Ford Explorer Electrical Problems

cdot925cdot925 Member Posts: 2
I have a 98 Ford Explorer that I just bought and it is driving me nuts because it is showing the signs of a bad alternator but the alternator seems good.
I can start the car, (sometimes) take the positive cable off the battery and the car stays running. This used to be a test to see if the alternator was good, is it still? This morning the car started fine then as I was driving on the highway the electrical gauge dropped down all the way. I got to work and left the car running. I checked the positive cable and the wires going to that and nothing. I got back in the car and turned on the AC and the electrical gauge went up to normal. Does this sound like a short of some type? Any help would be great. Oh, I also changed the battery and the fusable link and that has not solved it. Thanks Chris


  • cpelc1cpelc1 Member Posts: 1
    After we changed the oil in my Explorer the "oil change required" notification stayed on-is there any other way to reset this than unhooking the battery?
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Member Posts: 18,459
    it's in the owner's manual. i've had to do it a time or two.
    2020 Ford Explorer XLT, 91 Mustang GT vert
  • jcoqjcoq Member Posts: 1
    Hello, thanks for the help; I just wanted to ask if at all possible please write down the instructions that we are to find in the manual? I can't find them any where and would be of great help if they were posted here.

    Thanks a lot,

  • azfisherazfisher Member Posts: 2
    On My 2006 Explorer. Hit Setup then reset to go through the system checks. As it gets to the Oil Change % (Mine said 41%)it will also say to hit reset and hold for 2 sec. This is where you can reset it. It is confusing because it is in the system check and not the reset menu. It took me about 5 time to get to hit the reset in time and hold for the 2 sec.

  • zkullzkull Member Posts: 1
    I hAve Honda Civic DX 2006, when I changed my oil and still saying 41 percent on it. I keep pushing the reset button and still not working :( ! Please give me an answer? :cry:
  • azfisherazfisher Member Posts: 2
    First off you need to search the Honda Civic forum. There is a lot of good info in there. ;)

