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Ford Explorer Mercury Mountaineer 2005 and earlier



  • I little further explaination. I am sure that there are many v6 owners that are very happy with their vehicles and have no engine or transmission problems, BUT there HAVE been several notable KNOWN ISSUES with the v6 engine and the v6 transmission. I've been reading these forums for 5 years and I've read of many complaints about the v6 engines and v6 transmissions. Most noteable is the timing chain issues with the V6 engine. First off, the whole thing is a bad design, with one of the chain cassettes behind the engine against the firewall, requiring removal of the engine to replace it. Next was plastic intake manifolds with leaking o-rings. Then the transmissions had things going wrong with them and bad solenoids, etc. It seems like a lot of trouble and complaints to me. I bought my 97 and 00 both used, with high milage and now with much higher milage on them, and I don't expect to have any trouble with them, and I expect to drive them til they have 200,000 miles on them. I buy them at about 6 years old and I have to drive them for 6 years. I look for long term reliabilty.
  • fitguyfitguy Posts: 222
    Wanted to post actual mileage readings on our '05 XLT V8 w/tow pkg & 3.73 gears now that it's past 2000 mi Around town: 14 Highway: 18
    Exactly what the epa sticker rating was. The highway is at 65-70 mph, no more. I'm hoping as it wears in those #'s will improve a little. BTW, this is a great tow vehicle- I had a '97 Explorer 5.0 V8, a 2000 Expy 4.6 V8, and this '05 is better than both, with no rear-end sag like the '97 and better power delivery than the Expy. So far, no problems to report but it's VERY early still!
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    "I don't expect to have any trouble with them, and I expect to drive them til they have 200,000 miles on them. I buy them at about 6 years old and I have to drive them for 6 years. I look for long term reliabilty."

    IMHO your very lucky if you can have 200K trouble free miles. If you look at some of the posts on the "problems board" you will see many vehicle with high miles, but with the owners chasing "gremlin problems" that can't seem to be diagnosed,and therefore can't be fixed.

    I get rid of my vehicles just before they hit 100K and let guys like you deal with the problems that are sure to come.

    Of course, the problems are minimized if you have an Accord or Camry!
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 11,859
    chuck... not too many people are cross shopping camcords and explorers.
    with all the millions of explorers sold, there are of course what seems like a lot of owners posting problems.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
  • Both my 97 XLT V8 with 3.73 rear axle and the 2000 XLT with 3.55 rear axle gets about 14 mpg in town and about 18 on the road, if I drive it "normal", which is very rare. It's usually pedal to the metal, slammin on the brakes, stompin the gas, in all this city traffic and intercity bridge traffic, getting about 13 mpg. The only time it can be driven normal is on a road trip where it can run on cruise control for hundreds of miles.
    What I mean by the low maintenance is NO HEAVY Maintenance, and not much of it, such as any major engine work or any major transmission work. I'm getting too old for that stuff anymore, I don't want to be pulling any engines, pulling any heads, or pulling any trannys. What I mean by low maintenance is LIGHT maintenance. I can handle a water pump, radiator, brakes, alternator, starter, easy stuff like that. The 97 XLT has required a few things that I considered to be quite minor, such as replacing the Radiator, cost about $180 at parts house. Also replaced the multifunction switch, a common problem on the Expl. That is so easy to replace, it's almost TOO easy! And only on $65 out of pocket for the part from the Dealer, not bad. Another minor thing that had to be replaced on the 97 Exp is the Cruise Control Switches, the plastic parts just started to disinegrate and fall apart, I thought it was a very odd, an uncommon failure. I replaced that easily, but it requires a higher skill level, as the Air Bag has to be removed, and the steering wheel has to be removed. Parts were $65 at the Dealer. I think most mechanics can do it if they are smart enough to disconnect the battery and wait five minutes before they start on it, and if they have the correct steering wheel puller and know how to use it. But I could NOT recommend that the owner do that repair, as the Air Bag is potentially dangerous.
    I worry a little about the 2002 on up models because of all the whinning rear axle problems. We are due to replace the 97 Expl in 2008, and that would put us in the market for about a 2003 model. But if I find a 2003 with 100K on it, and it runs quiet, it will probably hold up. If not, I could rebuild the rear axle, I did on the 97. The rear axle is about the heaviest work that I would be willing to do now. OR we might have to make a more fuel efficient choice of vehicles, depending on the price of gas and the economy at that time.
    Overall, I think the V8 Explorer is a joy to drive, has a very strong engine and transmission combination. My V8 is the 5.0L, an engine with a time proven reputation, as well as the 4R70W transmission with an excellent reputation. It's powerful, smooth, and I Love it. I believe the 4.6L V8 are very good also. But I think when I am ready to replace the 2000 Expl in 2011, I'll likely have to make a more fuel efficient choice. I'll have to wait and see what that will be and how the economy is at that time.

