Ford Explorer Engine and Diagnostics Problems

pmorg1pmorg1 Member Posts: 7
I have an Innova OBDII Diagnostics Code Reader. Have used it successfully on several cars including a 1999 Expedition, 2002 F-250, 2001 Mustang, Toyotas, VWs, Lexus, etc.

When I tried it on my 2004 Explorer, it did not work. Talking to Innova, they explained that by 2008 all car manufacturers had to upgrade their diagnostics to the "CAN" diagnostics and that my Explorer had already updated to this standard.

This appears to be the case, but does anyone know if there are other alternatives, as the CAN software is expesive; i.e., $500+.

Any info is appreciated.


  • 07denalitx07denalitx Member Posts: 4
    I have a Ford Explorer 1997 4.0 enging this noise starts when the automobile gets hot and it continues at stop, on the road any speed this sound is progressive getting worse and louder.
  • blue05blue05 Member Posts: 42
    I had a 98 Explorer with a tow package and was told that a sound similar to your was to fan clutch engaging . Yours sounds like it maybe defective .
  • jeeps2jeeps2 Member Posts: 45
    2001 Explorer 4.0 v6. Vehicle would not start, so my daughter had it towed to the Ford dealer in her home town. They tested the head gasket after finding water in the oil. I would have done the same. They tell her that the head gasket is fine. Next they ask if the car was in a flood. It was not. They tell her that water was found in #6 spark plug. The vehicle was hydro locked. After changing the oil, a tune up and a fuel filter change at 750.00 they still can't find a reason for the water getting into the oil. Can the head gasket be the cause and the mechanic just missed this? How else can water get into the oil? I explained to her how to check the dip stick for water so we can keep an eye on this. Any ideas? Thanks for the help.
  • nvbankernvbanker Member Posts: 7,239
    Pretty much, has to be a head gasket, an intake manifold gasket (which is my vote if the head gasket is ok) or a cracked block.
  • jeeps2jeeps2 Member Posts: 45
    Never thought of the intake gasket. Guess that's why I don't fix auto's for a living. Thanks for the info. I'll have them check for that, and thanks for the quick reply.
  • oceanwalkeroceanwalker Member Posts: 2
    Has anyone had a lot of major problems with their 2002 Explorer? Mine only has 50k miles and has had brakes replaced twice, as well as front and rear hubs,rotors, bearings replaced. It has also needed a new alternator, has had major electronic problems with pin switches in doors, electrical dash board problems, and many other things that have cost me thousands of dollars outside of my extended warranty. Could I just have a lemon or are these kinds of parts expected to wear out after 4-5 years, with only 50k miles on the car? What do you suggest, get a new car or stick with this one? I'm now told I need new brakes again, and I never abuse the car. I'm also told I need emergency brake pads, more electronic parts, totalling several hundreds of dollars. Please give me an honest opinion. My Explorer has not held up well at all for being only 5 years old. Thx.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 North Central OHMember Posts: 17,743
    what kind a extended warranty do you have that does not extend to 50k miles? why were the tiems you describe not covered?
    not ready to give you my opinion, yet. ;)
    2020 Ford Explorer XLT, 91 Mustang GT vert
  • jcat12jcat12 Member Posts: 3
    Does anybody know if I can replace my 1998 4.0 OHV explorer engine with 1993 Explorer OHV engine. I am sure they are same motors just not sure if everything bolt right in. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  • lemarjoneslemarjones Member Posts: 3
    The 98 engine is slightly different form a performance standpoint. If you do make the switch, it won't perform as well.

    But aside from that, the system that controls your 98 is OBD II, and the 93 is OBD I. You'd have to take a number of sensors off your 98 to use them on the 93, and hope there weren't any changes so that everything mates up.

    Here's the kicker...In many states, it isn't legal to put an older engine in a newer vehicle. But if you do it yourself, who's going to know.

    My guess is, on a scale of 1 to 10, the swap should run at a 6 or less.
  • jcat12jcat12 Member Posts: 3
    Any chance you know what sensors I will have to change. Live in Canada so not sure law applies here. Appreciate the help.
  • rabbitm32rabbitm32 Member Posts: 1
    2002 Ford Explorer Limited V8 4.6L I have 77,000 miles now on my Explorer and have just found Water in my oil on my last oil change. I have had the gasket replaced by the oil filter that has both water and oil flowing through it. I noticed the problem 4,000 miles after this. I added water just after the repair but thought it was due to fluid loss during the repair. I have taken it back to the facility but they are sure it is not from the repair. I have been driving now since the oil change for 350 miles and have no sign of coolant loss or water in the oil again. My vehicle never over heated and has no loss of power and runs smooth. Does this vehicle have a oil passing through tubing in the radiator to cool? I have no sign of oil in the coolant tank.
  • zevorukozevoruko Member Posts: 9
    Just wondering, cause the belt in my 2001 Explorer Sport looks a bit beaten and all my cars were non-interference engines so I never really worried about the belt busting and messing the engine.