    Here is something I found in a quick search:
    Honda Oil Change Reset
  • jakespoon1jakespoon1 Member Posts: 2
    My wife was driving our 99 Ford Explorer to work this morning and she said that all of the lights on the dash (check engine, oil, etc) came on while she was driving and the steering became very hard. It sounds to me as if the vehicle cut off. She believes that it did not but she was on the interstate and managed to pull over. What she was able to do was turn the ignition (again I am unsure as to whether or not the vehicle was still running) then turn the ignition back on and everything was working fine. No lights on. We will be taking the vehicle to a shop but am wondering if I can get a heads up or advice as to what this may all be. I have had problems in the past where there were no codes in the computer and the dealer could not duplicate the problem so they stated that the could not fix what they couldn't see. Is this a straight forward problem? Please respond if you have any ideas, my wife is 36 weeks pregnant and I am probably going to get a rental car now till this is all resolved.
  • hjshadowhjshadow Member Posts: 2
    I have had this exact same thing happen 5 times in the last 5 months with my 2004 Ford Explorer. My dealership put in a VDR (a recording device) yesterday that has a button on it for me to push when the truck dies. The mechanic from the dealership said that the battery might spike before it dies and it wipes any codes from the computer (hence putting in the VDR to record anything). Earlier they replaced the alternator and that didn't fix anything. Please let me know if you discover the problem/solution and I will do the same. Talk about dangerous!
  • amber6amber6 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 98 Explorer also and one time at the lake the battery went dead and we jump started it and now the clock turns on and off when the vehicle is shut off. and if there is a cd in the player it will pop it out and the suck it back in continuously until the battery is dead. i don't know if the battery needs unhooked then hooked up again, but it really drives me nuts. any suggestions?
  • leej2dayleej2day Member Posts: 1
    I have a 96 Ford Explorer (over 135K miles). Recently after filling up the gas tank I attempted to start the vehicle and it was dead. While turning the key I witnessed many of the dashboard lights (check engine, theft, high beams etc.) go on & off, heard a clicking noise and then it died. I continued to hear a clicking noise,both with the key in and out. I tried jump startin it, but got no response at all. My mechanic has put a new battery in, changed the battery cables, checked all fuses (none were blown), replaced the ignition switch and it still is dead. The positive cable to the battery gets very hot, even with the key out of the switch. He is now suspecting a short in the harness which is apparently an expensive undertaking. Any suggestions as to what might be causing this?
  • mlb8mlb8 Member Posts: 1
    We have been having a similar problem. We have a 95 with over 200K miles. The mechanic says it may be the fuel filter or fuel pump needs replacing. Have your mechanic check these options. Good luck!
  • jackscarjackscar Member Posts: 4
    I have 1998 explorer xlt with 4.0 sohc. The oil pressure guage bounces all over from normal to low. The needle moves very quickly which leads me to a first try of a new pressure sender. I can't find the dang thing. Anybody know where the sender is located???
  • leroy1723leroy1723 Member Posts: 3
    did you ever find it ? i have the same problem i have the same problem with my 2003 explore :confuse:
  • jackscarjackscar Member Posts: 4
    I purchased the new sender(that was easy), so far nobody knows where it is stuffed.
  • leroy1723leroy1723 Member Posts: 3
    may i ask where you bough your sender ? was it bough at the dealer or auto-store ?
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    There's some free repair guides at Maybe that'll help zero you in on the sensor location.
  • ahoronahoron Member Posts: 30
    I think it's located on the drivers side of the engine near the lower radiator hose.
  • matt1388matt1388 Member Posts: 1
    trying to find a way to fix this problem. now all of a sudden after i release the parking brake the parking brake light stays on and every once in a while it turns off but will come back on. can anybody help. Thanks
  • jackscarjackscar Member Posts: 4
    Thanks so much. Wicked hard to locate. Sender wasn't even bad. The push on connector was sloppy. Squeezed a little with needle nose to tighten up & guage is pissa now. :)
  • redexploreredexplore Member Posts: 3
    Can you post where the switch ended up to be? I need to replace mine after the recent cold did it in. Thanks !
  • ahoronahoron Member Posts: 30
    Don't know about the 03. But if it is a pedal try to lift the pedal up Had a similar problem on a 1998 the pedal just wasn't coming all the way up when you release the brake.
  • jackscarjackscar Member Posts: 4
    The switch is located on front of engine, drivers side. A little above and left(drivers side) of crankshaft pulley. Wire harness comes down front of engine and single wire branches off to sensor. Sort of hidden behind lower radiator hose.
  • mwnichymwnichy Member Posts: 3
    The O/D off light started blinking on the dash cluster. There is no problem with the Tranny, it runs in OD rather well. Please help me solve this problem. Thanks
  • mwnichymwnichy Member Posts: 3
    I have a 97 XLT and I want to purchase the Information Message Center Console. Is this compatiable for the XLT, and will the console plugs work on this model. Help Thanks
  • nvbankernvbanker Member Posts: 7,239
    That is your warning light telling you that your transmission is in trouble. It may not act funny now, but it will go out soon if you don't service it NOW!!! Trust me, I know what I'm talking about, and you probably only have about 500 miles left before it starts slipping.....
  • bitt1bitt1 Member Posts: 2
    I've had this problem for quite a while. When in 2WD, 4x4 lights will blink in unison and power windows won't work. This may happen several times and then everything is fine. Recently I've heard a short bzzz in the dashboard and then the 4x4 lights start blinking and windows don't work. I've read several posts about the 4x4 blinking issue, and many relate it to an actuator motor or GEM module, however nothing about the windows. Maybe a short somewhere or a bad ground? Any ideas?
  • fordenvyfordenvy Member Posts: 72
    while wife was driving, get rid of that part.
  • fordenvyfordenvy Member Posts: 72
    My 04 Explorer, at one time 5000 mile ago the ABS light was solid and the 4x4 light was blinking, then went away never happened again, last summer my power windows didn't work unless you keep messing with the window buttons over and over and then they work fine. Then when it gets cold out engine makes noise, but then went away. All these problems self corrected and I have never been to the dealer. Same with my ranger, fords are self correcting just give them time to heal.
  • grizzantgrizzant Member Posts: 1
    I have the same deal with my 97 Explorer, the voltmeter just dropped, radio went dead, and the interior lights dimmed while i was driving, i havent tried turning the A/c on though. let me know what you find out.

  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Administrator Posts: 11,129
    A reporter with a national newspaper is hoping to talk with consumers who have had issues with their batteries going dead for unexplained reasons. Please reply to [email protected] no later than Tuesday, March 13, 2007 with your daytime contact info.


    Need help navigating? [email protected] - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

    Share your vehicle reviews

  • derelddereld Member Posts: 1
    you have to go into the dashboard computer.
    >system reset first
    >system setup second
    >says new oil?
    >hold reset when you see it
    >takes a few trys to get it but it does work.
    Dont disconnect the battery it messes with the computer!
  • gregstarolagregstarola Member Posts: 1
    Just recently. 1992 ford explorer xlt 4x4. the o/d stopped working. When I took it to the Transmission shop, they were adament that I needed a rebuilt. Can the o/d just be fixed? need help asap as I am moving.

