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Ford Explorer Mercury Mountaineer 2005 and earlier



  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    white-box stuff, funny names from nowhere, etc.

    OEM sometimes is the only quiet and sure choice on some cars. the major, traditional brake makers such as Autolite (fka Bendix), Raybestos, and Wagner come to mind as sources worth trying. there are multiple grades of pads for each car from most makers... if there are 3 or 4, for instance, the cheapest ones are what you put on to sell a car that has rotten brakes. they won't last and probably won't satisfy. top line is usually high-ceramic content and the surest stop, but may be noisy and rough on rotors. just below the top grade may be the best value IMHO.

    I will readily admit I stayed with OEM top-grade my last 4 brake jobs over two vehicles, and had no rotor replacements, one creepy caliper replaced, and no comebacks for noise, nastiness, or pulling. both were trucks, and the brake system was made a little tougher than the beer-can products that seem to be showing up on some cars for cost and weight (thus fuel) savings.

    a good brake mechanic is a find indeed, no matter where you go... when you find one, stay with him. if you are using a good independent shop and like the results, it's probably OK to let 'em loose on yours. I like to look on the wall for the training certificates myself, and ask to be sure Willie Soberup is not the guy doing my brakes when I.B. Champ has the Acar certificate.
  • 2002 Mountaineer - V8, AWD, tow package.
    Right after starting it, drive down the road and I hear a buzzing sound from the engine compartment. Engine has to be under load, and the harder it's working, the louder the buzz. Let off the gas and it goes away, put engine under load and it comes back. It slowly dies down after you've gone 2-3 miles and goes away. If I let the car warm up in the driveway for 5 minutes, it's not there.

    Anyone else heard this before or had it checked?
    Any ideas on how to have this checked?
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    If you can't duplicate the noise while in neutral, or in drive with brake on, giving it some gas, but no motion of the car, then you may have the front axle problem, not an engine issue.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    There could be many issues pertaining to this, but one that I'm throwing out there, is how about transmission? Some vehicles have quite an audible transmission whine (Many trannies matched with the Ford's 3.0L Vulcan OHV V-6).

    Start the car cold, place it in neutral, see if you hear the noise, rev it a bit see if you hear it again. Try this and let me know.... I'm trying to do process of ellimination here.
  • I had a 2002 mountaineer with the exact same options as yours, when cold I would get the buzzing noise. It would disappear after it was warm. Mine was very load between 1500 and 2000 rpm. After many trips to the dealer they could never solve it, but they could duplicate the noise. The noise was coming from place behind the tach in the dash. Months later Ford bought it back due to other problems. My 2003 Mountaineer is just great no problems, 7 months old and 26,000 trouble free miles. Good luck.
  • TJF2000,

    What other problems? I just got back from the dealer. This time we needed a new battery. Owned the vehicle for a year and a half and the new battery is bad. We're under the 36,000 mile warranty so battery was free. I'm wondering if the 2003 was improved over the 2002 and has all the wrinkles worked out of it.

    What did you have to pay for the 2003?
    I would think it was the difference in price between the 2002's value and the 2003.
  • fx4fx4 Posts: 72
    nvbanker--with reference to the subject and other posts, we ended up buying a new red with parchment interior V-8, 4wd, XLT Explorer, with T/T and 3.73, no third row seat, safety canopy.

    The level cargo area and additional cargo space you get without the third row seat was a must for her. The selcetion in the 2003 Mercury Mountaineer was then extremely limited due the third row being standard. With a lot of effort, I did find 4 to 5 third row seat delete models in Mountaineer , but not the exact vehicle we were looking for.

    Even though we bought the Explorer, we were the most pleasantly surprised by the Mountaineer models. It is a shame that such very nice inventory has been on the lots in many cities for 12 months or more. Even the 4.0L V-6 that seemed weak in the 4wd Explorer seemed OK in the V-6 AWD Mountaineer. Difference?

