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Ford Explorer Maintenance and Repair



  • That's ok, females are ok with me. I don't know a thing about Austraila! I'll try to explain a little better. The computer codes should always be scanned first to see if it shows any problems. To find out more about the general health of the engine, you can check to see what is going on inside the engine. To "read" the spark plugs, the 6 spark plugs are removed and inspected. A lot of information can be found out by "reading the plugs", meaning looking at the electrodes and insulator, noting the color of the center insulator, condition of the electrodes, general appearance (oily or dry), any greenish color that would indicate the presence of antifreeze, etc. A good mechanic knows how they should look and many auto manuals have a chart with pictures showing spark plugs that ran under various conditions. While the spark plugs are out, the mechanic screws a compression tester into the spark plug hole and cranks the engine to see how much compression the cylinder has. This is done for each cylinder. The amount of compression show be within a specified range, usually 150 lbs to 200 lbs, and the numbers should be close together, usually with in 10 lbs of each other. 20% difference is considered the maximum amount of difference between the cylingers. Any more than that indicates a definite problem, which could be leaking head gasket, cracked head or cracked block. This information can help lead the mechanic towards the correct diagnosis and repair.
    I hope this helps.
  • Go back to the dealer, as many times as it takes, to get this fixed! Had the same issue w/a Mountaineer, had to have the solenoid changed twice, 2 other visits but finally seemms to be corrected. Mine got real exciting when you were on a highway, hit the gas to pass and it slipped, NOTHING, then finally creeped back into gear when you let off the gas. Had a sensor in the rear end changed also. Repair person at the dealership informed me that there are a LOT of these coming back to the dealer for repair. Don't quit until they fix it right!
  • I would never pay $900 for shock absorbers. They are trying to take advantage of you. Get a written quote that says what kind they are and the warrenty, then shop around and get some better quotes, tell them you are looking for a good deal. You can also check on the internet to find them at a good price, then have your mechanic install them, it may be much cheaper that way. You can go to to find them. They have Premium Koni Shocks for $91.00 each. They are better than the original shocks. KONI Special shock absorbers (painted red) were developed for drivers who want to improve their vehicle in general by providing better comfort and handling. You can also find cheaper grades and more expensive grades on the internet. I buy all my brake pads and shocks on the internet. I get better parts at a better price.
  • muzshermuzsher Posts: 5
    Thanks for that. I presume that included the labour as well.
  • muzshermuzsher Posts: 5
    Thanks for that I have printed off what you have told me and I will take it to a reputable mechanic that hopefully knows these things...
  • kwidgekwidge Posts: 1
    Help! A couple of days ago, my 1994 Ford Explorer started stalling when the engine is idle, for no apparent reason. When idling, the engine will now start to shudder and then die. All electrical systems seem to be functioning normally. There's also an additional concern of a hissing noise when I touch the accelerator. BTW, the mileage is 147,000.
  • 02a41802a418 Posts: 1
    The power door locks on my 2002 Explorer XLT quit working.
    The fuse and the relay are OK. The alarm still works, the interior lights still come on and go off using the remote. The locks don't work using the remote or the interior switch. And they don't lock automatically when you start driving. The rear hatch glass doesn't work either, even if you use the exterior button. I've pulled off the interior trim panels to look for a loose wire, but didn't find anything. I can hear a switching noise from behind the second row seat on the passenger side.
    Any suggestions?
  • It sounds very much like a vacuum leak. Look for any vacuum hoses that have came loose or broken. If you can't tell where the hissing sound is coming from, get a length of hose and put one end to your ear and use the other end of the hose to prod around the engine compartment to locate the noise. When you get the end of the hose at the vacuum leak, you will be able to hear it through the hose. When you find the location of the vacuum leak, fix the hose or connection.
    A few things to keep an eye on:
    1. Be sure to keep a clean air filter on it. Check the MAF while the air cleaner cover is off, being sure the intake screen is is free from dirt. Sometime the MAF's get contaminated and have to be internally cleaned by a mechanic. Also check the air intake tube that runs from the air filter box to the Throttle Body to be sure it has no breaks or cracks, pull it off and look underneath, I have seen them crack and leak and made the engine run bad.
    2. Make sure the Spark Plug wires are good. They can go bad in 60,000 miles. You can make the Spark Plug Wires last much longer by gapping your spark plugs at 0.040" instead of the factory recommended .054". This reduces the voltage on the wires. I've done it for many years with no problem.
