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Ford Explorer Mercury Mountaineer 2005 and earlier

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  • yes, if a person wants any NEW vehicle I say leasing is a good idea, just from the standpoint of having the protection on your investment there. If you have equity at the end (HAHAHA!) just trade it in on the next one (or keep it)- if you don't have equity at the end, as usual, just walk away and get another one, laughing all the way to the bank. By the way, the new 06 Explorers are going to lease a lot better- residuals are up 5-8 pts across the model range on Explorers & Ford is offering some enticing rates too.
  • fitguyfitguy Posts: 222
    It is a good deal if you know leasing- the one downside is the crummy 42% residual but the low price mostly offsets that. And the strategy is exactly that- dump that dinosaur back on Ford Credit because SUV values will continue a severe downward spiral.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,153
    I said "can" because it really does depend on your circumstances -- I don't do it even though I'm probably eligible for some tax breaks because, even with all our helpful calculators, I don't understand the math. So I just keep driving the same car until it's worn out.

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  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,670
    You mentioned something in your post that surprised me...did you receive employee pricing PLUS rebates on top of that???...I thought that they did away with rebates, under the assumption that receiving employee pricing was enough..
  • fitguyfitguy Posts: 222
    Yes- it was employee pricing plus the $4000 rebate for a total of just over $9800 off MSRP. There also was an additional $1000 cash back on a purchase if you financed through Ford Credit; the rate was on the high side though. I tried to get the $1000 applied to my lease but they wouldn't do it, not applicable to leases, only purchases. The dealers really need to unload th '05's; mine had a fair number of '06's on the lot already.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,153

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  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,153
    Ok, no one bit on my rebates post - does this help?

    Ford sweetens pot to sell gas-thirsty SUVs (Reuters)

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  • jefferygjefferyg Posts: 418
    It's really all a matter of your credit rating. You're going to have to have an "A" rating to get the no-interest financing. Moreover, If you have a score above 750, you should be able to get 5.9% for 60 or perhaps even 72 months from Ford Credit or any other company with a $5000 rebate on an '05 Explorer. The $5000 will more than pay the interest.

    Let's say you purchase the vehicle for $30K before any rebates. If you take the no-interest financing it will cost you $30K regardless of the term. However, if you applied the cash back and financed $25K for 72 months your payment will be $3 less, and the total cost of financing is $29,746. You just saved $250.

    Another point to make is that if you take the same scenario and pay the extra $3 each month toward the principle on the loan, you will likely save yourself two or maybe even three payments at the end. That's another savings of at least $600.

    Moral of the story - Always do the math! ;)
  • lateralglateralg Posts: 929
    And, you're paying in tomorrow's 'cheaper' dollars.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    According to the Wall Street Journal today, Bridgestone will pay Ford $240 million to settle a dispute related to tire recalls on the 2000 - 2001 Explorers.... What does that tell ya? NHTSA cleared Ford for the rollover issues years ago, but people still blame the car, not the tire, despite the fact that no Explorers with other tire brands on them, rolled.
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    All true, but you also have a debt obligation which could affect your ability to purchase real estate.

    The 2007 GM Yukon and Tahoe with the 5.3 V8 with DOD achieve the same fuel mileage as the 2006 Explorer. I wonder how many people will go with the larger vehicles? Why does Ford not have DOD on their V8s?
  • lateralglateralg Posts: 929
    I thought I knew all the automotive-related acronyms, but apparently not. Google needs to be updated too.

    What does DOD mean?
  • pnewbypnewby Posts: 277
    GM's first production applications of Displacement on Demand (DOD) will find its
    ... GMC Envoy XL and Envoy XUV, as well as a DOD-equipped Vortec 3900 V-6, ...
  • lateralglateralg Posts: 929
    Ah yes. I have fond memories of the glorious failure of their first production application ... the 8-6-4.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    DOD = Displacement on Demand - like the new Chrysler Hemi, that shuts down 4 cylinders going down a hill to save gas.

