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Ford Explorer Maintenance and Repair



  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    white spray lithium grease on the bushings also works, and has been the recommended fix for years. although it washes off faster than a thick silicone in road spray.
  • What you do depends on you to some extent.

    If it were mine, I would shop around for an engine from a rollover from one of the junkyards. Quite a few rollovers out there - if you take your time and get some quotes you can find a decent price. They can be started and tested before they are installed in the vehicle.

    The dealer here does not sound like much help. I'm guessing a reman block from Ford installed at the dealer is at least 3,500. I think you could do a used engine for somewhere around half that.

    If you are not comfortable with a used engine or a local shop, then the price goes up. Ford dealers are the most expensive option.

    I think you already have the answer about how much help Ford will be. There is an appeal process you can try at Ford ( look in your warranty booklet) , but I don't think Ford would pick up enough of the tab to reduce your cost below a used engine.
  • Tuesday, while I was at work, I went to drive my car to an appointment and the engine would not start. It made the sounds like it wanted to, but would not catch. Since I only have 57,000 miles on it, and we purchased the extended warranty til 75,000 miles, I called the Ford line and had it towed.

    Wednesday morning the mechanic calls me to ask me a few questions to rule out any possibility of bad gas, etc. Imagine my surprise when my husband calls to tell me they called and told him that I had driven through a deep puddle at high speed and as a result the engine was full of water! Not only that, but it would not be covered under warranty and we had to get a new engine. We were flabbergasted!!! Yes, it was raining that day and I had told the mechanic that I was driving the car earlier in the morning. But it was running fine. I did have to drive through a puddle (no deeper than 6 inches) with my left tire but I can guarantee it was slowly because there are speed bumps precisely where the puddle was. When my husband called back to tell the mechanic that I did not drive through a puddle at high speed, the mechanic's reply was that unless I had someone driving with me there really was no way to tell that I hadn't.

    We spoke with our regular mechanic who said that in most cases like this the car would die in the middle of the puddle, anyway. I am wondering if there is any other way water could get inside the engine and how do I insist that Ford consider this covered under our extended warranty?

  • I have a 2000 Ford Exploer Sport with 70,000 miles. It works fine in summer but in every cold winter morning, it has the following problem: The ignition is always quick and fine, but once started the engine shakes so badly at idle that the vibrations can be felt in the steering wheel and throughout the vehicle. After a few seconds it will stall out if I don't keep my foot on the gas. This would last at least 10 minutes until the car is fully warmed up, then it will return to stable idle. For several times, I rushed my car out on the road when idle is still not stable, and it stalled at the stop sign. The worst part was once it stalled, the steering wheel immediately got LOCKED(!!) and the brake paddle was LOCKED too!!! I CANNOT steer the wheel or step the brake down, and the car just kept moving ahead until lost inertia. The repair shop I went to said several of my cylinders are misfiring, and changing the timing belt would fix. Yet nothing is fixed except I was ripped off $1200. I don't know much about car, and I hope many of you nice people can give me some clue before I go to another repair shop. What is happening with my car?? By the way, my car also has a check engine light.
  • dgoulddgould Posts: 2
    Thanks for your reply....I'll try it.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    get a sample of the water and have it analyzed for glycol coolant. if none, you are doomed. if so, it was a head gasket failure and ford is responsible for repairs.

    before I called them again, I'd call a lawyer. not to brag about yet... but to get solid advice on how to proceed without prejudicing your rights, and also how to avoid ticking off the dealer/ford while this test is being conducted.

    the air intake for at least the 99/00/01 explorers is behind the radiator bracket on the passenger side. it is indeed possible for water spray to be conducted into the air intake, and if there is enough, it could penetrate the air filter and get into the cylinders. generally, the location should protect against water ingestion as long as the plastic fender liners are intact, and as long as big streams of water don't come rolling off the tire or sprayed around by the radiator fan.

    what the mechanic is saying happened is precisely this, and it caused hydrolock, which bent or broke a whole ton of internal engine parts. isn't worth trying to fix a hydrolocked engine.
  • If the engine had filled full of water, it would have died on the spot. How was it running when you parked it? If it was running ok, then it was not full of water at that time.
    It sounds too strange to me, get a lawyer if they won't fix it.
  • I have a 1996 Explorer Sport with the V-6 4.0 Liter Engine. I just had the transmission replaced (again) and the check engine light is on. The code came up for a "second heat sensor." Is this the little cylindrical thing which occasionally drips coolant and has a little air hose attached to it. If so where can I get this part. Thanks for the help.
  • Will it do it while out of gear? Spark plug wires? Get under the hood at night and idle it up. Look for spark leaking to ground. By that I mean, sparks from wires to the block or exhaust header. If it won't do it in park try it in gear but, be very careful not to let it get away.(parking brake, foot on brake and tire choks.)
  • Duuuggggghhhh! Sorry I couldn't help myself.
  • I went to the shop and talked to the service manager. He was very willing to explore options other than water in the engine. So now I am waiting while they look at the drive chain (?) or something that made half the engine quit working. He agreed that the car would not have the symptoms were the car driven through a puddle at high speed. We'll see what they come up with and whether it is covered by the warranty.

    Thanks again for the replies!

