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Ford Explorer Maintenance and Repair



  • biomanbioman Posts: 172
    My 99 XLT's Check Engine Light went on just after I filled up after driving with less than 1/4 of a tank of fuel. This is the first time in a long time that I have allowed the fuel level to drop that low before refueling. I noticed a drop in performance just before I refueled. Oddly enough after refueling engine performance seemed to go back to normal, but the Check Engine Light. When I got home I plugged in my engine scanner and it returned error codes 1131, 1151, 136, 156, 171, 174. From what I read, all these codes seem to be pointing to oxygen sensors and lean fuel mixtures. I've cleared the codes and will monitor the situation to see if the Check Engine Light comes on again.
    Is the replacement of an oxygen sensor a "big deal"? I know that playing with exhaust system components could lead to problems with frozen bolts, etc., but will oxygen sensors come off easily if I spray some WD40 and warm up the exhaust pipes for a minute or two? I'm looking for input to decide if I should do this myself or take the truck in to a repair shop. Also, could a dirty fuel line caused by running the fuel level down to below a 1/4 of a tank have caused this problem to develop?

    Thanks in advance for the reply!!
  • First, you need to know which O2 sensor it is, left bank or right, front or rear. You need to know how they work and how to read them. The scanner should show you the voltage fluctuations on each O2 sensor, so you can tell if it is reading in the right range or reacting too slowly.
    Go to this link to learn all about the O2 sensors and how they work and how to read them: 4/f6/02/0900823d8004f602.jsp

    Replacing them is easy, use regular tools, just use common sense, tools must fit properly and some are harder to reach. Go to this link to find out all about replacing them: 4/f5/f7/0900823d8004f5f7.jsp

    Good Luck,
    E.D. ISF
  • biomanbioman Posts: 172
    Thanks for the reply E.D.!! The sun must be shinning on me and I am not in Florida! I drove the truck today and as expected the Check Engine Light returned. This time only the P0171 error code was present. When I returned home and hooked up my scanner There were no codes stored in the "Stored Codes" folder. The P0171 code was in the pending folder. After running two scans I deleted all codes from the truck's ECU and the error code has not reappeared. I've driven the truck about 18 miles since the last scan and all is normal. I plugged in the scanner an all of the readings seem to be normal. Guess I dodged a bullet, for now?? I'm beginning to think that it was dirt in the bottom of the gas tank. But time will tell. Just for the heck of it I put a bottle of Pro Guard injector cleaner in the tank. I've owned three Toyotas and four Hondas. All I had to do was regular maintenance. After returning to GMC & Ford my mechanic skills have again been tested regularly.
  • I put the fuel tank additive STP or Store Brand) in the gas tank at every oil change, as part of the regular service. I think it helps in the long run, as I have never had to replace an O2 Sensor in any of my Explorers, a 91 V6 Ford Explorer, and a 93 V6 Ford Explorer each over 150,000 miles, and a 97 V8 Ford Explorer with 150,000 miles and a 2000 V8 Ford Explorer with 128,000 miles.
    Keep your fingers crossed, I hope the codes don't come back.
    Good Luck,
    E.D. ISF
  • The security approach lamps don't activate on our 06 Explorer limited when we open the doors or unlock with the key fob. Does anyone know how to turn these on? Thanks! :)
  • :sick: i have a 1992 ford explorer and it goes into reverse but doesnt seem to want to go into drive. ever once in a while it will go into drive but its rare. i have changed the filter and replaced the transmission fluid but still hasnt changes. what can i do to fix it or will i need a new transmission?!?
  • You have an A4LD Automatic Transmission, and it sounds like it is time for another one. These trannys are troublesome and very touchy to rebuild. I would suggest that you get a remanufactured transmission from a reputable firm, such as Jasper. They are not the cheapest, but they are one of the best and have a 3 year warrenty. They will ship the transmission to the shop of your choice for the install, or they can help you find an installer in your area. Here's the link to Jasper Engine and Transmission Remanufacturing:

    Good Luck,
    E.D. ISF (Electric Designer In Sunny Florida)
  • drh5drh5 Posts: 2
    I have 2001 ford explorer sport 2wd.when you crank it up and let it idle for a little bit. it will stall and start right back's been doing it for a week and does quite often.
  • Which engine do you have? How many miles? Is all maintenance kept up?
  • Yes, had that problem myself in a 1991 Ford Explorer.
    It ended up being caused by the rear wiper blade itself
    being spliced into the incorrect position on the
    pivoting wiper post. It was only off by a faction
    of an inch. It appears that the rear wiper is very
    sensitive to placement and if off by a little something
    senses the incorrect position and forces the wiper to
    continue operation. If the wiper is in the incorrect
    position on the post it will eventually stop after about
    a couple hundred wipes. Correct post positioning is
    found by turning the switch off and allowing the wiper to
    stop on its own and set on the resting pad provided.
    Once the wiper stops pull the wiper off the post and
    reposition it about a half inch from the wiper resting pad.
    The wiper should operate correctly if you did this right.
    If it does not attempt to reposition again with the wiper
    blade slightly off the wiper resting pad until the blade operates correctly with the switch positions.
  • drh5drh5 Posts: 2
    6 cyclinder
    it has 114,000 miles and the maintenance is up to date
  • Several things could cause this stalling. Do you get a check engine light? SInce you did not mention it, I would assume for now that you don't. Number 1 suspect is vacuum leaks. Check the IAC valve, they leak and go bad occasionally. It is a small cylinder shaped electric contolled vacuumm valve, fastened to the throttle body/Intake manifold with two small bolts and has 2 wires going to it. This valve controls the amount of air that the engine receives at idle. Sometimes they get dirty and leak. You can remove it and clean the vacuum valve part with throttle body cleaner. Don't put solvent on the electric coil part. Or you can simply replace the part. Next, check for vaccum leaks everywhere else. Other things to check are the MAF sensor and check the plastic tube between the MAF and Throttle Body for any air leaks or cracks.
    Next check and test the EGR System, refer to the repair manual for this. Remove the EGR Valve and clean out the vacuum passages.
    Good Luck,
    E.D. ISF
  • Battery is good. All lights, wipers, radio work fine. When I turn the key nothing happens. I can cross the selenoid and the starter cranks fine but motor still won't start with key in the on position. Mileage and trip display read -------- with key in on position???? Any ideas?
  • sepbuysepbuy Posts: 3
    I had the same problem with my 03. See post #5413. The car started after about 1 hour. One techinician suggested radio interference with the anti-theft chip in the key. In fact I had just parked near a railroad crossing as a train was approaching. Possibly thee train to signal crossing interferred with the radio controlled chip. Has your vehicle since started? Were you near any radio interference?
  • guestguest Posts: 770
    I bought a 2002 blue Ford Explorer XLT in March 06 from Joe Ball GMC in Pittsburgh Pa it only had 50,000 miles on it and the engine went bad for no reason. The repair man said it will cost 6,000 dollars to replace the engine. I think the dealership sold me a bad car knowing something was wrong with the truck. They said it only had one owner. They lied to me about getting a extended warranty. They told me I could come back and purchase the warranty before my 3,000 mile waranty was up and I did then they said I could no get the warranty. In June I had my brakes checked the repair man their said they could not find anything wrong with the truck and 3 months later the engine went bad. The day the engine went bad I lost my brakes again the repairman that checked my car said I lost my brakes because my engine was going bad. Joe Ball never check the engine in June. If they did they woulld have knew something was wrong with the engine. In June I was up under their waranty, my truck would have been covered. If you are reading this message do not buy a vehicle from them I think they sale bad cars. If you were the previous owner please reply. If you had a bad experience with them please reply. If you know if I can get some legal help please reply.
  • Why is this post anyonmous? Some better english and punctuation would help us to understand your post better. You never stated what engine is in your Ford Explorer. That makes a LOT of difference. The V6 SOHC engine is the most troublesome engine, which is what I would guess was in your vehicle. The V8 engines are much more reliable. How many miles were on it when your purchased it, and how many miles were on it and how much time had elapsed when the "engine went bad"? What was the nature of the "engine went bad"? What was the nature of the "loosing brakes"? How are "loosing brakes" and the "engine going bad" related? And besides, What does a GMC Dealer know about Fords anyway?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    We have the occasional glitch with posters who use AOL for their ISP and their name disappears in the post title - I suspect that's the case here. The IT folks have been working on swatting the bug but it tends to be intermittent, and hard to pin down, like those occasional grounding issues. ;)
  • I have a 2006 Ford Explorer,4.0 V6 Engine, 5 speed AT, 3 months old. It has 2000 miles. I went to the sandy desert under high temperature (105°F)and experienced the following problems:

    1- Airplane like noise, when demanding additional power from the engine, under medium to high engine load. It seems to be initiated by the throttle, and disappears when the load goes down.

    2- Engine lacks of power when the airplane like noise appears... It happened also to my wife when driving uphill in normal city driving conditions, but I did not believe her.

    3- When in flat sand, the car will not move in 4WD High... engine revs up to about 3500RPM, none of the wheels spin, feels like if the car is on "neutral", except that the engine won't rev higher than this. The only way of getting the car to move is by engaging 4WD low and... have some friends pushing!!! until reaching a downhill slope, then I can stop, switch to 4WD high and continue driving normally without being able to stop on flat ground without getting stuck by this lack of traction.

    I went to the dealer... they checked "everything on the computer" and checked the "levels and pressures" in the transmission, and concluded that everything is perfectly normal with my car.

    Can I have some suggestions on what the problems might be? I believe the mechanics available around here (Sultanate of Oman) require some guidance.

