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Ford Explorer Mercury Mountaineer 2005 and earlier



  • You can now order the Mountaineer and Aviator with Advance-trac (option 61V) a Tire Pressure monitor (option 85S) with Luxury and Premier Mountaineer and with the Chrome wheel option on the Aviator (option 85S) You can also get the tire pressure monitor on the Explorer Limited (only) The Aviator can also be had a DVD navigation system on Luxury, with the DVD player located in the rear (This might also be avail on the Explorer and Mountaineer mid-2003) no word on the Telematics.
  • Job 2, beginning with December, 2002 production has the following changes:

    1. XLT 2WD-delete OWL tires, now has BSW tires

    2. Limited Roof Rails-Chrome deleted, replaced by
    black like all other Explorer models

    3. New Audio option-AM/FM Stereo, clock/single CD w/MP3 player (60 watt)Order code 58P. This in addition to the two current audio options.
  • The above shows that the bean counters are in full charge re: Decontenting your Ford. They are already going to lighten the frame, so by Job 3 the Explorer will be probably be devoid of most of the nice features they have added since introduction in 1991.
  • I am wondering if any of you with an '02-'03 Explorer/Mountaineer with the 3rd seat have thought out the mat scenario. With my '99 Explorer, the rear mat saved the vehicle from many muddy soccer aftergames, etc. With the 3rd seat setup, there is no rear mat. And if you put one in, it's a hassle to shift from max cargo to 3rd seat. I see some of the aftermarket companies on the 'net offer 5 piece mats. Have any of you tried them? Or thought about it? What do you think?
  • Ok, we've had our new '03 Mountaineer Premier for about a month. So far, we do love it but there are a few pet peeves vs our '99 Explorer Limited. I'll list the likes and dislikes here in list form:


    1. The ride is MUCH improved over our old '99 Explorer (which I still have and still like).

    2. The rear hatch design is a MAJOR improvement as you can open the window and get stuff in lower than you could in the old vehicle. Plus you can open the rear hatch with the remote. (I must add, however, that I've had some problems CLOSING the rear hatch window as it sometimes "bounces" instead of latching...the dealer adjusted it and it's BETTER but not as solid as Toyota would have designed and still occasionally "bounces".)

    3. The third row seat seat-up is excellent...the main reason we upgraded from the old bodystyle.

    4. The V8 seems a bit more powerful up the steep hills of Pittsburgh vs the '99 Explorer's V8

    5. The INDASH 6Disc CD is nice although you do give up the cassette...which is pretty much obsolete anyway and don't really use it anymore anyway (in my other vehicles).

    6. The armrest console is improved with the Kleenex box now in the underside of the armrest. I suppose some would like it more readily available as in the old bodystyle, but I like THIS better.

    7. The optional rear air works great for my daughter who tends to get car sick. The old vehicle had rear air with a "kid accessable" fan control in the back. The new bodystyle, however, only gives a mere "puff" of air thru that rear vent but the "in roof" rear air option solves that problem with TRUE air to the back seats and roof vents that the rear passengers (kids
    usually) can open or close at their discretion. When the new bodystyle came out, however, you could not get rear air with a sunroof. My factory ordered '03 has both and is great.

    Dislikes/Pet Peeves:

    1. The lumbar support is this Mickey Mouse manual thingie that doesn't feel solid and cannot be precisely set. The old car had an electric lumbar support controlled precisely by an air inflation buttom.

    2. The heated seats use the same button to activate/deactivate as the old can't see it! The old vehicle had the heated seat control almost horizontally on the seat side panel and you could SEE the indicator light to see if it was off or on. The new vehicle has it vertically on the side and the ONLY way you could EVER see that indicator would be if you stopped the vehicle and opened the door and got out or bent
    way over. Worthless. What brain surgeon designed THAT?

    3. The exterior temperature gauge is integrated with the climate control. So you have to CHOOSE between seeing the interior setting or the current exterior temperature as a default. You cannot see both at the same time. VERY annoying and I noticed it on my brother's '03 Lincoln Town Car too.

    4. I miss the rear section MAT. I understand that with the 3rd seat, the mat would be a hassle to take in and out. But I know that rear carpet is going to get crapped up soon enough. The mat in the '99 could be turned over to
    rubber side up and be easily wiped. I guess this is nothing that could be solved with the 3rd seat but is just a comment on something I hated giving up to get it (the 3rd row).

    5. I don't like the fact that you must have the key to check the odometer. Mercedes, for instance, uses an electronic odometer (I guess all cars do now) but it indicates the mileage when you open the driver's door, even without the key in the ignition. I am somewhat anal about logging in services done, etc. So often I need to see the current mileage and I USED to
    be able just to glance in (the old vehicle). Not anymore. I now must insert the key and turn it.

    6. I kind of miss the power antenna. I know that they "decontented" it after the '99 model year so this is really not a valid complaint about this bodystyle as much as it is about Ford decontenting. At least let it be an option...I ordered the vehicle so I would have ordered it. As it is, the rod antenna hit the garage door going in or out so I had to give it a circumcision and cut off 3 inches. Not a big deal, I guess.

