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Ford Explorer Maintenance and Repair



  • I have a 2004 Explorer, 2000 miles out of warrantee (of course!) and now when turning a low speed, like into a parking space, the rear wheel on the side I'm turning toward feels like its grabbing, or losing traction or something like that. My mechanic checked the fluid in the rear and its fine. It seems worse if I have a lost of people in the truck. Any ideas?
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Suspect the rear differential. Sounds like 'limited slip', isn't slipping. If he just checked to see if it was the right level, I would try replacing the fluid. When you go around a bend, the inside tire travels less than the outside, so you need some slippage.
  • Is this fluid something that would usually have to be changed? It never has been, as far as I know. Is it something that may be causing permanent damage to expensive parts?
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Yes, check your owners manual for the recommended service interval. It varies by make and model vehicle. You want to make sure you get exactly the right fluid for the make/year/ and type of differential you have. Owners manual will give you the specs.
  • ahoronahoron Posts: 30
    Did the hood pop up at all? If it opened about an inch you have to release the second latch to open the hood.If not pull the lever hold it and have someone tap on the hood where the latch is. As far as the starting problem sounds like a dead battery. Turn on the head lights and try to start it if the lights get dim or go out try to jump start it. MAKE SURE THE BATTERY IS NOT FROZEN BEFORE ATTEMPTING TO JUMP IT!!!
  • I had this problem in my 97 Explorer, My hood release cable had stretched. A temp fix is to bend the bracket that holds the cable under the dash away from the handle a little.
  • ersariersari Posts: 3
    Thanks for your efforts...I tried success...I eventually found out I had free towing trough my insurance...had the thing towed to a local shop and now...I'm awaiting to here what damages they can accumaulate to lay on me...Thanks agaiin...ersari
  • I have an 2001 Ford Explorer, when you have the truck running you smell gas outside but if you have the heat on you smell the gas smell inside the truck.I haven't noticed any fuel leaking on the ground. Anyone have any ideas of what I can check to eliminate this problem.
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Where there is gas smell......there's......

    I'd get it to a shop quickly.

    I would suspect a gas leak in the engine compartment. When the heat is on I believe it is drawing air in thru the vents on the hood above the engine compartment.
  • wifemmwifemm Posts: 16
    Hi, can you tell me exactly what they did with the wiring (perhaps from your service receipt), I have the same problem with my 02 Mountaineer and they're blaming it on the aftermarket radio, thanks!!
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 11,793
    kids got home tonight and said the cd player was having 'some issues'. it wouldn't eject any cds out of the 6 disk changer.
    i went out to try it, i pushed all kind of buttons and combinations of buttons. it made a noise like it was trying to change cds but it just seemed like it was stuck. it then would display 'cd error'.
    feeling a bit frustrated, i pushed cd button, selected the cd number originally displayed, pushed the eject button and banged on the top of the dashboard while it was trying to switch to that cd.
    it popped out and so did the next one. it turns out the second cd, also homemade, was put in upside down. i took out all the homemade cd's for now. it seems to be working as normal. :)
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
  • Great post!! Thanks. Wanted to add my 2 cents worth. I have 02 Explorer Sport Trac with blend door problems. After running the electrical, I determined that it was, in fact, the problem. Ford must have figured out the snap down post system you described did not support their built in maintenance program, so they had changed to screws (two on the front of the actuator and one in the back. They still utilize 2 more posts in the back. Upon tearing the dash apart attempting to get to the rear screw and realizing it was futile, that the only way to access this screw was to remove the plenum, I decided that if I was to break off the back screw and take my chances on getting the actuator to work properly, worst case---I was no worse off than right now and seeing where it would easily cost $800 in a Ford house, I decided to lunge forth. After removing the 2 front screws, I used a flat bar and firmly pried up on the back of the actuator from underneath while pulling the actuator forward. The actuator plastic housing broke cleanly at the screw and I was able to remove the screw after the actuator was out. I never could see clearly enough inside the plenum to determine what postition the mix door was in, so I decided to drill the D shaped pin just as you had in the pictures. I did so 1/4" from the bottom, thinking I need to get as much inside the opening as possible since I was unsure how stable the actuator would be without that back screw. I drilled a .130 hole and used a .120 pin (stainless nail). As the D pin is .300, I decided to make the pin .530 long. At first, I could not get the pin to seat. I then took my flat bar and put firm pressure down on the actuator centralinzed at the pin. I then slowly turned the selector nob and suddenly the whole actuator started moving. I then knew I had the pin in the correct position. I seated down probably another 3/16, put the two front screws back on and laughed during my test run, realizing how Ford had once again gotten screwed. Thanks so much for your post and all the detail. You are very wise, Budda!!
  • I need to know what the name of a certain part is so that I can fix my vechicle...Its about 8 inches long, its a shaft, its by the radiator, under the plugs in the engine. It has a sensor that goes on top of it. Inside the shaft where the sensor goes is destroyed. Its a U piece of metal. Here is a picture:
  • That part is called the camshaft position sensor. That is basically the bottom part of what used to be the distributor. Since a distributor is not required for the ignition, now that they have the coil packs, this shaft is now shortened and has a sensor on top that tells the computer the exact location of the camshaft. This is used for the timing of the fuel injectors. If this part is rotated out of time, the fuel injectors can fire out of time. Why did you take it out? I can't see the damage in the photo. Was it squealing and making noise? Mine did that and I did not remove it, I just squirted some oil in the top of it, and it has been fine for many thousands of miles. It seems that the shaft does not seem to recieve lubrication from the engine very well.
    Good Luck,
    E.D ISF
  • juntsjunts Posts: 1
    I currently own 2 Explorers, a 91 and 92. Spare tire fell out of the 91 in 2004. Received recall notice for the 92 last fall for spare tire replacement. Checked the spare and it was missing. Had all 4 tires replaced a month before and it was in place. Know of at least 3 other people who have lost their spare. The cable holding it up rusts off. How many other people has this happened to?
  • Do you happen to have a Sport or Sport Trac that would qualify? There's a recall repair that if performed might solve your problem??
    Recall Date: 11/28/2000




