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Ford Explorer Maintenance and Repair

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Comments

  • ace10ace10 Posts: 137
    such a great experience with the exploder, i would absolutly, positively without-a-doubt recommend another f.o.r.d. product.

    great idea! get burned once, why not try again.

    ace
  • bioman3bioman3 Posts: 37
    Aren't we lucky we got our trucks while Ford still had a full compliment of employees to monitor their quality control!!! Imagine what the future will bring. Guess Ford had to pay for all of those tires and out of court settlements some way. I wonder if Jaques et al will now take a pay cut.
  • The real reason that the new 4.6 Explorers have been held up, is for more testing. Seems that the oil-leaking head gasket problems from the 1999 year have not been totally cured. Pain in the A#@ job if you have to pull the heads on these engines. They wanted a trouble free launch of the new explorer, so the held them longer.
  • njdevilsrnnjdevilsrn Posts: 185
    Hello all. Haven't posted here in a while, no news is good news I guess.

    Anyhow...the 2000 Explorer XLS (auto) is due for the 15000 mile service within the next few weeks. I remember reading some posts a real long time ago about having preventive maintenance done on the tranny. The truck is about 13 months old, and I drive a lot of stop and go here in "suburban" Central NJ.

    Is it too early to start thinking about maintenance on the tranny? If not, what type of service should I have done? How much should it cost?

    I own this one, and hope to for at least another 8-9 years. You know what they say about an ounce of prevention...
  • mazman1mazman1 Posts: 229
    I am not sure if you want the dealer to mess with the Tranny until it is at 20-25K miles, but if you ever have the Tranny fluid changed, be sure to change the tranny filter (inside the pan) as well.. a lot of dealers just change the fluid and dont change the filter.

    I would do the following at 15K:

    Change motor oil and filter
    Inspect hoses, serpentine belt
    rotate tires
    change air filter
    inspect plugs (especially plugs 5 and 6) for oil and other crud (indicates a problem w/ the lower manifold)

    I would keep in mind:
    Change gas filter @ 25K
    Change plugs @ 20-25K
    Repack wheel cylinders (esp on 4x4 models) at 25K

    Good luck
  • javdocjavdoc Posts: 1
    Have had my Explorer since 10/90 now with 108K. Early on had frequent AC repairs due to faulty O-rings, then seemed to settle out. Manifold went bad, then 3 of 4 power window regulators went bad. Hard to drive in the South with no AC and windows stuck up! Have read on different website about simple repairs to the gears (rather than the $300 per window dealer estimate), but need to know how to get the door panel off to get at the regulator - any suggestions?

    Started hearing engine knock at ~85K, and engine rattle with acceleration above 50mph. Eratic oil gauge at ~95K, but pressure checks were good. Then NO pressure with engine at idle warm, and now diagnosis is losing pressure at bearings. Motor man at dealer revs engine and says "bad crankshaft", looks under oil cap and says "sludge" (oil replaced every 5K x 20), needs new engine. Other website mentions problem with RTV oilpan gaskets degrading and clogging oil screens, as if this were a common problem. Found something on a TSB about change of oil recommendation from 10W30 to 5W30. Was there something Ford knew and didn't tell us?

    Now trying to decide about new engine - rebuilt for ~$4K. Either Ford or Jasper (the latter has longer warranty, 3+yrs). Hoping to keep for another 5 years. No tran problems yet - had new alternator and new radiator.

    Any recommendations out there?
  • stewertstewert Posts: 18
    Hi, I have a 2001 Explorer Sport with 15000 miles on it and it ran fine until the other day when i went to leave to go to work and it wouldn't start. It just kept cranking but would not turn over. After calling ford roadside assistance and waiting nearly 3 hrs for a tow truck, It was towed back to the dealer and was found to have a faulty fuel pump.They had the truck for 3 days before it was repaired. My question is if anybody out there has had any problems with thier fuel systems with thier 1998-2001 explorers with the SOHC 6 cylinder engine.I thought about trading the truck in for a 2001 Pathfinder but i know i would take a huge loss on the trade in.At any rate i am totally dissatisfied with my truck. The truck seems to have poor overall quality.Other problems i've had was a rear wiper motor needed to be replaced and a headlight assembly due to condensation build up.I hope to have my firestones replaced maybe by mid-decade.I do not want this truck around after the warenty expires!!!
  • smily1smily1 Posts: 104
    I have a 98 exploder XLT V8 AWD with 46k and had to have it towed from my driveway due to a bad fuel pump. I parked it with the nose on a down slope with less than a quarter of a tank of gas. I KNEW not to do this but did it anyway. At least I had an extended warranty and dont have to worry about that problem again. I have heard that the quality of the 97-01 have been sub par but I have been pleased with mine (no other problems not even a rattle). I take it to the sand dunes, off road and in the snow. Never been stuck.... yet.

