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Ford Explorer Mercury Mountaineer 2005 and earlier



  • fmotafmota Posts: 2
    Bought a 2003 mountaineer 6 months ago (V8). Recently I noticed some oil spots on the driveway, maybe an inch or 2 in diameter. However, the spots are not towards the front end......they appear to be right by the rear wheels. Almost in the center, betwen the 2 rear wheels. Lets just say I'm not a mechanically inclined person whatsoever.....but I normally try n search on the interner to atleast get some idea of what the problem when I take the care for repairs, I have some background info so to not get totally taken by the mechanic. Any ideas/suggestions would be greatly appreciated....thanks !
  • imszimsz Posts: 2
    My 2004 Mtnr has 42,500 miles on it and I just took it in to the dealer because the Service Engine Soon light went on.

    The dealer called me to tell me I have lots of problems - some of which seem really odd. Maybe some of you can help me understand what all this means.

    1) Carbon BuBuild up which, according to the dealer, is usually what you find in cars driven by elderly folks who drive one a week for an hour at 15 miles per hour. I do city driving every day at usually 10 miles over the speed limit, so 35 mph. Also, approximately 15K of the 42K mileage is from long distance driving. So my question is, is this some kind of baloney because I am a a woman who knows NOTHING about cars?

    2) Air Induction Dirt - what is this? Do I need to care about this? Do all cars have this?

    3) The Number 8 Fuel Injector has simply failed. Why would one injector fail? Is this (often) an indicator that other injectors will fail? That there will be future problems with this vehicle.

    4) Front Differential Seal is leaking. I had that odd transmission problem where the factory put the wrong transmission fluid in the car. Once I had the fluid was changed, all of the lurching problems ended. But could this seal be related to that? (At the moment, when the car is in drive and you are stopped at a light the car has this little bouncing feeling to it - I guess it is often referred to as a rough idle.)

    5) All my spark plugs have to be replaced.

    6) Coils need to be replaced - the dealer was not very specific about this and I was so shocked that I have so many problems with the car that I stopped taking notes....

    The dealer quoted me about $1300.00 to fix these problems. I am worried that I might be flushing my money down the toilet because :1) I have only had the car for exactly two years next week, 2) it does not have a great number of miles on it (most of my family's Fords have been largely problem free until 80/90k) but it has problems, 3) it had that factory transmission problem. Could this mean that the car is turning into a lemon?...

    Thanks for any help/comments!

  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 13,867
    sounds like the rear axle seals are leaking. this vehicles has an independent rear suspension. it is not a cheap repair.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2017 Ford F-150 Limited
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 13,867
    basically, you have 2 main problems. the failed coil and the differential leak. what kind of service have you done since you have had it? did they break down the charges for you?
    i just got underneath my '02 explorer and replacing the seal for the differential cover is not a big deal.
    i'm guessing the 'neer isn't much different. do you see any spots underneath it?
    'air induction dirt' could mean the air filter needs to be replaced.
    1300 sounds like a high number.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2017 Ford F-150 Limited
  • imszimsz Posts: 2
    Thanks for the analysis/advice.

    As for maintenance - I did the routine recommended maintenance at a/the dealer and then fairly regularly got the oil changed at Jiffy Lube.

    I've never seen any spots underneath the car.

    I called the dealer back and asked him some follow up questions and he told me that all of my problems - excepting the differential leak - result from water in my engine corroding the fuel injector, the coils, the spark plugs, etc. The dealer kept asking me if the car had been in standing water, which it never has been... And why would water only affect parts of my engine and not all of it? This all seems odd.

    Thanks for the advice on the price - I think I am going to take it to another mechanic/dealer for a second opinion.
  • alman08alman08 Posts: 282
    welcome to my world... $500 to $600 for both seals and make sure you keep the receipt for the 12mo/12k warranty... most likely it will happen again after the fix. good luck.
  • Virgiesmom- Did you ever have any additional problems with this? Do you know what software was updated? I am experiencing the same sporatic stalling when I come to a stop - engine revs, car lunges forward a bit, all dash lights go on, and the car goes dead. Starts right back up as if nothing happened, and is fine to drive then. Trying to avoid spending too much money getting someone to diagnose what seems to be an untracable problem...

