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Ford Explorer Maintenance and Repair

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  • Do you know if there were ever any TSB's concerning this problem? Is this something that is known to Ford? And YES, you are right.. my interior lights will sometimes do wierd things as well like NOT WORKING at times (including lighting my puddle lamps). I am stuck between a rock and a hard place because unless I can come up with some other type of fairly "concrete" evidence to take to the dealer, they will continue to say that they "cannot duplicate the problem." Actually, I did notice that there were no pressure switches located around the door housing areas but I didn't think much about it.

    As far as the radio is concerned, now that you mentioned it.. the only times that I have ever experienced the "CD TOO HOT" message and burning smell is whenever I have taken long trips while the weather has been cold outside (hence the needed use of the heater controls). I have the fully automatic climate control center in which I ONLY operate it in the AUTOMATIC mode, therefore not having to switch air direct locations. I usually run the unit around 77 or 78 while driving home BUT I think that the air is normally directed towards my feet and maybe the side defroster vents? I guess I am not 100% sure why this would cause my CD to overheat given that I am not using the vents located directly above the CD unit? BUT.. I do know that HEAT RISES so that could also play a big factor.

    All in all, if you have any additional information that I could use to take to the dealer again PLEASE let me know. Once again, thanks for your help!

    Thanks!

    IExplore2000@aol.com
  • If my radio ever had a problem off warranty, I would not replace it with a Ford radio. They've got to be kidding you that they want $300 for a radio/CD player. I don't know what invoice on the unit is, but the process of taking out a radio and replacing it with an exact model takes less than 5 minutes. I watched the mechainic at my dealer replace the one in my sister's 1998 Explorer. BTW...I think Ford's radios are junky as of late. The displays go dim after a few years, the sound range isn't all that great, and they seem to be prone to problems. As I mentioned the radio for my sister's truck, it took the dealer 5 weeks to get the part, and they put it in and it didn't work. All in all she was without a radio for about 2 months...complete shutdown.

    In my 2000 Explorer, I had an Alpine system installed at the local car audio place. I pretty much just shopped around at the places my dealer recommended, and came away with a booming system 4 hours and $598 later (Alpine head unit and speakers). But even if you were not into getting new speakers, the radio/CD player (and Alpine is pretty much top of the line stuff, there are cheaper product lines and more expensive) could have been put in for about $300. An added bonus is that most reputable places will give you the stuff that they take out back. This way when you ever get rid of the vehicle, for a small fee they can put the old stuff back in and give you your premium products.
  • mazman1mazman1 Posts: 229
    TSB's can be referenced at website www.alldata.com.

    I am pretty sure the "CD too hot" problem is caused by your heater unit, not the radio... unless you are playing a lot of Toni Braxton...

    An aftermarket radio will definitely perform better than the stock Ford radio.. recall that ford puts items like this up for bid, and the contarct goes to the LOWEST bidder.. hence the quality may suffer.

    I got an aftermarket radio and speakers rather cheaply from www.crutchfield.com .. they give you all the instructions, tools and modular cables to install it yourself... (and they have a very good return policy if you dont like it)... my Pioneer system cost about $250 with Polk speakers.
  • I searched www.alldata.com in addition to National Highway and Safety. Both did not list any information pertaining to the CD issue as well as the rear wiper issue? I guess I will contact the dealership and give them the information that you posted earlier, hoping that they will be able to assist me once again.

    Thanks!

