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Ford Explorer Mercury Mountaineer 2005 and earlier

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Comments

  • Did they diagnose the problem about the missing and sputtering to be the EGR System? Bad EGR usually causes rough idle, but engine will still run good at speed.
  • like I said in my orignal post they found the problem was cracked egr adapter and no trouble codes I guess my question is does anyone else had that problem . thaks Mike
  • daryll44daryll44 Posts: 307
    I just had the coolant flushed as my 2003 Mountaineer V8 approaches 50,000 miles. A friend says I should have had the hoses and belts replaced. What do you guys think? The dealer didn't suggest it....and you KNOW that they always are looking for stuff to sell (although to be fair, I thought I needed brake pads and they assured me I have about 40% left).
  • daryll44daryll44 Posts: 307
    I see that my '03 Mountaineer needs some brake fluid topping off. I have a can of Prestone DOT 3 fluid on my shelf...is that the right stuff?? I THINK I bought it originally for this vehicle, but I honestly can't remember
  • ustazzafustazzaf Posts: 311
    The experts (guess 18 years as a mechanic makes me one too huh!) say to replace the belts and hoses about every 24 months. As for belts, look for cracks. Serpentine belts start cracking on the ribbed side. Bend the bels backwards or look where it goes over a pully inverted. Cracks across the belt say replace me ASAP. Hoses generally don't give a warning. I say replace the hoses at 60K/3 years or at a sign of problems and carry a replacement belt (and know how to replace it) or replace when cracked. As for the brakes, you should get 60K out of the front and 100K out of the rear unless you use the brakes unusually.
  • daryll44daryll44 Posts: 307
    Ustazzaf, thanks for the reply and advice on hoses and belts. I guess I'll get that done soon (50,000 40 months).

    As for brakes, THIS IS PITTSBURGH! Allegheny mountains. No one in history of driving, ever, ever got 60K out of front pads here...did I say EVER...let alone 100K out of ANY brake pad. You just don't understand!
  • ustazzafustazzaf Posts: 311
    Ok, I said unless you use them unusually, and I will use your area as my disclaimer. LOL! In 18 years of California and Washington repairs I have never replaced pads in less than 60K unless something else caused premature failure (rear seal failure). I have never dealt with mountains or salt, which could both cause premature wear. With proper driving, 60K is not unrealistic in any conditions.
  • mtnman1mtnman1 Central OhioPosts: 431
    I was more than disheartened today while reading my April issue of Consumer Reports. It's their big yearly car ratings issue. In the used Suv's to avoid they listed the Ford Explorer and Mercury Mountaineer 2002-2005. I have a 2004 Mountaineer Luxury AWD/V-8 which I love and have had basically zero problems with outside of the recall for the Rear Transaxle Fluid needing replaced due to the lack of an additive. I think this will further erode the re-sale value of these vehicles when it's time for me to sell. I see such a bias by CR towards all that is Asian. What gives? Are there that many unhappy owners of the Explorers/Mountaineers out there? Do Japanese Suv and Car owners want to justify their claims of vehicle superiority (Snobbery) by not reporting problems with these vehicles? Granted I think most CR subscribers are people with a bias towards Asian cars from the beginning. You can easily see this by reading the online forums in CR.org. So many people use CR as a guide for buying a new or used vehicle though which concerns me greatly for the future of selling this Truck someday.
    2012 Highlander Limited AWD V6 and 2015 Ford Fusion Hybrid SE
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    Imagine that you own a [non-permissible content removed] car and you drive to work every day in that car and while on the job, you write reviews about cars....which one do you give the best ratings to?

