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Ford Explorer Maintenance and Repair



  • exploded99exploded99 Posts: 67
    Well, I developed a little rule for warranty work on my Ex. After I've had it in twice for the same problem, and it isn't fixed, I ask for the service manager and work with him to resolve it. Be nice to him - he gets all kinds of people who vent at him.

    When you get a "cannot duplicate" the best thing to do is make sure you know exactly how to drive your car so you can recreate the problem whenever you want. I.E. same rpm's, same speed same gear - and voila the transmission slips.

    Then take the service manager for a ride and show him what the problem is.

    Once the service manager has verified your "concern" (thats a Ford word for maybe you have a problem, maybe you don't) usually the repair process will start pretty quickly.

    And long term its good to know the service manager on a first name basis.
  • exploded99exploded99 Posts: 67
    I'm kind of guessing, but if you've been driving it two years with the OD light flashing, you probably haven't changed AT fluid or filter? Check your AT fluid - is it dark colored instead of a nice red? Does it smell burned? Post back with your engine / tranny info and perhaps you will get a little more detailed answer. There are differences between the 4 and 5 speed.

    Don't know what engine / trans you have, but you need to get all the old fluid out, making sure you drain the torque converter, change the filter ($25) and clean the pan magnet. If your Ex does not have a torque converter drain plug, then change your filter/ clean the pan, and take it to a shop and have them power flush it to get the rest of the old fluid out. do NOT power flush it without changing out the old filter first.

    Don't know if this will work, but for $100 or so its worth a try.
  • 70judge170judge1 Posts: 2
    where is it located?
  • airkristiairkristi Posts: 2
    Well I was told not to do that so I have been reluctant. I will get the engine/tranny info and thanks for your input. I am at a loss.
  • exploded99exploded99 Posts: 67
    Lets try another approach:

    You have been driving your car with the overdrive light flashing for a long time, which is not good since that is trying to tell you that there is something wrong.

    If I understand correctly, your transmission shifts ok, and makes no noises, you just have to back off the gas to get to second gear or out of passing gear.

    It is possible that less than a rebuild is needed to repair it. Take it to a good transmission shop and have them read the codes the transmission is setting (it is setting codes when the O/D light flashes). There are parts in the tranny that can be replaced without a full rebuild. A good A/T mechanic usually has a good idea of what is wrong from your description of the problem. Write down the code numbers and the explanations for your reference. And don't be afraid to have two shops give you opinions.

    Then you can make the decision of whether repair or replace makes most sense. Or whether you have a new car payment instead.
  • biomanbioman Posts: 172
    59,000 miles ago Ford replaced my 1999 XLT 4WD Explorer's Firestone Wilderness tires with Goodyear Wrangler RT/S. The Goodyears served me well for the time they were on my Explorer. Although they still had some tread left on them, at 70,000 miles, I decided to replace them with Michelin Cross Terrain purchased at Costco. Since most tire problems start during the last few thousands of miles, I decided that this was the right time.

    Costco's price that included new valve, balancing, nitrogen gas, lifetime balancing, repair, rotation and road hazard coverage was very fair. Their service people were great. Two people checked the lug nuts with torque wrenches before they returned the truck to me.

    The biggest surprise came when I was driving home. The quiet, shock free ride was impressive. In addition to new tires, I got a new truck! Now if the tires live up to their ratings I should be a happy camper for a long time (assuming, of course, that the rest of the truck stays healthy!) .
  • brickboybrickboy Posts: 1
    our company just purchased a 2005 explorer 4 x 2. it was a ford rep car with 2800 miles. in the week we've had it, it is back at the dealer for the third time. the problem: when turning the key nothing happens...instrument panel and everything else works but it's as if the battery is disconnected..nothing happens. message center shows two problems: low oil pressure (gauge reads at bottom) and check advance track, which shows advance trak is off. of course when it is towed to the dealer it starts after an indeterminate length of time. dealer says computer shows no faults or history.. any ideas?
  • jpowell2jpowell2 Posts: 1
    Hello everyone! I have a 98 Ford Explorer Sport with a 5 sp manual V6. I've been having problems shifting the past few months. It doesn't shift smoothly, and is really difficult going from neutral into 1st gear. I've also noticed the problem is worse in warm weather. Any ideas what the problem could be? Thanks!
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    "The quiet, shock free ride was impressive. In addition to new tires, I got a new truck! Now if the tires live up to their ratings I should be a happy camper for a long time."

    Those Michelins are the best tires for the Explorer...hands down. They are the most quiet and smooth riding tire I have experienced. However, you won't get the 60K or 70K out of then that they are rated. I took good care of them, and replaced them before 40,000 miles. :blush:
  • jdxltjdxlt Posts: 4
    I have a 98 explorer the 4x4 is not working it will go into low and high and show that the 4x4 is on, on the dash but the front wheels are not pulling. does any one have any sugestions for some things i could check before I take to the dealer and get shafted.

    thanks J.D.
  • levellanelevellane Posts: 1
    Hello i need help. I have a 2002 explorer with what i believe to be a grind in the front or rear wheels, this only happens when the car is hot and driven fairly hard. the grinding noise happens whe the car is going below the speeds of 5 mph in both forward and reverse. it has been to the dealer twice the first time they replced the coil wire ( yes the coil wire) , the second they rebuilt the whole drive train but still the bite and grind at this very low speed . the brakes are never pressed when getting this grind , and needless to say i am at a loss is this a possible transmis :sick: ion problem or a problem in the wheels plz if you can shed any light on this plz help
  • exploded99exploded99 Posts: 67
    Doesn't sound like the ignition switch since everything else works, altho I suppose it could be an intermittent switch problem when turning to start position, but I don't think that is likely.

