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Ford Explorer Maintenance and Repair



  • my ford is still in the transmission shop. first they rebuit the transmission $1440 they replaced the torque convertor $42. the truck still failed the road test they then changed the transmission pump and and adjacent sensor (not quite sure what the sensor was for but it works with the pump $800.). the truck was then road tested the forward movement of the truck worked well but their was still a problem with the popping and hesitation when shifting from drive to reverse. the tranny shop apparently consulted ford and their was a recent bulletin stating that the cellinoid controling the drive to reverse may be problematic. they ordered the part($325) and will install it on tuesday morning. do not let a tranny shop tell you that they can fix the problem for 2k. they sucker you in and then ream you. once the tranny is of the truck they got you. my guy said if you want your truck back it will cost you 2k and the problem will not be fixed no guarentee. my total bill now is close to 3.5 k and the problem has yet to be fixed. the tranny dealer is aamco. my uncle sells fords in calif. ford is aware of these problems but a recall will cost the a fortune. if the dealer will by back your truck sell it and get something more reliable.

    good luck
  • alman08alman08 Posts: 282
    you said "my uncle sells fords in calif. ford is aware of these problems but a recall will cost the a fortune.", and if he knows for a fact that ford is aware of the problem and refused a recall, can we have an attorney looking into that? Personally, i think if it's going to cost Ford a fortune to fix this matter, that's their problem, not the consumers.
  • ajmtbmajmtbm Posts: 245
    you may want to call ford and se if they can be any help. the fact that you are out $3500 is a lot of money, how do you know the tranny shop is giving you the full story? i would call their customer service number giove them all the facts and see if they cant help. cant hurt, right?
  • biomanbioman Posts: 172
    Not that I want to defend Ford, but this sounds like an issue you might have with AAMCO. The people at AAMCO seems to have approached the problem with the let's replace ,charge the customer for the part and see what happens attitude. I wonder what would have happened if you had AAMCO swap out your old transmission for a remanufactured transmission? My bet is you would be driving your truck with no more transmission problem.
  • alman08alman08 Posts: 282
    I agree. It definitely sounds like a problem with AAMCO. If Ford is already having trouble finding a fix to their own tranny problems, I doubt if AAMCO would be able to do it and do it cheaper.
    What's written on the estimate??? Maybe there is a way out without having to pay for AAMCO's mistake.
    It just makes me mad knowing these companies out there finding every way to rip people off. If they can't do it, just say it in the first place! :mad:
    You might even want to let AAMCO know that you're going to share this experience with the BBB.
  • alman08alman08 Posts: 282
    02 XLT V8

    there was a funny alarm sound that came from the dash somewhere this morning when i drove off the car. the sound was like that siren sound that came from one of those remote control looking toys that make funny sound (and i don't have such a thing sitting inside my car). it might have came from the radio. 2nd time it happened was i started the car after walking my dog. the radio was on, but was not sure if i had put the car in D or in P. the sound did not last long, probably 15 secs, and it did not repeat again after. not sure if anyone has have that happened to his or hers. please let me know if you know something about it. thanks.
  • Does anyone know what size fuse Ford using in their cruse control recall?
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    thought I was the only nervous nelly who had pulled the plug on the cruise deactivation switch. I emailed ford off the website asking what size, but I sorta don't really expect an answer in the near term ;)

    however, one could (and I might if I get time) put an ammeter section of the DVM in series with said silly switch, get up to speed locally and click on cruise, and see what holding current is going through the thing. I rather suspect that you want the smallest fuse you can find... which would be 50 milliamp in an 8AG... since that should be a voltage-only feed into a gate on the EEC computer by the wiring diagram. somebody correct me, is the smallest mini-blade SAE fuse a 2.5 amp? that seems rather huge for the purpose. you WANT an early blow if the contacts are semi-conductive with ether corrosion, like the gel-glop used in electrolytic capacitors as an electrolyte. I don't know of a weather-proof 8AG fuse holder, or in a 5x20 mm either. and you'll want this in the battery-side lead to the switch.