    Mark.
  • moeharrimoeharri Posts: 108
    Imagine that you've owned many cars including mostly American and some Asian...now imagine that the American car quality has been declining and Asian has been increasing (from an already high standard). Well, I don't have to imagine too hard, because that is what I'm going through right now. I have tried GM, Ford, and Toyota in the last 10 years, and after we sell our 2003 Explorer (for a new 2007 Toyota), we won't be coming back to American cars ever again--the quality and ownership experience just isn't there.
  • mtnman1mtnman1 Central OhioPosts: 431
    You're wrong about the quality degrading on american cars. Even the biased Consumer Union has said the quality between american and asian is not that far apart. If anything the Quality has increased greatly in the last 5 years. I own a Hyundai Sonata and a Mountaineer. Both are very well made cars. I will consider all makes when I'm looking for a car or SUV. I have no reservations whatsoever in buying a Ford or GM product. In fact I think Ford, GM, and Chrysler make the best looking cars and trucks. Sure the Japanese have an advantage of a little better reliability, but give me driving pleasure over a few extra minor problems over 5 years.
    2012 Highlander Limited AWD V6 and 2015 Ford Fusion Hybrid SE
  • moeharrimoeharri Posts: 108
    I guess you've been lucky with your Mountaineer then, we've had our 03 Explorer in for about 30 days worth of work in only 2.5 years (we bought it brand new)--this is far and away the worst vehicle we've ever owned. I also hear every time I go in how they have many other vehicles with the same problems (alternator, cluster, ABS sensor, etc, etc, etc). Regardless, you can see the shape that GM and Ford are in, and it is not because of health costs; it is because they make low quality vehicles that no one wants (check the depreciation)--they just cannot compete anymore. When we trade in (or sell) our Explorer, we are going to get absolutely killed on depreciation (rightly so, who would want this lemon or any other Ford).
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Here's a test for your bias question. (And I don't subscribe to C/R, so I don't know the answer). How do they rate the Nissan Armada? If better than the Explorer, then they are suspect. If not, they may be honestly reporting what their subscribers report. Because the Armada (I have 3 of them on my street) have been just horrible since their introduction. Same with the Titan...
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Consumer Reports has received media attention/allegations for their inconsistant reporting. A few outlets have used some of their information as example, and I believe some other major TV-News reporting show made an expose on it, as well as some local news organizations. There's a reason why recently they have been underscoring their usage of the term "Predicted Reliability".

    Personally, Miss Cleo had the same method of reporting peoples futures.

    Some things off the top of my head I've seen people on these forums mention... CR's pick of the Honda Oddyssey for best minivan has had a total of 13 recalls. The Ridgeline also received a great reliability prediction, yet quite many media outlets (including Edmunds) have experienced many quality issues with them (In Edmunds case, 4 shot shocks in really a major issue-but how quick Edmund was to forgive them). The Civic which was just released 3 months ago has already had 2 recalls, yet CR vaulted them to BestPick while numerous other American vehicles that have been released for over a year, received a "poor" predicted reliability that in other surveys, rated tops in their segment.

    JDPower uses a wider sampling of information, and not just from consumers who need to be "members" to be inducted into their exclusive group of participants, instead, it goes to just about anyone, while some of the information is taken straight off manufacturer's databases. So in retrospect, it touches more bases and uses actual data, not "predicted reliability".
  • mtnman1mtnman1 Central OhioPosts: 431
    They do rate the Titan as one to avoid,, but they don't rate them head to head. They put them in the large SUV category. They are rated below the Navigator & Expedition. I would like to see the types of problems that are reported. I think it would be more fair if the problems that were reported were rated as minor or major. When I read posts on the CR forum and talk to people that are owners of Honda and Toyota's there is an air of "I'm smarter and more choosey in my vehicle choices than you". If you read the Car Forum at CR, you will see most people are owners of these makes. Far more than American cars. I get the feeling that these people that CR uses for their data are the ones that wouldn't report all problems with their vehicles. They would never want to admit that their vehicles may have close to the same number of problems as a lowly Ford or GM owner may have. I mean Ford and GM owners don't have enough intelligence to make informed choices. The fact is I keep an open mind when shopping for a new car. I will look at all choices in the class that appeal to me whether it's a toyota or Ford. Most japanese car owners won't even consider the option of one of the Big Three American car makers.
    2012 Highlander Limited AWD V6 and 2015 Ford Fusion Hybrid SE
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    ANT: I heard a rumor that Ford has cancelled the Hurricane Engine project. Is that true? (requesting indulgence from the Host for this slightly off topic question... :blush: )
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I think you're exactly right mtn.... Lots of import drivers do have that aire about them. And they are often the ones who subscribe to C/R. As I said, I don't, so I guess I'm a moron. Still, I think I have chosen wisely overall in my car selections, even without their research. Imagine that. OTOH, I'm a car guy, and most people aren't, so perhaps they need anecdotal evidence and research assistance to actually make a decision. :shades:
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    "was more than disheartened today while reading my April issue of Consumer Reports. It's their big yearly car ratings issue. In the used Suv's to avoid they listed the Ford Explorer and Mercury Mountaineer 2002-2005."

