. I HAVE A 2001 FORD WINDSTAR THAT WAS PART OF ...
2001 Ford Windstar
April, 8, 2011 AT 8:20 PM
Hi. I have a 2001 Ford Windstar that was part of the rear axle recall (axle actually broke twice, first left side, then right) which lead to the car sitting on a dealers lot from 11/1/10 -- 3/25/11. The day the axle broke for the 2nd time, I was on my way to get gas but never got there, so the tank was low. However, there were no mechanical problems whatsoever. Also, I live in Massachusetts where we had one of the snowiest winters ever. The car was not started on a regular basis (if at all). I know this because I went by the lot a few times after storms and no snow had been moved. I picked the car up on 3/25 -- on 4/1 the car would not start. My own mechanic towed it and said that the starter was corroded and melted. He replaced it thinking that's all it was. Three days later, it would not start again (doing the same thing as before). My husband came with jumper cables to try to jump start it -- it didn't work. The next morning, my mechanic went to get it and it started right up. It took him a day and a half to replicate the problem, but he eventually did. He determined that there is an internal antifreeze leak (indicating a cracked head gasket or block). So my question is: Could the combination of low gas, sitting for five winter months have anything to do with this issue?
Nope. Strictly coincidence. I have a '93 Dynasty with just over 4,000 miles. It sits sometimes for five years without being run, but when I do drive it, it runs fine. Also have a 1980 Volare that sits every winter. It only has 45,000 miles, and the gas in the tank is over five years old. It too runs fine on that old gas.
Head gasket problems are common today on just about every brand of car. The only thing you can do to reduce the chance of failure is to replace the antifreeze every two years, but even that won't guarantee anything. Not sure what to think about your starter problem. Ford doesn't really have any known history for common starter problems.