    Or to anyone else out there - and ideas on what to do about this?
  • Follow up... as I mentioned I bought the 03 Mountaineer used at almost 19000 miles. You know what they they, look for the obvious first, so I went to the owner's manual. It says to change the fuel flter every 15000 miles. Ahhha, I got the service records out for the used Mountaineer, and the fuel filter had never been changed by the prior owner! Had the Ford/Mercury dealer garage change the fuel filter.... my vehicle has not cut out or stalled or surged or done anything strange since and I'm almost to 32000 miles now.
  • Thanks for the followup! I actually purchased a fuel filter the other day and will install it this weekend. Thanks again!
  • Any luck with figuring out what this buzz is from under the dash - only when cold and only when pressing on the gas. While stop when letting off the gas...

    Very annoying.
  • Anybody have any luck figuring out this under dash buzz when cold and pressing the accelerator...

    It is really annoying me.
  • jmingjming Dallas, TXPosts: 9
    Scary experience last night with my 2003 Mtneer V8 AWD, approx 65,000 miles. ABS light turned on about 2-3 days ago but all seemed fine while driving, I figured I'd take it in to be looked at this week - no big deal. Last night as I was driving approx 65 mph I started to feel an odd fluttering through the wheel, an intermittently as if the steering wheel wasn't connected to anything - then sudden return to control. After several cycles of this, I slowed way down and looked in my mirror - smoke pouring out behind me. As I pulled over, brake pedal went to the floor...strong burning smell - maybe brake fluid? On inspection, front left wheel is very toed out - something must have snapped - maybe a tie rod(s) and the bending of the other tie rods took out the brake line. Hoping to talk to the mechanic tomorrow. Just glad no one was injured / killed by this failure at 65k miles. Anyone have any experience with this type of problem? I'm a lifetime Ford driver and am a little shocked by this - someone could have been killed if I'd lost control. Thanks for any ideas.
  • I have a 2002 Explorer XLT. Recently the door ajar chime (sometimes the dash indicator light also) sounds intermittently while I am driving. I have lubricated all of the door latches with WD-40, yet it persists. I was told that a module had possibly failed (it was not tested) earlier this year and I did not pursue the matter, as it did not appear to be life and death for the truck. This was somehow related to the accessory delay feature, which no longer works. When I lock it remotely, the horn beeps twice, as if there is a door ajar (which there is not). The interior lights also stay on for the length of time the accessory delay would normally work and all switches (including the outside keypad) on the driver's door no longer work after I remove the key from the ignition, however, the front passenger door switches function normally at the same time. Any ideas? Thanks.
  • Just recently purchased a 2004 Mountaineer from a friend. It was a Smart Buy lease he bought out and decided to sell to me. Suddenly the Transmission is acting up. Kicks when placing into reverse . When in drive shifting is very sluggish. I just saw a news report from 2004 claiming they had put out a Bulletin to fix this problem. I went to the dealer and he said I must change the trans for 3500.00? Car is over Warranty at 48K. Has anyone had success getting Ford to repair this issue ?
  • I just purchased a 04 Mountaineer and called the previous owner to ask him if he had any problems . The only problem that he had was a problem shifting into reverse . He said that it sounded really hard and that he thought that the tranny was going to fall out ! Ended up being a solenoid (maybe $100)although his was covered under his warranty . I have also seen this problem on the crown vics(shift solenoid) . Get a second opinion and do it objectively ( not disclosing your first quote)., Mention that you are aware of the potential of the shift soleniod being bad because many times mechs take advantage of buyers who don't know any better . and try to sell them the transmission when in fact the problem could be other issues . By the way , is your engine the V8 or the V6 ?
  • I just noticed that my lift gate has a crack in it starting from the window down thru the Mercury emblem. I've not had any damage to the vehicle nor have I hit anything with the lift gate. Has anyone else had this issue and if so how did they resolve it. My Mountaineer is out of warranty.
  • I have the same problem, it is almost every time we drive the car cold now. Dealer has had twice over past few years and can never duplicate it. At dealer now for three days running and they say they cant duplicate,
    Did you ever have any luck solving problem?
    I will update tomorrow, last day they are going to try this time, if they are successful.
  • I figured out what this buzz is - Only when cold - It is in the transmission main control unit (vavle body). It is fluid making a vibration in the valve body only when cold. I was taking my 2002 explorer in for the last inspection - prior to the extended warrante expiring. Ford could here the buzz, but they could not figure it out... This was really annoying me, they could hear it, but could not figure it out.