    There seems to be definite market resistance to the AWD in Explorer. True all over USA? I called about one V-6 XLT AWD in WV that had the safety canopy that was early "A" VIN inventory (built about July 2002 ?). D/T model that the dealer would not discount. Many of the regional dealers have too much Explorer AWD inventory in the pricey E/B and Limited models. Many of the older Ford dealers gave thumbs down to Explorer AWD, apparently due to past 5.0L AWD vibration and poor gas mileage. From my research, these two previous drawbacks seem to no longer exist and the AWD is excellent in 2003-2004 Explorer models in both V-6 and V-8. Any comments?
  • I had a very bad vibration problem that started on the drive home with my new 2002 Mountaineer (back in August of 2002), it was back in the shop for 2 days... it was not a great way to start new ownership. The vibration problem could not be solved (after 4 months and 17k miles)so Ford bought back the 2002 and exchanged it for a 2003 Mountaineer. My dealer in the Boston area was great help during those tough months. The 2003 has been a real joy, no problems at all. This one does not have the towing package and I miss the oomph off the line that the towing package (3:73 vs 3:55 rear end ratio) gave you.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,025
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  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    not here. the dealers don't stock a lot of AWD because it's a harder sell; "Four-by" just sounds more manly I guess.

    AWD is a darn sight better for the 99% of buyers who want to go on snow and don't want to wallow through the mud like a hog on a mission.

    it's many long years of selling what they had to folks who couldn't use it right that led to this. 4WD on a dry road is nasty.
  • fx4fx4 Posts: 72
    Post #1573--we are on Ford suv number 10 and T/B number 3. It is hard to believe, but my daughter's 1997 T/B, 4.6L that was built in September 1996 still has the original battery, 115,000 miles. This is after a major fender bender near the battery's location. Similar very long life with the 650 and 850 CCA Ford batteries on Broncos, Expeditions, Explorers. Even the best Die-Hard, Douglas, Deka, or Exide will short out now and then for no apparent reason per my brother who is a veteran auto parts store owner and marine dealer. Ford OEM batteries have been no exception. Helps to inspect straps and other tie-downs from time to time.

    Post # 1575-we had been looking at the 4.0L V-6 AWD and 4wd in Explorer and AWD in Mountaineer and came to the same conclusion about the 3.73 ratio versus the std. 3.55. However, most of my test drives were after arriving in the high torque 5.4L in 2003 Expedition. Thus, neither of the ratios offered much in the way of driving comfort torque in 4.0L Explorer/Mounatineer. Her 4.0L in the 2001 4wd Explorer Sport 2D always had plently of power, but not so in the heavier 4-door models.
  • I need some help with a problem I'm having with my new 2002 Mercury Mountaineer. I had taken my car to the dealership because the cds in my 6-disc cd player was jammed and I couldn't get them out. They replaced the cd player and I had requested for them to return the cds once they got them out. That was 2 months ago. I constantly had to be calling them to get my property back, but their reply was we are working on locating your cds. Finally after 2 months they said that they could not locate them and would reimburse me for my lost cds. Problem Resolved. I took it last weekfor an oil change, an alignment, and to get the brakes checked because it was vibrating when I applied the brakes. Well I got my truck back and the service technician told me the brakes were fine and they shouldn't have anymore problems. WRONG! As soon as I drove off the lot the car was vibrating again. I took it back to the dealership for a 2nd time and I was told my brakes were rusted and had deep pits and they would replace it for free since it was under warranty. I picked it up again. Now the car vibrates at about 40-60 mph. I have called Mercury Corporation and placed a negative feedback against the dealership and am having to go to the dealership for the 3rd time in the same week. Is there any advice anyone can give me on how to get my truck repaired completely?? I love my truck, but if this is the headaches I have to deal with everytime I take it to the shop I would rather get something else. All I want is my truck fixed and driving how it was driving when I first bought it. If anyone can help me out please post something on this board or email me directly at Thanks
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    Well, the first thing you should do, of course, is to continue to give the dealer negative feedback. That always helps the relationship. Have you considered that the problems with your car are not the fault of the dealership, but the Ford factory that built them? The dealer is trying to repair the mistakes Ford made originally, so your real fight involves you+dealer technicians vs Ford Motor Corporation, not the other way around.
    As a general rule, if a car vibrates only while braking, you have warped rotors. A vibration at any speed without braking is often an imbalanced tire, wheel, or other running gear. When you talk to the service writer about a problem like this, you need to have a long list of conditions that create the annoyance: Speed, direction of front wheels, outside temperature, amount of driving time, frequency of occurence, etc. It's not a bad idea to have everything pre-written on a note that the writer can pass along to the technician. On tough driveability problems, which vibrations can be, it's just as much your responsibility to provide information as it is the tech's responsibility to repair the problem.
  • Thanks for the advice. The thinks that really gets me is how I tell them there is a problem and I have to take it back again for them to realize the brakes were rusted. This a problem they could have seen the first time and could have saved us both the headaches. Now that they did that it seems like more problems are starting to appear such as the vibration at 40-60 mph and also now a noise that seems to be coming from the right rear tire area. I have checked the door and closed the window all the way. Hopefully the problem is resolved and I won't have to contact someone concerning lemon laws on these matters. Thanks for your help and I will post and update tomorrow to let everyone know how it went.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    While I agree with you, that "playing nice" with the service department always is good policy, I don't know if I completely agree that it's not their fault Sebring is having trouble with his car. Frankly I have more trouble with my car AFTER service than what I bring it in for, more times than not. I'm just patient, if I think they're trying. Often, I get the "check-no problem found", which I understand means the computer found no error code. But I still have a malfunction anyway. Takes 2 more trips, often with the service writer on a ride along. That works well, sebring, by the way. Invite your service writer to go with you and show him/her what's wrong. They seem to get more invested in your problem that way, and are reluctant to give you the car back until they're convinced the mechanic has fixed it. Also, they will often refer the car to Quality Control after repair to assure it is corrected as well. I have good experience with that.

