it took to fill the tank. The result is the vehicle's MPG for that driving period. Example: 356.2 miles divided by 13.5 gallons equals 26.4 miles per gallon.

Alternate Method If you use your vehicle's trip odometer, MPG can be calculated by

Step 1. Filling the vehicle's gas tank completely and re-setting the trip odometer. Note: Sometimes it's easy to get the main odometer and trip odometer readings confused, especially if the vehicle is new.

Step 2. When it's time to re-fuel Filling the tank completely Writing down the number of gallons it took to fill the tank Writing down the mileage on the trip odometer Re-setting the trip odometer Example: It took 9.5 gallons to completely fill the tank, and the trip odometer reads 335 miles.

Step 3. Dividing the number of miles driven by the number of gallons it took to fill the tank. The result is the vehicle's MPG for that driving period. Example: 335 miles divided by 9.5 gallons equals 35.5 miles per gallon.

This van gets about 13.5 miles per gallon. Granted, this is mostly in town, and on trips it can get up to 15 or 15.5 MPG.

My 1999 SEL with the3.8L engine gets about 19 in freeway driving and about 22 on the highway (longer trip). Given how heavy it is and such, I am happy with this.

I get my mileage from the message center by using the average fuel MPG per tank. Remember to reset it at each fillup. Remember, how you drive will affect the MPG. In this vehicle, it is especially sensitive to jackrabbit starts and jacka-- stops. The more conservative, the better mileage. Carl

My 2001 3.8l Windstar gets around 17/18 mpg in the city, and 25 or so on the highway during warm weather (less in the winter)

1995 Windstar: between 12 street and 15 highway with 98 3.8 i get 18 city 24 road

1998 Ford Windstar van, 3L engine: 19-22 mpg

1998 Ford Windstar van, 3.8L engine: 18-20 mpg

1998 Ford Windstar wagon, 3L engine: 18-19 mpg

1998 Ford Windstar wagon, 3.8L engine: 18-20 mpg h

It depends on how you drive it. Mine gets about 19 to 19.5 in town on the freeways. On the highway (longer trips) it gets around 22 MPG. My mileage picked up a little after running a few ounces of pure acetone through the fuel system. Acetone is a keytone solvent. It supposedly boosts the octane and mileage. I can't say how it works, but I suspect the mileage increase is due to the acetone cleaning up the fuel system. You can also run a commercial product called RXP throught the fuel system. It removes carbon from the engine and cleans the fuel system. Anything that keeps the fuel system in top condition will "optimize" the mileage.

A warning about acetone! It is a powerful solvent. It will remove your paint if you spill it on the painted surfaces. It also dissolves plastics. Be very careful pouring it into the gas tank. Another thing to do is avoid fuels that contain ethanol (e10 or e85). Ethanol has a lower heat (btu) content than gasoline. It just does not give the same performance or power that pure gasoline does.

Staying away from ethanol gives me another 1-2 miles per gallon on average.

The worst enemy to good MPG in the Windstar is the drivers right foot. This engine seems to run very rich under hard acceleration. In my windstar, I use the instant MPG display to keep me aware of how I am doing. I learned real quick to keep my foot light on the throttle. I drive a 1999 SEL with the 3.8L V6.

I have a 99 windstar, I get between 16 and 20 mpg. (estimated), depending on how I drive. I use my trip odometer to figure out. Fill gas tank to full, (also determine capacity of tank), reset trip odometer, drive till empty, divide milage into tank capacity.....i get anywhere from 400 - 500 miles per tank depending on speed, load, etc.

1995 Windstar - 22 mpg

Headlights Tail and Brake Lights
Ford Taurus
Ford Windstar SE

How do you change the left brake bulb on a 98 Fort Taurus once you are under the lining in the trunk?

You cannot change the bulb from the inside the trunk. First unclip the electric cord leading to the rubber housing on the inside on the trunk. Next, use a flat head screwdriver to pry off the rubber housing. This needs to be done so that you can separate the outside light fixture from the car body. You will see the Three 7/16 inch bolts that connect the outside light cover to the car body from the inside. Take off the three bolts and carefully remove the entire light fixture from the body of the car. You will see two turn-type connections housing the actual light bulbs. Turn these and pull out light fixture. The brake light is the inside one. The turn signal has an additional clip on it that must be unclipped first before turning the housing. The bulbs just pop out with simple force. Replace, reconnect housings, fixtures, and your ready to roll. Don't know why Ford made this procedure so hard.