  • jmacnjrjmacnjr Member Posts: 1
    I was got a message center from a junk yard and thought it would work with my XLT. As it turned out the XLTs do not have the proper wiring harness to hook up the message center. However there may be a way to hot wire this baby into the vehicles computer system. My vehicle is a 96 Ford Explorer XLT with a 5.0 engine all wheel drive. Hope this helps.
  • aarchdaleaarchdale Member Posts: 10
    Did you ever resolve problem, my 2006 Explorer is cutting out and same deal Ford cannot find codes.This is becoming quite scary.Has been happening since Feb 2007
  • aarchdaleaarchdale Member Posts: 10
    Did you ever resolve my 2006 Explorer has been cutting out since Feb 07, getting quite scary and no codes coming up when I take to Ford.
    They rewired the alarm system 2 days ago thinking that may be the problem, but it has cut out twice since.
  • jakespoon1jakespoon1 Member Posts: 2
    no we did not, nothing could be seen. We don't drive the Explorer anymore, it sits out front. A pity really but the resale value isn't that great because of the gas prices right now. Good luck with yours.
  • hjshadowhjshadow Member Posts: 2
    Yes, the Ford dealership replaced the throttle and then reprogrammed the computer and it has not happened since. Maybe they could try that?
  • tharrisontharrison Member Posts: 2
    95 Ford Explorer,When starting motor interior lights turn off correctly upon ignition, when turning engine off, interior lighting stays on & wind up disconnecting battery until next use, ignition switch is new. what can I do?
  • vurbanicvurbanic Member Posts: 1
    If this happens've got problems. I was off to an out of town wedding when this occured. There were no strange noises so I decided to continue (about a two hour drive) and tend to it when I got there. Wen I got was too late. I ended up with a rebuilt tranny from a cost of about 5 grand!!!
  • ggm8262usggm8262us Member Posts: 1
    One night,driving home from work,just as I got on to the highway,the windows and the radio was working,then all of a sudden,the radio went out,and then when i went to put the windows down,that wasn't working.The next day,I changed the Fuses,and it still doesn't work-what's the deal with that?
  • dougalugdougalug Member Posts: 1
    I have a 97 Mountaineer. The battery keeps dying, even if it sits just overnight, but not every time. Sometimes it won't jump start, sometimes it will. I haven't had problems with electrical stuff while I'm driving though. afer reading these postings, I'm afraid to drive it. Did anything ever come of the "reporter from a national newspaper"?
  • moterboatmoterboat Member Posts: 7
    take your battery out and have it charged and tested,if it test ok,then you ethier have a bad alternator or a drain on the electrical system,the drain will be hard to find for a non tech.,because once you disconnect the battery and then reconnect it, the modules wake - up, they will stay inergized for 20 minutes,that will keep you from finding the circuit that has the drain on it,you need a dc inductive amp meter that will read below 1 amp, .05 of a amp is in spec's,anything more than that is a drain.if your battery is older than 2 years,its a good chance your battery is bad. ;)
  • keystrkeystr Member Posts: 1
    I have a 992 Explorer that runs great, but the amp guage in the dash is always bouncing and causing the headlights to flicker while I am driving. I have a new battery and alternator, even have disconnected the drl module, but I still have the flickering lights. Does anybody have any other ideas, or maybe is it in the guage itself, as I think now it is starting to affect my mileage big time.
  • brauneisbrauneis Member Posts: 1
    My '99 Explorer has a sensor in the rear view mirror and when it starts to get dark, it automatically turns on the head lamps. Lately I have had to fiddle around with the slide adjustment to get the lights to turn off.
    Is there a relay for this or do I need to purchase another sensor?
    Thank in advance.

  • fizwizfizwiz Member Posts: 1
    2002 Explorer XLT Dash - The air bag light blinks, door ajar light (no doors were open), and brake light are on, and when you use the brakes to slow down, the door locks cycle, the interior chime sounds, and the overhead console light turns on and off. When you release the brake, the latter three stop. When I arrived home I checked the rear hatch and it was ajar from the lock cycling, so I closed it and checked the other 4 doors, but the door ajar light stayed illuminated. Bad/defective battery or belt slipping??? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
  • kevmkevm Member Posts: 5
    Did you find out whats causing this my lights are starting not to shut off when I turn the headlight switch and I do hear a relay click. and they go off after a secound try on turning the headlight switch Ive never used the auto headlight switch I wonder if it go be disabled. I was thinking it was just the headlight switch but now I think this could be something more.
  • cowboy1836cowboy1836 Member Posts: 1
    I had the same problem. Turned out to be a bad connection in the driver's door window switches. I started working on it and it started working when I removed that switch panel. Hasn't returned yet.
  • pops4pops4 Member Posts: 1
    I tried putting a cd player in my 96 explorer got it all hooked up and the lights on the headunit came on but no sound would come out of the speakers. i found out that i have to go thru an amp that is built in the explorer does anyone know where the amp is located? and i blew the fuse to the radio and now i can't get power back to the radio or cd player and i already got new fuses and i still can't get power to it? any ideas!
  • gducotegducote Member Posts: 1
    02 Explorer sometimes won't crank. Other electricals are fine, incl dash. Then, suddenly, will crank and start. Could it be related to security system which has gone off during night for no reason? Can chip in key cause problem?
  • allen718allen718 Member Posts: 1
    I am glad to join the forum... I really think I can possibly finally get some sound advise on these machines called Explorers. It made me so mad, I parked it up, and I sat for like 2 years garage. Now, I want to bring it out.

    last I recall the windows were not working for the passengers only the master switch. In addition, I bought a replacement mirror (aftermarket), and installed and have it installed by a street Kat! Simple, he had the tools. But upon hooking it up, the directionals are not fucntioning. Only up and down.

    Help!!!! :mad:
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