    Sebring, is there another Ford dealer in your town? Some service departments are much better than others, you know. May wanna try someone else. Lastly, making a friend in there is helpful, because things do go wrong. I have a good friend as a service adviser after all these years. I am friends with one of the mechanics, my salesman, the head parts guy and the General Manager. I get what I need there, eventually. Including a job for my son recently. Juice works. It has taken 11 years to build up this kind of relationship there, but it helps.
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    "Frankly I have more trouble with my car AFTER service than what I bring it in for, more times than not."

    I'll assume that's an exagerration for effect since it's not even mathematically possible.

    I said nothing about "playing nice." The dealer did not create the wind noise problem, the rear end whine, or the source of the brake problem. Yes, the best course of action would have been to replace the rotors the 1st time, but right now Ford technicians are not allowed to use their best judgemnt. FMC has an idiotic set of "cost-cutting" new repair procedures which were thought up by suits in a boardroom that severely limits the amount of labor time their techs will be paid for. To compensate for this, Ford revised their diagnostic procedures to essentially a shotgun approach, which of course costs the company more money in replacing multiple parts that weren't defective to begin with, but you can't teach anything to an MBA who already knows everything. The mechanic may have been following Ford procedure by simply resurfacing the rotors and wasn't allowed to replace them on the first try. I don't know for sure, but it's likely. This is why I say it's you+Ford mechanic vs FMC. If you feel the dealer isn't competent, pick up and try another dealer. Negative feedback and lemon laws won't get your car fixed.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    If anything, don't ever threaten a dealer with a lemon law suit (or the manufacturer for that reason) untill all means have been exhausted. What this does is make them STOP their efforts at that point, and even slow down any probability they are willing to work with you... As in, they are afraid that any more contact, or effort from their part, might make them seem guiltier.

    As stated earlier, if a dealer isn't addressing your issue in a correct manner, or your not satisfied, try another dealer. The dealerships themselves have other factors, and issues to consider each and every time a vehicle is brought in for repair. Issues where it's not entirely their fault, and some other's that's not the fault of the manufacturer. When dealing with a situation that requires you going in again to rectify the problem, make sure you get the service manager's name, above him, the dealership manager. And keep this information where it might be needed in the future.

