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Ford Explorer Mercury Mountaineer 2005 and earlier



  • mazman1mazman1 Posts: 229
    I would wait to put synthetic oil in your truck until you have at least 7,500 miles. Reason is that the dino oil helps to clean out the iron / aluminum filings and prime the engine. You will get the maximum benefit out of synthetic oil when you can leave it in the engine longer (5K to 8K miles)... and it is best to do the first 3 oil changes earlier to flush out the metal filings. I did my first oil change at 1,000, the second at 3,700 and the third at 6,000. Use a good quality filter.. not the Fram.
  • Is it because our Trucks our so well built that we at least don't have to much to talk about? If you go to the Chevy triplites site all they do is complain.
    Poll for Gas milage for the V-8? What are people getting?
  • mazman1mazman1 Posts: 229
    Your Explorer actually comes with no wax on it. The dealer may put some on it, but probably do a bad job and use cheap wax.

    You can wax your vehicle at anytime. Make sure it is clean and dry. Do not apply wax in the sun or cold. Do not rub hard, or use a rubbing compound.

    I used Mothers 3 step. Yeah, it is a lot of work, but it is very professional. All three coats go on like wax, haze, then you buff it off. You basically have to do the truck 3 times, but the result is all 9's. If your kids are old enough to help, it goes a lot faster. The Mother's first step is the cleaner, second is a glaze, third is a wax. I used a special Mother's aluminum shine for the wheels. I also bought a Lexol leather protector for the seats. I have used Meguiars, but was not as pleased with the result as I am with Mothers. Zymol is also good, but expensive.

  • I just took delivery of 4WD 4.0 XLT. It's my first Explorer and my first Ford. So far (300 miles) we're real impressed! We also have a 97 JGC and we like it, but it isn't anything like the Explorer. I need to wax my new ride before winter (live in Michigan) and read about a product called ToughGuard. Claims 5 year protection, bullets will bounce off it, etc. Has anyone out there tried it? Thanks
  • I agree with gregb5, on Amsoil 5W-20 synthetic. You can order it on line, 12 1qt bottles and they ship UPS. They also sell filters. I changed the oil/filter at 1k.
  • rrbhokiesrrbhokies Posts: 108
    Thanks everyone for the responses to the waxing. I'll probably give it a wax in a few weeks when it turns 2 months old. In the meantime, I'll start researching the waxes out there and take a look at the Consumer Reports article.

    I've heard that Ford is adding a few new safety features to make the airbags smarter at deploying and for the side airbags to stay inflated longer for a roll-over. These are apparently the same features that the Insurance Institute is waiting on before testing the 20002 Explorer.

    The big question is how will you know if the vehicle has it or not. Has Ford published anything about when they will start making them with the improvements.

    In one respect, I wish I had known about these changes before buying mine, because I wasn't in an absolute rush to get one. Also, I'm curious because mine was made in late September, and wonder if I might be fortunate enough to have the new features already and just don't know about it.

    I'm curious how you will be able to tell. The changes are somewhat behind the scenes and wouldn't even be something you'd see on the window sticker or anything. Just curious.

    One final thing. I'm thinking about doing first oil change at 1,000 and then going about 4,000 between changes. I know there are so many different opinions regarding oil changing schedule, but would be interested in hearing comments about following the schedule I just mentioned.
  • epauerepauer Posts: 4
    I just picked up my 2002 Mountaineer yesterday. Silver Frost, AWD, convenience group, luxury group, V8, moonroof, side curtain airbags. I factory ordered it on Sept 7. Very nice SUV. I got a "great" deal . . .

