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Ford Explorer Mercury Mountaineer 2005 and earlier



  • I took delivery yesterday of an '03 Mountaineer that I ordered in July. It has every possible option except the DVD thingie. The ride is EXCELLENT as compared to the '99 Explorer that it replaces. The two complaints that I have, however, are:
    1. They changed the middle seat in the back without warning (or I might have bot an '02). On the '02, the back folds down neatly into the floor after the seat is flipped up. The kids can use the middle then as a little table. Now it won't fold flat at all because they added a 3 point seat belt.

    2. The rear hatch window will only close if pressure is applied DIRECTLY to the center over the Mercury logo. I noticed a neighbor's '02 Explorer and it appears that Ford changed the entire closing mechanism...but it only "catches" when you apply the pressure as noted or "slam" it shut with extreme force.

    Any comments?

    Daryll40, Pittsburgh
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    Did you get the V6 or V8, 2 WD or AWD?
  • there is no such thing as a "2WD" SUV. Seriously, I got a Mountaineer Premier with V8, AWD and every possible option except the DVD.
  • I read about this feature in one of the reviews of the Explorer/Moutaineer her on Edmunds. I believe it was their "First Drive" Review.

    It mentioned that the middle rear seat (the 20% portion of the 40-20-40 rear seat has a "large plastic storage bin and elastic-bound slot".

    I just got my Explorer this weekend (build date of 3/02) and I do not see what they are referring to?

    The middle rear cushion does not fold forward, just the seatback of the middle folds forward. I peered under the middle rear seat and do not see any storage container.

    Am I missing something, or was this feature deleted mid year due to cost cutting? Does anyone else have this mysterious rear center storage bin on their truck?
  • I'm curious how your air is working now. Also, the whirring sound you hear is just the cooling fan in the engine. The hotter it is, the more you will hear it, cooling the radiator and condensor frantically. It's a little annoying, but very useful. It's normal for these vehicles.
  • It's there on my Mountaineer. Nice too. You just lift the middle seat up by the back, and it reveals it. Perhaps it's an option, you don't have?
  • without the fold down middle seat. Perhaps they just do it on the Limited and Eddie Bauer versions.
  • zman3zman3 Posts: 857
    Given the fact that GM has 0% interest for 3 years on their vehicles until the end of October, does anyone know what plans Ford has October 1 when their 2002 incentives expire?

    I am looking at 2003 Explorers and Expeditions but I will wait until Oct to see if they sweeten the deal. Does this info ever leak out ahead of time?

    Thanks for any rumors or insight.
  • All,

    I believe that this feature must only be included on Eddie Bauer, Limited and Mountaineer models. It is not on my XLT. The review I read where it first mentioned this hidden storage area dealt with the First Drives of an Eddie Bauer and Mountaineer models.

    Oh well, I guess you've got to get something for the $$ premium for those trim levels.
  • Come to think of it, we have NEVER used it. It's underneath the grandkid's child seat.......
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    sorry, but if you set 'em up..... ;)
  • I purchased a 2002 V-8 Mountaineer a month ago with every option except sunroof and wished I had waited for the 2003. My second row middle seat does fold flat, and has a net on the bottom seat cushion, but I really wish I had the three-point seat belt instead. We have 3 kids and I would rather have them use a three-point seat belt vs. just the lap belt. I have been back to my dealer to see if I can buy the seat from the 2003 and make it work in my 2002, there are only a few bolts that hold it in place.
  • second row middle seats! I doubt that trim would match, etc.
  • What color do you have????????
  • of our Mountaineer and our Explorers before it...and of many Ford the KEYPAD ENTRY! I am surprised, after all these years (I think they started in '82 or '83), that other manufacturers haven't adopted it as well. It's the greatest. You just lock your keys in the car if you don't want to have them bulking up your pockets. And on vacation I can run out to the car to put something in or get something out without having to find my wife's keys.

    Another reason to stick with Ford over the competition.
  • navigator - I'm still not completely convinced the AC problem is fixed. Check out my post 926 for what they did. Today was the first day I've taken it out on an extended drive and wasn't hot out (75 degrees). I had the AC on and it did still seem to cycle between not cool, cool and cold air :( I figure the warranty's there, I'll keep checking it. I'm not sure if we're talking about the same whirring noise - this one's weird because it's only for the first couple of seconds when I'm in 1st gear, it seems to wind itself out, then 2nd gear it starts again, winds out, then I don't hear again. It's mostly on hills (and when you live in the mountains, there are a lot of hills ;)) I'm keeping an ear out for it also. Then today a nice little "chirping" rattle started near the dash on the passenger side. Oy vey!

    Nissan used to have the keypad option on its Maximas. Another option they had that I never thought I'd like, loved, then they stopped, was the windows that rolled down with the keyfob. In Hotlanta, that sure was nice!

    I have the 2002 EB and since I haven't actually LOOKED for it, I don't know if I have storage bin! When (if) it stops raining, I'll check. My seats don't fold as flat as my Pathfinder, but I also had to do more to get them down (remove headrest, lift up seat, then fold back down). There's rarely anything I need to lay completely flat anyway.

