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Ford Explorer Maintenance and Repair



  • gasburner1gasburner1 Posts: 10
    Yes I understand what you ment by trans flush. In fact of the three dealers in my area, two only do the flush. The last trans fluid change I had done was using the "flush" method. The problem is the dealers just want to do the flush only, and leave the same filter in place, and it is a big "extra" to get the filter changed. I'm sure changing the trans fluid myself would be cheaper, but I certainly don't have the time to do it. Thanks for the info. I'll see what the dealer comes back with after he looks it over.
  • I should perhaps clarify exactly what a CORRECT transmission flush is, as there seems to be a lot of misconceptions about it, and people are offering to do it in different ways.

    1. If the transmission is flushed correctly it will not harm the transmission. I have personally done transmission flushes on many mid to high milage vehicles, both domestic and foreign and NEVER had any problem.

    2. NO solvent or foreign fluid or chemical should be used to flush the transmission, only new fluid as specified by the manufacturer is added to the transmission.

    3. Flushing the transmission without changing the filter is not recommended. Some transmissions have a screen instead of a filter, and the manufacturer recommends not changing it, such as a 2002 Nissan Altima. In such cases, you can leave the pan and screen in place, drain the transmission fluid by removing the drain plug, replace drain plug, then flush and fill the transmission. If your vehicle does NOT have a FILLER TUBE and DIPSTICK, it is recommended for a shop to do this proceedure, to be sure the correct amount of fluid is replaced in your vehicle. For vehicles that have filters and no drain plug on the transmission pan, the transmission pan should be dropped, fluid drained, new filter installed, transmission pan and gasket replaced, then fluid is added, flushed, then topped off. Normally about 6 to 8 quarts of fluid is run through the transmission to flush the old fluid out of the transmission. The color of the fluid is observed as the fluid exits the transmission, usually through a clear hose so that the color may be observed. The fluid is dark at first, and then turns a clear brighter red as the old fluid is purged out and the new fluid flows through the transmission torque converter, pump, valve body, and various hydraulic passages, accumulators, clutches and lubrication passages. The gear selector is moved to the various positions during the flushing process to insure that the fluid is flushed through all the transmission components and passages.

