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Ford Explorer Mercury Mountaineer 2005 and earlier

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Comments

  • fitguyfitguy Posts: 222
    Hoping to get some feedback from '05 Mountaineer owners: I have a '00 Expedition with only 41K miles, have been getting letters/calls from the L/M dealer that services it saying they have buyers waiting for low mileage Expys. I had no intention of trading as it's been reliable and just put 4 new tires on it, BUT- I'm intrigued and may go see what kind of a deal can be worked (I'm a very experienced negotiator so don't need help there). My question is: How have the '05s been reliability-wise? I've seen some of the horror stories posted about '03 Expy's and Explorers (rear end whine, front end issues, poor quality of electrical, etc) but not as much about the Mountaineer. It seems the later '04 and '05 Expy's/Explorers have been much better, which holds with most Ford owners experience with first-year designs- they just don't quite get it right till year 2 and beyond. Any experiences, good or bad, would be much appreciated! :)
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Don't have an 05, but I do have an 04 - only problem has been the bad solenoid pack in the transmission, that the recall fixed without incident. It's been rock solid other than that. Really like the truck.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    I have a '00 Expedition with only 41K miles, have been getting letters/calls from the L/M dealer that services it saying they have buyers waiting for low mileage Expys.

    Hello!! - THIS IS AN OLD DEALERS TRICK TO GET YOU INTO THE DEALERSHIP. As a matter of fact (now nothing personal here) nothing could be farther than the truth. I am looking for a used '03 to '04 Expedition. There is a FLOOD of used 2000 to 2002's out there. Why? Because if you recall Ford dropped the floor and changed the suspension in '02 in the Explorer. Then in '03 they did the same thing to the Expedition. S0- there is no comparison in ride quality between pre 2003 Expeditions. Consequently, they are VERY SOFT on the used SUV market even though Cosmetically there isn't much difference. Ask your dealer this - will you give me high blue book for mine if they are that much in demand? And then I will buy a new one at $100.00 over invoice! And one more thing-Why would there be buyers in line when gas is $2.50 a gallon on a vehicle that gets no more than 14 in the City? Does this make sense?
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,722
    i went from a '00 expedition to an '02 explorer. if you need the room, a mountaineer or explorer just won't cut it. the ride isn't a smooth, although the irs takes corner bumps better. overall it's a great practical package. get the v8.
  • fitguyfitguy Posts: 222
    Pretty much what I figured, without going to speak with them. If you are looking at used '03s, be careful and view all the posts here and elsewhere- they are loaded with problems and are dogs (IRS and folding 3rd seat aside). '04's seem much better. Even the gas mileage on the new ones is pretty weak; I can't imagine many buyers out there for new or used SUV's ( just the poor slobs like me that need one to tow!).
  • jvigil88jvigil88 Posts: 21
    I am looking to purchase a used 2002 Ford Explorer Limited V8 4X2 with 31,000 miles on it. Are there any problems I should be aware of? What are other peoples opinion of this year and model?

    Thanks!