    Found a TSB # 01-22-3 that covered it. Dealer ordered parts - Will update once the valve body is changed. See the TSB attached below.

    A/T - Buzzing Noise When Torque Converter Engaged
    Article No.


    THROUGH 11/11/2001 EQUIPPED WITH 4.6L

    11/15/2000 THROUGH 11/11/2001 EQUIPPED WITH

    2002 EXPLORER



    Some vehicles built prior to 11/11/2001 equipped with 5R55W and 4.6L engine, may exhibit a buzzing noise when the torque converter is engaged and the transmission fluid temperature is between 38-66°C (100-150 °F). This may be caused by a high velocity of fluid flow in the Main Control.


    Verity that the condition exists using the procedure listed. If the conditions described are verified, the Main Control will need to be replaced. Refer to the following Service Procedure for details.



    1. To verity that the condition exists with the vehicle, first connect a tachometer to the engine if the vehicle is not already equipped.

    2. Install an NGS or equivalent and monitor the Transmission Fluid Temperature (TFT).

    3. Start the engine and drive the vehicle.

    4. When the TFT reaches 38°C (100 °F), maintain a constant speed of about 80 km/h (50 mph) to engage the converter. Tap the brake pedal with the left foot. Engine RPM should increase when the brake pedal has been tapped, and decrease after about five seconds after the pedal is released.

    5. Maintaining a constant vehicle speed, allow the torque converter to re-engage.

    6. Listen for the Torque Converter Clutch buzzing noise. Is the noise present?

    ^ If yes, continue with the verification.

    ^ If no, follow normal diagnosis as listed in the Workshop Manual, the Main Control is not the problem.

    7. Continue to bring the transmission to operating temperature above 66°C (150°F). This may be accomplished by driving the vehicle for 15 to 20 minutes.

    8. After normal operating temperature is reached, maintain a constant speed of about 80 km/h (50 mph) to engage the converter. Tap the brake pedal with the left foot. Engine RPM should increase when the brake pedal has been tapped, and decrease after about five seconds after the pedal is released.

    9. Maintaining a constant vehicle speed, allow the torque converter to re-engage.

    10. Listen for the Torque Converter Clutch buzzing noise. Has the noise disappeared?

    ^ If yes, continue.

    ^ If no, follow normal diagnosis as listed in the Workshop Manuals, the Main Control is not the problem.

    11. If the condition exists, drain the transmission fluid from the pan.


    12. Replace the Main Control 1L2Z-7A100-CA and Fluid Filter 1L2Z-7A098-AC. Follow the steps listed in the Workshop Manual, In-Vehicle Service, Main Control Valve Body, to remove and replace.

    13. Verify the condition has been corrected.

    14. Clear all DTCs

    Parts Block


    WARRANTY STATUS: Eligible Under The Provisions Of Bumper To Bumper Warranty Coverage