  • met722met722 Posts: 1
    I have a 1998 Explorer with SOHC 4.0L V6 2WD engine. I recently went mudding in it and had it in 1st revved up at 5K rpms for a while. A few minutes after that I tried putting it in reverse and it wouldnt lock in. Then when I put it in drive it would not shift gears. After a while it would start shifting gears at over 5K rpms when i would let off the gas. When I got home I checked the transmission fluid and it was double over what it should have been. I also had dented my transfer case so I took off the bottom cover, replaced the filter, banged out the dent, and refilled it with the correct amount of fluid. Now the only problem is when I get to about 25 MPH, the rpms will rev up from about 2000 rpms to 3000 and then it will kick down into the next gear. It only does the between 1st to 2nd gear. A friend of mine told me I could have blown an internal seal running the rpms that high with too much fluid. I really do not want to have to rebuild the transmission which would cost a lot of $$. Does anyone know what this could be and how I could fix it? Thanks in advance.
  • Hey,
    I just had this problem fixed last year. Its a defect in the SOHC. There is a kit out there that fixes it. My boyfriend found this info, under some recall information for the SOHC. It wasn't a recall, but it lists the problem and the solution. Since it had been fixed ,I have had no noise coming from the engine.
  • Hi,
    I'm not sure how much this will cost you to fix. I had the very same problem with this engine. There is a ford recall list somewhere on the net. My boyfriend found it. Any how, there is a defect in the 400 SOHC engines and it makes this ticking noise, when cold and seems to stop when the engine warms up. I didn't get mine fixed for a year, it doesn't effect the performance of the engine. The sound eventually never stoped. There is a kit to fix this problem. You can find it by searching for ford recalls. They never did a recall for this problem, but the problem is listed and the kit is being sold, with instructions.
    Good luck
  • Help!
    I have a 98 ford explorer sport and just this afternoon, when I tried to open my door to get out, my door would not open. The driverside lock would not unlock. Not by using the handle or the remote. I had to exit through the passenger door.
    The lock and door was working just fine, no warning glitches that something was wrong. The remote locks and unlocks all the other doors,but I can't unlock it using the key pad either. Just the strangest thing. I had an issue with the locks some while back and it affected all the locks. That turned out to be a fuse that neededto be replaced. I have no clue what this is.
    Any clues?
  • I was involved in an accident July 26, 2003. My Explorer was hit on the passenger side right in the middle of the vehicle at about 45mph. I had it repaired, which was estimated at $8,000 by my insurance company. The damages were as follows: Replace rt. quarter panel, tire and rim, frame repair, repair drive line, exhaust/muffler, rocker ,panel, leaf spring, rt inner floor sidemember, shock absorber, rear axel and susp. housing, repair body floor plan, rt. door shell/panel, replace rt. side mirror, door lock/handle, thrust angel alignment, 4 wheel alignment, etc. Repairs were completed on 08/04/03. On 09/30/03 I took the vehicle back to the shop again, as the rear hatch door came open while driving, the hatch door window didn't latch correctly, paint was chipping where the body work was done, and there was a loud "humming" noise coming from the rear-end when I would reach 55mph or higher. I was told that the rear axel required "fluid" and that they did another 4-wheel alignment. On 03/08/04 I took the vehicle back to the shop AGAIN, as the "humming" noise coming from the rear end was getting worse. I was told that a tech had to correct a frame problem. On 04/06/04 I took the vehicle back and demanded that they further investigate the loud noise I was hearing at higher speeds. They then replaced the rear axel assembly for the second time. I got my vehicle back on 05/14/054. I was told that they replaced the rear axel again, vehicle was re-aligned, as more frame work was done, supposedly because they were having a hard time gettin the axel to fit. Almost 2 years since the accident, the vehicle still isn't right. The loud "humming" noise and vibration is back, the rear driver side tire/wheel "wobbles/shakes" now, the rear passenger side tire is totally bald and leans inward a bit. Also, recently, while restoring the carpet, I noticed a long crack down along the passenger side floor running from the rear quarter panel along the floor of the passenger door. I have contacted a frame &body shop here in Tucson, and was advised to get it in for a second opinion as it sounded to them like the axel is bent due to being forced in, and possibly the frame of the vehicle is bent. I would love to hear comments from anyone. I am so explorer was perfect before the accident. I will say though, I will never own another ford ANYTHING, the rest of my life!!!
  • akanglakangl Posts: 3,592
    I will say though, I will never own another ford ANYTHING, the rest of my life!!!