    Chuck, I don't think there is ANY comparison between a Camry or Accord to an Explorer, they are just two different type animals.
    And, I don't have any Gremlins! No Check Engine Lights! But I did have a Flat Tire.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    "ANY comparison between a Camry or Accord to an Explorer, they are just two different type animals."

    Didn't mean to say that the Accord and Camry were similar (to the Explorer), just wanted to state many people get a lot of miles out of vehicles such as these with few problems because of build qulaity.......
  • i live in a very snowy area so i have instelled blizzak dmz3 on my o5 limited...i went with 16 inch styled steel wheels..though that creates another problem..the TPMS light is on! oh and i love the tires in the snow/slush/ice..great tire
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    You may enjoy this thread about a $3,000 error in favor of the car buyer (although Kirstie is trying to get people to move along):

    tamaraster, "Any Questions for a Car Dealer?" #14959, 13 Dec 2005 8:19 am

    Steve, Host
  • daryll44daryll44 Posts: 307
    Interesting discussion. If it were me, I would give the dealer his $3000. I would never, ever give a penny more than agreed to, but I would still be honest if they made an error in my favor.

    A while back I traded in a wrecked car with the agreement that the dealer would get the insurance check (it was a $3500 repair on an almost new car worth about $40,000). Well, the insurance company came up with some bogus weay of weaseling down the check to the dealer. After about two weeks of haggling, the dealer let me know that this was going on. They stated right up front that they understood that this was THEIR problem. But it wasn't right and I turned up the heat on my insurer and the dealer got his money. Will it get me a better deal next time? Probably not. But my reputation is more important to me than beating up a dealer (or even merely passively letting him get screwed over in my case).
  • daryll44daryll44 Posts: 307
    I see that both Explorer and Fusion are nominees for the North American Car of The Year. I like both. That being said, isn't that type of contest like having a beauty contest for women who weigh over 300 pounds? Yeah, someone becomes the "beauty queen", but would you REALLY wanna see her in the centerfold of Playboy!

    (Boy am I gonna get flamed, by BOTH the Ford enthusiasts AND the feminists, on this one).
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Yes, I've run 2 of those Cologne 4.0L engines over 150,000 miles with -0- issues, not even a water pump change. They're plenty tough and reliable. But the V-8 will please you more, for about 1 less MPG.
  • dgldgl Posts: 8
    What kind of maintenance schedule did you follow? I rarely had a vehicle that had a water pump that lasted more than 70,000 miles.
  • jefferygjefferyg Posts: 418
    I think your right on target. I've heard few complaints about the V6. We have an 04 Mountaineer with the V6. It performs well and I have gotten as good as 22 (almost 23) mpg on the highway. It has plenty of power for running around town, but I'd be afraid to hitch anything heavier than my 5x10 utility trailer behind it. Not so much because of the V6 but because we don't have the towing package.

    The biggest problem I have with the Mountaineer is the gas mileage. On average we get about 15 around town and about 20 on the highway. Most of our driving is local with the occasional road trip. I believe on these short excursions the V8 would have done just as well on gas mileage.

    If I had it to do over again I'd have paid the few extra dollars to get the V8, and if I were looking at an 06, I'd definitely go with the new V8.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    "On average we get about 15 around town and about 20 on the highway."

    My wife owned an '02 with the V6 for two and a half years. Thats the mpg she got. Isn't that the same figures stated on the factory sticker? I said this once before and was slammed, but I will tell you I cannot account for some of the "legendary mileage" some claim on this board with these very same vehicles. It baffles me. If it's true....
  • a Volvo V70T [that would be an inline 5 Turbo] that cranks out close to 30 on the highway and from 18-20 in the city depending. Of course, it is a 2001 and built before Ford started pushing its inferiority onto the brand. I figure I can get everything in it that any of you ever put in those SUVs or yours. Each to their own I suppose. Someone has to support the executives at Ford and considering the company doesn't make any money on sedans they need it from you SUV drivers paying them 30% 40% per pop. That's to the factory, not the dealer.
  • Why do people insist on comparing apples to oranges? :confuse:

    My wife drives an '05 Volvo S40 T5 that would kick the pants off most cars on the road and gets around 33 on the highway and mid-20s in the city. So what, it can't tow anything and the trunk is tiny. That is why I have my Mountaineer with V8 and towing package.

    You cannot compare a station wagon, which is clearly what the V70 is, to any truck based SUV. I see people driving around with their tall wagons with trailer hitches on them and I have to wonder what in the world they would tow with it, one jet ski? I could tow your wagon and my wife's car at the same time and the truck would ask if that was all I had for it to do!

    As far as putting stuff in your vehicle, I guarantee that a whole lot more will fit in the back of my Mountaineer than you could fit in your V70.

    The other side of the coin is that you probably paid the same or more for your V70 than we do for our SUVs and you need premium gas with your Turbo. In the end you will spend more money to own and operate than we will.

    To each his own, but please compare apples to apples.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Why do people insist on comparing apples to oranges?

    Because there are more similarities than differences? (both round, are fruit, have seeds, grow on trees, etc.).