    whatever the usual holding current is, you'd want to upsize the fuse 5 to 10 times that to protect against surges when the switch cuts out, but no further, because current through a semiconductive mess between the contacts is what causes heat. if I had designed the EEC, I would have a pull-down resistor off this point, and a small series resistor between the signal lead and the switching gate, probably in the 1K range. 12 volts (well, OK, 13.5) across 2K is 10 mA.... assuming CMOS in the computer for a technology, that is going to be the highest current load... CMOS gates drain something like 2 microamps, which is essentially non-fuseable, 6-3/4 million ohms equivalent. 50 mA fuses are the smallest generally sold to the electronics trade.

    so ford is either using something you won't find in an auto shop, but will find at newarkonline dot com or digikey dot com, or they are using something massively large for a fuse that may or may not practically prevent switch heating.

    that's why I emailed those folks. if I had a REAL contact in national parts, I might actually get an answer before I die. first one to get their hands on the harness stub they will use in the recall in a couple months time or so, let us know what they did.
  • Dominic I have a 96 4wd v8 Exploder 135,000 miles and have been having the same issues as you for about 6 months. I have always had my car serviced at the dealer (very expensive). When the car attempts to shift from 3rd to 4th it shudders/slips something horrible. The dealer stated it was the Torque converter and that it would be about 1,400 to fix. My car is only worth about 3500.00 and I cannot decide what to do.

    I asked if Ford was aware of this issue and dealer stated that they were. I found that there was a notice sent to dealers about this issue but no recall. Dealer even mentioned that even if there was a recall that my car would be too old to qualify.

    Not sure what to do as I do not want to put that kind of money in and do not want a car payment.... nothing like wanting to have your cake and eat it too huh? What have you decided to do? :confuse:
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    Torque converter and that it would be about 1,400 to fix. My car is only worth about 3500.00 and I cannot decide what to do."

    If you can afford a car payment, I wouldn't put that kind of money in to it, when you can pickup a slightly used one for between 12 and 15K. It's got the kind of miles on it where things are gonna happen......
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    alldata can provide the detailed wiring of the harness contacts. I have tested from the module up to the front, all is well, and the original switch was ok. power/ground are OK to the module. I swapped modules with a new one and no change, still broken. just got three new sealed detectors in the last week off ebay (alas, only three availiable) and subbed them in, no fix. have not taken the last old one (a used detector off ebay) out and tried another. went to the DVM with the three removed old detectors. I expected two different diodes with a common terminal, maybe in the center. two of the three test that way, the third one tested differently. since I have no details on how the detectors are made, not sure which are good and bad, but someday before I die, maybe tomorrow if the weather and time permit, I will replace the odd detector out with one of The Two and see what happens. have not tested the wiring from the module to the back detector plugs yet. it really does stink that there are no test details for these units in the electrical manual, but there y'go. according to the alldata information, the diagnosis tree leads to either the module or the sensors.

    if you have continuous sounding, and the dash switch is not off, it is probably a sensor or a module. I'd disconnect sensors one by one, or roll a disconnection, until it stops being obnoxious, and try to isolate one or two bad sensors first, in your case. my issue is that one winter day, the unit stopped working. occasionally a sick beep on the first reverse gear of the day, but no matter how often you hit the on/off button in the dash, it goes back to OFF led in amber. the computer module is not happy with something.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I backed into a Toyota one day, and broke one of the two sensors in my bumper - the receiving unit I think. It had to be replaced.
  • Single mom needs your suggestions, comments, ideas.
    1994 Ford Explorer, 43k miles, bought in 1998 from local, medium sized, reputable dealership. I had purchased my two previous vehicles there and had no problem with them. I saw the Explorer before it was detailed and it looked brand new. The previous owner had bought it new at the same dealership, which also wins awards for its service.
    The vehicle has served me well with one exception - the transmission.
    When the vehicle had 60k on it, I was stranded in another state and need to leave it there to get a completely new transmission. Had the local, large, Ford dealership put it in. (Had to rent a vehicle and drive back 600 miles RT to pick it up!) FYI, I had towed a 1200 lb small horse trailer with about 600 lbs of gear with this V-6 a few times, once up and done the hills of West Virginia. I thought perhaps I had caused the problem although the vehicle was rated to pull 3500lbs. I asked the service manager where I had the new trans put it if I had cause it and he said no, that Ford 1994 Exploreres had a history of trans problems. (NOW I see info while seraching online that Ford offered to fix transmissions in 1994, although it wasn't an actual recall.)

