I'm angry at Ford!

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As the owner of a 2000 Windstar SEL with 44K on it, I just received the news from a young girl named Jennifer at my dealer that I have a major transmission problem. We bought the car last March and of course I didn't
buy the extended warranty because I thought I was getting such a reliable automobile. Besides, it only had 31,000 miles on it. What could possibly go wrong? We have maintained it dutifully since then, done everything we were supposed to do. But still, the "low intermediate sun gear" according to the lovely Jennifer is probably shot. Words like rebuilt and remanufactured and numbers like 2700-2900 dollars for the work were used. Do I have a right to be angry? Or should I just quit whining and pay the bill? Are these things supposed to happen? Or is this a major problem for Ford? Can I write a letter to the manager of the dealership or is that just a waste of time? I'm very pissed and don't plan on buying another Ford again! Thanks for letting me ramble...... Matt
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Been the story of used vehicles for longer than you have been alive, so what's your point?

Man made not of Devine nature is one explanation of such poor reliability.

Lots. Get over it.

You did, but did the original owner? Did the orginal owner drive it like a animal? You dont know, it was USED.

Damn, that man made thing again.

Guess you are pissed off at your self for not buying the insurance.........I mean "warranty policy".

No, but they do, sort of a part of life.

There is not a automobile manufacture that has not had "major problems", you know that man made thing?

It's cheaper than a therapist, go for it.

Buy new next time.

Oh, it was my pleasure.

Tom
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In some strange, twisted way, I found your response to be helpful. Thank you!
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From the first response you gave to the original post.......................................

Abrasive...................
Abrasive.............
Abrasive................
Abrasive yet agin.........
Actually, every single thing you wrote was rude and/or abrasive. People come here to ask qustions or advice. You seem to go out of your way to be abrasive with your responses.
But , then again, isn't that why you're here? Do you talk to your customers like that? If you owned your own repair shop and had an employee who spoke the same way to customers, would you find it acceptable? If you did, how long would you be in business? Do you think anyone would come back? Maybe you don't see (or maybe not capable of seeing) how genuinely abrasive you are. Did you do all 30+ years in a shop as a mechanic? Have you done anything else? These are honest, straight up questions. Maybe you need to step back and re-evaluate yourself. All you've really done so far is attack me..why?? I'm just a joe nobody. Show me why I deserve to be attacked........Show me where I've insulted someone.......
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Oh booooo hooooo, cry some where else.

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Welcome to the club. This past fall, our 1999 Windstar LX needed a new transmission with only 38K miles on it. I have two other friends with Windstars that needed new transmissions with low miles.
Windstar... never again for me.

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ran and ran with no big problems. So I'm finding this to be particularly distressing. What next for you? Japanese?
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You think Windstar trannies are awful, try a Chrysler minivan sometime.
IMO all the domestic minivans have fatal flaws in them. For the above two it's their transmissions, and for GM it is the 3.4 intake manifold gasket + awful crash test scores. Despite this I have to look at minivans this fall (lucky me!), I plan on looking at the new "redesigned" GM vans, the Toyota Sienna (probably too expensive), and the Nissan Quest (the frontrunner). Probably the Mazda as well, but I have a feeling it will be too small for our needs.
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Probably. My wife has her eye on a Toyota Sienna.

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dont switch manufacters just because of one problem with one car.... how much was the extended warrentee?? For my new f250 i think it was like $1000 dollars... may or may not be worth it... i didnt pay it...
as you can see it may have been worth it in your case because you got a lucky automobile with a serious problem... i say screw the warrentee because in most cases the cars last quite a while....
Buyer beware when getting used.... I say buy new... youre better off...
I have heard a lot about the windstars.. maybe do some research find out if it seems like a common problem... maybe there was even a recall? having some facts to refer to in your letter to ford may be able to make you hold more ground in requesting a discount or a free service...
By the way for what they have to do that sounds expensive... then again it is the dealership... check around at other places for other prices.. before letting the dealership just do it.
Ken

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Actually, it is a truck.
I wouldn't buy an extended warranty. I mean, how many vehicles have you bought? And, if you bought extended warranties for all of them, how much would you have spent? I bet a lot more than the cost of this repair. Besides, if the vehicle gets crashed or stolen with 35,999 mi on it, do you get your money back?

Yeah.
No. I would find out how many other vehicles have this problem. Find out if there are Ford Technical Service Bulletins on this. If there, are you have more of a case to request a service discount or even free service.
I would also look around to other transmission shops and see how much they want and compare the warranties for say 12,000/12 months down the road and longer. It might be that you are better off getting this fixed by the Ford dealer so that Ford will back the repair if it breaks down again.
Regardless, after you have all the information about this problem that you can find, then I would go and talk calmly and nicely with the service manager at the Ford dealer. If he doesn't seem to think you should get a reasonable discount, I would very kindly as to talk with the factory representative.