    Potential Units Affected: 137700

  • ahoronahoron Posts: 30
    Are you near chicago??? south side??? Spare tires are easy to steal when mounted under the vehicle. What they do is put a pair of visegrips on the cable and twist until it breaks. I have had spare tires stolen off all my vehicles that have them mounted underneath. The cable didn't rust off it was cut. I'm not saying this is what happened to you but it is possible. My mother had her tire stolen twice. I just keep them inside the vehicle now. It is a pain but I guess not having the spare when I need it is worse. I had put a lock on my moms after the first time. I had to cut it off on the side of I-80 not recommended. The next lock was stolen with the tire. I don't think it even slowed them down. My tire was stolen at work. I know because I went to my truck at lunch and the bracket and spring that holds the tire were on the ground behind my truck. My truck had a lock from the factory, Great gm design lol. Go to a used tire/rim shop to get the rim I got mine for $40 with a tire. You will feel better when they steal that over a $200 one from the dealer.
  • I just so happen to know that the dealerships are paid by each individual repair they make. there are limitations to how much they are paid. and they only get 15 minutes to diagnose problems. I get the connot duplicate thing alot. They get paid X amount for the repair done not hourly and parts total like you and I
  • bmimsbmims Posts: 5
    also have a 2006 explorer and in the last week (yes with colder weather) I noticed the squealing noise when acceleration reached between 2-3,000 rpm. Took it to the dealer on Friday, they changed the tensioner and pulley. They obviously did not test drive it because that did not remedy the problem. Let me know if you have found out anything else. Oh, and it shifts fine but does seem to stop squealing after it goes into the next gear.
  • I don't know the miles on your truck but the idler pulley also should be ruled out and its unlikely that the belts been stretched but if all that work is being done just change the belt on the same ticket but now your looking at a new labor charge...hmmm. I wouldn't go into a dealer unless I was being paid. I've actually had them confess to charging for work they did not perform or were authorized for)Paid me back for that.

    I'm on my fourth Explr(ist one was Bronco II) same truck actually. The RPMs change when you go through the gears so it not unlikely that your squeal will change also...its a turning problem.

