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Ford Explorer Maintenance and Repair



  • sklinameskliname Posts: 1
    Just in the last couple of days i started to replace the brake pads, due to shudder and wear - it was time according to wear specs, on my 2002 XLT V8 4WD. 52K Miles. 2 years 8 months old, factory ordered, therefore it did not sit on a lot for any amount of time prior to my posession. The rotors are rusting from the edge inwards on all 4. rears are especially bad where they have rusted so far in it is excessively wearing down the pads, and a chunk broke off - most likely the cause of the shuddering when braking. Also, the threads on the axle to remove the rotor are so rusted, I fear the axle will have to be replaced? i havent checked my repair manual yet to see how much would have to be replaced. will try to post links to my pics, otherwise email me if you want the links. comments welcome. scott links
  • nitromaxnitromax Posts: 641
    wow, I have never seen an axle thread THAT rusted. ok, I take that back....I've seen them like that on cars in the junkyard. But never on a three year old vehicle. Something's wrong there. Maybe if the car wasn't being driven, but you have some decent mileage on that thing.
    I would suggest bringing it by a service shop and getting an opinion.
  • Replace all rotors that have bad wear patterns. Also check rotors for runout and warpage and replace any that are not true.
    You can avoid the rusted thread problem by squirting WD40 on the lug nut threads and axle threads at each service and oil change.
  • lui1lui1 Posts: 1
    I had a whining noise coming out of the speakers on my 95 explorer. The noise would get louder when you hit the gas. I changed the radio to a after-market. I read somewhere that you can get rid of the noise by installing a filter (from radio shack) on one of the power cords. I think the noise was related to the alternator.
  • buckeye49buckeye49 Posts: 1
    My 2004 Explorer has 12K miles. The transmission fluid was changed a couple months ago as part of Ford's phantom recall. Problems still persist with the transmission and seem worse after driving for about five minutes. During a shift from drive to reverse and vice-versa, I can count by thousands to one thousand five. This issue has almost gotten me broad sided when I pulled out a bit too far to get a better view at an intersection. Up and down shifts, gears 1 through 3, are accompanied by a slap, and sometimes an audible kick. When stopping, the transmission finishes the stop about a second and one-half after the car does.

  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    It still sounds like the transmission solenoid is bad. If they changed this, it's possible you got a faulty replacement. What you are describing sounds pretty clear cut. I would take it back and have the Service Manager drive it with you in the car.
  • pwilson1pwilson1 Posts: 1
    I'd like to know more about this. I'm told by Ford that there is no recall scheduled for the rear axle problems. I have 58k on my 2002 MOuntaineer and the rear end is going out. They want $1800 to $2300 to fix this. Outrageous and I am hearing that they are replacing these right and left, however, no recall. No warranty.
    Any info would be appreciated.
  • benderofbowsbenderofbows Posts: 544
    I just had rust removed from my brake rotors (steering wheel vibrating when braking), which sounded like no big deal until I saw those pictures in the posts above. Yikes! And mine only has 17k on it. I sure hope mine don't get like those.

    Also, some O-rings in my A/C failed and leaked out all my coolant (had no A/C).

    Where is 02xls? He and I used to debate the quality of these trucks; I'd like to tell him he might have been right about the 2002 and later models not being up to Fords' standard.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    The best you can hope for is a 50/50 split between you and Ford on this. This is why I have sounded like a "broken record" on this board. If you buy an Explorer-YOU NEED AN EXTENDED WARRANTY!!!!!!!
  • geoff3geoff3 Posts: 1
    Hi, I had a faulty rear axle speed sensor that may have contributed to a head on collision in my 04 explorer (actually on 95 near e. hartford) do you think these two problems are related?
  • verydryiceverydryice Posts: 1
    >#3228 of 3650 by jcat707 Jan 01, 2005 (1:45 pm)
    >Lately when I have been riding in my friend's 03 Explorer, I hear this whistling >sound. It only happens when the it is cold outside in the winter. It did this last >winter and came back this winter. It was nowhere to be found during the fall, >spring and summer. Is this the infamous rear end whine that I have been hearing >about?

