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Ford Explorer Maintenance and Repair



  • lateralglateralg Posts: 929
    I've said some things on this thread that have offended people, and I regret the results. For that, I apologize.

    At the heart of my "cryptic" messages was a sincere attempt to help fellow Ford enthusiasts. As a retired Ford Engineer, I'm in a position to do that, but it's difficult to do so here.

  • Hello!

    Thanks for your reply! The truck has 112,000 miles and yes the rattle is most pronounced on start-up. I'll take it straight to the dealer. Thank you, bioman!
  • moeharrimoeharri Posts: 108
    Get ready for a bumpy ride! We have a 2003 XLT with 19k miles and have the exact same problem. It went like this.
    March: Gas gauge says empty even with full tank--we take in Explorer and are told to switch gas stations due to sulfur content (sure).
    April: Same problem, big surprise--we take in Explorer and are told they will order gauge cluster and sending unit
    May: Parts finally arrive--we get a call that the gauge cluster that they installed was in kilometers instead of miles--they are ordering new part.
    Today: Ford calls and says they have 2nd gauge cluster in and are ready to install.

    We've had similar problems with blinkers, cruise control, and rear driverside power window--last Ford we'll buy for sure (and it's costing them a lot, we've recently talked many relatives/friends out of Ford).

    PS This was purchased brand new and has been immaculately maintained.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I've never noticed such a noise on mine - any of 'em....
  • sharp1sharp1 Posts: 2
    Thanks, we will see how many times they replace this one. I still like the truck but damn if you know the part is defective replace it before you sell it.
  • They are not too bad price wise. I just bought a multifunction switch for the 1997 XLT from the Ford Dealer and it was just over $60. I'm sure it was the upgraded one. The suprizing part is how easy it is to put on, you don't even have to pull the steering wheel off, like in the old daze. A few small screws, and the cover around the column comes right off. The knob for the tilt steering just unscrews to get it out of the way. Then just take out two screws on the multifunction switch, then unplug the wire harness connectors, and it's off, all in a matter of a few minutes. Installation is the reverse. I replaced mine because sometimes the headlights would not turn on, and I would have to pull or push the stalk to get them to come on. Since I didn't want to get stuck out of town at night with no headlights, I replaced it before it crapped out.
  • I've heard of this Roof Rack noise before on some other forums. I can't remember what the solution was, but it seems that if most of them don't do it, then there must be something specific causing the problem, maybe it is warped a little in such a way that it catches the wind. Is it possble to bend it slightly to see if that makes a difference?
    Other than that, buy a 6 foot step ladder and tie it down to the roof rack and just leave it there, that should fix the problem.
  • No apology needed, I like the mystery of a cryptic message. It seems that some people don't want to get into the "nuts and bolts" of a problem, they just want it fixed, or else move on to something else. That's ok if you can afford it.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 11,783
    lat... don't apologize if you are trying to help even if it not recognized or appreciated by someone. if you have something you want to post, do it, even if it goes over most other's heads. many of us love our fords(all of them) although we do recognize there can be problems with them at times, and nobody likes to have problems. i noticed you rode ant14 pretty hard, maybe now i know why. personally, i appreciate his posts a lot. don't worry about the trolls, i would really enjoy your perspective, and i think many others would too.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
  • kye2kye2 Posts: 1

    I have a 1998 explorer that recently had the auto and converter replaced at a cost of $AU3500 then had in back one day to find out the CRANK SHAFT SNAPPED has anyone out there heard of this happening? I've only owned the explorer for 1.5 years and are not very happy with this especially being fourth generation ford people and was thinking of trading the exp for a new teritory! Ford motor company have not been helful at all. So now i require a new engine and are looking at 5000+ NOT HAPPY....
  • lateralglateralg Posts: 929
    If the noise is a wind whistle, stop reading this post because it doesn't apply.

    If it's a lower-frequency resonance, where the bars themselves vibrate, I offer a solution that worked in my previous life. Fill the cross-bars with sand. I'm serious; this was a field fix back in the 60's.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    It's too bad on you misfortune. However, since you purchased this vehicle used, you really have no way of knowing how it was treated prior. Also, according to it's age, it probably has between 60,000 and 75,000 miles on it. How do you think Ford should be responsible on a used vehicle with this many miles?
  • What Engine and transmission do you have?
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    I'm serious;

    It makes sense since you're changing the effective mass of a mechanical oscillator thereby changing its resonance frequency.

    tidester, host
  • Since the rebuilt transmission was under warranty they ran the diagnostics which check ok. Then they found the front assembly seal need to be replaced which they did for free, changed the filters, and fluid. Most likely I need a V8 but they didnt take the opportunity to install a large transmission fluid cooler. Will keep an eye on everything. Thanks
  • Shift lever has no real distinct positions anymore. Wife was complaining that it was jumping out of park. With the cable disconnected from the transmission it is really sloppy feeling with no distinct detents. I adjusted the cable so park works better but the gear positions fall mid position. Anyone know of any plastic components that fail up in the column? This is the wifes daily driver and don't want to tear the dash apart for days on a fishing trip for the bad component. I can't be the only one this is happening to. This is not a transmission problem. There is a lot of play in the shift cable when it is disconnected from the transmission.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    and in other forums, i've read some vehicles had the cross-bars installed backwards (ie with the wrong leading edge pointing forward). if there is an obvious visual difference to the leading and trailing edge of the cross-bar, i'd compare to another vehicle, and try flipping them around.
  • I have a 95 Explorer with 121K miles that has two separate vibrations, one at 35 MPH and the other at 50 MPH. Both occur only under power and go away when the accelerator is released. I've been told its due to front and rear axle/wheel bearings needing replaced ($2K-$3K), but I'd think it would vibrate all the time if that were the problem. Any ideas or suggestions?
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Good point!

