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Ford Explorer Maintenance and Repair



  • dishikidishiki Posts: 5
    Hey all,
    My wife and I have a 97 Explorer XLT 2WD, with about 62k miles on it. We noticed a knocking sound whenever we would brake towards the fron of the car. We took it in and they said it was the brakes. So we got brand new brakes. However, in the past couple of days, the sound has gotten worse. You really notice it when you make a left turn or when you hit a bump. It feels like a clicking/slipping/knocking./ Anyone experience this or have any idea what it is? Other than that, the car is great. It's my wife's and I have been pushing her to get rid of it, but she refuses. She wants to keep it forever. Thanks in advance for the help.
  • xplorer27xplorer27 Posts: 1
    I have a 92 explorer with 130000 miles in it. When ever i drive it i need to run premium gas or it pings very bad. Can anyone help me with this problem? By using the premium gas it does not ping anymore but is this nessesary?
  • mazman1mazman1 Posts: 229
    Change your spark plugs and wires as well as use 5W30 oil. Change your air filter element. It should stop pinging. Beware that if you use premium for more than a couple of months, it will need to have 93 octane. But, soon you will hear a knock even with 93 octane. Then it will be time for a ring job.
  • bioman3bioman3 Posts: 37
    In addition to changing the spark plug wires and spark plugs you may also want to consider:
    a) resetting the PCM (engine computer) by disconnecting the battery for two minutes then reconnecting the battery. The PCM will now relearn all engine settings. Of course you do this with regular gas in the tank. The engine may run rough for a few miles (10) while the PCM is in the "learn" mode
    I) with 130,000 miles on it, your engine may also be suffering from carbon build up. To resolve this issue you may want to put some of the readily available decarbonizing agents into a tank of gas or have the engine decarbonized by a good mechanic.

    Good Luck

  • I have a 97 2door Explorer sport 4wd. It has 66K miles on it and is in good condition. However, I hear a rattling noise coming from under the car at the rear. It sounds as if I am pulling an empty trailer behind me. The guy at the oil change place said it might be the gas tank rattling against its support. Anyone else experience this problem? Thanks.
  • mazman1mazman1 Posts: 229
    I doubt it is the gas tank. Something that heavy should not rattle... it should fall off if it is not supported correctly... and even if it was a little loose, it would make a thud noise, not a clank or rattle.

    The skid plate that sits below the gas tank is a possible candidate to check out. It is supported by 4 small bolts, and since is is essentially a sheet of metal, will make a rattle noise.

    Also look at the bushings on the suspension and the spare tire mount.

    Good luck. This may be an easy fix that you can do at home if you are mechanically inclined.
  • isselaissela Posts: 1
    I bought an '02 Explorer XLT 4WD in April. Overall, I am very happy. It's a great looking SUV, all compliments on style, etc. I have a 4.0 Liter V6. The acceleration is excellent, the gas mileage is very good at 23 mpg, and it is very comfortable. Handles well, too...can't really tell it's a truck. I have had my share of problems. It was in the shop within a week because there was a paint bubble on the driver side on the roof in one of the troughs near the luggage rack. They fixed it no problem. I also noticed that there was a subtle ticking when the climate control fan came on...but that went away. There is a sulphur smell after the truck has been driven about 5 miles and that lasts until it is shut off...93 octane gas helps it but this is still unacceptable. There is also a rough transmission shift from 2 to 3 at low speeds say from 25-30 mph if you take your foot off the accelerator. There doesn't seem to be a positive gear shift when there should be. This causes some concern. The other problem was my instrument panel. I had a problem because the Temperature, Fuel, and Tachometer gauges would quit working after about 2 miles of driving or they wouldn't work properly. Ford easily replaced the instrument panel with no problem. I attribute some of these problems to the redesign but I am still upset that after over 100 years of auto making that they can't get it right. Nonetheless, I would recommend the vehicle. Ford is still working on the exhaust smell and the hard shift but I have yet to hear anything. I really enjoy the vehicle and it is very nice. Good luck.
  • tom193tom193 Posts: 5
    Interesting. No direct response to my message 818.
  • marlin77marlin77 Posts: 14
    well tom, as an owner of a 96 xlt bought new and a big city cop I can tell you the explorer is no better or worse than any other high center of gravity truck. the vehicle I've seen most upside down is a jeep wrangler. I log 35 miles round trip of rush hour highway traffic and I do believe the higher seat position, better visibility, has gotten me out of more hairy situations in traffic than the risk a roll over poses. it's really the knuckle heads who think they're driving a carry that have problems handling an suv. a little bit of money will make the explorer handle much better. first, get the best shocks you can afford, and a heavy duty sway bar. you may want to change all the rubber bushings with polyurethane. the best change on my truck was changing tire size and type. i went from stock 235.75 x 15 goodyears to a 255.70x15 lite truck touring tire. results were a wider track and much more stable feel. as musch as i drive and as much carnage i've seen i doubt i'd ever own a sedan again.
  • masonmimasonmi Posts: 148
    Hi, I asked in a previous message though i'll ask again has anyone had trouble having their alarm set without the horn blowing? mine will set though the alarm doesn't confirm that it is set.
  • budgewoodbudgewood Posts: 2
    Hi. Have been reading these posts for several weeks now and I am considering purchasing a 98 Explorer XLT from a friend. 37,000 miles. She is fixing to buy her 3rd Explorer and is sold on them. I am concerned about the V6 SOHC in this vehicle. I started it up today and heard a slight dieseling sound from the motor that did not go away. I am not sure if this is the timing chain tensioner. Is that sound a pronounced sound that you can't miss. Anybody have any advice about this vehicle? I am also considering purchasing an extended warranty on this vehicle. I love the size and features but I am concerned after reading these posts. Thanks for any advice.
  • tallimecatallimeca Posts: 6
    People should keep in mind that not everything in the engine if fully lubricated upon startup. My sohc had the update and even still, for the first like 20 or 30 seconds, it makes a ratte and soon quiets down. My dad has a f350super duty with the triton 5.4 liter v8..........anyone ever listen to these motors upon start up....same thing.
  • scootyscooty Posts: 10
    Have your friend take it to a dealer and have them check it out.It is still under warranty for the tensioner problem.My '97 had the fix at 43000 miles and it stopped having the diesel/rattle sound at startup.It has 51000 miles on it now and has not started back yet but I assume it will in the future.If I were you ,I would not buy any vehicle that made unusual engine noises.I bought my Explorer before any of the SOHC problems were known and it is almost paid for now.But in all honesty,my Explorer has been a good vehicle with the only problems so far have been the tensioners ,intake manifold gasket,thermostat,and a bad electric lock.All repaired under warranty,except the thermostat.Unless your friend can get the engine noise checked and fixed and give you an extremely good deal and the extended warranty,don't buy it.That is just my opinion.
  • mattbartmattbart Posts: 12
    in response to your concern about low speed rollovers, refer to my post #719. good luck.
  • Hey all

