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Ford Explorer Mercury Mountaineer 2005 and earlier

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Comments

  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    Just get "I told you so" with the Hyundai.

    It seems Hyundai likes to tout their 100,000 mile warranty, but they do not like to pay out when something goes awry. I have known at least three people that had something go wrong at 60K or 70K miles, and Hyundai tells them the car hasn't been maintained. AT least one was the transmission. So, after going down to the Speedy-lube and requesting copies of all the paperwork, Hyundai coughed up a new transmission. Of course it took them three weeks to get the parts from Korea....
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    I just had an embarrassing moment delivering a new 2006 Ford Explorer XLT to a customer. This particular truck was built in September and was one of the first to get "released" it hit my dealer with "DO NOT SELL" on the original monroney.

    Anyway I am doing the break in with the customer and as I tried to demonstrate how to turn on the Fog Lights, standard in the XLT, I discovered that the WRONG HEAD LAMP switch was installed at the factory. The truck had an XLS head lamp switch with no Fog Light provision.

    How did this happen? I'm sure part of the cause was for 2006, Ford decided to make Autolamp, previously standard on the XLT optional. As such, there are 3 possible head lamp switches for an Explorer. No Fog Lights or Auto lamp, Fog lights No Autolamp and both fog lights and auto lamp.

    How is it efficient to have 3 freaking headlamp switches?

    Fords have such a Myrid of different optional combinations that its a wonder any customer EVER gets a vehcile with the equipment that they want.

    Mark.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    How is it efficient to have 3 freaking headlamp switches?

    FORD has a better idea :)
  • My friend just lost her rear window on her 2003 Mountaineer. Were the ends bent out were the hydraulic pistons are?
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,442
    hey chuck1... guess what? i brought my '02 in today and asked the service department to check out the rear axle noise. by the time i got back to work they had called. the rear ring and pinion needs to be replaced, can we keep it for a while?
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    I was told - "Yea- there is a whine there. It's not as bad as some though. We are not replacing it". It's called customer service. One shouldn't have to "jump through hoops" to get a KNOWN FACTORY DEFECT FIXED!

    Glad you got yours fixed. However, be aware that some owners have had this done only to have the problem return later.....
  • jame21jame21 Posts: 1
    Wow, This helps me out alot! I have this whining noise coming from my rear axle as well. I just bought my 1999 Mercury Mountaineer 2 weeks ago and its already having problems. It is still under warranty though! I took it in to have the oil sending unit replaced and asked them to look at the axle and the mech. said "Oh, its just your pinion bearings going bad, you can drive on them like that for at least another 4 years... but why would I want to? Its under WARRANTY! He said it like it was no big deal at all, because it is not his vehicle! It pissed me off! My tube going from my EGR valve to my manifold has a hole in it causing a weird noise in the front and I am having a problem with them fixing that as well. NOW, my gas pedal is not engaging right! I mean it does but after a few miles, it is MUCH harder to push down and when I do accelerate it JOLTS me because its to much throddle, I guess? Any help on that one? :P
  • ustazzafustazzaf Posts: 311
    It seems Hyundai likes to tout their 100,000 mile warranty, but they do not like to pay out when something goes awry. I have known at least three people that had something go wrong at 60K or 70K miles, and Hyundai tells them the car hasn't been maintained. AT least one was the transmission. So, after going down to the Speedy-lube and requesting copies of all the paperwork, Hyundai coughed up a new transmission. Of course it took them three weeks to get the parts from Korea

    You are dead on. My friend's wife was driving her pretty Hyundai with about 14K on the odometer down to the dealer because it was having a funny noise from the frontend. She stopped at the stoplight infront of the dealership. When she released the brake and started to pull away, the engine actually fell to the ground. Guess that was the cause of the noise. Anyway, before she could walk the 100 yards to the dealership, they were rounding the corner with their towtruck. Wisked the car off the street and offered her full credit toward any vehicle on their lots no questions asked. Smartly she took one from the Jeep lot. That smells of a well known problem by their company.
  • kwikbillkwikbill Posts: 4
    I have the exact same problem with my 04 Explorer...4.6 V8...has been in shop 6 times and still no problem..luckily still under warranty...and it has not cost me anything at this point...besides some time...and the dealer that I use, always gives me a loaner...But getting close to the 36000 mile mark, I am getting quite anxious to get this problem solved...any new ideas other than ones mentioned in previous replies??