    IExplore2000@aol.com
  • mazman1mazman1 Posts: 229
    I know that the rear wipe issue is there... maybe try looking under a different year... it is a problem i've seen come over the dispatches before.

    give a look to www.nhtsa.gov as well for TSB's

    If you have a dealer that is on the ball, they will already know this and there should be no problem... the wiper motor is fine.. the interior light bulbs are fine.. it is the GEM module that is defective.
  • mazman1mazman1 Posts: 229
    The CD issue is not in a TSB, although I have seen this problem on at least one other explorers.. the solution was to install inulation behind the radio to keep the heat going out the vents... and away from the radio.
  • IS THEIR SOMETHING WRONG WITH YOU 4.0 SOHC V-6 OWNERS THE ONLY REASON THAT FORD EXTENDED THE COVERAGE ON THESE ENGINE IS BECAUSE THEY ARE JUNK.
    IF FORD WOULD HAVE DESIGN A GOOD ENGINE IN THE FIRST PLACE INSTEAD OF TRYING TO SAVE MONEY THEY WOULD NOT HAVE ALL THESE PROBLEMS. THIS ENGINE WAS DESIGNED IN GERMANY SO IT MAKES ME WONDER IF THE DESIGNER IS A COMPLETELY STUPID OR DRUNK ONE.
    ANYONE THAT BUYS ONE OF THESE EXPLORERS WITH THE SOHC 4.0 V-6 HAS TO BE OUT OF YOUR MIND. GET THE V-8. FORD KILLED OFF THE GOOD 4.0 OHV V-6 THE REASON WAS THEY LAST TO LONG AND FORD COULD NOT MAKE ENOUGH MONEY OFF THAT ENGINE SO THEY DESIGNED A ENGINE THAT IS MORE PRONE TO COME APART INTERNALLY SO THEY CAN MAKE SO MONEY. IF YOU DO ON A 4.0 SOHC V-6 YOU SHOULD MAKE FORD BY THEIR JUNK BACK. RECALL NUMBER 00M12 IS FOR THE INTAKE GASKETS AND TIMING CHAIN TENSIONERS PEOPLE THINK DO NOT BUY A FORD EXPLORER WITH THIS ENGINE. THEY SOUND LIKE DIESELS ON START UP DUE TO THE TIMING CHAIN TENSIONERS AND THEY HAVE VIBRATION PROBLEMS THAT ARE EXCESSIVE THEY LEAK VACUUM FROM THE INTAKE O-RING GASKETS. THEY HAVE 3 TIMING CHAINS AND 3 CAMS THIS IS A POOR DESIGN EXPLORER STAND UP TO FORD AND LET WHAT YOU THINK BE KNOWN YOU DO NOT WANT FORD TO KEEP PRODUCING THIS ENGINE.
  • scootyscooty Posts: 10
    OK so we made a mistake.So what should we do buy a dodge?Two wrongs dont make a right.
  • I have been told by a ford master technician that this characteristic explorer problem is due to a bad IAC valve. I have no clue what it is or what it does, but I'm sure your dealership does.
  • jrc346jrc346 Posts: 337
    Choose your words wisely. Im not crazy because I have two explorers. I really like both my 96 sport and my 2000XLT. Both have been terrific vehicles. My 2000 has the 4.0 SOHC engine in it and it does have the timing chain tensioner problem...Its not very bad yet though. I have a great service department and they are going to replace the nylon tensioners with the steel ones. Yeah Ford really goofed here, But they also have fixed the part and they have extended the warrantee. I'm glad Ford did even that. The saying, may beggers not be choosers comes to mind... This is the only problem that I have had with either of my explorers and I am not about to complain. I drive them hard, I take them off road, and yet still not a sqeek. I have an idea for you instead of trying to talk for everone here and call all 4.0 SOHC engines junk...Just state your own personal experience with the engine/explorer and let the people reading the posts decide on what they think of the engine. The reason I chose this engine for my explorer is becuase it had a higher resale value and i need it to pull my 5,000lb cargo trailer. Just a friendly suggestion from a pleased Ford Explorer owner.
  • thanks Tallimeca1, i just got the same advice from a tech advisor on the MSN Carpoint site. seeing as i have only 2500 mi. left on my warranty and my dealer apptment is tomorrow i'll make sure they check that out. It took a couple of weeks bouncing around a bunch of car sites but it looks like now i have a good shot at solving this. this internet stuff sure is amazing, thanks again
  • RUNS GOOD, DRIVES GOOD,LOOKS LIKE A POS AFTER THE 5TH YEAR IT JUST WENT TO HELL , I WASHED THE HECK OUT OF IT ,UNDER THE FENDERS TO . THE FORD WARRANTY IS 6 YEARS 100000 MILES WELL AFTER THE 5TH YEAR FORDS PREPROGRAMED RUST MAGGOTS WENT TO WORK. (DADS 92 SAME WAY)I PAYED $ 25000 FOR IT SHOULD OF LASTED LONGER . THE 10 YEAR OLD FORD L8000 PLOW TRUCK I DRIVE WITH 10 TONS OF ROAD SALT LOOKS BETTER GO FIGURE LARRY
  • My wife and I saw a 98 EB Explorer yesterday and she wants it, but after reading all of these posting, I am afraid of buying it due to all of the bad reviews. Are there any suggestions for a comparable SUV or should I take a chance on this one??

