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Ford Explorer Maintenance and Repair



  • jajjjjjajjjj Posts: 1
    I also own a 1997 Explorer and have just started getting the knocking noise at 75,000 miles. Mine only does it when it is cold and goes away after it warms up. I have also taken it to my shop and they are unsure as well.
    This is my first problem with this vehicle and was thinking of buying another Explorer, until I read the problems that everyone is having with theirs.
  • I have a 99 Explorer, 5.0L V8 with 61K miles. I bought the truck new, and it has been a good vehicle; no major issues. Just recently I started noticing a strong ping/knock during hard acceleration on the highway, but I don't notice a significant loss of power. I've run several kinds of 87 octane gas, and it sounds the same. How does this compare with other's experience with similar engine/mileage?

    I know as an engine accumulates more miles, the octane requirements can go up. With the price of gas I'd hate to move up to a higher octane. According to the Owner's Manual, it shouldn't need a tune-up yet. Also since I'm from the New Orleans area, I'm kind of leery of the quality of work I may get right now. I'd also hate to get a tune-up, if it is characteristic of this engine. Any suggestions on tune-up cycle/items, other than what the owners manual specifies?
  • What engine, V6 or V8? Have you owned in since new. That's low miles for a 97.
  • That's low miles for a 99. You should not need a higher octane. It could be one of several issues. I assume all maintenance is kept up. The first thing I would check is the MAF (MASS AIR FLOW SENSOR). Be sure you keep a clean air filter. The MAF is in the AIR TUBE, in the air flow right after the Air Filter. It should have a screen that you should be able to see, carefully clean and vaccum the screen. The sensor works by measuring the resistance of a tiny heated wire in the airflow passage. Sometimes they can get dirty and make the MAF give erronious readings, which can make the engine ping. It needs to be checked and cleaned by someone who knows what they are doing. Careless cleaning of the wire could damage or break the tiny sensor wire.
  • I have the same truck, almost the same miles. I have exchanged messages with several people that have this problem - no one has a solution solution as of yet.

    I have tried:
    Cleaning MAF
    Higher grade of gas
    Cleaning Throttle body
    Replaced EGR valve - checked other EGR related parts
    Replaced intake gasket between air horn where EGR valve mounts and upper intake manifold (old one was cooked)
    Colder range of plugs (Autolite AP103)
    Seafoam in intake twice (an engine decarbonizer)
    Replaced coolant temp sensor

    These were the cheap / easy things to check. The truck runs much better, but It still pings in OD when the torque converter is locked up (1800 to 2600 rpm). I do not have an advanced scanner to do diagnostics on the MAF sensor or the O2 sensors, which I would try next.

    My gut feeling is that in many of the V8's the EGR flow is too low at low rpms or the timing is too far advanced since this happens in quite a few of these trucks. There may be a computer (PCM) update which addresses this, I have not checked with the dealer as of yet. You may want to check with the dealer and see if they have any ideas, but I don't think I would turn them loose - I think I would specifically ask about PCM updates for this issue given the items I have tried which haven't worked. They can chase lots of deadends trying to fix this....

    99's require plugs at 50k - yours have probably already been replaced? If not, a new set of plugs would be a good idea. Bosch plugs will make pinging worse if you have pinging issues. Autolites seem to work well.

    Lastly, if your engine uses oil between changes, it is probably getting sucked into the PCV valve. Oil in the intake causes bad pinging, you can rule this out by removing the PCV valve and plugging off the hose. Then see if your pinging gets better. This will not fix the pinging in OD at highway speeds.

    And if you figure it out, please post the answer here!
  • biomanbioman Posts: 171
    I believe that 97 was the first year of the SOHC V6. If that is the case and you Explorer has the SOHC engine you might be looking at the timing chain tensioner issue that was addressed by Ford about three or four years ago. If the engine noise, when cold, is getting very loud you may have a major issue here. You have to get the timing chain tensioners checked out and replaced before the entire engine is destroyed if they fail completely.
  • Idles erratic but, goose the throttle? Crisp. Idles clean and .... goose the throttle it falls on its face! I've replaced the: MAF, TPS, ECT, Thermostat, Oil, IA?? filters , fuel pump and filter, ignition module, plugs, wiresWhichever sensor. Now, I know it seems foolish to throw somewhere in the neighborhood of $800.00 at an erratic idle which progressed to dying out at lights, which has finally progressed to won't run for crap!! I've pulled codes like thorns from my a$$! They keep changing. Here are a couple of the latest THINGS and RESULTS. (Or lack thereof) Replaced both battery cables. No bueno! Fuel pressure regulator, Engine coolant temp sensor , and temp sender thingy. Thermostat and upper hose. Oil and filter. Code 157 Maf below Min. voltage in KOEO continuous memory. Runs same. Like a duck. Don't trust a garage although I probably would have spent the same by now. I used to build BigBlock hotrods now race Motorcycles. Pretty handy with a wrench. The codes keep changing. KOER...214 412,538, 553, 556, I haven't seen it this go around but, 998 Hard Fault??? Somebody Hep me!! Please!! :mad: :cry: :confuse: :sick:
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    I can't help you with this. You know more than I do and have replaced everything I would have. My only point is that if you can't diagnose it, you can't fix it. You are throwing good money after bad. In this situation, I believe one has to take a step back and ask the question, "Am I better off buying something with far fewer miles on it?" There are some real bargains out there in used Explorers that range between $15,000.00 and $18,000.00.
    My estimate is yours has between 120,000 and 150,000 miles on it. I think at 150,000 you are approaching the end of it's "useful life".

