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Ford Explorer Mercury Mountaineer 2005 and earlier

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Comments

  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    As an owner of a '02 Explorer--As much as I hate to, I have to agree with you. My '02 has been a pretty good vehicle. But the transmission solenoid has been replaced, the power window motor replaced, various squeaks and rattles, (some fixed-some not "found") the leather is terrible. And I have a axle whine that the dealer says "he has heard much worse" between 55mph and 65mph. This made it necessary for me to purchase the 75,000 miles "Basic Care Ford Warranty". I have told all who are considering a purchase of one of these vehicles to at least get the "extended power train warranty" that will cover the rear end. Of course, there is no-way I am going to keep this car past the 75,000 mile warranty. You would have to be crazy to! Why do American car makers settle for mediocrity?
  • daryll44daryll44 Posts: 306
    The question is why do WE CONSUMERS settle? And the answer is that more and more we are not. Why do you think GM and FORD are teetering on the edge while Toyota and Honda have record profits? Again, I own a Ford and felt that the DESIGN of the current bodystyle Explorer/Mountaineer was superior than anything around. And at 36000 miles I have to admit that this Mountaineer has not had the defects that we saw in our old 1999 Explorer. But if it does fall apart after the warranty (just went over 36K), I'll buy a Honda Pilot next time as the design is very close. GM and FORD (and DCX although diluted since Daimler bot it) don't have the corporate culture to fix the problems it seems. And it's a downward spiral as losses mount, there is less and less money for development and quality improvement, thus leading to yet more sales losses. I hope for the sake of the American economy that things turn around, but it looks grim for both Ford and GM. Meantime, keep on truckin!
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,614
    what kind of maintenance schedule do you use? my fords are pretty good if you keep up with it.i have to agree with you that the explorer/mounty is just a terrific design. i have an '02 explorer with 44k on it. still original tires and brakes, axle hum at 50-52 mph. if you have a good vehicle, quit hoping it's going to fail!
  • Wow! I can't believe my eyes!

    "And as for long term durability, most Fords disintegrate between 75,000 miles and 100,000 miles..."

    I am sorry to say that I sorely disagree with you guys. I've never had a Ford "Disinigrate". Every Ford Explorer that I have bought has had over 100,000 miles or almost 100,000 miles on them, and they were and are excellent vehicles. I also drive the vehicles hard, with a heavy foot, so they have to be strong.

    1991 Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.0L V6 - Great vehicle - the only problem was weak auto transmission. Bought at 100,000 miles, Sold at 160,000 miles

    1993 Ford Explorer XLT 4.0L V6- Great vehicle - the only problem was weak auto transmission. Bought at 112,000 miles, Totaled at 176,000 miles.

    1997 Ford Explorer XLT 5.0L V8 - Great vehicle - No problems. Bought at 98,000 miles 2/2002, drives great, will continue to drive it until 2006.

    2000 Ford Explorer XLT 5.0L V8 - Great vehicle - No problems. Bought at 99,000 miles 3/2005, drives great, will continue to drive it until 2011.

    These are superb vehicles, but the trick is you have to do lots of intense research to understand the pro and cons of each vehicle, I shop for what I need and what is the most reliable vehicle with the most reliable powertrain. It is mostly a matter of researching for what NOT to buy. Also, I am not like most of you guys, as I am a little out of place here, being a mechanic and I do my own work. Most of you have to deal with the hassle of having to argue with the dealer to get your cars fixed. I can't waste my time arguing with anybody or waiting on anybody. If my car has a problem, a squeak, a knock, a thump, or whatever, I just fix it and it is done, no hassle. If you buy the RIGHT vehicle, you don't have to repair the major items like engines and transmissions. I use only the best synthetic lubricants, and perform and keep all maintenance up to date. Preventive maintenance is your best defense against unwanted breakdowns and repairs. I'm not scared of a 100,000 mile car, if fact, that is what I prefer. But I can understand your fear of the unknown, you are thinking, Will this thing get me to where I want to go? Or will this thing cost me an arm and a leg down the road? I believe the answer is that a well researched and well maintained vehicle will get you where you want to go and NOT cost you an arm and a leg down the road. But it helps a lot if you can do you own work, at least the light stuff anyway, like spark plugs, batteries, alternators, starters, brakes and general service. Leave the A/C and engine diagnosis to the Pros. I keep my eye on all the new developments, I hear of problems with the sprockets going bad on the V8's with the variable valve timing, at least I read that on the F150 site. Who knows, maybe my next car will be a hybrid! It just depends on what my needs are and what is the best thing out there the next time I'm ready to buy, but I've got a long time to do that research.
    E.D.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    "And as for long term durability, most Fords disintegrate between 75,000 miles and 100,000 miles..."

