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Ford Explorer Maintenance and Repair

meredithmeredith Posts: 578
This topic is a continuation of Topic 774....

Perpetual Ford Explorer Woes - II. Please
continue these discussions here. Thanks!

Front Porch Philosopher
SUV, Pickups, & Aftermarket and Accessories Host


  • sanandtonsanandton Posts: 342
    See previous post regarding unpredictable, dangerous stalling in perpetual Explorer Woes I. So far approx. 500 mi after replacement of a thing called a VZV valve and fuel cell cannister in the gas tank and no stalls. This could be the end of one of my Explorer headaches that have plagued me for 31k mi. For those of you with unpredictable loss of power or stalls this might be the answer. You can post here if you need more specifics. And I will call my local dealer to get better info.
  • Help! We have a 1994 Explorer Ltd with 160,000 miles on it. My husband loves this vehicle, but we are having problems with the stering; i.e. there is some play in it when you turn to the right and then back to the left. Anyone have this kind of problem? Also, about a year ago the A/C went - we're not sure why, but he's thinking it's the compressor. Anyone with experience in these areas??

  • kfreagan,
    we also live in the Atlanta area and are looking for a good reliable Ford service location - who do you take yours to?? Thanks - return e-mail "[email protected]"
  • I had the same problem with a ford taurus V6 wagon and it ended up being a fuel pump going bad. After the pump warmed up, and was then shut off for only a few minutes, it would vapor lock the fuel line, and the pump did not have enough power to pump thru the vapor lock, and the car would not start until it had cooled down and the vapor lock was released. It also happened on very hot days with the air-conditioner on, the engine would just quit while driving. It would basically run out of gas because of the vapor lock in the fuel line.
  • sneezersneezer Posts: 1
    To the person buying from Budget-Rent-A-Car, maybe it's just me, but never in my life has anyone I know or myself treated a rental car with respect outside of wrecking it. I would tremendously fear the abuse it has taken, especially if it's ever been in my hands. I would expect a lower than average price, and wear and tear that may only become visible over time.
  • thomas37thomas37 Posts: 2
    The transmission fluid disappears. No sign of leaking. No sign in the water or oil. No smoke. It must be burning the fluid -- but how does it get in the exhaust ??
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    a classic cause of losing tranny fluid is a leak in a vacuum control to the tranny... the fluid is then sucked into the manifold and burned in a small enough quantity to not make the car look like it's fogging for mosquitoes. If you have vacuum hoses to the tranny, pull them and stick a Q-tip in the tranny end. If it doesn't come out clean and dry, have those modulators replaced.
  • I just purchased a 2000 explorer sport last night, trading in my bronco. This morning , after all paperwork has been filled out and I picked up the truck the previous night, I get a call saying there is a problem with my trade. They told me they allowed too much for my trade because it had a reconstructed title, and that they refused to send in the application for title to the registry of motor vehicles untill I went down and paid them the difference in what they now though my trade was worth. My father and I went down to the dealership to meet with them. They explained the situation. I told them right out that I already have the truck, financing went through, and that the deal is done, 3 people at the dealership had that title right in front of them , no one made a point to point out there was a problem with a vehicle haveing a reconstructed title....the deal was done-their loss. The guy begain to argue with us and we told them it was there problem, not ours and to send the paper work in, which they continued to refuse to do. The arguement continued to the point where they couldn't come up with any other excuse as to why I wasn't notified about this problem before everything was finished.....and we were asked to leave. After contacting the attorney general, the registry and various other agencies.....none of them had an answer....I went to my lawyer and had him get rolling on the case because I wouldn't have been able to continue to drive the vehicle unless it was registered. Finally, we got through to the owner of the dealership. After numerous phone calls back and forth, he finally agreed that his people screwed up and that it was their fault and they would have to suffer........which is what should have been decided at the beginning. They are supposably sending in the paperwork immediately. Just a bit of advice to future purchasers........don't buy a vehicle with a reconstructed title, because according the the dealership, when you want to get rid of it, no one will want it. # all the registry work yourself.....don't let the dealer hold that last bit of the puzzle over your head. Shame on York Ford in Massachusetts for trying to stick it to a young purchaser who works hard to try to afford such a vehicle....and then have the dealership try to squeeze more out.....and when they don't get it....they treat the customer who just dropped almost 24 grand in there like dirt!!!!!!
  • vanhoyvanhoy Posts: 1
    I own a 97 ExplorerXL at 76,000 miles started having a noise like a diesel engine. Mechanic replaced plugs, wires, pcv valve, fuel filter, replace serpentive drive belt and tensioner, replace plenum gaskets and both timing chain tensioners, repaired wiring at downstream 02 sensors. All this recommended by Ford Company. The problem did not change anything. The Ford Co. still does not know what the problem is. Nothing shows on the scan EEC system. Recommended maybe a 3rd tensioner problem that will cost approx. @ $2000. I understand this seems to be a problem with a lot of Explorers.
  • billiam70billiam70 Posts: 54
    I have a 99 Explorer XLT AWD V8 with 21,000 miles on it. So far I think it's been a pretty decent vehicle. The engine and transmission are both smooth and responsive. I do find the leather interior a little hard. When on long road trips, they become very uncomfortable to sit in. I haven't had any major problems outside of the rear wiper motor needing replacement, twice, and the two recalls. However, I think improvements still could be made in build quality. My truck already has front doors that squeak and rattle, along with the dashboard. This has been "repaired" under warranty, but the problem persists. I also have an occasional chirp from the back of the truck, a whistle from the engine when cold, and brakes that occasionally like to force the truck to the left. Those are little problems, and I am not complaining. Like I said, I do like the truck. I just wish it had a little more refinement that was comparable to the Japanese brands.
  • berikberik Posts: 1
    Help! I'm in immediate need of a vehicle and a '94 Explorer I've found meets the bill. It has had only 1 owner and has 90,000 miles on it. It is an XLT w/roof rack, a/c options. Body looks great, interior is clean. No record of accidents. The price is a fixed $8,000. I can get warranty coverage through Wynn for around $550 (12 month/12,000 miles) or $925 (24 month/ 24,000 miles). I will only use the car for about 8 months before returning overseas, so I want something I can sell easily. If you are knowledgeable about Explorers, I'd appreciate hearing from you ASAP whether this sounds like a good buy or not. Also your thoughts on whether the warranty is worthwhile (seems to cover just about everything major except seals & gaskets).

