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Ford Explorer Maintenance and Repair



  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    as they used to say, QC doesn't cost, it pays. all the warranty rework adds up someplace.
  • Hi, you can go here for the service manuals-

    You can save them to your computer if you like.

  • I have a 96 explorer, for about 3 mos. it has been cutting off while driving .it doesn't matter whether your are going 35 or 65 all of a sudden it just cuts either have to put it into nutrel turn the key off and back on or pull off the road, put it in park and restart. i've had a complete tuneup and the fuel pump checked out with no luck.i took it to a ford dealer to have it checked out, they replaced a sensor and a pcv hose but i still have a problem.can anyone help? thanks, wiggy2
  • Got the Explorer back. Changed out the pinion gears, reprogramed the tranny, replaced a sensor in the ABS and I 'm good to go. $1400 of warranty repair work. Makes me wonder if I'd have waited until the vehicle had 36K+ on the odometer if Ford would have taken care of it on their nickle.
    Anyone that drives this vehicle beyond the factory warranty coverage without an extended warranty is asking for trouble. YMMV..
  • I am trying to diagnose a problem that the dealer cannot find as it is intermittant and is not being captured by the OBD II system. While driving, including decelerating, the gauges go to their limits with other dash lights (air bag, check engine, 4WD, etc.) light up followed by the engine shutting off (as if I turned the key off) and the only dash light flashing is the 'Theft' light. Most times this happens the engine comes back on again and I am able to keep driving, sometimes I have to pull off. During the times I pull off, the car will not even turn over, including the starter. The ACC position on the ignition won't even allow power for the ACCessories. When this happens, after a few seconds to up to a minute or two (seems like the time to restart has been increasing), the power comes back to start the vehicle and continue driving.

    I am thinking the Air Conditioner may be related or the extra load it puts on the engine as in the last few days I haven't used the A/C and have not had this problem occur. Not sure how much that A/C circuit has control over the overall electrical system. Another thought is possibly the transmission's electrical systems because of when the problem has occurred during deceleration. The dealer was only able to say that my IAC needed was sticking and the two only O2 sensors could be replaced and that one has a short in its lead but went on to say that would not cause these problems. I have replaced the IAC and tried disconnecting the battery to reset any abberant settings, yet the problems still exists.

    I bought an Autoenginuity OBD II scanner and the only DTC it exhibits is a B1834 'Door Unlock Disarm Output Circuit Failure ' problem. It has yet to complete testing the EVAP system and will need to complete a longer trip I guess for it to get enough information.

    The only other problem the vehicle has is a very rare (less than five times a year) windshield wiper turn on. The rear wiper occassionally doesn't work but wiggling the wiper arms brings it back to life. The vehicle also had Daytime Running Lights / Automatic Headlights on at Night system installed by the dealer when it was new. Other than this the vehicle has had no major and only a few minor problems. It has been a great vehicle with about 100K miles.

    Thank you in advance for your review and any replies.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    Anyone that drives this vehicle beyond the factory warranty coverage without an extended warranty is asking for trouble. YMMV..

    Be careful, that sentiment is not necessarily shared here....................
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    the dealer has a trip recorder that could be put on the car, but as it is a multi-thousand dollar device, I betcha they are quite loath indeed to let it out of their hands. might be worth a try to get one of the car chip dongles that plug into the OBD-II jack, download its infornation with the Windows software included in the kit, and see if it says what conked out. that's something like $140 basic, $180 with extra memory. you can use google's froogle to try and find one online, I first heard about it through batauto dot com, several of whose mechanics put useful answers of the highest order on here periodically, and they probably stock it at list as well. if I had issues, I'd schlep out my OBD reader kit, my evil joke laptop, and the 60-watt inverter (laptop can't work on batteries,) and drive with that in recorder mode in a heartbeat. you might catch something, you might not, but you can use the car chip to spy on how the kids/wife/brother-in-law abuses your car ;) it's really unobtrusive :-D if your dealer was really proactive about driveability issues, they might try keeping one or two around for loan to their customers. the car chip won't do a lot of what their custom machine will, but it might do just enough to keep customers who don't like the world of "can't reproduce trouble."
  • Not sure if you can help or not but I have a 1999 Explorer with 109.000 miles on it....Recently, the transmission is slipping, especially noticeable going between 1st and 2nd gear...the fluid is fine.........I bought it 2 years ago......Does this have to mean the big T rebuild?
  • alman08alman08 Posts: 282
    Now a day, I'm not sure if I would want to own a car without extended warranty, and I don't care if it's a Mercedes, Audi, Ford, Lincoln, VW, Toyota or Honda.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    "and I don't care if it's a Mercedes, Audi, Ford, Lincoln, VW, Toyota or Honda".

