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Ford Explorer Maintenance and Repair



  • bobismebobisme Posts: 1
    Hello, I stumbled across this site tonight when googling my problem(s). I have a 2003 XLT that did not have any issues until after 3 yrs except for the rear window recall (I still have less than 36K in miles). This summer the rear A/C produces a clicking noise from the rear lefthand side of the vehicle. When I first tried it the noise would happen but it blowed cold air. The other day (second time this summer I needed it - I live in the South but rarely have passengers) the noise was still there but it was blowing hot air from the roof vents. I thought maybe the valve was stuck and switching from high to off and heat to cold might 'unstick' it but that didn't help. Any ideas?

    Also, the door ajar light intermitently comes on (more times than not). I've isolated it to the front passenger door. It also interferes with the alarm as when I try to set it the horn honks twice letting me know a door is open. I saw a couple of posts about spraying WD40 in the latch. I'll give that a try but sounds like a temp fix.

    Thanks for any help.
  • tjack80tjack80 Posts: 1
    Please help someone my 2003 explorer will no longer shift in any gear I was driving from tx to n.c. and when I got to S.c i filled up turned it on and it would not shift in to drive reverse neutral or anything please help!!!
  • I have an '05 Explorer XLT with 24,000 miles on it. Just bought it from Ford Dealership. I notice that after driving and warming up, it shifts very, very hard from Park to Reverse and also from Drive to Reverse. It appears that it is "kicking" into gear. Is this a tranny problem? Has anyone else experienced this? I just bought this and the dealer is going to fix it on Monday. Any thougths?
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Hard to diagnose with those limited symptoms, but I have a 2004 EB which they had to replace the transmission solenoid on because of a slow shifting. Moving the transmission between gears like you mention, would result in a delayed gear shifting from the transmission. This would appear to then slam into gear.
  • ajmtbmajmtbm Posts: 245
    we had the passenger door switch replaced 2x under warranty, the third time they "dug deeper" and did something with the wiring. didn't have a problem after that.

    has our blend door replaced under warranty. i hear that is a common problem and from what i have read may be the cause of what you are experiencing
  • alman08alman08 Posts: 282
    see if the dealer will change the tranny fluid on your car (for free hopefully) and it might fix the problem.
  • Kiawah, when they replace the solenoid, did that correct the problem?
  • deadeye5deadeye5 Posts: 93
    Have a 94 Explorer. Will not shift out of 1st into 2nd gear till I go about 1-1/4 mi. then all is ok. If I stop & shut it off --same thing ---Could it be a vacumn ????

    Tks. deadeye
  • Yes, it could be weak or plugged vacuum line to the vacuum modulator. It is on the right side of the trans case, tucked in behind the exhaust system, hard to reach, impossible when exhaust is hot. With engine and exhaust cold, pull the vacuum line off the modulator, hard to reach. Check to see if any trans fluid or liquid comes out of the hose. Prescence of transfluid means you need a new modulator. You will have to lower the trans or take exhaust loose to have enough room to remove the modulator. Don't loose the pin inside, about an inch long. Put vaccum gauge on the hose to the vacuum modulator, should have good vaccum, the same vaccum as you read at the intake manifold. If vaccum is low, check, clean or replace vaccuum line.
    Good Luck.
    E.D. ISF
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Yes, replacing the solenoid resolved the problem (put on aout 1K miles since)
  • jlw99jlw99 Posts: 3
    92 Explorer. Loses ATF at rate of 1qt per 500 miles. No visible leaks. Engine oil shows overfull by the amount of lost ATF. Believe it is being sucked thru vacuum modulator into intake manifold. No smoking. Can't figure how it is getting from manifold to oil pan. Anyone know what is happening here ?
  • There is no way that the ATF can get from the transmission to the oil pan. You have 1 quart of ATF disappearing from your tranny in 500 miles, it means that the vaccuum modulator has a slight leak, and it is slowly sucking ATF into the engine intake manifold, and burning the ATF. That small amount probably does not produce noticable smoke.
    WHy your oil level increases in your engine oil pan is another matter. That needs more investigation to determine exactly what it is. The level could be raised by coolant leaking into the engine oil system. How has your coolant level been doing? Had to add any coolant lately?