    I am looking at leasing an Explorer. We here in Australia haven't got the new updated model yet, so ours are the older (rounder) versions). We also get a 'special' model out here, because the XLT is only 4x4 and it comes with the bronze wheel arches (I think you guys only get this on the Eddied Barer versions), and they also have self leveling rear suspension.

    They are now going for at least 10K Australian than they were when they first came out. So now they are selling for $39990, which is pretty cheap.

    Is there anything I should be weary of with the older model? It is the 2000 model range that is still being sold here. I noticed some talk of 87 octane fuel. We have unleaded at 91, and premiums at 95 and 98 octane. Will they run OK on 91?
    Are they expensive to serivce?
    How many miles/kilometres do you guys get to a tank?
    Any regular problems that are often coming up?

    BTW, Ford Australia has done extensive work on the real suspension to make them more suitable to Australian conditions. ALso, I was talking to a Ford mechanic, and he said that they have heard of no rollovers, and no tyre seperations. Which is interesting considering that many of these vehicles are coming up to thier second set of tyres.

    I would appreciate any help you could give me.
  • deeds1deeds1 Posts: 1
    I have a 98 Explorer Sport 2D 4WD that has given me nothing but problems since I purchased it new in Jan '98. It began at 5,000 miles when the dealer installed cruise control quit working. It has since quit working 3 times (vacuum problems). Then at 20,000 miles the transmission needed to be overhauled. Then at 50,000 miles I needed a new engine due to the cam shaft tensioner problem (pre-extended warranty). Now at 70,000 miles it is having trouble starting. Some days it starts on the first try, other days it takes 10 trys to get it to start. I have had it checked and they can find nothing wrong. Has anyone else had this problem? Also, the radio displaygoes very dim, then blacks out completely, but the radio still works (this problem seems to be unrelated to the starting problem). Any ideas or help would be appreciated.
  • masonmimasonmi Posts: 148
    I have an odd question, I was out of town over the weekend and had to get my battery replaced because my old one died on me, when I checked my fluid levels and battery i noticed the battery isn't mounted all the way down into the holding plate, it seems to stick up a bit on one side, is this common among batterys that are a different brand that what I had?
  • raaizinraaizin Posts: 31
    I hear a slight clank when shifting from foward to reverse while making a K-turn. It doesn't make this sound all the time. Car has 75k miles on it any ideas. Was there ever a recall on this??
  • mazman1mazman1 Posts: 229
    That sounds like your u-joints are wearing out. You hear a clank noise from the rear end when the truck shifts from f to r or vice versa... especially on a grade. If it does this often, you should have the driveshaft u joints replaced.
  • masonmimasonmi Posts: 148
    I stopped by my dealer today and he re-mounted the battery in for free, they must not have even taken the bolt off and just stuck the battery in the holding tray. Thanks.
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