    My philosophy is that there is only one good vehicle. Only the one that you are happy with.
  • stewertstewert Posts: 18
    Smily, When my fuel pump failed the truck had 3/4 tank of gas in it. It was also parked on level ground.Sometimes the truck would take 2-3 tries to start.Finally after about a week it wouldn't start at all. I considered taking it to the dealer but i was afraid i would get the "couldn't duplicate the problem" line.One of the main reasons i bought this truck was i got a really good deal on it.(paid invoice)The truck also is fully loaded. I should of just spent the extra $5000.00 and got a Pathfinder. I will never buy a Ford product again. Is anyone else still waiting for thier replacement tires? I have been on the waiting list for 2 months. The dealer said they are replacing the tires on the older Explorers first.I did buy from a high volume dealer. And they problably have alot of tires to replace. I may buy the tires myself But Ford is only reinbursing $110.00 a tire. The cheapest price I could find is about $118.00 a tire These prices do not include Labor and balanceing. I figured i would lose about $100.00 going this route. Any suggestions? Thanx.....
  • smily1smily1 Posts: 104
    It sounds like you had a different problem with the fuel pump than I had. Did the dealer fix? Was there a determined cause?

    I wont buy another ford again only because of how they treat the customer; the company as well as the dealership's service department. I only bought the ford because I researched and believed it to be a good vehicle (I service my own vehicle). So far so good. The old 5.0 V8 is near bullet proof. They typically last a long time.

    On the initial firestone recall I went to sears and replaced five tires on my own bill and had firestone reimburse me the $500.00 (this included labor). Not a dime was spent on my part after it was all said and done. I got Bridgestone Dueler APT II's. I think about $86.00 a tire??? They are ok. I would recommend the Michelin M&S or the LTX AT's for an extra couple of $$.

    My advice is to dump the sohc V6 and buy something you will be happy with (if you can afford the loss). The sohc has had a bad reputation regarding its design. I think the PF is a good choice. Good luck.
  • stewertstewert Posts: 18
    Well, The truck is starting to act up again!!! Went to leave work and the truck would not start!!! After 4 tries and pumping the gas it started and stayed running. Obviously it was not fixed right. Now i don't want to take the truck far because i'm afraid i'll get stranded again.Funny but now while in the truck i am starting to smell a hint of lemon.I'm still weighing my options. Stayed tuned.
  • enforcerenforcer Posts: 40
    My A/C went out again. Last time this happened they charged me $250 to replace the cycling switch and add some freon.

    A previous post said the O-ring problem affects the A/C, but I don't what that means.
  • njdevilsrnnjdevilsrn Posts: 185
    Well, I guess I did it to myself last week. First "mechanical" problem with the 2000 XLS popped up today. Rear wiper doesn't go. I know a lot of people have had problems with the motor for this wiper, but I think it may be the switch, as it doesn't make any noise at all when I turn it, and I remember the switch used to have a little sound to it. If it is the motor, how long is the repair? (wait for parts, etc.)