    In the case of the V6 in my Explorer, is it wise to change the belt now? Is the engine an interference engine? What is the risk if the belt/pulley breaks?

    Thanks a lot for the info guys!!!
  • nvbankernvbanker Member Posts: 7,239
    You have nothing to fear - that is a non-interference engine, and it's driven from inside the engine by a chain.
  • zevorukozevoruko Member Posts: 9
    Very well, thanks you the information, Ill rest assured :)
  • chollowschollows Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 Explorer which I purchased the extended 75,000 mile warranty on. I have had the vehicle in 3 times over the life of the warranty for problems with the way it runs. It sometimes jerks into gear and actually rolled backwards while in park in April. It has also had a high pitched whistling sound. I have been told each time that the mechanics found nothing wrong. The last time it was in was on April 26th because it just wasn't running right. Again, nothing was wrong. On May 28th I had stopped at my mother in laws. I was there about 10 minutes. When I started the car up to leave, it had a terrible miss. I took it into the dealer the next day. I was told that they thought it was an enternal engine problem and it would cost $689.09 to tear it down to see what the problem was. If it is the engine, $6,000 - $7,000 to fix. The car was 443 miles over the extended warranty. Now I have a car with 3 payments left and a major problem. Ford will do nothing about it either. We have been buying Ford foe over 20 years because my father in law was an employee. The last 2 vehicles have been problems. NO MORE FORD! No wonder they are going under. The quality is gone and the customer service doesn't care.
    Get a new car now!
    I am looking into Hyundai. Can't beat the warranty and the models are great.

    Run to you nearest dealer and trade in now before you have my problem.
  • jcat12jcat12 Member Posts: 3
    Engine swap succesfull did not use 93 OHV but used a 96. Salvage man told me I was making a big mistake buying engine, swore up and down it wouldn't work,but it did only a couple very minor differnces biggest problem was different size manifold bolts. Saved me $500 versus buying a 99 with same milage. Hope this helps someone.
  • big_mo05big_mo05 Member Posts: 2
    i have a 98 ford explorer. i her the pulleys rattle a bit. but i started it up one morning and it sounds like a knockin noise coming from the engine. now i was told the pulleys could be bad but i dont know. its not loud and its on the drivers side of the car. as i accelerate and slow down it goes with the engine. it doesent get louder either it jus stays the same volume. what could it be????
  • tinna101tinna101 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 96 ford explorer o/d light starts flashing on and off dont want to go until i get up to about 25mph took it home parked it noticed trans fluid coming out from under.let it sit some one told me it was the front seal go out next day put more trans fluid in it drive it does the same thing except its not leaking trans fluid, check the fuse box , fuse was blown change it o/d light stops flashing but still acting the same way like its stuck in 2nd gear any ideas??? please help!! thanks :mad: :confuse:
  • lynn28lynn28 Member Posts: 1
    My 2002 Ford Explorer EB version has over 95,000 miles on it---transmission replaced 10/06 under extended warranty which has now expired. Recently, engine seems to "lag" at hwy speed---I am rarely on the hwy---but yesterday travelled from DC to Baltimore---I95---no problem except "lagging." Just today, however, while driving around 30mph, I noticed a "chugging" noise seemingly coming from under the driver's seat. Noise worsened with acceleration. Any ideas as to the problem & the cost therof? Thank you!
  • viper0523viper0523 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 98 ford explorer sport with a v.6 'E' engine.i have a rattle coming from the engine and was told that it is the timeing chain.I was told that its just the valve in the tensioner that needs to be replaced and this will help the problem.has anyone else heard this and if so can replacing just the valve solve the problem.
  • rusierusie Member Posts: 3
    4.0 OHV engine has trouble codes showing engine is running lean.O2 sensors indicate 0 voltage.. Engine runs fairly well but shakes some. ive been told its a vacuum leak and nothing is wrong with H2o sensors.I cant hear or find a leak with spray. Can anyone please help me?
  • gm4358gm4358 Member Posts: 1
    I've owned 4 Explorers since 1990. My latest, and last, died the other day while my wife was driving with my son in the car. With no warning while making a turn it just shut down.
    The mechanic said a seal in the engine block failed, allowing coolant to flood the engine which caused major engine damage.
    The dealer gave me a quote of $4800 to replace the engine. Ford has refused to take any responsibility for this issue and has basically told me it's not their problem.
    I am extremely frustrated and angry with this company. This truck has very low mileage and this should never happen. I've changed the oil every 3000 miles since buying it new in Nov 2001.
    A $34000 truck is now basically worthless and Ford doesn't care.
    I would advise everyone to avoid Ford for two reasons: their product stinks and the company does not care about you or their customer service reputation!
  • sdmlsdml Member Posts: 3
    i have an 1995 elxplorer XLT. it has 93,3350 miles on it. Some times it just doesnt want to start. i had it in a shop for a full week and they could not find the problem. they replaced a relay and for a few months it ran just fine. but since about two weeks ago it started to act up again. i can drive it somewhere and when i get back to my wont start. After I wait for about 10-15min it will start back up no problem. and yes when this happens my car has PLENTY of gas in it. it will turn over but it really sounds like it is out of gas. i have spent ALOT of money trying to find the damn problem and have yet to solve this stupid mystery. can ANYONE at all help. please!!!
  • wbutleronewbutlerone Member Posts: 1
    99 ford explorer heats up if i turn on a/c runs normal with a/c off install new fan clutch and new thermastat still heats up if a/c turned on can anybody help
  • baileysemtbaileysemt Member Posts: 1
    sdml, I don't have the fix for you, but I am experiencing the EXACT same symptoms with my 1996 Explorer XLT, 146k miles. This has been going on (but getting increasingly frequent) for the past 3 years, until last week. Now it cranks but refuses to start.

