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Ford Explorer Mercury Mountaineer 2005 and earlier



  • I have an 02 Explorer Limited with V8 and absolutely love it. So far we have put 8K miles on the Explorer and have not had any issues.

    I would like to know if anybody has installed the daytime running lights feature on this vehicle? Some of the dealers in the DC area have this in stock as an accesory. I know that up in Canada they are mandatory on all vehicles and would think that such a feature on my Explorer would look nice and make sense, since I have the black exterior.
  • I wanted to give the follow-up on the multiple transmission and other problems so you can at least see what might happen to you. After two plus weeks in the shop on this forth trip they replaced the transmission completely for a change and it shifts smother with only a few flutter shifts from time to time. I demanded them to replace the bushings instead of using silicon or Teflon again and it has been one week without a squeak.
    I have had several vehicles with a factory moonroof and none have leaked water only air due to the poor installation from factory. My current Mountaineer being the most recent.
    BUY BACK -
    In response to a buy back I just did one last summer on my first 2002 Mountaineer which left me with the recent mess which I think we may have at least corrected all issues so I can drive it until this summer and get something else.
    The transmission has issues and ford is not doing anything public about it for these actions seems to require personal loss of life or injury. My dealer has reported problems in the new Jag 4x4 model and I am sure ford in their cheap use the same thing in all model will put the same transmission in the new Lincoln based off of the explorer base. if you do the buy back you will have to pay out of pocket some monies. In My first one I had the six cylinder with 4 or 5 thousand miles and paid the taxes on a new V8 model with all options.

    hope this helps?
  • A while back a had a post regarding a noise coming from the dash on the drivers side. I just wanted to follow up with that post and let everyone know what the problem was because Ford does have a technical service bulletin that covers the issue. Apparently the original value body on the transmission was ill-manufactured and starts to make noise at around 35-40 MPH after downshifting into the final gear (it seemed to take at least 1000 miles before the problem was noticeable). If anyone has this strange "whinning" noise under the dash, have the dealer look up the TSB covering the transmission value body and they will replace this valve body with a new design
  • kheitzelman, gregb5, and everyone, How's it been? I have not been on the thread for a while. I've been scrolling through trying to catch up. I recently noticed that the plastic molding on the inside of the right side A-pillar is not installed correctly. I've made an appointment with a dealer to have it fixed. It's hard to notice it unless you drive it everyday, as I do, so they problably looked at me like "Jeeze, this guy's picky". I don't care. We all pay good money for our vehicles and we deserve the best from Ford Service. On the other hand, if this is the only problem I ever experience with this vehicle(that's not by my doing) I'll be as happy as a clam. That's all for now. Good to be back.