    Janell
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I had one - I loved it - traded it for an 04, which I also love. Had no serious issues with it. Only one minor one - a cracked liftgate, which Ford fixed, no problem.
  • suvb4wintersuvb4winter Posts: 27
    We've had this as a persistent problem with our 1998 Mercury Mountaineer for awhile now. Brakes make a high pitched squeal all the time, even after brakes, rotors and pads have been replaced(more than once). We've used the Lincoln/Mercury dealer as well as a private mechanic. Any advice would be appreciated.
  • It's the Brake Pads. What kind did they use? I internet ordered the CARBON METALLIC Brake Pads for my 1997 Explorer, and they run very quiet, no dust, and last a long time. They coat the rotor and make the rotors last longer. They have been on the Explorer for over 2 years now, and still plenty of lining left, I estimate they will last at least 4 years total, and go over 60,000 miles. I order all my brake pads on the internet now, very convienient, better than waiting until you need them and not being able to find them locally.
  • oldfordoldford Posts: 3
    I have a 97 Explorer XLT AWD with 122k. Original tires by Firestone went 80k and then by luck of a recall were replaced for free by Michelins which themselves will need to be replaced soon. Have done brakes, ball joints for the second time (first time under warranty, why so soon and often?) but this time they have grease fittings. Car vibrates at 70 mph and front tires are worn on outer edge so I may be looking at front end repairs for the third time. Check engine light was on many times with miscellaneous repairs under extended warranty. When warranty expired I ignored the light because the car ran flawlessly and it was never clear to me that the Ford garage ever did anything significant. Then the state inspection changed the rules so last Fall the car did not pass and I got a $1060 repair bill (mostly labor) to put out the light and give a tune up (which I do not deny may have been due at this mileage). One month later the light came on again which makes me wonder what they really did at the Ford garage. To me it looks like this may be the tip of the iceberg in expensive repairs coming up. Does anybody have any experience with this car at such a mileage? I have no doubt the engine will go to 200k but it is the electronic junk and the front end that I am concerned about. I would like to keep it a couple more years if I could gain some confidence that I could keep repairs around $1000 per year which is my past experience with other older cars... or should I trade it now (I will get very little, $4-5k if I am "lucky" and only because the car is clean in and out)?
  • jvigil88jvigil88 Posts: 21
    Just be careful of the transmission. I have a 1995 Ford Explorer Limited 4X4 and I had to have the transmission replaced at about 130,000 miles and it was over $2000. Other than that no major problems.

    Janell
  • One important thing you forgot, What ENGINE is in your Explorer, That makes ALL the difference. I would not trust the V6 for long term. If you have the V8 5.0L, they are good engines that last over 200,000 miles with good care. On high milage vehicles, the labor cost will eat you up. To offset this, there are many things you can do yourself. Buy a Scanner/Code reader and plug it into the car and read your codes yourself, and then buy a repair manual for you car. You can look up the codes to see what they mean, and might be able to fix or correct some of the simpler ones. The code does not tell you exactly what is wrong, it guides you in the right direction, you usually have to do some diagnosis, but you can always ask someone if you don't know, there are a lot of Forum Sites that will help you. This can save you a lot of money and keep your repair expenses in line.
    Good Luck
    E.D.
  • oldfordoldford Posts: 3
    electricdesign,
    Thanks for the code reader tip. I went to the Auto Zone once but they could not read the code, machine was broken or something and I did not follow up. I know some are really simple like gas cap or spark plug. The engine is indeed V8 5.0L (I thought it was the only one they packaged with AWD) and this is why I have confidence in that part of the car and why I payed extra for it in the first place even though I don't really need the muscle. I grew up on the GM 350 ci in the days where a non-abused V8 engine always outlasted the rust.
    Thanks again!
    PS is there anyplace you know of that compares unbiasedly the GMC Envoy and Explorer?
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,794
    For the specs, try our Vehicle Comparison Tool.

    For reviews, try us too (link). Plus the '05 Envoy is the New Vehicle Spotlight ad right now on that page. Click the New link for editorial comment (or the Used link to drill down to reviews of older cars).

