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Ford Explorer Mercury Mountaineer 2005 and earlier



  • Do you have a V-6 or a V-8? I have a V-8 and I only get around 280 miles on my tank. If you got 340 on a V-8, PLEASE let me know what you were doing.
  • If you have not seen pics of the new Mountaineer, you are missing out. What they did is basically turned the new Mountaineer in to the currant Aviator. The interior, such as the dash looks great. I can't wait for it to come out so that I can go from an '03 to a '06
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 11,859
    what are you going by? gas gauge, low fuel light, message center?
    i have v8 with towing package. i can get over 400 on a strictly highway trip.
    if the low fuel light goes on at 50 miles left, based on a 22.5 gallon tank, you are getting 14.7 mpg.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
  • I change my own oil (synthetic). Back in October I took the Explorer in to have the tires balanced and rotated and have them look at a blown speaker. There was a misunderstanding and they changed my oil as well, but I let it slide even though I had just done it myself less than 1,000 miles ago. They had otherwise been flawless and I didn't want to sour our good relationship by making a scene.

    I gave it an oil change this weekend and realized that they put a whole extra quart of oil in the motor. SIX quarts instead of 5. I drove it for 4,000 miles like this. I know it was too full because I pour the old oil into the 5 quart container the new stuff comes out of, but this time it overflowed and went everywhere. I know it was them because no one has been under the hood but me.

    I think our good relationship is on the ropes after this one. What do you guys think, how bad of a mistake was that? The motor seems fine, as far as I can tell.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Which year & motor do you have, bender?
  • Hi,
    I was the owner of an 03 TrailBlazer which was recently totaled in an accident. I am now looking for a new SUV and am considering the Explorer as one of my choices. I liked the TB's power and am wondering how the Explorer with the V-6 compares in real world driving situations. Are there any options I should definitly buy or avoid? What are the major known problems with these trucks? Which rear end is best? I think the 3.55 comes standard, with the 3.73 and 4.11 as options. I know on the TrailBlazer, as odd as it seems, the 3.73 would consistently get better MPG than the 3.42 because it was better suited to keeping the engine in its powerband range, and it helped the heavy SUV get moving from a dead stop in city driving, which more than made up for any gain with the 3.42's on the highway. What are you guys with the V-6 and 4WD getting for MPG average? Like I said, I am looking at getting an new SUV very soon and the Explorer seems to have some great deals out on it. What is everyone getting of sticker price? If anyone has any other comments they will certainly be appreciated, and thank you in advance.
  • Hi,

    I have an '04 XLS 4x4, 4.0L V6.

    How does the V-6 drive in the real world? It feels quick at part-throttle. The engine has alot of torque and keeping up with traffic is no problem. Low- and mid-range power is plentiful. That said, over 4,000 RPM the engine seems to lose steam, and gets pretty noisy. Somehow, it feels slower at full throttle. I use full synthetic oil in my V-6, which quieted it down alot and helps it rev smoother. The V-6 is just fine, but get the V-8 if you want great top-end power. It revs very quickly and pulls strongly throughout the rev range.

    I don't think there are any must-have options or options to avoid. Get what you would like. The known problems (from this board) are as follows: some people are having some shifting problems with their transmissions very early, but fixes are available. Some are having problems with rear ends after about 30k, which some dealers seem reluctant to fix. A fix is now available from Ford but it is not compatible with the limited-slip option. They are not "major" problems meaning that they do not appear in every vehicle nor do they cause breakdowns. Some have them, some do not. If you have problems with yours, evidently you can pick up an extended warranty before the standard one runs out.

    Gas mileage is not good. I get 14-15 city and 20 highway, about what the EPA estimated. I use regular unleaded.

    What sold me was the ride, handling, and cargo space. Test drive one and I think you will like it, and yes they are a good deal.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Personally, I recommend opting for the V8. The V6 has to work much harder to pull the load around, and chances are your fuel consumption will be similar. And V8 is much more refined.

    I also recommend the 3rd row seating option, helps with resale since it's an option that many used car buyer's shop for.

    If you wait till later in the new, the newly redesigned Explorer/Mountaineer will debut, with more features/power/comfort, etc. Which is why your probably seeing so many good deals on them.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    There should be some deal talk in the Ford Explorer/Mercury Mountaineer: Prices Paid & Buying Experience discussion. Bummer about your truck.

    Steve, Host
  • Thanks for the replies guys. Steve, I checked out that forum. Not too mch recent info, but some good info anyways. Benderofbows, thanks for the info. I am disappointed by the mileage you are getting. I could get a consistant 18 MPG minimum with my TrailBlazer even with almost all city driving. On the highway getting over 20 is not uncommon at all. The TB has a 275 HP engine also, so I thought the Explorer would be better as far as economy goes. Is everyone getting this same mileage? What rear end are you guys running and does it effect the mileage much?

    Thanks again.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    The axle ratio... The higher the number, the quicker it is off the line, but you suffer in the highway fuel economy average, since it drops because your wheels are turning a bit faster.

    Is the difference major? Not really, you lose 1MPG if you compare the EPA on the window stickers. I personally prefer quicker acceleration, to allow the engine to loaf at the desired level, rather than having it rev over and over to acheive the desired speed.

    You will also notice the higher axle ratio's on "towing" packages, this helps quite a bit.

