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Ford Explorer Maintenance and Repair



  • mazman1mazman1 Posts: 229
    So dont you think that the original tires need to be replaced when they reach 59,000 miles? Just because the tires have tread does not mean that they are still good internally. Isnt 48 months the expected life of the original battery? Better think about the replacement expenses you have coming... not to mention the service required on the radiator, and tranny, rear end and wheel cylinders!

    Be sensitve as well as aware that your experinece is not typical for a Ford product, especially the Explorer. The 96 model year was a good production run for the Explorer.. you are lucky. Later years have not been so lucky.
  • I too have the whistling in the cold weather. I have a 99 XLT V8 AWD. Is that the same engine that others are having this experience with? I never bothered to have it checked because it does go away rather quickly (whithin a few minutes or so) and becuase I know the dealer would never hear it.

    I am currently leasing the truck and the lease is up in a little over a year. I am considering buying it after the lease and using it as an extra vehicle, not for everyday. I was thinking of writing to Ford Credit and making an offer for the vehicle lower than the pre-determined price. What are other's experience with this engine? I have to say I have 32,000 miles on it and it runs great! I know someone else with a 95 XLT with the OHV V6 and has lots of trouble.

    Anyone else have problems with the rear wiper? I have had to have the motor replaced 3 times.
  • ruziruzi Posts: 2
    I am wondering if other people have had the problems I am having. At slow to medium speeds the front Hub Seals are making a loud noise between a whine and metal grinding. The dealer has said they are on permanent back order and have not been able to get them for months. Has anyone else seen this problem, and what did you get done about it. The current dealer will fix it for free, but the timing is slow. Other dealers "claim they can do it right away, but they want to charge me? My guess is they just want my business, I don't feel like driving an hour to a dealer just to hear the part is on back order. What do you think?
  • any info on what could be causing the occasional low pitch whine from the engine would be appreciated. will notice at idle or at speed. i thought it was water pump bearing going bad but a dealer told me probable belt tensioners (?). i heard there was a tech bulletin on this but of course it never happens when the dealer has it and they won t take your word for it. have a 96 with 80k miles, still very strong otherwise, no rattles, or alignment problems either, but just enough other rinky dink stuff that makes you consider an import. if only those toyotas and 4 runners etc where built for anyone over 6'1". lousy driver comfort for taller people.
  • The hub seals are a known problem on the truck according to my dealer, but even the re-designed ones they put on my truck last year reverted to the whistling/squealing sound. The thing they did which seemed to fix the problem was changing the type of grease they used in it. They put in a grease which did not "solidify" in cold temps. They said it was more of an annoyance thing than something potentially damaging to the vehicle. My advice would be to wait for the parts or have them try changing the grease. Besides, depending on what model you have, Ford already got $30,000 out of you, why pay for warranty work.
  • I owned one which cost me $7,000 in repairs before I bailed out. Everytime I'd fix something major (4 wheel drive, transmission, head gasket) I'd think I was set for a while. Not so. I have many friends who also have had their share of problems with their Exploders and the lack of support from Ford. As far as so many being sold I think PT Barnum put it best...There's a sucker born every minute. Ford will never sucker me again.
  • My headligths have just started to act up at 39,000 miles. When set on auto mode, they don't turn on. When turned on manually, they won't operate on high beam, and operate on low beam if I move the turn signal lever very slightly. Anyone else have this problem? Also, How much should I pay to have a key made (and programmed)?

  • mazman1mazman1 Posts: 229
    The new electronic key costs $20 from your dealer.
    As far as the high beams go, maybe there is a problem with the steering column wiring harness and turn signal mechanism?
  • gregb5gregb5 Posts: 82
    I think your pinging problem could be related to the combination of oxygenated fuel and a poor match between the torque characteristics of the engine and the trans shift points. I had a '92 with a 3.27 rear and had the same trouble. They used several rear end gears but didn't recalibrate the transmissions to mate well. Mine always pinged when under load and running at low RPM (usually at 45-50 MPH). I got some relief by adding a freer flowing exhaust and K&N air filter (which boosts available torque). The only other fix is to change the rear end gear to a lower one (they used 3.55 and 3.73 ratios on other models). I hope this is of some help.
  • I have a 1998 Ford Explorer, the other day the display on the radio went out. The radio is a combo radio, cassete tape, and CD. The radio still functions except for the display. (I also noticed the fog lights do not work - I do not know it they are related). I pulled all the fuses and checked them visually. I also visually checked the fuses in the power distribution center under the hood. Any idea what my problem may be??
  • I have a 99 Exp. XLT V8 Sport Package. When I 1st got the truck, the brakes seemed very loud when coming to a stop and when released. I have driven numerous Exps. and none seemed to have brakes as loud. I decided to give it the benefit of the doubt for a while because I reasoned that the brakes may need to be broken in. At about 9000 mi. I brought it to the dealer and he said that the noise was normal but agreed to change the pads and turn the rotors. Well the new pads were even louder, and now for the first several stops after the truck sits for a while, the brakes grab and make a shutter felt in the steering wheel (it feels similar to have driven through high water). I have put up with this for 3000 mi. and the sound or the initial shutter have gotten no better. The brakes seem to be working quite well and I am pleased with their stopping power. Anybody experience this problem or can provide some input? Thanks
  • masonmimasonmi Posts: 148
    I have recently noticed that my brake pedal feels softer than normal though it still has good stopping distance, I haven't heard any squeaks or squeals that the pads need to be replaced and the master cylinder is full. the weather has been below zero lately could this have an effect on ford brakes? is this normal to have a soft brake pedal?
  • I own a 93 Ford Explorer with approx. 180K miles. I bought the car brand new and it has been great except for a transmission issue in the beginning and now the door hinges. I have had several problems with the driver side hinges and a broken handle on the inside trim panel. The passenger side door is starting to have the same problem and I am sure there will be problems with the handle. This is the only problem I have but asking passengers to slam the door is starting to get old. Please let me know if you have any solutions.

