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Ford Explorer Maintenance and Repair



  • Yes I have had the tires changed around and balanced. The vibration is in the gas & brake pedals and in the steering wheel. I have tried and my friends have tried and we just cannot narrow it down. I kept asking for a general diagnostic but no one will do it. I like my vehicle even though it is rough but i am getting used to that. but to give you an idea how bad it does vibrate is that it tickles my feet after i drive a period of time. I just want to get it fixed thats all. lol not asking for much
  • If I understand your post, vibrations are worst when accelerating and decelerating, but never really go away at speed.

    U Joints have that characteristic when going bad. They will vibrate badly when accelerating or decelerating, then smooth out at steady speed - the vibration may or may not entirely go away.

    Look under driveshafts or drivelines in your yellow pages. You can take it in and have your driveshafts checked for balance and bad u-joints / constant velocity joints.

    If the driveshafts check out, then you have c/v joints in your front axles and rear axles. You will need to check the axle shafts. Newer exploders have had some problems with rear axles with the new independent rear suspension.

    To possibly get a clue, drive the sploder at the speed that the vibration is worst. Have a friend pace you in the next lane and have him watch for vibrations at each tire - if he can see one vibrating up/down, you have probably found your bad axleshaft, given that you have rebalanced the tires already.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    Is it also possible that a motor mount or tranny mount is broken, allowing the engine or tranny to cause the drivetrain to vibrate thru the steering column...hey, could the steering column mounting bolts be loose from the steering box???...something that would make the st wheel vibrate, and don't the pedals either hang from or are stabilized by, the steering column???
  • Does anyone know the real reason FoMoCo relocated the transmission selector lever from from the steering column to the console? Could it have anything to do with the all the shifting problems with the 2004-2005 model year transmissions? Or, was it less expensive to manufacture? To me it looks like a beer tap lever behind a bar in a saloon.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    uhhh, I have some problems with this description.

    limited-slip axles, often known by the GM trademark Posi-Trak, do NOT lock up, they are conventional differentials. the difference is that there is a preload spring in a posi. with a regular axle, it is possible for one wheel to get on slippery conditions, and it will spin off all the engine power while the wheel on good traction will get none. the preload spring of the posi puts some apparent traction on both wheels, so power will not be blown away on the slipping wheel, but some will also get to the other wheel.

    AWD systems have limited-slip axles front and rear, and the LS effect is part of the power distribution system.

    a standard 4x4 system utilizes locked differentials, in which yes indeed, both wheels turn lockstep to each other on the same axle. and 4x4 outer wheels WILL HOP when enough energy builds up from holding the tire back when the physics of turning a larger circle with the same turns clearly dictate that the tire has to move faster. this can cause control issues at moderate to highway speeds.

    if ford is allowing slip through the hub clutches, it's protecting the tire and protecting the drive system as well.

    but that is not the same thing as posi, not at all. they are entirely separate systems.
  • I had a the same problem with my 94 XLT which has since been retired. The mechanic at the transmission shop told me that there is a motor on the back of the transfer case and that was most likely the problem. I think it was actually a solenoid and not a motor but I never fixed it. I remember looking under the car to see it and thought about disconnecting it and checking it out with a voltmeter to see if I was getting any power there. I never got to trouble-shooting it but I think that would be a good place to start.
  • I want to thank you all for giving me some ideas to check out you have been great.

    Thank You
    Will keep you all updated and again thanks.
  • My '03 Ford Explorer has had the engine stop and I have been told that the timing chain broke and has busted a piston and thus has locked up the engine. Can anyone give me any history or input on this? It sounds like the dealership is going to try to make it not covered on my extended service contract. Thanks!
  • I am pretty confident you will be covered. The only way they could deny coverage would be if you did not do your oil changes per the manual. Then lack of proper maintenance could be used to deny your claim, but that would be a stretch. Having an oil analysis done is an accepted practice to prove that the failure was or was not not oil related. An oil analysis tests the condition of the oil.