  • To anyone with an Explorer. I am driving a 99 Ford Explorer XLT and recently I noticed a screeching squeeky noise from--what seems like the front directly centered between the front wheel base--of my SUV. The noise only happens while in reverse and when the truck is moving in reverse and it sounds very similar to brakes that make the screeching noise as a vehicle comes to a stop. The truck does not make the noise in drive or moving forward. Not sure what it is. Being stuck in Japan, it will cost me an arm, a leg, and my first born.
    Anyone out there--please advise.
    Ed (Jpndrvr)
  • I have the same problem but it's not the doors - at the least the door ajar light doesn't come on. Any other suggestions?
  • My wife's 99 explorer with the old style 4.0 liter has very little power, and it pings and rattles. There are no codes in memory. I have also had a couple of spark plugs crack the porcelain near the center electrode. the vehicle only has 70000 miles on it. She has to let it sit and warm up in the mornings, or it rattles really bad. The thermostat is ok, and as I said, there are no codes. I'm thinking the cylinders might be carboned up, has anyone had a similar problem? if it is carbon, whats the most effective way to clean it short of pulling the heads? Motorvac?
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    You have an Explorer in Japan? That's cool. Sounds like a brake dragging problem - I'd check the front brakes, see if they're releasing like they should.
  • Check the MAF and the Air Tube from the MAF to the Throttle Body. The Air Tube can crack underneath where you can't see it, take it off to check it. If it IS cracked, it lets the engine get more air than the computer calculates, which causes the engine to run very lean and ping and rattle and crack the plugs, and not throw any codes. If you find a crack in the tube, patch it with some duct tape to see if that fixes it. If it does, put a new Air Tube on it.
    Good Luck,
  • rdomerdome Posts: 1
    Don't know if you have had this fixed yet or not but I had the same problem and $1800 it is fixed. I had two gears that needed replaced in the tranny. Good Luck.
  • The A/C switch works only on level 4. If I turn the A/C switch on 1, 2 or 3, nothing changes.
    I replaced the switch itself but the problem is still there.
  • Give a more complete description. What happens in 1, 2 & 3? does it blow at all, or blow full speed or what? Does it blow high speed in 4? The problem can be in the "BLOWER RESISTOR", located on the evaporator case under the hood. It has several wires that plug into it, and is held in place by a couple of screws. It can be easily pulled and inspected, it should have small coils of wire with no breaks or shorts. If OK, then the wiring between the switch and the resistor needs to be checked, and the High Blower relay needs to be checked (to be sure it's not stuck on High speed). You'll need some basic electrical skills with a 12V test light and/or a volt/ohm meter.
    Good Luck,
    E. D. in Sunny Florida
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    your blower motor resistor is open, it will be mounted on the input air cowl under a bunch of crud on the firewall. if it was a 2000, the fluid jugs would have to be removed to access it for replacement. they fail often on all car lines and IMHO should be easily accessed. so should blower motors and heater cores.

    that's where 1960s cars have it all over the modern ones. you could get to things to fix them.
  • When I set the climate control knob to heat. no heat comes out just cold air. Is there a check-list I can go through, that will help me find, and fix the problem. Thank you....
  • It doesn't blow at all in 1,2, or 3. Only in 4 it blows high speed.
    Thanks alot for your help.
  • I have a 1998 Explorer XLT 4WD. Two days ago the AC/Heat hot/cold malfunctioned. No matter where the hot/cold dial is set the air comes out very hot on all settings except Max AC. When I turn on Max AC the air comes out very cold whether the hot/cold dial is turned to hot or cold. The fan works fine at all speeds. Any ideas?
  • I have a 2000 Explorer EB with about 104K miles. I had the trans rebuilt by in May 05 by Cottman. I just had brakes, F rotors, calipers, ball joints, and shocks put on. Firestone left the driver's side caliper loose and it actually cut a hole through the inside of the alum. wheel. Fortunately, I was backing out of my driveway when the tire locked up and blew. They replaced the wheel and fixed the damage. I then noticed that the truck was steering sluggishly and had jumped into Low 4x4. I asked Cottman's to look at it. They discovered the transfer case motor needed replaced. The truck wasn't going in and out of 4x4.
    It now feels like the 4WD is engaged all the time and makes steering sluggish and sloppy. I realize that there are 104K miles on the truck, but it is really well maintained and was running great (except for the ball joint noise in the front).
    Is there a way to tell if 4WD is engaged? Any suggestions on what I can ask either Firestone or Cottman's to look for? (Both have been helpful. Firestone has made a valid attempt to right the problem by paying for over half the transfer case work, etc.)

    Thanks for your help.
  • bock2bock2 Posts: 1
    I had this happen on my 93 Explorer. It might be older but i'm sure Ford still uses some same components. Anyway, try changing your heater blower motor resistor which is usually located on the heater fan component in the engine bay on the passenger side.

    Hopefully this works.

    Good luck
  • I have 6 CD s in the player I cant eject or play any Ideas ??/ :cry:
  • Referring back to my messege # 4557, The blower resistor will most likely be the problem. Under the hood look on the passenger side of the firewall, on the side of the Evaporator case nearest the blower motor, it will have about 4 wires that plugs into a connector on the resistor terminals. Pull the wire connector loose, and remove the 2 screws that hold the resistor in place, remove the resistor, then look at the resistor wires. The resistor wires are fragile. They should not be broken or loose. If they are, replace the resistor and the fan speeds should work.
    Good Luck,
    E. D. in Sunny Florida
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