    On my '02 Explorer--in 2 1/2 years and 45,000 miles later, I had the following issues:

    tranmission solenoid bad
    power window motor failed
    rear-end would whine at between 55mph and 65mph. FORD WOULDN'T FIX IT.
    Leather seating very poor quality - if I would have kept the car I would have had to redo the leather. Ford again, knows there was a problem here and wouldn't satisfy the owners.

    Bought a Toyota. Farewell Ford!!
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Nope, not cancelled... Like any storm, ya never know when it's gonna strike.
  • ustazzafustazzaf Posts: 311
    You're wrong about the quality degrading on american cars. Even the biased Consumer Union has said the quality between american and asian is not that far apart. If anything the Quality has increased greatly in the last 5 years. I own a Hyundai Sonata and a Mountaineer. Both are very well made cars. I will consider all makes when I'm looking for a car or SUV. I have no reservations whatsoever in buying a Ford or GM product. In fact I think Ford, GM, and Chrysler make the best looking cars and trucks. Sure the Japanese have an advantage of a little better reliability, but give me driving pleasure over a few extra minor problems over 5 years

    As a Mountaineer, F150 and Tacoma owner, I can say that Foreign over domestic (are they actually) does not play in as much as what do I need the vehicle to do. I really don't think the quality of ther big 3 comes close to the Toyota and Honda makes, but they offer what I need. Now, if you compare the quality of Hyundai against Mercury, you will find american cars a worthy competitor. I would rather be pushing a used Mercury than drive a used Hyundai. Chances are I will be pushing both anyway. Atleast I will get help with the Merc. Just get "I told you so" with the Hyundai.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    Just get "I told you so" with the Hyundai.

    It seems Hyundai likes to tout their 100,000 mile warranty, but they do not like to pay out when something goes awry. I have known at least three people that had something go wrong at 60K or 70K miles, and Hyundai tells them the car hasn't been maintained. AT least one was the transmission. So, after going down to the Speedy-lube and requesting copies of all the paperwork, Hyundai coughed up a new transmission. Of course it took them three weeks to get the parts from Korea....
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    I just had an embarrassing moment delivering a new 2006 Ford Explorer XLT to a customer. This particular truck was built in September and was one of the first to get "released" it hit my dealer with "DO NOT SELL" on the original monroney.

    Anyway I am doing the break in with the customer and as I tried to demonstrate how to turn on the Fog Lights, standard in the XLT, I discovered that the WRONG HEAD LAMP switch was installed at the factory. The truck had an XLS head lamp switch with no Fog Light provision.

    How did this happen? I'm sure part of the cause was for 2006, Ford decided to make Autolamp, previously standard on the XLT optional. As such, there are 3 possible head lamp switches for an Explorer. No Fog Lights or Auto lamp, Fog lights No Autolamp and both fog lights and auto lamp.

    How is it efficient to have 3 freaking headlamp switches?

    Fords have such a Myrid of different optional combinations that its a wonder any customer EVER gets a vehcile with the equipment that they want.

    Mark.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    How is it efficient to have 3 freaking headlamp switches?

    FORD has a better idea :)
  • My friend just lost her rear window on her 2003 Mountaineer. Were the ends bent out were the hydraulic pistons are?
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 13,872
    hey chuck1... guess what? i brought my '02 in today and asked the service department to check out the rear axle noise. by the time i got back to work they had called. the rear ring and pinion needs to be replaced, can we keep it for a while?
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2017 Ford F-150 Limited
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    I was told - "Yea- there is a whine there. It's not as bad as some though. We are not replacing it". It's called customer service. One shouldn't have to "jump through hoops" to get a KNOWN FACTORY DEFECT FIXED!

    Glad you got yours fixed. However, be aware that some owners have had this done only to have the problem return later.....
  • jame21jame21 Posts: 1
    Wow, This helps me out alot! I have this whining noise coming from my rear axle as well. I just bought my 1999 Mercury Mountaineer 2 weeks ago and its already having problems. It is still under warranty though! I took it in to have the oil sending unit replaced and asked them to look at the axle and the mech. said "Oh, its just your pinion bearings going bad, you can drive on them like that for at least another 4 years... but why would I want to? Its under WARRANTY! He said it like it was no big deal at all, because it is not his vehicle! It pissed me off! My tube going from my EGR valve to my manifold has a hole in it causing a weird noise in the front and I am having a problem with them fixing that as well. NOW, my gas pedal is not engaging right! I mean it does but after a few miles, it is MUCH harder to push down and when I do accelerate it JOLTS me because its to much throddle, I guess? Any help on that one? :P
  • ustazzafustazzaf Posts: 311
    It seems Hyundai likes to tout their 100,000 mile warranty, but they do not like to pay out when something goes awry. I have known at least three people that had something go wrong at 60K or 70K miles, and Hyundai tells them the car hasn't been maintained. AT least one was the transmission. So, after going down to the Speedy-lube and requesting copies of all the paperwork, Hyundai coughed up a new transmission. Of course it took them three weeks to get the parts from Korea