    I had a 1998 Explorer XLT 4WD that I bought new in August 1998. It was a decent truck but I did have some problems with it, including an ongoing musty smell in the HVAC system. Over the three years I had the Explorer, four different dealers tried to elminate the smell. They succeeded, but only temporarily--the smell would return in a month or two. After 10 of these repair attempts, in July, I decided to try the Dispute Settlement Board (DSB) which Ford since my 3 year warranty was close to expiring. I collected the service paperwork and sent in the DSB application. Before my application even made it to the DSB, Ford decided to give me a replacement vehicle! I had to choose a new Ford/Lincoln/Mercury car/truck, and they gave me a credit equal to the MSRP of my 1998 Explorer (about $32,500). I needed only pay the difference between the MSRPs of my new vehicle and my Explorer, plus a nominal mileage charge of $900 (lemon law rule). I have to say that Ford did right by me! I chose the 2002 Mountaineer over the 2002 Explorer Eddie Bauer or Limited since I liked the style and features of the Mountaineer better. My net cost to upgrade, about $3900. They even let me finance the $5500 I still owed on my Explorer, along with the $3900, at 0% with Ford Credit.

    The ride of the Mountaineer is an order of magnitude better than my old Explorer. Yes, I'm a satisfied consumer. My advice is to keep all service paperwork. If you have a problem that can't be solved, submit it to the DSB before your 3 year/36K warranty expires.
  • The floor mats that were in my Eddie Bauer 2WD Explorer were still in the packaging. However, the sticker on the packaging says XLT.

    I thought the Eddie Bauer had more plush floor mats than the XLT. I read someplace (can't remember where) that the Eddie Bauer had 18oz. floor mats, and the XLT has 12oz. That would make sense to me because the XLT floor mats really don't look very good and they don't seem to match the richness of the Eddie Bauer and Leather Seats.

    However, my dealer says that there is no difference and that there is only one set of mats for all lines of the Explorer and the fact that it says XLT means nothing.

    I need to go to another dealer and browse the lot and peek inside another Eddie Bauer to prove myself, however, I was hoping that someone out there may be able to confirm my suspicion that there are actually different mats for the Eddie Bauer and that the Dealer simply made a mistake.

  • mazman1mazman1 Posts: 229
    Sounds like the dealer is giving you a line. My brother has an Eddie B Explorer and his mats say Eddie Bauer. Sounds like somebody did the switcheroo on you.
  • I took delivery of my EB Explorer about 2 weeks ago. Same thing. Floor mat packaging labeled XLT. I had looked at several 2002's before I ordered mine & I can't recall any other EB specific floor mats in those vehicles. I agree that they look cheap.
  • I agree the mats look cheap and Mercury did not provide any mats for the 3rd seat in my Mountaineer. As a result I ordered a set of custom mats made by 'Catch All.' These included 2 fronts, second seat, third seat and cargo mat. They match the factory color, have attachments to hold them in place, and 'edges' to keep dirt on the mat. The second and third seat cover the 'middle' of the floor as well. I am very happy with them and they clean very easily. If anyone wants the part numbers of the Catch All's I'll post. Cost is $290 for the complete set. Not cheap, but in my opinion, the factory mats were limited and I wanted full mats for the second, third and cargo area.
  • For those who might be interested, I found the Catch All products at The site is pretty limited.
  • I purchased the catch all's at, although there are probably many sites that sell them. I called nifty products for the correct part numbers specific to the Mountaineer. Macromotive did not know the Mountaineer part numbers. The fit is very good and they are much larger than the standard mats. I was originally searching for a cargo area mat and found the complete set. Overall I am very happy with them, even if they are a little costly.
  • tm3tm3 Posts: 2
    Have noticed a few posts re. drive train whine in the 2002 AWD Mountaineer. I purchased mine 2000 mi. ago and am very happy with the vehicle expcept the incessant whine and vibration in the drive train over 40 mph. It seems to be present both with acceleration and deceleration (perhaps a bit more) and is associated with a slight floor vibration. I took it to the dealer and drove a couple of other Mountaineers and confirmed that the same problem was present. The service manager stated that it was in fact abnormal but didn't know what to do about it. He contacted Ford/ Mercury and they did not have any service bulletins re. this problem either. He suggested that I wait until Ford has enough feedback on this potential problem and they will then put their engineers to work on a possible solution.