    Thanks for your help!

    Lookingaround2
  • n1ckn1ck Posts: 1
    I have a 97 EB fully loaded with V8 AWD and air suspension. I've been looking at putting Michelin LTS M/S tires on , and now see they have a new SUV tire the cross terrain, has anyone put these on? looking for recommendation. I must admit that this vehicle will not see much off road action, and I would like to smooth out the ride.
  • Mazman1 you may have a point about Ford trying to cut some cost ( or do something more efficiently) in later models, but I think that Ford made improvements as well. The 4.0L V6 engine in the early Explorers was way under powered (at least for my needs and taste). The addition of a 5.0L V8 and later the availability of the XLT sport package (16" tires and wheel flairs,) I think make for a much better performing vehicle than was offered earlier, without having to buy all the frills. I agree with you that the better choice is the V8. I have a 99 Exp. XLT V8 Sport Package set up for towing and get about 15 mpg in city driving. A friend has the V6 SOHC engine and gets about 16 mpg. Given the reliability issue with the V6 SOHC engine, small difference in fuel economy and the greater torque of the V8, I would recommend the V8 over the V6. I have had good luck with my vehicle so far, but Ford service could be better. The one concern I do have though is the sound that the brakes make when stopping. When I 1st got the truck, the brakes seemed very loud when coming to a stop and when released. I brought it to the dealer and he said that the noise was normal but agreed to change the pads and turn the rotors. Well the new pads were even louder, and now for the first several stops after the truck sits for a while, the brakes grab and make a shutter felt in the steering wheel (it feels similar to have driven through high water). The brakes seem to be working quite well except for this annoyance. Anybody experience this problem or can provide some input?
  • To N1CK...I shopped long and hard for replacement tires on my 2000 Explorer. Too much bad press on Firestones for me, especially being a trauma nurse. Right off the bat, that threw all Bridgestone and Firestone Tires out the window. Had Goodyear Wranglers on my '97, and noticed no difference from them to the Wilderness AT's. My sister had Uniroyal Tiger Paws put on her tires (after the local Firestone dealer told her they were AT when in truth they are All Season - nice customer service there again, huh Firestone?) and they were horrible. She got them to trade them out to Dunlop Rovers, and she likes them. I priced them at a tire dealer and they were $95 a tire installed.