    Your pretty safe with a Honda or Toyota not having an extended warranty. Just pick up your local paper and look at used Accords- 4 or 5 years old with over 100K on the odometer going for $10,000.00. What does that tell you?
  • There's one born every minute?
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    Very Funny!!!
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    The guages all going 2 max is the signal for low voltage. You may have a battery shorting out. I'd replace it. Bet it solves the problem.
  • Thanks for the reply. This short you suggest is likely internal to the battery and not external? Is this behavior documented in any Ford or other Technical Service Literature? I'd love to go back to the Dealer with some hard facts and possibly demand a refund for their lack of research.

    I continue to not have this problem having not used the A/C since the last shut down. Do you think the A/C load on the system may be trigering the short? Is there a protective circuit (like a breaker) that resets after a certain amount of time based on the short? I mean the when it shuts down, all that lights on the dash is the 'Theft' light.

    Sorry for the questions, just trying to understand what you know or have experienced. And thanks again for the reply as I have been scratching my head with this.
  • When the power goes out, does everything go off, like radio, interior lights, or headlights? Does anything at all stay on, other than the Theft Light? This would help to more closely LOCATE the problem. It sounds like your voltage is dropping low, as nvbanker surmised. This can be caused by a short in the wiring, leaking current off to ground, OR it can be caused by a loose connection, causing current and voltage to not flow through the circuit. Either way, it has to be traced to the fault location, wiring diagrams may help, study them carefully. Look at plug in connections, bolted connections, fusable links, etc. Make sure all connections are tight, clean and secure. Loose connections often leave signs of overheating and/or burnt wires. Since the Theft Light remains flashing when the power goes out, it suggests that the fault point may be after the point where the Theft Light gets it's power.
    Good Luck,
  • Yes, everything goes off. On one occasion, the 'Theft' light was off immediately after the shutdown and started flashing after at least 5 or 10 seconds (didn't time it only noticed all was off). Sometimes the truck gets power again so I can start it. Sometimes it takes longer. I'm thinking about switching the new battery in my wife's 2001 Windstar with mine to isolate the internal battery short, plus the Windstar is an SEL with lots of electrical hungry stuff.

    Having a plan of likely locations and connections would be very helpful in diagnosing. The only short the dealer found was on the downstream catalytic converter O2 sensor.

    There is the consistent OBD II DTC B1834 'Door Unlock Disarm Output Circuit Failure ' problem that may may be a short and relate to the 'Theft' system. I do remember that the doors relock at some point after one of these shut downs, but not every time. The right rear passenger door sometimes doesn't unlock but I think it is more a linkage problem or sticky mechanism and I have to pop open the door panel to investigate.

