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Ford Explorer Maintenance and Repair



  • My 2000 Explorer xlt started doing this months ago. Now it is so loud, that people turn and stare and the "creak" in the steering wheel is driving me nuts. Did you figure out what your problem was? When I took it to the shop when this first started they told me I was imagining the problem......
  • nelfarranelfarra Posts: 1

    what are the symptoms of a dying battery on an explorer ?

    I've got the original motorcraft maintenance free battery.

    When I come to start it, it doesnt start at all the first time or two, not even a clicking sound to indicating that the switch has been turned on. Then when it starts it starts up just fine

    Is this a sign of a dying battery ?

  • nitromaxnitromax Posts: 641
    When I come to start it, it doesnt start at all the first time or two, not even a clicking sound to indicating that the switch has been turned on. Then when it starts it starts up just fine

    So eventually it does crank over? fast crank? slow crank?

    I have experienced someting similar to what you are speaking of. It was a faulty (sticking) starter relay. I could go out and whack it with a wrench and then the car would start up fine.

    If it is your relay, and your original starting system is old (battery, starter relay/solenoid), I would suggest replacing both at the same time.
    I've tried doing either one or the other on their own in the past and I always ended up having to replace the other one with it. (They seem to wear in together and once one gets replaced, it takes a toll on the other one....which ends up failing shortly afterwards)

    But you don't need to replace them both...just a suggestion.
  • skdoyle1skdoyle1 Posts: 2
    Bunmp. Can someone please help me out?!?!?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,571
    I'd go back to Pep (or another autoparts store that does free readouts, like AutoZone) and see if they can connect to your port and read any codes.

    Steve, Host
  • 97xltbeep97xltbeep Posts: 16

    I have a 97 AWD XLT 5.0L / 82000 miles.
    I was driving around last night when the check engine light came on. Took it to the dealer this morning and was told I needed catalytic converters and was quoted $3100 for parts and labor.
    Does that sound right, or is it way overpriced? Do I have less expensive alternatives -- assuming that it is indeed the cats that are causing the light to come on. How many converters are there on the truck anyway? I thought there was just one.

    Any input will be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you.
  • whatsachevywhatsachevy Posts: 136
    '03 NBX V-8 Auto LS 4X4 - While changing the oil, noticed the coolant level was about 2 inches below the cold fill range on the coolant reservoir. Didn't see any signs of water/anti-freeze in the used oil. Went to top it off and noticed this thick white/light brown residue built up in the reservoir bottle. I didn't want to circulate this crud into the cooling system so I didn't top it off and decided to take it into the dealer. Guess what? This is normal for all Ford vehicles to have this build up in the cooling system. Also, two inches below the stamped cold fill range on the reservoir bottle is supposedly also normal. Has anyone else noticed this build up in the coolant reservoir? I only have 15K on this vehicle and find it hard to believe that this is normal. My '01 Chevy truck with 45K is as clear as the day I got it.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Do a Google search on catalytic convertors and I think you'll find substantially lower prices.

    tidester, host
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    $3100 is the dealer's way of saying they don't want to the work. What was the code, by the way? It's unlikely all the catalytic converters have failed. How many converters does the truck have?
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    Did you buy it used? My guess is there's a leak and someone tried to stop it with a stop-leak product. the story your dealer gave you about the residue and the dropping coolant level is bull.
  • censmingcensming Posts: 1
    I've recently purchased an 04 explorer xls 4dr. v6. The first problem that occurred is the abs light came on and stayed on. While that happened the 4x4 high started to flash. After a few minutes the 4x4 high stopped flashing but the abs light stayed on. This is every trip long or short. Also once I was parked on a hill facing down and I hit my brakes and the pedal hit the floor and the abs started to pulsate the brakes on and off (but no light) and when I got moving again the light came on. The next problem I'm having is a rough idle. Try to start and it doesn't want to. It will turn over and almost flood out and finally start really hard like its missing. Then tonight was really bad I was cruising at about 70 and the pos decided to shut off. I wouldn't have noticed as soon if it weren't for the security light came on. Please help before I bring this horrible vehicle to the dealership. I'm not going to put up with a vehicle that cant run or stop like its intended to and end up killing me, my wife or someone else.
  • nickp1nickp1 Posts: 5
    I too had the same problem, try and get your fingers on either side if the boot and squeeze the hell out of it and agitate as much as you can.
    I promise you you, you will sweat, and curse but it should eventually move. Mine took around 20 mins. But it came off. You may want to remove your heater hoses as they are bolted to the side of the head(a cable tie would hold them but ford decided to use 3 bolts!) this will give you a little more room.
    Mine is a RHD so if there may be descrepences.
    All the best Nick
  • jrc346jrc346 Posts: 337
    I agree with wijoco on the dealer. Extremely high price, and probably not the problem. I would check O2 sensors first as they give out the code which indicate "poor/low catalytic converter efficiency." The cheapest thing that you could do is nothing. Keep the air filter clean, and the fuel filter changed, and if your gas mileage and performance don't drop off a cliff, I would say you are ok.