    OTOH, it could mean Department of Defense.
  • jefferygjefferyg Posts: 418
    I'm with lateralg on this DOD thing. I used to work for a lady who had a Caddy with the old 8-6-4 engine. The only way it ever worked was when it was permanently disabled. Those engines were notoriously shaky when they'd start kicking out cylinders.
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    The HEMI with DOD has been out for more than 1.5 years with no reports of problems, and the new GM V8s with DOD are out and no problems have yet been reported. Of course, both are pushrod engines with one camshaft in the block, so the mechanical things needed to implement it were very easy.

    Unless Ford has some other way to achieve better mileage, I don't see how they can afford not to offer it on their V8s.

    The old Cadillac system had two main flaws: relatively primative elctronics, and the 6 cylinder mode, which shook like crazy because it was not balanced.
  • jefferygjefferyg Posts: 418
    I believe one of the solutions you will see out of many companies is what Honda is already doing with the Accord - offering a hybrid engine where the electric motor give a "boost" when you need it. Check out the specs on the '05 Accord. The Hybrid produces 10 more horses that the regular V6.

    The biggest problems I see with this application in SUV's are #1 cost - you have to drive a lot of miles for a hybrid to pay for itself, and #2 cargo volume. The Accord Hybrid's trunk is smaller than its gas-only conterparts b/c of the battery pack.

    Most people who buy an SUV are making a compromise. They will accept sub-par mileage for the extra room for all their kids and stuff. That's the reason we bought our Mountaineer. As hybrid technology become smarter, smaller, and CHEAPER, I believe we will see a lot more of it. And don't give me the "throaty V8" junk. How many soccer moms do you know with flowmasters on their SUV's.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,618
    the explorer/mountaineer v8 has always had the 'thoaty v8' sound. you don't need flowmasters. when i am picking my kids up and i can see them, but they can't see me, all i do is start the engine, and they know right where to find me. ;)
    i think the new 3v v8 has a better smog rating than the hah. maybe it could be even better if hybrid technology is applied.
  • daryll44daryll44 Posts: 306
    Yup. My original prediction was that true transaction prices (factoring in all rebates and dealer discounts) would be $10,000 below sticker by Xmas...the same price (more or less) discount required to clear out the '05s. Anyone would be a fool to buy an Explorer/Mountaineer NOW. I suppose if gas prices dip to $2 or below (unlikely) prices will hold up. But in the real world the demand for these vehicles is nothing like the demand when gas was half the price just a few years ago. By the way, I spent some time in an L-M showroom yesterday going thru a loaded '06 Mountaineer. What a great vehicle....it was great already but the improvements for '06 make it the finest yet. I'd love to trade my '03 for an '06 but am afraid to commit to 14 MPG again.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    What did you think of that inside door handle, daryl?
  • daryll44daryll44 Posts: 306
    I know what you are talking about (the "pull up" handle) but it didn't strike me as anything unusual and if you hadn't mentioned it, I would have just thought it just a normal styling variant. But now that you mention it, I guess it is unique!. I did, however, notice that they went with the safety window switches now....you can't accidentally chop someone's fingers (or head!) off by leaning on (what used to be) rocker switches. You must consciously pull up to raise the window(s). Improvement. And the fold-flat, split row, power 3rd row is a MAJOR improvement.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Except I really didn't like the inside door release handle, and the placement of the interior pull handle. That whole door assembly really seems inconvenient to me. Otherwise, things have improved quite a lot.
  • daryll44daryll44 Posts: 306
    My '03 Mountaineer is going to need it's 3rd set of tires soon...probably at about 45,000 miles or maybe 48,000. They came with the Goodrich tires (lasted 23000 miles) and I replaced them with the same. Here in tough, hilly (stop hard and start hard) city driving of Pittsburgh 23000 isn't bad but 30,000 would be closer to average. I got 50,000 out of a set of Michelin LC XT4 (Sears/NTB version) tires on my old 1999 Explorer. That experience made me realize that cost-per-mile the Michelins were probably slightly cheaper, even though the cost per tire was about double (you save the labor and nusance fees for 1 cycle as you twice as long between cycles).

