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Ford Explorer Maintenance and Repair



  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 11,859
    E.D., sounds like you did your homework regarding the axle whine issue. can you find out if there are any changes in the rear axle design for the '06 explorer? i think the irs design is great, but the implementation needs some improvement.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
  • biomanbioman Posts: 172
    After reading the recent series of posts about the rear end failures in the 2002-present Explorers I began to ask myself: “Why did I purchase an Explorer?” The answer, for me, was relatively easy. In 1999 I decided to get rid of my 1995 Truck of the Year GMC Jimmy. It was one of the worst vehicles I had ever owned. Read the posts on the GMC/Jimmy page to get an idea as to what went wrong with this SUV. Although my Explorer has been relatively good, I am beginning to feel that we have been taken by GM & Ford. They design their vehicles to maximize THEIR profit while we pay for their design flaws. The Explorer had major issues with their SOHC V6 when the timing chain tensioners began to fail because they had plastic components that had a high failure rate. I believe that this issue gave the Explorer its new name, “Exploder”. Of course we all remember the Firestone tire fiasco. It was pointed out that Ford and Firestone collaborated on the design of the Wilderness AT Tires. Ford was able to keep the cost down by insisting on a cheaper design that had a higher failure rate when the tires were under-inflated during the last phase of their useful life. This was exacerbated by the fact that Ford recommended that we keep tire pressure at 26 psi. The 26 psi was recommended to lower the probably of rollovers because of the way in which the Explorer followed the laws of physics. Toyota and Honda have had issues with their 4Runners and Pilots, but have their issues cost their buyers as much as those of us who purchased Jimmies and Explorers. Yes, Ford corrected the problems with the Explorers. But how many Explorer owners had to pay for new engines because of the tensioner issue? How many Explorer owners lost their lives because of the Wilderness AT tires? How many Explorer owners had to pay for new rear ends because Ford made the rear end housing out of aluminum to save a few pounds and/or some money? What ever happened to: ”Quality is Job One”? If the bean counters at Ford & GM had been willing to accept a little less in profit we would have a lot less to talk about on these sites. Maybe we would have just as much to talk about, but the issues would be much cheaper for many of us to resolve.
  • alman08alman08 Posts: 282
    LOL, i posted similar message just today on the GMC Envoy board... only you said it better :shades:
  • tickedoff2tickedoff2 Posts: 11
    bioman, wish I had your eloquence with the written word. You are right on the money when it comes to this situation. I asked the same question about "Quality is job one" on another forum (Either Autosite or Edmunds) about the Explorer transmission problem. The only thing that you might have added is the planned obsolescence issue. Incidentally, James J. Padilla, President of FoMOCo joined the company in 1966 as a quality control engineer, ironic isn't it?

    Some years ago I worked for a manufacturer of custom built fire apparatus; we built everything from pumpers, aerial ladders, crash trucks, brush breakers, and other special design fire fighting vehicles. This equipment was expensive and had an anticipated service life of twenty-years except in major cities where the apparatus might go into reserve status earlier. The company had gone public and the holding company eventually started micro managing. At a staff meeting one of the "hot shots" from corporate headquarters ordered that we design to "Detroit standards" that was seven years for commercial chassis. That was the handwriting on the wall for me, I left the company, two years later there was a big brass padlock on the door. A rhetorical question: what do you think is going happen to the aluminum differential case in my 2004 EB 4.0L SOHC 4X4 Explorer having a transmission that sporadically has delayed violent engagement when shifting from drive to reverse and from reverse to drive? Just touching the accelerator triggers this action, at times it causes the driving tires to break traction on clean dry pavement. Mine was one of those that had the wrong tranny fluid installed at time of manufacture that mistake resulted in TSB 04B22 being issued. There has been four attempts to correct my problem without success, FoMoCo now refuses to do any further warranty work to correct the problem; vehicle has less than 12,000 miles and was one year old yesterday. I have a few postings about this subject on some previous pages.