    Big killers of Cats
    1. Misfires
    2. Poor maintenance
    a. Dirty air filter
    b. Dirty fuel filter
    c. Old Plugs or wires.
    3. Am I missing Any?
  • whatsachevywhatsachevy Posts: 136
    I purchased this Explorer new 12/03 for my wife. It has only got a little over 15K on it. I had already been soured on Ford products enough to buy a Chevy truck in '01 (I had owned nothing but Fords since my '75 Monte Carlo prior to purchasing an '01 2500HD), but she insisted on the Explorer. I can't seem to post my problems as fast as the vehicle can find something else to go wrong. Today, while she was driving along, it just quit running. She had to pull over on the side of the road. It did start back up, but this thing is really testing my patience. Maybe its Ford's way of retaliation for me switching to Chevy. I didn't buy their story of this crap in the coolant reservoir, but I am maticulous when it comes to maintenance (anything I can do - I just don't trust mechanics that I don't know) and there has never been any stop-leak in the cooling system. I didn't know if Ford was using some cheap coolant, but I have never had anything like this in the coolant reservoir. My truck has just over 45K, almost 4 years, and the reservoir is as clear and clean as the day I got it (Chevy does use the red Dex-Cool coolant). I know I've got some time left on the original warranty, but I am trying to convince her that we should get rid of it while we can still get as much as possible out of it. I am trying to talk her into a crew cab Chevy 1500 or possibly even a Tundra. I am having trouble justifying the additional $5K or $6K for an SUV over a truck.
  • bmoyers1bmoyers1 Posts: 3
    I have an '00 Explorer Limited 4X4 , with trailer towing pkg. and Michelin XLT M/S tires. The ride is absolute awful; any old 1930's farm truck rides better this vehicle! It is so harsh you feel every imperfection in the pavement; it slams you from side to side with a diagonal crossing of little dip or bump. On a wash board gravel road, speeds must be less than 20 mph or get hammered inside. On a newly paved freeway section, it's just fine, but look out for any older roads!

    Could there be a major problem with the suspension in this particular car? We all know Explorer ride quality is poor, but this seems extreme. Does anyone have any ideas how to fix improve it,...other than just trade it for something else?

    Thanks for any input. I've about had it with this vehicle.
  • 97xltbeep97xltbeep Posts: 16
    I did not get a code. All I got was a piece of paper that said I needed new catalytic converters, no details. I should have probably asked just so I can go have it scanned somwhere else and compare...Now it's too late as I reset the PCM. The light hasn't come back on -- yet.
    I did some research on the I-net and found out that this particular model has three convertors -- two in the front, one in the back. The prices are around $150 each for the front ones, and $300 for the rear one...not anywhere close to what I was quoted.
  • 97xltbeep97xltbeep Posts: 16
    Thanks for the reply.
    That's what I suspected I reset the PCM. So far the light hasn't come back on.
    I replaced the air filter about 7 months ago. The truck doesn't get driven much and when it does it's mostly city driving. But I'll take a look at the filter anyway.
    I'll take your advice on the fuel filter though, and perhaps some new plugs will help too.
    Surprisingly enough the gas mileage is OK, 14/17 -- and I believe that's OK for this truck.
  • kmackkmack Posts: 5
    '01 Explorer Sport (2wd), Clutch and slave cyl. replaced approx. 20k miles ago. Last week, won't go into gear if started in nuetral. Can start in gear, but can't get out of gear. No pressure in the pedal. Pulled tranny, clutch/pressure plate in good shape, no abnormal signs of wear. Have replaced slave and master cyl with new. Still no pressure in pedal. Bled system 4 times with a pressure bleeder. Throwout bearing moves about a 1/4" now. Still not enough to disengage clutch. With 10 lbs of pressure from bleeder, system works better, but not on its own.
    I'm at a loss with no other ideas. Can't afford to take it to a dealer or tranny shop, but must have the vehicle running by end of this week. Any ideas? Anybody experience this before?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,571
    Try asking in the Got a Quick, Technical Question? discussion too.