    You are dead on. My friend's wife was driving her pretty Hyundai with about 14K on the odometer down to the dealer because it was having a funny noise from the frontend. She stopped at the stoplight infront of the dealership. When she released the brake and started to pull away, the engine actually fell to the ground. Guess that was the cause of the noise. Anyway, before she could walk the 100 yards to the dealership, they were rounding the corner with their towtruck. Wisked the car off the street and offered her full credit toward any vehicle on their lots no questions asked. Smartly she took one from the Jeep lot. That smells of a well known problem by their company.
  • kwikbillkwikbill Posts: 4
    I have the exact same problem with my 04 Explorer...4.6 V8...has been in shop 6 times and still no problem..luckily still under warranty...and it has not cost me anything at this point...besides some time...and the dealer that I use, always gives me a loaner...But getting close to the 36000 mile mark, I am getting quite anxious to get this problem solved...any new ideas other than ones mentioned in previous replies??

    Thanx....Bill
  • mtnman1mtnman1 Central OhioPosts: 431
    Bill Ford's engineering department came up with a remedy for this situation. They fixed mine back in September 2005. Nothing is broken or damaging anything it's just an annoying chirp. They replaced a compressor pulley and it only makes the click that electricdesign stated it should make. Have not heard a peep (chirp) since. I have to say that my Lincoln Mercury dealership is the best by far at taking care of it's customers. I think that since you have had your's in for this problem that they would fix it for free even over 36,000. Go back and tell them to call in to whomever it is at Ford that addresses these things.
    2012 Highlander Limited AWD V6 and 2015 Ford Fusion Hybrid SE
  • kwikbillkwikbill Posts: 4
    If I remember correctly, (I have to go back and check my paperwork), my local dealership has already replaced the compressor pulley. It did remain quiet for a few weeks...then all of a sudden, It started back again, reckon it could be a defective pulley?..Did you ever have your compressor replaced??...Thanks for the reply....Bill
  • mtnman1mtnman1 Central OhioPosts: 431
    Bill, I'm looking at the "Special Service Messages" that the dealer printed out back in December 2004. It was message 18219 2002-2005 Explorer 4DR/Mountaineer 4.6L - Chirp from the Engine compartment with A/C Compressor Cycling. Goes on to say that some vehicles equipped with that engine may exhibit a chirp from the engine compartment when the A/C compressor is cycling. Engineering is currently investigating this condition and expects to have a new part and/or procedure available late fourth quarter 2004.
    The new fix didn't actually come available until fall of '05. I do believe they replaced the Compressor Clutch and set the Clutch Gap to a different setting in addition to the new Pulley. This pulley was different than the ones before fall of 2005. I have not had any issues with mine since it was fixed.

    Before that fix I would ask every other person driving an Explorer/Mountaineer with the V-8 if they were experiencing this problem. Not one had, so I guess it was very isolated incidents.
    2012 Highlander Limited AWD V6 and 2015 Ford Fusion Hybrid SE
  • cathmaccathmac Posts: 49
    My father subscribed to Consumer Reports (CR) when I was growing up and I have been turning to it for purchase information since I bought my first car in 1984 or so. I have found the information to be pretty reliable.

    Having said that I like to think I've gotten a little more sophisticated. I tend to buy newer used vehicles so I check with the NHTSA for Recalls, Technical Service Bulletins, Defect Investigations and Consumer Complaints. I haven't made a scientific study of how well that info tracks with Consumer Reports reliability data but my sense is that they tend to be fairly consistent with each other.

    I also check chat sites like this to see what people in the real world have to say about any problems they have.