  • biomanbioman Posts: 171
    I have recommended checking the EGR valve on this forum so many times I feel as if I should buy stock in the companies that manufacture these components. As someone on this page told me a while ago, a faulty EGR valve will not show up as a fault on the ODB II fault codes. A bad or sticking EGR valve will cause an erratic idle and/or stalling. You have invested so much time and money and have not resolved the problem. You could try cleaning the EGR valve by removing it from the engine, spraying the moving valve stem with some WD 40. Check that the diaphragm is functioning normally and replacing it on the engine. Also, check the vacuum line going to the EGR valve to make sure you are still getting a vacuum to the valve. If the valve diaphragm is good and the valve stem moves when vacuum is applied then you know that the valve is working OK. If this fixes the problem eureka!! If it didn't it did not cost you anything except for 45 minutes to an hour of your time.

    Good luck.
  • I purchased a 2005 Explorer XLT 4.0 in April of this year. Excellent vehicle with one annoying glitch. When you fill up the tank the gauge registers as full, and then will frequently drop below empty on an intermittent basis until I use up about a quarter of a tank. Thereafter the gauge is fine. Dealer replaced the sender and that did not work. Dealer checked with Ford and was advised that the problem is excess sulfur in the gas being used (I use only regular Mobil), and to try putting in Chevron Techron for three tankfuls. I did so and the problem has not been solved. Has anyone encountered this problem, and what was the solution? I am sure mine is not the only Explorer with this glitch. Thanks.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Try rebooting the car. Take off the battery cable for 2 minutes, then reconnect. It fixed my 04 fuel guage.... good luck. ;)
  • moeharrimoeharri Posts: 108
    Get ready for a long ride, no pun intended. It took 4 trips and several months (around 5?) for Ford to finally fix our 03 XLT. We took it in earlier this year when we had the same problem as you did. They told us the same thing, try different gas (which I KNEW was a run-a-round--what BS). Anyway, 2 or 3 weeks later, same problem. So, we took it in again, and then they said they'd order a sending unit and gauge cluster. About 1 month later, they called and said the parts were in. When we went back to pick up the Explorer, we were told they ordered the wrong parts (gauge cluster was ordered KM instead of miles). So, another month of waiting and another trip to the dealer. Well, it's getting to winter here in WI, and I'm almost certain that the same thing is going to happen again this winter.

    We bought this vehicle new in Sept '03 and in Sept '06 our Explorer will be out of warranty, and I'm quite certain that there is no way we will keep it much past that--due to high gas prices, many, many problems (gas gauge, power window motor, engine stuttering/hesitation, ABS sensor that took 4 days to fix, finicky remote fobs, etc, etc, etc) with the Explorer (many either fixed and/or ignored by the dealer). Off to Toyota we go for all of our new vehicle purchases (bought an '05 Camry this year, it is phenomenal as is the dealer!)
  • Thanks; I will give it a try ...
  • Thanks for sharing your experience ... I suspect Ford does not want to acknowledge this problem.
  • sandyjsandyj Posts: 1
    We bought a 2002 Ford Exporer Sept 2005. Several weeks ago, the engine started knocking. We had it sent into the dealership. Dealership says the valve in bent and the rocker arm in broken. Car has 52,000 miles on it and has had regularly scheduled maintenance. Dealership is trying to sell us a after market warranty to cover the power train for the cost of the repair. Anyone else have this problem? This does not sound like something that should break on this young of a well kept vehicle. Help!
  • chuck1959chuck1959 Posts: 654
    I have a 1995 Explorer Eddie Bauer with 170,000 miles in execellent shape. I been having a problem that comes and goes. The battery seems to go dead for no reason. When I jump it, it starts right away. My mechanic has looked at it many many times he has checked ever conection there is.. I can go for weeks and weeks with no problem, than all of a sudden it does it again for awhile then goes away. Does anyone else have this problem?
  • I need to replace the A/C switch.
    How do I remove the surrounding blind without braking it since there are no srews ?
  • Your answer is in messege #4501. The only difference is that you have an intermittent parrasitic current draw, which makes it a lot harder to find. I would check for parrasitic current draw on different occasions to try to catch it in the act.
  • We had the same problem with 2005 Explorer purchased this Sept. Took it back to dealer and they replaced the sending unit - so far all has been fine. A local mechanic thought the problem might be related to the cold temp of the gas as it always happens right after a fill-up and not only to Ford vehicles. Maybe you can get another sending unit installed. (the dealer we bought from had 3 new explorers with same problem this year).
    Good luck!!
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