Car Fuses and Wiring
Ford Windstar
Ford Windstar SE

Windstar cruise control does not work - could it be a bad fuse?

Cruise control problem on 2002 Ford WindThe fuse is found under the knee wall on the drivers side. (see owners manual) It is on the same circuit as the air conditioner and other cluster guages and warning lamps. I was originally told that the "clock switch" was bad and that it would cost hundreds of dollars to fix the cruise problem. When the fuse started to blow continuously, I took it to my mechanic and he determined that it was the brake pressure switch that was bad. This switch is in the engine and senses increases in brake pressure. This is also the switch that turns off the cruise control when you apply the brake. When they leak inside they apparently short out and cause the fuse to blow. It cost me $30.00 to fix it and the cruise, air conditioning and instruments work like a charm now (as well as a Ford will work that is). Good luck!

I don't have a fix for you but I saw a recall on some cruise controls for the 2002 windstar. You may want to check into it before you attempt to repair it yourself.

replace the clockspring

AnswerI'm pretty sure it is fuse # 10 located just under the dash on the driver side. You will see the fuse box. Just pop the cover and there should be a pair of plastic tweezers inside the cap to remove the fuse. Just check your owners manual for correct fuse number. Answerfirst check to see if horn works if it dont it's a bad clock spring if it does work look for blown fuse if no blown fuses it would most likely be cruise servo

A non-working cruise control could be related to a leaking brake pressure switch.

And of course there's a fuse to check...

See "Related Questions" below for more

Water Pumps
Pontiac Sunfire
Ford Windstar SE

What are the signs of a water pump going bad on 1996 Pontiac Sunfire?


Well, my car is a 97 Pontiac Sunfire, but I've heard it's about the same. Right now, I have to replace the water pump in MY car. My first indication was it continually was losing coolant and the light indicating low coolant levels kept popping on, no matter how much I added. I took it in and had it tested, and they told me it was the water pump.

Usually a water pump on any car will start screaming just before the bearings give out totally. Used to be that you could regularly lubricate a water pump through a little lubricant hole, but I doubt you can do that on modern ones.


Another way of telling is if the weep hole on the water pump is leaking fluid.

look at peep ho;e pn water [ump.if theres a discharge, replace it, seal weht bad

Headlights Tail and Brake Lights
Volvo V70
Ford Windstar SE
Ford Explorer Sport

How do you change a brake light on a 1998 V70 Volvo?

1. Obtain the correct bulb; I got mine from a Volvo dealer, but it does not look like a highly specialized bulb.

2. Open rear hatch. Remove the plastic cover on the side pillar next to the hatch that has a speaker vent: you do this by poking a small screwdriver into each of the two rectangular slots next to the hatch, and prying back the plastic cover.

3. Remove the speaker by pulling on the two red tabs at the bottom.

4. The bulb holder is now exposed. Remove it by prying gently on the flange that holds it in place. It will come out, and you can replace the bulb.

5. Reinstall all parts in the reverse sequence.

Ford Windstar SE
Ford Windstar SEL
Ford Windstar LX

How do you adjust a Windstar side - sliding electric door which wont latch - door closes but pops back open especially in cold weather - can the steel pull cable be tightened or loosened?

Helping automatic doors to stay closedThe first thing to try is to clean the contacts on the door pillar with a pencil eraser.

I broke down and brought it in to the dealer. He said there was a trip switch mounted at the rear latch mechanism that needed replacement ($40). I was able to replace it myself.

This is very common on all Windstars.

Try lubing the contacts, cleaning the track where the door wheel rolls on rocker panel, and make sure there are no obstructions anywhere in the doors path. it happens to mine about once a month and there is usually dirt in the path somewhere which trips a safety sensor

You might also try cleaning the set of contacts and the pins. This is easiest done with a pencil eraser - simply rub the eraser on each contact to remove the oxidization that naturally starts to build up.

The door works on a "cycle" and the electronic pad on the door pillar may have become dirty.

Open the door and close it, and open again manually. pushing it all the way open until it locks into place. then actuate it with the door close button on your overhead console. If it does not work, then take a clean rag and window cleaner and wipe the electronic pad on the door pillar to ensure there is a good signal being sent.

Try cleaning the brass looking contacts on the door and the ones on the door jam.

