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Ford Explorer Maintenance and Repair

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  • chris87chris87 Posts: 1
    Same w/ my explorer any Idea what you had wrong? E-mail me @ llcl@clearwire.net
  • fl_rogerfl_roger Posts: 2
    Is it kind of a drone-ing belt-liek noise? My 98 explorer xlt had a belt like noise when idling. It turned out to be the Idle Air Control Valve. It was an easy fix, it sits right on top of the engine. The part was $30-35 dollars. Takes about 5 minutes to replace.
  • chandykchandyk Posts: 17
    Interesting. I had the IAC valve replaced about 3 months ago. That would explain the belt like noise.

    Any thoughts on the clicking noise that's behind the radio / gauges? I notice that more.

    Thanks!
  • 70ss454_man70ss454_man Posts: 107
    yesterday i was out running errands and i came home for a few min. when i went to start it, it cranked but showed no sign of life. i can hear the fuel pump and theres gas. cant figure it out. any ideas?
  • chandykchandyk Posts: 17
    Sounds familiar. My starting problems were a bad O2 sensor and a bad IAC (Intake Air Control) valve. Both were fixed and I'm good to go.
  • I've had an ongoing problem that seems to be related to hot weather. The situation is that when you go to accelerate, either from a stopped position or just after slowing down, the car jerks and hesitates and seems to have no power. This seems to hit just as you're going through an intersection. Usually, if the car is turned off for a while the problem eases, but doesn't really go away. Last Summer, I took it into the shop and after describing the situation, my mechanic let the car run for several hours in the heat, but the problem did not occur. He added some type of solution (can't remember what) and it helped, but today the temperature reached 85 and, of course, it did it again. This problem has plagued the car for last 3 years and has eluded mechanics efforts because it never happens in their presence. Somebody mentioned that something called "vapor lock" might be occurring, but my mechanic says that this can't be the problem. Can anybody help?
  • 70ss454_man70ss454_man Posts: 107
    I replaced the o2 sensors a few weeks ago, but Ive done nothing with the AIC valve. I'm replacing the plugs and wires tomorrow and see if anything happens. How was your problem diagnosed? Did it start before you fixed it?
    Very weird though, no sign of starting at all, just flat monotone cranking.
  • dbergdberg Posts: 1
    Hey Bob, I just had this start happening. What did you finally determine to be the cause of the problem. My car drives fine, 4wd even works, but it flashes like your did?
    -thanks!
  • 70ss454_man70ss454_man Posts: 107
    I've replaced the plugs and wires also, to no avail. I think I'm gonna shoot for the distributor next.
  • I spent $680 18 months ago to have the AC fixed in my 1996 Ford Explorer. Now that the warranty on that service has expired it has stopped working again. They replaced the accumulator and seals and some new refrigerant.

    Could it need more refrigerant again? Is that something that has to be done by a shop or can I do it at home? I don't want to pay hundreds of dollars for something I can do myself. I didn't have any hose work done last time so maybe I need to have the hoses replaced now.
  • Sorry for your troubles.
    If you took the time to learn about A/C, you could have done that work for about $100.00 and it would probably still be working now. You can do the work at home if you learn to do it SAFELY and CORRECTLY, and it's not that hard. First, you need to be mechanically inclined, you need to have a basic knowledge of how cars and mechanical things work and know how to use tools. I would not recommend you try to do A/C, unless you have sucessfully done things like replace alternators, water pumps, radiators, brakes, ball joints, electrical diagnosis, etc. Next, get on the internet and Google Auto Air Conditioning Repair, and get yourself a very good book about repairing auto a/c and learn all about it FIRST. Then get your BASIC tools, Dial temperature gauge with probe - about $10 (looks like a meat thermometer, reads from about 0 degrees F to about 220 degrees f) stick it in you dash vent to read Vent Temps, a manifold guage set with hoses and push on connectors - $100 or less to read system pressures, a good vaccuum pump - about $200-$250 to evacuate the system be fore you charge it, an electronic leak detector - about $200 to find leaks, then some special tools for whatever car you may be working on, like Spring Lock disconnect tools, an infrared thermometer is helpful but not necessary. Google Auto Air Conditioning Tools.
    You can buy that Explorer Accumulator for about $50 - $60, the seals usually are cheap, depending on what kind and where, the 134a refrigerant is going for about $8 a can (2 or 3 cans will fill most cars).
    Using the guages will tell you if you need refrigerant, and what the problem might be. If Refrigerant is low, you have a leak, and you use the leak detector to find the leak, and when you find it, you repair it, and replace the leaking part, either it's a hose, connection or a part. If you have to "open" the system to replace a part, and the system still has gas in it, you will need to take it to a garage so they can "recover" the refrigerant out of the system. It is illegal to intentionally discharge the refrigerant into the atmosphere. The pressures in the system will vary some according to the outside "ambient" temperature. The low side pressure should run between 20 to 35 pounds, the closer to 20, the colder the "Vent" Temperature will be. The high side pressure should run about 200 to 240, again depending on the ambient temperature. Rule of thumb Guideline for High side pressure is at idle it should be about 2.3 to 2.5 times the ambient temperature, and at fast idle it should be about 2.6 times the ambient temperature.
    Example: Outside temp is 95 degrees, at idle low side should be about 25-30, high side should be about 220-238. At fast idle low side should be about 25-30, high side should be about 245-247. If the high side is low, you are probably low on refrigerant. Charge slowly to get the high side to the correct pressure, but be sure NOT to over charge. It is better to have a little less pressure in the system, than too have to much. Too much pressure will desrease cooling and quickly wear out the compressor.
    If the low side is high and the high side is low, you probably have a weak compressor. If the low side goes very low, even into a vaccuum, and the high side is normal to a little low, you probably have a restiction at the orifice tube or expansion valve.
    Hope that helps to get you started.
    E.D. ISF
  • Thanks for the detailed information. I'm mechanically inclined and willing to learn, but am not very experienced. From your estimates I'd have to spend at least $300 just to have the proper tools to diagnose the problem. I'm not sure I'm up for that, but if I do it I have a couple more questions.