    There is a relay in the power box under the hood which controls power to the engine computer. These sometimes go bad and /or work only intermittently. Have the dealer swap this relay with another less critical relay in the power box. Or buy one ( $40 or so)and put it in the next time it won't start.

    there are only two different relay types in there, unless there is something new in the 2005.

    I suggest that because if the power to the computer fails, it won't record codes.
  • joxymjoxym Posts: 1
    I just want to know if someone could help me with some question that I been trying to figurate out. I asked a lot of mechanics about what is the OVERDRIVE function for.
    As you know all the explores and cars have this function always ON and they have a botton to turn it off.
    I just want some help to know when I have to turn it off and when I have to keep it on.
    Why Im asking this because I see that if I put O/D Off the truck feels like if it has more force, also Im asking this because I put some rims 20's and spinners and may be the rims are making the truck forcing more
    Please help me

    Thank You
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Have you put a booster pack on the battery when it won't crank? If you have a shorted out battery that's going up and down, it could be a faulty battery.
  • cplace25cplace25 Posts: 3
    The whining noise in the back wheel ended up being a VERY bad wheel bearing. I have a 5 speed V-8 transmission with automatic 4 wheel drive. The mechanic told me it does not move sometimes in the morning because of the automatic 4 wheel drive and I have to wait 30 seconds before shifting it into gear.
  • exploded99exploded99 Posts: 67
    To get 4 wheel your transfer case must go to four wheel, and your front hubs must engage. I would start by checking your front hubs, since your dash lights seem to indicate the transfer case is going into four wheel.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    You can disengage the OD all the time if you want to, it won't hurt anything, just give you less mileage, and your transmission will probably last longer. You should disengage in stop & go traffic, especially with 20's on the truck. You should also disengage the OD in hilly or mountainous terrain.

    Another way to put it (if I used too many big words before) is, only leave the OD on if you're on the freeway going over 55 MPH.
  • robert60robert60 Posts: 2
    Having problems locating location on rear wheels to release emergency brake,
    allowing to replace rear rotors. Any help in this area would be greatly appreciated.
  • Can someone please help me with this? I have a 1993 Explorer and for some reason when I am turning (either way) it's as though my steering wheel doesn't want to turn back and then my tires will keep turning in whatever direction I was turning in the first place. While I was just driving today it was like my truck pulled me to one side so I stopped and got out and noticed that even though my Steering Wheel was turned, my tires were still straight. I hope that this makes sense and any help would be appreciated.....
    Alignment.... Power Steering....?????????
    HELP!!! :cry: :cry: :cry:
  • mwall25mwall25 Posts: 1

    I have a 98' Explorer XLT 4.0L SOHC w/ 51K 4WD. I had my front ball joints replaced three months ago but I think it is unrelated to my current problem. When I start the car and for the first couple minutes after I am driving an odd rattling noise comes from underneath the back of the car. I first noticed it when pulling into a sharp turn in a garage. It happens when the car is idle and stops soon after I drive it. It sounds like a New Year's ever noise maker, the ones you hold and spin the top, kind of a racheting sound. I know little to nothing about cars but the noise appears to be coming from a rounded box right before the drive train connects to the rear axle. Any thoughts??

  • I have about 150K miles on my Explorer and it is constantly giving a Cylinder 4 misfire code when the mechanic checks the check engine light. He has recently done a major tuneup and replaced all plugs, cables etc. What happens, is that during acceleration it will hesitate and seem like it has no power, as well as backfire/popping sound from engine. He noticed a white/gray powder near the exhaust manifold on the drivers side. He says it is cracked/leaking. Could this be the cause? I have asked him to guarantee that if he fixes this and it still gives a Cylinder 4 error code that he will not charge me to fix it for that reason. He is thinking about it further.
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    You can't reasonably ask a mechanic to "guarantee" that a repair will correct a computer code error on a vehicle with 150,000 miles. You could have multiple problems. If the exhaust manifold is cracked, it could very well cause a misfire code. Regardless, it needs to be replaced.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    This is when you need to think about replacing the vehicle.......
    I would ask myself (realistically) how much more life is in this vehicle. :confuse:
  • robert60robert60 Posts: 2
    Could someone inform me of location of entrance of star adjustment
    to back off rear emergency brake to remove rotor?
  • timdoggtimdogg Posts: 1
    Hi everyone,

    I have a 1995 Explorer XLT with just over 200,000 miles on it (whew!) I should have sold it earlier when it didn't have the problems it has now, but what can you do? The interior is great, exterior not so great but okay. The main problem with it is that the transfer case makes horrible noises—cricket like squeaking, crunchy grinding sounds at low speeds, and massive, deep vibration at high speeds. I don't know if I should try to sell it as-is for almost nothing, or get a new transfer case. I don't want to pay what it would cost to have my mechanic do the work, so I'm interested in finding out how to do it myself over the next few weeks. Please give me some feedback about this, thanks. :sick:
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    Yes, your should have gotten rid of it earlier. It looks like it's about done as far as it's "life expectancy" is concerned. Junk it, donate it, or sell it for parts. There is no question cars/trucks are expensive, I think there are people that keep their cars for too-long and then get in a situation where they are dumping good money in to a bad situation. Those are my thoughts! :sick:
  • I believe there is no star adjustment. Only the cables are connected to the e brake shoes. Be sure you have slack in the e cables or take the cables loose.
  • It could be dangerous to drive, probably a part has come loose or broken. Have it checked right away. Any shop that does front end alignments should be able to help you.
  • you1you1 Posts: 2
    No I did not receive any feedback. It does not appear to be a ball joint. Everything seems to be tight now in the front end after I replaced the tie rods.
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