  • Gosh, You sure do have plenty to be ticked off about, tickedoff2. Yes, it really is a shame what the American car manufacturer's are doing to us. I'm driving a 2000 Explorer and my wife is driving a 1997 Explorer. The 1997 is due to be replaced in 2008, and the 2000 is due to be replaced in 2011. I am quite certain we will not buy another Explorer. I just could not stand being in a situation like you and many others are in, with your relatively new vehicles. I drive high mileage vehicles with a high expection of reliable preformance. That is why it is so important to do research, and find out all the facts, BEFORE you buy your next car. You want your next purchase to be the RIGHT one. Both of my explorers are fine, both have V8's and good Rear Axles, and I expect them to give me good service. But I could not trust buying a used 2002 or newer Explorer. I don't know yet what I will get next time, but I will buy a vehicle that is foremost very reliable, and made by a company that cares about it's customers. Who knows, Honda, Toyota, Nissan?

  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Do what you want to, for sure. But be aware that not everyone is unhappy with their Explorers. I had a 2002, and now have a 2004, and I'm still very happy, and think they're the best design of them all. I had no issues with the 2002. My 04 has 15,000 miles, and experienced the bad trans fluid issue, but the dealer happily rebuilt for me, and it's fine.

    You're gonna have more complaints per topic, since they sell the most of these. Your 4-runner may be more reliable over all, but it's a real truck to drive. The Pilot, OTOH, is a minivan underneath, dependable, but not too tough. I wouldn't buy a Nissan right now, too many Peugeot parts in them. I still feel the Explorer is the best value and design for me. Some of us are happy.
  • arfanarfan Posts: 1
    have a 95 Ford Explorer Limited with climate control installed. AC works fine when I am driving in low speed but as soon I get on highway and increase speed anywhere to 35 Mph suddenly it tarts blowing hot air and instead of air coming from front vent panels switches to defrosters and if I stop car and reduce speed it again starts blowing COLD air and I tried running AC while truc is stopped and I never had this problem. Any Idea what could be wrong with the AC?
  • I am having the exact same problems you are having with my 2002 Explorer.
    Warrenty does not want to cover it nor does Ford.
    I am trying to find out how to talk to a Ford Rep.
    I will let you know what I find out! And can you do the same.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    "I still feel the Explorer is the best value and design for me."

    I agree, the Explorer is a good value. The quality and cost cutting is another issue. How in the He** does the wrong transmission fluid end up being put in at the factory? How does a bad solenoid get designed? How does a faulty rear-end happen? Why does it take two and three trips to the dealer (for most of us) to get something fixed? Why are dealers hesitant to just order the part in the first place and fix it?
    I currently have my '05 Taurus (company provided car) in for repairs at the dealer. The front end at 25,000 miles was making noise. Guess what? The vehicle needs a front axle/hub assembly. C'mon!! This car has 25,000 miles on it. They have been making this car for years and years!! No wonder people are buying Camrys!! Give me a break!! :confuse:
  • wvjdtuckwvjdtuck Posts: 3
    I have a 1996 Explorer and the transmission fluid is increasing, i have not had a chance to check the transfer case. I had read somewhere about the seal between the transfer case and transmission causing this. Any input from anybody? Aslo, if this is a seal problem is it hard to replace?
  • bubba17bubba17 Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 Explorer with about 75,000 miles and have had similar problems. The ABS lamp came on at several times, perhaps starting around 25,000 miles- I didn't check my records. The first time it took a couple of trips to the dealership, leaving over night, etc. and they didn't know what was wrong.
    I believe the first time they even replaced the whole computer unit. Then later they would replace the sensors, I believe. I asked what the charge was going to be when it was off warrantee since it was an inherit problem with the car. "Oh, no- it's just routine wear and tear" and I would have to pay for it. Maybe about a year ago, I was on some web site and a fellow expressed the same problem and I believe he did what I did finally- Ignored it. I've had the light on the last 20,000 miles or so. I'm an old fart anyway and if I got into an accident I would probably instinctively pump the brakes anyhow- not what you're supose to do with ABS.