    Steve, Host
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    I would first of all check the suspension. There are some makers of shocks that really give a harsh ride. KYB-is one that is really too tight for American tastes. Also, check the tire pressure. The Michelin tires, unless they are severely over inflated, should not give the ride you describe. I assume you just purchased the vehicle, did you run a carfax and put it on a rack for inspection?
  • sonyadeesonyadee Posts: 1
    I bought a 99 explorer xlt it has cassette and cd player (factory). I can put a cd in and it will play if the motor hasn't been running. If i want to play another cd while driving, it will just start this clicking sound and then spit the cd back out. It is the sohc engine 6 cylinder. I usually have to change the cd at night and wait til the morning to listen. Please give advice and/or solution.
  • I have a 97 ford expl. eddie baurer I was hearing a loud humming sound while driving and if I slow down the noise will slow down but once I step on the gas then it will stoop until it start back up again. I took it to the dealer and they told me it was the transfer case and it had to be replaced along with ball joints and other things but the transfer case will be $2800 and to get the rest of the work done will be almost $6000 to get the car back running right. Do you think it is work fixing
  • ssfcussfcu Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 Ford Explorer that once it hits 2400+ RPM I get that diesel sound or marble sound for about 400 RPM and disapers once the transmission shifts. Was that the same with your 83 F-150?
  • bmoyers1bmoyers1 Posts: 3
    Chuck1- Actually I bought this Explorer brand new, but I rarely drive it (my wife puts on most of the miles) but when I do drive it for any length of time, I'm always swearing I'm gonna sell the lumbering beast. I keep wondering if somebody at the factory slipped in rear springs that were supposed to be for the F350 line, or similiar. I can't visually detect any problems, but I'm no expert. I was primarily writing to see if this is a problem others have had, and if anyone had any experience with after-market suspension fixes that improved the ride.

    Thanks for your input... bmoyers1
  • jcat707jcat707 Posts: 168
    Lately my friend has been having problems with here remotes to her car. Sometimes when she goes to press one of the buttons, it doesn't work and takes several presses until the car will finally respond. It used to happen occasionally but now it happens more frequently, like at least once a day. At first she thought that that it may be the battery in that particular remote so she switched to the other remote which brought the same results. Is it possible that both of the remote batteries are bad or is something wrong with the car. It's an 03 Explorer so the car isn't really that old. I would hope that the remote batteries would last more than about 18 months.
  • jodar96jodar96 Posts: 400
    I am about to buy an 03 XLT sport V-6 with 33K miles that was put in service in Nov 2002. Where can I get the extended warranty, how much does it cost, how many miles do they cover, and what do they cover. My concern is the rear axle.

  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    You can purchase anytime just before your 36,000 miles runs out. I purchased mine at
    I purchased the "BaseCare" which is really a "powertrain warranty" and it covers other things as well. This would include the poorly designed rear end. I bought On 12/30/04 for $755.00. It covers me until 75,000 miles or 60 months. There are several plans to choose from!
    Hope this helps!
  • Hi All,
    I have an 02 Mercury Mountaineer and the RSS has stop working. I can turn it on in all the gear but R then it turns off. any ideals?
  • jodar96jodar96 Posts: 400
    Chuck1, thanks for the warranty info. I ended up buying the 2003 XLT Sport 4x4 V-6. It has 33K miles, and on the 250 mile trip back home, doing 70-75mph, it got 20.8 mpg. For its size, it is not bad. My wife's 2001 RX300 2WD gets about 24.

    I could not hear anything unusual from the rear axle. Do you, Explorer owners, expect the rear end whine show up later? or if does not have it by now, it won't have it later?

    Does anyone know how to drain the transmission fluid? There is a hex plug in the center of the pan. Our Camry and RX300 both have idetntical plugs where I have drained the fluid before.

    The Ford service advisor told me that the plug is used to fill the transmisson!!! Fill plug at the bottom of the pan?! I hate it when they do not provide dipsticks, and call the trany maintenance free and sealed. Any time you have gears, fluid, and heat, you must be able to change the filter and fluid.

    With all the negative comments about the new body style Explorer, I decided to buy one. A lot people complained about Dodge Caravan too. Our 97 with 153K miles was one of the best vehicles.
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