Question about 1998 Ford Windstar

1 Answer

Can a 1998 ford windstar be hot-wired?

I have a 98 windstar with 3.8. The key cylinder turns with no stop for on/run. the starter will not engage when key is turned fully clockwise. nothing happens at all other than the idiot lights come on and can not be turned off other than disconnecting the battery. reconnect the battery and the idiot lights come back on. ignition key cylinder seems well worn and sloppy. there are two elec connectors that seem to have been attached to the housing for the cylinder. they are broken and seem to be of no use to the van running as they have not been attached to anything prior to my ownership. will a key cylinder replacement sove the problem or is there a switch controlled by the actuator rod somewhere down the steering column? please tell me of what the problems may be and what i can do about the problem.

Posted by on

1 Answer

  • Level 3:

    An expert who has achieved level 3 by getting 1000 points


    An expert that got 20 achievements.


    An expert that got 10 achievements.


    An expert that got 5 achievements.

  • Ford Master
  • 22,095 Answers

Do not damage the key reading transponder but a i think a new barrel might cure the problem ,yes you could hotwire it to move it but make sure the key is in to stop the steering lock coming on and to be read by the transponder to release the immobilisor

Posted on Dec 30, 2013

Testimonial: "Thanks for the quick response. I don't think there is a key reader active on this van. The ignition key is just a plain ford key with no chip. Can you instruct me on how to hotwire the van? Is the key cylinder the problem or is there a switch someplace I need to look at?"

  • 2 more comments 
  • Geoffrey White
    Geoffrey White Dec 31, 2013

    Hmmm, not referring to Dennis personally, but should anyone post such info here for the world to read?

  • Geoffrey White
    Geoffrey White Dec 31, 2013

    Oops... so post an email for the info if anyone has it.

  • Colin Stickland
    Colin Stickland Dec 31, 2013

    sure this vehicle has a chipped key ,it may not look like it but iam sure it has one ,my escort has one yet it has a plain key with a black head .to hotwire a car you only need three wires bared back two connected togther so the ign lights come on then touch this with the third to fire the starter motor up ,If you do fit a new barrel then this age ford doesnt need the dealer to reset the key you just turn key on and off 4 timn

  • Colin Stickland
    Colin Stickland Dec 31, 2013

    times in rapid succesion and the car will bleep then back to acc position and then on again and the new key will be programmed ,you can programme up to 10 keys .cannot remember the sequence correctly but i do have it in my alldata book now remember this is for ford europe cars from 96 too 2001


6 Suggested Answers

  • 2 Answers

SOURCE: I have freestanding Series 8 dishwasher. Lately during the filling cycle water hammer is occurring. How can this be resolved

a 6ya expert can help you resolve that issue over the phone in a minute or two.
best thing about this new service is that you are never placed on hold and get to talk to real repairmen in the US.
the service is completely free and covers almost anything you can think of (from cars to computers, handyman, and even drones).
click here to download the app (for users in the US for now) and get all the help you need.

Posted on Jan 02, 2017

  • 140 Answers

SOURCE: ignition broken and want to bypass steering wheel lock mechanism-

its not that had to replace the ignition switch, remove the steering wheel, u will need to buy a ighition removal tool, push plate down, remove plate and the switch will slide right out.. go to advanced auto parts and they will tell you all the tools you will need to replace the switch, and they have a loaner tool program, so just buy the tool and take it back and get your money back.. good luck keith...

Posted on Mar 21, 2009

  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: 95 F150 wont crank

the starter should be replaced. The solenoid is kikcing the pinion out but there is no contact being made to turn the starter motor. I have the exact same truck and before i changed the starter used the old starter tap trick. Tap the starter casing with a hammer and it should start turning again. hope this was helpful for you. Good luck.

Posted on Nov 07, 2008

  • 26 Answers

SOURCE: 1990 ford f-150 nothing happens when ignition is turned on

Solenoid was not mentioned as replaced.