    Everything has been fine since then and the vehicle has run perfectly. (I service it every 3-4k miles). Additionally, I have not towed at all since the new trans went in, and do not abuse the engine. Use 4 wheel drive for 10-15 minutes a handfull of times when we a bit of snow. I've driven it around our local, rural area, and on several long trips (highway driving). I use the cruise control frequently. I now have 123k on the vehicle.

    This past Sunday I was driving on an interstate, using cruise control, when I went to put my foot on the gas pedal to speed up to pass another car. Just like that, with a snap of your fingers, and my Explorer started to loose power, acting like it was out of gas. (It wasn't) I was able to get to the side of the road, called AAA, etc. Had it towed to my the local Ford Dealership where I bought the vehicle. They called today and said it needed a new transmission that 'something broke in the trans'. The vehicle is worth mega $$ to me, and is in exceptional condition in paint, interior, etc., but not worth putting $2300 into with 123k miles. I was REALLY hoping to get another 2 years or rought 20-25k from it.

    In my humble and where cars/trucks are concerned, uneducated and inexperienced opinion, I don't think a vehicle should need TWO transmissions by 123K, but then I have no clue. I'm thinking of contacting an attorney, but then I don't have the extra $$ for a new use car, let alone an attorney. Never-the-less, I feel that something was wrong with the vehicle for the start, or something is really wrong with Ford transmissions. Since the last trans went in I have since heard that the 2004 Explorers has trans problems coming directly from the factory. What I read tonight corroborates that. What I'd really like to get is for Ford to put in the second and new transmission for free because I don't think I should have had to replace it at 60k. Or I'd like to get 'some' kind of compensation.
    (Sheesh! My brother drives his Chevy's until they have 200k on them! ) I don't know what to do or where to start, but 2 trans in 123k miles seem unacceptable to me. BTW, I just ran across this site when I was looking for information on the Ford Explorer trans. I'll thank you sincerely in advance for any advice, comments, or ideas you can offer about what those of your more experience car owners/mechanics think I should do. Thanks!!
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    So it looks like you got approximately 60K out of both transmissions. I do not think this is normal. However, an attorney will not do you any good. It will cost you more for legal advice/court costs than putting another transmission in it. I would suggest buying another low miles 2001 or 2002 Explorer if you can afford it. Make sure you buy an ESP Ford backed warranty on these as well. Shop the net for an extended warranty.
    Both and offer much better prices than the dealer. :shades:
  • skylerlee
    Sorry to say I have no good news for you. I have had extensive experience with the early Explorer Transmissions. All the 1991 to 1994 have the same 4.0L V6 engine and the same A4LD automatic transmission. I had a 1991, one of the first produced, and a 1993, I had to rebuild the transmission in both of them. I am a tech and I did it myself, and I can say they are crap and not designed to last, hench the nomenclature that they give the transmission, Automatic 4 speed Light Duty. It is a modified C3 part french, part german made transmission that does not belong in a truck, not even good for a small car. The C4's that they used in the earlier car's, mustang's, etc, were much stronger. The only way they could last is if they were totally babied. If anyone had a good one, they were one of the few lucky ones. I have posted here on Edmunds for many years about how bad these transmissions are.
    The Bottom line is - Get rid of it and find something better. Be sure to do your reseach first!
    Good Luck
  • Hi ,
    I own a Ford Explorer 2002 and the gear shift lever has been broken. I was able to take apart the broken part. The dealer has told me over the phone, that I need the whole steering column which is more expensive. More than that, myself and the car I'm located overseas but I have a friend in New York who can order the broken part from someone willing to locate a dealer or used auto shop which can sell only that part.
    To any member who can help me, please provide the e-mail address where I can send pictures of the broken part.
    Maybe someone can help me locate a place from where to order the part with the help of my friend.