    Thanx....Bill
  • mtnman1mtnman1 Westerville, OhioPosts: 371
    Bill Ford's engineering department came up with a remedy for this situation. They fixed mine back in September 2005. Nothing is broken or damaging anything it's just an annoying chirp. They replaced a compressor pulley and it only makes the click that electricdesign stated it should make. Have not heard a peep (chirp) since. I have to say that my Lincoln Mercury dealership is the best by far at taking care of it's customers. I think that since you have had your's in for this problem that they would fix it for free even over 36,000. Go back and tell them to call in to whomever it is at Ford that addresses these things.
  • kwikbillkwikbill Posts: 4
    If I remember correctly, (I have to go back and check my paperwork), my local dealership has already replaced the compressor pulley. It did remain quiet for a few weeks...then all of a sudden, It started back again, reckon it could be a defective pulley?..Did you ever have your compressor replaced??...Thanks for the reply....Bill
  • mtnman1mtnman1 Westerville, OhioPosts: 371
    Bill, I'm looking at the "Special Service Messages" that the dealer printed out back in December 2004. It was message 18219 2002-2005 Explorer 4DR/Mountaineer 4.6L - Chirp from the Engine compartment with A/C Compressor Cycling. Goes on to say that some vehicles equipped with that engine may exhibit a chirp from the engine compartment when the A/C compressor is cycling. Engineering is currently investigating this condition and expects to have a new part and/or procedure available late fourth quarter 2004.
    The new fix didn't actually come available until fall of '05. I do believe they replaced the Compressor Clutch and set the Clutch Gap to a different setting in addition to the new Pulley. This pulley was different than the ones before fall of 2005. I have not had any issues with mine since it was fixed.

    Before that fix I would ask every other person driving an Explorer/Mountaineer with the V-8 if they were experiencing this problem. Not one had, so I guess it was very isolated incidents.
  • cathmaccathmac Posts: 49
    My father subscribed to Consumer Reports (CR) when I was growing up and I have been turning to it for purchase information since I bought my first car in 1984 or so. I have found the information to be pretty reliable.

    Having said that I like to think I've gotten a little more sophisticated. I tend to buy newer used vehicles so I check with the NHTSA for Recalls, Technical Service Bulletins, Defect Investigations and Consumer Complaints. I haven't made a scientific study of how well that info tracks with Consumer Reports reliability data but my sense is that they tend to be fairly consistent with each other.

    I also check chat sites like this to see what people in the real world have to say about any problems they have.

    I do agree with one other poster that the reliability data CR gets depends upon what their average member drives but I don't know that more CR members buy foreign than domestic vehicles. Assuming, for the sake of discussion, that more of them buy foreign that doesn't mean the data is statistically invalid unless you further assume that blind loyalty compels them to under-report problems. In my experience anyone who has been inconvenienced &/or hit in the pocketbook by an unreliable vehicle is probably going to vent their grievance, given the opportunity.

    Currently I am in the market for a newer used SUV. I have been pretty happy with my 1997 Subaru Outback (Imprezza) Sport so I had been looking for a 2005 Subaru Outback (Legacy). One with average miles and about 1 1/2 to 2 years left on the warranty is going for about $19,000 to $20,000. A discounted "Gold Plus" extended Mfr warranty, 7 years / 100K, $0.00 Deductible would cost me about $1,400.00. Consumer Reports gives Subaru a better than average rating for the OB / Legacy overall but the 2005 is only about average. As much as I liked the OB Sport the extended warranty did get a workout so I want the warranty this time for the peace of mind.

    But since I was hoping to do better on price I started looking at some domestic alternatives including the 2005 Ford Explorer which CR rates as worse than average on reliability. Since I could save about $2000 to $3,000 buying a 2005 Explorer with 18 months, but only 6,688 miles left on the original Mfrs warranty I would definitely need the extended warranty. However, the MSRP on a comparable Ford warranty is about $800. Worse yet, the difference between the best discounted price on a Subaru warranty and the ford warranty is about $1,300.

    So the real difference in cost between the Outback and the Explorer is about $700 to $2,300 but that difference could get eaten up by repairs pretty quickly after the extended warranty runs.

    So, I have come to believe that what a Mfr charges for their extended warranties is a pretty good indicator of the faith they have in their product and probably a fair predictor of reliability.

    As additional examples here is a rough idea of what Toyota and GMC warranties cost at MSRP and after a decent discount. Note, both of these warranties are the highest level of coverage I could find for the Mfr in question and are for 7 year / 100K, $0.00 Ded.

    Toyota MSRP: $2,400; discount price: $ 900
    GMC/Chevy MSRP $3,300; discount price: $2,800 (appx'ly)

    Interestingly, in my limited experience, if you shop aggressively you can save about 40% on a foreign Mfr warranty but only about 15% on a domestic Mfr warranty. I don't think that is any sort of predictor of reliablity though.

    Anyways, these are just my observations; for what they are worth.
    ~Cath
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    Wow!

    Anyway, I don't know how you can compare an Outback against an Explorer. The Explorer is a true SUV, with optional seating for seven. And while I haven't looked up the numbers, I would venture to say the Explorer probably has more interior room and towing capacity (if you opt. for the V8) than the Subaru.