    You had a covered part break, which is not your fault. When a covered part breaks, it is a covered claim. The other engine damage done as a consequence of the broken timing chain is "reasonably forseeable" - it will happen to just about every engine like yours that has a broken timing chain. There was nothing YOU could have done to prevent it.

    A good tactic to use if they do attempt to deny the claim is to obtain an explanation in writing why the claim is being denied and specifically what paragraph of the contract allows them to deny the claim.

    But I doubt you will have a problem in the end.
  • biomanbioman Posts: 172
    The problem goes back to the 97-99 Explorers with the SOHC engine. The timing chain tensioners, made out of plastic, were breaking and causing the problem you encountered. Ford put out a service bulletin, M012 I believe, and extended the warranty to 7 years 70K miles for the SOHC engines in the 97-99's. They replaced the plastic tensioners with metal tensioners and the dealers had a field day replacing them, some times more than once, on the affected engines. I had it done, twice, to my 99 Explorer in 2000. At 74K things are still OK. Although I worry about the occasional knocking I hear when the engine is cold.

    Your 03 should be covered under the warranty as long as you have maintenance records. So it looks like you are going to get a new engine. The 2000-2005's should not have had this problem, but I guess it might still be an issue. There are four tensioners on the SOHC engines.
  • Pulling the dash is a pretty involved process - you will need a manual to tell you all the steps - alldatadiy has an online manual that will give you the step by step process and has diagrams to help. Not a technically difficult job, just a long one.

    But first, search the internet for explorer blend door fix / repair. There is a "homemade" fix you can try that often works, and you don't have to pull the dash.
  • I found myself a nice 1996 Ford Explorer XLT with only 150,000 miles which was one owner, and I'm the 2nd owner and it has 151,200 miles and it still runs strong like the other 91-94 owner has say about their explorer how well it runs. Sorry to hear about the SOHC owner... condiser replace the motor to a OHV or get urself a 95-96 model if u like that desgin. When I first got the explorer.. the Spark plug was WORN. I would guess it has to be over 100,000 miles of wears because it has over .100 gaps and still runs smooth until I had major tune up and it ran super strong and will spin the tire very easy. I love my explorer. I am happy with mine.
  • fitguyfitguy Posts: 222
    Not sure I fully understand the question but here's a stab:I have an '05 XLT with the factory "tube" style boards, this may be what you refer to as aftermarket? If you are looking to change to the full-plastic covered boards, check to see if the mounting brackets/holes are in the same position. Removal of the tubes is easy, I had a 2000 Expy that had them and they rusted, pulled them off and repainted them. Simply remove the rubber step protectors (pop up with a screwdriver) and remove mount bolts. I can't imagine Ford would use different brackets for the enclosed plastic boards, but you never know. My guess is they will bolt right on.
  • alman08alman08 Posts: 282
    did you buy the 100k, 75k, or 60k miles ESP? and how many miles do you have on your car?
  • "I have a 1994 Ford Explorer. About once a week right after starting the car the idle goes haywire. The engine runs at 250 RPMS instead of the Normal 1000 RPMS. During these times the car stalls out when the driver is not giving it gas. The problem seems to occur more when the engine was been ran recently as opposed to after the car has set all night. Finally, it seems to go away for awhile (2 weeks) after replacing the air filter. Any ideas?

    I have bascially the exact same problem with my 95. I start the car and it revs but never maintains idle rpm. Sometimes revving it to 3k helps it catch, other times driving for 5 minutes will do the trick. After reading the threads for the better part of the afternoon, here are possible solutions I'm seeing.