    Does replacing a hose constitute "opening" the system? If I get to that point I suppose I'd have the garage open it rather than spend $250 on a vacuum pump.

    Is there a recommended brand/model of leak detector or are they pretty standard?
  • dobbsc1dobbsc1 Posts: 1
    I have replaced the outside drivers side door handle on my 2000 mountaineer, I am having trouble connecting the linkage to the door on the inside. I have no problem with the door panel I just can't get the linkage connected.
  • Tools are an INVESTMENT. First you have to decide if you want to do that type of work, and if you will continue to do it. You would NOT spend $500 for tools to do ONE job. It depends on what you want to do in the future. As an example in my case, I've always had lots of cars to work on, my cars, my wife's cars and my daughters car's, so I am always using all kinds of tools. I probably use my AC gauges 2 or 3 times a year, adding or checking refrigerant and do AC repair work maybe once a year or less. But the tools ARE very handy, they are there right when you need them. I have a large 2 car garage/workshop with over $10,000 in tools that I have accumulated over my lifetime, welders, hydraulic presses, floor jacks, stands, tons of hand tools, big rolling chests, and lots of specialized tools for AC, Electrical, Transmissions, Front Ends, Suspension, etc. Like I said, it's an investment. And when I die, I am quite sure that someone will put them to good use.
    Yes, replacing a hose is definetly opening the system. Anything that you do that allows refrigerant to escape to the atmosphere is "opening" the system. AC work can get very expensive. I have done a complete "AC Front End Replacements" where the parts and materials cost almost $1000. You can spend $1500 for a complete "AC Front end Replacement" which includes replacing everything under the hood. I had to do this on each of my early Explorers (91 & 93) because of Fords sorry compressors that suffered from "Black Death". My newer Ford Explorer compressors (97 & 2000) are holding up fine so far.
    Recommended Brands - As I said before, the best and cheapest way to find the tool you need is do a Google Search for them, type in "Automotive Air Conditioning" or "Air conditioning tools". You will find a wealth of good information. Their are two big Automotive AC sites, and you will find them with Google, and they have everything that you need at the right price. Buy a good Automotive AC repair manual first, that will help you decide what tools to get and what you think you can do. The AC manuals are it the same sites as the tools, and also lot of other sites. The best leak detector is an electronic leak detector. You can also buy that fluorescent dye that you put in the system, but it usually takes a long time to find the leak that way. My Leak Detector is a TIF 5050A, I paid about $200 for it in 1999.
    Good Luck,
    E.D. ISF
  • Hi bsinkbeil,

    I am looking for a diff for my ford explorer 2000 XLT. Where did you get your diff from?

    Rubygirl20
  • 70ss454_man70ss454_man Posts: 107
    I got fed up with the no starting, so I finally broke down and went to the dealer. They said that the main "brain" was showing no activity at all. So they flashed it for me, and after that it started no problem. Strange thing, but glad all is better!
  • c304531c304531 Posts: 3
    I have experienced the same exact problem with my 98 Explorer and it only happens during hot weather (if I use the air-conditioner ... I'm asking for trouble). After its turned off for 30 minutes or so ... I try to start up and it will barely idle. It quits if I try to put it in gear. If I just shut off car and sit for awhile (or try to keep it idling, turn off, then it usually starts up fine (it seems as if something is stuck and then it opens up)?! I asked my former "Ford mechanic" friend ... he said it has nothing to do with the airconditioning and it could be one of six different things which didn't do me any good. Since I don't want to put any money into the thing I keep driving it, when thr problem occurs I just deal with it. I sure don't feel like going to Ford Dealer and have them fix 6 different things and then have it still not work. It might happen 4 times a year and its been doing it for about 3 years now and hasn't left me stranded anywhere. Everytime I get tempted to take it in I remember how frustrating it is to take it to dealer for repair and I don't do it. If you figure this one out let me know!!
  • c304531c304531 Posts: 3
    I have similar problems with my 98 Explorer and its been doing it maybe 3 times a year (for the past 2-3 years). It hasn't progressed by getting any worse. It normally happens when outside temp is very hot. If I let it sit after attempting to start it (won't idle, I have to keep it reved up for awhile, then turn off, let it sit). It usually starts about 5 minutes later - as if nothing happened?! I get home and then it doesn't do it for months which keeps me from the repair station. They usually find 50 other things to repair that I don't want. I figure you experienced no start at all and its a different problem.
  • c304531c304531 Posts: 3
    Did you ever figure out what the problem was? Mine is doing the exact same thing.
  • cjm10cjm10 Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 Explorer with 98,000 miles and have a couple of questions. Please forgive me if I have trouble describing my issues as I do not have much mechanical knowledge.