    In addition, I really don't agree with your assessment of the cost of warrantys. It is the dealers (unfortunately) that sets the ultimate sales price of the warranty, not the manufacturer.
  • mtnman1mtnman1 Westerville, OhioPosts: 371
    There is no comparison. The Subaru can't tow anywhere near the 6900lbs and Explorer/Mountaineer with the V-8 can. As far as interior space again it's like comparing Apples to Oranges. Subaru is listed as a small SUV along with the CRV, Escape, etc. Explorer is a mid Size. No one is buying a Subaru to tow with. Most people that buy them probably like the idea of having a family vehicle with the ability of an AWD vehicle. I on the other hand wanted an SUV with towing capability and the comforts of a luxury vehicle. The Mountaineer with the Luxury trim level is loaded plus it comes standard with a third row seat. I don't think the guy really meant to compare them as SUV's, but was making a comparison in pricing and reliability.
  • mtnman1mtnman1 Westerville, OhioPosts: 371
    After checking Edmunds for specs I found that the Explorer V-8 can tow 7240 lbs vs. 3000 lbs for the Subaru Outback. Edmunds lists the Outback as a Mid Sized Station Wagon not an SUV. Again, I don't think anyone buys a Subaru Outback with the idea of any serious towing. They like the car and it suits their needs just like the Explorer may suit someone else better.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,442
    great post. one of the best of original thought i have seen here. really makes a lot of sense. after the zillions of posts i have read and made, all i can say is thanks.
    it is a breath of fresh air.
  • cathmaccathmac Posts: 49
    Explorerx4,
    Thanks for the kind words. I'll "correct" two typos of mine here --regarding the Ford and Toyota warranties-- before anyone points them out. The Ford warranty MSRP is $800.00 more than the Subaru warranty MSRP (I omitted the word "more"). The Toyota MSRP is about $1,400 (not $2,400). Sorry for any confusion.

    Chuck1 and Mtnman1,
    Regarding the differences between the Subaru Outback and the Explorer, for a more accurate frame of reference I did price a Taurus warranty at www.fordesp.com (where I got the $3,300 warranty MSRP on the Explorer). I put in comparable vehicle info (Year & Mileage) for a comparable warranty (highest / longest level of coverage, $0.00 Ded) for a Taurus (without AWD or 4WD). The price I came up with is $3760. (?!?!?!?!) I believe that price is inflated since it is higher than the price I got just yesterday for the Explorer on that site, using the same warranty and vehicle parameters. I have no idea how or why that happened. It must be some sort of marketing thing.

    However, they are running a 10% - 25% "promotion" which at best (25% off) would translate to $2,820. This would still be about $300 more than the Subaru MSRP on a comparable Outback warranty. And of course the Subaru has AWD, which would increase the cost of potential repairs, all other factors being equal.

    Obviously this isn't a scientific survey but it reinforces my impression that domestic warranty prices are more expensive than Japanese warranties (again, for comparable vehicles). To to the observation about dealers setting the final cost, that may be corect to an extent. The real indicator of reliability would be the wholesale price the Manufacturer charges the dealer, which is probably the amount that would cover the Manufacturer's risk of repair (plus the Manufacturer's profit, if any). Nevertheless, I maintain that as with any kind of insurance, the price is a pretty good reflection of the actuaries' assessment of the risk of repair. Otherwise the prices would be arbitrary and unrealistic and if market forces didn't correct that then no one would by them.

    I should note that my husband's gripe with Consumer Reports is that they do not tend to report the cost of repairs. His impression is that American cars may need repairs more often but those repairs tend to be less expensive. The big weakness in any almost any reliablity data (not just CRs) has more to do with the severity of potential problems, than the likelihood.

    As an example, my sister recently got a great price on a used Lexus RX300. The CR reliability data is excellent but knowing how expensive they are to fix I went to the NHTSA Technical Service Bulletins and to Edmunds Forums and found what is essentially a voluntary recall and warranty extension for oil sludge problems. I went back to CR online and found a separate article on that repair issue for a variety of foreign and domestic manufacturers. Needless to say I helped her find a good price on a Lexus backed used car warranty.

    Interestingly, I had never heard about oil sludge problems in any vehicles before. And no one else I have spoken to since had heard of the problem before. I specifically had to research this particular vehicle to find the issue. So I'm not sure it reflects poorly on CR that that uncommon but serious issues aren't highlighted in their reliability data.

    However, knowing that a lot of used car buyers only look at the Annual Auto issue I would feel better if they could find an efficient way to spotlight infrequent, but potentially catastrophic failures, perhaps in sidebar articles in those issues so that people can weigh the likelihood of potential problems against the severity. Maybe that's impractical, since I would imagine there are a lot of infrequent but potentially catastrophic repairs.

    For what it's worth, in my opinion CR, is as unbiased as it can be but it has its limitations and car buyers would be wise to look to the NHTSA and sites like this for supplemental information. If I’m not mistaken, this is consistent with CR recommendations on researching major purchases.
    ~Cath
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,910
    The True Cost to Own tool will estimate repair costs for a new car for the first five years of ownership.

    I like to check out JD Power too, and I think their sampling methodology is better than CR's. We report their Power Circle ratings here for many makes/models.

    Lots of good resources out there. Oh, this was an interesting safety score link Varmint posted last week: Informed For Life (via Straightline Blog)

    Steve, Host
  • ramhappyramhappy Posts: 2
    I just purchased a 2002 Explorer XLT that seems very highly optioned. Is there any source where one could enter a VIN and get what amounts to the options on this vehicle? :confuse:
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