    I will be tearing into the electrical system over the weekend, I highly suspect it is electrical because (1) I've had an odd intermittent thing going on with the 4WD and windows not working; and (2) I heard a buzzing/shorting-out sound coming from under the dash, next to the steering wheel, last week. It is likely the windows and the starting issue are 2 different things.

    But I appreciate your mentioning that your dealer replaced a relay and your Explorer was good for a few months. That confirms my suspicion that this is very likely electrical and not mechanical. If I can figure out which relay(s) it is, I will post detailed information including replacement part numbers once I have it fixed. :) Thank you!!

  • velma2000velma2000 Member Posts: 1
    I am having a similar problem w/my Explorer. The overheating when running the A/C is the latest version of the issue. Have taken it in 3x. I haven't taken it to the dealer service yet.

    Have you received any answers to this issue? Overall, my SUV has run very well since I purchased it in 2000. But fixing this problem has been very tricky.

  • ssobehtamissobehtami Member Posts: 5
    hey all.. i have 2001 Explorer Sport.. it has a check engine lite.. now everywheres (xept dealer) i go they tell me that there is no power at the obd II port... i did some search and it says that pin 16 should have power... but it dont.. does any one know of this issue and if so what to do.. i have checked all the fuses and such,,, but not sure as to the relays... the brakers all seem fine..