    1 Idle Air Control Valve
    2 EGR Valve
    3 ECT (engine coolant sensor)
    4 VZV Valve

    Replacing all of these is a little more work than I have time, and I was wondering if anyone with the same problem has had an effective fix for it, or if I should just start replacing parts in the aforementioned order. Thanks.
  • gyatesgyates Posts: 55
    My 97 model was doing the same thing last year, idled about 250rpm and would only idle if hitting the gas pedal. Oddly, the Check Engine light never came on. Replaced IAC valve, problem solved. It sits on the driver's side of the engine, on the side of the air intake (in the 4.0 ohv engine anyway). 2 bolts hold it in place. Takes maybe 10 minutes to replace. Recently, the EGR valve and sensor had to be replaced. This did cause a check engine light. Also very simple repairs, took about 20 minutes total to replace both.
  • Can anyone tell me what kind of glue I could use to put a patch on a heater box? Also is the heater box made of ABS plastic or what kind? THANKS!!
  • I'm having a problem with the automatic transmission on my 96 ford explorer. Well, at least I think that is what is happening! When I start my car in the morning it will not engage into drive with out shifting from park to drive a couple times. I'm not sure what is happening.

    My theory, from what people have told me (guess not my theory), is to find a transmission rebuild kit and basically replace all the worn out parts. Is this possible for me to do or is this something only a pro can do. I would really like to try and attempt this since the cost is so much lower. Everyone's input is very much appreciated! Thanks!
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    When you had the sulphur problem with your fuel gauge, how did you fix it? I have the same exact symptoms you mentioned for my fuel guage.
  • It depends on how stong the sulphur content of the gas was. My gauge got stuck at full and remained there for about 2 weeks, then it dropped loose and worked OK after that. Apparently, after the 'bad' gas was gone, it was able to 'break free' and work normally. It all depends on how bad it sticks in the first place, which goes back to how strong the sulphur content was.
    The first thing to do is obviously get all the 'bad' gas of of the tank and replace it with good gas. Then drive the car down a bumpy road to try to get the fuel sender to break loose, maybe hit the brakes hard at low speed to make the car bounce. If it won't come loose that way, then its off to the repair shop to pull the tank and replace the sender unit.
    Good Luck,
    E.D. in Sunny Florida
  • I just brought a 1997 ford explorer and would like to know where to find the code for keyless entry
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    Thanks electric. I think it is off to the repari shop.
  • Bought an 03 Mountaineer Premier AWD (V8) used in March 2005 with almost 19000 miles. Wasn't impressed then by the looks of the BF Goodrich Rugged Trail A/T M&S tires, but they had enough tread I thought to go through Summer and into Fall. Never felt "secure" on wet roads with these tires, and now that Winter is here, I'm researching what is available to replace them (at 23000 miles). They are 245 65 R17.

    Has anyone else replaced their OEM BF Goodrich tires on their Mountaineer (or Explorer)? What did you choose?

    Ninety five percent of my driving is around town on paved roads, but I do have a country lane on a slight grade I travel twice daily (to and from work, and usually the last road in the township to be plowed after a snow storm).

    I don't really want to go with an all terrain tire with a more aggressive looking tread.... would like to find something though that is decent in snow, has better tread life, but not sacrifice handling and noise level. When I say snow, I'm just talking 3 to 4 inches of unplowed snow... this is probably the most I would get caught in unexpectedly (as if let out of work early to make the 8 mile drive home because winter storm has started). If it's 8 to 10 inches fresh snow, I'm not driving anywhere until roads are plowed... or I'll drive my 96 Explorer AWD V8 with the Wrangler ATs.
    I've narrowed it down to the Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza only by good reviews I've read and photos. Going into the tire store today to just have a look. The BF Goodrichs I have have 29.9" tire OD, Section Width 9.6" & 696 REVS per mile, the Alenza would be 29.4", Section Width 9.5" and 709 REVS per mile ... I'm guessing everything on these cars is computer syncronized, is this difference anything to be concerned about? All the other specs are in line.

    From what I read, the Alenzas are being put on some upper end SUVS (Navigator, Suburban, Lexus, Tahoe).

