1990 Ford Aerostar Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 1990 Ford Aerostar as reported by actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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Known Problems

Bad throttle position sensors can cause high idle without causing the Check Engine Light to illuminate.

The AC system may be performing poorly even if it seems to be functioning properly. This could be caused by the AC air blend door being out of adjustment.

The battery light may illuminate on the instrument panel because the alternator wire harness connector is damaged. A new connector kit is available and should be installed to correct this concern.

The front brakes may stick, bind, or grab. This can happen when the front brake caliper pins become corroded. Cleaning or replacing the caliper pins will be necessary to correct this problem.

While steering, if you hear a clunk or a rattle, or if you experience premature tire wear, this could indicate the inner tie rod ends are loose or worn and will require replacement.

Failure to change the power steering fluid can cause the fluid to become gray with metal particles. The contaminated fluid can damage the power steering pump resulting in a growling noise when the wheel is turned; the damaged pump will require replacement to eliminate the noise.. Life of the power steering gearbox and pump will be shortened if the fluid is not serviced regularly.

Engine oil leaks are known to develop around the rear crankshaft (main) seal and engine oil pan gasket.

If you experience poor idle quality and fuel economy (and the Check Engine Light illuminates) after the exhaust system or motor has been removed and replaced, it could be that the oxygen sensor wires are crossed at the rear of the motor. Wiring schematics should be checked to ensure that the correct harness plug is connected to the corresponding sensor.


Excessive cycling of the AC compressor clutch when the system is fully charged could be caused by sludge that has built up on the engine throttle body. Throttle body should be cleaned periodically unless there is a sticker on it stating no cleaning is allowed. Some throttle bodies have a special coating that should not be cleaned.

For the 2.3L 4 Cylinder and 5.0L V8 engine, the electrical ignition switch poses a fire hazard. An updated switch is available.

The valve cover gasket may fail, causing engine oil to leak onto the exhaust manifolds.

If a noise from the rear end is heard when going around turns or after driving at highway speed for an extended period, this could be caused by a failing deferential clutch kit. An updated differential clutch kit available.

An engine knocking noise coming from the lower end during acceleration is common and could be caused by worn or damaged engine bearings.

MAP (manifold absolute pressure) sensor failure is common and the MAP sensor hose to the intake port commonly plugs up or breaks, which can cause unstable idle conditions.