  • Thanks Blackxlt! I have had that noise (grinding, whining) occur every now and then. Here in Denver it has been very cold and the noise is happening quite often. Last night after reading your post it happened again quite loud and long. I pushed overdrive lockout and it immediately quit. I left overdrive off until truck warmed up and no more noise! I will make an appointment with Ford sometime to fix.
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    I have found that the only source for the air filters for the my Mountaineer V8 (and the Explorer) is a Ford dealer. A reusable filter is also available at high cost from K&N, and it is a special order item. The automakers could cut manufacturing and service costs by standardizing such simple parts. Has anyone tried to remove the UGLY air bag decals on the sun visors? Maybe they will come off with steam? My Mountaineer V8 2WD has run 16,000 miles with no problems except a bad differential due to improperly installed and/or made gears which was replaced promptly, and a mark in the paint on one door, whch was also repaired.
  • Let me get this straight, the XLT is now going to have adjustable head restraints like in the EB/LTD? The same ones that are in the base Mountaineer? If so, that's great news. I always wondered why Ford used the one-piece seats. I checked on KBB and they list certain options for the XLT like the 17" wheels, but no Sport Package as such. They also don't list any prices yet, but do list that they are available after 1/28/02. Anyone actually seen a "new" XLT yet? Thanks.
  • jmfreshour -- What is KBB? Thanks!
  • rb123rb123 Posts: 51
    The reason they didn't have adjustable head rests is because they are cheap. I had a 2002 explorer xlt for about five months before I got rid of it because I just didn't like the vehicle. I had a few problems with it such as warped rotors and rattles bad body mounts. But outside the problems I thing I didn't like the most was the cheap interior. the seats were leather but looked really cheap had I known they were so cheap I would have went with the cloth. But the whole interior is covered with cheap looking plastic and a cheap looking instrument cluster. I was talked into the v-6 and this was a mistake this engine does not have the power for this vehicle.I may be a bit more critical of it's faults than most because I came from owning two Grand Cherokee's which have a much much nicer interior and the v-8 in it would leave both the 6 and 8 explorer in the dust. So after five months of the explorer I had to trade it and get back into an 02 Grand Cherokee. But this is just my thoughts.
  • lolaj42lolaj42 Posts: 420
    Didn't you test drive the V6 before buying? Didn't you look at the interior before buying it either? Hope you enjoy your Cherokee, but I'll pass on that one.
  • KBB is short for Kelley Blue Book. They have a great website at where you can look at all the standard features and options of a vehicle, along with the MSRPs and invoices. On that site, they list several options that are/were available according to the build date. It looks like for build dates after 1/28/02, you can also get the sunroof with the auxiliary air. Now that is cool. (pun not intended) I'll be very interested to see the XLT with the sport package and new seats.
  • tigerjon1tigerjon1 Posts: 26
    Sorry, gotta side with lolaj42 on this one. Why didn't you notice these cosmetic and performance issues before you purchased. I bet you lost your [non-permissible content removed] when you had to dump your explorer.
  • rb123rb123 Posts: 51
    I will be the first to admit I should have checked out the new explorer more before the purchase. What it was it was time for a new vehicle and I wanted to get something different this time so I thought of the new explorer because it was all new and it was larger which I did like. So I went to the ford dealer and the first explorer I test drove was a fully loaded
    v-8 it didn't have the power of the grand cherokee I was trading in but this was not a big deal. The saleman kept saying I shoud test a v-6 he said it feels close to the v-8 and he could give me a much better deal on a v-6 model. So I test drove it a couple miles and it did feel close to the 8 off the line, my problem with the 6 was on the highway when the trans was always shifting because it just didn't have the power to move this vehicle. I really could have dealt with this but after only a few weeks I got so sick of that interior it was so cheap and when I started to have a few problems with it this just made matters worse. So after five months I just had to get rid of it and yes it was an expensive mistake one I will never make again.
  • If you love the JGC, then you have my best wishes. On the other hand, I found the actual cargo and interior space of the JGC to be absurdly small, and I found this vehicle to be vastly overpriced (as are most DC products). In addition, it appears to have a poor record for reliability (especially its transmission), and it also seems to have a reputation for poor handling manners, including a tendency to forever wander on highways, as well as a tendency for its suspension and "unibody" construction to impart to its drivers and passengers a rather persistent sensation of being jiggled and jostled about when riding over less-than-perfect surfaces. In my opinion, the biggest attribute of the JGC is its dashing good looks, which are unfortunately only skin-deep in the opinions of many. In my opinion, if one wants to spend this much money for a SMALL SUV, they would be better off buying the smaller Lexus. In the meantime, I'll take my 2002 V8 XLT any day, over a JGC.
  • Thanks for getting back to me on KBB. I have Kelly Blue Book bookmarked, but I have never tried their "build a vehicle" link. It is much more informative than the Ford website. Go figure. Thanks again.
  • rb123rb123 Posts: 51
    I agree that there is no question that the explorer is bigger that was the main reason I first considered it, and I know by going back to the JGC I have a smaller vehicle but really it is big enough for what I need. I think an explorer at 35k is more overpriced that a JGC at 40k and it shows night and day. The inside of the JGC limited is so much nicer that there is nothing to compare. It was a big mistake on my part getting rid of the 99 JGC for the 02 explorer and I realized that quickly. I can't tell you how many people got in my explorer and said "you traded that JGC for this?" and that comment didn't help.If you plan on doing any off roading forget with the explorer. As far as reliability in the five months I had the explorer I had it in the shop four times I have had the JGC in zero times oil changes only. If I was going to go back to a larger vehicle like the explorer I think I would look at either the GMC Envoy or the Dodge Durango these seem like very nice vehicles in that class. I think part of the problem was that I had previously owned two JGC's so my standards were pretty high. But if you have an explorer and like it thats great the best of luck. By the way the unibody gives you a tighter construction I think that is why I had so many rattles in my body on frame explorer.
  • tigerjon1tigerjon1 Posts: 26
    Ryan, I can't help to think that after only 5 months you got a lemon if you were already experiencing squeaks. I hate to hear of anyone having problems with a brand new car. I'm interested to hear what you had your 02 in the shop for almost once a month. I do admit I have had one minor problem(msg. 635)with mine that I'm scheduled to have fixed this Friday. Other than that, knock on wood. This is my first SUV and my first American-made car in over a decade(all Hondas and one Acura in that time). The Hondas are definitely made better and it shows. I did the explorer because my wife has a friend who got us an x-plan deal. For the most part, I love the explorer so far. I've only had it about 2 1/2 months. I'm hoping that since mine was made after the line change I'll have better luck. Best of luck with the new JGC.