    E.D. ISF
  • ad1329ad1329 Posts: 1
    Anyone out there having a problem with their 2006 Explorer. Car jerks/stalls around 60-80kmh in 3rd gear and get back to normal in the forth. I've sent it to the service centre and they have noted the problem. They also found several Mountainers and explorers with the same problem. They still aren't able to rectify it. They have reprogrammed the PCM, checked the fuel lines , changed spark plugs and wir filter etc..but none have worked. All they say is that they are waiting for an update patch from ford for the PCM. Is that true ?? any comments guys
  • jlw99jlw99 Posts: 3
    Have already eliminated engine coolant as a possibility. Never had to add coolant fluid in 14 years. Marked level on overflow tank to see if level changed, either up or down. No change. I notice that the PCV valve hose is attached to the intake manifold near the vacuum manifold. Could the ATF be draining from the intake manifold thru the PCV valve into valve cover and then into the oil pan ?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,595
    Smell the dipstick for gasoline odor.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • I reiterate "There is no way that the ATF can get from the transmission to the engine oil pan". It must be something else. Everything in the intake manifold gets sucked into the engine combustion chambers, burned, and then out the exhaust. When the engine is off, there is no way the ATF could get siphoned or move to the engine oil pan. If it is not coolant, then fuel in the engine oil would the next most likely suspect, not common, but a leaking fuel injector might cause this. What you really need to do is drain the oil from the engine into a clean container and examine it to see if you can tell what is in it. Coolant can be seen, fuel can be smelled, and if you can't tell what is in the oil, you can send it to a lab to have the oil analyzed. There are several labs that can be found online that do oil analysis. Once you know what is in the oil, you can move on to trying to figure out where is it coming from and what to do about it.
    Good Luck
    E.D. ISF
  • jlw99jlw99 Posts: 3
    Today, I replaced modulator after observing ATF flowing thru a substitute clear hose at the vacuum manifold. Flow stopped after replacement. Drained 2 quarts of oil from crankcase to bring oil level to normal. (2 quarts of ATF had been added since oil change 1000 miles ago). Added ATF to bring transmission level to normal. The drained oil had no fuel smell nor water content, just smelled and looked like dirty oil and viscosity appeared normal. Could not smell ATF. The PCV port on the intake manifold is below and in front of the vacuum manifold and PCV appeared to be moist with oil/ATF. This is a potential path for ATF in the intake manifold to enter the engine oil system, although one would expect the flow to be in the opposite direction. I intentionally drove over 100 miles after replacement and thus far both ATF and oil levels are unchanged. After another 400 miles or so I will report back here with the results.

