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Ford Explorer Mercury Mountaineer 2005 and earlier

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  • akanglakangl Posts: 3,592
    Maybe so, I don't know, the truck only had 57k on it when I got tired of its problems. When I traded it the blend door was broken, the ball joints were gone, it was leaking oil, had no power, had some electrical issues (gotta love sunroofs that open themselves), was just in general not a nice truck anymore. I was sad to see it go, I really liked it, but didn't want to fix it.

    Now I took excellent care of it, but I did ask it to do things that Explorers probably aren't meant for......go down logging roads, drive through the backwoods, stuff like that, I guess it didn't like it. My 04 Explorer doesn't seem to have a problem with it though.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I agree, I had a 97 and a 98 V8, and they both were powerhouses! Mileage wasn't great, but not as bad as you are reporting. But power up the wazoo!!! Yours must have had a problem, it wasn't running right to give that performance.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Maybe it's passing power that the 5.0L might have felt a bit out of breathe, since it wasn't much of a rever. I would get frustrated at times when I would pass at speeds over 75MPH and couldn't get much thrust. BUT at low RPM, it had plenty of thrust. That could have been cured with a 5 Speed automatic, BUT this is 7-8 years ago? Different times, different circumstances.
  • "A vehicle with the driving dynamics of an Explorer and the powertrain of the Trailblazer would be a sweet vehicle."

    That would be the Lincoln Aviator. Improved handling, 302 horses and 300 on the grunt meter! Not going to see much that will beat that in this class.

    Ford has always had the torque but is lacking on the mileage. I have never bought anything but Ford products and have always wished they would get the mileage the competion seems to find while not sacrificing much in performance.
  • Its time for my 30,000 mile service for my 2002 Mountaineer. Dealer quoted a price of $475 and I went nuts.

    I called a different dealer and they quoted $399. I called back the first dealer and asked them why they think they can charge so much.

    The answer i got was it included a transmission fluid change which is about $100 since they need to suck the fluid out (no drain plug) and replace it.

    I called Ford customer service number and they didnt have any idea if the car needed it or not, they said call the dealer.

    In any case:

    Does anyone know if it is necessary to replace the transmission fluid at 30,000 miles, or when is it needed? (granted the transmission on this thing sucks to begin with, bad shifts, rattle, i've already had it adjusted twice).

    Thanks.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    The transmission is "sealed for life" on this car (which really means, the engineers couldn't find a place to route the dipstick that worked, so there isn't one). Life expectancy is about 150,000. So, no, it doesn't NEED the service, and dealer #2 is probably a bit more ethical. However, it never hurts to change your fluid (oil, whatever) on a piece of machinery, as long as you put the right juice back in when you fill it. Expecially if there is any severe service in your driving, towing, idling, heat. If you're going to keep the car, I'd probably do it. If the tranny isn't right, make them fix it! They did mine, and it's smooth as silk ever since. They can be an excellent, tough, smooth transmission. Don't settle for less.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,618
    i've got the v-8 with towing package, so my mileage isn't as good as yours. with crappy winter gas, 14-15 mpg, 16-17 otherwise; low in the 13's highest was 20mpg. epa is 14-19.
    haven't had your lack of brakes experience, but they are really good about plowing around here. 20 inches of snow, you can get to work at least by the next day, if you have a car. of course, we don't have the distances that need plowing that you do!
  • how often would you change it, every 30,000, every 60,000
  • akanglakangl Posts: 3,592
    A situation where my little V6 Explorer was left gasping and not able to do what I asked. It has a terrible time with on-ramps, now normally I don't drive where its an issue, but yesterday I was in Anchorage. Had to merge onto the Seward highway from dimond blvd, its a rough on ramp since its a tight curve, but leaves a straight stretch at the end for acceleration. I floored it and had a heck of a time in that short stretch getting up to speed.

    Oh well, next time its V8/AWD again I guess, hopefully the 4.6L V8 will have more get up and go then the 5.0L V8 did. I have had the truck since 1/6/04 and already have over 4500 miles on it. I like it and normally for the driving I do its just fine, only rare occations am I left wishing I bought a V8.

