Question about 1996 Ford Windstar

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1996 Ford Windstar Engine Idle Problems

Good afternoon, I have a 1996 Ford Windstar GL with a 3.8L engine & 172,000 miles. I resently purchased this vehicle and have been working out the small kinks. What I can not get resolved is the idle whenever the air conditioning compressor is on and when I come to a stop, it sort of kicks(jolts) as it slows down. I hope I have given you enough to understand what is going on...Thank You! Brad

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Throttle position sensor is not working properly.

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How to change head gasket on 1996 Ford Windstar 3.8 V6 split port induction

First. How many miles are on it? If it has really high miles. Putting new/rebuilt heads on an old engine can blow out the piston rings. This will throw compression into the crankcase and will make it leak lots of oil. It would be cheaper for you to find a engine and replace it. less work also.

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1998 Ford Windstar with 3.8l engine.Starts with rough idle,then shuts off.Battery stays on.Brakes do not hold(compress).What repair do I need?.Thanks for your help. WHB

Check for a major vacuum leak, inspect from the air cleaner inlet tubes for cracks/leaks, and pay close atten. to the PCV hose/tube and fittings... sound like you have multi problems fix this first and retest and check for what else is not working correctly ...hope this helps..GL

Jul 07, 2009 | 1998 Ford Windstar

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1995 Ford Windstar transmission is slipping and shifting hard

bad news, 1995 ford windstar transmissions fail extremely frequently at about 60000 miles, I would not waste money in a transmission flush as it will most likely not correct the problem. It is a dsign flaw, the transmission cannot handle the torque of the 3,8L engine and the 700Lbs of added weight of the windstar body.
I'd just use it untill it fails...

Mar 25, 2009 | 1995 Ford Windstar

1 Answer

1996 Ford Windstar Engine Idle Problems


The air con compressor puts quite a bit of stress on the engine, hence the increase in fuel consumption and slight loss of power, and, the magnification of even the slightest problem.

Your problem could be caused by any number of things, so you need to go back to the basics and check all the usual suspects, such as the EGR valve, which is where I would start, followed by the idle control valve, both of which can be repaired with a good clean out to ensure they aren't sticking open.

Very best regards


Aug 24, 2008 | 1996 Ford Windstar

1 Answer

Engine Idle problems

You will need to clean the throttle valve and the idle speed control air-bypass valve, they get gunked up and cause this concern, spray allot of carb spray (1/2 can) through the intake throttle valve, have someone hold the idle up high enough so engine doesn't stall, this will most likely turn on the check eng lite so after you are done make sure to disconnect the battery for a few and then drive the van a few days so the computer can relearn the idle curve suited to your driving habits. Good luck, hope this helps, was a Ford tech for 20 years, did hundreds of these types of repairs for idle concerns, taurus was the worst.

Aug 24, 2008 | 1998 Ford Windstar

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