    Thank you,
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Guess I was lucky. My 94 Eddie Bauer Explorer is still going on the original transmission at 140,000 miles. I had it serviced every 30,000 miles, and didn't tow with that car, but didn't baby it either. It went through some bad years at the end, when my son had it, and still held up. He gave it to his girlfriend at 120,000 miles. She put another 20,000 on it, and sold it. The engine is getting loose, and the tranny sometimes flubs a gear, but she's still going. I considered it one of the best cars I've ever owned.
  • My Explorer also has a very annoying noise when accelerating. Only occurs during acceleration ... like a strange grinding noise under the car. I've taken it to my ford dealer twice ... they kept looking for something loose and thus have not repaired anything yet. My husband is guessing a heat shield or bearing ... if you have any ideas, please let me know so I don't waste a 3rd trip to the ford dealer. :confuse:
  • Thanks. I printed that out and now have some ideas of what to try. Now all I have to do is see how easy it is to get info from Alldata. ;-)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------------------------
    Any progress with this? My backup warning sounds even when nothing is behind me. I'd like to figure out how to test the components without just replacing parts by chance.


  • i need some help i was getting a dime out of my power adapter it is not a cigarette lighter it is just an adapter anyway i was getting the dime out with a knife and i sparked something down in the adapter anyway now it is not working and i guess i tested the right fuses and if they were the correct ones then they all work so maybe i am not testing the right one or there is another problem could someone help me or tell me where the correct fuse is located i travel alot with 3 kids by myself and i need this adapter to work so i can charge my phone so could someone please help me i am beggeing

  • ajmtbmajmtbm Posts: 245
    heard much about the liftglass problems (lower section) 02-05. had ours replaced - and now it seems to have popped off in one section, dealer said they would replace for free. first i have heard of a replaced part failing. anyone else have this happen?
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    all sensors are same in the factory backup aid... with both an IR transmitter and receiver in the sensor. if one goes open, and I had one knocked out in a rear-ender a couple years ago, the system works with a small dead spot in a 4-sensor unit like I have. I suspect I have a short or something to cause my system to be locked down. but I haven't had the time to find it with the insufficient data ford provides.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    it's real easy to get the data out of alldata DIY, subscribe your vehicle for something like $20 annually, then search on backup aid. alas, the indexing is a little funky on the service, but the diagnostic printout, something like 8 or 10 pages, is the goldmine. if you also have the wiring book for the truck from ford, it will show you where the backup aid electronics are. but if it's a 99 through 01 explorer, it's behind the jack panel above left rear wheel.. almost directly over the wheel is a little black abs electronics module about dollar sized and a half inch thick, with two screws and one connector. that's the baby. test from there.

    you can get the front switch out by using putty knives top and bottom to press the locking tabs inward, and then pull the switch body out. the sensors have overclip connectors that all point to the right rear, you might want to spray some silicone or lithium grease to disconnect them as road gunk will have them clinging.

    to get the sensors out of their clips, push in on the sensor lens with your thumb, while using a little 1/16 inch screwdriver blade to gently, gently lift the lock tabs top and bottom rear (the lens is the front). you do one, the sensor should slightly rock back, more felt than seen. then gently, gently lift the other tab while still pushing with your thumb as if you were going to charge $25 for a pork chop in a meat market, and the sensor will click free of both clips. now it's just pushing it out against the road dust and crud. don't mess with the clips except to wet a finger and rub the crud out, so reinserting sensors is easy.

    I had to spray the connector on both inboard sensors through the clip using an extention nozzle, wiggle them a little, and then I could see to lift the clip gently, gently with the 1/16 inch screwdriver through the clip and work the connector off the sensor with one hand. it goes easier if you crank down and remove the spare, I suppose, but that was too many operations in a row for a "quick" afternoon working :-D
  • Thanks to all you who responded to my 1994 Explorere transmisson problem.
    One of you got real lucky with your Eddie Bauer model, but the trans would be the same as on my vehicle, wouldn't it? The vehicle is now sitting on the lot, not useable. The service manager just said something went wrong in the transmisson, but has no idea what. Cost for a look at it was $121. But he said it wasn't worth having his mechanie take it apart to see what is wrong. Does this seem odd to only me? (Very possibly it's only me because I have no clue as to what would usually be done.) Service manage said I could let it sit there while I decide what I want to do.