    I do agree with one other poster that the reliability data CR gets depends upon what their average member drives but I don't know that more CR members buy foreign than domestic vehicles. Assuming, for the sake of discussion, that more of them buy foreign that doesn't mean the data is statistically invalid unless you further assume that blind loyalty compels them to under-report problems. In my experience anyone who has been inconvenienced &/or hit in the pocketbook by an unreliable vehicle is probably going to vent their grievance, given the opportunity.

    Currently I am in the market for a newer used SUV. I have been pretty happy with my 1997 Subaru Outback (Imprezza) Sport so I had been looking for a 2005 Subaru Outback (Legacy). One with average miles and about 1 1/2 to 2 years left on the warranty is going for about $19,000 to $20,000. A discounted "Gold Plus" extended Mfr warranty, 7 years / 100K, $0.00 Deductible would cost me about $1,400.00. Consumer Reports gives Subaru a better than average rating for the OB / Legacy overall but the 2005 is only about average. As much as I liked the OB Sport the extended warranty did get a workout so I want the warranty this time for the peace of mind.

    But since I was hoping to do better on price I started looking at some domestic alternatives including the 2005 Ford Explorer which CR rates as worse than average on reliability. Since I could save about $2000 to $3,000 buying a 2005 Explorer with 18 months, but only 6,688 miles left on the original Mfrs warranty I would definitely need the extended warranty. However, the MSRP on a comparable Ford warranty is about $800. Worse yet, the difference between the best discounted price on a Subaru warranty and the ford warranty is about $1,300.

    So the real difference in cost between the Outback and the Explorer is about $700 to $2,300 but that difference could get eaten up by repairs pretty quickly after the extended warranty runs.

    So, I have come to believe that what a Mfr charges for their extended warranties is a pretty good indicator of the faith they have in their product and probably a fair predictor of reliability.

    As additional examples here is a rough idea of what Toyota and GMC warranties cost at MSRP and after a decent discount. Note, both of these warranties are the highest level of coverage I could find for the Mfr in question and are for 7 year / 100K, $0.00 Ded.

    Toyota MSRP: $2,400; discount price: $ 900
    GMC/Chevy MSRP $3,300; discount price: $2,800 (appx'ly)

    Interestingly, in my limited experience, if you shop aggressively you can save about 40% on a foreign Mfr warranty but only about 15% on a domestic Mfr warranty. I don't think that is any sort of predictor of reliablity though.

    Anyways, these are just my observations; for what they are worth.
    ~Cath
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    Wow!

    Anyway, I don't know how you can compare an Outback against an Explorer. The Explorer is a true SUV, with optional seating for seven. And while I haven't looked up the numbers, I would venture to say the Explorer probably has more interior room and towing capacity (if you opt. for the V8) than the Subaru.

    In addition, I really don't agree with your assessment of the cost of warrantys. It is the dealers (unfortunately) that sets the ultimate sales price of the warranty, not the manufacturer.
  • mtnman1mtnman1 Central OhioPosts: 431
    There is no comparison. The Subaru can't tow anywhere near the 6900lbs and Explorer/Mountaineer with the V-8 can. As far as interior space again it's like comparing Apples to Oranges. Subaru is listed as a small SUV along with the CRV, Escape, etc. Explorer is a mid Size. No one is buying a Subaru to tow with. Most people that buy them probably like the idea of having a family vehicle with the ability of an AWD vehicle. I on the other hand wanted an SUV with towing capability and the comforts of a luxury vehicle. The Mountaineer with the Luxury trim level is loaded plus it comes standard with a third row seat. I don't think the guy really meant to compare them as SUV's, but was making a comparison in pricing and reliability.
    2012 Highlander Limited AWD V6 and 2015 Ford Fusion Hybrid SE
  • mtnman1mtnman1 Central OhioPosts: 431
    After checking Edmunds for specs I found that the Explorer V-8 can tow 7240 lbs vs. 3000 lbs for the Subaru Outback. Edmunds lists the Outback as a Mid Sized Station Wagon not an SUV. Again, I don't think anyone buys a Subaru Outback with the idea of any serious towing. They like the car and it suits their needs just like the Explorer may suit someone else better.
    2012 Highlander Limited AWD V6 and 2015 Ford Fusion Hybrid SE
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 13,872
    great post. one of the best of original thought i have seen here. really makes a lot of sense. after the zillions of posts i have read and made, all i can say is thanks.
    it is a breath of fresh air.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2017 Ford F-150 Limited
  • cathmaccathmac Posts: 49
    Explorerx4,
    Thanks for the kind words. I'll "correct" two typos of mine here --regarding the Ford and Toyota warranties-- before anyone points them out. The Ford warranty MSRP is $800.00 more than the Subaru warranty MSRP (I omitted the word "more"). The Toyota MSRP is about $1,400 (not $2,400). Sorry for any confusion.