    Hey Daryl,
    You know you could very well be correct. Maybe they won't fall apart long term. But Ford continues to do "cost cutting" and some of the initial and widespread problem(s) (the rear-ends for example) don't bode well for having long-term confidence in this vehicle. I really like my '02. However, I have doubts with long-term realiabiltiy! Don't forget, all of the vehicles you have listed above are a different "animal" from the redesign '02 on up. I have not had any trouble (41K miles) with the SOHC V6, but man that motor is LOUD and CRUDE! :)
  • daryll44daryll44 Posts: 306
    is age in months/years. A vehicle that is driven 100,000 miles in 3 years will probably be in better shape than a vehicle driven 100,000 over 10 years. Certain parts deteriorate as a function of use (shocks, for instance) and other parts deteroriate primarily as a function of time (seals and battery for instance). I think for purposes of discussion, however, normally we are referring to vehicles that are driven the "normal" 10,000 to 15,000 miles per year.
  • Just lost the second rear window in my new mountaineer (3400 mi) while parked over night in a fenced parking lot. Any one else having problems with the lift gate window shattering for no appearent reason. My only guess is the temperature change (50 at night and 90 during the day). I have heard of this before but twice in the last two months is unreal. So far the insurance co and the dealer have been of no help. I have no reason to suspect vandleism
  • lateralglateralg Posts: 929
    Tempered glass is intolerant of even tiny nicks in the edges, as well as moderate impacts by very sharp, small objects. When you get this one replaced, carefully inspect all the edges & the mounts. I suspect damage during installation of the second one.
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    My 2002 Mountaineer came from the factory with three defects - a pinched fuel tank vent hose, a mark in the paint, and a rear differential which had been improperly assembled (it was singing loundly after just a few thousand miles). All were corrected promptly, and all would have been covered under any warranty. Since then, one small $25 idler pully on the front of the engine was replaced at 90-some thousand miles. That is it. It is radically more reliable than the 1996 Chevrolet Impala SS it replaced, and is significantly better than the 1994 Thunderbird we had.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    My 2002 Mountaineer came from the factory with three defects - a pinched fuel tank vent hose, a mark in the paint, and a rear differential which had been improperly assembled (it was singing loundly after just a few thousand miles).

    It's really amazing what we as owners settle for. We all know about the rear differential. I don't think the other two items should have ever gotten past the"QC" at the point of assembly! Just my thoughts......
  • lateralglateralg Posts: 929
    Three?

    Out of how many thousands of parts, and thousands of connections? In addition to component complexity ... radios with more computer power than Apollo space ships.

    And trying to test each combination in each of thousands of modes of operation in the field.

    I wish my personal failure rate was that low.
  • daryll44daryll44 Posts: 306
    You are missing the point. The point is that the Japanese, by and large, have (near) ZERO.

    And INITIAL quality isn't really the big issue under discussion here. Three defects, five defects, zero defects...it doesn't matter really because they get fixed under warranty. The REAL issue is what happens AFTER the warranty period. In other words, will Explorer have good LONG TERM DURABILITY without unreasonable repairs? And how does that LONG TERM DURABILITY stack up to the Japanese competition?
  • lateralglateralg Posts: 929
    YOU madeTHE point VERY easy TO miss WITH your STATEMENT:

    "My 2002 Mountaineer came from the factory with three defects - a pinched fuel tank vent hose, a mark in the paint, and a rear differential which had been improperly assembled (it was singing loundly after just a few thousand miles).