    Steve, Host

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

  • oldford,
    Your welcome. My code reader is an Auto X-Ray, you can find them on the web. It is a small self contained unit I bought in 2000. Now there are so many on the market, I think if I was going to buy another one, I would get one of those kind that are a module that has a plug on one end to connect to the car and a plug on the other end to plug into a notebook computer, with a program to run it on your computer. Then you can see a nice display of everything, and nowadays they are more capable of doing more functions, graphs, etc.
    One big reason I stress to get the V8 is that the transmission behind the V8 is much stronger than the one behind the V6. The V8 has the 4R70W trans, which is totally great, very strong and reliable. I was not sure about which engine came with the AWD because mine is 2WD. I don't have to fight the snow and ice down here in Florida.
    I also came from the V8 GM generation, the 265, then the 283, then the ever popular 327! My first V8 was the 265 in a 57 Chevy with a 2 speed powerglide. My brother had a 55 Chevy with the 283 that was really hot.
    But now the Fords serve me well, and I can honestly say that the 2000 Ford Explorer XLT V8 that I am currently driving is the best vehicle I have ever owned (I've owned it 2 months now). My wife raves about her 1997 Ford Explorer XLT V8, that she has drove for 3 years. They are both fantastic vehicles. Her car has 137,000 miles on it, and I am going to replace the original Lower Ball Joints on both sides this weekend. 137K is not bad service for original ball joints!
    E.D.
  • oldfordoldford Posts: 3
    Dear E.D.,
    Even better tip, since I am actually electronic literate, I will get a code reader unit to plug into my notebook. I did not know they existed. The 97 XLT V8 is my wife's car plus the family car (I drive a pickup). It is the first vehicle I ever bought new and only because we lost an 87 Grand Wagoneer to a fire and got an insurance windfall. We were set to buy a Jeep but the top of the line they had in 97 was no comparison in look and feel of the Explorer. It really has been good to us-- safe and reliable-- and you have given the motivation to keep it. If we dumped it now, we would look back and say it was good value, but if we can get a few more years out of it will become exceptional value-- plus what would we replace it with (on a budget)?
    Many thanks again,
    (and also to our host of the forum)
    JR on Cape Cod
    PS
    I drove a 57 Chevy 265, 63 Chevy 283, 66 Chevy straight 6 250-something, 71 Chevy 350, 77 Buick 350, 69 Olds 400 (whatever was in the 442?) , 70 Cadillac 472, 68 Cadillac 472. When I bought the XLT, I told the salesman when I was a kid people wore caps that said "Anybody that drives a Ford must have a screw loose." but perhaps things have now changed. He agreed with me but he really did not understand. I think you know what I mean.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    You're coming around oldford.....My Dad was like you, I learned from him......
  • campinutcampinut Posts: 8
    I have looked into & researched everything trying to find out what used SUV I would be happiest with. I narrowed it to the Escape & Explorer. While investigating I found both get about 16 city and 20 hywy. Am I right?? No advantage to the Escape 3.0? All I pull is a moderate john boat. So I would like to have 4x4 capability but 90% of my driving is going to and from work ( 60 mile round trip) so I would like good fuel mileage but keeping in mind a used SUV.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    You're right about the 4.0L Explorer, but that's the best the Escape will do? I'm surprised about that. Between the two, if the mileage is the same, I'd get the Explorer. It's a tougher truck all the way around, more durable.
  • akanglakangl Posts: 3,596
    I had a 2003 Escape XLT 3.0L V6 for a month as a rental this winter, we took it to Anchorage and it managed a nice 21 mpg in mixed hwy, snow, 4WD, and city driving. Hwy only it seemed to hang in the mid 20's. Was a great little rig, really enjoyed it, lots of fun to drive and very sure footed, put just over 2000 miles on it while we had it.

    One drawback is the tow capacity of the Escape with the tow pkg is only 3500 lbs.

    The best my 2004 Explorer XLS 4.0L V6 managed was 19 mpg hwy on trips to Anchorage. Its average hung in the 15-17 mpg range for mixed driving which surprised me since the V8 Explorer I traded in on it did better than that. However, the Explorer with the tow pkg (2" receiver) has a tow capacity of 5000 lbs with the V6.
  • campinutcampinut Posts: 8
    Thats curious in Anchorage. I wonder if altittude may change things being I live in Kentucky. A friend of mine has a 2000 Explorer with a V8 and gets 18 at best and another friend has a 99' Explorer V6 and gets 23 at best. I do not know of anyone with an Escape. I also wonder if the dfferent MPG could also be due to weight difference on the Explorer after the new body style in 2001. Can I get more input?
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    As I've mentioned in the past, the 4.0L SOHC V6 in the Explorer is a crude gas hog that might allow for the 4.6L V8 to post better fuel economy numbers. Trick to the 4.0L, keep the revolutions under 2000RPM...anything over will dramatically worsen the fuel mileage estimates.

    Prior to the new Mustang receiving this 4.0L, I thought maybe it was just the bulk of the Explorer that made the engine post such horrible fuel mileage estimates...And considering my numerous testing with a new Mustang with the 4.0L, I can tell you it's just as bad. I was able to post 18MPG and that was with the A/C off and keeping the revolutions under 2000RPM.

    This is one of those senarios where opting for the larger engine, might be more economical...amazingly.
  • mystiquemystique Posts: 24
    Thinking about getting a 4x2 for better gas mileage. Anyone know how they go in the snow/rain etc. Its a heavy vehicle so i figured it might be good still.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    I don't know where to start here.