    thank you for any help you can give
  • rmncoknmermncoknme Member Posts: 18
    Had a similar problem with my 1999 Sable. Problem was that the radiator mesh was finer than the A/C condensor mesh. So, radiator got plugged (prevented air from passing through and cooling it) and whole system ran hot, especially when A/C on. Note this is NOT a plugged coolant line, but rather a radiator not having air pass through it. Replaced radiator in the Sable, but could have just cleaned it.
  • rmncoknmermncoknme Member Posts: 18
    My Explorer now has ~171,000 miles on it, and so far has been a good car, I think. Anyway, it has a problem with the engine, a sound that is a sort of tapping from the area of cylinder 1 (maybe 2 or 3). When I first start it, it is noticeable at idle, then once the motor is warm it is only present when accelerating (apply any gas and the tapping comes back). At highway speed, or any other, tapping is only when on the gas. Sound is definately engine related, as it is there when in Park and is proportional to engine RPM not vehicle speed. I don't feel any issue with acceleration, but harder I accelerate the higher volume the tapping. I don't drive it much since a couple of years ago, maybe 10,000 miles per year mostly during winter, but I do usually take it on some errands every couple of weeks.
  • cpickfordcpickford Member Posts: 8
    I just bought a new battery thinking maybe that was the problem-but no it was not the issue. When I am usually at a stop light or idle the Explorer seems to have a click noise just before the speed in the motor changes to a lower idle-then stalls. Please has anyone experienced this problem-would you be so kind as to help me out with my problem
  • cpickfordcpickford Member Posts: 8
    Hey there! Well after doing a lot of reading and just by knowing how much I drive my truck, I decided to clean out the intake. I just came back from good old Canadian Tire with a can of Throttle Body Cleanner. I did notice some gunk in the intake before-but never really thought anything about it at the time. Wish me luck-I will let yous know the results. ;)
  • cpickfordcpickford Member Posts: 8
    Well I brought it to Midas and it needs new plugs and wires and a Thottle Intake Cleaning. The appointment for the truck is Friday-I will post how the Truck runs once the work is finished-Keeping my fingers crossed. :)
  • clintorisclintoris Member Posts: 1
    I'll bet youre trouble is either a cracked exhaust manifold or a manifold gasket. either problem is an easy fix if you're a do it yourselfer.... although the manifold will not be cheap. You'd be better to buy some shorty headers.. you'll gain performance and save money. That problem is common to Windsor motors (289, 302, 351) all throughout their life cycle.

    it's not a major problem... shouldn't damage anything.
  • heat55heat55 Member Posts: 1
    truck idles high(2k+)on start up then idles low and rough.just like vacume leak. replaced upper and lower intake gaskets,egr,pcv,tps,maf,iac,cleaned grounds.etc.i have no results with my motis($14000)or otc($7000)scan tools.acts like internal vacume leak but external gauge reads steady @ 19". any ideas would be great. thanks..
  • arizonatrooperarizonatrooper Member Posts: 3
    I'm now having the same problem with my '01 Sport Trac.
    OBD II has no power to it (pin 16)
    Did anyone find out what was wrong and how to repair it?

    [email protected]
  • itzbrockitzbrock Member Posts: 1
    :sick: I recently bought a used 2001 Ford explorer sport. For the first month or so its been doing great, and only had a few minor problems that were fixed. About a week or so ago ive been having some problems with my transmission. For example.

    I would start it up fine, take it down the road and after about a min or so of driving it wouldnt go anymore. You could press the gas and rev it up all you wanted, but it wouldnt go anywhere. My dad and i really wouldnt like to buy a new/used transmission, and would love to know if anyone has any ideas about our problem.

