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Ford Explorer Mercury Mountaineer 2005 and earlier



  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    It seems that you need a better dealer. If you like the Explorer, it is a good vehicle. Many / most of us who own Explorers or Mountaineers have had very few problems.

    The $30,000 range is the average new car price. The Explorer and Mountaineer, especially with all of the 2006 upgrades, represent excellent value for the dollar. For about the average new car price, they provide well above average utility, safety, and features.

    I highly recommend the best selling book The Millionaire Next Door. It is enjoyable to read and full of useful information. Anyone who is not just starting to work, just the victim of some disaster, or disabled in some way should have money saved and invested.
  • moeharrimoeharri Posts: 108
    AsI mentioned, unless my current dealer is lying to me, Ford Motor Company is telling them NOT to fix vehicles on the first or second time that they are brought in and to have them try "free" things like switching gas stations (to fix my broken gas gauge), "see if it goes away" for the broken window motor in the 2nd row, etc. I've read of similar complaints from other Ford customers due to Ford's "Oasis" (?) system which tells dealers which steps they must do in order to fix customer complaints/issues.

    I guess I'm just very satisfied by the way that each time I go to Toyota to have my car looked at for any reason, I receive a survey from Toyota Company (not the dealer) and I also get random phone surveys from Toyota Company about my satisfaction--now that's what I call service. I believe Ford would dare not call here as I would have nothing positive to say and they know it. People warned me not to buy a Ford, but I said I'd give them one more chance (had a used Topaz and used Taurus prior to the Explorer which weren't high quality, perhaps understandably). BTW, I've had similar problems with Ford dealers in 3 of the neighboring cities that I've visited. Perhaps this has been due to my young age (25), but if I have the money, I think I should be treated like all their other customers (want to be treated).

    PS I don't expect a $20 or $30k vehicle to be perfect, but I demand that I do not get the runaround for obvious problems (gas gauge, window motor, etc), but Ford Mo Co apparently loves to play these games, and it's obviously showing with their sales slumping big time (lucky they have the Mustang right now...)
  • daryll44daryll44 Posts: 307
    although that is what I do! However, I think you are confusing issues here. For prudent folks, borrowing for a few years to buy a vehicle can still be prudent. The problem is people taking out 6 and 7 year loans for a vehicle that will be worth near zero in 4. The old (1950s-1960s) rule of thumb was never to buy a vehicle costing more than 6 months pay and never to finance beyond 36 months. I think that is still a very prudent rule. I also prefer to pay cash but I think that there is a middle ground for people who are not as ultraprudent as you or I, but are still prudent.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    "AsI mentioned, unless my current dealer is lying to me, Ford Motor Company is telling them NOT to fix vehicles on the first or second time that they are brought in"

    I hate to admit it, but this has been my experience as well! I had a the driver's side front door handle rattle, they tried all kinds of adjustments and wrapping it in material to get it to stop rattling, to no avail. FINALLY, on the fourth visit they ordered the handle from Ford. THIS IS INEXCUSABLE ON A $30,000.00 vehicle.

    BTW, I just traded in my '01 Explorer w/41,800 miles on it last night for a Toyota 4Runner. I will give details in another post.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    As I briefly mentioned in an above post, I traded in my '02 XLT-2WD( w/leather/6 disc CD changer, third seat, rear air, almost 42,000 miles) for a '05 4Runner last night. My wife an I wanted a medium-duty tow vehicle. I wanted an Eddie Bauer Expedition since they can be had for $28,000.00 here in Southern California. She was insistent she did not want to drive something "that big". She initially did the research on the 4Runner's towing capacity with the V8. When she approached me I said no-way - it has 20 year old technology with the "ladder-type frame" and live-axle. It will ride like a truck!

    Nothing could have been further from the truth. I test drove the "Sport Edition" on my own when she wasn't around. The X-Reas Sport Enhancement package is a wonder of technical achievement! It links all shock absorbers together, with an extra one (shock mounted in the center of the frame), via an hydraulic line. Throw this SUV in to a corner at 50 miles an hour- it will stay almost perfectly flat! The fluid is pumped to the shock that needs it the most. The handing is similar to a sports car. This and the tuning of the suspension makes for a very livable situation. You can tell you have a live axle, but not much. At highway speeds the vehicle is 4 times more quiet than the Explorer. The new V8 puts out 275 horsepower with EPA estimates of 17 city and 20 highway. If I get these estimates it will be the same highway mpg that I got with the V6 in the Explorer. My eyes have been open. Now I see why Toyota will over take General motors---it will just take some time.......

