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Ford Explorer Maintenance and Repair

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  • bioman3bioman3 Posts: 37
    Just got my 99 XLT back from the dealer after they replaced the front grille. Apparently the imitation chrome erodes off of the plastic backing at the two points where the hood meets the fenders. These points seems to provide a channel for water to run off of the fender. I am now looking at other XLT's with the "chrome" grille and I'm noticing that many of them have this problem. If it is problem with your Explorer you may want to get your grille replaced before the warranty runs out.
  • It has 120,000 miles on it. Supposedly owned by a salesman. I don't know any other particulars about it. Is this a good year? I'm going to look at it again tomorrow, is there anything I should look for?

    Many thanks.
  • tincup47tincup47 Posts: 1,508
    Salesmen do not get their demo's free, they are charged a fee each month for them and they don't get to choose what they get. They also have to buy vehicles for their spouses, families like everyone else. So the vehicle could have been owned by a salesman, especially something like an Explorer, that could have been needed for towing.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,109
    maxman,

    BTW, many salesmen are liars. It's in the DNA.

    I think that is a little unfair. Most salesmen are simply trying to eke out a living and it behooves them in the long run to be forthright with their customers.

    Naturally, there are dishonest people in all areas and we each have a responsibility to be well-informed and alert so that we don't fall victim to it.

    tidester
    Host
    SUVs
  • swn1swn1 Posts: 27
    Let me get this straight. You want to buy a used car from a used car salesman that was owned by a used car salesman? I suppose he only used it to take his Grandma to church and he is no longer at the dealership. Seriously, it should be easy enought to document these claims and the service records at the dealership. If they look legit and the price is right, why not. If they hem haw around then don't believe them and go somewhere else.
  • rysterryster Posts: 528
    I interviewed for a sales position at a Pontiac dealer shortly after graduating college. The owner was quick to point out in the interview that his sales team was not given demos. The sales personnel all purchased and owned their own cars. To compensate for the fact he had no demo program for his sales staff, the base salary was adjusted upward to reflect what a demo would normally cost.

    A VW salesman I spoke to recently told me he owned and drove an Explorer (he was very curious as to why I wanted to trade my Explorer). His wife, on the other hand, owned a BMW.

    I agree that car sales is a tough way to make a living unless you sell a popular line (VW, BMW, Acura, etc.) The amount of deception is a direct result of the pressures put on them to close deals quick and upsell unnecessary options. The Sales Reps also have become much more defensive as consumers have become more savvy of the industry. I have always found that if you go into the dealership firm, but not overly obnoxious, about what you are looking for the Sales Rep will be relatively honest in return. As soon as you start getting pushy or "know-it-all"-ish they get the same way.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,915
    Does the 2002 Explorer have the fuel cutoff switch located in the passenger side wheel well? I have 1996 and I have on 3 occasions had the passenger accidently hit the switch and cut off the fuel to the vehicle. The last time was inthe middle of traffic. Luckily i made it to the side of the road without incident. To fix it I simply pushed a button and the Explorere started right up. Hopefully it is as simple as that.

    Most dealers get out of not getting you a loaner by offereing van service to your work. Which is nice but sometimes it's a pain at the end of the day waiting for them to pick you up.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,915
    Personally, I wouldn't buy any vehicle that has 120,000 miles on it. No matter who owned it. I'm assuming this vehicle is in your price range and despite all the complaints you see on this board, Explorers do last. some require more maintenance then others but the do last.

    1995 Explorers was the first re-styling of the Explorer. I would get it checked out thoroughly by a mechanic before I purchase it. Make sure he/she checks out the 4x4 system as well.

    Check out the Consumer Reports Buying guide to get an idea of potential problems (remember this is only a guide and not the bible for automotive reliability). Or maybe someone on this board will be nice enough to check the information for you and post it on the board.
  • I'm going to get the vin and do a check. ABd get it checked out. Thanks for the help.
  • My Explorer is about 2.5 yrs old and I am considering getting the Ford Extended Warranty. I'm looking for some input/ recommendations exp. from those of you that have purchased it. Has it been worth it? Should I get it, if so which one Base, Premium or the mid level coverage? What level of deductable & how long/ mileage coverage? Finally what was the cost? The price on the ford web site seems high, like $1,800 for 7/75,000 with 0 deduct.

    If anybody has experience with an extended warranty other than provided by Ford I'd like to hear from you also.