    012203A Verify Conditions And 2.6 Hrs.
    Replace Transmission
    Main Control

    7A100 42

    OASIS CODES: 504000, 702000
  • rvkmrvkm Posts: 2
    I noticed the same crack on my 04 Mountaineer, just under the middle liftgate window cracking down to the top of the emblem, down the right side of it. Any knows easy fixes?
  • My daugher has the same crack in her 2003 mountainer. She took it to the dealer, and they said it is very common on the 03 mountainer with around 38,000 miles. She has 39,000 miles and missed it being covered under the warranty by 3,000 miles. The dealer also stated that the crack will spyder after a while, and Ford should have a recall, but they don't at the present time. They told her to dispute it. If she doesn't get anywhere, maybe she will start a class action suit, because it is definity a defect.
  • rvkmrvkm Posts: 2
    Thanks for the info. I I found a replacement part on for about 65 dollars.
  • I also just noticed this crack about a month ago, figuring what I did to have it crack like that, but now reading these posts, it definatley must be a defect. My friend was a mechanic for a ford dealer, He said we should call the ford hotline and put in our complaints, that could trigger them to do something about this issue
  • Hi all. Anyone know If there Is an aftermarket heated seat element for an 04Mercury Mountaineer Premier. Or only OEM? My drivers seat stop working and I need a few questions answered as far as Do it yourself or having it replaced by a pro. Also Is this a costly repair?
  • I'm having the same issue with my 2003 Mountaineer and can't figure it out. I am nervous that since the dome lights and side view mirror lights won't go out, it's going to kill the battery. I think I'm okay with my door switches (haven't had a problem with those yet) but have you had any resolution with this? I noticed you posted over a month ago-- How'd it work out?
  • I came out one morning to find a crack on the lift gate on the right side of my ford emblem. I could not figure out what happened. Since then I've seen 4 other Explorers and or Aviators around the same year with cracks some on the right and some on the left of the emblems. I think I will call Fords Hot Line
  • It hasn't been resolved yet. I believe it may be the GEM (generic electronic module); however, my mechanic said it is easier to diagnose and repair when the module completely fails so they don't have to go through the hassle of ruling everything else out before diagnosing GEM failure, which I guess is the only way. I don't believe it will kill the battery because the lights go out after about 10 minutes - the same length as the accessory delay, which no longer works in mine - probably because of this bad module. I've got the original battery in my 2002 so I don't think it's being affected. I'll keep this updated if I learn anything more. For now, I just deal with it and try to ignore it - although people are CONSTANTLY doing a good deed and telling me my dome lights are on :)
  • I know, I have a feeling I am going to be hearing a lot of the same thing from people about the dome light!

    What other things does the GEM control so that I can be on the lookout for anything else that may fail in the future? I imagine it would be pretty much all of the electronic functions in the dash, right? :confuse:
  • I've got a 2003 Mountaineer with "the crack" runs vertically left of the mercury emblem top to bottom of trim, just appeared one morning.
  • About a week ago my airbag light came on. It was intermittent, sometimes steady, sometimes flashing, sometimes off - I was going to get it checked but then my ABS light came on AND my battery light came on. My battery gauge read that the voltage was maxed out - the needle was above the "H" - at the same time, my radio stopped working, my directional/temperature indicator stopped working, my lights got very bright, and my system check indicator started displaying "Check Charging System" - I got the car home and parked it in the garage. I could see no obvious problems under the hood, no broken or corroded wires, no loose grounds, nothing... then this morning I went to unlock the car and my auto-unlock won't work, and my on-door code unlock won't work.... so now my car is locked shut so I can't even pop the hood, and it's stuck in my garage. ANY IDEAS ANYONE??? Please help, my husband is gone TDY and I start college on Monday and have no money. :cry:
  • nrivasnrivas Posts: 1
    I have a 2003 Mercury Mountaineer. A couple days ago a LARGE crack suddenly appeared on the liftgate just to the left where you would open it! I've seen other complaintes on here inregards to the same issue. Has anyone had any success in getting this issue resolved??? :(
  • tbaggstbaggs Posts: 2
  • pboropboro Posts: 1
    Have a great deal of vibration in my 1999 Mountaineer when it starts going from 65 to 70 and above. The tires have some tread left but are over 5 years old and probably the problem. What would be the best tire to replace them with, I use it primarily to tow my bass boat and not used off road, maybe a gravel road through a national forest every once in a while. Pressently it has Goodyear 235/75 15r 105s on it.

    any suggestions would be appreciated.

