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Ford Explorer Maintenance and Repair

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Comments

  • yettibuttyettibutt Posts: 98
    Has anyone else noticed the front seats on their 03' Explorer (or 02/04 I guess) tilting to one side? If you look at mine from the front, both seats seem to tilt towards the outside (doors).
  • idntnvuidntnvu Posts: 251
    Okay...when your vehicle has been in the garage more in the past month than on the road, it's time to weigh some options. Most of the work done so far has been normal maintenance, except a spark plug failing. I was putting brake pads on Monday morning, and just as I got it jacked up off the ground, I noticed a puddle of fluid under the engine. It looked a lot like oil, but turns out it was power steering fluid. I opened the hood, and power steering fluid was covering the entire engine compartment. The cap to the resovoir was barely hanging on, but had been blown off. It is hard to get that sucker off, so there had to have been a hell of a lot of pressure on that thing. What would cause pressure to blow the cap off and blow fluid out of the fill hole? I left it at the garage this morning, and apparently this is a common problem with explorers. How many of you guys have had this problem?
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    on 4 Explorers/Mountaineers. Sounds like it was either overfilled, or you turn the wheel with the engine not running. That's the best way to pop the cap. Don't do that!

    Didn't we all tell you not to buy that particular Explorer several months ago???
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    and it really shouldn't take ALL that much pressure to blast the cap off. it's plastic-on-plastic with the resivoir, not much of a seal, and not much for threading. I'd guess plus 7 to 10 pounds would lift the thing, and much less to leak.

    if it's a mechanical issue, either the pump is surging, and/or the hose between the resivoir and the pump is deteriorating and periodically plugging or pinching shut. then you would expect a buildup of PS fluid in the resivoir, until the pump is gasping for material, then it might pull a little through.

    I'd get a new cap, pump, and replace the intermediate hose myself, and do an immediate flush of the PS fluid in that case.

    it could also be you have a hose end coming apart or a dying hose, probably the return hose into the resivoir, as that is designed to lie against the thing for anti-rattle purposes. that's a lot more common on older PS systems than overpressure issues.

    there is a full-indicator mark on the bottom of the plastic dipstick built into the cap, and fluid should just touch it cold. should just touch the full-hot indicator if the engine is highway-and-towing hot, too hot to lean against the engine. looking through the side of the resivoir, there should be something on the order of one clear inch at the top before you get to the fluid. if you're pouring the resivoir full, that's the issue that needs to be fixed.

    that's that orange exploder, huh? sounds like you wanted some wrenching time. this is one you can do yourself... but I would advise getting an idler/belt tool before trying to remove the drive belt. I didn't, couldn't get enough windage with my ratchets to get the goldarned belt back ON my V8, and ended up having it towed so I could have it fixed monday morning and get to work monday afternoon. the tool is 40-50 bucks and any parts store that doesn't have one can order it.
  • gasburnergasburner Posts: 31
    I'd have to go with nvbaker's explanation as a prime suspect. I had air develop in the brake lines after a brake job by an independent. The official Ford explanation was that the wheel assembly was turned with the engine off. I've since confirmed this is not that uncommon, irrespective of vehicle make. See my post 2480
  • biomanbioman Posts: 172
    While we are on the topic of power steering, the Explorer owners manual for the 99 Explorer calls for Mercon ATF to be used in the power steering. Can we use the one fluid fits all ATF or MUST it be specifically Mercon ATF for the power steering?
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    ford used to call for type F, and apparently there were premature rack failures in the mid 90s from some posts a while back. the fluid apparently dissolved inner seals, which all of a sudden due to a production modification expected mercon. a little different chemically, and the friction modifier is allegedly fibers in type F and bubbles in mercon, which can behave differently.

    they specifically call for dexron III/mercon in my 00 exploder. being your typical bullheaded german, I browsed the rack at the parts place until I found a label reading exactly that, and bought four quarts. if they said to use sheep snot and change it in the bright harvest moon, I would set my alarm :(

    reason is, then I got somebody I can sue if it falls off the next day.