    Now for a problem I'm having, it seems like my back lift glass wiper decides when it wants to work or should I say not work. It will work just fine for several months and then one day I can't get it to swipe the glass no matter what setting its on. It will not work for about a day then it will start working again. After it starts working it'll be fine for several more months. The funny thing is that the rear wiper problem seems almost the opposite of what the front wipers did awhile back, when the front wipers would just come on by themselves (got the fronts fixed already). Anybody have this happen with their rear wiper, if so what was the fix?
  • smily1smily1 Posts: 104
    I have a 98 V8 AWD. It had 35k+ miles on it before I bought the extended warranty. I bought the high end Ford ESP warranty that covers everything but tires, shocks, wiper blades... I have a 50.00 deductible and its the 6 (or 7?) year/100k mile. I paid $1400. About 100 miles after I bought the warranty I had my explorer towed from my driveway due to a bad fuel pump. I also have had my radio replaced. These two items alone (not including the little nit-pick stuff) would have cost me close to a $1000 with parts and labor. I still have 3-4 years and 50k left and only about $500 in repairs to go before I break even. I expect it to pay off well over that amount. Its a good investment and the warranty is transferable for $50 which is a good selling point if you want to get rid of it later.

    I also just bought an independent extended warranty for my Grand Prix (6y/100k) for $900. It allows me to use any shop and all I have to do is call a number on the policy for an authorized repair and they give the shop a credit card number. I have not had an experience with it yet nor do I have the paper work handy this moment for further info.

    Do not buy a factory extended warranty off the net Go to a dealership and negotiate the price. Call other dealerships for quotes and you will be surprised to find different prices for the same plan (this was my experience).

    I hope this helps.
  • rysterryster Posts: 528
    Extended warranties are very good for those owners who truly anticipate keeping the vehicle for a very long time, or who drive many more miles per year than "average" and will quickly eat up the standard warranty. If you get a new vehicle every 3 or 4 years and drive standard mileage (~15K/year), they generally do not make much financial sense. Why pay for something you will never use?

    Another good way to tell if you really need it is to observe the repair history of your vehicle while still under the standard warranty. If it is constantly in the shop the extended warranty may ultimately pay for itself. If your particular unit has been trouble free for 3yrs/36K miles, and you have been faithful with routine maintenance, the likelihood of numerous expensive repairs will lessen to the point that the extended warranty would never pay for itself. There may be one or two large repairs, but not totaling the ~$1,800 price of the warranty.

    If you do decide to buy one, smily1's advice is very sound. Go to your dealer and negotiate the price. There is a significant amount of markup on extended warranties.

    I do not plan on keeping my Explorer past 36K miles (I should be there this time next year), so when I get the Ford ESP mailings I throw them away. Their pricing for extended warranties, from what I remember, is very high. Even if I were going to keep the truck for 7-10 years I wouldn't buy the warranty; I swore extended warranties off a few cars ago. IMO, they just aren't worth the money.
  • bigaldsbigalds Posts: 47
    In Response to dhneedsasuv & dtownfb, when shopping for a used explorer, you must check the vehicle and it's reputation out throughly. By checking the reputation of the vehicle on a source like this one, you will know what to look for and what to avoid. If you don't have the expertise to personally check it yourself, narrow you choice down by the best information that you have and take it to be checked out by a competent person or facility. Try to gain as much knowledge and understanding of the vehicle as you can so you will have greater insight into the pro and cons of the vehicle. None of them are perfect, they all have weaknesses, you just have to make the best choice for you.
    I've got 2 Explorers, a 91 with 4.0L OHV engine, Automatic, now with 152,000 miles, bought with 120,000 miles in 1998, and looks and runs perfect (my wifes) . I also have a 93 Explorer that I drive, 151,000 miles, Automatic, now with 151,000 miles, bought with 112,000 in 1999, and looks and runs perfect. The engines are EXCELLENT, the transmissions are the weak point. I had to pull the tranny out of the 91 ad rebuild it at 130,000 miles, but it had been "rebuilt" before I bought it, and a sorry job at that. I found the valve body bolts loose on it the first time I pulled the pan and serviced it. It is doing very fine now. The 93 still has the original tranny at 151,000. On these trannys, you must service them with a complete fluid change and flush every year, install a late model filter that has the nylon filter element, not the orginal brass screen. You will be surprisehow long it last if you take good care of it.
    We Love our explorers. I will be shopping for a good 96 to replace the 91 this spring. Whoever gets the 91 will be getting a very good vehicle.
  • mookie14mookie14 Posts: 252
    this to swschrad i got my explorer from st louis i live in ohio i was rear ended but the squeaking was even before that. have any idea what it is?? im out of my bumper to bumper warranty but have extended one even if it does not cover it i will still pay for it tell me what you think..
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,915
    I have a 96 Explorer V8 with 121,000 miles on it. Outside of the tires cupping and replacing the throttle body plate at 42,000 miles, the car has been extremely reliable.

    The steering wheel began sticking at about 95,000 miles. It was only intermittent. Now it does it every time. What I mean by sticking is, as you go to turn the steering wheel the wheel stops and you have to give it an extra effort to get it to continue turning. Once you get beyond this "sticking" point it turns with no problem. It doesn't seem to hurt the performance of the vehicle but it is more a nuisance than anything else.