    Other question: can I drive for long periods of time in 4WD low?
    Mario :confuse: :confuse: :confuse:
  • Recently I had to change my fuel filter and ever since my mileage has went from 19 miles to a gallon on the highway to 8 miles to the gallon. Can anyone help me?
  • Mario, Your vehicle is way too new to be posting here. There is a Ford Explorer 2006 Forum you can post in. Being that your vehicle is so new and under warrenty, it is a DEALER issue. If you are not satisfied with your Dealers service, go to another Dealer or call FORD directly.
  • Did you check that fuel filter installation for leaks. It sounds like you might be leaving a trail of gasoline on the road behind you!
  • When I turn my steering wheel while driving it makes a weird sound sort of like a grinding sound. You can feel it too, feels like its grinding, Not alot just barely. Does any one know what it is.
  • As the subject notes I have a 2000 EB Explorer w/a tow pkg purchased new by me. Current miles are 170K, MPG is 20-21. The transmission is flushed ~ every 30K. Approx 10% of the miles are with a med-heavy tow. I know the V8 transmission is one of the better transmission Ford installs in the Explorer and was wondering what I can expect for miles prior to having to do major transmission work? Obviously an exact number is impossible, but I'm wondering the kind of miles people reading this have w/out transmission problems.
  • I have Two V8 Explorers, a 1997 with 150K miles, and a 2000 with 128K miles, both run and shift like new, I really love them both. Both Explorers are two wheel drive, not AWD. They are the best automatic transmissions that Ford puts in the Explorers. Like anything else, they do have some minor inheirent weaknesses, but overall they are very strong and reliable. I drive them about 20K miles per year.
    Rule Number one is Keep it Clean, be sure to do the Flush and New Filter every 30K miles. Note on the flushing, it does not need any special flushing chemical or fluid. Just flushing it out with the recommended transmission fluid is all it needs. My 1997 uses Dextron III, and my 2000 uses Mercon V.
    Rule Number 2, Never Overheat the transmission. The Explorers have an external transmssion cooler built in, but for heavy hauling, adding an additional transmission cooler coil is a good investment, and you can take it off and put it on your next vehicle.
    These transmissions will easily run over 200,000 miles with good service and care. I expect both of mine to run past 200K miles with no problem.
    I cannot say how long the AWD part might last, we would have to hear from the AWD owners on that part.
    Good Luck,
    E.D. ISF
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    What year and engine do you have?
  • Funny seeing your message. I just dropped my 2005 Ford Explorer off at the dealership today. My truck has only 16,000 miles on it. While driving yesterday my gas gauge went from full to empty, at the next stoplight it went back up to full. I got to work, parked went in, left that afternoon and gas gauge went back to empty and check engine light is on. I dropped off today and told them about the rear hatch opening while I was there. I also reported that my locks go crazy while driving sometimes, windows lock up and won't go up or down, I get locked in vehicle or out (but at least I have a key when i'm out of it). Basically they told me it's ALL under warranty IF they find the problem, but here's the catch. they have to run a diagnostic for each issue and IF they don't find anything each one is $88.00. So, I said to just check the engine light, gas gauge and rear hatch. They told me a 2005 model was brought in yesterday with the same issue. I know Ford just announced a major recall on some of their vans for this same issue, so maybe if enough people do that with this model will get some results soon. My truck has the optional third row seating so that window flying open is a safety concern. I don't think it's a matter of my not having properly shut it because I can drive a good distance, hit bumps all kinds of things then it just randomly flies open at the oddest times. I'll update once I pick it up today as far as what they find.
  • Chuck,
    If you're still around can you provide an update? I have a 2005 Ford Explorer XLT that I bought new last October. I have only 16,000 miles on the vehicle and this is the problems i've had so far:

    1. A/C whistles through the line at random
    2. Transmission is sluggish on cold start
    3. Power Locks started going on and off, clicking like crazy while driving home (happened twice now)
    4. Power Locks won't release to let me out the vehicle (happened three times) or back in the vehicle (happened twice but was able to use the key to get in)
    5. Windows all lock up, wouldn't go up or down (happened 1 time to me and 1 time to husband)
    6. Gas gauge dropped straight down from full to empty while driving, after stop it went back up. Later locked up on empty when it was full, follow by check engine light coming on and staying on.
    7. Rear window on the rear hatch opens while driving down the road (3-4 times).
  • The tailgate light flickers continually when the car ignition is off. It started before I replaced the clock spring with a new one 2 weeks ago. Now the tailgate light still flickers continually when the car ignition is off and the under hood 15Amp horn/speed control fuse blows when I honk the horn. I know there is a tie in here but cant see it. Any solutions?
  • Keep me posted. They continue to say it is not a frustrating. They trimmed soem of the rubber off the latch and it has not opened in a month. But it also went 6 months without opening. I do hope to get rid if it.
  • I own a 2005 explorer with the 4.0 v6 and 5spd auto transmission, it is also 4wd. When in top gear if you floor the accelerator to pass, the transmission takes 3 to 5 seconds to downshift. Does anyone else have this problem and how was it fixed. Also I have an obd II scanner that will error out when scanning for codes on this vehicle, the sticker underhood says the vehicle is obd II compliant. :confuse:
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