    I will still check this board from time to time to help owners of '01 and later Explorers. These are good vehicles, after all they are still the number one mid-size SUV sold!
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    loan, sometimes a longer loan is wife puts on about 8-10K yearly...we financed her 2004 Dodge Ram 1500 for 5 years to keep payments lower, but we will pay a little extra interst over the 5 years she will have no more than 50K miles, but we anticipate keeping this truck for a decade or longer...barring being wrecked, stolen or burned up, I expect the Ram to easily last over 50K miles...IF IT DOESN'T, then I may end up in the Toyota/Nissan camp, as I really do expect an American truck to last 10 years or longer with light usage...anyway, a slightly longer loan for a vehicle that we should keep for twice that loan length, made sense to me...also, if it was stolen or burned or totalled, we carry gap insurance, so we would not have any outstanding loan balance on a greatly depreciated vehicle with a moderately high loan balance...just a thought..
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    You guys are unfortunate to have had such bad experiences with Explorers / Mountaineers, but I still think that you are very much the exception, not the rule.

    When I was a member of NAISSO, the owner's group for the '94 to '96 Impala SS cars, some people would share stories of bad dealers, but I did not have any problems. For example, I twice had the carpet in that car replaced under warranty (after the warranty, I upgraded to the Cadillac carpet, which did not wear through).

    My Mountaineer had three problems when it was new, and they were promptly and properly repaired. The first problem, a pinched fuel tank vent line which prevented adding gas to the tank, was corrected on the spot when I told them I was on my way from CA to St. Louis for my mother's funeral the day after 9/11/01.

    I have owned other GM and Ford vehicles and have lived in several cities in Missouri, Virginia, and California, and have never experienced the kind of horrible service you guys described.

    I sometimes let them know that I have taken apart, modified, and reassembled most major parts and systems on some of my previous cars, so they can't fool me. Most of the time I never mention my knowledge level, and I have not had problems obtaining prompt repairs.
  • midas72midas72 Posts: 18
    Paid cash -- I'm also from the camp not to do a lengthy loan on a depreciating item. I used some of the proceeds from the sale of my house. Love living in the debt free world.

  • daryll44daryll44 Posts: 307
    My original question to the guy who overpaid for a 2002 Explorer was "did you finance". And while I later stated that the old rule was never to buy a vehicle costing more than 6 months pay and never to finance beyond 36 months, I actually was going to make a point but never did because he never answered my question. My point was that if he HAD to have an Explorer, IN THIS CASE he would have been better off taking a 5 or even 6 year loan ON A NEW vehicle instead of taking a shorter term on the overpriced used vehicle. You made my point in that a new vehicle today, if well maintained, should last 10 or more years.
    For all I know he might have taken a 5 or 6 year loan on the 3 year old vehicle, which is really financial insanity.

    Even on a brand new vehicle, the problem with a 5 or 6 year loan is that most people get tired or their life circumstances and vehicle needs change in that time. So they end way upside down. So the maximum 36 month loan rule is a good rule but there are exceptions.
  • daryll44daryll44 Posts: 307
    Now THERE is something we can agree upon! Debt free is the way to go. Problem is that for most people, becoming debt free requires what I call the "hunker down" period. The older and more settled you are before you figure this out (if ever), the harder and longer the "hunker period" is. Truth be told, I delayed buying my first house for a few years because I wanted to pay cash. And I did...have owned three houses in 22 years and never had a mortgage. I wouldn't even know how to apply!