    4. A special Flushing Machine is not required to flush the transmission, but may be used. The transmission has a pump inside of it that will pump the fluid through the transmission and out of the transmission. This is usually done by disconnecting the transmission fluid line from the transmission fluid cooler, located in front of the radiator, and connecting a clear hose from the cooler line to a large drain pan. This is particularly easy to reach on an explorer, as the lines pass under the radiator. The engine is run for short periods of time, and new fluid is added to the filler tube as the old fluid is pumped out into the drain pan. An assistant starts and stops the engine, and moves the gear selector during the flushing operation. For safety, the emergency brake is applied, foot brake applied, wheels chocked, and it is better to have the drive wheels off the ground. Once Transmission fluid flushes clean and clear, stop engine, reconnect transmission cooler lines, fill with fluid, start engine, move selector lever, top off fuid level to correct level on the dipstick.
    Good Luck,
    E.D. ISF
  • txcars56txcars56 Posts: 1
    I have a '93 Explorer Sport 4.0 v6 with 184,000 miles. The engine has run great till now. Starts and runs fine, but increasingly over the past few weeks will "cut out" for a split second and then continue running fine. This morning it stalled (the very first time it has done this) at a light, but I restarted and resumed driving. It feels like it's ignition and not fuel related, but I don't want to jump to conclusions. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  • realbillrealbill Posts: 4
    There, that's better.
    Now give us more information about your vehicle and this noise. I assume it is a Ford Explorer, What year? What Engine? Tell us more what it sounds like? When is it louder? When is it softer? Softer at Idle? Louder when you give it the gas? How about at road speed? Describe the sound, moaning, whistling, rattling, clanking, clicking, grinding, roaring, etc. How does the sound change and when does it change? Be as descriptive and colorful as you can. We got the LOUD part already.
  • Sorry about the caps. Yes its a Ford Explorer,1997, 4.0 engine. the noise sounds whooooo. This begins when the car heats up and continues at road speeds from stop to 60 mphs. gets softer sometimes at giving car gas. The car sometimes looses some power at going up a hill , this problem has just started. This happins with air off or on. I had a sensor replaced and they had to take off dash board to do it and now air only works on max. same with heater just paid 250 dollars and this all started shortly after that. like I said I have been told air problem along with intake system I'm afraid they see female and know I know nothing. (Which I don't ) Please help asap. Thanks, Kay
  • You or a friend will have to get their hands dirty to find the problem or take it to a mechanic you can trust. It sounds like the sound may come from the engine air intake system. Feel for vibrations on the air cleaner box, on the air intake tube, and on the engine at the throttle body. Try unsnapping the cover off the air cleaner box and lifting the cover up some, see if you hear the sound coming out of the tube going to the engine. If you do, I would pull the air intake tube off and investigate it, check the mass air flow sensor at the air cleaner end and check the throttle body(the part at the engine where the tube connects onto). If you don't hear the sound coming from the engine air intake, you will have to listen carefully elsewhere and try to find the source of the sound. I don't know what else to say without being there.
    Good Luck,
    E.D. ISF
  • johel77johel77 Posts: 3
    I just changed the battery on my Explorer 98. Now I can't start it. All I get is a click and the Theft light blinks on the dash. I don't have the owners manual nor the code. Please help
  • Is this a NEW battery you put in? Are the connections good and tight. Are you sure that the battery is charged? What happens when you turn on your headlights? Are they as bright as normal? Leave headlights on, watch your dome light, turn on the key and turn on the AC and wipers, does the dome light dim? How about when you try to start the engine, do the headlights or dome light dim?
    How fast does the Theft light blink? I think about once every 10 seconds or so is normal.
  • To Steve and Tidester and Mr Shiftright.
    I firmly stand by my post #5207. The best thing you can do for a transmission is give it a PROPER flush every 30K. I outlined a PROPER flush in my post, but I think that many of the flushes that these people get are done improperly. If you can't trust the people working on your car, you have to watch every move they make. If you can't be sure that they are doing it right, take it somewhere else. Take Post #5207 with you and show it to them, if they won't do it like that, then go somewhere else that will. They should make that Post #5207 a Sticky on here. If they do it right, then you won't have any trouble with your transmission, due to the flush. Please don't confuse a good flush with a bad transmission! If a tranny has a problem or is junk, it will still be junk after you flush it. Flushing is not magic, it won't fix anything, it's just good preventative maintenance. Remember, there are TWO important things in general to make an automatic transmission last, #1 Keep it COOL, and #2 Keep it CLEAN!
    All transmissions are NOT created equal, and some won't last long because they are poorly designed. The Automatic Transmission in the 6 cylinder Explorer is poorly designed, as is the Automatic Transmission in the Ford Escape. The Ford automatic transmission with the good reliability ratings are the ones that have been around for a while and have been race proven, like the AOD, and then the AODE, and now the A470RW. The A4R70W is the same as the AODE except it has the Wide Ratio Gears, hence the W.
    I worked at a Chevrolet Dealer in the 1970's, also worked at a Chrysler Dealer in the 70's, doing everything including engines and automatic transmissions. I retired from that work, but built some GM, FORD, and Mopar trannys on 80's and 90's models of my own, and don't plan on doing any more.
    Good Luck,
    E.D. In Sunny Florida
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    You (and anyone else interested) should bookmark that post so you can refer to it quickly - I did! :)