    7. The vehicle would look a little better with a pinstripe like my '99. On the other hand, if you ever have bodywork, Ford makes a killing ($125 or
    something like that) to replace the pinstripe so I won't have that expense when the wife gets an uncontrollable WENDY'S craving and sideswipes the
    drivethru barrier pole (which she did when she was preggers with our son in an Audi that cost me $1500 to fix).

    Even though the complaints are more numerous than the specific likes, all in all it is a great vehicle and MUCH improved over the old bodystyle...of which we personally owned 3 over various years and had family and close friends owning 7 or 8 more. I do hope Ford gets it's act together as a company and can solve the quality problems that have led to gawdawful resale
    values and concern about the company's long term viability. But the overall design of the '02/'03 Explorer/Mountaineer is a winner. Toyota's new 4Runner STILL doesn't have the third row and the Lexus version has a Mickey Mouse setup like the GM Tahoe where the seat is bolted ON and must be taken OUT but cannot be NEATLY FOLDED DOWN. Also Explorer/Mountaineer is exactly the right size to serve as the '00's version of the family station wagon ... big enough for that third row but not massive like Expedition /
    Tahoe/Suburban/Land Crusier/Range Rover, etc.
  • cmnottcmnott Posts: 200
    That's the first time I have read circumcision in a car thread!

    By the way, when you hit the heated seat button, it shows on your auto climate control, a little seat lights up. It is like that in my EB.
  • This is the second reference I've seen regarding a 3rd row seat mat and cargo space. I don't have a mat in, but planned on buying one. The seat will stay DOWN the majority of the time - do you really lose space with a mat?!
  • IS on the dash! Actually, this is an improvement. Thanks for pointing this out to me. As for the circumcision comparision, it's really a Jewish thing. We call ritual circumcision a "bris", and it seemed funny to be giving my antenna one! I actually have close friend who is a Rabbi and we got a good laugh. He offered a blessing, too, but only in joking.

    As to the mat thing. I think I solved the problem cheaply. I went to a local Home Depot type store and bot a "runner" that closely matched the interior color for about $20. I cut three mats from for the 3rd seat feet area, one as a small mat for when the 3rd seat is UP, and one that's a larger mat for when the 3rd seat is down. It's not as convenient as just having it in the car all the time, but I can install the bigger mat when we take planned trips or know in advance that dirty stuff will be in the cargo area. Beats spending $150 for a set of custom mats.
  • This is really a general used car question, but I though you fellow Explorer people might be able to shed some light on this.

    I know that an '00 Explorer (or any other vehicle) with "X" miles will be worth about $3000 more than a similar '99 with 15,000 more miles. But following Kelley Blue Book and for a few years now, it doesn't seem that the depreciation is a linear $250 per month. I didn't realize until today that this was the case, but I also did not notice the pattern. In other words, if I know that my vehicle will depreciate $3000 between now and next October 28th, what is the normal pattern of deprecation, if such a pattern exists. I would assume, but am not sure, that it's greater between July 1 and Oct 1 than in any other 3 month period...yes? NO?
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    I know that the car loses a good 12% when the ink dries on the contract, but unsure on the further depreciation schedules.

    it depreciates faster than it is paid for, because you pay the lion's share of the interest off first. I have forgotten how to apply the "rule of 78s" which is the method of calculating the balance due for payoff at any one time. maybe that's because I never have, and learned of it too long ago ;)

    depreciation, however, DOES vary on the market. I would expect to hear an expert say something like half the value is gone by the time your two-year leases are up, because so many used ones flood the market at that time. if it's a soft economy, maybe a little more.

    but just which voodoo tools are used to make it predictable, I have no idea.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    ..."rule of 78s" which is the method of calculating the balance due for payoff...

    Actually, it's a method for (approximately!) calculating your refund on unearned interest when you wish to pay off a loan early as the payments you have already made were based on going the full term of the loan.

    FYI: If you have r months remaining on a loan of n months, then your refund will be [r×(r+1)]/[n×(n+1)]×total interest charge on the loan.

    tidester, host
  • I own a 2002 XLT, and I just noticed a 2003 in the parking lot. Couple comments: First, the door handles. They are a black urathane type material. I think this cheapens the look of the truck. The 2002 has painted body color handles. Second, I took a peek inside and what is with the grey/chrome molding around the stereo and climate control? It does not look very elegant with beige interior! I have dk graphite, but still prefer the plain black in the 2002. If they wanted to dress it up, why not use the fake woodgrain (EB) on beige interiors and the grey woodgrain(Limited) on the graphite interior?

    Although the seats do look nicer that they have less of the dk/lt grey/beige as in the 2002. And also, the dimming mirror, fog lights and the leather wrapped steering wheel is also a plus. These were added on the 2002.5.

    I guess I was a little disappointed about what seems that they saved money on the handles in order to dress up the dash.