    I had a "thump" several times with the transmission also where it seemed to slip into gear. Finally at about 61,000 miles, I took it in to my personal mechanic and asked him to change the transmission oil. He also repaired a small leak in the differential seal. The transmission slipped just as bad as before and I brought it back to the mechanic an had him check the level again. He did and said it was a quart short although they had even taken it for a test drive and checked the level after the initial change.
    I believe sometimes some of these transmissions may form an air pocket or something and may not be filled properly. I know that some ways garages use to change the trans oil doesn't completely change it all. The Explorer has been fine since.
  • fcucafcuca Posts: 2
    Thanks for the reply. As I receive additional information, I will let you know.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 11,859
    the '02 and up explorers don't have a dip stick to check the level. i believe there is some kind of special pump used to change the fluid. not everyone has one. i didn't like how the tranmission shifted in my '02, and it seemed to get worse over time. at the 30k service the dealer suggested i change it. i'm glad i did. it has been much better since then. the most noticable thing is that it still gets a bit 'revvy' after long fast highway runs, and you go back to stop and go. after it cools off, it is back to normal shifting.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
  • tickedoff2tickedoff2 Posts: 11
    Nvbankwer, Nice to know you are still in this discussion. In my last posting, substitute Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forum for Edmunds, I was short on sleep. Concerning the 04B22 incorrect transmission fluid problem with a reported 174,000 FoMoCo vehicles: Some time ago you expressed the opinion that my servicing dealer was the problem and that if they wanted to they could still do warranty work to correct the problem. My response to you was that it was FoMoCo personnel (Including the District Marketing Manager) who told me they would not authorize the dealer to do any further work; because some anonymous field engineer, who never saw the vehicle, determined the operation was normal for that transmission. I did not dismiss your advice out of hand, I did check with other dealers to see if they would work on it under warranty. Every dealer contacted, including the sales dealer, responded, "Not unless FoMoCo authorized it". If my problem had been taken care of by FoMoCo like they did for you, I would not be aware of these forums or writing this posting. I am expecting some new information about this situation in the next week or so. If it has value to those still living with this problem, I will post it.

    Please understand that I am satisfied with everything about my Explorer except for the unacceptable transmission operation; otherwise it is light years ahead of my ’97 Explorer. I cannot overemphasize the violence of the engagements; it is much like an Allison HT series converter lockup clutch accidentally engaging with a four-hundred HP diesel ahead of it running at 1000-1200 RPM. Yes, these things happen when converter driven PTO’s electrical safety lockouts fail, in combination with operator error.

    Respectfully, Tickedoff2
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Chuck, the solenoid packs are not defective - the fluid causes them to fail. How the wrong fluid ended up in all of those transmissions is not known by the public. Some have speculated it was sabotage, either at the end, or the source. It could have just been the supplier of the fluid left out the secret ingredient, same with the rear end failures, which have been identifed as filled with the incorrect grease as well. It's a quality control issue, but by the time they knew they had a problem, with the best selling SUV on the planet, millions were already made.

    My dealer fixes mine no muss, no fuss - the dealers are way different from place to place. In my town, the local Ford dealer is just horrible, and always has been, but the Lincoln store across the street does quite well. Picks him up a lot of business when he fixes Fords that his competitor won't fix, or screws up. But how much actual control the manufacturer has over the dealers is debatable.....
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    I appreciate your honesty. It just seems to me that the tide is changing, and it doesn't look good. Both GM and Ford have to come up with a gimmick to sell their SUV's. The latest is the "Friends and Family".

    It would seem the "perceived value" of what General Motors and Ford produces is plummeting.