    Put a mechanics stetchescope(hope I got the meaning across at least :) )and listen to where the squeal is coming from. Also can be done with a length of tubing or if your real sensitive a screwdriver. Look at the air filter and make sure its not clogging up.Next I would have applied a blast or two of $1.96 belt lubricant. Get a Haynes/Chilton and arm yourself with information. Remember the service techs also get a cut of whatever they write! Hope this helps...good luck
  • my explorer is a 1996 V6 4.0 Liter. my car has started to quit when it comes to the battery and the alternator. I first noticed it when my battery meter started to move up and down. It has been a few weeks and it hasnt done it since. I went to get the alternator tested and they said that the alternator couldnt be better. the diods tested out perfect. it was a 15volt test. when i use alot of electrics it starts to die. The battery is brand new so i have no idea what is going can some one please help :mad:
  • tfmrtfmr Posts: 10
    Based on what did your dealer replace the tensioner and pulley? My dealer have no clue, but I also figured out that the problem is with a loose tension on the serpentine belt. I do not know where the tensioner is on my explorer. Is it the triangular arm connected to the alternator pulley? If it is then this is where the problem lies. When I push this triangular shaped arm left and right it moves (so it must be loose). When I pushed it to the left (to apply more pressure on the belt so as to tighten it a bit) the squeal seemed to go away for some time, and when it returned it was not as loud as it was before I pushed that bar (I am assuming this is the bar connected to the tensioner pulley). One possibility with your case is that your dealer did not tighten the tensioner properly and the belt is still loose. Let me know if you have any luck tightening the tensioner.
  • Hello all,
    My 2002 Explorer Limited has started to blow hot air from the vents on the passenger side. Cold air blows through the drivers side and both overhead vents in the back seat. Any help on solving this problem would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    You have a stuck or broken blend door on the passenger side of the air plenum. It's going to involve removal of the dash to access it to replace it or the actuator, unfortunately... Have you considered only carrying passengers during the winter?? :blush:
  • bmimsbmims Posts: 5
    I have a 2006 Explorer 4.0 and have had it in twice in the last week for the whistling. They are stumped at this point and have changed the tensioner and pulley but not the problem. The whistling starts at 2000 rpm, peaks at 2250 but can still be heard at 3 and it doesn't matter what speed you are at as long as your are in the acceleration mode. According to my brother in law who works for Chevy they had the same problem are have just been notified that they need to replace the throttle body. Hope that is it and that Ford recognizes it if it is the same. So far I have passed on the informtion to my dealer rep but am waiting on their solution to the problem.
  • bmimsbmims Posts: 5
    2006 4.0 engine with whistling noise. Starts when accelerating and getting up between 2-3000 rpm. Have had it to the dealer twice of which they have also duplicated the problem in the bay and they originally changed the pulley and tensioner (not the problem) and now are looking into the area of the EGR. Ford (as of yesterday) doesn't seem to have any mention of any kind of this problem . Chevy on the other hand just issued a notice for the same thing and are having to replace the throttle body. Hum. Wonder if the manufacture of the part supplies to both Chevy and Ford. Good luck and if I can get them to replace part under warranty and that remedies it I will let you know.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Interesting - I have had 6 Explorers/Mountaineers since 94, and only the 94 and the 02 had the 4.0L engine. The 02 whistled, and they never really got it out. Which is why I went back to the 4.6L in the next two. Best way to avoid it, I figure.
  • Could be a bad catalytic converter, but you would probably have a check engine alarm. Try turning the key to the running position, engine off. Then get under the car and in the engine area and smell/look for leaks. Don't smoke while you do this. If you smell gas while driving, it's not from the catalytic converter, most likely kiawah is right, some leak around an injector or something like that.
  • We have a 98 explorer 4x4(v6), for a while it was not idling it would die if you took your foot off the gas. We changed the spark plugs and it quit doing that, but it now sputters and misses and acts up horrible. It hasn't died yet, but it doesn't want to go and is really burning gas. Any advice would be appreciated.
  • tfmrtfmr Posts: 10
    Clean the mass airflow (MAF) sensor. May not be it but a good start.
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