    Anyway, I didn't mean to beat you up about the used Explorer. I do think that the new vehicle was the better value (and maybe you should have financed that extra $7000 and paid it off quickly). But your overall strategy of being debt free shows you have the "big picture" very right. I hope your Explorer goes many miles! Our Mountaineer is at 37K miles and approaching it's 3rd birthday in September (it was the first 2003 our dealer delivered...I ordered it special in July 2002). So far...knock on's been much more trouble free than the 1995, 1997 or 1999 Explorers we had before it. I've never kept a vehicle more than 3 years but my wife is now working retail and it sits all day in a busy parking lot (can you say "door dings"?). So I've decided she is going to drive this until the wheels rot off as it just makes no sense to put a brand new vehicle into that parking lot day after day. I just hope it doesn't nickel and dime me to death as some Ford (and, I guess, other make) owners have experienced.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,571
    Then you've missed out on the home mortgage, exemption while paying rent instead of building equity. Although houses aren't always appreciating assets either (I know, I was upside down for 6 years during a bust period in the 80's).

    People have different comfort levels with debt and if you aren't lying awake at night worrying about your car loan, then you're probably fine. Maybe the person with the six year car loan at 4.5% has the funds tied up in a REIT that's throwing off 12%.

    And if you really want to enjoy a good cash flow, drive them forever. My record is 17 years. :)

    The holiday is half over; let's start easing back to Explorer talk and leave the debt philosophy for the Smart Shopper forum shall we?

    Steve, Host
  • daryll44daryll44 Posts: 307
    Missed on on nothing...lived with mommy for free...and that was back in the early 1980s....ancient history. And REITS are not "yielding" ANYWHERE NEAR 12%...more like 4 to 5%. Although they have APPRECIATED quite a bit in recent years...I know...I own a And yes, what goes up can and often does come back down...and HARD!

    Fine to stay ontopic from here on out.
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    LOL- yes, we too have a Mountaineer load of REITs - oil & gas and real estate (plus 9 rental houses - talk about an Explorer load of paperwork).

    Back on topic, I think it shows that the Explorer and Mounatineer are excellent values when people who are investors, not spenders, are buying them. Speaking of the 2006 models, for about the average new car price, what else could someone buy which has rear or all/4 wheel drive, an excellent V8 and 6-speed automatic, an independent rear suspension, a smooth and quiet ride (if what Ford says in the Mountaineer media kit is true), good handling, one of, if not the best, stability control systems around, side air bags, an excellent sound system, a fancy interior, seats for 5 or seven, plenty of cargo space, and kinds of nice little features which are so handy - a compass, power everything, heated mirrors, speed compensated sound system volume, and so forth. You could easily spend 50% more for something like the new ML-500 and still have less cargo space (and good luck finding an ML-500 without all kinds of expensive options, or trying to order one at or near the invoice price).

    Wow Steve, 17 years is a long time - what kind of vehicle? I still see old El Caminos and Rancheros on the road, some of them looking as good or better than new. If not for the radical improvements in safety features in the past few years, I think that many of us might have kept some of our vehicles for more years. The mechanical parts are not too bad, but the interior and body parts start to become very expensive.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,571
    Oh sure, lead me down the off-topic path again. :-)

    It was an '82 Tercel, and I would still be driving it but we sold almost everything for the Millenium and did a year long road trip in our Ford*, winding up in a different state when we settled back down.

    [*ok, our Ford is a Quest minivan, but it was assembled by Ford in Ohio - how's that for being sort of topical?].

    Steve, Host
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    I see your point...however, my wife has waited 19 years to replace her former pickup truck (1975 Toyota), and we finally took the plunge and made one of our vehicles a full size pickup...this truck will be hers, and there is no "getting tired of it" and replace with another, if she wants an SUV, then we take a bad hit on trade-in, but she is not fond of SUV like I am, so she has her brand new vehicle for the next 10 years, unless gas goes to $5 per gallon, and she has a yard ornament for 10 years and beyond... :P ;) :shades:
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    It sure would be fun to take the new Explorer on a year long trip and really see the USA (Oops, that's a Chevy jingle). Glad to hear that you did it.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 11,858
    that went over 'like a rock'. ;)
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    My favorite stupid GM truck ad was the one in the car rags showing the truck hanging from life boat divits on a cruise ship and right below the truck was the "like a rock" slogan...

    Now WHO wants a life boat built like rock?