    First of all, The Explorer is a vehicle that weighs over 4,500 pounds. The Expedition (in two wheel drive) weighs just 900 pounds more. How much mpg do you think a vehicle this heavy should get? My wife's '02 Explorer (2wd-4.0-XLT w/ SOHC) gets 14 in the city and will consistently get right at 20 mpg on the highway if you stay under 75mph. I don't know about you...but any vehicle that gets 20 mpg on the highway that weighs 4,500 pounds seems pretty good to me! AS mentioned here in previous posts, the V8 will not post BETTER NUMBERS, but just about TWO MPG LESS! BTW, I have 40,000 trouble free miles on this "crude V6". (Motor-wise anyway!)
  • mystiquemystique Posts: 24
    Great thanks, I do mostly highway driving so 4 wheel drive doesn't make all that much sense. I am seriously considering the new 06' with RWD and the V8 6speed combo. I figured that it should be pretty good in the snow and the fact that most streets are plowed reasonably well after storms makes it more sense for me.
  • lateralglateralg Posts: 929
    Chuck,

    I'm with you in questioning the statements made.
  • idntnvuidntnvu Posts: 251
    What say you, oh wise one, of a 2001 Ford Escape? I know they haven't been very reliable, but would it be worth it for the extra couple of MPG? The Exploder is getting 13.5 city 17 highway. I think the V6 Escape is rated at what, 18/20? Correct me if I'm wrong. Just a thought. Found a nice one at a nice price, not seriously considering it but considering nonetheless.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    "AS mentioned here in previous posts, the V8 will not post BETTER NUMBERS, but just about TWO MPG LESS! BTW, I have 40,000 trouble free miles on this "crude V6". "

    Considering I have the equipment to not only test it, but also program various codes for improvements of various items (fuel economy being one), I can tell you the V8 will post better numbers if driven the same way. As I mentioned, bringing the V6 over 2000RPM's will worsen the issue. Not that it's necessary since that V6 is able to sport 90% of it's torque at that RPM.

    At 75MPH revving around 3200RPM, I'm looking at 15-17MPG, and at 95 (speed governing kicks in at 98) your looking at 3600RPM posting around 11-13MPG.

    This with the 3:73 Axle ratio, on an Explorer Limited 4x2.

    This same engine in the new Mustang V6, 2500RPM at 75MPH (less effort due to it's aerodynamic shape) showing 20MPG with 3200 coming in at 95MPH getting 16MPG at that range, and at 110 it drops to 10MPG when hitting 3500-3600RPM.

    Anytime a downshift is required into a lower gear and your hitting 5000RPM, just let go of the accelerator because it's just sucking wind and getting you no where, 3000RPM is the sweet spot where most of the downshift should take you to. Although unfortunately for the Mustang, the processor is much slower and programmed differently, therefore it'll downshift you into the 4000RPM range (where you must hope it'll upshift one gear and give you a 3000RPM upshift). Hopefully a TSB will cure the delayed downshift/upshift thrash that some might notice.

    From what I have seen and expericed, the only range where the V6 becomes "economical" over the V8 is at the 55-65MPH range, and that won't stay around much with the new 6Speed for this years Explorer which is posting better figures in that range.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    "Considering I have the equipment to not only test it, but also program various codes for improvements of various items (fuel economy being one), I can tell you the V8 will post better numbers if driven the same way. As I mentioned, bringing the V6 over 2000RPM's will worsen the issue. Not that it's necessary since that V6 is able to sport 90% of it's torque at that RPM."

    Maybe your right. The only thing is, that it is NOT THE EXPERIENCE of those who post here. Maybe it's the mentality of - "I have a V8" and those who do may possibly be a more aggressive driver. The only thing I know is in regards to the V6 is that I have two and one-half years of "real world" ownership experience. The motor has been trouble free. Yes, I have had issues-the transmission solenoid, a slight rear end whine. It's been nothing like the '99 Suburban which I paid 30K for that was an absolute nightmare!
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    You guys should lighten up on ANT - you don't know who you are talking to there...... :) I'm just saying...........
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