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Ford Explorer Maintenance and Repair



  • Just wanted to say that I could almost have written your same exact message about my 03 Explorer Limited, V8, AWD. Had parts replaced (1/2 price) at 40K miles, only for it to return around 60K. The crap we got from the dealer the 2nd time was that it was because of the aluminum housing (instead of Ford using the cast iron) and that Ford considered the whining "acceptable". Nevermind they didn't mind taking my money the first time to try to fix it but couldn't or wouldn't bother trying to fix when it was under their warranty. Good luck to everybody, trying to sell mine now. Never another Ford for me.
  • Hello,

    I recently purchased a 1997 Ford Explorer XLT V8. The day after I purchased it the truck started sputtering and the check engine light came on. I ran the codes and it came up with "misfire detected on cylinder # 6". The next day I changed the spark plugs and wires and after that it was running so much better and was running perfectly fine for about 4 days. Then it started sputtering again and the check engine light came on. This time the code is "misfire detected on cylinder # 3". I am getting very frustrated as I just purchased this truck. Can anyone please suggest what the problem may be and what I should do to eliminate these problems from continuing? Thank you very much!
  • exploded99exploded99 Posts: 67
    Cylinders 6 and 3 fire off of the same side of the coil pack. Sounds like a coil pack going bad
  • Really, I'm not familiar with the coil pack. Do you have a link that you could refer me to give me information about replacing that. My repair manual does not have coil pack listed. Thanks. How hard is it to replace? Where can it be found on the truck? Thanks
  • The TSB on this is 05-10-17 ( per our service invoice).This tsb came out today according to the dealer Same problem with our merc mountaineer (v6) and happened on the second day of ownership. It is a faulty fuel gauge sender. We had our replaced sender also blow . Dealer has located another sender at another dealer and will try for the 3rd time tomorrow. According to our dealer fords supplier has stopped production of this part because of a bad batch. They expect to remedy this part by august 18th.The vehicle is still drivable , it's just that the fuel level won't register . So reset your trip meter at every fuel fill . I hope they meant august 18 of this year !
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Your brake light switch should be above the brake pedal, on the arm. It's a simple switch, easily replaced. It just plugs in and attaches to the mechanism. Replace it, and you should have no more problem.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Sounds like your injector in that cylinder is flooding that plug out.
  • rainey32rainey32 Posts: 3
    Well, I found out what my problem was. Had to replace my Transfer Case.
  • Still having the problem. I can't find anyone who knows how to fix or disable.
  • jkrcanuckjkrcanuck Posts: 1
    Is there any way to test the O2 sensor before replacing it? Can the 'laziness' be bench tested?
  • exploded99exploded99 Posts: 67
    There are two igntion coil "packs" on the front of your engine that you plugged the spark plug wires into when you changed them. Follow the wires for cylinder #6 and #3 back to the coil. That will be the one giving you problems.

    Your manual will give you firing order info so you know which cylinders are 6 and 3.

    Replacement is simple - unplug the wires ( marking them so you get them back in the correct positions is very important) and unbolt the coil pack. Put in the new one!
  • New sender put in today everything ok so far.
  • cuz2cuz2 Posts: 1
    I have a 1995 Ford Explorer. I have talked to several shops on this problem. The gear for the speed sensor inside the transfer case needs to be replaced. Several shops state that the transfer case must be taken out and rebuilt to replace the gear. Is this true or can it slip out the rear seal hole?
  • gcdomgcdom Posts: 1
    I purchased my 02 Ford Explorer XLT V6 new in April of 2002. At 25000 miles the solenoid pac was replaced along with the bands my vehicle was out of service for about a month while Ford rebuilt the transmission. Now at roughly 52,000 miles I am having more trouble with the Explorer which I feel are all related to the transmission. First, there is a 5 to 10 second delay when I shift the vehicle from park to reverse and from drive to reverse followed by a large clunk sound. Second, under acceleration there is a pulsating or shutter in the vehicle and finally when the transmission shifts into overdrive the whole front of vehicle shakes violently but will stop if I take it out of overdrive. The latter two problems are intermittent and have been difficult to replicate at the Ford Dealership. Any suggestions or comments would be appreciated as I will be dropping the vehicle off again at Ford on 07/25/05.
  • I replaced both coil packs and am still getting code "misfire detected on cylinder 3". Truck is still jittery. Please help!
  • alman08alman08 Posts: 282
    not sure if it has anything to do with it, but when i warm the car up for about 2 mins before i drive off (especially in the morning), there would not be that "clunk" when i go from park to reverse and only a slight delay from reverse to drive (so slight that it doesn't bother me).
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Unfortunately, I think you're right. But a month to rebuild your transmission is ridiculous! They rebuilt my Mountaineer in 2 or 3 days max. Sounds like the solenoid pac is bad again - and this time, unless you have an extended warranty, it's gonna cost you for the rebuild. You may find a decent independent transmission shop that might do this work for you much cheaper than the dealer. I wouldn't go to AAMCO, but that's just my experience.
  • jimijeanjimijean Posts: 2
    So, the question remains...has anyone discovered the problem and the the fix?

