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Ford Explorer Maintenance and Repair

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  • thanks tallimeca1, it was the Idle Air Control Valve that was badly carboned up causing the loud groan.. the only bad thing...not covered by my ext warr and rip off Jerry GLEASON Golf Mill Ford, Niles ILL charged me a buck eighty to replace it. the part takes about 5 mins to replace. now that the warranty is about up, i'm getting a shop manual and getting back under the hood.
  • I have recently looked at the Explorers but not test driven one yet. I really like the look of the 2002. I noticed Edmunds has the pricing for the 2002 already. Does anyone know when they will be out?
  • scootyscooty Posts: 10
    I have a 97 Explorer 4.0L SOHC with 45000 miles on it that I bought used about a year ago.It has just about all of the options you can get except running boards.At 44000 miles I began to hear the rattle at startup but it went away about 30 seconds.It did this on almost every startup.I did not give it much thought.I also had a stall at startup especially on cold days of 40 degrees or cooler.Then by accident,as I was checking the value of my vehicle on this site,I came across this forum in town hall.I read about the same problems others had and I had concluded I must have the "dreaded" tensioner and intake manifold gasket problem.Someone also said there was an extended warranty on these repairs.So I called Ford customer service and asked them if my explorer was covered and they said yes it was.They asked me if I was experiencing any of the symptoms, which they were fully aware of,and I said yes.They e-mailed a local dealer who called me within 48 hours to set-up an appointment to service my vehicle.The service manager explained to me what was causing the rattle,the engineering shortfalls,and the sub-quality of the parts.He said they were replacing them with updated higher quality parts.I took the explorer there one morning and got it back that afternoon free of charge.The rattle is gone,no stalling as of today,and it has never idled this smooth.I hope this is a long lasting fix and not temporary.I will keep you posted.I have not experienced any other problems with my explorer since I have owned it except a thermostat failure.I like this SUV and I hope I dont have any major problems in the near future.Thanks to everyone who has spread the word about this problem , Thanks to Ford to addressing this issue and offering a solution,and Thanks to the dealer to helping me with prompt and good service.I have had enough of the dealership service nightmares of the past.Keep On Chattin' !!
  • mazman1mazman1 Posts: 229
    What is your location and what Ford Dealer did you go to?
  • Well, according to my wife (who works for Ford on truck programs), the Explorer will be out probably in a month or so, possibly a little longer. They are already producing them, but Ford wants to be certain that they don't have any quality/recall issues like they had with the Escape/Tribute.

    I've read a number of reviews on the new Explorer and it sounds like they've improved it quite a bit. I'm really looking forward to the 4-wheel independent suspension, and my wife is looking forward to the increased cargo room and third row seat. I sat in the third row at the Detroit Auto Show and it actually is fairly roomy (I'm 6'3"). I wouldn't want to sit back there for long periods of time, but it should be fine for smaller people or kids.
  • I opened up a new Forum for those who would like to discuss the new 2002 Explorer and Mountaineer ...
  • Does anyone know how much the 2002 explorers will start at?
  • The pricing is supposed to be the same as the current models. Edmund's actually has the 2002 pricing already in their "New Cars" section.
  • In reference to scooty's message #516....My explorer seems to be having the same problem. When you start it in the morning it hesitates to stay at idle and seems to want to stall. After it warms up a few minutes later it seems to run fine. This problem didn't happen until the temperature got colder outside. I have only had the vehicle for a few months now. The check engine light stays on all of the time now also. I have taken it to a local mechanic and the computer is not showing any codes. He called a local Ford dealer and they said there is a TSB for the manifold gasket and believes my vehicle is having the symptoms relating to this bulletin. I just found this out today and will have to contact the Ford dealer to find out if an extended warranty will cover this or not. I hope I have as much luck as scooty did.
  • scootyscooty Posts: 10
    Yes,you have the intake manifold gasket problem.The way I found out about the free fix was I e-mailed someone at blueovalnews.com if Ford had issued an extended warranty on explorers with the 4.0L SOHC because of what I had read on this forum.He ,(I can't remember who it was but I think anyone there can help you),e-mailed me back and said that Ford had issued an extended warranty on the timing chain tensioners and intake manifold gasket in december,2000.He gave me the number at Ford customer service in Michigan and I gave them the VIN#.Read my previous post to see the what happened after that.They gave me a number, OOM12,which is some kind of recall or special service order that a dealer should know about.In response to mazman1 I live in the Greenville, SC area.The dealer was Benson Ford/Merc in Easley SC.
  • I purchased several Explorers from Benson in Easley. Purchased our Expedition there as well. Kevin has come to know me by name. The only reason I go back is the service dept. It is a small world. I currently live in Simpsonville SC. Drive by 3 dealerships on the way to Easley for my service. I have had several problems with my previous Explorers. Your Explorer wouldn't be hunter green with tan leather would it?
  • scootyscooty Posts: 10
    Its hunter green w/green leather bought in Georgia.This was first time to Benson.I have had two other Fords serviced at Fairway on 3 seperate occasions for relatively minor things.Only problem was on one occasion I had to wait 3 days to get it in service because they were backed up.I know two private competent mechanics and I can do almost anything minor to a car myself so I will only go to a dealer for warranty issues.Dealers charge too much for repairs.In the past I bought a new Olds on Motor Mile in the 80's and I went through hell getting some major warranty work done.My last car was a Taurus and I had several problems with it including the infamous 3.8L blown head gasket,but I saved hundreds if not a thousand dollars by having a private mechanic do it.It was still a good car and when I traded it in it had 140,000 miles on it and still ran good.I enjoy the Explorer and I hope it will last that long when I trade it in.
  • Glad you didn't get my old 97. Man was it a pain in the neck. Hope you enjoy it. My personal opinion was the 96 year was The best built of The recent year explorers. It was the reason we bought two more. Gave up after the 3rd one.

