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Ford Explorer Maintenance and Repair



  • Thinking about an explorer, but after reading your comments, I'm not so sure. Should I or shouldn't I? Would appreciate your comments here or email. Also looking at new mitsubishi endeavor, pilot, highlander or envoy.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    The vast majority of us have had excellent experiences with Explorers, if not the dealers. But alas, there are a few lemons out there. Nevertheless, I have a 94 with 115,000 miles on it, that runs amazingly well. Only problem has been a recent failure of the front differential to engage. Have had a 97 and 98 Mountaineer, and still have an 02 Mountaineer, with no problems. So you should be happy with one. The odds are in your favor. The Envoy is a little less a sure thing. The Highlander is a fine machine, but small & tinny. The Pilot should be fine, if you like it. Both are built on a minivan platform, if that doesn't bother you. Good luck hunting. I'm not afraid to get another Explorer, or derivitive.
  • jrc346jrc346 Posts: 337
    I would recommend the Explorer based on my 3 good ones and a close friend who has a 2003 Mountaineer (sister clone to the Explorer). I have gotten pretty good service from the first two Explorers 96 and 2000, and so far am getting good service from my third, also a 2000. My friend leases vehicles and got his 03 Mountaineer almost a year ago. He hasn't had any problems with it in about 40,000 miles, and he just recently ordered another one because he was so satisfied. You may want to work an extended warranty into the deal, just in case ;-)
    The Envoy, while nice looking seemes to have (had?) some pretty serious programming and electrical issues, though those may be worked out by now, I am not sure. The Highlander is a nice ride, though it seems a little small. The 4Runner is also a nice looking vehicle, and bound to be built well, though I see it is not on your list. I really don't know anything about the Mitsu. Sorry :-/ If it were my decision I would pick the Explorer hands down, but I am biased based on my good experiences with Explorers. If it were me, I would drive each and see which offers the most things that are important to me at the best value. Goodluck!
  • Greeting everyone,

    I just move to Mount Prospect (Chicago Northwest suburb), IL. I have a 1999 Explorer XLT (35,000 miles). I have been taking good care of it. The Explorer recently developed some clinking noise that come and goes; so far it has been more annoyance than driving issue. I want to avoid "overprice and lousy" dealer service if possible (I had my share of similar experiences that IDNTNVU went through). Can anyone suggest a trust worthy and competent "non-dealer" service shop that specialized on Explorer in the area? Thanks a bunch!
  • This recall is 1998-2000 Explorer and Mountaineer
    Reads: A bolt that attaches the seat recliner
    mechanism to the driver seat back frame on your
    vehicle may fracture. If this condition were to occur, you may experience looseness or noise in the seat. In extreme cases the seat back may recline until it makes contact with an object behind the seat or second row cushion. This could potentially cause you to lose contact with the steering wheel or foot pedals, possibly resulting in a crash.

    This was sent to me the first week in Sept. 2003.
  • Does anybody know what Fortifier the The quality
    care people use when they change the oil??
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    What's a fortifier??
  • We recently had flooding in our area. We tried driving through some water but the engine just shut down on us half way through. When we had it towed in the service dept. explained that it didn't matter how much water we tried to drive through, you could drive through 3" and have this problem. The air intake is located so low in the Ford SUV's that it "sucks in" all the water and locks up the engine, therefore causing it to be replaced. This is with the 2000-2001-2002 trucks. They have a "design flaw" and Ford manufacturers will not admit this. Ford will NOT TAKE RESPONSIBILITY and WILL NOT RECALL the vehicles. Our insurance company is stuck taking the fall. WE WILL NOT keep our Explorer after this. Not only will we take a loss in cost since we won't get much out of selling it, but we will also have to take time out to find a new vehicle. I feel very strongly about the Toyota 4-Runners and Highlanders. Great consumer ratings, fuel efficiency, etc.
  • jrc346jrc346 Posts: 337
    I think your first mistake was driving through the water. Otherwise any vehicle out there will suck in water in that situation. I really don't think this is Fords fault, as it would take well over 3 inches for water to get sucked in to the Explorer's intake. It would probably take closer to three feet. I must say this is a first (someone blaming Ford for a waterlogged engine) , and that I sure am glad to hear your insurance is going to cover the engine replacement.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I agree. I've driven my Explorers, 94, 97, 98 & 2002 through lakes, and never locked up the engine, so something is fishy here. And 3 inches of water? Pullleese!!!! Also, the 00 and 01 truck is completely different than the 02, so what's with grouping this "defect" in 00 through 02? Go sell this yarn somewhere else pal, it ain't flying here. Enjoy your Toyodas.
  • I saw an ad on TV that showed you could drive it under water to help cute girls cross a river. Come to think of it, wasn't an Explorer swimming with the sharks in another. Admit it, you just were trying to be Macho Boy and did something stupid. I bet the last words out of your mouth before it lockd up were the perverbial, "Hey, watch this."
  • This is great....Blame Ford for a stupid error on your part. I've also heard that SUBMARINES work well in deep water. I'm not so sure that Ford sells one however!!! Check E-Bay
  • aiutoaiuto Posts: 46
    My father has a 2000 explorer and recently the lights on the dashboard are flashing 4wd and 2wd simultaneously. The dealer wants $75 just to look at the car and more to fix it. Does anyone have any idea as to what the problem is and if so how to fix it.

  • There are numerous things that can cause this from dirty sensors bad electronics to bad motors. I've rebuilt shift motor assemblies many times in my 92 Explorer. Recently purchased a 97 that had a flashing light. Previous owner had just put a new motor on but still couldn't get it to work. I drained the transfer case fluid which was extremely low and nasty. Then I put new fluid in and disconnected the battery to reset the computer. Haven't had a problem in over a year. So as a start, try disconnecting the battery and look for a leak. Some of the shaft seals fail rather early.
  • aiutoaiuto Posts: 46
    opera house thanks. will give it a try
  • Lubricant additives that lower friction and fill the pores of metal.
    Try searching for "oil fortifier" or "oil fortifier used by ford" for what these are supposed to do.
  • FYI, `Oil Fortifier' is just is an additive that `fortifies', or treats the oil. It does nothing to the metal components of the engine except allow the oil to `cling', thus reducing wear at cold starts, etc. Because it doesn't treat the metal, it must be added to the oil at each oil change.
    Some of the `oil fortifier' websites will specify that they are oil treatments only, and assist the oil in adherence to the metal, due to metallic surfaces lack of porosity.
  • Anyone else who are or were 1991-2000 Explorer owner's receive a letter on behalf of a plaintiff named "Terri Shields" out of Jefferson County Texas regarding Firestone tires? Suit is filed by this woman stating that Firestone sold the tires (long list of which tires) without telling consumers that they contained alleged defects that made/make them prone to tread separation. She is looking for settlement due to negligence from what I could make from this two page letter with a zillion "section A, part 1, etc's..." to it. I no longer own my 1999 Exploder so I was a caught of guard to receive this letter. Anyone else out there get one?
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,915
    No kidding! Firestone sold defective tires and didn't tell the public. i can see it now you're shopping for tires and they have Firestone tires with absolutely no defects on one side and a special sale on the defective ones in the back. 50% off!! What a bargain!!

    Sorry to make light of the situation especially so many people died but wasn't this issue dealt with and settled a couple of years ago. I hate to keep beating a dead horse but I rather deal with problems with the Explorer.
  • It's an old issue, I realize, but I'm simply looking to see if anyone else has received this letter which was solely my question. Responses to if anyone else has received it would be appreciated.
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