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Ford Explorer Mercury Mountaineer 2005 and earlier



  • Hello, Tigerjon-- Yeah, I couldn't figure out what you were referring to, because thus far, I've had only good things to say about my 2002 XLT.

    At any rate, this weekend my local aftermarket dealer will be installing PIAA #1451 fog lamps, and a CIPA electrochromatic mirror (with additional compass, and INSIDE temperature display). These PIAA fog lamps will be mounted to each side within that elongated oval opening in the front bumper, rather than attempting to custom fit them into the inserts where the factory fogs would normally go. No matter-- I think they'll look fine and distinctive where I've decided to have them mounted, and they should be very functional.

    I've also ordered a Husky floor liner for the rear cargo area, and a black Wheelskins leather steering wheel cover. I'm also looking into a set of easily removable sheepskins to cover only the FRONT aspects of the front seats, for greater "butt" comfort on long drives, cold mornings, etc. (Leather is great, but it's not perfect).

    I'm 5'10" and weigh about 205 lbs., and as you can surmise from my last paragraph, I've occasionally found that my 2002 Explorer XLT's leather seats can start feeling a bit too firm on long drives, although I must also say that my driver's seat seems to be slowly breaking-in and softening-up as time goes on. However, to be fair here, I'll admit that on longer trips, I tend to top-off the tank and drive straight-through for many hours without stopping and stretching my legs, and this tends to invite a sore butt in most any vehicle. Nonetheless, I plan to take this vehicle on some very long trips, and I'd rather have a set of removable, "partially-covering" sheepskins available.
  • Do your leather seats have adjustable headrests(front)? If so, I guess they don't have them on just the cloth seats. So far I'm very happy with the vehicle other than the headrest complaint. Can you give me a number where you ordered your cargo liner from. I need to get one of those along with the front floormats that trap snow and water. Thanks again.
  • What is everybody averaging for Mileage City/Highway with the V-6 and V-8 4X4? I have a 98 and get about 19MPG with Mixed City and Highway driving. I have the SOHC V-6, 3.55 Axle, and the Automatic. Was just curious. Saw a nice Black Eddie Bauer on the showroom floor and fell in love with the damn thing.
  • My 2002 XLT w/V-6, 3.73 Rear end and about 4800 miles is averaging about 16-1/2 to 17 MPG. I try to remember to disable the OD in city driving and the freeway driving is usually fairly congested (metro-Detroit) so I'm not unhappy with it.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Spin Around Town: 2002 Ford Explorer V8 4WD

    SUVs, Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards
  • Howdy, Tigerjon-- I'm not familiar with the 2002 Explorer's cloth seats, but My XLT's front leather buckets don't have adjustable headrests, and i don't think they're needed. Why? Because the seatbacks of my leather, front "bucket" chairs have a tapered, high-back shape, rather like a modern dental chair. (Feel the back of your head--you should notice a midline, bony protuberance or ridge back there; this anatomic landmark is known as the "occipital protuberance", and when I'm in my truck and I fully relax my back and head against the seatback, the seatback reaches high enough to cradle and support my head at the level of my occipital protuberance, and that's pretty high if you think about it. In the event of a REAR impact (which would thrust my head BACKWARDS), I'm confident my front seats would well-support the head and neck of myself and my front passenger, but this is assuming that the seatbacks are safely positioned UPRIGHT enough to start with .

    [As a side note that has nothing to do with the participants at this forum, I often shake my head and chuckle over how certain drivers (especially those who subscribe to the "hip-hop" urban "culture") prefer to keep their front seats RECLINED to a degree that is frankly comical, absurd, and dangerous. Such drivers look as though they're trying to drive a car while laying in bed and lounging, and their necks are usually at about a 90 degree angle to their torso, in order to see out the front window, perhaps while puffing-on and passing around a roach, and perhaps while being more focused on lighting another stick of incense for the ashtray, rather than watching the road... Where go'est thou, American youth and culture? To arraignment? Rehab? Prison? Graveyard?]

    Tigerjon--I ordered my Husky liners (and other after-market goodies) through a business called "Funtrail" here in Columbus, OH., but these various products can be ordered on-line, direct from the manufacturer's web sites. Simply go to, enter your search parameters, and enjoy.
  • gregb5gregb5 Posts: 82
    My '02 XLT with 4WD and V8 is getting exactly 15.66 MPG through the first 9400+ miles. It does better than the rated 14 in town (about 14.8) but worse on the highway than the rated 19. The best I've seen is around 18. I think the highway mileage suffers from the speeds we drive at on the highway these days. The EPA numbers are arrived at through testing at 55 MPH, I think.
  • My 02 V-8 with trailer tow is getting consistently 14 in town (wife drives 4 miles to work, 3 miles to store, winter gas, warm-ups, high altitude, Denver) Is this enough excuses! When we do take it in the mountains we can get 17-18 on the road. I do love the V-8 and it dosent seem to be much worse mileage then the V-6.
  • Our 2002 Mountaineer V8 (no towing package)is getting 16mpg, back and forth to work which is all 'in town' driving. My wife drives it and does not have a 'heavy' foot. I have tracked the miles and gallons used closely, but I have not done any extended highway driving to report on highway mileage.
  • Can anyone tell me if it is possible to get the medium wedgewood blue with the brown trim around the bottom on an XLT? I know you can on the E.B. but I saw a picture on page 43 of ford's mail catalog, for their suv's, that shows it on an XLT (but may be one of those, you want it? too bad you can't have it things). All the dealers in the area have the gray trim with that color. If the answer to the above is yes then I would also like to know if you can get that color combo outside with the graphite interior. This may be stretching it but my truck has the parchment and it gets dirty quick.

