Knowing the Causes behind Common Ford Windstar Door Handle Problems
Do you know what's worse than leaving your car keys inside after locking your doors? A broken door handle, that's what. Your Ford Windstar door handle may fail during the worst of circumstances, and this should come as no surprise, as it's located outside your vehicle and is constantly exposed to extreme heat, rain, or snow-elements that cause your door handles to wear naturally. As for interior handles, constant use and abuse will cause them to get damaged over time. When you begin noticing problems with your door handles, inspect the damage and see what's causing it without delay. Listed below are some of the most common issues with door handles and how to properly diagnose their causes:
The handle moves but the door won't open.
This problem can be caused by several factors. As such, you need to inspect the door locking assembly inside the door panel. There are five 7-mm bolts that attach the panel door, and these must be removed to be able to check for damage to interior components. A broken latch is one of the most common problems. There might also be a damaged rod. The clip attaching the rod to the latch might be compromised as well.
If the lock is not activated but the door still won't open, there might be a problem with the locking mechanism itself. Check if the door lock is loose or is stuck in a locked position. Your Windstar might have a door lock actuator that activates and deactivates the locks. You might need to check if it is damaged and is causing your lock to work intermittently or to not work at all-in this case, your door handle itself is not the issue but a symptom of probably a bigger problem.
The handle does not return to its original horizontal position.
There are times when you pull at the door handle and it does not return to the bezel. Check if the screws attaching the handle to the door are too tight. This can freeze the spring inside the latch and prevent the door handle from returning to its original position. You will also need to check if the springs need lubrication.
Some Maintenance Tips for Your Ford Windstar Door Handle
It's bad enough that you're hurrying to get to your office when something worse happens. You realize that you left your phone and car keys inside your car right after the lock is engaged. Suddenly, your phone rings, and you see your boss' name register on the screen. You quickly reach for your car handle and find out it just isn't your day-you pull at the handle and your door doesn't open. When you know you've used and abused your car door handle, you feel a tinge of regret as you realize you should've cared for it more before it actually gave up on you. Maintaining your car door handle is actually a simple task. Here are a few pointers worth remembering:
Use a car cover whenever possible to protect your door handles.
Whenever you are planning to park your car for a long time, put a car cover on it to prevent damage to your door handles. Choose a cover that is breathable and allows moisture to pass through it. Contrary to popular belief that car covers should keep moisture out, water evaporating from the ground might make heat seep under the car cover and cause more damage to your door handles. Once you remove your car cover, wipe the whole car with a dry cloth briefly. Make sure you remove any water formed behind the door handle as well.
When replacing door handles, don't over-tighten the screws.
A common mistake that DIYers make when replacing door handles is over-tightening screws. This is the case especially when an electric screwdriver is used. This can cause the backplate on which the handle rests to push itself against the door, which in turn pulls at the latch. The handle pulling at the latch too much can cause the spring inside the latch to stretch too much.
Lubricate the internal springs as often as possible.
Making sure that the internal springs are well-lubricated ensures that there is very little friction between the springs and the inner parts of the handle's backplate. Remove the handle from the door and apply a bit of grease or petroleum jelly on the spring. Move the handle a few times until the lubricant has seeped into the spring mechanism.