    People cross shop between all sorts of cars around here everyday. There's a CR-V v Accord board in the archives for example.
    More topical would be this discussion and it invites comparisons:

    Station Wagon vs SUV

    Steve, Host
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    If they agreed on $18K, but the paperwork said $15K in error, I think the buyer has a duty to speak up (if I understand the scenario correctly) as they did agree on price...ethically speaking, it seems right to do so...

    BUT, most of us then ask the counter-question, if the deal was $15K, but the contract said $18K, and the payments were calculated by an $18K contract, would the dealer be ethical enough to call and say that the buyer was overcharged by $3K, come back and we will redo the amounts...most of us believe the dealer would never do that, altho we all want to believe the dealer would do it...YMMV...

    If I missed the point of the post, then my post will make no sense could even sound like a lawyer who "talks" just to hear the "sound" of his own (posted)voice... ;) :shades: ;)
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    There you are - maybe you can cut and paste that over in Any Questions for a Car Dealer?, but I think they've moved on. Don't miss the Boise car dealer thread over in Dealer's Tricks - bait & switch, etc. though. It's a doozey. :-)

    Steve, Host
  • jefferygjefferyg Posts: 418
    I believe the V6 is actually rated at 16 and 21, but I could be wrong. What hacks me about it is that the F150 Supercrew with the 4.6 that I traded for the Mountaineer got the same mileage. I figured smaller vehicle, V6, it ought to get a little better than the truck, and for the most part on the highway it does. However, I never got less than 15 running around town in my truck. Guess that's what I get for thinking. :confuse:
  • I have a 2000 XLT with the manual climate control unit, but I'm wondering how easy it would be to replace it with the automatic climate control unit. Is it simply a matter of switching the control units in the dash or is there different wiring involved or maybe some sensors that the automatic system uses that I'd have to install as well...any ideas?

    I'm also wondering how easy it would be to install the in-console message center that's usually found in Eddie Bauer and Limited models...anybody know anything about this?
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    I linked over to that thread, backtracked a few pages, but cannot seem to find the start of it...since you seem aware of the whole thing, can you enlighten me on the number of the post that started it???...thanks...

  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Hi Bob, I think this was the start although I was late hearing about the thread myself:

    lhess, "Dealer's Tricks - bait & switch, etc." #4134, 14 Dec 2005 10:58 am

    The story has been floating around here in Boise since late November.

    Don't forget your Blue Oval, Ford fans. (Inside Line)

    Steve, Host
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Changed oil every 5000 miles, serviced transmission every 25,000.
  • Your wife drives the smallest Volvo made. So what?

    Volvo wagons can tow, not a yacht mind you but I don't have one of those any more than you do. Your Mountaineer can probably tow the moon, right? I suppose its MPG improves two miles for every pound, eh?

    I can put all I need to in the V70. An entire hockey team's equipment will fit and that's plenty. Yes, the V70 probably cost every bit the price of your oval junk. Only difference is the factory didn't get over on me to the tune of 30-45% gross. Factory not dealer. But each to their own.

    You are right, I wasn't comparing comparables. Didn't intend to either. Believe me, I know that a crappy blue oval product is no comparison to a Volvo BFFIU.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Wow, calm down, already! You are aware that the Blue Oval also makes your Volvo V-70, a fine wagon, aren't you? The Blue Oval is basing most of their larger sedans now, off the Volvo P-2 platform. I don't think you can get insulting about Ford, when you drive a Swedish version and like it, can you?
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 11,859
    all i can say is that anyone who puts an entire hockey team's equipment in their car has no sense of smell. :P
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
  • "all i can say is that anyone who puts an entire hockey team's equipment in their car has no sense of smell."

    Ha ha.....good one!
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    Thanks for the link...I read the case...while I certainly believe that the dealer (dealers?) acted unconscionably now you know why I would rather do auto accident work and bankruptcy...simpler, more cut and dried...

    The attorney will probably win, but the other factors are interesting...why does an Alz patient drive, and why have a driver's license???...could he have had a lucid moment when he signed the contract???...unlikely, but possible...

    Similar problems are seen with making out wills for the senile...if they have a lucid time for 2 hours out of the day, if they sign a will in those 2 hours, it is valid and they were momentarily of "sound mind and body"...if they can answer what day it is, where they are, who the President of the US is, why they are there (I am here to sign my will determining where my assets will go when I die), and maybe a few other questions, they can be lucid for signing a would be prudent for the atty to videotape the signing so that the lucidity can be preserved...

    So when Junior contests the will, saying he should get his 90 year old father's millions, and Dad left them to an 18 year old busty blonde, the video will tell us if Dad knew what he was doing, ir if Dad "knew" what he was doing...

    Note to self: Leaving anything to an 18 year old busty blonde may be a smart move when I draft my will...think my wife will notice??? :cry: :P ;)

  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Nice analysis, but you really should post it over in the Tricks discussion. ;)

    Steve, Host
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