    there used to be a "universal PS fluid" sold by places like amoco in the 80s and early 90s. I suspect it's only universal if you want everybody to growl about their rack rotting and spraying fluid on the backs of the brake rotors, instead of some owners only. for that matter, there is "hydraulic fluid" sold at all the tractor supply stores in 5-gallon cans for $30 that has pretty much the same base lube stock. it might work. it might rot you out. I'm not going to test it myself.

    read the manual, buy exactly what it calls for, then you have a warm feeling around your backside in case of a so-called fluid-related failure where you would be stuck with the bill.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    What he said! Totally.
  • biomanbioman Posts: 172
    Swschrad & nvbanker for that info. Of course I can always leave the power steering fluid alone and will probably be fine, but when a sick mind sees the dirty fluid in the reservoir the fluid must be changed! It will be changed with the Mercon.

    Bioman
  • idntnvuidntnvu Posts: 251
    Thanks for the info. I'm out of town at the moment, driving a '95 Toyota T100 that belongs to my dad, and left him with the orange Exploder. It returned home yesterday, and the diagnosis was: turned the wheels with the engine off, blew cap off and leaked fluid. Besides that, the only thing the guys at the garage could do was first replace the pump, then the rack, and then see if that fixed the problem. However, after they drove it all day, and had no problems with it at all, they said it was just from turning the wheels. So, false alarm. They said that they have a lot of explorers and other vehicles that do that when say, it won't run and they have to push it in or out of the garage. I did have the transmission fluid change with new screen and new filter, which should address the issue of the transmission slipping when it hasn't been driven for a while. The mechanic said that the transmission had already been serviced, but whoever did the work forgot to put the O rings back on the filter. I'm going to flush the coolant system myself here in a few weeks, and replace the green fluid with the red. Thanks again for the info. You were right nvbanker! I know you guys said not to buy it, but I did anyway. I did get the additional 3/36k bumper to bumper on it though. So far only used it once, but thought I'd be using it again this time. Time to head back to VA, and let Dad have his Toyota back. Man it gets good gas mileage though!
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    We all wish you luck ID.
  • akanglakangl Posts: 3,596
    Is it typical for it to be EXTREMELY slow going in and even slower going out? Went by what the owner's manual said on how to do it and it was horrible to get it back out of 4LO, I was really worried it would be stuck in. It would flash and act like it was coming out and then go right back in, took 2-3 minutes of trying to get it out.

    Used it yesterday to pull a friend out of the ditch. I don't remember other vehicles being that slow going in and out of 4LO.

    2004 Explorer XLS Sport V6/Control Trac.....only have about 8600 miles on it.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Well, only my 94 has the 4WD system you have, and it's been known to act that way, but it usually has something to do with one of the front wheels not releasing. That is usually caused by some hair brained thing we've done with the car, like try to climb Mount Everest on a rock bed or pull a Taurus back up a cliff. (Which may be what you did). It can also be though, a malfunctioning shift motor. I'd test it a lot, and if it does this consistently, then something is hanging up. If it clears up, you can be assured it will only do it to you again, when it's very inconvenient!
  • akanglakangl Posts: 3,596
    I think the 4WD system in the 94's was a lot different. They used crappy neoprene hubs that were famous for hanging up or just not working. I had a 94 Mazda B4000 (ford ranger) and a 94 Navajo, totally different systems than the control trac that my 04 Explorer has.

    It started this right off the get go yesterday, before we even tried pulling the truck, it just flat would not go into 4LO, of course once it was there it didn't want to come out.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    So how about now? Still doing it?
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,723
    have only really used 4lo once(stuck in a muddy field). pushing the 4x4 auto worked to disengage it. i would shut the vehicle off, and turn it back on. sort of like rebooting your computer.
    you shouldn't need to do that, though. can you duplicate?
  • akanglakangl Posts: 3,596
    Driven it since it did that. When we tried to take it out of 4LO the last time we did what the book said and after pushing 4Auto the 4LO button flashed for a minute and then it went right back on. Tried again, same thing, tried one more time and hit 4High and after 1-2 minutes it finally went into that, then pushed 4Auto and it was fine.