    After fueling up, driving the 300 miles to Anchorage, driving around Anchorage, and then back to Wasilla (40 miles), I fuel back up in Wasilla, gas mileage was right at 18 mpg. I haven't fuel up since Wasilla and will head into Fairbanks today, still over 1/4 of a tank at 250 miles. Not too bad especially considering we drove 75-80 the whole way home last night.
  • Interesting topic and here is my experience; I called 3 Ford/Merc dealers and only 1 would change the fluid. I had 45k miles at that time and wanted it changed as I plan on keeping the Mountaineer for the long term. I have changed fluids myself on all my other vehicles, cleaned the pans, changed filters/screens, etc. But as you all know this tranny is sealed. My dealer told me it required a 'special' machine and yes it was costly-$350. I did make them drop the pan and clean it, and change the filter/screen, so this increased the cost. IMO, I would not change the fluid without changing the filter.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Akangl,

    Did you have the O/D on or off?
  • akanglakangl Posts: 3,592
    O/D is always on unless I'm driving around town at less than 45 mph.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Yes, very important to have O/D off under 45MPH. I see too many tranny issues (not the Explorer, but ALL vehicles, ALL manufacturer's) because many have O/D engaged incorrectly.

    My next question would be your driving habits previous merging into the on ramp. The vehicle's transmission computer senses your motions, acceleration, deceleration, etc. and will tailor your shifts accordingly. If your driving quite aggresive (always with me), then you will notice the shifts kick in quicker, snappier, and take awhile to upshift since it senses your in a "sporting mode".

    If your driving decently, mellow, la dee da, then the opposite will occur. And that might be my 2nd guess as to why the vehicle might be having a harder time accelerating on the ramp.

    Overall at moderate depression on the accelerator, should give you around 3000RPM, and continue to upshift @ 3000RPM till you reach your designated high speed once on the highway. (that's your Max torque level) I would say, press a bit harder see if you can hit 5000RPM (by 2nd shift it should drop to around 4000RPM, (then stay there a bit into 3rd shift) where horsepower will be the one to help you.

    Horsepower= is most useful for passing, when your at speed.
    Torque= the oomph that gets your vehicle to take off.

    So by testing the above, I'm seeing if instead of relying on torque... if maybe horsepower could help you moreso in this situation.

    Another point: The axle ratio of the vehicle can help quite a bit. You can option it for a 4.10 final drive ratio. Most come with a 3.73. A higher gear ratio will allow for quicker acceleration since the wheels turn a bit more upon the same revolution, in turn, your highway MPG suffers just a tad.
  • akanglakangl Posts: 3,592
    I learned about the O/D off with a 1990 Suburban, it had a tired tranny, would get extremely fussy if left in o/d around town.

    As for how I drive the Explorer, I'd say fairly aggressive, just depends on my mood. That was the first time the Explorer has failed to respond as quickly as it usually does. Its ok, I rarely drive in Anchorage (only once every few months) and I still like my truck. I don't expect a race car that's for sure.

    My husband drives a 1999 Dodge Ram 3500 V10, even it has its wheezy points, but it can darn sure pull a house if need be.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Now, don't laugh, ok? But I have actually changed transmission fluid by disconnecting a cooling hose at the radiator or tranmission cooler, and dumping it into a drain pan, while filling with new stuff at the filler tube, with engine and pumps running. Not very environmentally sound or economical, I know, but I had my reasons, and it did purge all the bad burned fluid out eventually. I know you can't do this with a new Explorer, since they have no filler tube, but I'm thinking outside the box here, about a way to do a power flush of some kind........ Surprised the dealers don't do that. Perhaps that's the special machine they're talking about?
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Dealer's would probably wash their hands off about it (no pun intended), mainly because it's ONE more thing a customer can come back and complain about. And if it's not something that Ford routinely does, or reccomends to have done, and something goes wrong with the transmission.... Ford will not reimberse them for a warranty repair since it's something that should have been left as is to begin with.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,670
    new F150 (I know, this is not an F150 topic), and, the vehicle seems kinda massive (probably because it IS massive)...also looked at the Explorer Sport-Trac...at first the Sport Trac seemed to have a tiny bed (48-50 inches) compared to the shortest F150 bed, 5.5 feet (66 inches)...but then the salesman show the "bed extender" a stainless steel cage that sits on the tailgate and extends the bed about 18 inches, extending the bed from 4 feet to the same 5.5 feet of the F150...any thoughts on this??? does the cage give it the same capacity as the full size F150 bed (not counting the narrower vehicle)...does stuff fall thru the cage???...does anyone own a Sport Trac that could comment on whether the vehicle performed as expected???...what we are looking for is a 4 door vehicle to transport 4 adults, but she wants the open bed of the pickup as opposed to an SUV with a trailer...another option is an Avalanche, a much larger (and more expensive) vehicle...lastly, the vehicle we buy MUST have adjustable lumbar support for both passenger and driver, Ram/Dakota does not offer this, GM does, and we now know that F150 and Sport Trac do, too...any thoughts would be appreciated...also, the Sport Trac only comes with 210HP V6, no V8 option, does this engine have sufficient guts to do the job...thanks.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    I just took my Mazda 626 ES/V6 in for trans service to the local shop that does it for 60 bucks. On the Mazda it is a closed transmission, no pan to drop-so they unhook one of the cooling lines and take the fluid out that way. I have had it done twice now, the car has 60K on it. Back to topic; I asked him about the transmission in my wife's Explorer (2002), he said that they actually have to get the transmission fluid from Ford. He said to change it at 50K and then every 20K after that. While I agree it should be changed at 50K-I think 20K intervals are too soon. He would like my Mazda in at every 15K, but as I stated, I take it in at every 30K.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Yeah, my shadetree (independent) mechanic is stuck on the 3000 mile oil changes too. I do them at 5000 mile intervals. And an interesting side note to me - my Lincoln dealer also likes to do the oil changes at 3000 miles ..... uh, unless you have the "service included" package, like I do, then they can only do them "free" every 5000 miles. And that works fine for me.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Marsha, we do have an Explorer Sport Trac board, I also post there as well.