    I decided if I was going to spend that kind of money I was going top of the line. Researched the Michelin product line and came to the following conclusions. LTX AT is a very harsh tire. The tread is designed for a lot of off road use. The guy at the local ETD Tire store said they are worse on the highway than are Wilderness ATs in terms of noise, but offer better traction all around. The LTX MS offer improved snow and mud traction, but are similar in highway ride to the Wilderness. I was sold on the Michelin Cross Terrains. These tires offer a combination of all terrain and all season tread (the outer and inner treads all terrain with three rows of all season tread between). The ride is quiet, smooth, and comfortable. The ride on uneven pavement is no longer like going over a washboard. Braking and steering are improved. Highway mileage is also up about 1mpg, no change on the varied or city use mileage. Complete set was $529 installed. You may find it cheaper, you may find it more expensive. Bottom line is I have found a product which increases my peace of mind and my Explorer's ride.
  • sadatxsadatx Posts: 70
    I have a 98 EB 4WD that I bought used with just under 23k miles. In the first week, there was a heavy knocking noise coming from the engine. So my dealership replaced the engine. I was pretty pissed because the original engine only had 23k miles. Who knows what kind of history this remanufactured engine had. I've had the car for about 4 months now and it's been ok. Other than that, I've had your typical squeaks and rattles here and there. I sure as hell wouldn't recommend no explorer to anyone. But if you and your wife still want one, I would purchase a new one. In my area (Chicago), Ford has 0.9% financing on all 2001 explorers. Unless you knew the previous owner, I wouldn't take a chance on a used one because chances are the previous owner who had it, had problems with it as well. In addition, stay away from the SOHC V6 engine. It's not exactly the best engine in the world. I'd go with the V8. I wish I had gotten a foreign make now. And if you decide to go with a foreign make, you will have a lot better resale value as well.

    Good luck!!
  • mazman1mazman1 Posts: 229
    I pretty much agree with njdevilsrn on his analysis, except that the Michelin LTX MS is more of a highway tire than the AT which has a much more agressive tread. The Michelin Cross Terrains were not available when I bought my Michelin LTX MS.. but for what I have seen they are kind of in the middle, at about the same cost as the LTX MS. My gas mileage went up by about 3 mpg with the Michelins over the Firestones, and the ride is smoother and much quieter.

    I believe the Michelin LTX MS and Cross Terrains will be available as farctory installed tires on the 2002 Explorer.

    Hope this helps.
  • ace10ace10 Posts: 137
    we put them on our '97 exploder about 4 tankfuls ago (1K miles). same driving habits 3 to 3.5 MPG better than the Wilderness AT's. plus much lower noise levels (AT vs MS) and better handling on moderate speed turns. no comparison. got them at ward' out of biz sale for $72 each plus $10 for mount & balance. we're keeping the AT's in the garage for when Firestone does the right thing and recalls them.

    ace
  • I think some of the people that visit this post, should visit some other manufacturer's post. In fact, that's what I had done before I bought my 2000 explorer a year ago. That's why I bought it....concluded that that every manufacturer has it's problems.....and I was gonna buy what I liked.....not the far too expensive for what you get 4 runner, not the cheap and cheesy interiored blazer....not the oversized, tank they call Durango, and not the large outside, sardine can inside cherokee. There are quite a few more posts here than others, but then again, what was america's best selling suv for the past few years??? Most of the problems here are minor, and not worth complaining about. It's an automobile......just like anything else, it breaks,.....nothing lasts forever!!!! As for the SOHC V6, aside from the cam tensioners....which led to cause most of the engine failures in the early models, this motor has proven to be quite reliable. Big deal, the engine knocks......we know what it is at least....a chain tensioner , which ford has admitted to haveing a problem with an extended the warrenty to 75k to assure us they stand behind their product. If it were a wrist pin or a bad cam shaft or bearings.....I could understand the complaint. Could be like Chevy, who are replacing transmissions at the dealerships before they even put the vehicles on the lot with the window stickers..... Please dont' waste your time complaining on this post about how ford and their explorers suck untill you spend time in some other forums.....after all, if the vehicles suck so bad, then we are all idiots for buying them. Go read some other posts now. And for people checking this post in reference to get feedback, look up some dedicated explorer sites on the internet.... explorertruck.com, 4x4explorer.com...... How many blazer, or cherokee, or 4 runner sites can you find.......few if any.
  • mazman1mazman1 Posts: 229
    I just looked up on www.tirerack.com as a proxy for how much the Michelins cost... The Michelin Crossterrain 255/70/R16 go for $130 each and the Michelin LTX MS in the same size go for $115. The Firestone Wilderess AT's sell for $86. Hope this helps. .. please keep in mind that you do not need AT tires to drive to the mall.... the less aggressive the tread, the quieter the sound (or lack of it) and the better gas mileage.
  • I just read an article in Automobile magazine (March 2001) where they tested the performance of several popular SUV tires. Their top pick was the Yokohama Geolanders (255/70x16) at about $75 a tire. The testing criteria included wet and dry on-road handling and breaking and a simple mud traction test. No real off-road testing was performed. Anybody look at these tires for their Explorer or have any experience with these. I had some Yokohama tires on a 86 Honda CRX Si that I was very satisfied with, but I don't know about Yokohama SUV tires. Comments.
  • HE WHAT ABOUT COOPER I PUT A SET OF 235-75-15 AT ON MY 92 EXPLORER I PAYED $315 MOUNT/BALANCE EXCELLENT SNOW TRACTION . I HALF TO GET TO WORK SINCE I DRIVE A SALT TRUCK. CHECK THEM OUT!!! LARRY
  • It's funny to read all the complaints there are about the Explorer ... so many people seem to think they're junk. As tellimeca1 put it a few messages ago, however, most other SUV's are even worse! Check out the repair histories in Consumer Reports and see how the Chevy Blazer compares.