    Sure doesn't seem normal to me.......I might take it out tonight and play with it simply because my curiousity is getting the best of me. If its easily duplicated I'll swing by the dealer tomorrow when I'm in town and see what they say. I hate not being able to trust it about going into 4LO which we need to use on occation, makes me think twice about taking it certain places.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,723
    i engage the 4x4 modes just for gp, once in a while. if it never used, maybe it binds up.
  • akanglakangl Posts: 3,596
    4WD ALL the time on mine, whether it be 4Hi or 4LO, I'm always going offroad and finding things to get into.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Well, we all want to know if this is chronic or not, so get to it, girl! Check it out and post~
  • akanglakangl Posts: 3,596
    Sorry guys, didn't mean to leave you hanging. Anyway, checked it on the way back from town (went back onto the logging road) and it performed flawlessly, went in and out with no hesitation.

    I'm thinking that because I tried to put it in the other day before knowing what I was doing I did something to goof it up and all it took was shutting the truck off to reset whatever I did to it. So, unless it does it again I'm chalking it up to a blonde moment on my part goofing the truck up.

    On another note........the truck is going in next Tuesday for an alignment....I looked at the tires 2 weeks ago and about had a heart attack. I am running Blizzak DMZ3 snow tires on it.......read.....expensive, and its worn the inside badly on all 4 tires after only 6k miles (have 7500 miles on the tires now). I'm less than thrilled, but I suppose its my fault for not watching it and for not paying attention when it started pulling to the right.

    Other than that its been a pretty good little truck, turned 8900 miles today.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Wow! Just turned in my 02 with 32,000 miles on it and the tires still looked like new! I've never had to align any explorer, even after having my son take my 94 over a fire hydrant and 2 curbs, blowing both front tires! Wonder why yours slipped out?
  • akanglakangl Posts: 3,596
    Might just be the roads up here, but normally with new cars I have pretty good luck and don't need to align them. I'm a little miffed at this one, especially since it ruined a $650 set of snow tires. Truck only has 8900 miles on it and with wintertime the roads are pretty good, I can't imagine why its out of alignment. I haven't been doing anything harsh with it, any backroads I go down are snow covered and they are pretty smooth.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Makes you wonder if it was right from the factory. You say it recently started pulling to the right? My previous Navigator did that, but not until it hit 50,000 miles or so.
  • akanglakangl Posts: 3,596
    It probably has always done that and I didn't notice, the front end on my 97 was gone when I got rid of it, so it drove horrible. Only reason I noticed the pull recently is because I was trying to open a bottle of soda and took my other hand off the wheel......truck went right immediatly. Got me looking at it, then I noticed the tires......grrrrr.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Do a front to rear rotation - the pull will likely go away, but I'd still have it checked, or you'll finish the snow tires before winter is over.
  • akanglakangl Posts: 3,596
    I don't think its a tire issue since I have the tire pressure monitoring system and its very touch about tire pressure and all. I think its an alignment issue, especially with the wear on all 4 tires......grrrr.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    All 4 huh...... The bad news, Akangl, is they can't align it with severely worn tires..... Start Bawling now!
  • akanglakangl Posts: 3,596
    They aren't toooooo horribly bad, but definate inside wear on them. I may be talking to Ford about some new winter tires, they don't get like that over night, so I'd say the truck has been this way from the get go, the winter tires have been on it since about 1100 miles. I can't afford new tires for it right now, I have the summer tires (OEM Michelins) but the roads are too slick for those at the moment.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I'd give it a go, they may be reasonable about it. My dealer is. No reason the truck should be that screwed up this soon.
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