  • KlKrause,
    Where should I look to find this Forum?
    My wife has narrowed her new car search down to two.
    The 2002 Limited Explorer is one of them.
    I would like to find out more about the 2002 Explorers ride, handling and ease of operation with the V8 and the All-Wheel-Drive options.
  • Well, it looks like Edmund's has decided that we shouldn't have a new Forum for the 2002 Explorer/Mountaineer. We're supposed to either go to:

    Exploring the Explorer or
    Mercury Mountaineer

    Perhaps when more discussions about the '02's begin, they will let us set up one for the new ones only!

    I haven't actually driven one, though I will as soon as they come out (probably end of March or so). From what I've read (and heard from engineers at Ford) it is much improved over the current model ... especially ride quality and interior room. I haven't read an article yet about these new vehicles that didn't speak well of them!

    What is the other vehicle your wife is considering?
  • I have a 98 Explorer. After seeing these postings and my experiences, I can't help but wonder if I shouldn't get rid of it but I am depressed by its devaluation. My car also had the high pitch squeal. The dealer said that the boots needed replacing and I had to pay for it. I also hear the engine getting louder - almost like a winding down noise- when decelerating around 18mph. The dealer said they fixed it. It is definitely still there. Is this normal? Also I am upset that I had to complain to the dealer about my accelerator sticking usually after it has been parked. Apparently there is a throttle body replacement recall! Why didn't Ford send more letters to owners? One would think that with the tire fiasco, Ford would be very sensitive at this time to safety concerns. We're all used to getting recall letters now it shouldn't be a big deal to get yet another! I did have problems with my CD's getting too hot and the radio malfunctioning. I replaced it myself with a $300 system. Same speakers and the sound is much better! The dealer's service advisor claims there are no issues with the stock radio. Also one of my seat switch controls is bad but it is a crime how much they want to charge to fix it. I should have reviewed this site just before I took my car in. Come to think of it, I think I have had problems with my rear wiper blade! I was just in denial!
  • My wife is also considering the Lincoln LS V8 Sport. These two choices came with some discussions. I absouletly refused to buy a BMW SRV or the big Lexus sedan, 60k each. After we went to the New Car Show in San Joe, and my wife read the Edmund's consumer discussions as reviews of the 2002 Explorer as Lincoln LS she recited with those two. I am very pleased with her decisions. I like Ford Motor Company products.
  • My wife is also considering the Lincoln LS V8 Sport. These two choices came with some discussions. I absouletly refused to buy a BMW SRV or the big Lexus sedan, 60k each. After we went to the New Car Show in San Jose, and my wife read the Edmund's consumer discussions and reviews of the 2002 Explorer and Lincoln LS she decited with those two. I am very pleased with her decisions. I like Ford Motor Company products.
  • Well, I'm glad you like Ford products! (My wife's an Industrial engineer for Ford!)

    I've driven the LS V8, and I really liked it. The interior noise was quite low, and the V8 power is nice. It's not as nice as the Lexus LS430, but it's also quite a bit less expensive!

    I haven't had a chance to drive an '02 Explorer, nor has anyone else, really, but it sounds very impressive in all the articles I read. I'm sure it won't have as nice a ride or "pep" as the LS, but I suppose it's not really supposed to!