    Anything else I should consider before buying this car?

    Please reply to me directly at <<A HREF="http://[email protected]">[email protected]>. Thanks!
  • lmc5lmc5 Posts: 16
    I also have a 1997 "EXPLODER" XLT and have had the same deisel sound. I took it to the dealer and they could not find the problem at first. They then told me it was the timing belt cassette, which they replaced, and it did not fix the problem. I took it back and they said it was the timing belt tensioners, which they replaced and it still makes the noise on occasion. I have never owned an american made car so I purchased the extended warranty(best thing I ever purchased). This vehichle has been in the shop at least 15 times and I am taking it back today for the brakes, which were supposed to be fixed a few weeks ago. This vehichle is a piece of junk not to mention I have taken it to three dealerships and the service has been terrible. They try to make it sound like its my fault they have a crappy product. This will be my last FORD and probably my last american made car. I have a 1993 Toyota Camry, 177,500 miles, no problems.
  • blueseatblueseat Posts: 8
    I own a 97 explorer xlt. Dealer has replaced the cassette, etc. but still have the noise. My question for this group is, " has anyone experienced engine damage yet as a result of this or is it merely an annoying noise?"
    If more serious problems have resulted, at how many miles has that happened? At 45K, no significant problem other that the ANNOYING RATTLE/PINGING noise. Anyone with similar experience? Have gone to three different dealer and all scratch their heads and do nothing.
  • lmc5lmc5 Posts: 16
    The diesel sound started on my vehicle around
    45,000 miles. I don't know of any further damage it may have caused, the service departments at Ford would not tell you if it had. This does not sound like an isolated incident. Ford has to know they have a serious problem but they won't address it. Hopefully I can get rid of the vehicle before any other damage occurs. I have written a letter to the corporate office about these service issues and have not received any reply. "Live and Learn,
    I Have Learned, Never Buy Another Ford"
  • bstone2bstone2 Posts: 5
    You know what - I was considering buying an Explorer but after reading these posts - no way. I don't think I have read such negativity on any vehicle in the Edmunds forum. Unbelievable engine and drivetrain problems for vehicles that are 2-3 yrs old. Considering how many of these vehicles Ford has made they should be the standard for all other SUV's - they obviously are not. Now if Nissan or Toyota would take the Xterra concept and pricing and expand it to the size of an Explorer - I would buy today! .Thanx to all who input their problems - it does make a difference - hope someone at Ford reads this - see ya!
  • lukacslukacs Posts: 23
    I have a 2000 Explorer and the engine developed the diesel sound at 3000! miles. I took it back to the dealer and they said they couldn't find the reason why it's doing it, but they are throwing a new engine in it. Hopefully, I'll have more luck with the new engine. I also told the dealer that the doors were not painted on the bottom and I found out that this was "normal" at Explorers. Well, if that is normal at Ford then it tells me something about Ford. The bottom line is: This is my last Ford.
  • angushangush Posts: 1
    I had the same problem. It would not turn over
    after driving in traffic and trying to restart
    within an hour or so. I took it to the dealer the
    first time and he said it was loose cables!
    Obviously it wasn't that. Next time it happened
    we took it in (after being stranded miles from
    home) and the dealer actually replicated the
    problem. I told him it was probably the fuel
    pump (after reading of the problem here, thanks)
    and he ignored me. They replaced the EEC valve
    after replicating the problem, and obviously
    that was not it, because it happened again and
    left us stranded even farther from our house.
    This is all on a 1996 XLT with only 36,000 miles.

