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Ford Explorer Electrical Problems

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 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 Central CTPosts: 13,713
    it's in the owner's manual. i've had to do it a time or two.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2017 Ford F-150 Limited
  • jcoqjcoq 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,

  • 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.

  • 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:
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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 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?
  • 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 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!
  • 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???
  • did you ever find it ? i have the same problem i have the same problem with my 2003 explore :confuse:
  • I purchased the new sender(that was easy), so far nobody knows where it is stuffed.
  • may i ask where you bough your sender ? was it bough at the dealer or auto-store ?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    There's some free repair guides at Maybe that'll help zero you in on the sensor location.
  • ahoronahoron Posts: 30
    I think it's located on the drivers side of the engine near the lower radiator hose.
  • 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
  • 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. :)
  • Can you post where the switch ended up to be? I need to replace mine after the recent cold did it in. Thanks !
  • ahoronahoron 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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 Posts: 7,285
    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 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 Posts: 72
    while wife was driving, get rid of that part.
  • fordenvyfordenvy 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 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 Posts: 11,077
    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.


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