    I just can't wait for the 2002!
  • masonmimasonmi Posts: 148
    I think most people should take the messages here with a grain of salt, because all explorers aren't lemons, of course theres going to be problems with as many that are produced, though this goes for every car/truck line. I wouldn't steer anyone away from buying an explorer if they really wanted one, they should use their own judgement and have a mechanic check it out throughly if used and buy an extended warranty.
  • smily1smily1 Posts: 104
    I own an explorer XLT V8 AWD with 38k. I love the thing. It does great in snow, mud, and soft sand even without 4-low. No major problems yet (have 100k extended warranty just in case).

    I am looking at a new exhaust system and was wondering if anyone had any input in regards to a new muffler. I will probably keep the same tube size for better torque. Most importantly I want to increase the hp and mpg with minimal noise increase. I don't want my exploder sounding like my 68 firebird! I have been looking at Gibson and vortex. Magnaflow and flowmaster too loud. Any input, experience or web site comparisons would be great.
  • I am looking at A Mountoneer awd 2000 24,000 miles for 22,000.00 or a 1998 Explorer traction control with 26,000 miles for 19,000.00, both have V8 engines. Help!!
  • smily1smily1 Posts: 104
    As you can see above I own a V8 AWD. I must say that the V8 engine is the best choice. I am very pleased with the preformence of the AWD. It is a simpler and more reliable design than the traction control. Both systems work on wet and dry pavement to provide traction on demand without your assistance. The difference is that the AWD locks the transfercase into 4wd when slipage(front wheels are turning faster/slower than the rear)is detected via viscous coupler that is filled with a liquid silicon that solidifies with heat caused by friction. sounds complicated but its rather simple. Traction control is equipped with an open transfercase that uses a computer to monitor the ABS sensors to detect slipage where it uses the brakes to slow down the wheels that are slipping letting the power travel through the drive train to find the wheel(s) that have traction. Both systems are great but in my experience low tech is not only more reliable but cheaper to fix as well. My advice to you is to buy a new one with an extended warranty. Unless you know the history of a used explorer chances are you are buying a problem.
  • masonmimasonmi Posts: 148
    I would buy the 2000 Mountaineer it seems the 1998 Explorers weren't all that reliable unless you have an extended warranty. it'll be 2 years newer than the Explorer. I have the V8 AWD and i love it. the few extra thousand you'll be paying well be well worth it in the long run, you'll probably have less problems.
  • To help balance out the negatives I'm seeing about the Explorer I'll cite my experience. I have a '92, Bauer, 4DR, 4WD and all the other junk. I've got 178,000 mi. on it. Have replaced 2 batteries, 1 thermostat and 1 set of front wheel locking hubs. The arm rest broke. I use it for camping, hauling kayaks, and heavy travel in snow, sleet, etc. (I live in Wisconsin!). I'd buy another in a heartbeat. I don't mean to be a spoilsport to those who have had worse luck than I. My next one might be a lemon. But, not all Explorers are junk.
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