    My wife and I are actually in the process of purchasing a new vehicle, and we're actually going to get an Expedition. Our second choice was the '02 Explorer, but the special finance rate and our discount on the Expedition are so good, that it will cost us less overall than the Explorer.
  • sadatxsadatx Posts: 70
    Lately, I've been having some problems with my engine, I think. It seems that between 2000 and 3000 rpms, my engine seems very noisy causing vibration and harshness. Anything under 2000 rpms or above 3rpms, everything is ok. Just between 2000 and 3000rpms is where the problem exists. I'm not very technical when it comes to cars and for all I know it may not even be the engine. The dealer thought it was engine mounts and neutralized them as well as the exhaust system but that didn't fix the problem. Just wondering if anyone experienced this problem or have any suggestions I can make to my dealer. Thanks a lot.
  • mazman1mazman1 Posts: 229
    Does this happen when the vehicle is in gear or in neutral?

    When was the last time you changed your spark plugs/wires? 02 Sensor?
  • sadatxsadatx Posts: 70
    The car is in gear when the problem occurs. It's really tough to merge onto expressways. I really have to floor the car to get it over 3000rpms so the noise is minimized. I usually feel the vibration in the seats and on the gas pedal. And my center console vibrates as well. It's not as bad when I'm in 4X4 high. Regarding the spark plugs and wires, I don't know when they've been changed. I bought this truck used with 23k miles on it. Same goes for the 02 sensor. A friend told me it could be the heat shield?? Right now my car is at the service garage. At least my dealer can recognize the problem. This is the 3rd attempt to fix the problem. No solution as of yet.
  • The service manager explained to me what was causing the rattle,the engineering shortfalls,and the sub-quality of the parts. This service manager was right on this count for the 4.0 SOHC V-6.
  • I am currently leasing a Ford Explorer Sport. I am thinking about buying out the lease (I have already exceeded my mile limit). My car has caused me no problems other than the radio and the seat lever replacement (covered under warranty). I am looking for advice on whether or not to buy the car. Also, I was contemplating whether or not to buy the extended warranty. Does anyone have any advice?
  • I am currently leasing a Ford Explorer Sport. I am thinking about buying out the lease (I have already exceeded the 36,000 mile limit). My car has caused me no problems other than the radio and the seat lever replacement (covered under warranty). I am looking for advice on whether or not to buy the car. Also, I was contemplating whether or not to buy the extended warranty. Does anyone have any advice?
  • After 18 months of constant problems, I finaly won my law suit against ford and they have agreed to buy my explorer back. My suggestion to all is to sue ford, it will cost you about $300 - $350. But it's money well spent. Good by to all and best of luck.
  • My Ford dealer wanted $600(!) to install a CD changer that would work with the in-dash factory radio in my '97 Explorer.

    So I went to several auto stereo specialists in town who quoted me $200-250 for a high quality (e.g. Kenwood, Alpine) 6-disc changer, plus $150-200 for the required adaptors (which allow the Ford radio to "understand" the changer) plus $60 install, total $450-500.

    I ended up buying an Alpine in-dash Radio/CD player for $179 with free install from Circuit City. The sound quality is excellent, and I can easily un-plug it when I sell the vehicle.

    Ford clearly does not want to sell aftermarket CD players. And I don't understand why vehicle manufacturers don't utilize a single standard (like VCRs or Palms) to control their stereos. To hell with the greedy auto mfrs.
  • I understand that there may be a common problem with Explorers with the SOHC engine option, that the cam chain tensioners fail, allowing the cam drive chains to flair around inside the valve covers. This makes a "clattering noise" and if left to continue can cause serious damage to the engine. Dont know if this is your problem or not, but mine were making a racket, I took them in, and I was told that the fix was to rebuild the whole top of the engine, at a cost of $2,000.00. There was a recall recently on this item as well.

    Hope this helps.
  • sadatxsadatx Posts: 70
    Thanks for the tip. I thought in was the cam chain tensioners as well so I brought it up to my dealer today. I will hopefully pick up the car tomorrow. Dealer says the noise is improved. But then again I think that means no progress. It sucks because I really like this truck. It's been a love/hate relationship from the beginning. Hopefully ths noise will be gone so I don't have to start looking for another truck. Thanks again!
  • I have a 98 xlt with 38,000 miles on it and now have a rattling noise whenever I go across a series of bumps as a large single bump. When it is cold out,the rattling is more prevalent. I had the control arms replaced and to no avail. I live in the mid west and I am wondering if anyone else has had the same problem. Thanks
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