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Ford Explorer Maintenance and Repair



  • Did you check that fuel filter installation for leaks. It sounds like you might be leaving a trail of gasoline on the road behind you!
  • When I turn my steering wheel while driving it makes a weird sound sort of like a grinding sound. You can feel it too, feels like its grinding, Not alot just barely. Does any one know what it is.
  • As the subject notes I have a 2000 EB Explorer w/a tow pkg purchased new by me. Current miles are 170K, MPG is 20-21. The transmission is flushed ~ every 30K. Approx 10% of the miles are with a med-heavy tow. I know the V8 transmission is one of the better transmission Ford installs in the Explorer and was wondering what I can expect for miles prior to having to do major transmission work? Obviously an exact number is impossible, but I'm wondering the kind of miles people reading this have w/out transmission problems.
  • I have Two V8 Explorers, a 1997 with 150K miles, and a 2000 with 128K miles, both run and shift like new, I really love them both. Both Explorers are two wheel drive, not AWD. They are the best automatic transmissions that Ford puts in the Explorers. Like anything else, they do have some minor inheirent weaknesses, but overall they are very strong and reliable. I drive them about 20K miles per year.
    Rule Number one is Keep it Clean, be sure to do the Flush and New Filter every 30K miles. Note on the flushing, it does not need any special flushing chemical or fluid. Just flushing it out with the recommended transmission fluid is all it needs. My 1997 uses Dextron III, and my 2000 uses Mercon V.
    Rule Number 2, Never Overheat the transmission. The Explorers have an external transmssion cooler built in, but for heavy hauling, adding an additional transmission cooler coil is a good investment, and you can take it off and put it on your next vehicle.
    These transmissions will easily run over 200,000 miles with good service and care. I expect both of mine to run past 200K miles with no problem.
    I cannot say how long the AWD part might last, we would have to hear from the AWD owners on that part.
    Good Luck,
    E.D. ISF
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,915
    What year and engine do you have?
  • Funny seeing your message. I just dropped my 2005 Ford Explorer off at the dealership today. My truck has only 16,000 miles on it. While driving yesterday my gas gauge went from full to empty, at the next stoplight it went back up to full. I got to work, parked went in, left that afternoon and gas gauge went back to empty and check engine light is on. I dropped off today and told them about the rear hatch opening while I was there. I also reported that my locks go crazy while driving sometimes, windows lock up and won't go up or down, I get locked in vehicle or out (but at least I have a key when i'm out of it). Basically they told me it's ALL under warranty IF they find the problem, but here's the catch. they have to run a diagnostic for each issue and IF they don't find anything each one is $88.00. So, I said to just check the engine light, gas gauge and rear hatch. They told me a 2005 model was brought in yesterday with the same issue. I know Ford just announced a major recall on some of their vans for this same issue, so maybe if enough people do that with this model will get some results soon. My truck has the optional third row seating so that window flying open is a safety concern. I don't think it's a matter of my not having properly shut it because I can drive a good distance, hit bumps all kinds of things then it just randomly flies open at the oddest times. I'll update once I pick it up today as far as what they find.
  • Chuck,
    If you're still around can you provide an update? I have a 2005 Ford Explorer XLT that I bought new last October. I have only 16,000 miles on the vehicle and this is the problems i've had so far:

    1. A/C whistles through the line at random
    2. Transmission is sluggish on cold start
    3. Power Locks started going on and off, clicking like crazy while driving home (happened twice now)
    4. Power Locks won't release to let me out the vehicle (happened three times) or back in the vehicle (happened twice but was able to use the key to get in)
    5. Windows all lock up, wouldn't go up or down (happened 1 time to me and 1 time to husband)
    6. Gas gauge dropped straight down from full to empty while driving, after stop it went back up. Later locked up on empty when it was full, follow by check engine light coming on and staying on.
    7. Rear window on the rear hatch opens while driving down the road (3-4 times).
  • The tailgate light flickers continually when the car ignition is off. It started before I replaced the clock spring with a new one 2 weeks ago. Now the tailgate light still flickers continually when the car ignition is off and the under hood 15Amp horn/speed control fuse blows when I honk the horn. I know there is a tie in here but cant see it. Any solutions?
  • Keep me posted. They continue to say it is not a frustrating. They trimmed soem of the rubber off the latch and it has not opened in a month. But it also went 6 months without opening. I do hope to get rid if it.
  • I own a 2005 explorer with the 4.0 v6 and 5spd auto transmission, it is also 4wd. When in top gear if you floor the accelerator to pass, the transmission takes 3 to 5 seconds to downshift. Does anyone else have this problem and how was it fixed. Also I have an obd II scanner that will error out when scanning for codes on this vehicle, the sticker underhood says the vehicle is obd II compliant. :confuse:
  • What kind of scanner are you using? For some reason, it must not be reading right. See if you can try another scanner, or go to Autozone, they will scan it for free. I prefer the Autotap or the Autoenginuity Scanners.

    About the transmission, it needs to be scanned with a transmission capable scanner. Find out the transmissions DTC and diagnose it from there.

    E.D. ISF
  • The scanner is a Innova 3100.
  • I read the review of the Innova 3100, and it seems like it should do a good job. There might be a problem with the reader, or with the wiring in the car. I would still take it by Autozone and have them read it for free.