    tidester, host
  • johel77johel77 Posts: 3
    Yes, New battery. Fully charged. I think the problem started when I left my car parked for long time and battery died when car was locked and armed. So in order to change the battery I opened the car with the key not the remote. So now I can't get it to start, when I turn the key all I get is a Theft light that blinks about every 2 seconds.
  • I'll try to help, but I need enough information to help you. You did not answer the questions about if the headlights and dome light come on. I need to determine if you have good electrical power in the electrical system or if the security system has you locked out. So please mention if the headlights and other electrical accessories work normally of not. I am not absolutely certain how the Ford Security system works, but I know that the GM security system locks out the vehicle by the computer shutting off the fuel injectors. You can crank the engine, but the engine won't run. I believe Ford may work similar to that, but your engine won't crank over at all, I believe you said it clicked, which leads me to think it may be an electrical power problem, not a security lock out issue.
    I checked the operation of my THEFT light, to refresh my memory of how it works. When the car is off and parked, the Theft lights blinks about every 2 or 3 seconds. when you turn on the key, it goes off, and stays off when you start the engine. That is normal operation. Your Theft light may be working normally, which is further leading me to think that you have an electrical power problem, possibly a bad wiring connection, bad starter soleniod, or bad starter. I could go on and on about ways to check it, checking the voltage at the starter, checking for voltage drop, checking amp draw, etc, but please give the basic information first. Are the headlights and other electrical accessories working normally of not?
    Good Luck,
    E.D. In Sunny Florida
  • :confuse: I have a 95 Ford Exp. that sometimes starts but sometimes wont. Has a new battery. When it wont start, normally pouring a shot glass of gas directly into the intake will make it start. Its at the mechanics now, but of course, it has been starting up for them like a champ! I read somewhere here about a VZV valve, which i will tell Mr Mechanic about, he just says if its starting for him, i should take it home and call him when it craps out on me again, but I do not want to get stranded someplace! Help!
  • i have a 98 explorer eddie bauer that is increasingly hard to start, sometimes(usually) it starts right up, but occasionally it takes a few tries usually after we've been driving at slow speeds through town with the air on, but this morning it will not start, we tried the fuel reset switch and think maybe it has to do with the coil pack???
    please help, need any kind of advice, kindda on our own on this!! :cry:
  • Ford Exp sometimes starts/sometimes doesnt by elizabethg
    You failed to say what engine you have? What engine do you have? These intermitent problems can be very hard to diagnose, because when the car is starting and running ok, you simply cant find the problem. The mechanic can poke around and check a lot of things that "might" be the problem, but that takes WAY too much time when you are paying a mechanic big bucks by the hour. The new vehicles since 1996 have the new OBDII computer systems and are more complex than the older cars and require more skill to diagnose. This ain't your fathers car! A good mechanic uses good diagnostic skills to locate and solve problems, and of course, some problems can be hard to find. When they can't find the problem right away, and have no idea what it is, they will usually back off, because they know they can't charge you an enornmous sum of money just for them to tinker around with it, in hopes that he might stumble upon the source of the problem, OR NOT! The only solution is Good Diagnotics, you have to take it somewhere to a knowledgable mechanic with a well equipped shop. Is is normal to charge a diagnostic fee, which is fair, nobody should work for free, but tell them up front that you have an intermittent problem and you can't afford to throw money at it, and if they can't fix the problem or at least diagnose correctly what is actually wrong with it, then you are not paying.
    The exact nature of your problem must be that the engine cranks over normally, but sometimes the engine doesn't start, is that right? If that is true, then the battery and starting system has nothing to do with the problem. If that assumption is correct so far then the mostly likely causes are fuel problems, ignition problems, IAC (Idle Air Contol valve), then computer system & sensor problems like Crankshaft Position Sensor, Throttle Position Sensor, Mass Airflow Sensor, IAT Sensor, MAP Sensor, or electrical wiring problems, leaking intake gaskets or seals, or possibly internal engine problems. I could go on, but I can only do so much over the internet. You should take the car to a good shop that has good expertise and good diagnostic equipment. A good way to find out is to call the shops on the phone, tell them what you problem is and ask they have a particular mechanic who is good at this sort of thing and what kind of testing equipment do they have? Do they have "Modern" equipment? "High Tech" equipment. They will all generally say that they have the best stuff, but pick at them and and try to pin them down, ask what KIND of equipment do they have, how NEW is it?
    Good Luck elizabethg.
    E.D. ISF

    98 explorer doesn't start sometimes by 98explorer
    You also failed to say what engine you have? What engine do you have? What I said to elizabethg applies to you too, so ditto my messege to her to you also.
    Good Luck 98explorer
    E.D. ISF
  • thank you for the feed back. my mechanic pretty much said the same thing you did. he thinks its the fuel pump going bad on me, and he could replace it, but it would only be a guess, and thats a pretty expensive guess. Its a V6, btw. ;) Today I kinda decided I'd take it to the dealer and let them put it on their diagnostic thing...I did run it over to Pep Boys this afternoon because they have 1 of those diagnostic things, but they said if my car isnt acting up, their computer wont read that theres a problem. This is the lovely hell Im in, cuz I cant take my car on vacation til i get this resolved. *sigh*
  • Could a rental car be the answer for the vacation?
  • bopilotbopilot Posts: 8