    2) I have completely manual seats. The driver's seat has a loud click from within the seat whenever the attitude of the seat changes (accelerating, decelerating). The recline handle also shakes at the same time of this click. I have endorsed these complaints to a Ford dealer and to a Mercury dealer (moved and the Mercury is less than a mile from the house). The Ford dealer gave me the usual "Unable to duplicate" business, and the Mercury dealer said they tightened all the bolts to the floor, even though I told them the problem was within the seat (problem came back as soon as I accelerated out of the dealership, but they had it for 4 hours to change the oil and tighten the bolts so I wasn't in the mood to go back). I'm going in next week for these problems, 15000 mile maintenance, and to get the spare changed out (I bought 4 Cross Terrains in January) to the Michelin LTX AT that they have. Any ideas about the seat?
  • mazman1mazman1 Posts: 229
    I have the same problem with my passenger seat. Apparently it is not fixable, as the rattle comes not from the loose bolts but rather from the teeth interlock in the hinges. I've been back to the dealer 3x for that issue as well as the rattle in both doors and the B-pillar... they cannot fix it... so I turn the radio up louder and try not to think about it.
  • Hi All- I have a '98 Explorer XLT SOHC. Recently I have had a problem with it not starting/cranking. When this first started I had the car jump started on 3 different occasions. I had noticed at that time my radio(stock) once changed channels by itself. My local mechanic found a short in my radio and suggested replacing it. I had no problems starting the car until recently my new radio(not stock 6mo.s old)display started to go out and the buttons would not work. One morning, my truck simply would not start (would not jump start) and it had to be towed! Since I hate the local dealer so much I took it to my local mechanic. He bypassed the passive auto-theft (PAT) system. It starts fine now but I am afraid to drive it anywhere far. I am worried that my problem is not really fixed and there still is an electrical problem that is causing the radios to short and the car to not start periodically. I am willing to take it to Ford if I know they can help but I feel that I am risking the $100 diagnostic fee because the techs at my dealer are very evasive, won't acknowledge the TSB and condescending and are not known for their service. Additionally, they say I will have to pay for the problem to be fixed although there is a TSB- whereas recently, I had the stuck accelerator fixed for free and the radiator valve fixed for $50 since those were known problems to Ford. Anyone else had this no-crank problem? Should I risk my $100 diagnostic fee and bring it to the dealer? Any suggestions would help. I really appreciate all the info. I can get.
  • njdevilsrnnjdevilsrn Posts: 185
    Did you ask them to replace the seat, or did they even offer? I told the guy when I made the appointment that if they can't fix it I want a new seat. The truck is one year old and the seat rattles like a jalopy.

    PS...the rear wiper started working last night. Then I got a call from my fiance that the turn signals on our 2000 Malibu don't work. Ah...the glory of buying American cars.
  • njdevilsrnnjdevilsrn Posts: 185
    I know it is a stupid question, but is it the original battery/alternator in the truck? The battery just went in my sister's '98 Exploder.
  • Yes, it is the original battery. The first problems of no start I also suspected that the broken button for power lumbar support got stuck on the "on" position. But I thought that it and the radio were unlikely to drain the battery since on one occasion, it was only 30 minutes from when I last drove it and it would not start. After replacing the radio I had no problems til this time we had to bypass the PAT. I have to admit that I have been driving my new car (not ford!) more often now since I don't trust my Ford.
  • stewertstewert Posts: 18
    As i said earlier, My 2001 Explorer sport was having trouble starting. Well guess what.I came out of work and it would not start at all! Wait it gets better!! I called Ford roadside assistance and i talked to a foreign lady i could barely understand and she could not understand me at all. She said she called a tow truck and it would be there in 45 min. After 1 hr i called back and another person said the tow truck was never dispatched.To make a long story short,After 2 1/2 hrs I ended calling a tow truck my self. I had to pay out of my pocket for the tow.The truck is now at the dealer waiting to be looked at. For a vehicle with only 15000, this is unacceptable. If they do not fix it right this time i am going to call a lemon law atorney. I WILL NEVER IN MY LIFE BUY A FORD PRODUCT AGAIN!!!! STAY TUNED.
  • mazman1mazman1 Posts: 229
    I would sell it now! It is apparently giving you a lot of grief and you cannot enjoy it. Buy something else that you can enjoy.. even if you lose money on the sale. Maybe a Nissan or Toyota dealer will take the Ford in trade.
  • mazman1mazman1 Posts: 229
    I have been thinking some more about your problem, and I think it may all bne caused by a bad ground. This is an easy check at any mechanic. I am willing to bet that one of the ground wires fell off, and the GEM module shorted out... That would make sense, since the radio skipped stations... in response to something as little as a carpet shock.

