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Ford Expedition Maintenance and Repair



  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    In my experience, my 2WD trucks have been virtually defect free in the drivetrain. Of course, so was my 4WD Explorer for the first 100,000 miles..........
  • rs6rs6 Posts: 3
    I to have this problem on my 99 5.4.the truck on start up fails to hold at idle rpm.and stalls. I only have trouble every 6 months or so. I reported this to my dealer.They could find no trouble but suggested it could be the idle air control valve.I did not change that yet as once more trouble had gone.Good-luck.
  • I thought I'd follow up on my last post. I spoke with someone at Ford customer care today to let them know what I thought about how they stand behind their products (in a nice way). I also mentioned that we have purchased 5 Ford products in the last 10 years and wondered why if they are willing to go out of their way to acquire customers by giving $1,000's in rebates to potential customers that they should treat the customers they do have well. After being on hold for five minutes, they agreed to pay for about 60% of the cost of replacing the windshield. I'm not sure how they arrived at that figure but they weren't obligated to do anything. I decided to cut my losses and have the work done at a discount to me rather than argue for more. I guess it pays to make a phone call sometimes.
  • If you have full glass coverage you could have gotten your windshield for free. The $115 for the radio must have really torqued you, seeing as you have had 5 Fords in 10 years and suddenly you are out $115. I'm surprised they didn't rush you out a new car. If you were not happy with your 3/36 warranty you should have purchased an extended warranty. At some point you said to yourself is it worth the 2k for an extended warranty, or should I just deal with problems as they come? All that said, I do agree with you on the frustration of not having something fixed the first time. Obviously the connector got cooked by something else in the circuit, since the new one got cooked too.
  • My 1999 Expedition with 36k miles was diagnosed with a leaking right side head gasket. At first the dealer said that they didn't know what the problem was and had to remove the engine to diagnose the problem. Then they told me that it was a leaking head gasket and a service bulletin from Ford recommended removing the engine to inspect the heads for warping when doing the head gasket repair. My OEM warranty company would not pay for the labor to remove and re-install the engine. They said it was not necessary to remove the engine to replace the gasket. Was it necessary to remove the engine to correct this problem and who should pay to remove/re-install the engine?
  • The 5.4 (you didn't mention this is your motor, I'm assuming it is) has had several problems with cylinder heads and my guess is that the dealership is not 100% convinced it is just the head gasket. There is a step by step diagnosis procedure for inspecting the heads. If you are unlucky enough to get to the last step it reads "then replace the motor". I had the heads on both sides replaced with the motor in the vehicle. It took 3 days. I think your dealer may be trying to make this a bigger deal than it is (unless they know something they're not telling!) I am also surprised that at 36-ish k for a known problem they are not offering to help you out with the cost of this. I had mine done at 55k, the total bill was $1500, but I only paid $500. The balance was paid for by the dealer using their customer service slush fund.
  • Yeah, I think somewhere I posted my thoughts on paying lots of money for extended warranties and that my preference was to deal with the problems as they come. The thought was that over the long run I would still be ahead of the game. I still think this true but it's the surprise expense factor that is the annoyance. So the $115 bugs me. As for glass coverage, the glass is still perfect! I don't think it would be covered because it was the seal not the glass. The problem was that they can't replace the seal without destroying the glass - hence the new windshield.

    It's at the dealership today. I'll let you know how it goes. By the way, this is a great truck. I personally prefer the 2001 styling with the sport package. I plan to keep this one a while.
  • EARLY 2003 4wd 5.4 advanc trac premium pkg. 42k sticker,but I GOT A GOOD DEAL. O.K., HERE IT COMES. SEVEN TIMES TO FORD (3 DIFFERENT DEALERS)
  • If I was up against the windshield thing I'd go to my local glass shop and let the insurance pay for it. Call it a crack or whatever, they will definately get you into a new windshield. I liked my '99s looks, although the '03 is growing on me rapidly. The '03 might be a little too civilized. I love the '04 F150.
  • fx4fx4 Posts: 72
    See my earlier post about going to the Sylvania XV series Halogen bulbs. Cost is half the Silver Star and bulb life of XV series is much longer than short life Silver Star or the OEM. No flashing to speak of with the XV series either. Silver Star of course is tops for "color" and light output, but the XV upgrade is well worth it. Sylvania XV halogen bulbs available at Auto Zone, Pep Boys, etc., for about $9-10 each.

