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Ford Explorer Maintenance and Repair

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  • autonutsautonuts Posts: 138
    Anyone have any opinions (GOOD/BAD), about this engine? I read somewhere else on Edmunds that this version of the 4.0L engine is troublesome. I just went to an auto show over the holidays and really liked the 2002 Explorer but wouldn't want it if I would assume a bunch of reliability problems.
  • I will check out some of these items and get back to you. I have not changed the plugs or wires yet. I have been contemplating that. Also last time I added fuel sys. Treatment it did reduce pinging but It seems only temporary. I saw on another board about spark knock. It said changing plugs could help maybe I will try it. Any other suggestions will help. I will be away until the 6th but I will check back. Thanks
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    what you saw MIGHT have said that if the plugs are looking glazed, go to a cooler plug... and if they are packed with wet oily carbon crud, go to a hotter plug. if you have unusual operating conditions most of the time on your vehicle, or unusual wear, this might be worth trying, as putting in more sets of the same plug will get them just as messed up as before.

    if your plugs look normally worn, a little residue and maybe some erosion of the electrodes, no physical damage, then it ain't plugs.

    the computer controls on engines swing conditions around so much trying to optimize things that can be way out of balance that there should be no reason to change from the standard heat range any more, frankly... I'd be really surprised if there were multiple plug options on modern engines, other than maybe a "little bit warmer" plug for engines wearing out and getting oil fouling.

    plugs aren't villains or magicians, they are indicators of what is happening inside the cylinder. wires are much more likely to be part of the problem, they are easily damaged and will cause occasional skips or pings long before they get bad enough to generate weak or no spark much of the time.

    there have been a number of posts that carbon on the heads or the pistons themselves forms a hot spot to trigger pre-ignition, and more commonly on some engines than others (like primarily import high-efficiency engines.) IF that's your car, try some additional Techron treatments (like 2 or 3 in a row, max, any additional without improvement is wasting money and postponing the real fix.)
  • bioman3bioman3 Posts: 37
    I have always believed in going from the simple to the complex. In this case before you get involved in replacement and repairs have you considered:

    A) Sunoco markets an 86 octane fuel in some areas. If your station happened to get a mix of 86 & 87 octane this may be an issue.

    B)Sometimes the ECU may "lose" some of its settings. By simply removing the ground cable off of the battery, waiting two or three minutes then reconnecting the cable this will force the ECU the "relearn" all of the engine settings. If you started with a new brand of gasoline and let the engine "learn" the new settings, based on the new environment, this might resolve the issue of the engine knock. It is a long shot, based upon the symptoms that have been presented, but since it will cost you nothing it might be worth a try.

    Happy New Year everybody!!
  • dohc32vdohc32v Posts: 60
    >>>>>>B)Sometimes the ECU may "lose" some of its settings. By simply removing the ground cable off of the battery, waiting two or three minutes then reconnecting the cable this will force the ECU the "relearn" all of the engine settings. If you started with a new brand of gasoline and let the engine "learn" the new settings, based on the new environment, this might resolve the issue of the engine knock. It is a long shot, based upon the symptoms that have been presented, but since it will cost you nothing it might be worth a try. <<<<<

    Occasionally my engine check light comes on in my Mustang Cobra (I have done a lot of Intake, Exhaust and computer chip mods to the car) and that is exactly what I do, to get things back into focus. Once you reconnect the battery, you need to let the engine just idle for about three minutes, until all the sensors have reported in and the proper operating parameters have been re-established.
  • dohc32vdohc32v Posts: 60
    >>>>removing the ground cable off of the battery<<<<

    I pop the positive terminal on the battery, as a lot of these sensor devices can seek ground through other parallel paths.
  • bioman3bioman3 Posts: 37
    Good point dohc32v! We do want to make sure those electrons have no place to go. Pulling the positive terminal will guarantee that no battery power is getting to any component.
  • I purchased a 2002 Ford Explorer XLS on Dec 8 and am already having problems with it. I was just curious to see if anyone else has experienced the same thing. When I got in it this afternoon it would not start. It is turning over and after several minutes of trying it finally would start if you gave it ALOT of gas. Also as a warning to other potential buyers, check out your warranty. I am being told that I cannot get a rental car unless there is 8 "physical" working hours or repairs. Today is Friday, dealer can't take car until Monday, so I cannot get a "loaner". Can anyone help me?
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    my dealer provides rentals for gas cost only with about a 1-2 week wait on just about any scheduled service on cars that were bought there... I was still getting them after 8 years on my 1990 pickup as well.

    that's one of the things you use to compare dealers... and the guy who you can screw the last $150 off "invoice" from is usually not the dealer who has these intangibles after the sale.
  • rysterryster Posts: 471
    In a recent telephone conversation with Ford Customer Service (they followed up with me about a survey I filled out), they indicated that Ford owners are entitled to a loaner when taking a car in for service. In fact, they said if there was ever an issue of NOT being able to get a loaner to give them a call back and they would see to it a loaner was made available. My dealer recently gave me the use of a loaner for 17 days while they fixed my '00 Explorer. No charge, I only paid for gas. Call the Ford Customer Service 1-800# and see if they can assist with getting you a loaner when you take your Explorer in for warranty work. It may require a slight wait for an available car (I had to bring my Explorer back three weeks after the appointment was made) but it is worth it to get everything resolved.
  • 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: 10,110
    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: 471
    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?
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