    I have the exact same problem, but i cannot find any follow ups for this one. Anyone suggestions?
  • biomanbioman Posts: 172
    The rear axle speed sensor was probably the ABS sensor for the rear wheels. I doubt that this has anything to do with the failure of the rear differential that the other posts are making reference to.
  • muzshermuzsher Posts: 5
    Hi, I have a 97 explorer, it did the same thing when we first got it. It was slipping in and out of 4x4.... we took it back to the dealer who had to find a mechanic who knew about this problem.. in another state. big drama. got it fixed, now the problem is we have had nothing but problems with the truck, had both front wheel hubs replaces, just had an oil leak fixed, new battery, brake pads done and now oil in the spark plugs. All shock exhorbers have to be replaced, and a shuddering still at 100kms.... can anything else go wrong????? We brought this 18 months ago.... Big mistake...
  • What engine? Automatic or Standard Shift? Brake pads, battery and shocks are normal maintenance. Oil on plugs could be a serious problem. Are your plugs and wires good? What plugs are you running? You need to pull the plugs and take a reading on all the plugs and very important to take a compression test of all the cylinders. How does it run? Do you get any smoke or water vapor out the exhaust pipe. Do you have to add coolant to the resivoir or radiator? Does the motor oil level remain constant, or does it raise or lower when checked several times every day?
  • muzshermuzsher Posts: 5
    sorry I don't know much about cars, it is an Auto, Limited model, no smoke from the exhaust as far as I know, and yes it is using oil. unfortunately these type of vehicles aren't serviced by mechanics that know much about them and they have to do a lot of ringing around to find out what is a common problem with them.. I check the oil levels but it is either at an acceptable level or just about has none. We havent added coolant to the radiator. The temp gauges seem to stay normal, which is a worry as the oil when it is low doesn't give me any indication... We have been told the shocks will cost around $900 is that a reasonable price?
  • Sorry, I can't figure out what this is supposed to mean:
    "these type of vehicles aren't serviced by mechanics that know much about them and they have to do a lot of ringing around to find out what is a common problem with them."
    Those vehicles are serviced by knowledgable mechanics who know the strengths and weakness of the vehicle and they know the common problems. I don't know who you've been taking yours to, but maybe it's time to find a better mechanic or a better shop.
    You never did answer what engine you have. I said READ the PLUGS and then do a COMPRESSION TEST, that will tell you a lot about the general health of the engine. A manifold vacuum test may be useful also.
  • exploded99exploded99 Posts: 67
    Well, talk to some good shops in your area that specialize in rear ends. They will usually spend a few minutes with you describing what fails and how. They will also fix the problem for about half of what a ford dealer wants. Make sure you tell them you want to use high quality replacement parts, and have them suggest the "best" (in their opinion). Ask them if they have had to redo explorer after they have fixed them. Then ask them about their warranty. A little leg work will get you a better repair at a better price, with a better warranty.

    You could even go to high performance parts which are basically tougher steel than factory so they can handle high performance (meaning high horsepower) applications.

    I don't know the technical aspects of what ford has changed in the new differentials but I suspect cheaper parts are now being used.

    Get your dealer to state on paper that you need a new differential. Later, if there's a recall, typically you would get reimbursed for needed repairs, as long as a Ford dealer said you needed the work.
  • muzshermuzsher Posts: 5
    I told you I don't know much about cars... We should have taken it to a Ford Mechanic but we just moved to Australia and didn't know alot about where the best place was to take it. However, getting back to the problem, I looked this morning, and there wasn't any smoke of any kind coming out of the exhaust on start up.... As far as the read the plugs thing, I don't have a clue what you mean, I think we will just find a Ford dealer and find out the best place to take it. These types of vehicles arent very popular here, the engine is a 6 cylinder if that is what you mean. Sorry you are talking to a female..... Thanks for your help.
  • mdoug25mdoug25 Posts: 1
    I own a 2001 Ford Explorer Sport (75K Miles) and have 2 friends, one also with a 2001 Ford Explorer Sport (85K Miles) and the other, a 99 Ford Explorer (AWD) (60K miles). All three Explorers are making the same front drive-line noise.

    Both Explorer Sports have had the wheel bearings on the right side replace but the noise remains. I am pretty sure they all share the same front drivetrain and at this point believe the source of the noise is in the front differential. Any thoughts?