    My request to all 2002 4WD Mountaineer owners is to contact their dealer and/or Mercury/Ford ASAP with their complaint re. this problem so a recall program can be initiated.

    Any other suggestions???
  • I heard that Ford was going to offer 17 inch tires/wheels on the Explorer later in the year. Does anybody know when that might be?
  • allroyallroy Posts: 58
    What prices has everyone been getting for their 2002 Explorers?
  • I started my search in May 2001, Sequoia proved too big (engine tick on that thread scared me to too), Highlander too cheap in quality for the money, then looked at Explorer in June, wife liked it but I figured we’d take a look at the AWD Mountaineer since we live in NewEng. Looked at it, wife liked it even more, so we both win. We looked for a silver, cloth-seat AWD with the 66A Conv Pkg (no adj pedals) for quite a while, none around all summer. Didn't want to pay a "locator" vig, so decided to wait. I thought there might be another incentive after the 3.9% financing ended July 2nd, no such luck. After another six weeks, realized that even tho these dealers say they've been “selling 8 Mountaineers a week”, I didn't believe them, they weren’t. The dealers got nothing delivered over this period and essentially nothing left the lot. In mid-August, we decided to buy the only one around (black) for $29K, cash deal, done in 24 hrs. I still think I might have paid too much based on how long it sat on the lot. Recently, LM has been advertising them on TV, I’ve seen more around town, the 0% financing seems good now, I guess they’re finally selling.

    On my sales agreement, I asked the dealer to put into writing that three items were fixed: (1) that the scraped sidewall recall on the tires was OK; (2) the rear glass hatch springs were replaced; and (3) the service bulletin for the transmission "clunk" that Rpashby speaks of gets implemented. They signed off on all three. Two months later, it turns out they didn’t do the xmission reprogramming, “computer was down”, poor communication between sales and service, blah-blah-blah.. We had the same “clunk” at 26 MPH during SLOW acceleration. If you accelerate quickly, it doesn’t happen, it shifts smoothly. Brought it back a 8AM, service guy drove it, agreed, I gave them printouts from this discussion, they reprogrammed it (news to them) and called back around noon saying it was ready. Problem fixed, shifts great now. Service Record said “Performed WDS Diagnostics - all normal - Reprogrammed Power Control Module (PCM) to latest calibrations - 0.2 hours.” What I don’t understand is why every 2002 Mountaineer on the lot built prior to May 2001 doesn’t get this 15 minute re-program. Setup the computer and drive them all in!! It’d be done in mere hours. I was actually livid becuz I had to bring it back after I asked that it be fixed b4 I plunked down $29K. My assessment is EVERY customer will be unhappy if they buy a pre-May 2002 vehicle without this fix implemented .... they will likely have to return it for this fix - take time off work - stupid customer relations in my mind. Maybe LM doesn’t want the bad press for another recall on the books?? Not sure. I really can’t fault the folks I dealt with, they thought they were doing everything right. It kind of bugged me that I new more about this xmission problem than they did. Allowing time for the transmission “learn” is BS. In the end, I got a spare (3rd) key programmed for free (yippee), they gave me the rear rubber hitch cap I was missing when I bought it and they touched-up some paint by the license plate that was flecked when we got it - all gratis. I am now a happy LM camper.

    Zero other problems thusfar. Wife and I really like the vehicle and style, happy with the ride and Independent Suspension - no issues yet but only 2,800 miles. At this point, I’d buy a 2nd one. I haven’t checked the gas mileage yet as it’s the wife’s vehicle.

    Me two cents to LM designers are:

    1) the transmission shifter (P,R,N,D,1,2) extends too far, blocking easy access to the radio.
    2) initially grabbing the drivers side seat belt is very difficult, it’s too low.
    3) the under-rearview mirror convenience lights shut off in a minute or two after tripping, but if the rear hatch is left ajar, they seem to stay of for quite a while (too long in my mind) and if you touch the lens, you get burned - honest. Keep the kids away, it’ll burn them. The bulb wattage is way too much and the timer doesn’t seem to work in conjunction with the rear hatch - maybe it’s my vehicle. This should be fixed by Ford/LM and very likely will be in the future.

    that’s it, albeit relatively menial complaints.