  • lrmet2lrmet2 Posts: 12
    I'm interested in anyone's real expperience towing with the 02 Mountaineer. I'm buying a V8 with tow package and not towing anything huge, but will be towing for a long distance so I stayed away from the smaller SUVs. First try with the Mountaineer (yes, bought one) then quickly backed out because on the test drive the tranny 'fluttered'. Service said they're removing it and sending back to Ford for analysis.

    Any comments from anyone?
  • jerry2281jerry2281 Posts: 97
    Visited my Ford Dealer today. New 2002.5 Explorer production begins today at Louisville and 3/11 at St. Louis. Advance Trac $795 including trailer tow and adjustable pedals (according to dealer)
    prices up $86-$378-4 door models
    3 new colors-
    silver birch, true blue, aspen green
    Safety canopy system replaces side curtain AB
    Low back bucket seats with adj. head restraints standard on XLS AND XLT-$560
    Fog lamps standard on XLT (YEH!)
    Black leather wrapped steering wheel standard on XLT
    Electrochromic mirror standard on XLT
    Tire pressure monitoring system (XLT Sport only)
  • Thanks for the info, looking forward to seeing the new productions. When you mention the low-back bucket seats as standard but then have a $560 figure next to it, might the $560 be for the Sport Group about which we've been hearing? I've seen that this option will be available but haven't seen any prices associated with it. Cheers.
  • rk_datark_data Posts: 2
    Transmission leaked after just 10,000 miles.
    What happened to Ford's slogan "quality is job 1"?
    Manifolds all rusted too!
  • jerry2281jerry2281 Posts: 97
    The low back bucket seats with adj. headrest are standard equip. The $560 is for the Safety Canopy System option. Sorry for the error.

    Your Ford dealer has a new Explorer/Escape/Expedition/Excursion brochure that lists all 2002.5 Explorer changes and new options. It has copyright 2002 on back cover and has a blue cover with a picture of sandstone outcroppings (looks like Utah).
  • rb123rb123 Posts: 51
    In response to your question the first problem I had was the brake rotors which were warped at 1500 miles so they turned them I thought they should replace them with this few miles, but they would not. Then I had the check engine light twice which was a couple bad sensors replaced. Then I stared getting this noise in what sounded like the rear suspension turned out to be bad body mounts in the rear. I had several rattles in the interior which I did not take it in for they were not something I think anything could be done about.I would agree that an explorer will come nowhere close to a Honda in quality.
  • Thanks again for the info. It looks like a trip down to the dealer is in order. My wife might get her first choice after all. Cheers.
  • rysterryster Posts: 564
    Hi. Like rb123, my '00 Explorer developed squeaks and rattles after 6 or so months of ownership. The major rattle was a result of an improperly aligned B-pillar and bad body welds. Took the dealer 5 trips to fix it (the 5th trip requiring my truck to stay at the dealer for 17 straight days). That was several thousand miles ago and the truck is now pretty quiet aside from an obnoxious rattle in the dash.

    I have test driven numerous new cars, most of which all had squeaks and rattles in the body and/or interior. It just doesn't seem as though automakers are building cars as solid as they should be. The prolific use of cheap plastic in interiors does not help either. Unfortunately, domestic models tend to rattle more than import makes. Although, one Honda Accord I drove had a particularly bad rattle with only 30 miles on the car. Buying a car these days, regardless of who made it, is pretty much a gamble.
  • rollierrollier Posts: 8
    kheintzelman: any idea which bushings were replaced by Ford. I just started having squeaks with my 02' Mountaineer.Go Bucks! From one Buckeye to another.
  • The Kelly Blue Book website just updated the Explorer prices to reflect the new XLT options.

    The Sports Group is $765 invoice and $900 retail and includes Bright Machined Aluminum Wheels, (5) P245/65RX17 OWL All-Terrain Tires, Unique Platinum Wheel Lip Molding, Step Bars & F&R Bumpers.
  • Nice work, steelersfan. I've been checking that website daily to see when they would update the prices. Of course the base price went up to adjust for the now standard goodies. With all the competition coming out this fall, it makes for an interesting time to be looking at mid-size SUVs. Cheers.
  • starrow68starrow68 Posts: 1,142
    You mentioned stability control as being in the new option list. What did you get from the dealer? I heard that it had been delayed for introduction? Interested in any feedback. Thanks
  • gregb5gregb5 Posts: 82
    I, too, had a front end squeak that the dealer traced to the center sway bar bushings (there are 2). They lubed them with the prescribed Teflon lube, and they were good for a while. Starting to come back now, though. I haven't contacted the service dept so I can't tell you what the next step is.
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