    Back to topic. I think that the problems with bad transmissions, rear-ends, etc. is inexcusable. And as I stated above-it's starting to affect the bottom line...BIG TIME!! :cry:
  • hi,i just got my 92 explorer from a auto auction and i dont know much of the history of it.from what i can tell the truck has not been driven much in the last few years.there is a oil change sticker on the winshield that says next service date is some day in 2002 and right now the milage says it has only had about 3000 miles put on it since the sticker was put on in 2002.i know i am a little confusing but please bear with me,lol
    the truck has alot of clunks,one i am pretty sure i know whaere it is coming from but i am looking for someone i can email a pic of the part to and can hopefully whay the name of it is and the easiest way to fix it. i know i sound like a complete idiot right now but i do know a little about vehicles and how to fix them but im lost when it comes to suspension and that if anyone would be willing to let me email them a pic of the part and just tell me anything they could about it that would be a great help. my email is,please let me know if you could try to help,thanks phil
  • biomanbioman Posts: 172
    I did not realize that I would stir up such a hornets nest with my original post (or maybe I did!). I too am pleased with my 99 Explorer. It is performing well. But I did lose a lot of time bringing it back to the dealer because of problems, recalls, etc. That was time out of my life. I was inconvenienced. The original dealer I dealt with had a service department that was horrible. It would have been nice if Ford’s corporate philosophy was such that they added a little more quality to their products. The profit margin that all of the automakers have built in to SUV’s is huge. GM & Ford could afford to take a little less in profit and put more quality in to their products. That way we, the consumers, would not be left holding the bag for an expensive repair when we are not lucky enough to have a poorly designed, expensive component to fail within the warranty period. Every component has a failure rate. When corners are cut to make the component functional but cheaper, some may last for 150K miles, but many will not. We are stuck with the repair. It is through sites like this that we get to find out about these design flaws. We are purchasing more Hondas and Toyotas because they are more reliable products!! They are not necessarily better designed. As I said to a GMC service manager: “I did not want to get to know you because I had to bring my truck in for the 9th time to get problems fixed”. I hope that the corporate leaders at Ford & GM are reading what is written on sites like this. If they are I also hope that they are willing to take a little less on their “bottom line” so that lots of other people don’t end up on unemployment lines. Maybe it is time to get back to Ford Explorers: Problems and Solutions. Over and out on this issue. Bioman
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    i can email a pic of the part

    Why don't you just post the pic here? Click on "Forums Help" over on the left to learn about posting pictures.

    tidester, host
  • lwestonlweston Posts: 2
    I have a 1995 XLT Explorer V6 with a problem with an intermittent fuel leak. That sounds strange I must admit but here is the scenario.

    Last week on the day I filled up I noticed gas smells coming from an unknown source while sitting at a traffic light. My wife noticed it at first but I scoffed at her since she is sensitive to any car problems and sometimes when driving by a home being roofed she will smell the melting tar and say, “What is happening to the Explorer I smell something burning!” Anyway you get the picture but much to my chagrin she was right.

    Let me add to the conditions the fact that it is very hot in Vegas right now with afternoon highs being around 115 and I had a full tank of gas. The next day in the afternoon I was driving stop and go in the heat and same thing. I stopped and looked under the hood but could not detect anything I checked the gas cap and on tight but could smell gas.

    I drove home and parked. The next morning before leaving I opened the hood and looked around and finally spotted under the front of the car a spot on asphalt that was obviously eaten away by gasoline. Then I looked to where I had parked the night before and another spot right where the front of the engine would be slightly towards the driver side.

    Later this third day I took the Explorer to a couple of repair shops who both were very busy and had no time for at least a day. BTW by now my tank was down to a little less than ¾ and the gas smell had gone away even in the hot afternoons and there were no more gas spots on the parking areas where I live.

    Now to me a leak is a leak and don’t go away? A friend in California I talked to suggested it might be my gas “vapor recovery system canister”. I looked and don’t see such a device which was quite obvious with some other vehicles I have owned.