    Thanks for your help ...
  • theturctheturc Posts: 3
    I have a 2004 Explorer 4.0, and am having problems with the vehicle shifting out of gear while driving down the road. It happens when the vehicle is at or above 50 MPH. It will drop out of gear and within seconds slam back into gear. I have had the vehicle into the local Ford dealer 4 time now and they cant fix it becuase they cant dupilcate the problem.
    Also the rear end is starting to make noise again. This vehicle has had two new ring and pinions the frist two trips to Ford, and finally a complete new rear end on the last trip. Is anyone having these problems with their vehicles?
    This vehicle only has 21K miles.
  • dave111dave111 Posts: 3
    I have been having problems with our 2003 explorer. I found out that the previous owner had ring and pinion work done at 31,000 miles. I have to pay around $700 to fix some clanking noise now at 44,500 miles.Loose bolt or something plus replace a boot. These problems are probably more common than Ford is willing to admit.
  • dave111dave111 Posts: 3
    I'm having problems on my 2003. apparently the previous owner took it in at 31,000 miles for a ring and pinion job. Now I have to pay some $700 for some problem in the rear end.
    I think we Ford owners have a recall situation. I think ford knows it to.
  • In Response to messages #5077 by ad1329, #5082 by theturc, #5082 & #5084 by dave111, it really saddens me to hear all this bad news about the Ford rear axles and automatic transmissions. I've been reading and following this bulletin board for over 6 or 7 years now, and I have heard over and over about all these SAME problems that the Fords have. I know there are many that don't give problems, but way too many do. I've owned 4 explorers, a 91, a 93, a 97 and a 2000. I still have the 97 and the 2000, 97 is my wife's, 2000 is mine. The first two where ok, EXCEPT for the crappy automatic transmissions. 91 to 94 all had the same A4LD auto tranny, and the LD means Light Duty, and believe me they are, they never should have put such a light C3 tranny in a SUV, it is a small car transmission. I had to rebuild both of the trannys in both those vehicles more than once. After those two, believe me I did a LOT of homework before deciding on my next vehicles. I DID NOT want to do any more engine or tranny work, that's why I bought the 97 and 2000 Explorers, both with the V8 5.0L and the AODE auto transmission, and the 8.8 Ford Straight Rear Axle, the most reliable powertrain that Ford has ever made. No problems with these at all, other than a few minor common problems, like replacing the multifunction switch that works your headlights, turn signals and wipers, and replacing the cruise control buttons and one seat belt, and they suck down gas like crazy, 13 to 14 MPG in town, 16 to 17 on the road, most my driving is in town. On the 97, I did have to take the rear axle apart to put in New Pinion Bearings, New Carrier Bearings, New Shims and New seals, but the SAME 3.73 Ring and Pinion Gears on a limited slip carrier. That's been over three years ago, 47,000 miles ago, it now has 147,000 miles, and still runs perfectly quiet to this day. I found that putting Carbon Metallic Brake Pads on the front and rear gives perfect braking for the longest time. I love driving my current Explorers, but sadly they will be my last Explorers, for several reasons, mostly because the long term reliablity of the newer ones is so bad. I need to drive almost trouble free for 200,000 miles. My current Explorers are doing a good job of that so far. But since 2002 they changed to the "new" aluminum rear axle with the half shafts, they are more trouble than they are worth, and I ain't looking for trouble, I'm getting too old for that stuff now. And the transmissions seemed to get worst along with the "new" rear axle. Another reason for me to not get another Explorer is I need really good gas mileage, with the price of gas so high, I still need an SUV, so maybe a Honda Element or Saturn Vue or Hyundai Santa Fe might fill the bill next time. I've been studying them all for over a year now. The Ford Escape is not so reliable either, not like the others I mentioned, it may be better than the Explorer, but not reliable in the long run of 200,000 miles. It would be nice not having to worry about fixing the car or having to get it fixed, or having to put up with whiny rear axles and trannys that won't shift, and always having to tell people the same thing over and over again about whats wrong with their cars and what to do about it. Well, one thing good about the Explorers, they sure do keep the service departments busy, the service writers busy and the mechanics busy. But that's all coming to an end before long, as the sales of the Explorers drops off. Ford was a Great car company, an American tradition, Henry Ford and Thomas Edison worked very hard at building the American Dream through the Industrial Revolution of the Twentith Century, it so hard watching Ford making so many mistakes, knowing they were so good for so long.
    E.D. ISF
  • mtnman1mtnman1 Central OhioPosts: 431
    I have been loving and enjoying my 2004 Mountaineer V8 AWD for about 2.5 years now. All of the sudden about three weeks ago I noticed a metallic like hissing or like a sound of metal plates lightly rubbing against each other. I only hear it when the vehicle is moving less the 30 miles per hour. Any faster road and tire noise drown it out if it's there at all. It seems to be getting slowly louder, but still pretty low. It's really tough to describe the sound, but it's definitely coming from the outside of the vehicle and doesn't seem to be coming from the engine compartment. I'm concerned this is related to the transmission difficulties I've been reading about. I had the Additive put in that was not in the original trans axle fluid at 6000 miles. They also replaced the selanoid because a hard shifting when shifting from reverse to drive. Does anyone have any thoughts out there about this? I have an appointment to leave it at the dealership next Wednesday.
    2012 Highlander Limited AWD V6 and 2015 Ford Fusion Hybrid SE
  • I have a 94 Explorer that has a 4.0, 6 cylinder in it. The problem I am having has caused a "no start" situation. The first thing that I found was that there is no spark between the coil and the spark plug wires. After diagnosing everything I can think of, I discovered that when the key is in the "ON" position, There is no power going to the crankshaft sensor. I tested the sensor and it appears to be working fine. What should I do? I can't see where the wires are going from the sensor.
  • tazsp2tazsp2 Posts: 4
    I had the plastic rocker arm and tenioner replaced ran fine for a couple of days now there is a loud ticking noise seemingly coming from the same place before work was done.