    Used Explorer's sell best, when equiped with the 3rd row seat, larger engine, and towing package.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I agree with ANT on this (and just about everything else FORD related....) The V-8 makes all the difference with this truck. It makes this truck a blast to drive, and you'll lose only 1 MPG, which is ludricrous to even consider, given the kick in the pants the extra power is. My brother is on his second TrailBlazer, and I'm on my 5th Explorer/Mountaineer. They're both great trucks. Can't knock either really, but the thing is, the TB has not one feature over the Explorer besides BlondStar! Not one! You can't get the 3rd row seat in the TB. You can't get the Independent Rear Suspension in the TB. You can't get the HVAC in the roof all the way back in the TB, a big deal in the South & SouthWest. And I refuse to buy an SUV where I have to lug out the 3rd seat and leave it somewhere when I see a TV I wanna buy and take home. I like to fold the seats down and take it home NOW. It's a huge bone of contention between my brother and I. The TB is just old fashioned IMO. Also, I think the interior of the TB is ugly and old wierd looking, but that's just my opinion. Actually, I think the whole truck is built pretty old fashioned. But, it works just fine. The Explorer is just the most efficient design on the road, IMO. And the best value, for the money.
  • bradlicbradlic Posts: 8
    I have an 05 Mountaineer AWD V8. With AWD is all 4 tires getting the same amount of power? Also in the message center when you press "System" for AWD there is a selection of "Auto" or "Locked", what is the difference?

    Thanks for any help and information.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    No. In AWD, the rear tires are getting most of the power most of the time, unless some slippage is detected, then power is quickly transferred to the wheels that are not slipping, while brakes are applied to the wheels that are slipping.

    Better read the manual for info on the Auto or Locked selection info - I'm not posted on the 05s yet.
  • fsvfsv Posts: 196
    Apologize for not replying for a while - was on the road (again). My car is V6, 14,600 miles, I drive very carefully, like an old lady. Oil - syntetic, Mobil M1. I have no explanation to suddenly decreasing fuel economy. Some of my friends say, it is backpressure sensor, some others - thermostat. I don't know what to think, but the mileage is lousy. With V6 best mileage on 22.5 gallons I got was 330 - trip NY - Toronto, all highway. Obviously I have to bring the car to the dealer.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    My wife's '02 V6 XLT 2 wheel drive has never achieved more than 14 mpg/city and 20/highway. It has just about 36,000 miles on it now. If you received 22.5 mpg/hwy, what more do you want from an SUV that weighs over 4,000 pounds? Let me know what the dealer tells you.... it will be good for a laugh!!!
  • Yea, I get about 14.5
  • fsvfsv Posts: 196
    Gas tank is 22.5 gallons. On this gas tank, on the highway, I was getting 330 miles - which is just under 15 mpg. Which sucks.
  • How fast were you running? High speed (around 80mph or more) really drains the economy of any car versus 55-60mph. I think the stats were around 5-10% for every 5 or 10mph over, does anyone know for sure? On an SUV like the X, which is less aerodynamic than usual, I bet it's worse than that even.

    Happens to me all the time, if I get on I-40 and run 85 for a couple of hours, I'll blow through a tank real fast. Also, did you have a heavy load?
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    It may suck, but again, it's an SUV which weighs over 4,000 lbs. If your driving 80 plus, 15 will be about right. I am currently looking at my "new car sticker" that came on the window. It says 16/city- 21/Hwy. And we all know this has nothing to do with real world figures. So as I stated; if my wife gets 14 mpg/city & 20/hwy (she drives with a light foot). That is only 2 miles per gallon less on the city mpg, and only one away from the highway figure. I don't mean to be disrespectful, but if your that concerned with mpg, an Explorer is not for you. I hear if you buy a Focus they will give you a "free computer". Maybe that is what you should consider. GOOD LUCK!(P.S.-the sticker also states a 3.55 regular ratio axle as well-whatever that is!)
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Explorer with the V6 doing 80MPH of pure highway only mileage, I can say I've averaged 13MPG, that's turning the A/C off and on. At 95MPH (before the governor kicks in at 97) your'll average 11MPG and watching that tach needle hit 3600-3800RPM.

    With the Explorer V8, 4:10 axle ratio, My experience has been roughly an improvement of 2MPG since the engine is working at a lower RPM.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    The article states "Well-known motorists club AAA says many cars and trucks it road-tests fall far short of their government fuel-economy ratings."

    You wouldn't know that reading many of the mileage claims on these boards! :-)

    tidester, host
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    Yes, I agree with your assessments. I find highway speed of 70 I am able to get 20 mpg. Anything over that and the mpg goes down REAL FAST!!
  • Chuck,
    Do you have the V-6? What axle ratio do you have? Is it 4WD? 20 MPG is a good number.
  • I am looking at an 03 Eddie Bauer with the V-6 and the Flex Fuel option. Does this engine have any parts that the regular engine doesn't? I think that I would never use the propane option, so I want to know if having this engine will be in any way detrimental. Does it get worse milegae or have any known problems the regular engine doesn't?

  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    This is a bad buy. Please talk to your service writer at your local Ford Dealership. The 30K, 60K, 90K, checkups are MUCH MORE EXPENSIVE than the gas versions. I would stay away!
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    Please see post #2327 and #2331!
    Good luck!
  • akanglakangl Posts: 3,650
    My 04 Explorer V6 had the flex fuel option, I never used anything other than 87 unleaded in it. No engine problems in 14k miles that I had it.
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