    Other problems:
    Broken passenger door latch
    Broken Odometer
    Broken hood handle
    Broken CD player
    Broken heat sensor ($$$)

    They obviously have no clue on this problem
    and can't even fix it after seeing the problem
    for themselves. Not like they tried that hard
    or even cared about customer service. Needless
    to say, this is the last Ford I will ever buy.
  • kjg6kjg6 Posts: 1
    I have a 97 AWD XLT with 34k miles. I noticed that the driver front tire is wearing on the outsides. I have had the vehicle back to the dealer two time with no solution to my problem.
    The dealer blames the wear on low tire pressure.
    The tires are kept at 32psi. I do not want to purchase new tires until problem is corrected.
    Any suggestion?
  • gdtargeegdtargee Posts: 1
    Can anyone help me with a suggestion on what might be causing a gas mileage problem. I have a '94 Explorer with 70000 miles. It has always gotten excellent gas mileage (14-16 town, and 20-23 hwy), but recently changed drastically. We are now getting 10 to 13 on the highway. We have been to several mechanics, including the best Ford authorized guy in town, and have done all suggested repairs. These included the Catalytic Converter and many other things -- all to no avail. I've spent $1,500 trying to fix this, with no luck. I'm wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience and might have a suggestion.
  • swn1swn1 Posts: 27
    I have posted all kinds of annoyances with my '99 XLT and it continues. I had the dieseling noise also but the dealership was successful in fixing it for now anyway. They replaced the cam tensioners, lousy $12 parts. In an effort to fix various squeals and squeaks they have replaced hub seals 3 times, rear shocks, ground the rotors twice, replaced brake pads, taken apart doors and the like. Seems they fix one and it moves somewhere else. Ford is well aware of all these problems but they aren't going to do anything but try and patch them up knowing full well they will continue to lure customers and sell new vehicles. If they came out tomorrow with low financing or big rebates most of us would probably buy another if we were in the market. The higher quality SUV's like Toyota don't need to do this but also charge a premium. The extra $3-5,000 sticker and higher finance charges will keep most of us at bay for now. The worst thing we can do is quit taking them back for repairs under warranty. Pick out every little thing and make them fix it. I know they have billed Ford in excess of $1,000 for my vehicle and I'm just starting. That's the only recourse we have. It helps to stay on the good side of the dealer's shop foreman, they are not to blame.The one I go to has been just as frustrated as me but is working with me to fix everything. So before jumping up and down and screaming at him, remember he can be your best friend in the battle. No, I'm not a shop foreman or know any other than the one I deal with who goes out of his way,partly I'm sure because I treat him like a person and not an idiot.
  • rblissettrblissett Posts: 1
    I just bought a 98 Explorer XLT. Test drove the beast twice, without incident. Took it home, and the next day when I go to start it, it sounded like someone came in the night and replaced my V6 SOHC engine with a diesel. I wish I had of read these posts before buying. Anyway, I did buy it off a dealership on a lease return, and so far they are claiming that they will have it repaired. However, it looks like it will be difficult to pin down the exact problem from all the posts I've read. If anyone knows for sure what it is please forward me the information. Likewise when I take it in tomorrow, if they can actually rectify this problem, I will post the answere for everyone else.
  • lmc5lmc5 Posts: 16
    See post #15 of 24. Well I took my Explorer in for my brakes again on 5-2-00. They were making a woofing sound when I turned to the left. This did not happen until they turned my rotars about a month ago. They did not charge me for this repair and they assured me that I would not be back for this problem. Well today is 5-11-00 and it is making the same noise. Has anyone had this problem before and if so what was it? I keep thinking that I just got a bad vehicle but when I read the other comments about the same problems, I think the problem lies with Ford. Like I have stated before, I have written a letter to Ford but received no response. Does anyone know what I should do next besides push it off a cliff?
  • explorer97explorer97 Posts: 1
    I have a 97 Explorer XLT with 6 cylinders with 45K miles on it. My engine also made what we're all describing as dieseling/pinging sounds. Mine started at about 37K and is now in the shop with a blown cylinder. There is no doubt Ford has been having problems with these engines. Got in touch with the Regional/zone manager as a blown cylinder for an engine with 45000 is rather uncommon and indicative of a defective engine. Evidently Ford agreed since they're picking up tab
  • bcollisonbcollison Posts: 24
    was your engine the SOHC V-6 or the push rod motor? What did they say caused the blown cylinder? Thanks in advance.
  • whinro2whinro2 Posts: 1