    I don’t have adj pedals but if they malfunction and one gets in an accident bucuz of it, maybe Ford’s on the hook? Maybe that’s why they’re suddenly “unavailable”?

    Re. car wax and Consumer Reports; #1 was Zymol, I use it on my black Mazda B4000 4x4, looks good but as CU states, it doesn’t last that long, plus it’s kind of pricey altho wax is a small expense for a vehicle these days.
  • made_mind_up: I hope the key you got for your troubles was also free because you can program your own on the 2002 as long as you have both originals that came with the vehicle.

    Thanks to all for engine flushing thoughts. I may just do it myself, save the money, know it's done right!
  • Love our new 02 Exp Ltd, V8, but one major exception: The fan, housed in the center console for the rear passengers, is not adjustable for speed! It is a slave to whatever speed is set for the front.

    On both our 95 and 98 Explorers, it was adjustable. Not only that, but on the 98 EB, you could switch it off from the instrument panel.

    I never thought to check that out before ordering. If I had, I definitely would have gotten the aux unit, esp since we got the third seat option.

    I mentioned this to the salesman, and he of course had no clue why Ford dropped this simple but convenient feature.
  • Took delivery of EB 2002 V8 in October, really like it.

    1) Compass is almost always reading "S". Rarely "SE" or "SW", and never "N", even when I know I'm facing North. Does is need to be "calibrated?" with a button push? any similar experiences.

    2) I'm 6'2, when I sit straight up, with drivers seat all the way "down" and "back", my head just touches the roof. (yes I have the sunroof and I know now that it cost me 1 3/4 inches of clearance). On one hand it is a problem I can work around by leaning the seat back a notch or 2, but I'd rather not drive that way. Question. I know that on the BMW's, there is a pin the dealer can remove which allows the seat to go back another couple of inches....any such pin on the 2002 explorer so the driver's seat will go down 2 inches? Any insight would be appreciated. (Yes I called my dealer and the sales guy is looking into it) - Jim
  • Check the owners' manual, there are instructions on how to calibrate the compass.

    Don't know about the seat adjustment.

    We had sunroofs in both previous Explorers, but since this is a vehicle used mainly for long trips at highway speeds, we found we rarely used it so didn't get it this time. We have a Mazda Protege (2002) we use for around town, it has a sunroof and is, by the way, a great little car. It sure has lived up to the reviews.
  • allroyallroy Posts: 58
    Have any of you tried your new 2002 Explorers 4x2s in the snow or other inclement weather?
  • Went back to dealer finally to resolve floor mat issue. When I took delivery of my EB 4x2, the floor mats were labeled "XLT". They looked a little on the cheap side, so I suspected that they probably weren't the right ones.

    The dealer claimed they were all the same regardless of the trim line, but Edmunds said that the XLT were 12oz. weight and the EB and LTD were 18oz. weight.

    When I went back to the dealer, we found another EB on the lot and inspected the floor mats. Sure enough, those were indeed a little heavier and a little more plush. I say a little because there really isn't any discernable difference between the two sets. It's very subtle, but for anyone interested, there is a difference.

    mazman said he knew someone that got theirs and it had Eddie Bauer embroidered on the mats. The ones I got don't. Maybe his was a 2001 model year and not a 2002?????

    watchtower, looks like the same thing happened to you as it did to me. There isn't much of a difference except in face weight of the mats. If the dealer is close, you may want to check and see if you can get the right mats. Again, not a big deal, but you matter as well get what you paid for, right???

    P.S. - Love our 2002 EB 4x2. Runs great. Built in 9/01. First tank was 15 MPG on a mixture of driving. Love the steering wheel audio and fan controls, the 6-disc CD changer and the dual zone climate control. We also have the auxillary climate control, but haven't had to use it yet.