    Ed, you gave me the most thorough reply. Do you concure that an attorney can't/ won't help. Should I expect to get any trade in value or just donate it to a charity as I've done with other vehicles. This is real bummer because my daughter is at college and needs a car for her studies this semester, so I've been looking at getting another vehicle for her. Now I'm looking at needing two vehicles!! I know that in light of what those poor Katrina victims have been through this is nothing, but the budget still only stretches so far.
    Any further suggestions/comments/ideat are most welcome.

  • alman08alman08 Posts: 282
    where was it popped off?
  • Yes, nvbanker was the lucky one, but just about everyone else I know of has been unlucky, including me. My 1991 was an Eddie Bauer and my 1993 was an XLT, but it doesn't make any difference from 1991 to 1994, they all had exactly the same engine and the automatic transmissions were the same, the A4LD. There were MANY production changes during those 4 years and each year got a little better. 1992 changed the intermediate band from the double wrap band to the single wrap band. Then following years changed the clutch drums to heaver ones, planetary carriers to stronger ones, pump changes, many changes to the thrust washers and many other changes too numerous to mention. The 1994 was probably the best one of the bunch.
    The problem is that they are a very sensitive transmission. Everything has to be perfect, or the whole thing will destroy itself. Once something starts to tear up inside the transmission, it creates metal particles that then circulate with the transmission fluid to every other part of the transmission, torque converter and oil cooler. The metal particles then proceed to chew up other good parts in the transmission, with the result that when the transmission is taken apart, many "Hard" parts have to be replaced, along with the normal "soft" parts. This usually gets to be VERY expensive. And the probability of comebacks and future problems is high. The problem of metal particles is a bad problem for all automatic transmissions in general, but ESPECIALLY for the A4LD. When these transmissions are rebuilt, them must ALWAYS have a new or rebuilt Torque Converter (you can NOT clean out a used Converter), and they must AWAYS have the Cooler and Cooler Lines flushed completely clean. NO shortcuts there.
    I don't think an attorny would help much, since you got a 60,000 miles or so out of each one. I think your best bet is to cut your losses and don't throw good money after bad. I can't believe that you paid $121 just for them to look at it, unless that will apply to any more work that they do. You could call around a see it any good used transmissions are available for a good price. I would,nt take anything less than a 1994.
    Other than that, shop for a better vehicle, do a LOT of research in the User Forums before you decide on what vehicle you want next time. People buy cars by their preferences, but try to place reliablity high on the list.
    Good Luck,
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I've seen this before - it's been a tailpipe that has fallen out of a bracket. Check for that.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I don't disagree with anything electricdesign has said - he's right. However, I have to add that I have owned 5 Explorers/Mountaineers, and own an 04 now (which, by the way, did have to have a trans rebuild because of the bad fluid load at the factory). They've all been excellent, reliable trucks, and I would buy another one in a heartbeat. IN fact, I'm anxious to see the new 06 when it hits the dirt here.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    Should I expect to get any trade in value or just donate it to a charity.

    If you want to ask what they will give you on a trade for a late model Explorer. (if that's what you want.) The tax laws have now changed-you can only declare what the vehicle brings at auction now. It may be slightly more than dollars for a trade in-but I would want the "hard dollars" put on towards the down payment on another car, verses the soft dollars on a tax return. But I guess each individual situation differs.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    it's possible there is a fuse in-line with the +12v. can you trace the wires from the power outlet back? i think if there were an accessory in-line fuse, it would be in a location accessible, maybe 6" (12" most) from the outlet. the other idea is to exhaustively check all your fuses with a ohm meter for continuity. maybe the fuse block labeling is bad and the real fuse serving that run to the outlet is different than documented. good luck.
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