  • Anyone out there have an exhaust kit on their V6 Explorer? If so how does it sound? How is the performance difference, if any? Need help for my '01 Explorer 4X4 V6.
  • gregb5gregb5 Posts: 82
    Put a BORLA exhaust on it along with a K&N air filter and you'll notice the performance improvement. It'll be noisier but it's not objectionable to me; it depends on what you like!
  • mazman1mazman1 Posts: 229
    Sounds like your hinges need to be replaced? no?
    You can probably do it yourself, but the task is not a one person job, and those doors are heavy. Before you bring your truck to the dealer, check with a salvage yard for the parts first.

    Good luck.
  • sadatxsadatx Posts: 70
    Hi all,
    Has anyone had any experience with replacing the stock shocks. Im considering replacing mine on my 98 EB with Edlebrock IAS shocks. My goal is to get a less bumpy ride and to prevent swaying. Also, what I can look for in reducing wind noise? I've noticed that between 40-60mph, a lot of wind noise is present causing the truck to drift a little. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
  • I suggest to all Explorer owners to replace the "Original" shocks. The Explorer has terrible shocks from the factory. Ford ought to be ashamed. I changed mine myself in about 1.5 hours. You can do this without raising the vehicle. Very simple to do.

    As for what type of brand, I went with a Monroe. The top of the line would be Edelbrock or Bilstein. Both very good, but will cost around $55~65 per shock. Entry level, Monroe or Gabriel are around $20~30/shock. I perfer Monroe over Gabriel. JMO.

    The immediate improvements I noticed are: shorter stoping distances, reduction in nose dive while breaking, no "rear end" sag under heavy SOHC acceleration, and a big reduction in body roll while on freeway on-off ramps. Also, center console does not rattle anymore, thank goodness.

    Sadatx, go to and do a search for this subject matter and you will be well informed of shock replacement and the 4ord Explorer.
  • I will be shopping tomorrow. Hope it sounds good.
    Bye the way, does yours sound deep or like a 16 year-olds Honda Civic? Remember, I have a V6.
  • mazman1mazman1 Posts: 229
    I replaced my stock explorer shocks with Bilstein shocks. The ride is far superior, especially on cornering and braking. I did some checking with some owners about Bilstein vs Edelbrock and the concensus was for bilstein... and I am very happy.