    Second question. When I bought my supercrew this last summer I read on these boards that it was better to get the 5.4 V8 because it wouldn't shift as much going up hills like the smaller V8 would do (and be annoying). Is there anything like that with the explorer's 6 vs 8? We have the truck for the heavy pull so I don't need the 8 but don't want the funky shifting to occur going up an incline.

    Should I be looking for more than just the $2000 rebates just announced this week?

    Thanks in advance.
  • Has anyone else noticed that the pedals dont seem to be very well isolated? I can feel the intermittent wipers for crying out loud. I also get a strong vibration at about 1800-2000 RPM.

    I have the adjustable pedals?

    Anyone else have this problem?
  • I've owned 3 Explorers ('97, '99, '00) and all 3 had pedal vibration with the wipers on. Good to see Ford is keeping with this annoying tradition.
  • I have just purchased a 2002 limited and love it. However, the fixed antenna is a problem because of my garage height. It is scraping the paint off my garage trim. I would like to replace the fixed the antenna with either a shorter antenna or retractable. Anyone have any aftermarket product suggestions? I can't figure it out.

  • Because I was so impressed with the Husky (brand) color-matched floor trays I ordered for my new 2002 Explorer XLT, I decided to go ahead and order a Husky rear cargo liner as well. Unfortunately, when this $100.00 product arrived at my local aftermarket dealer, I was very dissatisfied with it. It was shipped in a rolled-up shape, and upon attempting to unroll it and form it, its side walls proved to be severely buckled, creased, scored and dimpled. In all likelihood, no amount of time would eliminate this ratty look, and I refused to accept this incredibly over-priced junk. Instead, I ordered the Ford color-matched, rear cargo liner, and while this product was also shipped rolled-up, it is thicker, feels/looks more substantial, is better molded, and has better "memory" of its original shape when unfurled. In short, the Ford cargo liner looks great, and in my opinion it's superior to the Husky cargo liner.
  • I have a 2002 XLT, V-6, 4X4, 3.73 rear end with about 5500 miles on it. So far I'm pleased. But I have had a minor problem with stalling. It's happened twice now after I've been driving (fully warmed up), stopped the vehicle, and then put it in reverse to back up. While I did not let the tranny pause in neutral before putting it into reverse, I wasn't moving forward either. I have also had a few problems with hard starting when the engine was partially warned up (like running to a local store then coming back out in a few minutes to start it again). It is an early September 2001 build so it should have the updates already installed. Is anyone else having a problem?
  • haironghairong Posts: 153
    This seems to be a common problem that has been overlooked by all auto makers. My current truck ('00 Nissan Frontier) and the car before it ('95 Contour) has/had the same problem. And neither Nissan nor Ford dealer can find what is wrong. I say it's been overlooked 'cause in normal driving this scenario is very rare. I only discovered this problem after moving to a new house, which is only half mile away from my kid's day care center. Had I started the engine and let it idle for five minutes every morning, this wouldn't have happened. But the truck is a lease, Oh well. Then I tried it with the 'tour, same problem.

    BTW, I never have any cold start problem with the two vehicles.