    Please Help!!!!!!
  • You did not say how many miles on the vehicle, date and miles at the time of repair, and how many miles and time since then. In other words, was this a recent repair? If so, take it back where you got it fixed and see what they have to say about it. They should warrenty their work for a certain amount of miles/time per your paperwork. If out of warrenty, if you talk nice and reasonable to them, they might give you a good deal on taking care of it. The word you said that caught my attenion was "LOUD". Let us know how you fare.
    E.D. ISF
  • And by the way, that was the most important thing that I learned about the Explorers in my research in 2001 and 2002, before I bought the 1997 V8 Explorer and my 2000 V8 Explorer, to NOT buy an Explorer with the 4.0L engine, because of all the problems with the timing chain and tensioners. It was a BAD design of the Chain Drive system using a THREE CHAINS in the engine, the FIRST CHAIN from the crankshaft to the Jackshaft (a fake shaft in place of the in-block camshaft used to transmit power at two locations to the cam shafts in the heads) the SECOND CHAIN on the front of the engine from the Jackshaft to a camshaft in one of the heads, and the THIRD CHAIN on the rear of the engine from the Jackshaft to a camshaft in one of the heads. This design is so utterly rediculous, just begging for trouble and lack of reliablity, a chain should NEVER have been put on the backside of the engine, that requires the engine to be removed to service or replace the chain. Just an absurd design, I find it unbelieveable that they would ever have even entertained the idea, much less put it in production. It just spells "UNRELIABLE". Common sense and standard design dictate a single timing chain and tensioner and guide on the front of the engine like so many other manufacturer's are doing. Ford really slipped and fell on this one. I feel so very sorry for all of you who have fell into buying one of these engines. These are doomed to fail in early life, you will never see one of these make it from 0 to 200,000 miles untouched. I am confident that each of my V8 Explorers will make it to 200,000 miles with no engine problems. Of course, I am using really good motor oil, Mobile One Synthetic and Synthetic oil filter, changed every 7,500 miles. Believe me, it REALLY pays to do your research, and do it in depth, WELL worth your time, and much easier now with the Internet.
    E.D. ISF
  • I thought about your problem, but I don't have a wiring diagram for that vehicle anymore. Your best bet is to get a wiring diagram to help you trace the problem. You can get a subscription at that has all the information about your vehicle.
    Good Luck.
    E.D. ISF
  • tazsp2tazsp2 Posts: 4
    The repair work is less than two weeks old. The guy that worked on my vehicle came after I informed him of the noise and added the new tenisioner kit that ford reluctantly forgot to tell him about when repaired the first chain problem. The truck had 98990 when happend, I have driven less than 50 miles since. Once you get up to 40 mph the noise quites down. Could it be the second chain and if so is it as easy to repair as the first witout removing the engine?
  • I would assume he replaced the front chain. You said the sound is coming from the same place. It sounds like your mechanic is not experienced enough to know about this repair. Is he at a local shop, or a friend or what? This is NO ordinary timing chain repair, it takes someone with the specific Knowledge and Skill to perform this task, not a beginner, shade tree, or apprentice, it takes a qualified mechanic to properly diagnose and repair this. You need all the correct information to know the right parts to use and how to install them propery. I can't do that from here. Seems to me that you should get a second opinion from a more qualified source. I hate to say it, but all the best repair can't make up for FORD's lousy engine design. First chance your get, get rid of the thing and try to make a better choice on the next vehicle.
    When I shop for a vehicle, I look for one that is known to be reliable, stay away from vehicles with known problems, like bad timing chains, bad trannys, bad rear axles. You at least want a reliable drivetrain. The forums here and elsewhere can help guide you. I'm not meaning to pick on you or your vehicle, just trying to help. Too late to help much with this one, maybe the next one will be better.
    Good Luck,
    E.D. ISF
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