    fyi, we checked the transmission fluid and it was actually above what was needed.
  • rmncoknmermncoknme Member Posts: 18
    I'm finally getting around to fixing this just now. Question; I can easily get at all the manifold to engine head bolts by removing the wheel and plastic wind deflector, but I cannot get to the inside exhaust pipe bolt. The one of two that hold the exhaust pipe to the manifold. My question is, if I remove the bolt I can get at, will the bracket that holds the exhaust pipe to the manifold allow the exhaust pipe to drop enough that I can get at the second bolt?
  • roadkill754roadkill754 Member Posts: 1
    i have a 94 explorer that went from a hard to start to a no start i hear the fuel pump when i turn the key on so i changed the EEC relay and pump relay also coilpack still wont start. i am on ssi so don't have a lot of money to spend on parts it is my only trans. and need it to get to Dr.appts. can anyone please tell me what to check next.
    Ed :sick:
  • cliffy94cliffy94 Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2006 Ford Explorer limited, V8 5.4 or 4.6 but its the big one? Only 65K miles and on last trip a moderate ticking noise from engine. Ford shop checked lifters and stated they were okay? Any ideas?
  • rmncoknmermncoknme Member Posts: 18
    I had a similar ticking noise on my 5.0L V8, 1999 Eddie Bauer (I also thought it was lifters, to the point of dis-assembling the oil cover and checking). Turned out to be an exhaust manifold leak. Had me going for a while, as it sounded really, really mechanical, not like the pfft pfft pfft I had expected of an exhaust leak. The gasket between the head and exhaust manifold had failed.
  • cliffy94cliffy94 Member Posts: 2
    That was checked and Ford shop did not think it was aleak. They called Ford and were told to replace the lifters on the passengers side...I have the 4.6 V8. Its for sure coming from the right side, and goes away when the engine warms up. It will come and go...crazy
  • shopdog97shopdog97 Member Posts: 160
    I've been reading some of the horror stories regarding these Explorers. My neighbor has a ' 97 with the 4.0 engine and the thing sounds horrible when he starts it. His cousin did a tune up on it recently and when he told me this I wondered if a spark plug wire might be crossed. We checked this today(9/17/10)and if I'm reading the wiring order correctly, #1plug is on the passenger side(when I stand in FRONT of the vehicle) followed by #'s 2 and 3, and then #'s 4,5,and 6 are on the other side(Drivers). I switched 4 and 6 because it seemed to me that they may have been wrong, but apparently it was right, because after I changed them around the thing REALLY ran terrible and when he shifted into Drive, it stalled immediately. I'm wondering about 2 things: Could his timing chain have jumped a tooth, or could he have a bad coil pack? This guy and his wife just had a baby earlier this month and really don't have a lot of money to spend here on this SUV. I can get him a used coil pack at a local U Pull It salvage yard at a good price if we can find one of course. Is there a test proceedure for a coil pack? Any help anyone can give me on what to be looking for would be greatly appreciated ASAP. Thanks and have a Blessed day!
  • shopdog97shopdog97 Member Posts: 160
    Just to follow up with my above issue with my neighbor's 97 Explorer, today(9/19) I had him start the engine and then I proceeded to test the coil by pulling out each of the 6 wires and observing the results, and I can say that there was spark at each coil. The engine backed off in RPM when I pulled out a wire and increased as I replaced it, so I will assume that the coil is good. Now I scanned his computer with my OBD2 reader and I got 4 codes, one for misfire at #5 cylinder and one for misfire at #6. There were also 2 codes for lean system Banks 1 and 2 respectively. I wanted to take compression readings next but I think he was afraid of what we might find out, so he told me not to do that. Now this thing idles OK, it's when you give it gas that in sounds like it has a miss. The odometer quit working at 140K and he estimates there to be at least 160K on the engine or more. So if there isn't a cylinder problem causing this "miss" where would you suggest we look next? Intake manifold gasket,perhaps? I KNOW this engine is running very rich, you can smell it, and I imagine he would be blowing through the gas if he chose to drive this vehicle every day, which he isn't. Again, I'd appreciate any info or heads-up anyone can provide. Thanks again!
  • rmncoknmermncoknme Member Posts: 18
    Oxygen sensor would be my guess here, if you smell gas in the exhaust. With the lean codes, it means the computer is trying to make the motor run richer, to the point it is pushing as much fuel into the cylinders as it can. Perhaps over time this results in more carbon deposits in the cylinder as well, resulting in misfires (which would also explain any ping you may have). If the O2 sensors are still functioning but out of calibration, all of this could happen and yet there would not be a code for the O2 sensor. Intake manifold gasket leak sounds good if you smell the gas in the engine compartment, but if you smell it out the exhaust, then I don't think this possible leak is the cause.
  • rmncoknmermncoknme Member Posts: 18
    Long time coming, but I replaced the exhaust manifold last year. There was a leak in the gasket, so you nailed it. Thanks for your help....
  • shopdog97shopdog97 Member Posts: 160
    Thanks for your reply, rmncoknme, I will pass it on to my neighbor. I should point out though that after we did those few things this past Sunday, he seemed ready to take the vehicle to the scrapyard rather than to go on to other things. I think if he had let me do the compression test like I wanted to, we probably would have been able to determine what to do by those readings, but I guess he's just frustrated by the whole thing. All I can do is offer my help, the rest is up to him. Thanks again.
  • hthornleyhthornley Member Posts: 7
    Have a 1996 Ford Explorer V6, automatic, 4 wheel drive, good car, but lately have
    problem of car feels like it is missing at speeds between 35-40 mph. Mechanic says he found on internet that problem is in the torque converter not catching up in the
    transmission. Says nothing can be done except replacing transmission! I would like to know if this is right or should I just live with it.


    Hugh :(
  • theheat13theheat13 Member Posts: 2
    edited November 2010
    ok i have a 99 5.0 v8 explorer and it runs grate when u first start it up and runs rill smooth but when it warms up it starts idling ruff and has a bad hesitation and doesn't rilly have eny power eny ideas should i try changing the cam sense or is it something els
  • theheat13theheat13 Member Posts: 2
    sounds like a broke or cracked manifold
  • nvbankernvbanker Member Posts: 7,239
    In fact, it is the manifold gasket. Widespread problem with these 5.0 engines from 97 to 2001. On the other hand, that 5.0 is flat indestructable. It'll run for 250,000 without breaking a sweat.
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