  • txredtxred Posts: 3
    I've had the same crack in my 2002 Mountaineer for over a year now. Dealer told me it occurs because of the way we close the glass, and he's seen it happen a lot. Mine hasn't gotten worse, just a perfectly straight line crack, where the two pieces come together.
  • I understand that the '04 Mountaineer had a transmission recall. I have an '05 and the same problem happened to mine, but the VIN number doesn't pull up under the recall. Anyone else have problems with and '05 or do you know of any recalls on the '05 Mountaineer transmissions. About $2900 worth
  • we have the same crack-just appeared one morning. And action taken towards repair?
  • romiromi Posts: 2
    I have a 1997 Mountaineer and have gone thru 3 sets of tires. You need to rotate them every 5000 or when you remember. If you get mud or snow in the rims they'll be unbalanced. And if you get uneven tread wear try to rebalance them. It helped me once.
  • romiromi Posts: 2
    I have had my 97 Mountaineer for 226,000 miles and the Check Engine light came on at 80,000 miles and the code said EGR valve. I was quoted $400 to fix it because it was inside the engine somewhere. I said the car runs fine. They said don't fix it then. So I haven't - the only problem I have is the check engine (idiot ) light on the dashboard cannot be stopped. When it is reset it simply comes on again. All you 97 owners can expect the engine to last 200,000 miles no problems I still don;'t even burn oil. But tires, ball joints and breaks are common replacements. My last repair was the fuel pump at 225,000 miles.

    My next repair is the ?
    This car makes a groaning noise when I turn corners especially when it is warmed up. When I drive straight no problems. Any suggestions?
    I fear driveshaft or CV joints. Any idea how much these things cost? :(
  • I have an '05 Mountaineer and my roof paint cracked and flaked off all the way down to the base gray. It was 3 weeks out of warranty; the dealership got a quote to repaint for $980 after Ford refused to correct the mistake. (They admitted it was a factory defect in paint). I was offered a deal to pay $200 and Ford pick up the rest. Plus, the motor in my back windows went out and the fuel gauge doesn't always show a full tank even after I fill up.
  • alman08alman08 Posts: 282
    it all happened overnight because Henry Ford was pissed off at what's happening with his company and his ghost came out everynight cracking those liftgates trying to deliver a message to his heirs... "DO SOMETHING!"
  • meemeemeemee Posts: 8
    If the ghost is sending a message it isn't helping. The crack appears "better" in warm weather. Cold really draws it apart and it stands out. Ford offered to "maybe" help toward repair. But said that I would using my one time out of warranty coverage. Getting an estimate. Really have not had any other problems or expenses. Only oil, filters, gas, wipers and tires.
  • I've got a 2005 Explorer with the factory tow package. I found the wiring harness in the rear storage. It has pigtails that will connect to the brake controller, but where under the dashboard is the connection that it plugs into?
  • keogh22keogh22 Posts: 1
    I've called my dealership about the crack and getting it fixed; all they had to say was that there has been no recall issued yet. The Explorer has the same problem and Ford has issued a recall and is fixing the problem as long as the vehicle is under 6 years old and has fewer than 75,000 miles on it.

    I've called Ford/Mercury about issuing one for the Mountaineer and they said they haven't. My only thought is that they are waiting for more people to complain before they issue a recall.