    Hostility and attitude will just get you that, right back so it's not the time for doing so. Dry sarcasm might work a bit, but mainly on Ford's regional directors when your dealing with them on the phone. But not in an insulting way, for they might actually make it even worse on you.... WHEN to get ugly? When you have contacted Ford's regional personel and they actually tell you that NOTHING can be done about it... At that point you have pretty much exhausted EVERY possible opportunity, THEN you can threaten them with a lemon law suit... This is the ONLY level that such a threat would be vaible and correct to do. Just make sure all the bottom rungs of the ladder have been stepped on already.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Being a business owner, I can tell you ANT is right. Attitude gets me mad, courtesy gets you anything.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    I think it's just common sense. Just like these people at restaurants, who [non-permissible content removed] whine and complain about their food. Just picky eater's complaining about it being too hot, or too cold, or too spicy... I just shake my head wondering "WOW they are REALLY going to spit on your food"... Hence, SAVE the complains at the end, when your done paying your bill. That's proper ettiquette.

    Or even when some people decide on going to BK, or McD's for some fast food. They get complicated with the drive thru order "cut it in half, no pickles, no onions, no ice, no this, no that"... I'm just in the car shaking my head "They will STILL get it wrong, your slowing us down and everyone behind us, is it REALLY that hard to just fetch it out of the damn burger yourself"... But that's ok, I keep mine simple.

    Some situation with service departments. I usually get dragged along when a fellow friend has an issue with their vehicle. Two dealerships in my area I'm already known by a first name basis... No hostility, just a "Hey I'm back again, for the 8th time but it's VW, what are we to expect"..

    Even nice enough to buy the the auto tech's pizza and such, and it's those small details that count. Later on when there's an issue, I can "butt" in front of everyone else that had an appointment, the vehicle is given priority status, and we are out of there quickly as opposed to the fools who came in with a bad attitude earlier that day.

    There's a few things to take into consideration.

    A) Your dealing with a human being, they have feelings too even if your fuming.

    B) Treat them, as you wish they would treat you, respect goes as long way, being nice and sweet takes your farther.

    C) Details, leave a lasting impression. Order pizza or soft drinks for them (a few dollars out of your pocket can save you MUCH time in the future and will get you positive attention).

    D) They didn't BUILD your vehicle, don't blame them for breakdowns or parts, or the manufacturer issue. Blame the little kid getting paid $.10 an hour in china for assembling the part.

    E) Be positive, entrust them and keep repeating phrases such as "I trust you to fix this as quickly as possible"...."I have faith in you that your able to rectify this issue for me", etc. You pretty much putting a psychological burden on them... if they aren't able to fullfill the issue, it's going to be embedded in them the rest of the day for not having done more.

    F) Remember people's name. The service manager, the person that attended you. Keep calling them by their name whenever you need to address them, make it a point you remembered their name. This usually works quite well in peoples inner conscience :)
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 11,854
    have an '02 eb. my just 'converted' bro in law (lifelong chevy guy) came over with his new explorer, xlt loaded up, nice truck. was asking me if i knew where to get a mat that covers all the way across row 2. he's not looking for a fancy one; kids play football and get in with their muddy spikes. sometimes you just have to get from a to b, and worry about the details later. can anyone help?
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    there is probably a ford parts full-width mat set.

    but frankly, why mung up those costly mats with cleats and/or spikes and mud and grass and perhaps a bleeder or two every season? get a chunk of indoor/outdoor carpet or fake-grass, cut to fit, and throw it back there during the season. when that's over, throw it away and put the real mats in until the two-a-days start again.

    I'd also throw a couple beach towels over the back seat and take the bunch all out for slurpees to reinforce the notion that it isn't hate, it's just now none of us have to be really worried about messing up the car while we're dirty.