    I had it checked out by an independent garage (fluids, belt, etc.) and they saw nothing wrong. the only other thing is the steering rack. Could this be the problem? has anyone else had this problem? may consider getting this repaired since I will keep the vehicle as long as it lasts. The engine says it wants ot go anothe 5 years.

    Thanks for any help.
  • I have a 1999 E.B. 5.0L with 64000 miles. Recently my radio/clock L.E.D. display went out. I'm looking at approx. a $235 repair at a local radio shop. I'm looking for any suggestions on this matter less of telling me it would be cheaper to trade the vehicle.
  • zman3zman3 Posts: 857
    FWIW I would recommend simply replacing it with a better aftermarket version. For $235 you could get a fairly decent unit. Now if you have the CD changer in the armrest (if that was still available in '99), I would maybe consider fixing it. Two thirty five to fix a marginal Ford unit doesn't seem like a great investment to me.
  • I have a friend who has a 1999 Ford Explorer with just over 20k miles on it. For the last several days the 4WD H/L light blinks while in 2 wheel drive. When the vehicle is in 4WD and you take a slow turn on dry pavement there is a profound grinding and vibrating that comes from the front end. After taking it to the dealer she was told that this is normal on all 4WD vehicles. I personally own a 97 Chevy Blazer that does not do that at all... no vibration ... no grinding. Has anyone else ever experienced this type of problem and is it something that is normal for the explorer and if not can it be fixed and what is really the problem.

    Thanks ...
    exploring a solution ! ! !
  • mazman1mazman1 Posts: 229
    You should not use the explorer in 4wd mode on dry pavement... especially on sharp turns. It was not designed to be used on a surface with no 'slip'.. such as dry pavement .. rather on snow or mud. Remember that this is not a AWD version... and making turns on dry pavement makes the front wheels fight each other and can wear out the linkage.
  • zman3zman3 Posts: 857
    You seem to know a heck of a lot more than most of us here, but I will ask anyway:

    I have a 95 Explorer. I think the 4WD system on my vehicle is pretty darn close to the version in the 99 vehicle. One of the implied benefits of this 4WD system was that you could run it in 4WD even if the conditions were only marginally poor. I have run mine many times on areas of dry pavement, with patchy icy spots, without any problems. I have never felt any type of binding in my 4WD system even when turning into areas such as a dry driveway. The issues with smokn14jo's vehicle does not sound at all normal to me.

    Comments?
  • mazman1mazman1 Posts: 229
    Your truck (and mine) will complain and groan if you try to make sharp turns on dry pavement too.. especially if you do it a lot... an wear out the linkage. Going straight is no problem.. it just puts a strain on the 4x4 system when you try to turn. When you turn, one front wheel must travel a further distance than the other, but since they are locked, they turn together, so thus the problem. That is why Ford does not recommend using the 4x4 on dry pavement.. it does not allow one wheel to 'slip'.

    You should look into replacing and repacking the front 4x4 wheel cylinders every 35K miles, and lube the linkages before every winter. The tranny case and the 4x4 transfer cash should have the fluid serviced as well.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,915
    Mazman is absolutely right regarding the 4x4. The 4WD system in the 1991-2001 Explorers (minus the v8) are part time system and so is the one in your Chevy Blazer. They are designed to run on surfaces that allow the tires to slip (ice, snow, gravel, sand, etc.) If you use them on dry surfaces, you are fine as long as you go straight. What the system does is lock the two front wheels together. When oyu make a turn, the inside tire turns at a slower rate then the outside tire (it may be the other way around. It's been so long since I took Physics). When you have the 4WD activated then the wheels turn at the same rate. The grinding is your outside wheel trying to go faster to get around the corner. That is not a good sound at all.

    Quick story: My wife went hunting (a whole story in itself) and was stuck in a ditch. She put our 1991 Explorer in 4WD and finally got out. Well I guess she really raced the engine and stripped the nut or bearing that holds the axle in place when the vehicle is in 4WD. Needless to say we had ot get it fixed a s I found out later in a snow storm that eventhough I had the 4x4 button pushed, the front wheels were not locked in. $800 later I had my 4WD back (repair done at the dealership).

    My advice is your friend has already done serious damage to the 4WD system. Suggestion is to have a private shop do the work (not difficult at all). It wil be much cheaper to do. Tell your friend in the winter time to leave the 4WD drive in Auto. To be honest, this is why I bought the V8 AWD rather then the V6 Full-time system.

    good luck.