  • biomanbioman Posts: 172
    Have you rotated the tires? I had a similar issue with my 99 Explorer XLT 4WD and it turned out to be the Goodyear Wranglers, going on 55k, had to be rotated. The odd thing is that I rotated the tires every 5K and I still got noises that I thought were coming from the right axle shaft bearing. One of the folks at this site suggested tires and I had my doubts. He was right ;) and I was wrong :cry: .
  • That's ok, females are ok with me. I don't know a thing about Austraila! I'll try to explain a little better. The computer codes should always be scanned first to see if it shows any problems. To find out more about the general health of the engine, you can check to see what is going on inside the engine. To "read" the spark plugs, the 6 spark plugs are removed and inspected. A lot of information can be found out by "reading the plugs", meaning looking at the electrodes and insulator, noting the color of the center insulator, condition of the electrodes, general appearance (oily or dry), any greenish color that would indicate the presence of antifreeze, etc. A good mechanic knows how they should look and many auto manuals have a chart with pictures showing spark plugs that ran under various conditions. While the spark plugs are out, the mechanic screws a compression tester into the spark plug hole and cranks the engine to see how much compression the cylinder has. This is done for each cylinder. The amount of compression show be within a specified range, usually 150 lbs to 200 lbs, and the numbers should be close together, usually with in 10 lbs of each other. 20% difference is considered the maximum amount of difference between the cylingers. Any more than that indicates a definite problem, which could be leaking head gasket, cracked head or cracked block. This information can help lead the mechanic towards the correct diagnosis and repair.
    I hope this helps.
  • Go back to the dealer, as many times as it takes, to get this fixed! Had the same issue w/a Mountaineer, had to have the solenoid changed twice, 2 other visits but finally seemms to be corrected. Mine got real exciting when you were on a highway, hit the gas to pass and it slipped, NOTHING, then finally creeped back into gear when you let off the gas. Had a sensor in the rear end changed also. Repair person at the dealership informed me that there are a LOT of these coming back to the dealer for repair. Don't quit until they fix it right!
  • I would never pay $900 for shock absorbers. They are trying to take advantage of you. Get a written quote that says what kind they are and the warrenty, then shop around and get some better quotes, tell them you are looking for a good deal. You can also check on the internet to find them at a good price, then have your mechanic install them, it may be much cheaper that way. You can go to to find them. They have Premium Koni Shocks for $91.00 each. They are better than the original shocks. KONI Special shock absorbers (painted red) were developed for drivers who want to improve their vehicle in general by providing better comfort and handling. You can also find cheaper grades and more expensive grades on the internet. I buy all my brake pads and shocks on the internet. I get better parts at a better price.
  • muzshermuzsher Posts: 5
    Thanks for that. I presume that included the labour as well.
  • muzshermuzsher Posts: 5
    Thanks for that I have printed off what you have told me and I will take it to a reputable mechanic that hopefully knows these things...
  • kwidgekwidge Posts: 1
    Help! A couple of days ago, my 1994 Ford Explorer started stalling when the engine is idle, for no apparent reason. When idling, the engine will now start to shudder and then die. All electrical systems seem to be functioning normally. There's also an additional concern of a hissing noise when I touch the accelerator. BTW, the mileage is 147,000.
  • 02a41802a418 Posts: 1
    The power door locks on my 2002 Explorer XLT quit working.
    The fuse and the relay are OK. The alarm still works, the interior lights still come on and go off using the remote. The locks don't work using the remote or the interior switch. And they don't lock automatically when you start driving. The rear hatch glass doesn't work either, even if you use the exterior button. I've pulled off the interior trim panels to look for a loose wire, but didn't find anything. I can hear a switching noise from behind the second row seat on the passenger side.
    Any suggestions?
  • It sounds very much like a vacuum leak. Look for any vacuum hoses that have came loose or broken. If you can't tell where the hissing sound is coming from, get a length of hose and put one end to your ear and use the other end of the hose to prod around the engine compartment to locate the noise. When you get the end of the hose at the vacuum leak, you will be able to hear it through the hose. When you find the location of the vacuum leak, fix the hose or connection.
    A few things to keep an eye on:
    1. Be sure to keep a clean air filter on it. Check the MAF while the air cleaner cover is off, being sure the intake screen is is free from dirt. Sometime the MAF's get contaminated and have to be internally cleaned by a mechanic. Also check the air intake tube that runs from the air filter box to the Throttle Body to be sure it has no breaks or cracks, pull it off and look underneath, I have seen them crack and leak and made the engine run bad.
    2. Make sure the Spark Plug wires are good. They can go bad in 60,000 miles. You can make the Spark Plug Wires last much longer by gapping your spark plugs at 0.040" instead of the factory recommended .054". This reduces the voltage on the wires. I've done it for many years with no problem.
  • met722met722 Posts: 1
    I have a 1998 Explorer with SOHC 4.0L V6 2WD engine. I recently went mudding in it and had it in 1st revved up at 5K rpms for a while. A few minutes after that I tried putting it in reverse and it wouldnt lock in. Then when I put it in drive it would not shift gears. After a while it would start shifting gears at over 5K rpms when i would let off the gas. When I got home I checked the transmission fluid and it was double over what it should have been. I also had dented my transfer case so I took off the bottom cover, replaced the filter, banged out the dent, and refilled it with the correct amount of fluid. Now the only problem is when I get to about 25 MPH, the rpms will rev up from about 2000 rpms to 3000 and then it will kick down into the next gear. It only does the between 1st to 2nd gear. A friend of mine told me I could have blown an internal seal running the rpms that high with too much fluid. I really do not want to have to rebuild the transmission which would cost a lot of $$. Does anyone know what this could be and how I could fix it? Thanks in advance.
  • Hey,
    I just had this problem fixed last year. Its a defect in the SOHC. There is a kit out there that fixes it. My boyfriend found this info, under some recall information for the SOHC. It wasn't a recall, but it lists the problem and the solution. Since it had been fixed ,I have had no noise coming from the engine.
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