    I sewed a bedliner out of 5-buck-a-yard blue IO carpet for my new 90 ranger, filled in underneath with old scraps of felt pad left in the halls after the apartment hallways were recarpeted, and didn't worry about the loads I had from time to time. a few places where I stuck myself with #2 glover needles may still be bleeding, though, I just don't want to look....
  • sepbuysepbuy Posts: 3 has 2 or 3 different full width rear seat floormats. Also, I think I saw one at Pep Boys automotive store.
  • gregb5gregb5 Posts: 82
    Try HUSKYLINERS. They make plastic "trays" that will do what you need.
  • The 4x4 high and 4x4 low indicator lights on the dash flash on and off while running. I also cannot engage the 4 wheel drive. Is there something that I can check myself to trouble shoot this or do I need to take it to a dealer.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    but of course, you will need a code reader, or will need to get to autozone or csk to have them pull the codes as a sales driver action.

    the issues could range a wide gamut, from a gunked-up connector or mode switch, to a munged transmission needeing a rebuild.
  • fx4fx4 Posts: 72
    I have a 2003 Expedition FX4 which weighs in at somewhere around 5,800 lbs. with a full tank of gas. It does well towing and travel, etc. and it gets very good fuel mileage given its weight.

    My question is why does the vehicle feel so "heavy" to me day in day out? Am I feeling the FX4 off road shocks or maybe the variable rate power steering assist? Or is it as I suspect just an over weight suv that I am never going to get used to. I just came out of 87,000 miles in a 4wd, 5.4 L, 2000 Expedition and prior to that 4 new Broncos ranging from 1981 to 1995 year models. I am a very high skill driver with 42+ years now as licensed driver. Approaching a million miles in Ford suvs? Overall exterior size of the vehicle not a problem at all. Again, very high experience level on and off road, towing, urban communting, parking garages, etc.
    As a Navigator owner, do you have the feeling that the 2003 model Navigator is an absolute heavyweight like I am describing? I don't ever read posts on this subject and never got a response when I mentioned it earlier. The dealer just looks at me like I'm nuts when I tell him I just cannot get used to the 5,800 pounds no matter what. Picky driver he says. Looking to go to lighter 2wd Expedition or Explorer/Mountaineer, or something?

    P.s. I've got the sinking feeling that Ford has set in motion this overweight problem with their
           new 2004 F-150 models and may regret it soon.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    and the 2002 nav also felt OK when I tested one a couple years ago.

    rent a dump truck, and see if that doesn't make the nav feel better ;)

    nothing discussed on this thread is going to handle like a miata or a Z-car.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    There's a few factors that contribute to the feeling your experiencing. Weight equals solidity which the vehicle gained during it's redesign. So your probably feeling the vehicle be ponderous because of it's overall solidity and increased NVH

    You could try filling half your tank and see if this perception improves any. I've always have had a habit of feeling my gas tanks of any vehicle, half way mainly to remove some of the dead weight. BUT keep it full only during raining season, for added traction over the rear drive wheels.
  • fx4fx4 Posts: 72
    Thanks for the reply. Ponderous. Good usage.

    That would be increased attention to NVH and decreased NVH?

    As I mentioned before on some post, the FX4 is almost too quiet for its own good. A noticeable general whine underneath the FX4 is dominant when the radio is off. In other words other parts the vehicle do not match up to a super quiet environment the FX4 starts to have versus regular XLT in say 2wd. Bottom line is the olde Expedition ain't no Lexus. Ha! The quieter interior of the FX4 (this is post duct tape at the bottom of the doors to keep cladding quiet) seems to be from the skid plate package, the 4X4 works that shields road noise, and even the cloth seats. The 2wd 2003 model XLT Expeditions that I tried had much more general road noise mixed in with wind noise off the mirrors at speed (all do) and some of the above general whine. There is a considerable difference in inside quietness inside between the FX4 and 2wd XLT. XLT in 4wd is somewhere in between. Assume E/B models are quieter than the FX4 or XLT models? Dont know.

    Thanks again for your post.

    P.s. Waiting on the ultimate insight from nvbanker. Ha!
  • jcarpijcarpi Posts: 17
    I've owned two previous Explorer XLTs, the 1992, and the 1998. We are looking to replace the 1998 with another Explorer, but we are concerned about the ground clearance. We take these cars on the beach, so need to be able to avoid getting bogged down in deep sand (and need 4Lo), and also to the mountains skiing, so need good traction and ground clearance there too. I am not a soccer mom, and use the Explorer like it was originally meant to be used, for hauling, carrying, and getting where we need to go when the going gets bad. Has anyone out there been on beach in one of these newer models? How about deep snow? Thanks a lot.
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