    The best advice I can give you in my opinion, is try both for size. Depending on your needs, and most other's needs, an Explorer ST will do quite well. Acceleration with the 4.0L V-6, and 4.10 drive ratio is quite quick as well (0-60sec. 8.4 last I remembered).

    As for the cargo cage, if you hauling something that your afraid might slip thru the holes, I've seen some place planks of partical board to section it off for hauling. I saw someone do that for hauling pipes.
  • fsvfsv Posts: 196
    Check Nissan Frontier - same money as Sport Trac, many bed option, extender, great Fosgate stereo, roofrack, moonroof, reliable, actually goes anywhere - inferior only to M1, if inferior, and, much better ride than Sport Trac. Or, get Ford Explorer + 500 dollar trailer from Home Depot and enjoy it...
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,670
    Thanks..I tried to find the Sport Trac board but had no luck, so I came to Explorer, nowhere else to go...

    FSV: I mentioned that, but she wants an open bed in the back or I may be cut off for years...she is a rural farm girl from Mississippi, has driven regular cars for years with me, is now asserting her rural roots...I thought the Sport Trac or Avalanche might be a useful compromise (I have also posted to Avalanche board)...at first, the ST bed seemed tiny at only 4 ft long, but the cage makes it 5.5 feet, the same length as a standard pickup short bed on a GM or F150... always looking, always thinking, trying to make her happy...if she is happy, my life just might be worth living, if not, my life becomes...:):):)
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Not sure how I can link you, but on the left choices, click BROWSE BY MAke, Click FORD, then under that Explorer Sport Trac, then it should list 8 choices. It'll be titled just that, Explorer Sport Trac. You can browse back on some previous questions/answers, which are the same one's you just asked.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,144
    Here's a link to the last post in the main Sport Trak discussion:

    iaaj "Ford Explorer Sport Trac" Feb 19, 2004 6:25pm

    Steve, Host

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,670
    Thanks...I must have been half asleep when I checked that screen...old eyes don't see as well, by cracky...
  • idntnvuidntnvu Posts: 251
    I haven't posted in quite some time, so I thought I'd get on here and update, plus I have a couple of questions. To date, I now have 43,500 miles on my Orange '99 XLS. I bought it last June with 32,000 miles. I took it in last September for the recalls (there were 3), two of which affected me. At that time, I had the thumping in the rear end addressed, and after changing the fluid in the transfer case, the thumping was eliminated. I had a vibration in the front end, which was determined to be caused by cupping of the tires, which is a fairly common thing with 4x4s, but the dealer put the hard sell on and stopped just short of trying to sell me a set of tires. I was informed of a couple of other issues which I determined as minor, and didn't wish to address. After I picked the car back up later that afternoon, I had a friend of mine drive it home for me while I drove the vehicle I was borrowing, and I noticed something funny in the rear view mirror...it appeared as though my headlights and fog lights were on really dimly. When we got home, my friend informed me that I had no air conditioning, and the right turn signal would not work. Upon further inspection, I discovered that this was true, as was many other complications that basically told me I had a major wiring problem, a problem that was completely non-existant until I had left the car at the dealership for the recall work, and the transfer case fluid change. Here's what would happen: When the headlights and foglights were on, the right turn signal would not work, but the right rear signal lamp, as well as the indicator on the dash, were dimly lit. When I turned the fan on high, it would drop back down to the same speed as the second position, as well as turning the headlights and foglights on dimly, and illuminating the signal lamp and indicator. Also, if I attempted to brighten the headlights when the head/fog lights were both on, only one headlight would brighten, and the fog lights would stay on. I had to turn off the fog lights in order to make the right turn signal blink, but it would blink really fast and so would the headlights. It was really quite a site when I turned on the 4 way flashers, with the headlights, fan and all that jazz turned on...I looked like a cop car with all the lights flashing. Also, the windshield washer was inop. I took it back to the dealer, to which they said it was a problem that was caused when the signal light stalk was replaced due to the recall. When I picked the explorer up that evening, the problem was still there. I walked back in, said the problem was still there, and they had someone drive me home. Later that afternoon, I called to inquire about my explorer's status, to which I was told they still couldn't pick out where the problem was coming from. I told them that since this was a problem not caused by me, I was not about to pay for it, and besides, I had bought the extended warranty, which also entitled me to a rental car. I was told at that point that they could not determine whether this problem would be covered by my warranty or not, so I'd have to pay for the rental car. I told them "by god it better be covered by the warranty, or you'll see a burnt orange ford explorer in a place you wouldn't want it." I don't think they knew quite what to do with me. So, I had a kindly neighbor drop me off at the dealership to pick up my rental Taurus, and after the service dept twiddled their thumbs a while, I was finally getting set up with the rental. Now, at that time, I was 20 years old. I did not know that you had to be 21 to get a rental. When the lady keyed everything into the computer, it wouldn't let her give me one. She couldn't figure out why. Finally, "OH, you're not 21...sorry, can't let you have one." I said "great, this day just gets better and better, I have to work tonight and I have no way of getting there, and my ride has already left. Let me speak to the manager please." When he finally found his way to the service desk, I let him have a piece of my mind. He wasn't very helpful either. I finally told them to give me my keys, and I'd take my piece of crap elsewhere. The next day, I called Ford to complain about the service, and that afternoon, I received a call from the service manager asking me to bring my car back, and let them have a chance to make it right. I did so, I received the rental, and the problem was covered by the warranty...all of that was fixed in a day and a half. Turns out a wiring harness behind the A/C fan had melted together, thus shorting the wires and making everything go nuts. The only other problem I've had since then is the transmission slipping in this extremely cold weather, which I know it's overdue for a transmission fluid change. I need new brakes too, but I can't blame that one on Ford ;). So far, I still love this vehicle. It's also really surprised me in the snow this winter.

    Okay, now my questions. First of all, does anyone know what the name of the burnt orange color that was on the '99-'01 XLS? I know the '01 Sport's have a brighter orange, but this is more of a reddish orange. I'd like to get the technical name. Also, has anyone ever put dual exhaust on their explorers? I've seen a few V8 explorers with duals, but not a V6. I've decided to y pipe it from about halfway back and have the tips turn down and out at a 45 degree angle behind the back wheels. Even if you haven't, does anyone know of any websites that I could go to to see what it would look and/or sound like? Sometime back, when the Sport Tracs were first getting popular, I found a website with sound bites of a Sport Trac with duals. Anyway, just thought I'd ask. I apologize for this being so long, I won't let them be this long again, but I hadn't posted in so long I thought I'd update everybody! Also, has anyone put a spoiler on their explorer? I've seen the spoilers on the '02 and newer explorers, were are cool, and the '01 and older models have more of a wing kinda thing. Thats another reason I'd like to know the name of the color, so I could match the paint if I were to get a spoiler. Thanks in advance for any input!
    IDNTNVU
  • akanglakangl Posts: 3,592
    Hmmmm, I couldn't find anything on that color for 1999, but it could possibly be the same as the orange that was used in 2001 which is Mandarin Gold Clearcoat. Good way to find out would be to ask the parts dept, they will look at your truck for the paint code and can tell from there.
  • idntnvuidntnvu Posts: 251
    Yeah, I try to avoid the dealership at all costs. After the last experience, I don't wanna go back unless something vital falls out on the highway. The Mandarin Orange Clearcoat used in 2001 is a much lighter shade of orange than this color. This is a reddish orange, or "burnt" orange as it has been referred to. Anyone have any suggestions about my exhaust, per Comment #1867? I was looking at flowmasters the other day, but I will probably get a custom job with a generic muffler, but the hushpower II sounded the best, I think. Any suggestions?
  • idntnvuidntnvu Posts: 251
    where is comment #1869? There is 1868 and 1870, but no 1869. Thats wierd...
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    It's likely that the poster had second thoughts about posting his/her message and deleted it.

    tidester, host
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