Saturday

Review Day: 1998 Ford Windstar Ltd.

This the van we own. (And some kids that we found, too.)

Why am I reviewing my van? Why am I reviewing a van that is no longer made? There are those, like us, who purchase only used cars. For those people this review could be very helpful. However, I also believe that when something exceeds what you ever expected it to do then you should talk about it so others can make their decisions accordingly. I do this if I receive exceptional customer service or an exceptional product. That is what I am doing right now.

Let me first say that we have termed this van our "God-van". The fact that it is not only still running, but still running with so little "extra" repair work being done is nothing short of a miracle. (When I say "extra" repair work, I am referring to any repairs outside of the regular maintenance you would have to do on any car such as an oil change, new tires, belts & hoses, brake pads, etc.) The majority of our repair budget for this car has been mostly on these maintenance charges. For example, we spent close to $800 on our car this year, but that $800 consisted of $450 for tires, a new belt, 2 new brakes and 2 new brake pads. The only "extra" in that $800 was the ball bearing. That may be normal maintenance for a car with our miles, but because it's not something you'd do on a car with say 150,000 miles, I won't include it as maintenance here.

What? You're thinking from my above statement that our car has OVER 150,000 miles? Do vehicles still go that many miles? Can they go OVER that many miles? That's not possible is it?

Yes, my friend. It certainly is. As of this writing, our 1998 Ford Windstar Ltd. van which according to VIN records was actually first purchased in August 1997 has OVER 242,000 miles...and is still going strong. Truly by the grace and mercy of God. (He knows we'd rather keep paying on our medical bills than pay for another car.)

Oh but wait, I'll shock you even further. We didn't even purchase this van until it had 100,000 miles. In fact, on our test drive, we took it over 100,000 miles. What's funny is that we weren't going to purchase this car when we first saw it. It was almost a month later when we went back and decided to look more deeply at this car. Why didn't we consider it at first? It only had ONE sliding door. Amazing. That feature has proved to not be necessary all these years.

May I say that the inside of this car has held up remarkably well given how MUCH we utilize our van to it's full...ummm...kid-filled capacity (books, ballet stuff, sports equipment, dropped food, spilled milk, vomit, stickers on the window, moving boxes, and blow-out diapers included...for no extra charge, thank you). I'm not sure how much the leather seats played a part in this, but I hope to never own anything again that doesn't have leather seats. We LOVE them!

I also love my 10cd changer and compass (especially when getting directions from certain male people...I won't mention any names, though), the kid view mirror (which you can now apparently buy to use in any car, but mine is built in). I'm pretty sure this car has spoiled us rotten. It even has rear heat and air; a luxury our previous van didn't offer. Again, I think most "modern" vans offer this now. That's okay, our car is an "oldie" but a "goodie"!

We really like this car, and frankly, I think the car likes us. It is definitely "well-loved" (see what our carpet floor & leather seats include for no extra charge above).

I'm afraid I'd be cheating on my van if I said there was a feature that newer vans have that mine doesn't. I'll take the risk, though. I love that all newer vans have dual sliding doors. (It would be nice.) I also like that the newer Honda Odyssey's have windows that actually roll down on said sliding doors. Then again, that would just be another (and frankly MUCH bigger) window for my kids to leave open just before it rains or snows...

To my car: I promise we were NOT trying to get you stolen when we left the van doors unlocked...or completely open...a LOT. We also were really NOT trying when we left the keys to our house and our van on the hood of our car. Really. We weren't. I don't think we'd get enough from you in insurance to replace what you have and continue to be for us. You are truly our God-van. We have been so incredibly blessed by this van.

Assuming that someone has done the appropriate research to ensure their purchase was well-maintained and free of accidents, then I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this vehicle to a used car buyer; even if it has "tons" of miles.

You can't have ours, though. We're attached. And we're not ready to let go.

By the way, did you happen to notice the color of our van? Purple. As in "Skittle" purple. And we like it that way. The story behind that proves that this really is our God-van. But I'll leave you hanging for a bit on that one...

-Me

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