    Any thoughts as to what it might be???
    :confuse: lweston
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Could be your charcoal canister. It'll smell if it gets soaked with fuel, and here in hell (I live in Vegas too) right now, expansion of your fuel when you fill the car can easily push gas up into your canister, and even out of it to drip on the ground.
    Especially if the gas you're putting in is at 65 degrees (ground temp around here), and soon it's over 115 degrees, because your cars engine and the asphalt are about 150 degrees. Gas swells a lot when it gets hot, in other words.
  • nedixnedix Posts: 1
    Hello ...
    I'm from Europe and my company will soon buy 2 Ford Explorers 2005 for me and another colleague (as a company car) . I know that in US the accent is put on the power but i browsed the internet for 2 weeks to find the top speed of this car. This "parameter" is not shown anywhere.
    I previously owned an European Ford Focus (1.6L engine / 100HP) who reached maximum of 200Kmh (it was the maximum) ;) ...and right now i'm curious about the top speed of the Explorer (btw it's the 4.0L engine version - XLT).
    If anyone has this info please let me know. Thanks !
  • kellyp67kellyp67 Posts: 1
    I have a 95 explorer XLT V6 and last week had to replace the fuel pump. This was not a such a big deal since I love this vehicle and really haven't had to do much to it since I bought it in Feb 05. Unfortunately, this morning I went to start it up and nothing. I can hear the fuel pump engaging so I know that isn't the problem. I really do not have the expendable cash to be constantly repairing this vehicle. Should I just cut my losses and move on? At this point my 98 escort wagon is more dependable than this vehicle. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  • lwestonlweston Posts: 2
    I have been keeping the tank at 1/2 or so full and has not repeated.

    I talked to a local mechanic yesterday (a friend of a friend) and without looking at the car said to replace the gas cap. His reasoning was that the cap should vent when reaching a certain pressure and if I had a leak when the tank was full but not when there was enough room in the tank for expansion it was not venting properly.

    Although I was not completely satisfied with the answer it was the first answer anyone had given me. Your comment reinforces his.

    I asked about the vapor recovery canister and his thoughts was the tank pressure probably forced fuel through that canister since the cap did not vent. Hmmmm

    Since a cap is $5 to $8 bucks not a lot to loose in trying the solution. I guess then fill it up! (just not top it off) :)
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Well, my son got his Explorer to go 120mph, whatever that translates into in kph, I think it's more than 200, isn't it? don't expect any more than that - it has the power to do it, but it's governed to shut down somewhere slightly over 100 I should think.
  • biomanbioman Posts: 172
    I hope he was on a straightaway that had no bumps or speed limits. I had my Explorer up to between 85-90 mph and I got the feeling that if I pushed it harder I would become airborne, so I backed off. With age comes wisdom!!??? I think the older Explorers, 93-94, were governor limited to 95MPH.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    Here in the U.S. these vehicles will be governed somewhere between 95 and 110mph. That's my best guess. Besides, there are not that many places you can go that fast anyway. The only time you can do that where I live (Southern California) is in the middle of the night in the middle of the desert! :) :D
  • fordexp1fordexp1 Posts: 14
    What is the best brush guard/grille guard for a 05 Ford Explorer E.B.? I have looked at WAAG and Aries. Aries are one piece welded together, is this better than ones that are bolted together, such as WAAG and other such brands? Thanks for any help.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    haven't solved mine yet. I have determined it is not the switch assembly, not the computer assembly (both by substitution), and all wiring from the front to the computer is OK. got sidetracked by courting and marraige, etc., but someday need to check the wiring to the rear. it is not out of the realm of the possible that all four infrared sensors bit the dust, but they are somewhat pricey (like 50-60 dollars each) and I'd rather figure out how to test them. there is an IR light and an IR photodiode in each one, but I don't have the pinouts. almost certain, from how it works and from some science fair stuff I did in 8th grade, that there is a pulsed DC provided to the IR light, and the delay between that emission and when the signal is picked up by the IR photodiode controls the time between pulses to the speaker.. aka, sonar by light. in the dark, you should be able to hold a radio shack IR tv remote test card back there and see the yellow circles on it near these sensors. but I haven't gotten any (idiot) volunteers to hold the card behind the truck while I'm holding it in reverse.
  • rjf3rjf3 Posts: 1
    I have a 96 explorer, AWD, V8. It has been a great truck!! No major problems. Recently I noticed that I didn't have reverse lights, the auto door locks had stopped working and the keyless entry pad didn't light up when I entered the code. It turned out to be the fuse that operates all of those things. However, the fuse keeps blowing, about every 2 or 3 days I have to replace it. I don't know if they are related but there is a buzzing from the rear hatch when I unlock it.
    Any thoughts and/or suggestions?
    Thanks, rjf3
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