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
Thanks for letting me ramble......
From the first response you gave to the original
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
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.
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
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.
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?
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
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
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.
Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com ).
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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