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Ford Explorer Maintenance and Repair

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  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,442
    i don't like your 'handle', but having an '02 also, there is some kind of tsb, or whatever, to replace the sway bar bushings. had mine done, and haven't had the creaky suspension noise since.
  • gregb5gregb5 Posts: 82
    EXPLORERX4 is correct. The creaking in the front is likely the sway bar bushings. Ford replaced mine twice. The second set has been quiet. Check into that.
    Don't know what might be happening in back.
  • Thanks for the info on the memory and mirrors, everyone. (Apologies to Bob Hope.)

    Steve, I'm glad I've found the correct forums.

    We are very impressed with this '02 Explorer.Previous SUVs: 89 Isuzu Trooper, 91 Toyota Landcruiser, 94 Toyota Landcruiser, '00 Eddie Bauer Expedition, '01 Isuzu Trooper. We did a ton of research, and Explorer really fit the bill for us. It's the perfect size, and the fold-flat rear seat really sold us.

    As for the odor, I've been through this with other cars before, and just wanted to know if this was common. If so, it'll make it a little easier to try to get it deodorized under warranty.

    See ya' around the forums.
  • We need a second key for the '02 we just bought. Dealer quoted us $110 (includes the blank and the programming). I'd heard that these "chip" keys were steep, but wasn't expecting that. I searched online and on e-bay, but nobody carries the blanks. I found a remote, and I know how to reprogram that, but no joy on the key.

    Anyone know of any alternatives other than the (gulp) dealer?
  • akanglakangl Posts: 3,591
    I saw a guy on Ebay that was selling the blanks and programming, but I remember him saying that if you didn't have 2 keys already then the dealer would have to program the new key. I think he was getting like $10 for the blank.
  • well....i think im going to sell it! The car would suddenly "jerk" driving along on the highway. I took it in to the dealer and said one of the bands in the transmission was frozen and couldnt be adjusted and that i needed a new transmission!!. I have 29,000 miles on it and they are all easy highway miles driven by my wife. They are going to install a remanufactured unit and the whole repair is under warranty but i have lost my confidence in this vehicle. I have owned lincolns and mercury's exclusively by my wife and I including many sables, a couple of villagers and currently i have the LS...but i think this trans problem has me convinced to finally leave the ford line-up. We are thinking of trading it in for a subaru outback H-6..this will be our first japanese car but reliability is paramount to us over most other variables. The shame of it all is that we loved the ride and performance of the mountaineer but the constant litle failures were awful. The PCM had to be reprogrammed twice. Sway bushings changed twice. Clunking front drive shaft upon deacceloration is a constant annoyance. Many more minor rattles and squeaks. I really want to trade in for a 2004 awd V8 in hopes that these problems have been solved but its wifes car and she is so freaked out about the transmission going that she wants to run away from ford products forever. Thank god this happened 6000 miles before warranty end...i could only imagine the cost of this repair. Everybody happy with 2004's?
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,442
    the blank may not be an oem key.
    we had to get a new one back when we had a taurus, a few years ago. the story goes, my wife had to visit the facilities at a park. when she sat down, the keys fell out of her sweathshirt into the toilet. she stood up up retrieve them, but it was an automatic toilet. Whoosh they were gone!
  • jrc346jrc346 Posts: 337
    When it comes to making the wife happy I totally understand your situation. However, if you are still a Ford fan then try to explain to the wife that the 2002 Explorer and Mountaineer were first year models. There is always the risk in buying a first year model with design flaws and the like. You could also reasure her that there have been many programming updates for the transmission (though I think yours going out is the result of a defect from the factory). As for the sway bar bushings, I believe the latest update with those has fixed the bumping issue. At least that is what I have seen on these boards. Anyway, just some thoughts here. You always want to be comfortable with what you are driving, and if to be comfortable that means switching to Subaru, then all the more power to ya :)
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    Sorry about your Mountaineer. It's a shame Ford can't seem to get a grip on quality control because the new Explorer/Mountaineer are really great vehicles. But if you've had continual problems with it, then you'll likely continue tohave problems throughout its lifespan. Sometimes the best thing is to get rid of it. Hope your next SUV is better to you, you're certainly in line for some good luck!
  • akanglakangl Posts: 3,591
    Mine seems to have a weird vibration at 65-70 mph, under 65 its gone, over 70 its gone, take it out of o/d it goes away, put it in neutral it goes away, let off the gas it goes away. Of course none of those solutions make driving practical.