    Good Luck

    Daryl
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    I had several episodes of my 2000 rear wiper not working, then after several weeks working again. discovered one fine day that when you lift the wiper arm out of the lock to the "service position", it will sit lower than the lock allows... and after putting it back in the lock, voila! -- it works. they replaced the motor assembly as the end of travel switch is supposedly not adjustable. I only used the thing as one or two wipes at a time for cleaning purposes... so what we have here is a limit switch issue that has been a continuing one over the years.
  • Anyone experienced a fuel line leaking at the top on the engine on their Exploder? Mine's a '97 with the 4.0L SOHC. There should be a recall on this sort of thing because it's right above the exhaust manifold... very dangerous. Please let me know it anyone has info on this. I already had to have the engine replaced because of the timing chain tensioner failure. I'm wondering if there was some damage done to the fuel line when the new engine was installed, but it's just now leaking. Needless to say, this is the LAST Ford I will ever own. THEY SUCK!!! Remember Ford spelled backwards stands for Driver Returns On Foot.

    RP
  • mazman1mazman1 Posts: 229
    I am trying to see where there might be a leak in the fuel line that you describe. Can you be more specific?.... Is it possible that the hose connection clamp was loose, or is it a hole in the line?

    I also liked your "Driver Returns On Foot" acronym.
  • rysterryster Posts: 521
    Hi!

    Seems as though we Explorer owners have similar sources of frustration.

    I have a 2000 Explorer XLS 4x4. 12.2K miles.

    Rear wiper - works from an operational standpoint, however has decided to stop sweeping the top of the glass. So when there is a torrential downpour, I get a nice clean window except at the top. The water it misses, of course, runs down the clean part. It never used to do this. I replaced the wiper blade and the problem remains. My parents '00 Mountaineer has done the same from Day 1. Dealer couldn't fix the problem, so we live with it.

    Door rattle - I have a loud clunk in my driver door. Sounds like something is definitely loose in there. Other times it sounds like something is loose underneath the truck on the driver side. Called the dealer and they said they would need the truck for at least a day to "properly diagnose and repair the problem". The strange thing is the clunk is sporadic. It occurs on perfectly smooth roads when hitting the slightest dip in the pavement. It may happen while turning right. I could be on a less than smooth road and not have it clunk at all. Peculiar.

    Dash rattle - my dashboard is starting to rattle like crazy. I have a very loud rattle coming from the area at the base of the windshield. It is not the black plastic strip up there, I checked it and it is rock solid. The noise is somewhere inside the dash. I also have a rattle somewhere in the vicinity of the glove box. It is not the glove box itself as I have driven with the glove box door open and the sound is still audible. I think it is somewhere behind there.

    A/C - for those with manual A/C, when you shut the air off do you hear the vents shifting behind the dash...kind of like the sound of small doors clunking shut? In fact, I also hear it when going from floor only, to panel only, to panel/floor, or even to defrost. I have never heard this with other vehicles I have owned and wondered if this was contributing to the dash rattle I have. Maybe the vent system vacuum doors are loose.

    In contrast, my parent's '00 Mountaineer has 15K miles and no door rattles or dash rattles (although the cargo area/tailgate is a symphony on less than perfect roads).

    A vehicle with 12.2K miles should not have any of these problems. 50K+ miles and I would be a little more understandable with the dash but the door thing is driving me crazy. Hopefully the dealer can fix it because I enjoy driving the truck; it is certainly the most comfortable vehicle I have ever owned.
  • mazman1mazman1 Posts: 229
    Wow, I can so help you with almost all of your problems!!!

    1. The rear wiper. The problem is not the blade, but the spring in the wiper arm. The way I fexed mine was I removed the whole arm from the motor.. be careful of the little hose for the washer... and lube the spring and hinges of the arm with WD40. Worked like a charm! You may be able to do this with the arm on the car, but be careful with the WD40 ... it is a paint solvent!

    2.Door rattle. I have it in both front passenger doors. Don't get the idea that if you or a mechanic can take the door apart, you can tighten a loose screw or something easy. The clunk happens from the power window motor arms... which are riveted... and have too much play... which bang against the inside of the door. There is nothing that can fix this except replacing the window motor arm, which the dealer wont do because the window works and they say that they can only replace it if the window does not work.... go figure. The way I solved it temporarily is I taped a strip of terrycloth towel inside the door where the arm bangs against it. By the way, taking the door off is much easier than it looks. It is just two screws and a lot of plastic connectors.

    3. AC noises. Yes! You will even hear a nose when you go from vent to off, and as the fan stops, you hear a little thumping (almost a ticking) noise. The noises you hear are all because of the way the system was designed. To move the air from one section to another, it actually moves baffles which direct the air in different directions. From what I can see, there is nothing to fix.. That is the way the system works. The 1997-present explorers use cardboard and plastics, the older explorers used only plastics... I think the "cheapening" of the system made it noiser.