If it was not part of new starter...that's the culprit.

Ignition switch (smaller wire) activates the solenoid (heavier wire) which in turn activates the (high current) starter.

Posted on Feb 28, 2009

  • 114 Answers

SOURCE: Need a wiring diagram for a 1969 Ford F250.

there should be a slot for each wire on back of ignition play with them till you get it right cant hurt anything

Posted on Jan 14, 2010

  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: 1984 ford f-150. when

The actuator rod has a spring and block the returns the actuator to its normal position. Sounds like one of the three parts are broke. If this is a tilt steering column there is a two piece actuator rod. I am in the process of replacing the upper actuator rod, the pin that connects it to the lower actuator broke off. Never had any ignition problems, one day it just won't turn off due to broken actuator rod. Hope this helps you.

Posted on Jan 06, 2011

Add Your Answer

Uploading: 0%


Complete. Click "Add" to insert your video. Add



Related Questions:

1 Answer

When I turn the key the starter will not engage when I get under it I can jump the starter and it will run

Sounds like a problem with the ignition cylinder. Could also be a bad starter fuse.

Feb 08, 2014 | 1995 Ford Windstar

1 Answer

On a 98 Ford Windstar 3.0 the solenoid is on the starter. Will it still work if the solenoid is broke free from the start a little bit but is still connected?

50/50 chances but can get a general short that will lead to further worst problem.U can try it out (unmount starter) by wiring to a battery.Worning:schortcircuit may put a car on fire.Tip:if in panic disconect battery terminals (u may use brute force if no tools availabile)or run off the car,explosion hazard.Cheers.

Oct 26, 2013 | 1998 Ford Windstar

1 Answer

I have a 98 Ford Windstar and replaced the starter. But now when I try to hook up the positive cable on the battery the starter starts working without using the key. what is the problem?

The small wires on the starter are connected wrong, or the large wire is touching the small post.
Look closely at the solenoid on the starter and make certain that you've wired the large wire to the right place and that everything is connected properly.
If necessary, look at a shop manual to see the proper wiring of the starter.

Feb 19, 2011 | 1998 Ford Windstar

1 Answer

My 98 ford winstar won't start changed battery, still no start. was tring to turn over now nothing. can you help?

Is the problem with starter or the engine? Can you get a wrench on the crankshaft pulley bolt and turn the engine by hand? It could be you have a leaking head gasket and one or more of the cylinders has filled with coolant. You may want to take the starter off and have it checked at an auto parts store.

Nov 08, 2009 | 1998 Ford Windstar

1 Answer

98 windstar overdrive flashing

i recommend using a DTC reader to check the codes 1st but i suspect the transmission range sensor. it gives out due to a poorly placed master brake cylinder. the switch leaks and causes electrical problems with the TRS and other units connected in the wireing harness directly below the brake pressure switch.

Sep 22, 2009 | 1998 Ford Windstar

1 Answer

Cannot get key to turn in a 98 Ford Windstar

the steering wheel may be "BINDING" the lock mechanism.

Try to turn the key while moving the steering wheel clockwais or counter-clockwise.