  • daryll44daryll44 Posts: 307
    ...that $20,000 three year old Explorer is looking like a "worser and worser" deal all the time. Now Ford announced they'll meet GM's deals...this means an XLT can probably be bot for about $25K, BRAND SPANKING NEW.
  • lateralglateralg Posts: 929
    Sounds more like you love to say so.

    Isn't it time to put this issue to bed? I've been convinced that you know all there is to know about financing, and that you're rather insensitive.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    ... let's not make it personal! :)

    tidester, host
  • wblake99wblake99 Posts: 18
    Just wanted to throw in my $.02 on the fuel mileage debate that came before the financing debate...

    I have an '02 AWD with the V8, towing package and my new transmission courtesy of the dealership that trashed my original one when replacing the solenoid that was causing rough shifting (rough shifting is better than no shifting!). :mad:

    Anyway, took a trip over the weekend and coming home filled up on the south side of Nashville headed back to Atlanta. After getting up to speed and setting the cruise on 80, I reset the fuel mileage computer and didn't touch it again until I got home. After approximately 280 miles, including a rainstorm getting into Atlanta, the computer showed 19.4 mpg average. Unfortunately, by the time we got home I was too tired to go fill up again to make my own calculation before I drove in rush hour traffic to work the next morning.

    My point, I guess, is that I routinely get better than 19 mpg in freeway driving in excess of 70 mph. I can't wait to get a new '06 with the more powerful engine and 6 speed tranny! :)
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    My point, I guess, is that I routinely get better than 19 mpg in freeway driving in excess of 70 mph. I can't wait to get a new '06 with the more powerful engine and 6 speed tranny!

    The moon and the stars must be in alignment.........(however, I would not trust that onboard computer!)
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 11,858
    hey chuck1. last weekend 355.7 miles, 17.8 gallons. do the math. :)
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    No one said it is not possible. However, IT IS NOT POSSIBLE in excess of 70mph. Unless there is a tremendous tailwind!
  • Now you guys are making me feel bad, with my 2000 XLT 5.0L V8 only getting 14 around town and maybe 15 to 16 on the road. Of course, I have it floored most of the time!
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    We drove our 2002 Mountaineer with the tow package (and therefore the 3.73 rear end) from CA to St. Louis when ti was a few days old). It got up to 19 on the highway even then. We average less, but that is due to CA traffic (15.9 is the current reading). We are also looking forward to the new engine and 6-speed transmission,a nd appreciate Ford's practice of making engines which run on regular.
  • spring25spring25 Posts: 11
    Hi, I would like to ask you if you are truly happy with your Mountaineer?
    I own a Nissan Altima 1998 and I hadn't any problems with it but now I have 3 girls and it is time for me to change the family car. I am very unconfortable driving my small Altima with my three girls, and 2 of them still in car seats. Do you recomend me the Mountaineer as a good save family SUV?
    I would appreciate any recomendations. I also don't want to get in deep debts and hight car payments because my car deal was a ripe off. I didn't know better back them but now I am making sure I do my homework researching in deep my next car before I purchase.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 11,858
    sorry chuck most miles were between 75-80 mph. i am pretty good at holding a speed for a long time. downshifting from overdrive kills the mileage. road was i-84 west from central ct and i-81 south through harrisburg to 15 south toward frederick. it's not exactly flat either.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
  • wblake99wblake99 Posts: 18
    chuck1...I see in another forum where you posted that you traded your '02 Explorer V6 for a 4 Runner V8 and you are happy that your V8 is getting the same mileage as your Explorer did (you also are basing that on the on-board computer that you tell me not to trust?).

    I would be very disappointed if I bought another truck that is roughly the same size with a larger, more powerful engine and got the same mileage. The bigger engine will use more fuel from a standing start, but SHOULD use less to keep it going since it does not have to work as hard.

    I used to get about 10 mpg in town with my '70 Mustang but would get 25+ on the highway since it didn't have to work hard. I actually would de-tune it for long cross country trips and once got around 40 mpg on the highway, but it barely ran at idle!

    I always use cruise control and don't vary my speed unless I am forced to, unlike many other folks I come across that seem to accelerate every time they change lanes :confuse:
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