    Nowbck to my steering problem. Can anyone help me?
  • zman3zman3 Posts: 857
    OK, now I'm confused

    My 95 Explorer only has 2WD, 4WD Auto, 4WD Low. So what is the difference between the 95 and 99 4WD systems? I get the impression that the 99 has a 4WD High setting? How does that differ from 4WD Auto then? I try to not make it a practice of driving in 4WD Auto on dry pavement, but I have never noticed any binding when doing so. I'll qualify this by saying that the Explorer is my wifes so I don't drive it that often.
  • IF your 4WD Auto is the same as my 2002 Explorer 4WD Auto, there should be no harm in leaving it in that mode all the time. The 2002 Explorer doesn't even have an option of switching it out of 4WD Auto, so I sure hope it's OK. It does use up a little more gas and is turning components unnecessarily (as compared to 2WD on dry pavement), but it shouldn't damage anything like a part-time 4WD will on dry pavement.
  • g159g159 Posts: 23
    Unfortunately, there appears to be some misinformation on previous posts.
    The 91-94 Explorer used a part time system for use on slick roads. The 95-2002 use the control trac system that uses computer monitors to apply an electromagnetic clutch (except the awd v8 from 96-2001)(and except the 2001 two door) to put power to the front wheels. Originally the dial on the dash had three spots, 2wd, automatic 4wd, and 4wd low. The 2wd can be used on any surface. The automatic 4wd can be used at any time,rain, snow,dirt, dry concrete,etc. The 4wd low is a part time system. At some point, ?97 or 98 or 99, the switch was modified to be three postions, automatic 4wd, 4wd HI, and 4wd low. So the vehicle can be left in automatic 4wd on any surface (heck, there isn't even a 2wd mode) or placed in 4wd Hi with locked differential for slippery surface or 4wd low for slippery surfaces only. Now the redesigned ?2001 two door explorer sport appears to have the old style 2wd, 4 hi, and 4wd low...with no automatic settings. It is purely part time. (Also in the mid to late 90s, the Ford Expedition used a 4 postition dial to give 2wd, auto 4wd, 4hi and 4 lo) Some of this may be incorrect, but is correct to the best of my knowledge. If anybody spots any errors, please post.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    hmmm, rear-ended... I would first squirt heavy silicone on all the body isolators, including the ones that support the rear springs, and see if squeaks improve. I am not sure where my issue was as it has disappeared again now that it's cold :( but I suspected mine was in the drivers seat, low and back. it might have been the pillar, as some have reported, but if there were sorta-welds there, it shouldn't have quit squeaking when it got cold.

    one thing I have always fallen back on with squeaks that never go away over the years is try to get them to squeak in my key, so we can sing along together down the road.
  • Hello all. Just noticed the other day after I decided to look for a cause of an annoying squeak/grinding noise as I opened the liftglass that the top of both "strong arms" and their connecting pieces to the back window are rusty. The truck is a 2000 XLS, so I intend on having Ford rectify the situation on warranty, but have any of you had a similar problem?
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,915
    I have a 96 Explorer V8 with 121,000 miles on it. Outside of the tires cupping and replacing the throttle body plate at 42,000 miles, the car has been extremely reliable.

    The steering wheel began sticking at about 95,000 miles. It was only intermittent. Now it does it every time. What I mean by sticking is, as you go to turn the steering wheel the wheel stops and you have to give it an extra effort to get it to continue turning. Once you get beyond this "sticking" point it turns with no problem. It doesn't seem to hurt the performance of the vehicle but it is more a nuisance than anything else. I had it checked out by an independent garage (fluids, belt, etc.) and they saw nothing wrong. the only other thing is the steering rack. Could this be the problem? has anyone else had this problem? may consider getting this repaired since I will keep the vehicle as long as it lasts. The engine says it wants ot go anothe 5
    years.

    Thanks for any help.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,915
    I re-read smokn14jooriginal post and it thru me off since he said...

    <<For the last several days the 4WD H/L light blinks while in 2 wheel drive. When the vehicle is in 4WD and you take a slow turn on dry pavement there is a profound grinding and vibrating that comes from the front end>>

    i assumed his friend manually put it into 4wd (4WD hi). That is why i suggested putting it in 4wd auto and leaving it there.

    The 4WD Auto under everyday driving conditions is 2WD (rear wheels) until the computer detects slippage in the tires, then it activates the 4WD for you. Once there is no slippage detected it switches back to RWD (or at least 98% RWD). So it is OK to keep it in 4WD auto all the time. If you are going through snow or ice or off road, you then probably want to switch it to 4wd Hi so the system stays in 4WD mode since you are on a slippery, unpredictable surface. You don't want to use 4WD Hi on normal suraces. that is when you get the "binding" in the turns.

    Hope that clarifys everything. Now I hope someone can help me with my steering problem.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,915
    Have had surface rust on my tailgate lift arms for a few years. Hasn't affecte d the performance. But I also don't have the rattles that you complain about. I would have them take a look at them. Just to make sure they are stable. Teh lifft arms are not that expensive nor are they hard to install.
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