    Thanks for your input and any future input.
  • It started about a couple months ago when I tried to get in from the outside. It unlocked and everything but when I lifted the door handle it felt funny, then the lock was not working properlly and then yesterday I was getting out from the inside and the handle popped and then it wouldn't open at all and now the door will not unlock or lock at all and took the panel off and the inside doo handle was broke and the outside handle the spring had broke if anybody knows what is going on let me know now i cant lock the door.
  • alman08alman08 Posts: 282
    sounds like you know what the problem was already... you said you opened the side panel and you saw broken parts.
  • Swapping the battery is a good place to start. Sometimes, not often, a battery can have an intermittent problem. If the problem continues and you want to look into it yourself, get a subscription to, I think its about $24 now, and you can get all the info for your vehicle, including wiring diagrams. Since it is an online service you get to see the wiring diagrams in sections, so you have to piece sections together to trace some circuits. You will need at least a Volt Ohm Meter and a 12 Volt Test Light. If you are good with electricity, you might try this, otherwise take it to a good Automotive Electrical Specially shop in your area.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Yes, the short may be internal to the battery. Before you do a ton of diagnostics, I would swap it out. As ED says, it's not common, but it can happen. What you describe could be explained this way, and it's the best place to start IMO>
  • In continuattion, i replaced the selenoide, and the starter as it failed on me just recently, now it sounds like im starting an ATV, and not a V6. Is this normal? for $370.00 it better be or ill be mad. :sick: :sick: :mad: :cry: :lemon:
  • My 94 explorer XL is stuck in 4x4 after a recent offroading trip, ive cleaned out all the undercarriage of debris and still its stuck, i have no clue whats going on with it, i can hear it clicking and trying to unlock the auto-hubs but to no avail. luckily its stuck in 4H so i can still drive short distances if i have to, but its killing fuel economy. Also, everytime i start it up after letting it sit for 5 hours or more, it sputters or stalls, any ideas?
  • Chuck1, To have an Explorer without an extended service plan would be foolhardy based on my experience with my 2004 EB 4X4 4.0 liter SOHC. At last count it has been in the dealer's shop for 27 business days, not including visits for test driving with dealership and/or Ford field service engineer. At 12,500 miles and 14 months of ownership this new vehicle is still under factory warranty-which does not provide for a rental vehicle when mine is in shop. My ESP covers rental vehicles; rental car charges to date have almost equaled the cost of the ESP-and the problem with the transmission or PCM programing has not been corrected. I am in the "Lemon Law" process at this time. I know mechanics, both dealership and independents, who purchase an ESP because of the expense and complexity of fixing some of the problems that are becoming more prevalent. Incidentally, I can "pull wrenches" and this is the first vehicle that I purchased an ESP with it- and I am so glad, again, since last March I have almost recovered the cost. In the event I lose the the "Lemon Law" issue and I have to keep it the violent sporadic operation of the transmission will eventually cause drivetrain damage, it already has excessive backlash. Tickedoff2
  • I'm having problems with the air conditioning in my 2002 Ford Explorer XLS. The two vents on the driver side are blowing ambient temperature air while the two on the passenger side blow cold and the two in the rear blow cold, well not really cold but at least cool, air. The force of the air coming out the driver side may be slightly less than on the passenger, hard to tell. Any thoughts on this before I take it in to the shop would be greatly appreciated!
  • I am having the exact same problem. Could you advise me of what you found the problem to be...have changed bulbs, and checked fuse.

    Thanks in advance!

  • Tickedoff2 You should look into the Dispute Resolution Board in the back of your owners manual. With proper documentation which you can get copies from any ford dealer of work performed on you car/truck the Board will review it and make a determination. In my case my Mountaineer was bought back at almost full value (-$1700 from new price w/30k miles on it.) . I was so impressed that I 1yr later bought a used Explorer Sport Trac and am very happy with it. :)
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    I am sorry you are having so many problems. In the event your Explorer is taken back, what would you replace it with?
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    U have a stuck blend door in your plenum. Not an easy or cheap fix. The dash may need removal.
  • yea but the lock getting stuck or it won't lock at all and i read some other peoples stuff and they are having similer problems
  • I have a 2002 explorer and I've noticed that when my car gets over 40mph it seems to kick or have a problem shifting. Some people have suggested that I need to check my transmission fluid, however I can't seem to find the dipstick. I took it to a auto store and they couldn't find it. This is my first ford and I would really like to avoid a transmission replacement. Long story short I just wanted to know first of all if there is a dipstick for the transmission and second, if it isn't the fluid, then did the solenoid replacement indeed fix your problem. Thanks, Amber!
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