    My truck has about 2500 miles on it, so far the only real quirk it has besides the transmission forgets what its doing sometimes and hesitates or slips a little.

    I just hope that the vibration isn't the dreaded driveline vibration I keep hearing about from 02 Explorer owners.

    BTW, I really do like my truck, very nice to drive, just wish that loud vibration would quit it, thankfully its more intermittant than anything.
  • jrc346jrc346 Posts: 337
    Is your vibration like a rapid thumping feeling that shakes the whole truck? Or is it more like a buzzing or humming?
  • akanglakangl Posts: 3,591
    Its a loud humming noise, almost sounds like its running 4WD but I know it isn't (dry pavement, straight, flat road).
  • jrc346jrc346 Posts: 337
    Huh, almost sounds like you have the bad rear axle problem that has been and still is a plague with these new Explorers. Does the sound seem to be coming from the rear? If not I would say that you either have exhaust resonance (or the exhaust system contacting something under your truck), or an out of balance driveshaft. Couple more questions for you. Does the sound come on suddenly or gradually? Does it stay at the same volume while you are in that 65-70mph range? Has it done it since you purchased it? Has it gotten worse if it has?
    I would say that if it gets worse, take to the dealer (I know, what a pain) and have them look things over. If your rear axle is making the noise, then have them hold off for a month as there is a new revised part to fix that problem about a month away. What a bummer though, it frustrates me when loyal Ford owners get their loyalty tested by such events/issues. Heres hoping that they are able to fix it and get you back on the road for 100,000+ trouble free miles:)
  • akanglakangl Posts: 3,591
    It sounds like its coming from near the front of the truck, like right below the front seats. It comes on pretty suddenly around the time I hit 65 and stays the same volume until I cross 70 and then it goes away.

    It didn't do it when I bought it, started this about 1000 miles ago. Its doing it more frequently these days. I'm ignoring it for the moment to see if it keeps getting worse.

    I still like my truck, its just a quirk like a lot of new vehicles have.
  • It's got all the symptoms of an out of balance driveshaft, except for the issue of "going away when you take it out of overdrive". Driveshaft rotation speed is a direct function of the speed of the car... not the gears or the transmission or engine speed. Not sure why going out of overdrive at the same indicated speed would cause the problem to stop.

    If the tech at the dealer knows what he's doing, it's a pretty easy job to use the stick-on weights to balance it out.

    Also, if you take it to the dealer, be SURE it can be reproduced easily. Nothing worse than the dreaded "could not reproduce" on the service ticket at the end of the day!
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    That is SO true!
  • akanglakangl Posts: 3,591
    I'm waiting for it to get worse, if it stays the same and is not easily reproduced, I'll learn to turn up the stereo, jump up to 75-80, and ignore it. There is NOTHING I hate more than wasting my time at the dealer and then getting a *cannot duplicate*.

    Nope, been there, done that, even a couple times when I *KNEW* they were lying and I showed them the problem, they still pretended not to notice. How the heck do you not notice a major brake pull?? Read: Step on the brakes, steering wheel yanked out of hands and truck makes a mad left. (this was on a 94 Mazda Navajo) I'll never know, but I still glare at the service manager from the Mazda dealer whenever I see him.

    My Explorer pulled its first trailer today and did pretty good, the trailer was horrible though, borrowed snowmobile trailer. Normally we use our big flatbed trailer to haul snowmobiles on, BUT, hubby wrecked his V10 Ram yesterday and the Explorer cannot pull that big flatbed trailer.
  • I posted the saga about the lemmon law return of my '03 Explorer and I constantly see posts making excuses for Ford and dangling the carrot for the fix of the balance of the drive shaft issue (this is what causes the harmonic/whine/hum in the cabin specific to 60ish to 70ish). I was told there would be a fix in December of '03. Well, gues what?

    NO ONE every apologized for selling me a lemmon. No one apologized when they REFUSED to try and fix my car a fourth time. Ford Corporate mishandled the reutrn of the vehicle and displayed ZERO professionalism during the whole process.

    My wife and I tried to do the right thing by buying the lesser expensive American made car. Ford let us down on all fronts.

    If your '03 or '04 Explorer is humming or whining, make them fix it and don't believe the fix carrot. OR make them buy it back. We did.

    DO NOT BUY FORD PRODUCTS.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    For your next car.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,442
    what are you going to get next?
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