    I have read most all your AConditioner threads and have one important question. I recently installed a rebuilt AC compressor on my 1998 Ford Explorer and replaced all appropriate parts as well as flushed. Nothing has been run as of yet but when I took it to a friend mechanic to evacuate and charge he asked if I had primed the compressor with oil or if it was already primed from the supplier. Well, I did not prime nor do I know if the supplier did and cannot find out from him for another week or so. The question is, can I charge oil via a charged oil can into the system upon immediately turning engine and AC on without risk of damage or do I need to take the lines off the compressor, blow some oil into the back end, and hand twist the compressor to move some oil inside it before allowing it to be run by the engine for complete oil and freon charge?
    Thanks, Steve G.
  • Steve G:
    Let's review the procedures and the order that they should be done in. Refer back to my post #5116, I think that post had most of the information that pertains to your question.
    You said "replaced all appropriate parts as well as flushed", then you stated that "if I had primed the compressor with oil or if it was already primed from the supplier?". I sounds like you may have been confused on the procedure, because it sounds like you have assembled all the parts together and NOT added the oil. Is that correct? If so, then re read part of the text of my former messege post below.

    "When you are ready to start the project, have all the new parts and tools ready. Buy the compressor with NO oil in it, shipped DRY, so that you can add your own oil of the proper type. Have the proper AC oil, 9 ounces of "Double End Capped" PAG 100 oil. Have the old refrigerant recovered by a AC shop, they would probably do this for free, since they get to keep the refrigerant. It is against the law to intentionally discharge refrigerant into the air. Remove the Belt, Remove the compressor, Remove the orifice tube, and Remove the Accumulator. Since the system is now open, you have the opportunity to do an optional step, to flush the system(highly recommended), you could flush out the condenser, the evaporator and the hoses at this point if you would like. This would help to ensure a clean system and remove the old oil, which would help to ensure a long life for the new compressor. The cleanliness of the system is the most important factor for compressor life. Use new o-rings on all the connections. If you flushed out the system, you will now need to put in a full charge of oil, 9 ounces of "Double End Capped" PAG 100 oil. Put 4 ounces in the compressor, 2 ounces in the evaporator, 1 ounce in the condenser, and 2 ounces in the accummulator. Next install the compressor, orifice tube and the accumulator. Rotate the center hub of the compressor at least 10 times to clear oil from the valves. Then connect the gauges and vaccuum pump and pull a deep vaccuum(29" or more) on the system for an hour. Close the valves on the gauges and turn off the vaccuum pump, vacuum on the system should hold, watch it for at least 15 minutes to be sure the vaccuum doesn't creep up. If you loose vaccuum, look for a leak, check your connections, turn the compressor shaft to be sure the compressor shaft seal seals. Put the Vent Temperature Thermometer into the dash outlet vent of the vehicle. After evacuating and the vaccuum holds, ENGINE OFF, close both valves on gauges, connect refrigerant can to the gauges charging hose, purge the yellow charging hose of air, slowly open low side valve on gauges to slowly charge refrigerant into the vaccuum, holding can upside down, using the can tap valve to control the flow of refrigerant. Start engine, charge in until can is empty."

    You will notice in the text that it says to flush the system FIRST, THEN install and connect the new parts. In your particular case, You said you flushed the system, which means that you flushed the old parts, which means you flushed out ALL the oil out of the system. Is that correct? When you replaced the compressor and "appropriate parts", I assume you at least also replaced the accumulator and the orifice tube. The text in my former post says AFTER the parts are flushed clean, then ADD the new oil in the approriate quantitiies to each of the parts as follows "Put 4 ounces in the compressor, 2 ounces in the evaporator, 1 ounce in the condenser, and 2 ounces in the accummulator" You do this while the system is still open. Then you next install and connect the new parts with the oil in each of the new parts. So when the system is closed it then contains the FULL charge of oil. Then you simply evacuate the air from the system, the oil remains in the system, then if the vaccuum holds like it should, you can charge the system. In your case you do not know if the compressor had oil or not. This is very critical because you do not want to overcharge the system with oil. You should have ascertained wether it had oil in it or not when you purchased it, VERY important. It is important that you put the correct amount of oil in the system when you CLOSE the system, that way you are SURE of how much OIL is in the system. Right now you don't know. You will either have to find out from who you bought the compressor from, or pull the compressor off and drain it to be sure it has no oil, then refill it and the rest of the system with the proper amount of oil. Have you put any oil in any of the components? It is always better to fill all the components with oil before you close the system, than charging in oil later when charging, because you don't want to start off with the compressor running dry. The important part is that you have a full 9 ounce charge of the correct refrigerant oil evenly distributed in the system.
    Good Luck,
    E.D. ISF
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