    It's a shame that we have to deal with plastic turning yellow when the experts learned many years ago that glass will remain clear for decades and longer. Bring back the glass seal beams or something similar. Replacing the Expedition's plastic lens units just to get new front clear surfaces could cost hundreds?
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Check your lemon laws in your state, and start applying them. Please to say, my 03 Navigator has been quite good, none of the stuff you have. YOu need to dump this dog...... If it is leased, at least you have an automatic out of your misery date looming. Fires and lakes are also possible, JK.
  • I have 2003 expedition with the following problems: Total loss of power lights, wipers, dash,radio etac. major rattle upon startup, brake surge upon startup, major back door rattle, door rattles headliner rattle at dvd steering wander and vibration, brake dust, several blown fuses, fried advance trac module,transmission has been replaced, front differential has been rebuilt. I bought this in january and it has spent 4 months in the shop. I have had mirror problems, seat problems memory module problems and it goes on and on. I am sick of this junk car! I would not recommend it to anyone ford has not been able to fix it. during the power failures it smells like smoke, the dealer says let it burn, I bought this to carry my kids in what an attitude to take, Ford costomer relations says there is nothing they can do. I am ford nut this is the first bad one I have had but boy is it bad. my recommendition Dont waste your money.
  • Have you loked into the lemon law?
  • For a leaking or blown head gasket, the engine shouldn't need pulling. So cars, however, are difficult to remove the heads without pulling the engine.

    The one thing missing in this discussion, that your dealer isn't telling you, is that an engine needs to to be inspected for cracks in the cylinder walls after a leaking/blown head gasket. Many times, these cracks can't be seen by the naked eye. Also, once anti freeze makes its way into the engine oil, the engine is pretty much toast in that everything needs to be pulled and cleaned. So, unless the can pull the oil pan while the engine is still in, I'd insist that the thing be pulled to be inspected and cleaned. They may be able to fix the heads with the engine still in, but there could be unseen damage that has already occured that will come back and bite you in the wallet later!
  • I have a 2001 5.4 2WD Expedition that has started to vibrate in the rear at 40-50 mph, about the time the auto transmission switches into 4th gear. I does it only after the car has warmed up or been driven a few miles. The vibration only lasts only for a few seconds and only happens as I pass over the 40-50 mph mark. It does not happen at any other speeds. I have not taken to deal yet, any ideas?
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    Unfortunately, not too uncommon. It can be anything from a tire imbablance to worn drivetrain parts. Only a mechanic can say for sure. There are a lot of problems with Ford Expedition+Explorer differential and driveshaft vibrations, but it's all just specualtion right now.
  • corpuscorpus Posts: 37
    I just drove home a 2003 Fx4 demo with 6,700 miles. Before I drove it off the lot, I made them spin balance the tires, because the steering wheel vibrates above 65 mph. While they were spinning the tires, I drove a different 2003 Fx4 with 100 miles, and it shimmied, too. Spinning the tires helped a little, but not a lot.

    After getting home (45 minute highway drive), I realized why I have been so happy with my 1994 Suburban for the past ten years. It is still much smoother, after 120,000 miles, than the Expedition. The road just wears at you in the Ford. Sure, it feels tight and responsive around town, which is why I bought it, but I'm not looking forward to road trips in it.

    Has anyone found a satisfactory solution to the vibrating steering wheel? Did I just buy the wrong car? Do they all feel this way?
  • There is a full blown procedure for rooting out the shimmy problem. In a lot of cases it is the balancing of the lousy Contitracs. Regular balancing doesn't take care of the problem, they need to be "road force balanced" which from my understanding indexes the tire to the rim prior to actually balancing the conventional way. There is also a rack and pinion problem in some trucks which requires the sterring box to be replaced. In my case they found that the tires fromt he factory were "out of round" and could not be balanced. New set made it all go away, but I still can't wait to get some Michelins on it.
  • fx4fx4 Posts: 72
    My FX4 had been parked for several months on uneven ground at the dealer's new showroom construction site. For the first few miles the lumpy tires were producing a tremendous amount of shaking back up into the steering wheel through the R&P. It hard to believe that the cheapo Cont. TR tires are actually somewhat smooth on the highway now. Never have been balanced in 22,000 miles. The TRs started to cup on the edges at 2,500, but after vigorous rotation and close attention to air pressure, outer edge cupping is not excessive.

    The TRs do seem to skid fairly easily in wet conditions given the 5,800lbs for the FX4. Even though ABS and EBA work well, you have to be very careful in the rain stopping at certain places---the excessive weight of the FX4 will skid you right through downhill stop signs when wet. I know from experience.
  • fx4fx4 Posts: 72
    I have made a number of comments about the 5,800 weight of the 2003 FX4 with full gas tank (the regular XLT is 100+ less)and am surprised how little response I have gotten on this subject. Hey this thing is only a few hundred less the the infamous Hummer 2. Any comments?