    So I was at NTB again today for something else and was looking at tires. I noticed that there are TWO versions of Michelins for SUVs...the "Cross-Terrain" (which I think I also saw on some new Mountaineers on the dealer lot) and the LTX-MS. They no longer carry the LC XT4 tire because that was a Sears version and NTB got sold by Sears. I seem to recall, however, that LTX-MS and LC XT4 were essentially the same tire.

    So my obvious question is: What's the difference (ride, longevity, price, other) between the two Michelins? And are both available in my size (standard 17 inch somethingorother Mountaineer factory wheels)?

    Any other tire suggestions would be appreciated too. I am figuring on keeping the vehicle another 50,000 (unless I get the itch).
  • jefferygjefferyg Posts: 418
    I can't answer your question about the difference between the two Michelins, but I can tell you that I've never gotten less than 60K out of a set of Michelins.

    If you're having to replace tires that often you need to have some checking done on your alignment and suspension. The BFGoodrich tires on our Mountaineer are not even close to halfway worn out with 14,000 miles on it. You should have easily gotten 40,000 out of the original tires no matter where you live if you kept them rotated and kept the air pressure up where it's supposed to be. Remember, the 17's are recommended to run 35 psi and they are rated for up to 45.
  • daryll44daryll44 Posts: 306
    I know all about it. Actually, the 17s run 30 in the front and 35 in the rear for the 2003 model. I check them religiously every 15th and 30th of the month. And the alignment is always perfect too as I bot the NTB 5 year unlimited thingie. They are worn evenly. I appreciate your input but just don't think you understand Pittsburgh driving. Anyway, we agree that the Michelins seem worth the extra money but it's still not clear what the difference between the two Michelins are.

    60K out of tires in Pittsburgh? The tooth fairy? Santa Claus? Honest politicians?
  • jefferygjefferyg Posts: 418
    Well, I've never driven in Pittsburg, but I did live in New Orleans for a while and it is the pothole capitol of the world - some were bigger than the 93 Accord we were driving then. And you could make a million with a brake shop there.

    I used to work in a tire store when I was in high school and college, and while it was in a small Mississippi town, I know that if anyone had been getting the kind of poor service you're talking about out of any of our tires, they'd have been looking for an adjustment on them.

    Now if you're constantly braking hard, turning short at low speeds, or regularly whitesmoking the tires I can see how you may shorten their life expectancy. But you're talking about cutting their life in half. That's just not normal - for anywhere.

    One thought I did have - do you regularly operate your vehicle with a heavy load inside? A friend of mine who owned his own tire store told me that he once had a guy who weighed in excess of 350 pounds who kept having problems with the front end alignment on his car. My friend said that after several attempts at correcting the problem he finally thought to have the guy stay in the car while they aligned everything and it worked.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Agreed - I've never had to replace tires on any of my Mountaineers, and I run them all at least 36,000 miles, but no more than 42,000. Still though, the tires looked like new on all of them when I traded them.
  • daryll44daryll44 Posts: 306
    Generally the "heavy load" is my 110 pound wife-driver and my 85 pound 11 year old. Oh, once we hauled two 40 pound bags of mushroom manure. No load isn't the issue. I am telling you, the dealers here all will tell you that it's rare to get more than 30,000 miles out of tires here.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,618
    i know that the michelin cross terrains(16 inch) have 2 different versions. one is an oem version(235-70-16) with a 420 treadwear rating. the 245-70-16 version has a 700 treadwear rating. i bought them at the dealer to replace my goodyear ap's, but i had to educate them about this.
    maintaining adequate tire pressure and rotations have a lot to do with the life of a tire.
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