    1st issue - I had my rack and pinion replaced last week because it was leaking. Now that the new one is in place, I can hear it "creaking" when I stop and go. I called the mechanic and he said there is a break in period with this new rack and to give it one more week. Is this true or could there be a problem with the installation.

    2nd issue - This one is the kicker - I am having issues with what I would describe as a hesitation or a pause. When accelerating slowly or when keeping it at about 25-30mph it seems like it hesitates or just doesn't want to go. If I give it gas it will "push" right through it. It almost seems like it wants to stall but does not. This issue primarily happens when it is raining/snowing or there is moisture in the air but I have had it happen once or twice on dry days. It was the worst on a day when I was driving it during a snow storm. It did it all the way home but as long as I gave it the gas it would "push" right through it. The check engine light never comes on. The mechanic said this will be hard to trouble shoot since it is intermittent and we will need to take the wait and see approach. I just had a complete tune up ... spark plugs, wires, fuel filter, etc. The mechanic thought it could be a miss but I am still having the issue after new plugs/wires.

    Any thoughts on this?
  • mz_cocomz_coco Posts: 5
    I too have been having this problem on my !995 Explorer with 148,000 miles but my CHECK ENGINE light comes on periodically and my O/D light flashes all the time. I just had my transmission replaced.
  • ckk4ckk4 Posts: 13
    I was wondering if anyone knew what was the easiest way to remove the freeze plug which is located directly at the rear of the block (It's the larger of all of the freeze plugs). Thanks!
  • pbairpbair Posts: 2
    My front wipers work fine in fast and slow mode. However, when in interval mode the wipers stop mid-sweep. I have to switch to fast or slow mode to get them moving again, but the blades will never move more than a few inches in interval mode before they stop. I've replaced the multi-function switch (with a new, i.e. not used part), but it has not solved the problem. I've also tried whacking the wiper motor with a hammer as I suspected a dead spot in the motor, but that didn't appear do anything.

    Anyone have any idea what the problem might be?
  • cuznverncuznvern Posts: 4
    im trying to replace my water pump. Everything seems like something i can do , but how do i take off the fan clutch/ 91 ford explorer
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Don't know specifically about the ford, but watch out for reverse threads (clockwise to loosen, as opposed to clockwise to tighten)....which I've found before. Seems they want the engine spinning to make sure the bolts tighten, as opposed to loosen.
  • mmadden1mmadden1 Posts: 17
    I'm looking to replace the OE Michelins--they were fine but snow traction was mediocre--with something better.. I'm considering the Goodyear Triple Tread or Silent Armour.
    They're a bit less expensive than the Michelin but the Triple tread is rated as a snow tire.
    Would appreciate comments-pro and con-from people using these tires.
    thanks in advance.
  • mmadden1mmadden1 Posts: 17
    Yep, I 've done that. Read all the reviews which for the most part are good except the part about reduced gas mileage.
    I'm looking to find ut if anyone on the board has had a similar experience with regards to that.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,755
    not exactly what you are looking for, but i replaced the goodyear ap's on my explorer with the 'good' michelin x-terrains(245 vs. 235 makes all the difference).
    new tires are much quieter, but give up driving feel, wet/snow traction. i still like them. gas mileage is up a tick.
    replaced the original conti's on my wife's escape with goodyear triple treads.
    a bit quieter, great in wet/snow. gas mileage is down about 10 percent. these tires are huge compared to the oem tires, eventhough they are supposed to be the same size.
    i would change down from a 235 to 225, if i had to do it over again.
  • I own an 02 explorer and for a while it has had a slight vibration when accelerating. At first I thought it was something wrong with the wheels, however it feels like it happens when the gears are shifting. (automatic 2wd 4.0L V6). It doesn't happen when i start driving in the morning, however it takes about 15-20 minutes for the vibration to start. If i let go of the gas it usually is lost or if I hit the gas really high, it seems to pass it. I am guessing it is something wrong with the transmission and when shifting the gears however I could be mistaken because I do not know much about cars. Lately the vibration has been more pronounced and at times in the highway it has even resulted in somewhat violent shaking. This shaking is worrying me. I have not taken it to anyone yet because the problem does not show unless the car is driven for at least 10 miles or so, so it would be difficult to diagnose unless taken for a long trip. I am hoping that it is something easily fixable.
    Thank you for any help on this,
    Ed
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