    It's really amazing what we as owners settle for. We all know about the rear differential. I don't think the other two items should have ever gotten past the"QC" at the point of assembly! Just my...
    "

    Do YOU have ANSWERS to THE questions YOU raised?
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    Here is the point in my thinking. It is inexcusable to release a new vehicle with a bad rear-end. Period! Car makers have been manufacturing cars for over 100 years. After one hundred years-you should be able to buy a first-year vehicle and not get a bad rear end. Before someone calls me a "Ford Basher"-I'll list below the Ford vehicles I have owned:

    96 Contour
    96 Mercury Mystique
    '98 Contours (2)
    95 Mercury Sable
    94(?) Tempo
    '02 Explorer (Currently)
    '05 Taurus (Not "owned" but company provided vehicle)
    Take the Contours and Mystique listed above. The Duratec V6 in these vehicles that was an option (I heard co-developed by Porsche) was nothing short of a remarkable piece of technology. However, to save on weight they used a water pump with a plastic impeller. It would break at 50K like clockwork. This is also inexcusable! Let's call it like it is and not make excuses for all the automakers!!
  • daryll44daryll44 Posts: 306
    My mom had a '98 Mystique...she eventually dubbed it "Mercury Mistake". It was recalled about 10 times in the 25,000 miles over 4 years or so that she had it. Mom was a 65 year old "I'll never buy a foreign car" person. Until that "Mystake"...after years and years of Ford and Chrysler products. Finally she broke down and "went foreign". Since 2002 she's had a 4 cylinder Camry and swears she'll never drive anything but Toyota again. Not one defect, no hassle, no fuss, no muss. Ford lost a life customer.

    I see the new Ford Fusion is supposed to be the wondercar of the future. Seems to me that the Contour/Mystique was supposed to be that 10 years ago and the Tempo/Topaz before that. In other words, you can fool me once, shame on me....
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    Unless the rear end is singing from the factory, how are they to know it is bad? It took several thousand miles for the problem to show up, and it was probably an assembly defect. It was fixed promptly, so it certainly did not bother me. If anything, all of the evidence above suggests that Ford has improved dramatically.

    I just do not buy the Toyota reliability myth. Why do they and others sell so many parts for Toyotas if they never fail? Why have they had their share of recalls?

    I just discovered an outright design defect in my new Sienna. My back (shoulders / neck) have really been bothering me since I got it 4,500 miles and 45 days ago. It is definitely the car, not me. I thought the seat was junk, but thanks to another Edmunds user, I just discovered that the steering column is slanted to one side (closer to the front of the car on the left). It is a big enough angle that it amounts to several inches at the seat. I was planning to have the seat re-stuffed and the hot to sit on solid leather replaced with perforated leather (as on the Mountaineer) or cloth, but now I may sell the thing. It has the smoothness the 2002 Mountaineer lacks (and which the 2006 Mountaineer apparently will have), and is quiet and very handy for my needs, but I may not be able to keep it. It also gets only slightly better mileage than teh Mountaineer, even though it is rated much higher.

    If I sell it, I will certainly re-consider the 2006 Mountaineer, 2007 Explorer SportTrac, and other Ford products.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    Why do they and others sell so many parts for Toyotas if they never fail?

    Because they wear out? Was that a trick question? :)

    tidester, host
  • daryll44daryll44 Posts: 306
    Your story is unfortunately. But there are 10 times as many folks going in the OTHER direction as you...and I don't mean in reference to driving up the street.
  • lateralglateralg Posts: 929
    If you expect to have any credibility here, try to be more factual.

    10 times as many??

    In God we trust; all others bring data.
  • daryll44daryll44 Posts: 306
    is OVERWHELMING going AWAY from Ford and GM and toward Toyota, Honda and now Hyundai. OK, so maybe it's not 10 to 1 (although it's possible that the bleeding IS that bad), you get my point but are nitpicking because you don't like it. In the end, the marketplace has clearly recognized that those imports are doing a much better job delivering quality, durability, design and economy.
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