Auto Parts and Repairs
Car Starting Problems
Transmissions and Drivetrains
Ford Windstar SE
Ford Windstar LX

What do you do if the auto gear shift is stuck in park after putting the ignition back in and now the car will not start?

some cars have a 'shift lock' mechanism, you insert your car key into the 'shift lock' machanism to unlock the gear, restart your car to drive to nearest repair shop.

Headlights Tail and Brake Lights
Ford Windstar SE

How do you change the brake light or bulb on a new Audi Avant?

Here are step by step instructions with photos:

Open tailgate. On level with rear lamp cluster in the recess for the tailgate is a rubber block. Remove block and insert Phillips screwdriver. Undo screw but take care it does not fall into bottom of interior. If that happens either you will have lot more body work to undo to access the missing screw or buy another screw. With the screw loose then tap the rear light cluster with the heel of your hand from the inside towards outsite(the lamp has two plastic nipples that insert into the lateral side of the car). With luck it should come loose and you can then access the bulbs. Reverse proceedure to reassemble.

Now how do you change a headlamp bulb?

My 02 2.5tdi tiptronic gearbox is failing with 80k on the clock. Pathetic!!

Chevy Suburban
Ford Windstar SE
Ford Expedition XLT
Ford F-250

How do you replace a 1996 Chevy Blazer front door lock actuator?

You need to pull the door panel off, it has screws in some spots around the edge, and flexible mushroom head pins in other areas around the edge. You use a small prybar only after you get all the screws out of the door panel...not before..or you will not like the way the panel fits back in place. IT WON"T. The door handle inside, has a screw the area of the Finger latch that opens the door . Remove it and the Plastic Edge and Frame you see will come out, sliding past the Finger latch. Take the small flat edge prybar and as you pull the panel it under, near the mushroom head pins, and pry gently, but firmly. Often the pins will snap...and you will have to just replace them . Once you have gotten the door panel edges loose along the sides and bottom can lift the door panel up...verticly..a little ( 3 inches). You will see it loosen at the top . The window should be in the down position ..before you start to remove the door panel. Once the panel is off, remove the plastic sheeting at the rear ..side edge. You only need to peel it back towards the doors hinge. The electric lock mechanism is near the latch at the end. You will need to unplug the solenoid, unbolt it, and unclip the rod that runs up to the door latch/door handle. Careful..don't bend the rod. Replace the solenoid if it will not move. (Most common) You can buy at any auto part store...the mushroom head clips that broke..when you pryed the door panel loose. They are cheap..and you need them to keep the panel from flopping when you put it back in place. Do Not Leave the Plastic sheeting loose. Retape it into place, and any slits you have made in it when removed. This sheeting keeps the rain outside your car. Putting the door panel back , slide it into the window slot at the top of the door , sliding it straight downat first, then lifting the bottom out enough to get the finger latch into its hole, and then,,holding the panel out..twist your mushroom head pins into their positions around the door edge. There is nothing easy in this world it seems. I often have had my bodyshop friend...pull and install anything I needed in my doors. They do it so much...that they charge very little...and they always have the mushroom pins in large supply. Leaving my car for the day...and letting them work it in....has never been a problem. You can do it...I just prefer not to, most of the time.

Headlights Tail and Brake Lights
Ford Thunderbird
Ford Windstar SE

How do you change the light bulbs in the turning signal and brake lights for a 1996 Ford Thunderbird?

If it's anything like my 92 bird, to replace the signal lights you just pull back the carpet in the trunk and twist the deal that holds the bulb then pull it out.

What if the bulb has broken or shattered but is still installed in the socket??

Headlights Tail and Brake Lights
VW Jetta
Ford Windstar SE

How do you change a brake light on a 2001 Volkswagen Jetta?

you have to open the trunk and behind the carpet you have to pull off, and then unscrew the bolt and push in the sides to open and then you will see a light bulb and then replace it.

Steering and Suspension
Ford Thunderbird
Ford Windstar SE

How do you replace a tie rod on a 1996 Ford Thunderbird LX?

Take it off then put it back on.

Get a Haynes or Chilton book on the car.

BUT, if they still show using a 'separator' to remove the outer tie rod end from spindle DO NOT do that! Instead:

Two Heavy hammers; Run the nut out to the end of the pin, hold one of the hammers behind the spindle arm boss, then pound the other side of the boss. This 'squeezes' the taper pin loose and does not tear up the dust shield on the outer tie rod end. NEVER USE a SEPARATOR ON ANYTHING, Even ball joints can be separated that way.


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