    Here is the link to the review of the Innova 3100 by Bruce Bonebrake:
  • okiiokii Posts: 2
    Help!!! I made a big mistake when I had to jump start my '97 explorer. Apparently there is a bolt attached to the alternator that when used as a ground when jump starting the car will damage the stainless steel braided fuel lines.
    There was a recall on this issue in "98 where Ford affixed a sticker warning of this. Unfortunately, the english portion of the sticker was hidden and I didn't notice it ( I bought the car used last year). Now there is a strong smell of gas in the passenger cabin and engine compartment. How much does it cost to replace these lines, and should I use a Ford dealership or automechanic shop?
  • expo1expo1 Posts: 5
    I have a 1998 explorer eddie bauer with 130k and both 4x4 (low)dash lights blink when moving. also when making a turn the truck stops moving feels like the 4x4 auto kicks in. any ideas for a fix thanks
  • Comments on Jump Starting:
    I always prefer and recommend when Jump Starting a vehicle, that you connect the jumper cables directly to the battery terminals, connect the BLACK cable to the Negative post terminal and the RED cable to the Positive post terminal. The reason why is to avoid the problem that this person now has. If you connect the ground terminal to the alternator or somewhere on the alternator bracket or engine, the heavy current has to find a path to flow back to the negative side of the battery. If there is not a good wire connection, it will take whatever path of least resistance that it can find, which is is this case, was the poor fellows steel braided fuel lines, which are obviously not meant to be electrical conductors, and were overheated and damaged. I know that at some places they recommend to connect the negative cable to the alternator housing or bracket, but I recommend to not do it. Remember, the electricity is always trying to travel to the LOAD, in this case it's the battery, so always connect the cables directly to the battery, let it charge up the battery some first, then try to start the car.
    Sorry fella about your fuel lines. I'd call around to the dealer and some independent shops first and get some quotes on the telephone first, then head out to the repair shop.
    Good Luck,
    E.D. ISF
  • I am getting a P0401 DTC. milage is 217000. I replaced the dpfe several thousand miles ago; at least over 1 year. Cleaned the egr about 6 months age. Recently started getting this code.
    The vacuum regulator(this is the solenoid I think...please correct me if i am wrong)checks out resistence wise but when i blow through it i can feel a little air coming through with it off the explorer. After tapping it around and refitting back on truck the code went away but came back today. emporary improvement???...don't know)
    Battery voltage to dpfe is adequate. The Haynes says to backprobe sig and ground terminals. Here is my problem. The wiring schematic shows BR/LG GOING DIRECTLY to the pcm, GY/R going to S166 and BR/W APPEARS TO GO TO tie in with the TPS AND Goes to the pcm. Which wires should be backprobed to check the operating voltage? The Haynes guy at tech support had me use the BR/W to checck incoming voltage so it must be the other two that are signaling the pcm. Shouldn't one of them be going to ground or are they both signals to the PCM. When I attach my meter to them both I get 5V with engine cold. The manual says I should get .75 to 1.25 when cold and 4-6 when hot. So either I got a bad dpfe or I am hooked up wrong. I want to think that the dfpe I replaced already ois still good and I either need to clean or replace the EGR valve and /or get a new solenoid that doesn't allow ANY air when I blow through(unless I should have used a pump to blow through it. Seems to me if manually blowing is sending air then a pump would just send more.) I also plan on getting a pump to test the EGR before replacing it. Any help would be appreciated.
  • You did not state what Vehicle, or What Year, or What Engine. The P0401 DTC is for EGR flow insufficient detected. Looking at my 1997 Explorer information, the BR/W wire IS 5 volts power. It is connected to the TPS because it provides power to the TPS and the DPFE. I read 5.05 volts on mine. My 1997 has the EGR Valve Position Sensor, not the DPFE, so I'll give you some info from my online manual. The diagram I have shows the BR/LG does go from the DPFE directly to the PCM, and it shows two different DPFE's, one is the new black plastic one and the other is the original Aluminum one. It says that for the Black plastic one, when the differential pressure is 0 (idle), the voltage should be 1 volt, and for the aluminum one at dp of 0, (idle) the voltage should be .55 volt. The GY/R goes to S166, which appears to have a LOT of wires connected to it, so it is either a system common connection or is grounded. The voltage readings should be taken from the GY/R wire to the BR/LG wire. The voltage reading will be off if the differential pressure is off, so be sure the lines and passages are open and not pinched or clogged. There is also a chart that shows that the voltage rises to almost 5 volts (4.95 volts) as the differential pressure increases.
    Hope this helps some.
    Good Luck,
    E.D. ISF
  • Thanks for the response ED it was helpful. The truck is a 98 5.0 V8 explorer. It appears that I did have the leads of my meter on the correct colors. I will check again to reconfirm I did get the 5V reading which by your info and the Haynes I have a bad dpfe..again. If per chance it checks out I am on the way to concentrating on the egr itself with a vacuum check and really cleaning the egr valve or replacement to rid myself of this code . What do you think of the aftermarket OEM replacements vs. Ford parts for these emmisions components. I have read on a couple of post to go with the Ford parts???
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