    Chuck1 and Mtnman1,
    Regarding the differences between the Subaru Outback and the Explorer, for a more accurate frame of reference I did price a Taurus warranty at www.fordesp.com (where I got the $3,300 warranty MSRP on the Explorer). I put in comparable vehicle info (Year & Mileage) for a comparable warranty (highest / longest level of coverage, $0.00 Ded) for a Taurus (without AWD or 4WD). The price I came up with is $3760. (?!?!?!?!) I believe that price is inflated since it is higher than the price I got just yesterday for the Explorer on that site, using the same warranty and vehicle parameters. I have no idea how or why that happened. It must be some sort of marketing thing.

    However, they are running a 10% - 25% "promotion" which at best (25% off) would translate to $2,820. This would still be about $300 more than the Subaru MSRP on a comparable Outback warranty. And of course the Subaru has AWD, which would increase the cost of potential repairs, all other factors being equal.

    Obviously this isn't a scientific survey but it reinforces my impression that domestic warranty prices are more expensive than Japanese warranties (again, for comparable vehicles). To to the observation about dealers setting the final cost, that may be corect to an extent. The real indicator of reliability would be the wholesale price the Manufacturer charges the dealer, which is probably the amount that would cover the Manufacturer's risk of repair (plus the Manufacturer's profit, if any). Nevertheless, I maintain that as with any kind of insurance, the price is a pretty good reflection of the actuaries' assessment of the risk of repair. Otherwise the prices would be arbitrary and unrealistic and if market forces didn't correct that then no one would by them.

    I should note that my husband's gripe with Consumer Reports is that they do not tend to report the cost of repairs. His impression is that American cars may need repairs more often but those repairs tend to be less expensive. The big weakness in any almost any reliablity data (not just CRs) has more to do with the severity of potential problems, than the likelihood.

    As an example, my sister recently got a great price on a used Lexus RX300. The CR reliability data is excellent but knowing how expensive they are to fix I went to the NHTSA Technical Service Bulletins and to Edmunds Forums and found what is essentially a voluntary recall and warranty extension for oil sludge problems. I went back to CR online and found a separate article on that repair issue for a variety of foreign and domestic manufacturers. Needless to say I helped her find a good price on a Lexus backed used car warranty.

    Interestingly, I had never heard about oil sludge problems in any vehicles before. And no one else I have spoken to since had heard of the problem before. I specifically had to research this particular vehicle to find the issue. So I'm not sure it reflects poorly on CR that that uncommon but serious issues aren't highlighted in their reliability data.

    However, knowing that a lot of used car buyers only look at the Annual Auto issue I would feel better if they could find an efficient way to spotlight infrequent, but potentially catastrophic failures, perhaps in sidebar articles in those issues so that people can weigh the likelihood of potential problems against the severity. Maybe that's impractical, since I would imagine there are a lot of infrequent but potentially catastrophic repairs.

    For what it's worth, in my opinion CR, is as unbiased as it can be but it has its limitations and car buyers would be wise to look to the NHTSA and sites like this for supplemental information. If I’m not mistaken, this is consistent with CR recommendations on researching major purchases.
    ~Cath
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    The True Cost to Own tool will estimate repair costs for a new car for the first five years of ownership.

    I like to check out JD Power too, and I think their sampling methodology is better than CR's. We report their Power Circle ratings here for many makes/models.

    Lots of good resources out there. Oh, this was an interesting safety score link Varmint posted last week: Informed For Life (via Straightline Blog)

    Steve, Host
  • ramhappyramhappy Posts: 2
    I just purchased a 2002 Explorer XLT that seems very highly optioned. Is there any source where one could enter a VIN and get what amounts to the options on this vehicle? :confuse:
  • cathmaccathmac Posts: 49
    Steve,
    I know that CR gets its reliability data from its members, a method that has obvious limitations but no obvious actual reliability bias that I'm aware of. What methodology does JD Powers use and do they rate the reliability of used vehicles? I'm familiar with the JD Power's term "initial quality" used in new car advertising but it never occurred to me they might have used car data.

    Do they buy the new vehicles themselves, as CR does?