Ramble away. There are those who say I ramble away a lot, too.
Anyway, this does not sound like an expected event for any vehicle.
BTW, my transmission (Contour 5 Speed) is factory sealed and requires no maintenance.
Jeff
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getting a used van..............If you bought it new it still could have shit on you at that mileage and it still wouldnt be under warranty. One thing you could do is double check that price from another dealer, sounds a bit high. Also, subtract the $ amount from the new trans that the warranty ( and deductable) you could have bought and look at it that way. Insurance and extended warranties are just like gambling, odds are you will win, you were just not lucky this time.
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Excellent point, but on the flip side of the coin if he'd bought it new he could have had the "flush and fill" done on his tranny at 25k and it could still be like new. It's probably a waste of money, but I flush and fill my cars' transmissions every 25k and I've *never*, in 20 years of driving a variety of cars, ever lost an auto transmission. I look at it as cheap insurance.
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If you take the Dodge Caravan transmision into the mix, you actually got a lot of miles out of your's before it needed rebuilding.
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Matt wrote:

Sorry to say, but few vehicles made lately are truly reliable to the point where repairs won't exceed the extended warranty.
Touch a couple of engine mounts and a water pump or some smog equipment or - and $1000 just flew right by in the rear window.
I'd honestly not buy a GM or Ford without one.
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make their money? The extended warranty isnt there for you, its there for the company's bottom line.
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Scott M wrote:

It used to be - but with Ford's cost reduction and other business practices that they basically lifted from Wal-Mart, it's hell on the suppliers who end up making the cheapest crap they can to satisfy the 5000lb gorilla breathing down their neck.
I've not known of a single person who got a 70-80K warranty on a Ford or GM or Dodge that didn't need more than that in repairs at the 6-7 year mark.
They make money because they have your $3K or so up front for 5-6 years to invest. They end up turning $3K into $5K and then shell out $4K at most on your car.
It used to be a scam, but with cars being so unreasonably expensive to fix nowadays and quality dropping, the smart money is to get the extended warranty if you plan to keep the car until it falls apart. Piece of door trim or radio knob or engine mount or... All those small things also get fixed - a plus.
Shoot, the A/C on most cars doesn't last more than 5-6 years and is $500+ right there.
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One of the main reasons I ended up going with a loaded 2003 Hyundai Santa Fe. It's only the wife and kid and me. And a standard 100K mile warranty for the original owner. Hard to chose a Ford Escape after comparing prices, options, service and warranties. It makes all the difference in the world. It won't be too much longer before Ford and GM are in seriously deep(er) sh*t due to the quality and service offered by more imports. It's sad, because I work for a Steel Mill. We get hurt by imports, and everyone says buy American. But, who wants to buy an inferior product ( in some cases ). It's hard to do when you know you'll only be setting yourself up for failure.
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Jimz466 wrote:

Well, report back when your trannie goes out and tell us how long it took and how good the service was. A warranty means NOTHING until you have to use it and see what kind of service you get. Will you get your 100K worth? Time will tell. From what i hear its the little things that will nickel, dime and irritate you to death on a korean car. When yours is 4 or 5 years old, report back how happy you are with it.
Bob
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Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not a Ford hater or anything. I also own a 1989 5.0 convertible Mustang with 90,000 miles and a 1994 F150 with 221,580 miles. The T5 in the mustang puked at about 60,000 and cost $480 to rebuild, as I removed it myself and took it to a shop. The F150 is still going strong with the only failures being a front u-joint at the 219,000 mile point and a serpentine belt idler pulley around 221,000 miles. No complaints at all. Hell, the F150 should be on a poster for Ford reliability. Maybe you should check out these recent Korean cars. I had my doubts also, but quality has vastly improved since they started importing these cars years ago. Remember the Honda motorcycles that first started coming to America? See how they improved? Remember the Hyundai Excel when it first came to America. Hyundai has likewise improved. Although they had serious issues years ago, it's not true any longer. Do you realize Hyundai Corporation in Korea is like General Electric in America. HUGE. This is no small fly by night company we're talking about.
Another part of this decision was the fact we looked for a car for the wife back in late 1999. I wanted a new car with a warranty and she wanted a cute car. Typical woman. She fell in love with a 2000 Hyundai Tiburon. It now has 58000 miles on it. It's been to the dealer for three things under warranty. At about the 12,000 mile point the transmission sometimes would not shift out of top gear unless you turned the car off. This was due to a faulty frequency modulator. Replaced (under warranty) within an hour of going to the dealer to have it checked. Then, somewhere around the 15,000 mile point the AC button and the driver window button started sticking. No big deal, but we were in the neighborhood so we stopped at the dealer to get it checked. They had to order the parts. They called us 3 days later to let us know they arrived. Once again, we dropped the car off, went and had lunch at the local food court, and were driving home from the dealer after an hour and a half. With 58K+ miles on it now, I have NO complaints. And, lets not forget the three times my wife locked herself out of the car. Warranty includes roadside assistance, which includes locksmith services. 10 year 100,000 miles is the only way to go, at least for me nowadays. They've proved themselves in my eyes. It's a combonation of Quality, Service and warranty that will win me over as a customer. Your results may vary.
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