    Any thoughts, recommendations welcome!
  • I have a brand new 2006 Explorer that is only 6 weeks old. My wife was driving it and she mentioned that the steering wheel got "hung up" then all of a sudden it came free. Good thing she was in a parking lot when it happened. She called our dealer and they told her not to drive the car, to have it towed right to them. After a few hours, they called her with a frightening message, basically, they just got word from Ford, that there are inherent steering problems with some of the new 2006 models. As my wife was telling our local dealer what actually happened, they told her this is what was exactly written in the letter they received from Ford. Has anyone else had this experience....Now, my wife wants out of our Lease, she wants a new truck, preferably an Expedition (I have a new Escape) she thinks it's too small. Any ideas?
  • IMHO,
    You didn't say what engine and transmission you have. In any case, this is a job for ONLY a seasoned PRO to do. They are the most complicated part of your vehicle. Don't even think about it unless you are an expert automatic transmission rebuilder. They are Very Sensitive, the clearances are Very Critical, and all thust washers, bushings, bearings, clutches, servos, vavle body, splines, pump, torque converter must be carefully checked. It takes intimate knowledge of the transmission for a sucessful rebuild. It takes special tools to work on them. It is best to ditch the converter and put in a new or rebuilt one, because they get contaminated from the old fluid and parts debris. The Fluid Cooler and lines need to be flushed clean. You need a nice clean spacious work space, compressed air, cleaning solvents, etc.
    What your tranny has is called morning sickness. The first thing to try, is pouring a bottle of LUCAS Transmission stop leak in it first. That may help considerably. It's the only additive that I would recommend, I've seen it work before.

  • Research your states' Lemon Law! I have a 2004 Explorer - I believe they have the same transmissions and engines. VA Lemon Law says 3 repairs on the same problem it is a LEMON and Ford must either repurchase the car or replace the car - go for it. Ford is buying mine back - AT PURCHASE PRICE! :lemon:
  • I have a 1994 Ford Explorer that is very hard to start when the weather gets cold. It seems to start fine when the weather is warm, but as it grows colder it get progressively harder to start. When it was down to approximately 10 degrees it would not start at all. As soon as I put it in a warm shop for a few hours it started fine. the other thing that I have noticed is that as the weather gets colder and the vehicle does start it seem to lope for a few seconds before the engine settles down. Any suggestions as to what the problem might be?
  • The engine is the ford explorer 6-cyclinder 4.0L. I'm not a seasoned pro but maybe by researching how everything works and maybe with the assistance of others who know more than I, this task might be possible.

    I will try this Lucas trans stop leak and see how well it works, but I know it will only slow the degrading process. I know sooner or later I will have to face this, so I would rather handle this as smart as I can. I don't have the money for a new car or a transmission. This is my only chance at fixing this. I have a friend who changed the transmission on a Ford Taurus. He told me that he bought a transmission rebuilt kit for about $300 and then replaced the parts that had degraded the most and it fixed the problem. He said the hardest part was getting to the transmission other than that he said that it wasn't that difficult just time consuming. I figured if he's not a pro and he figured it out, then I can possibly do the same. I'll I need is a book that gives me the break down and maybe the necessary steps to follow. Any Ideas or any other suggestions would help greatly???
  • For professional grade repair manuals, search for ATSG and ATSG transission repair manuals. Study the books until you know the transmission inside and out and all the special tools and procedures required. You'll need compressed air, parts cleaner with sovent, Feeler gauges, Dial Micrometer, Dial Indicator,a few specialized tools, general mechanics tools, jacking, stands and a transmission jack to be able to get it out and back in. You will need some professional advice, search for Automotive Repair Forums. Don't buy the parts at a regular automotive parts house, but make friends with your local transmission parts jobber, a place that specializes in transmission parts. They can also give you a lot of good advice.
    Good Luck,
    E.D. in Sunny Florida
  • My 98 explorer (98k miles) has to have spark plugs replaced according to the manual schedule. Do I have to do the cap and wires too? Also, do you think a slight, slight hesitation has to do with the plugs? Or could it be freezing weather with a low tank?


    no more k car = good good good
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