    I like the NHTSA info when making a used car purchase so I I can bring any potentially expensive issues to the attention of the mechanic doing the pre-purchase inspection. Even if I have another Subaru dealer doing the inspection I wouldn't assume they are going to be familiar with all of the Recalls, TSBs, or certainly consumer complaints that haven't resulted in a Recall or TSB.

    "Straightline" link but it doesn't seem to take me to any safety score info, Varmint or otherwise.
    ~Cath
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Cath,

    You need to click on one of the links near the top of Varmint's page. It's a link to a .pdf file which requires the Adobe Acrobat Reader in order to view it. If your browser isn't set up to handle those files you may need to install the reader (Varmint provides a link on his page!)

    tidester, host
  • FYI... yesterday I got in the mail a JD Power survey on my 2003 Mountaineer that I purchased new. Asked if I still had it and asked me to then take the survey. Survey was very inclusive and took 20 minutes to complete.
  • I now have 7922 miles on a 2006 Explorer, V8 with the 6 speed tranny. My average MPG for the entire time: 15.63 MPG, with about two thirds of that mileage on the highway. The best mileage so far: 17.5 MPG at a steady 65-70, and the worst: 11.6 on a tankfull mostly around town in 30-35 degree weather.
    Other likes and dislikes: I love the seats, the ride, the QUIETNESS; I HATE the inside door pull handles (moronic design..be CAREFULL ! You will be dinging OTHER people's doors as the heavy door gets out of your grasp and slams the car next to you !!), and I HATE the GLARE off of the tacky chrome rims around the speedo and tack (I finally resorted to putting strips of black electrical tape on them to reduce the windshield glare). Troubles so far (which are typical Ford quality issues): 1) defective turn signal switch (just like my 2000 Ranger !!!!), replaced under warranty; 2) faulty blower motor switch (replaced); 3) LR tire out of round (Michelin, replaced); 4) exhaust hanger bracket broke off (replaced); 5) left rear passenger door not aligned (wow...I thought this type of stuff was supposed to be OVER). They cannot seem to get it to latch properly. ???? And, 6) the driver's side running light will not last. I suspect a wiring harnesss short someplace. The "Blue Dumbell Dealer" is still trying to fix it. DO NOT believe the hype about "IMPROVED FUEL ECONOMY". Over what, an M 1 Abrahms tank ??
    But, so far, so good. I hope a year from now I don't wish I would have bought a 4 Runner or a Pilot. Wish me luck. I have a feeling I'm gonna need it.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    My understanding is that JD Power gets its sample from DMV type records, so they are sampling actual owners from the entire pool of owners in the country. Maybe Virgiesmom can clarify if the questionnaire is out of the blue or if he requested it through the panel you can join at their web site.

    Here's another link to the safety page that I learned about from Varmint.

    Steve, Host
  • mtnman1mtnman1 Central OhioPosts: 431
    I don't understand some of you people that get on here and complain about a vehicle that apparently you must not have liked before you bought. If you had such a negative attitude about Ford Quality Issues, then I have to ask why would any intelligent life form buy another one. I have never heard so much whining. Obviously, out of the thousands of Explorers that are sold each year there are going to be some that have problems and this forum lets those people vent. But come on. It seems to me that you already didn't think much of Ford. Why didn't you buy a Honda or Toyota?
    2012 Highlander Limited AWD V6 and 2015 Ford Fusion Hybrid SE
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Warranties are a big part of buying a car and it's natural to compare various makes and features of cars. If a thread doesn't interest you, please use your down arrow and navigate to the next post.

    Steve, Host
  • mtnman1mtnman1 Central OhioPosts: 431
    Whatever there Steve O. It just seemed off topic to me. I'll try not to comment on such things in the future.
    2012 Highlander Limited AWD V6 and 2015 Ford Fusion Hybrid SE
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Hi Hoganj55, your post has been moved to the existing Explorer Problems discussion. Here's the link:

    hoganj55, "Ford Explorer: Problems & Solutions" #4895, 16 Mar 2006 5:28 pm

    Please continue over there.

    For anyone wanting to discuss buying a new or used Explorer, please check out the Ford Explorer/Mercury Mountaineer: Prices Paid & Buying Experience discussion.

    Steve, Host
  • I did not request to be on the survey. If I recall a few months after I purchased the 2003 Mountaineer I received a survey from them on the initial quality of vehicle and dealership. Perhaps that initiated this 3 year follow-up.
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