    So, if you haven't called Ford to report your problem, please do, so we can all get this fixed.
  • dhutchensdhutchens Posts: 1
    I cannot get the liftgate to open when i pull the lever one side opens but the other side stays locked. help
  • mtnman1mtnman1 Central OhioPosts: 431
    It seems very few people are visiting this thread, but I'm hoping someone with a similar issue happens by. Our 2004 Mountaineer developed the crack in the liftgate as others in this thread have reported last Sunday morning. Just appeared out of nowhere. Started along the left edge of the Mercury Applique and ran up to about a inch and a half below the glass. Now a week later the crack goes all the way up to the window. Unfortunetly the Mercury dealership that I'd developed a good relationship with closed last July. I know they would have taken care of it no questions asked. I just bought a Ford Fusion SEL from the nearest Ford dealer which is about 2 miles from the closed Mercury dealership. I asked them to see what they might do to help me out. Body Shop manager said he would have to run it by the General Manager whom is on vacation until 11/3/08. He said they have seen a few with this problem (in reality I bet it is way more than a few) , but because it's out of warranty they probably can't do it for free. I was wondering if anybody has gotten these taken care of and how much should I expect to have to pay if Ford refuses to fix it for free? Is the fix holding up? Thanks in advance.
    2012 Highlander Limited AWD V6 and 2015 Ford Fusion Hybrid SE
  • Hi, there are a lot of people with this same problem, Mountaineers and Explorers. Ford is fixing the problem with no cost to the owner. We just had our out of warranty mountaineer fixed at Tasca Ford in Cranston, RI. You just have to pusue it.
  • mtnman1mtnman1 Central OhioPosts: 431
    Thanks so much for your reply. I had a problem with my 2003 Sonata that I just gave to my daughter. About a year ago the drivers side seat developed cracks in the leather which they claimed was considered normal wear and tear and they refused to take care of it. Went through a lot of back and forth with the dealership that I bought it from to get something done. Car only had about 30,000 miles on it. With the cost of $1800 there was no way I was willing to pay for it. Finally after much complaining and phone calls they sent a Customer Service rep up from Cincinnati and he agreed to have it fixed for free. Hopefully I won't have to go through as much to get an obvious defect fixed by Ford. I'm now concerned with the fact that the crack is spreading that the rear glass may shatter or pop out on the highway. Don't know if I can go very long with the risk of this occurring if it's at all possible for that to happen. It seems to be expanding a little more every couple of days. Right now it only has about 2 inches more before it runs the total distance from the glass to the bottom of the liftgate.
    2012 Highlander Limited AWD V6 and 2015 Ford Fusion Hybrid SE
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 13,867
    i am responding you your post over in the fusion forum, but i don't think you will like the answer.
    my '02 explorer has the same issue, and it is not extremely rare. how many vehicles it happens to, i have no idea. i even remember hearing it go 'crack'.
    it is purely cosmetic. the painted panel is not structural, so don't get too worried about any safety issue. i stuck a piece of duck tape over it for 6 months or so, until my wife and kids broke me down with complaints.
    my story is that i am very faithful(service every 3k) to the dealer i bought my explorer from and they did and 'after warranty adjustment(awa)'. your vehicle is eligible for 6 years or 75k miles, but it is pretty much completely up to the dealer to step up to the plate for you.
    i bought my first vehicle from the dealer in 1990 and this awa was in 2006.
    it's about a 450-500 repair.
    since the kids have been driving for the last couple years, the panel has some scratches on it anyway.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2017 Ford F-150 Limited
  • mtnman1mtnman1 Central OhioPosts: 431
    Actually the Body Shop Manager called me this afternoon after talking to the dealership General Manager. Told me that they would only charge me $100 and they would take care of the rest. I said it sounds good and they are ordering the part today. I figured they might since I just bought a Fusion SEL V6 and for the first time ever their Premium Care Extended Warranty from them just last Tuesday. Bought the Warranty because I was able to get them to drop the price from $925 to $750, 5/75 Warranty and I will be driving about 15 to 20K per year.
    2012 Highlander Limited AWD V6 and 2015 Ford Fusion Hybrid SE
  • I just want to know where to call, I have a 2005 with the same crack and I have been going through the parking lots and seeing a lot of them out there. I seen the crack appear when I opened the hatch, not the main but the smaller one where you just open the window, My wife or myself did not know there was another latch until we seen some one in the parking lot and seen how they opened it. The minute I opened it the crack appeared. I took it to the local dealer and they do not want to do anything about it.I have owned Fords all of my life and this is the first time they have not fixed a problem like this!!!! :confuse:
  • I would like to know more about the no fix cost. I just joined the "cracked liftgate" club with my 2004 Explorer. The crack runs vertical from top to bottom and is about 1/4 inch wide. It is located dead center of the liftgate and runs right through the Ford logo. I called the dealer last week and they said it would take a couple of days to fix and the cost would be around $550. I have seen other sites where people said that they paid to get the liftgate replaced only to have the new liftgate crack as well! So it seems to be a design and/or manufacturing defect by Ford.

    Like so many others that I have read about - the crack simply appeared on a cold day. I was driving when it happened and heard a sort of crack sound from the rear and when I stopped and looked - there it was. So it's not as if someone smacked it in the parking lot or anything like that. Cold weather seems to put enough thermal stress on this part to cause it to crack like a dropped egg. :cry:

    Now I have been scouting the parking lots and roads for cracked liftgates - and they are out there!! Bunches of 'em!!!
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