    We own a 99 explorer purchased new. It now has approximately 17k miles. Although, on the whole we have been pleased with it, we had a problem with the brakes that was not handled very well. With only a few thousand miles I started picking up a little vibration when braking. This progressed to the point where it was very noticeable and annoying. Being somewhat of a decent mechanic I knew that the rotors were probably the problem. When we took it to the dealer it was discovered that, indeed, the rotors were warped and needed to be turned. The aggravating part of this is that the brakes are only warranted for 12,000 miles and we had to pay for the repair. We were charged $106.00 for something that I could have done for $15.00 had I known what course of action would be taken by the dealer. Even more maddening was that the service manager blaimed us for the problem i.e. we are very heavy footed on the brakes. He also said that when we go to the mountains ( we ski a lot) that we have to drive differently. What a total crock! The vehicle is driven with kid gloves wherever it is driven. We do not hammer the brakes. In fact,it has not been subjected to even one panic stop. By their own admission the brakes showed very little sign of wear, still were warped badly. This is a definite contradiction. How does one abuse the the brakes so badly that they warp,but show very little sign of wear.
  • tomsrtomsr Posts: 325
    I just read in an auto column in the newspaper
    Explorers rotors can be warped if the wheels
    are put on with an air wrench and the torque
    setting of the wrench is too high.If you had your
    tires rotated at a gas station or tire place where they either don't know or care then that might be it.I once had my tires rotated at a tire
    place and when I went to change a flat I
    discovered a cross threaded nut and had to break the stud to remove the tire.I went back to the
    tire place and they apologized and replaced 2 studs that had been ruined.
  • tallimecatallimeca Posts: 6
    i read a post a while back about how someone said that their explorer seems to loose traction while driving over a bridge on the grates. Some one responded saying that that doesn't happen and how it is the person driving the vehicle that is making it happen. I must admit, I tended to agree with this person's rebuttle until the same thing happened to me on my brand new explorer last night. The ground was somewhat wet and at 40 mph, I should not be fishtailing........... I was told that these firestone tires that come on these truck are horrible and i should get rid of them. I'm gonna call the dealership this week to see about changing them in reguards to affecting any kind of warrenties.
  • sanandtonsanandton Posts: 342
    I continue to monitor this site even though I was able to get out of my last woeful explorer hoping to help some of those still driving them (there are a lot). My take on the firestones is they had excellent tread life, but were loud, rough, and produced noticeable road roar which only got worse as they got more miles on them. I suppose they are a hard compound tire, which might explain the tendency to loose traction on the grates mentioned previously, but also accounts for the extended life. I guess Ford chooses them for a mixture of possible uses (on or off road) and cheap price. I even had a few firestone dealers inspect them due to the noise. They told me that the noise was normal for this firestone tire and they were wearing in an excellent pattern. If you can afford new tires already, think about the Michelin LTX or HT. Great for on road situations, and much, much quieter. Good luck.
  • eldridge1eldridge1 Posts: 1
    I recently purchased a 98 Ford Exp XLT with 26000 miles. It has developed a noise that sounds like squeaky bed springs. I don't experience this sound all of the time, but it doesn't seem right.

    Has anyone else had this problem? I would like to know what to tell the dealer.
  • mugsy3mugsy3 Posts: 1
    I have a 97 Explorer V8 with 50,000 miles on it. Ever Since I purchased the truck, I have heard a constant clicking/snapping sound from the front suspension. The problem seems to worsen when braking. Many different Ford dealers have replaced the bearings, joints, cv joints, etc (under warranty) but the problem always comes back.
    Other problems:
    * The right rear door won't open
    * The intermittent wipers go at "their own pace" and not the selected intervals, they also increase speed under hard acceleration
    * Trasmission--The transmission gave out last month and I had it towed to ford for repair,,under warranty. They decided to call in an Ford "investigator" to see if the damage was driver induced. They then claimed the truck was involved in an accident and would not replace the tranny under warranty. We threatend to get lawyers and Ford Re-evouluated the claim, and fixed my truck, after two weeks. 3 weeks later, the transmission is shifting rough and the gear selector is very tight and hard to move. --Whatever.
    Any advice on the front suspension thing, other than blowing my car up or donating it to a Monster Truck Show????
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