    4. Rattles... The plastics in the dashboard are held together with plastic connectors. You will hear even more noises when you get into a hot vehicle in the summer and turn on the AC. I took apart the dash, and the only way to get rid of these noises is to remove some of the worn out plastic connectors and replace them. There are some metal screws also which could use some tightening as well as improved with the use of washers.

    Your parent's 2000 vehicle will rattle soon enough. just wait until the seats start rattling... oh yeah, that comes from design flaws as well.. because the rivets and teeth that interlock the back of the seat to the base wear out. The only fix is to replace the seat.

    Good luck.. hope this helps!
  • bri66bri66 Posts: 220
    My final chapter on my late 2000 XLS Explorer. After three unsuccessful engine replacements on the 4.0 OHV for coolant intruding into the oil, Ford has extended an offer to me to substitute vehicles of my choice. Fords offer pretty much turned my ownership into a lease program charging me a .10 cent per mile useage fee. I will remain in my current 60 month contract with Ford Credit and everything including Lo-Jack, extended powertain warranty, has been swapped to my new choosen Escape. The difference in MSRP stickers from the Explorer to the Escape was subtracted from the .10 cent useage fees. Due to the mileage on the Explorer after the third repair attempt I was turned down by the board for the Massachusettes Lemon Law. I believe Ford has extended to me an offer above what they had to legally, and that strengthens my belief that Ford stands behind their product..............( having the extended 100,000 mile power train warranty didn't hurt either). It has been a long and very aggravating road, but when I took delivery yesterday of my new Ecape I began a new chapter of Ford ownership. I hope no one encounters the problems I have gone through. If however you do, Ford will work with you. The sad part is someone will be stuck with this Explorer from a small dealership in the near future. Good luck and best wishes to all Explorer owners.
  • rysterryster Posts: 521
    Thanks so much for the response! The rear wiper I may hit today with some white lithium grease. I am not ready to tackle removing the arm, so I will use the grease in case some gets on the paint. Shouldn't hurt anything...

    I do have the instructions for removing the door panel (admittedly downloaded from another site) and you are right, it doesn't look too hard. That is something I may tackle on my next day off. Take that bad boy off and see what's going on under there. If I can tell what's hitting where, I'll line that area with terry cloth or felt (maybe even buy some Dynamat?) Once I remove the two screws by the inside door handle, do I just tug gingerly at the edges of the door panel until it pops loose? Do I need a special door removal tool? How easy is the panel to get back on securely without causing additional rattles that weren't there previously?

    I am glad to hear that I am not the only one with these little annoyances. Again, thanks so much for your help! Incidentally, my parents had a '97 Explorer before the '00 Mountaineer and it seemed much better built than both of our current trucks. The '97 did develop a creaky/rattly passenger front seat. We could eliminate the noise by putting the power seat in a slightly different height/tilt position. Other than that it was rattle free for three years. Ford really needs to get their act together. I think they engineer good automobiles, but they need to go back to making sure "Quality is Job 1" (or change it to "Quality Service is Job 1").
  • mazman1mazman1 Posts: 229
    I would buy the door removal tool. You can pick one up at Autozone for about $5. It looks like a screwdriver with a claw on the end. When you go to remove the door, the plastic attachers pull straight out with only moderate pressure., They are placed about every 6 inches apart. The door is easy to reinstall, just be careful to align all of the plastic connectors first before putting in the screws.

    The rear wiper is easy to remove, and I recommend doing that so that you can get the lube into the spring and hinge. It is really easy. There is a plastic cover over the hub. unsnap it with some finger pressure. Then the wiper arm removes with a single nut attachment. Use some paint or wite-out to mark the correct position for re-installation. Be careful of the hose for the washer.

    Good luck.
  • mazman1mazman1 Posts: 229
    Good luck with your new vehicle, but I just think that you will have to post on the "Perpetual Escape Woes" board now... its still a Ford product.

    Just for clarification, it does not sound that you had such an easy time with Ford service, even though at the end, you say thatthey treated you well. My buddy who actually went to arbitration to get his lease bought back said that Ford gave them a very hard time and was very difficult and unresponsive.
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