    I would like to know the reason too.
  • Thanks for the input. You're right - none of my problems occurred when cold, just partially warm. I'll let you know if I learn anything.
  • I've got a 2002 V8 XLT with towing package (4660 miles logged since 11/17/01), and fortunately, I've not had any of the symptoms you describe. I wonder if your problem could be related to the quality of the fuel you're using? I feed my truck Shell (87 octane) gas whenever possible, and I do allow the engine to idle on all start-ups for at least 1-2 minutes, certainly until the computer kicks-down the RPMs. In addition, I try to always fill the tank when it drops to half-empty, since this may help to avoid the possible formation of moisture withing the tank, especially in cold weather. My truck has never stalled, and even on the coldest mornings so far this winter (my truck is garaged), it has always started immediately when I turn the key. In fact, I really love this V8 engine.
  • Any news on changes for the 2003 Explorer?
  • There has been some discussion here about different floor mats between the XLT and EB. I picked up an EB 2002 the other day. My floor mats were not in the vehicle since the parts department is not open on Sundays. I went back yesterday to pick them up and they were still in the plastic packaging. The piece of paper inside the packaging said XLT and had the a Ford part number on it. I asked both my salesman and the parts department (on separate occasions) about the "EB" mats and they both said there is only one type of mat for the Explorer. Ford's website clearly indicates that the EB and Limited get 18oz mats and the XLT gets 12oz mats, but know one seems to know anything about this. I even tried the 1-800 number for Ford and they were pretty much useless. Any suggestions? A part number for the 18oz mats would be a big help if anyone has had some success with this. I know it's not that big of a deal, but I would like to know who is right, the dealership or Ford's website. My money is on the website. Thanks
  • I did not like the mats in our Mountaineer either, they are very small,Mercury did not include a 3rd row mat, and a cargo mat was optional. I bought the 'catch all' mats from for all three rows plus the cargo area and they are great. In my opinion they are much, much better than the factory mats. They are larger, have 'edges' to keep dirt and sand on the mat and 'lock' into the carpet, the 2nd and 3rd rows also cover the middle section. They are costly, but they keep the SUV clean. There are many places to buy them on the net. If your interested call Nifty and they will give you the exact part numbers. The color also matches perfect.
  • tvbraintvbrain Posts: 10
    Excuse me for not knowing the cause of, and not going back thru all the old posts to discover the cause of, the rattle under the dash.
    I'm at 13,000 miles on my 2002 XLT and I've noticed a rattle under the dash during freeway driving. I've also heard a rattle from the roof toward the back of the truck. I'd like to appear like I know what I'm talking about before I take it in to have it looked at and I remember it being discussed on this board a few months ago.
    I've also pretty much worn a hole thru my floor mat at 13,000 miles.
    Other than that. I love it.
  • kheintzelman: My XLT is also garaged and I generally use Mobil or Shell, too. Although I don't idle for 1-2 minutes, I do give it about 1/2 minute and drive thru a subdivision for about a mile so RPM's are low while it's warming. Besides, the stalling never happens cold. It's when warm and going from forward to reverse. I've also experienced hard starting when the vehicle is luke warm.

    mountainowner: I, too, bought the Catch-All Mats. You're right, they're terrific!
  • I'm about to purchase a new 2002 Explorer XLT. I've done a lot of research on this model specifically focusing on safety features. For starters I will be ensuring that the model I purchase has been manufactured after November 1, 2001 because of the safety modifications made in production models after that date. Having three children I will be purchasing the 3rd seat option. My questions are as follows: (1) what is the general consensus on the side air bag option for children riding in the second row seat? Are these side airbags safe and/or are they recommended knowing that children will be in the second (and 3rd) row seats?; (2) do the seat belts in the 3rd row employ pretensioner/energy management with adjustable height as the 1st and 2nd row shoulder belts do?; (3) in addition to the 3rd row seat are there any other absolute recommended options for the XLT that I should consider/get? Thanks ...
  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,711
    Do any of the Lincoln cars (i.e., Continental, Town Car) use the same 4-speed electronic transmissions as found in '95 and newer Explorers/Mountaineers?
  • The seatbelts on the third row are not height adjustable but are of the pretensioning variety. I have a Mountaineer, but I'm sure they are the same in this respect.

    If you plan on regularly employing the third row seat you'll definately want the auxillary A/C.

    Good luck.
  • mwmcdonald1 Feb 2, 2002 4:44pm

    Thanks for the advice. Any advice or experience/knowledge on the side airbag & children question? If my children will be occupying the 2nd and 3rd row seats, are the side airbags a bad idea and really not recommend.
  • I did get the side airbags on our Mountaineer. Even in a carseat or booster seat a child will be sitting lower than an adult, so I think the kids will be fine.
  • twoof1twoof1 Posts: 308
    If by side air bags you mean the side head curtain airbags than by all means order them. I've got them on my '02 Mountaineer as well as my 3 series BMW. I will never own a car again without them. Don't worry about the kids. They do not deploy out as far as a front driver or passenger air bag. The purpose of the side head curtain is twofold. Primary reason is to prevent head injury from a persons head hitting the side of the vehicle "B" pillar or door frame in a roll over or severe side impact. Secondarily they help prevent intrusion into the passenger compartment in a severe side impact. Think of it this way, is your brain and the brains of your family worth $400.00?
    I also agree with mwmcdonald1 in that kids will be sitting lower in the seat and if they are in a car seat or booster seat may not be affected at all with the side head curtain airbags.
    Good luck and let us know what you decide.
  • If kids in the second and third row are likely to be too low for the Air Bags, will they protect them at all in an impact? Am confused about that and appreciate any input. I am considering purchasing an 02 with the third row and have two kids (for now) in car seats. Thanks!
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