    Does anyone know where I can find a cargo net for the EX? My hill is VERY steep and as a result, groceries come crashing down. I've been putting them in the back seat, but that's a pain to load and unload. I still have mine from the Pathy, but there's no where to hook it up :( I can also leave the 3rd seat up and wedge things in there, but I have trouble seeing as well out the back with the seat up. Thanks!
  • Nope, no storage bin in the middle seat of the 40/20/40 2002 EB :(
  • Does anyone know if they make a rear cargo mat for the 02 Mountaineer? My Mercury dealer seems befuddleed by this question and I haven't been able to get an answer. I would like a full mat to cover the back area when the third row seats are folded down. Thanks for any help. Boyd
  • That's the color I have. Dark graphite, with light inserts, they are the ones that came with luxury group package.
  • pnewbypnewby Posts: 277
    I purchased a vinyl mat that covers the entire rear area when the seats are folded flat. I don't have the 3rd row seat, but the book at my dealer listed that also. The Merc dealer couldn't find the option in their book, but the Ford dealer had no problem at all. It protects the carpet in the back very well. Was around $75.
  • Thanks for the info! I'll check with the Ford dealer. Boyd
  • My owner's manual says I have one. I've tried, and no matter how long or short I hold it down for, the sunroof doesn't open unless I'm pressing the button. 2002 EB Explorer. Does anyone have one that's auto open?
  • jrc346jrc346 Posts: 337
    Actually I have one in my 2000 Limited. All you do Is quickly press the button. Just a quick hit is it, and it should just go back. At least thats the way it is on mine... May be different with the new design? Enjoy your new Explorer. I think the EB is a very sharp and impressive package on the new models:-)
  • Help!!
    I'm currently looking at purchasing either a 2003 Explorer or Mountaineer but would like others input on these two SUV's. I'm steering more to the Mountaineer V-8 AWD since hit has so many items that are standard and looks like it gives you more bang for the buck. Any thoughts on these two vehicles would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks for your time.
  • My experience is that if you want all the bells and whistles, the Mountaineer is the better buy by a couple of dollars. Plus "on the ground" selection is better since most Mountaineers are heavily equipped. If, on the other hand, you are more value concious, then Explorer can be found with LESS bells and whistles but at a lower price.
  • Thanks, jrc. I'm not sure WHY it doesn't have the auto open. I'll ask next time I'm at the dealership. Obviously it's not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, just puzzled me, lol!

    crispy - I bought the Explorer because I need 4WDL which the AWD doesn't really provide. If I hadn't needed that, I would have gone with the Mountianeer.
  • tjf2000tjf2000 Posts: 61
    I had the misfortune of getting two flats the other day. There was a lot of debris on the road that was unavoidable. My 2002 Mountaineer is a month old, has 3,500 miles on it and came with Goodyear Eagle LS tires. The tire shop I was towed to (large chain) did not have Goodyears in stock. After a while we agreed on a price and the new Michelin Cross Terrain tire. It has been 5 days, some 900 miles later and I will be taking them back to get the original Goodyear Eagle LS tires installed. This large chain had no problem when I called them today and told them my problem, they ordered the Goodyears and they should be in Wednesday or Thursday. The Cross Terrian tires changed the entire ride characteristics of the Mountaineer. I felt every little bump or imperfection in the road and they were a lot noisier than the Goodyears. I had read post's here about tire noise from the passenger rear door area, and I did not have any until I changed to the Cross Terrian tires. I am not trying to bash Michelin here, just wanted to pass on my experiences. In fact I have purchased 7-9 sets of Michelin tires over that past 20 years and have always been very pleased with them. My last set was on our Excursion, and those Michelin LTX M/S are quiet and gave the truck a much better ride. When you drive 40k a year and have been doing so for the past 20 years you become very much in tune with tire noise and ride comfort.
  • Hello I want to find out what a good trade in value is for a 1996 Ford Explorer XLT. It is fully loaded, (leather V8 AWD Sunroof 6 disc CD roof rack privacy glass running boards, etc). The truck has 85,000 miles and it is in good condition, 7 out of a 10. I am looking to trade it in for a new car since my warranty ends this week. I do not want to pay maintenance if I do not have to. Any help is appreciated.
  • ckollckoll Posts: 8
    I am probably going to be purchasing a 2002 Explorer. Since I'll be purchasing my first SUV (and Ford), I have done quite a bit of research and have been monitoring this discussion thread. I'd like to pose several questions to the forum to get the real scoop:
    - What are the pros and cons of the 2002 model?
    - What are the common problems? I've seen some stuff around A/C problems but they do not seem to be common in all 2002 Explorers.
    - What kind of gas mileage are you getting?
    - Are the 3rd row seats working for a family?
    - When you have had problems, has the dealer been reasonable to deal with? This may be a dealer-by-dealer issue but curious if some relationship issues stem from Ford corporate edicts.

    Any feedback or other words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated.
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