Sep 13, 2009 | 1998 Ford Windstar

1 Answer

Program 2002 Mercury Sable Key

For convenience, I'm also including a list of other vehicles that these instructions apply:
Ford Contour ‘98–up
F-150 ‘98-up
Ford Crown Victoria ’97-up
Ford Escort 99-up
Ford Excursion ‘00-up
Ford Expedition ‘98–up
Ford Explorer ’98-up
Ford Focus ‘00-up
Ford Mustang ’96-up
Ford Ranger ’98-up
Ford Taurus ’96-up
Ford Windstar ’98-up
Lincoln Continental ’98-up
Lincoln LS ’00-up
Lincoln Mark VIII ’98-up
Lincoln Navigator ’98-up
Lincoln Town Car ’98-up
Mercury Grand Marquis ’97-up
Mercury Mountaineer ’98-up
Mercury Mystique ’98-up
Mercury Sable ’96-up
NOTE: These instructions may apply to more or less vehicles than those listed above. I cannot confirm that these procedures work for every year and model listed. See your dealer if to confirm this.
On-Board Programming Method "B" for Ford keys (1996 -early 1998 Ford, Lincoln, Mercury)
If you want to initiate a new master key.... 1. Insert new key into ignition cylinder and turn it to the ON (RUN) position. The security light on the dash will flash for fifteen minutes.
2. When the security light stops flashing, you have FIVE minutes to start the next step. Turn the ignition cylinder OFF and then back to the ON (RUN) position. The security light on the dash will flash for fifteen more minutes.
3. When the security light stops flashing, you have FIVE minutes to start the next step. Turn the ignition cylinder to OFF and then back ON (RUN) position. The dash will flash for fifteen more minutes.
4. After the security light stops flashing the third time, the new key has been programmed into the vehicles computer and will operate the car. It has replaced ALL the previous electronic key codes and is the ONLY key programmed into the vehicles computer.
If you want to add a key.... 1. Insert an existing key into the ignition cylinder.
2. Turn the ignition cylinder to ON (RUN) and back to OFF.
3. Remove the existing key and, within 15 seconds, insert the new key and turn it to ON (RUN).
4. The security light will light up for two seconds to indicate success in programming the key into the vehicle.
5. Don't attempt to start the vehicle with any key for at least 1 minute.
On-Board Programming Method "C" for Ford keys (Later 1998-newer Ford, Lincoln, Mercury)
If you want to initiate a new master key.... 1. This requires that the vehicle be connected to special dealer equipment. There are two ten minute delays involved while this device erases all existing key programming and sets up the vehicle computer to accept new key codes. Two new keys should be ready because the system requires a minimum of two keys in the program. After the first two keys are programmed, additional keys can be entered individually by following the instructions for adding duplicate keys (below).
If you want to add a key.... **You must have two original keys to perform this procedure. If you only have one key, you WILL have to take it to the dealer to get it programmed**
1. Insert and existing (working) key into the ignition cylinder.
2. Turn the ignition cylinder ON (RUN) and back to OFF. Ignition should stay on for at least ONE SECOND.
3. Remove the existing key and, within TEN seconds, insert a second working key and turn it to ON (RUN) and the back OFF. Ignition must be in ON for at least ONE second, but no more than TEN seconds. Remove the key.
4. Insert the new key before TWENTY seconds have elapsed and turn it to ON (RUN). Leave it the ON position for at least ONE second and turn back to OFF.
5. The security light will light up for THREE seconds to indicate that the new key has been successfully programmed.
6. To program additional keys, repeat steps 1 through 5
As a precautionary measure for all of the above procedures, you should wait at least one minute after you have performed this until you start your vehicle.

Mar 27, 2009 | 2002 Mercury Sable

2 Answers

98 ford wind star running hot

Warm the engine up to operating temperature. Does the upper radiator hose get warm? If no, then cange the thermostat. If yes, then the thermostat is working fine. On the thermostat housing, there is a sensor. Some engines have 2 sensors. One goes to the computer and the other goes to the temp needle in the dash. Unplug the harness and put a jumper wire in the harness. Turn the key to on, and see if the temp needle goes up. Which ever harness causes the needle to go up, replace that sensor. Hope this helps.

Dec 09, 2008 | 1998 Ford Windstar

Not finding what you are looking for?
1998 Ford Windstar Logo

198 people viewed this question

Ask a Question

Usually answered in minutes!

Top Ford Experts


Level 3 Expert

75066 Answers

Colin Stickland
Colin Stickland

Level 3 Expert

22095 Answers


Level 3 Expert

5470 Answers

Are you a Ford Expert? Answer questions, earn points and help others

Answer questions

Manuals & User Guides