    Also curious as to how our 4x2 with rear-wheel drive will behave in light snow compared with the front wheel drive Mazda MPV that we traded it in for. Some people say that even though it's rear wheel drive, it should perform pretty decent because of it's weight and large profile tires. I realize that it won't out perform a 4x4, but if it does at least as well as our minivan, I'd be happy. We live in Virginia and only get a few snow storms a year and even then, we mostly stay indoors and don't bother trying to go out. Any thoughts?
  • allroyallroy Posts: 58
    Ok, I am in a bit of a quandry...I have to choose between a 2002 XLT 4x4 and a 2002 AWD Mountaineer. The XLT is fully loaded and they are offering me $31,700. ($200 above invoice) Mercury is also offering me a 2002 AWD Mountaineer fully loaded (without the V8) for $33,200 (about invoice). What do you all think? I really love all the extras that the Mountaineer has but is it really worth it? Can you all help me make a good decision? Thanks ahead of time!
  • cubescubes Posts: 29
    I think alot depends on the value you put on the extra bells and whistles you'll get with the Merc. Dual Zone ClimateControl and Heated/Memory Seats are big for us as well as the Steering Wheel Controls. The Merc has more of a 'high end' look to it inside and the exterior is certainly more contemporary than the Explorer (JMO).

    I'm pretty sure that a loaded AWD compares more closely to an EB/LTD Explorer than to an XLT. So I think that you should price it against one of them and see where that leaves you. If you go back and read some of the earlier messages, I believe that a couple of posters had mentioned opting for the Merc because it actually priced out better than the EB/LTD Explorer.

    My wife and I drove a Merc AWD today and were generally impressed with it (first time driving an SUV). We're probably going to sign a contract to lease a fully optioned AWD on Monday. We'll probably have to order one since we're opting for the Rear Air instead of the Moonroof. Couldn't find the color/option combo we want. We have a moonroof in our Millenia S and it gets very little use and the rear air in our E350 Clugb Wagon is a godsend.

    Good luck with whichever way you go.
  • Here's my $.02:

    First of all, do you have the extra money to spend? If so, I'd go for the Mountaineer. You said it was "fully loaded without the V8". If I'm correct, you mean it has every option except the V8. In that case, you're getting goodies like dual-zone climate control, climate and radio controls on the steering wheel, the audio-phile sound system, heated seats and mirrors and message center (though I left out a few). These are options that aren't even on the XLT model of the Explorer. So, for only about $2000, you're really getting a lot of extra stuff. Making it a great value (according to Edmunds, it's about $4000 less than MSRP).

    The thing is, do you really, want all of it? Some would rather save money and skip on the extra options (not me!) If that's you, then go for the Explorer (also about $4000 less than MSRP).

    Either way, you'll be getting a great vehicle. Good luck and happy shopping.
  • allroyallroy Posts: 58
    Decisions....decisions....decisions! I dont recall ever having a car decision this tough!! :P
  • I previously said "the under-rearview mirror convenience lights" get very hot. I misspoke. I actually meant the exterior side-view mirrors. The lens on the underside gets very hot, where it shines down towards the ground.
  • cubescubes Posts: 29
    I'm assuming you drove a V6 Merc. What did you think about the power of the V6? The dealer has a vehicle exactly the way we would like it except it has the V6 engine. I looked at the specs and they're not that far apart and that's got me thinking. Maybe I'll take that one for a spin tomorrow, and maybe I'll save a few bucks.

    We had a 97 AWD 4.0/V6/5SpeedAuto Aerostar before my Club Wagon and it moved out very nicely, even when it was loaded to the gills. That AWD system was awesome and I hope the Merc's performs the same way. The Merc is probably heavier by some 500 lbs or so, but the engine rating was lower then also. Let me know what your impression was, especially if you also drove a V8.

  • allroyallroy Posts: 58
    I really didnt mind it...I dont plan on towing too much so I dont think it is a issue with me :P
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