    I have a 1997 EB Explorer with the same problem. The right low beam does not work. Fuses are fine, etc. I can use the high beams when I push the switch forward (activating the bright position) or pull back on the switch (flash to pass). Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  • jimijeanjimijean Posts: 2
    I am still looking for a solution to this problem. Any luck with yours?
  • theskipptheskipp Posts: 1
    I have a an in-car GPS receiver that I would like to install in my car. But to install it I need to be able to wire-tap into the speed sensor wire. Anyone have any idea which color wire this is? Or where I would be able to find out this information? Thanks for the help.
  • I double checked the wire connections and found that the wires were reversed at the coil for the 1st and 6th cylinders. The check engine light did not return and it is no longer sputtering. Could that have been causing a misfire on cylinder 3?
  • I am having to replace my driver's door window regulator. I have found and ordered the regulator itself, but can't seem to locate where to purchase the two black parts that cradle the window on the regulator. I'm not even sure what the two parts are called, but they need to be replaced also. Hopefully someone will know what I am referring to. Thanks!
  • Where did you get your information on rebuilding the rear axle? The only info I have says it's beyond the capabilities of the home mechanic. I'm hoping a rebuild will solve my problem. Clunking when shifting, slop in the rear end gears.
  • lateralglateralg Posts: 929
    "Could that have been causing a misfire on cylinder 3?"

    There's a good chance it could. If a plug fires during the intake stroke of one cylinder, it can adversely affect the mixture going to a cylinder that is about to fire.
  • I have a 2002 Explorer that is making a clicking/clucking noise coming from the rear A/C unit. Any suggestions?
  • That statement is true. I worked as a professional mechanic for years, many years ago, back in the 1970's. I retired from that and now I just work on computers all day. But I still love to work on my cars, never did mind getting dirty. Some things on cars are easy to do and are simply removing and replacing a part, like and alternator, water pump, etc. But, the rear axle is a precision gearset that requires a high skill level in knowledge and use of precision tools and special tools. Since this is mostly an Owners forum, not a Mechanics forum, I don't really get into the nuts and bolts Check my Previous Post # 3951 dated July 03, 2005. It has good general information plus references to other posts on the same subject.
    Please give all the information on your vehicle, Year, Engine, Trans, and exactly what the complaint is. If you Really want to learn to repair it yourself, first get good data, like an Alldata subscription on your vehicle, Then get all the tools you need, OR just put in a used Rear axle assembly or take it somewhere to get it done, like most people do. If you decide to get into it yourself, pull the back cover off to see what your are getting into. Just replacing the lubricant will cost over $45. By having the back cover off, you can check for play in the carrier bearings and check the ring gear to pinion gear backlash. You will then have a much better idea of where you stand, and you can then decide to back out of it and just put the cover back on, OR you can continue to go on into it. If you can sucessfully complete this project, you will be leaving the realm of the "home mechanic".
    If you need help, just write.
    Good Luck,
  • exploded99exploded99 Posts: 67
    Well, I'm guessing here as this is the first time I've seen this.

    You originally had a misfire on #6, then replaced plugs and wires and got a report of a misfire on #3, but now the plug wires for #1 and #6 were reversed on the coil.

    I don't know how your vehicle ran ok for 3 or 4 days in this configuration, then started having problems with misfire. Seems like there is more to this story.

    No real explanation......
  • fcucafcuca Posts: 2
    After purchasing a new 2002 Ford Explorer a few years ago, I began to notice a howling noise in the rear end. After a few trips to the dealer, they replaced the ring and pinion. This did not resolve the problem, so they replaced the complete rear end. The noise did not go away completely, but I decided I could live with it. Now that I have 84,000 miles on the vehicle, the noise has reached the level of being irritating again. Does anyone know if there is a service bulletin on this from Ford?
    My local dealer indicated that any repair expenses would be my responsibility.
    I have noticed several messages with the same issue.

    Who can we contact to voice our opinions.
  • This is a common problem on 2002 on up on Explorers and Mountaineers. The reason is that in 2002 they changed to the independent rear suspension and used a rear axle gearbox that has an aluminum housing and halfshafts that come out each side of the gearbox to the wheels. The halfshalfs are small driveshafts that allow each rear wheel to move independently. All the gears and bearings are supposed to be the same as in the previous design that used the cast iron housing, but I suspect the parts may be inferior. Also as the temperature of the housing changes, the aluminum housing expands and contracts more than the cast iron housing does. This can cause the precise clearances to vary more in the aluminum gearbox, than in the cast iron gear box. As temperatures increase, clearances increase, causing the alignment of the gears to change slightly, causing the tooth contact pattern to change, possibly allowing bearing races to spin, wearing out parts prematurely and a host of other problems. The rear axle gearset is just too precise to tolerate too much slop for long. As parts wear and the precise alignment of the gears starts to slip, the whinning will start, and will get worse and worse. They will never heal or quiet themselves.
    What to do? If you can't do the work yourself, contact a good service shop, it is best to find a gear shop that speciallizes in rear axles and gears. There are a few around. There is a good one in St Pete and a good one in Clearwater, Fl. The only thing to do is to fix it right, or else get a new rear axle gearbox, or a quality rebuilt gearbox. It's a lot of money any way you go. You can also get quality rebuilt ones from Jasper, that come with a warrenty. They will ship it to you. Find them on the Web.
    Good Luck.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    "The only thing to do is to fix it right, or else get a new rear axle gearbox, or a quality rebuilt gearbox. It's a lot of money any way you go."

    Thanks for the explanation. I knew the rear-ends were of an improper design, but your summary really helps!

    To everyone who reads these posts, if you are still under factory warranty, shop the net and get a FORD BACKED WARRANTY. The cost of the rear-end (not if it goes bad-but when) will more than pay for the extended warranty. Also, if you choose to later get rid of the vehicle, the remainder can be cancelled and you will get a refund! :shades:
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