    good luck.
  • This is the only engine that makes a sound like it is a Diesel. Ford is well aware of the problem with this engine. They are not only having problems with these engine rattling they are also having problems with the intake manifold
    o-ring gaskets leaking vacuum. Let me give you Explorer owners a little detail on Ford Explorer engines. The 4.0 Ohv V-6 & 5.0 Ohv V-8's are very good engines. The 4.0 SOHC is junk. When Ford designed the SOHC 4.0 they did a very poor job.
    This is why were the cam for the pushrod motor used to go they put a thing called jackshaft in the engine were the cam for the pushrod motor used to go. Then they have a main timing chain that drives this jackshaft. Then their is 2 chains that come of the jackshaft. The chain in the front of the engine drives the cam for the left head. The chain in the rear of the engine drives the cam in the right head. Ford replace the 4.0 OHV V-6 with this engine because it was supposed to be less complex. If this engine was supposed to be less complex then why does it have 3 timing chains {4 timing chains if you have a balance shaft on the 4x4 models} 3 Cams to drive all of the chains.Ford needs to go back to the drawing board on this engine design and design it like the 4.6 V-8 with 2 timing chains in front of the engine & 2 cams for the chains to drive. This messeage is from your online Ford Tech everyone have a happy New Year.
  • I have a 1994 Ford Explore with a V6 can this be replace with the 4.6 V8?
  • No the 4.6 v-8 will not fit in a 94 Explorer. If you want a V-8 through the 5.0 V-8 will fit if you can find one out of a newer model Explorer.
  • 98xeb98xeb Posts: 1
    Ghigdon.. I must have the same problem with my 98 v6 4x4 eddie bauer. The stock radio/cd display is out also. I notice that it comes on once in a great while. I dont have any other problems ie foglights or headlights. But its a nuisance trying to figure what cd or station im listening to or time. I also checked all the fuses so my best guess is that the display is getting too hot and not working. I did recently notice on a trip to the snow that it came back on and stayed a little longer than usual. If anyone has any thoughts on this matter drop me a line or just post. Thanks
  • jrc346jrc346 Posts: 337
    My personal experiences with both of these engines has been great so far. I currently own a 96 explorer sport with the 4.0L OHV engine and i have a 2000 explorer XLT with the 4.0L SOHC engine. I have had no problems with either engine. I actualy perfer the SOHC V6 to the OHV V6. The 2000 has great power and is much smoother than my 96 sport. Plus the SOHC gets much better gas milage. So i have no complaints. I have leased my 2000 so i am not expecting the timing chain tensioner to go in my 30,000 miles. If it does, then i will get it replaced under waranty. To all of those who bought their explorer with the SOHC V6 then you will be happy to know that FORD extended the waranty on those engines to 6 years or 100,000 miles. Im not saying that either engine is better, im just telling all that are interested my personal experiences. I love both of my explorers and feel that they are good reliable vehicles:-)Happy New Years!
  • epp1epp1 Posts: 48
    I've replaced the OEM shocks with a set of Edelbrock IAS. Fantastic. You can take off ramps with speed and there's a significant reduction in the "hobby-horse" effect. As for exhaust, there's a number of great kits available (e.g. Borla - see, however I would suggest that those looking at such an upgrade consider a local exhaust shop as a viable alternative. Personally, I'm not interested in "rumble" or looks, but I'd love to get better MPG and a little more HP/Torque for accelerating and towing. This can be achieved by swapping out the OEM system for a larger diameter Cat-back system from a local install center. Benefits vs. off-the-rack? 1) WELDED front to back vs. bolt-on - no leaks, stronger joints, better performance; 2) COST - typically far cheaper - I've gotten quotes for $190 installed. No, these aren't 100% stainless like Borla, but they're typically guaranteed for the life of your vehicle and can be easily finished with chrome tip(s). That's right two tips. Many customs shops can instal true dual-exhaust on SOHC Exploders as each side has its own manifold. The OEM configuration combines the two banks respective exhausts into one. I've gotten this package quoted below $300, installed, with chrome finishing tips. Regardless, put a K&N Air Filter up front to get it breathing properly. I'm waiting for a complete K&N air system to come out for '98 and newer. Wow, too much info. Any insight out there on chip upgrades for the SOHC? Thanks - Sean
  • JRC346,
    where did you hear about a warranty extension of 6years or 100k. on the 4l SOHC? I have heard about the cam tensioners and lower o-rings for the manifold, extension to 6yrs. or 72k but not about the entire engine being extended. What exactly is covered under the 100k extension your are referring to?
  • cnsbehcnsbeh Posts: 1
    I've had several problems when entering the vehicle and attempting to start it. Once I use the remote transmitter to unlock the doors, I then place the key into the ignition, on occassion the theft light will continue to flash at a rapid pace and not allow me to start the engine. I have had to get out of the vehicle and repeatidly lock and unlock the doors using the transmitter, to reset the theft indicator. On one ocassion it took me a half hour to make it work. I've been told by the dealer that using the Mobil speedpass in the presence of the remote transmitter could have interference, because they both have computer chips in them. Any related problems or thoughts?
  • Well, we finally got one. A big snowstorm hit NJ this past weekend, and for the first time since I have owned Explorers (since spring 1997), I got to drive it in the snow.

    Some quick observations...The auto 4WD is not very useful while trying to navigate snow-covered streets. Several times I found myself spinning my wheels and sitting still while trying to get out of a small snow bank (<18 inches). But, when I switched to 4WD High, the Explorer and I were on our way in a flash.

    Had to go out in the middle of the storm to pick up a sick child's prescription, and I passed all types of stuck vehicles (including a tow truck and a plow) while my Explorer competently handled the roads.
  • jrc346jrc346 Posts: 337
    I'm trying to find the exact article that i read on the 4L SOHC waranty extension. I dont know for sure if its the whole engine...I think it was just for free replacement of a timing chain tensioner. I really dont remeber and i am going to continue looking for that article. I read it at in early December but havent been able to find it. So i will look at other web sites. Hopefully i can get you some answers!
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