    As the owner of a 98 and 02, I still like the Explorer and would recommend one to anyone. However, I would look for a 2002.5 instead of a 2003. You would save money and get a better looking truck.
  • haironghairong Posts: 153
    What is the refund exactly in your post #1002?

    AFAIK, your monthly payment on auto loan consists two portions, you pay in full the interest accumulated in the previous month, the rest is to pay down the principal. As your monthly payment continues, the insterest portion gets less and less, the principal part gets bigger and bigger. You won't owe interest for more than a month if you pay on time, and you are never owed interest, the balance in your account is always your remaining principal.

    Sorry this has nothing to do with Exp/Neer. I am just confused with the statement.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    you are never owed interest

    Yes, but all the outstanding payments are based on taking the loan to full term. In paying it off early, you would make all the outstanding payments at once and you are due a refund on the unearned interest for the "future payments."

    Historically, the banks have used this method of "bookkeeping" but in this age of computers and calculators it would seem unnecessary. In fact, the "Rule of 78" is no longer legal for loans whose terms are in excess of 61 months.

    tidester, host
  • alman08alman08 Posts: 282
    Not exactly sure if you're looking for something elegant looking, but I got some from Walmart for the 3rd row seats. $3.99 each and I got two. Works great. And most of the time I do have my 3rd row down.
  • In addition to myself, a few others have reported a "clunking" sound when hitting a bump at low speed while turning. Local dealer replaced steering gear with no effect. Plan to go back for third visit and was wondering if any recent tsb's or solutions have been found. Do not want another part change if not the cause.

    It feels like a looseness, but do not notice it at any time other than low speed turning.
  • Our 2002 has 20,000 miles on it now, and we've not had this problem so far.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    or maybe a suspension bushing
  • kmeeskmees Posts: 3
    They offer this model on the Ford page, but they have none here in the Raleigh area in stock that I can find so I can't drive one. My question is, does anyone have any opinion on whether the V6 can handle the AWD system without really becoming a dog? Yes, I am looking at a 4X4 as well for those days it snows and rains, but the convenience of the AWD interests me.
  • The 6 is a dog in any configuration. And that's what we have. Wish I had the V8
  • I need to replace my goodyear 245 70 16 LS tires on my 2002 mountaineer. I guess I can't complain as I have over 40,000 miles on them. I am looking at the goodyear fortera. Has anyone had any good experiences with other brands or types.
  • I've not driven an '02+ Explorer or Mountaineer with the V8. I can tell you, though, that I do NOT think the V6 is under powered for this vehicle. Our Merc does have the towing package, though, which probably contributes significantly to my satisfaction with the performance of the V6. I probably wouldn't be so satisfied with the V6 without the tow package.
  • We just bought a 2000 XLT and it didn't have the owners manual, hence no card with keypad code. Anyone know where the module is located and how to get to it to see the factory number?

  • 2000 XLT. Changer is in the middle console. Any idea how it is attached in there? There is a single cd in the dash, so we would rather have the space in the console for storage. Also, on the front of the storage area, there is an opening which looks like it would be for an emergency brake (I assume for a standard). Is there suppossed to be a cover for that?

    Thanks for any info,
  • cubescubes Posts: 29
    I have to agree with mwmcdonald1. Our Mountaineer also has the tow pkg and I think the performance is more than adequate.

    I drove the V6 and V8 back to back to back before deciding on the V6. I didn't think there was a significant "seat of the pants" difference between the two. BTW, I can't remember if the V8 had the tow package.

    I imagine if you live in an area of diverse elevations or planned to do a significant amount of towing, the added torque of the V8 would come in handy. For our use, as a baby mover, grocery getter and general errand vehicle the V6 is more than adequate.

    YMMV and yes, I do wish the V6 got a little better fuel mileage.
  • alman08alman08 Posts: 282
    hi all... just want to share this with everyone. something very interesting happened today on my 2002 xlt with 1500 miles. that fiberglass part right underneath the rear window wiper (where that ford logo sits) has a crack right from the middle. I used the rear window only 3 times. I wonder if that has to do with the pressure off the wiper or that piece of plastic is just too cheap and weak. oh well, anyway, taking it back to the dealer tomorrow.
  • Any recomendation for where to find
    a third row seat option for a '99 XLT?


  • alman08alman08 Posts: 282
    went to the dealer today and they're pretty good about it. the mgr at the body shop said it's a defect and they would order part to fix right away. :)
  • Taboky;

    I bought an Exploder new in '98 and the slot you mention in the console is actually for a box of tissues. A small travel size box will slide into the front of the console and the slot allows access to one tissue at a time. Clever, but not very useful. I found that this kept a nice layer of tissue "dust" all over the console most of the time.

    Not sure how the CD Changer is attached, good luck though.

  • How did you figure that out? I didn't get a manual, but downloaded one from the myford site. Maybe the manual that comes with the truck is more descriptive.

    I did find that the code for the keyless entry is on the control module located in the well that the jack is in. Needed a mirror and flashlight to read it, but cheaper than paying a dealer.

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