    tidester, host
  • tickedoff2tickedoff2 Posts: 11
    nvbanker, Thank you for your input, I am considering the possibility the servicing dealer could be the problem. If I do not get a reply soon to my certified letter to the dealer requesting a final attempt to correct this problem, I will be in agreement with you. I have received the return receipt but nothing else, the dealer signed for the letter June 25, 2005; I requested their response be in writing and if they refuse the request, why. I have been told what FoMoCo's position is concerning my vehicle by both a regional rep and the customer relationship center. Also, I have been told FoMoCo has recently limited the dealers discretion concerning warranty work; there has been some mention of this in some of the forums also. How long ago did your dealer correct your problem?


  • exploded99exploded99 Posts: 67
    Well, I've been around cars for awhile, and I have yet to hear of a car that needs four new wheel bearings at the same time.

    Its much more likely you have a u-joint problem. You don't say if you're 2wd, 4wd, or awd.

    But I'd suggest getting another opinion. Try a shop that works on driveshafts ( try driveshafts in yellow pages). Or a four wheel drive shop.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    March or April, I believe. Not that long ago. They were so accomodating, I was perfectly willing to let them put the additive in and see if it helped first, but my S/A just said, "No, yours is too far gone, we'll rebuild it for you and get you a car". So I let them. It's been perfect ever since. And as far as too far gone - it did occasional bad engagements into reverse, but they were infrequent, and it did tend it miss an occasional shift, then slam into gear. But again, it was sporadic. I've had much worse in the past. They couldn't have been better about it, so if Ford didn't balk at mine, why should their position be different on yours? Something is fishy.
  • Thanks for the input. I'll look into universal joins and the driveshaft. The vibrations occur in both 2wd and 4wd, although the vehicle is run almost always in 2wd.
  • Hello, I am new to the site. I own a 2002 ford explorer as well and I had the same thing happen to me, It turned out it was my drivers side rear wheel bearing and hub assembly. Since then I check my bearings regularly, and noticed the rear passenger bearing has some play in it, is there a real problem here? why has Ford not done a recall on these like they did on the Ford Focus? The Bearings are not cheap either. Can some one help?
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Never heard of such a thing before....... That's crazy. How many miles on it?
  • Hello all. I have a problem with my 1999 V8 Mercury Mountaineer that I had into my dealer once and they weren't able to figure out. The problem is that this only occurs once the engine is heated up after a 30 minute drive. The said it’s really not worth bringing in at this point if it doesn’t do it all the time due to it could cost me allot of money ($85/hr) in diagnostic time trying to figure it out. When I step on the gas, sometimes, it doesn’t do anything. If I’m going around 40 MPH on a country back road and step on the accelerator hard, the RPM will go up, around 4,000 RPM, but it’s like the truck doesn’t kick into gear, it doesn’t take off. Then, if I’m at a light and go to take off, it doesn’t go. The way I get around this is that I have to let off the accelerator and then step back on it and this seems to work. Now this doesn’t do it all the time, but occasionally and only after it is warmed up for thirty minutes. I only have a 30 minute drive to work, but my worry is that we will be leaving for vacation in a few weeks which is a 3-4 hour ride and it will leave us sitting, because the problem does get worse the longer the engine runs. Any help in heading me in the right direction would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
  • theta1theta1 Posts: 4
    What if you have more than 70k?

    I just bought a 2000 Ford Explorer Sport with 75k miles. Should I get the timing chain tensioner replaced?

    Thanks for info.
  • kneisentkneisent Posts: 1
    Could anyone tell me where this is VZV valve is located. I seem to be having the same problem but I checked and am not getting any power to the fuel pump. The relay under the hood is good so I am losing power somewhere between the relay and the fuel pump. Any suggestions?
  • biomanbioman Posts: 172
    Ford should have a record of warranty work done on the truck. If any of the timing chain tensioners were replaced and the truck is not making unusual rattling noises when you first start it up when the engine is cold, you should be ok. I know that Ford did begin to produce the SHOC V6 with revised tensioners, made of metal, but you would have to take the truck in to a Ford dealer or call Ford customer service to see if the VIN of your Explorer puts the truck in the at risk category. Since the recall or extended warranty is for 7 years or 70k Ford may still replace the tensioners under warranty if there is a problem. It can't hurt to ask.
  • exploded99exploded99 Posts: 67
    Well, whataya know. I found a shift lever indicator adjustment. Even talks about detents.


    Remove the upper instrument panel steering column cover.
    Place the gearshift lever in the position.
    Rotate the gearshift lever clockwise until it bottoms out (first gear), then rotate two detents counterclockwise (D) position).
    Hang a 3.6 kg (8 lb) weight on the gearshift lever.

    Center the pointer in the middle of the 19 position.
    Rotate the thumbwheel located on the bottom of the steering column to adjust the pointer.
    Remove the 3.6 kg (8 lb) weight.
    Carefully move the gearshift lever from detent to detent and compare with the transmission settings.
    Readjust if necessary.
    Install the upper instrument panel steering column cover.

    This gets you started. The instructions will probably be a bit clearer when you are looking at it. They are not the best.
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