    So you are blaming Ford for your accident? That's pretty low. Truthfully your truck should have probably been totalled. You need to go after your insurance company and the body shop, NOT Ford.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    IMHO, sometimes a vehicle can't be fixed, period. I would not go thru two years of total frustration. Put a new tire on it, and trade it for what ever you can get for it. The market is soft for SUVs right now. It's a great time to acquire a new one. JUST GET RID OF IT!!! It's not the vehicles fault-it's either your fault or the other guy's fault--depending on who the insurance company pinned the blame on!
  • jetsc17jetsc17 Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 Explor Sport 2wd. I have been having problems with the transmission leaking. It has been leaking between where the trans mounts to the motor. The first time I saw the leak it was oil. I took it to the dealer and after 2 weeks they finally got the torque converter changed. Now (about 3 months) it is leakinbg in the same place but it trans fluid. I was wondering if anybody else has had this problem.
  • nitromaxnitromax Posts: 641
    So you are blaming Ford for your accident? That's pretty low. Truthfully your truck should have probably been totalled. You need to go after your insurance company and the body shop, NOT Ford.

    I agree. That Explorer should have been totaled. If the frame damage happened in the front end or the back end then it should be salvage-able, but frame damage between the wheels is a nightmare waiting to happen.
    ...welcome to your nightmare....

    do as chuck1 said, get what you can for it and count your blessings that you weren't hurt in the accident.
  • ejgabeejgabe Posts: 9
    I have a 1998 Explorer XLT 4WD (auto) with 90,000 miles. There is a front-end rattling/clunking/clinking noise ONLY when the weather is hot (above 70 degrees). Very loud and noticeable at lower speeds. I can feel it a little bit in the steering wheel and on the gas petal. As my wife puts it, everything feels "loose" on the front end. This is the 2nd year in a row that I having this issue. Believe it not, I do not have this problem at all when the temps are below around 70. I live in Colorado and do not have an issue all winter long. Now the temps are heating up, this problem started right up again. I have twice brought it in to the dealer and they have not corrected the issue. I still have the original shocks and struts. Could that be the issue? Any suggestions?? Thanks in advance!
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    It sounds like some bushings may be marginal. Forget the dealer, ask around for a good front-end shop. When you hear it-depending on temperature- sounds more rubber related (i.e.bushings) than anything made of steel/metal. Also, if there is rack and pinon steering, I would check "the rack" as well. Good luck!
  • scorpyscorpy Posts: 2
    Hi all

    I have tried searching this forum for an answer to my problem but came up empty so hopefully one of you can help point me in the right direction.

    I have a 1998 Mercury Mountaineer with 112k miles on the clock. Everything was fine with it until I had the tires rotated a couple of weeks ago. (It should be noted that on the previous rotation I replaced the front tires so I had a new set on the front and an old set on the back).

    Straight after having the tires rotated I noticed that if I took the car about 65mph the steering wheel kept feeling very light as though I didnt have contact with the road (best way I can describe it is it felt like I had hit black ice). If I dropped below 65 mph the problem went away. The next day driving to work (50 miles away) it just got steadily worse and I ended up taking it into a tire place there. They told me that the tires that had previously been on the front were cupping and that it was probably due to the shocks.

    I then had them swap the tires back (silly me thinking this would reverse the problem) and limped home doing between 45-50mph. The next day I took it to another company and asked them to check the shocks (also described the problem). They were unable to find anything wrong but when they road tested it did discover what they called squirrelling or squirling but couldnt offer me a solution. In desperation (and fear for mine and others lives) I had them replace all the shocks and tires.

    On the drive home I did manage to get the car upto 70mph with no evidence of the problem however while its a lot better now I'm still noticing this 'lightness' in the steering wheel at about 30-40 mph.

    The last time I had a problem like this was many years ago and replacing the shocks fixed it. Any ideas, help, guidance would be much appreciated!
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