    In fairness, the old trusty 5.4L works so hard that the FX4 manages to be a bit nimble anyway. Also the rebirth of the 2wd high helps the mileage. But, in the larger picture what a missed opportunity by the Ford engineers to have made a really nice full sized suv by targeting it at a few hundreds lbs. less like Sequoia, new Durango, Nissan Armada, Tahoe?

    (Many of the famous 123 improvements are actually downgrades for those of us with cargo but limited passenger needs. Also, seating room in 60/40 2nd row seats for a few large adults, versus too many seats designed for small children. These are for another day.)

    Finally, where is Ford going with all the huge weights in the new 2004 F-150 and the 2003 and up Expedition models. And, only the very long wheelbases and tall rubber in the 2004 F-150s?
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    The Rack & Pinion steering, which provides such great road feel, also unfortunately, provides great tire feel as well, and if your tires are the least bit out of round, or balance, you're going to get it right up to your fingertips. My Navigator had just a slight shimmy over 50MPH - a tire rotation cleared it right up, so it's the tires. And I have the MIchelin Pilots on mine.

    I guess it's the price we pay for the precision of the rack & pinion. Gonna have to have good rubber on it all the time.

    In the Suburban, the steering is so numb, you wouldn't notice one of B.C.'s rock wheels under the truck.
  • SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
    Hi we don't have duplicate discussions going, we are going to merge this discussion "Ford Expedition problems" with the "Ford Expedition Owners: Problems & Solutions" discussion.

    The new discussion will use the name "Ford Expedition Owners: Problems & Solutions" and appear in both the Owner's Club area, the SUVs message board and M&R board as well.

  • fx4fx4 Posts: 72
    At I see that customers' ratings for the subject tires are among the best on the website and exceed ratings for several much higher priced brands. Has anyone used this exact tire on a 2003-2004 Expedition? On any other suv of any kind?

    Agree with nvbanker on keeping good, balanced rubber on the road with the new R&P steering for Expedition.

    For my money, I wish the new 4wd Expeditions still came with the old style R/B steering, with the R&P reserved as standard for the 2wd only. (note some of the Dodge models) There just seems to be too much front axle weight and quickness in 4wd Expedition to ever have comfortable driving with current version of R&P steering. FX4 a chore to drive daily to and from work. However, much better in other applications such as higher interstate speeds and boat towing.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    You may be on to something here. Unfortunately, that's an EC that may not make it through any time soon.
  • I have searched the competitors' internet, the dealership lots and the like and have found nothing that's as appealing to the eye as the Expedition. Damn those Ford engineers! They designed something that looks great, but underneath all that swank, there lurks a hidden demon. I just wish they could combine these creature comforts and great ergonomics with some real reliability, good service at the local dealership and manufacturer level (i.e., getting it fixed right the FIRST time) and oh, it wouldn't hurt for Ford to be a little less arrogant when the customer is in need of some real solutions to problems. It could mean the difference between customer satisfaction and lifetime loyalty in spite of problem(s) vs. going lemon law and losing a good customer for life. Just something to think about.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I completely agree, tbooth. I think the Expigator is the best design hands down. And, my last one (a 99) was drop dead reliable for 5 years! That's one reason I bought another one. Now, I've not had any serious problems with my 03 Gator, but I can tell it's not quite put together with the integrity the 99 was. Yet, the design and features are world class, as the way it drives. But if I had had the issues some of those on this thread have had, I'd be livid.
  • corpuscorpus Posts: 37
    I am now on Cooper Discoverer AT LT265/70/17's, with a noticeable improvement on the road. The steering wheel was vibrating before with the ContiTrac's, because they couldn't get them into balance. Now it is smooth as silk. The Cooper's were $575 with tax, mounted and balanced. The dealer paid half. Money well spent.

    I also replaced the chrome steel wheels with EB alloy wheels I bought on e-bay. Anyone need a set of ContiTracs on chrome wheels?
  • Does anyone know if the transmission in the 2003 Expedition Eddie B., is the same make/model with either engine? And does anyone have any experience with either engine? The vehicle I am purchasing has the 4.6L. Currently I don't tow anything but I am concerned about maintainability and longevity of the 4.6L over a long time. I subscribe to good maintenance every 2500 miles.

    Thank you.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    The 4.6L isn't enough engine to move that truck in my opinion, and don't EVER tow with that engine in it. Too much load. I'd look around further and get the 5.4L, and frankly I'd get a 99 or newer, as the 5.4L in the 97 & 98 only made 230 hp. In 99 it was boosted to 260, which is very adequate for any job you ask it to handle.

    But, that's just my opinion.
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