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Ford Explorer Maintenance and Repair



  • alman08alman08 Posts: 282
    02 Explorer XLT V8 4WD
    Had oil change at the dealer about 2500 miles ago and when I checked the oil yesterday, it's grey color. Got worried and went over to a quick oil change place and they said it didn't look like it's oil at all after they looked at it. They said maybe the guy at the dealer put something in there by mistake instead of oil, but I was pretty sure that I checked the oil after that oil change and it was oil. I asked if it's possible that there is water in the oil and they said no because it would have been milky instead. Any idea? Anyway, right now I had the oil changed again and will keep a keen eye on it.
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    If you drive it to a mechanic or dealership, it would be warmed up and show the symptoms, right? You're going to need someone to look at it.
  • 04 Explorer Eddie Bauer 81500 mi. When applying the brakes a pop is felt in the brake pedal and can be heard, and vehicle has slight jolt. Pedal goes slightly to floor. Brakes don't stop as quickly as before the pop. This problem is sporatic. Service can't find any issues with brakes--said it was steering balls and greased them--problem continues to exist. Any suggestions?
  • ajmtbmajmtbm Posts: 245
    02 Limited

    At about 25,000 miles (3 years ago) heard a creaking noise when the truck first turned on in cold weather. After a few trips to the dealer they finally diagnosed it as a heater core or blend door problem or something like that. 3 days in the shop and i understand they ripped the dash apart to replace the heater core. Now the truck is 5 almost 5 years old, 65k miles, and the noise is back. i'm debating calling ford about it.

    Is the creak a nuisance thing or will something eventually fail and need to be replaced?

    i figure i might as well call ford and try to get it fixed, because i assume its an expensive repair.
  • They either put in the wrong stuff, or it go contaminated afterwards. Yes, keeping a very close eye on it is the best thing to do for now. I would check the dipstick every day.
    Good Luck.
    E.D. ISF
  • snailsnail Posts: 7
    I am having the exact same issue with my car. Could you tell me what you had to fix to resolve the problem?
  • Hi there:

    Did you ever find out what was going on with your Explorer?I am having the exact same problem with mine...96 XL, no 4-wheel though.

  • bdobschbdobsch Posts: 1
    My door locks open but will not close except for the tailgate window latch. It both opens and locks. The alarm still works. Seems related to the central security control module. Where ever that is located. Any ideas??????????????
  • gchernyagchernya Posts: 11
    I have a strange problem with AC on my Ford Explorer. I have manual climate control, and when I put AC on essentially nothing happen... The AC light is on, but it is working only as a blower... AC system does not power up... I run a quick check under the hood, and clutch, relay, wiring, fuses check ok, but it looks like there is no signal from climate control to the AC... I did try it in the mild weather like 80F... is there some kind of temperature sensor that keeps AC off? Is there some kind of module aside from climate control handles that responsible for this? any clues will be appreciated...
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Do you have enough freon charge in the system?
  • gchernyagchernya Posts: 11
    I suppose... I did not check the pressure, but it is some pressure there... but it does not even attempt to start the clutch...
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    I don't have the manuals for your vehicle, but many A/C systems have a low pressure sensor which won't allow the compressor to start if it doesn't have a minimum amount of freon charge. That prevents the compressor from getting damaged from not having enough lubricant.

    I'm suspecting you have a leak somewhere and have lost your freon.
  • pbairpbair Posts: 2
    1997 Explorer XLT
  • mmadden1mmadden1 Posts: 17
    Had the vehicle to the dealer for a new set of tires and they reported that the lower front ball joints were a "little" loose. Mind you these ball joints were replaced by my original dealer @ 29K. I'm amazed-- truck steering components that won't last more than 20K miles?
    Common or not?
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 11,859
    too bad you already bought the tires.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
  • troyl1troyl1 Posts: 2
    My left rear turn signal is not operating, I have changed the lamp and it still is not working. When I activate the left turn signal the interior arrow indicator blinks rapidly, which I am guessing is letting me know it is not working. I figured if the flasher relay/fuse is out none of the signals would work but all the other turn signals are working correctly.

    Any ideas?
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    If it blinks fast, it means the current draw is more than is supposed to be. The usual reason is that the filament in one of the turn signal bulbs is broke, and shorted out to the other filament in the bulb.

    You need to look very carefully at the turn signal bulbs (front and back), on the side that it is blinking fast (left or right).

    There is a slight chance that there is a short in the socket itself that holds the bulb, but almost all the time it is a defective bulb that is the cause of this problem.
  • troyl1troyl1 Posts: 2
    Thanks for the info, I will replace all the turn signal lamps and see if that does the trick!
    I appreciate the quick response.

  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    The left is the one blinking fast, correct? If you already changed the left rear....look at the left front bulb.
  • This "little loose" stuff doesn't cut it. When anyone says that to you, you ask them "HOW LOOSE?" Tell them to give you an exact measurement of the looseness. It's better if they measure it with a dial indicator and give you an answer in thousands of an inch, like .020" or .032" or .048". Or at least try to get them to express it in fractions of an inch. The maximum permissable play is 1/16" or .0625", measured at the ball joint itself, not the edge of the wheel. I prefer to change my ball joints when the play exceeds 1/32" or .03125".
    My 1997 Explorer XLT V8 had 140,000 miles on the original ball joints when I replaced the Lower Ball Joints, they had .035" play. The Upper Ball Joints still have no play to this day at 155,000 miles.
    My 2000 Explorer XLT V8 had 128,000 miles on the original ball joints when I checked the Lower Ball Joints in October of 2006, they had .030" play. They will be due to be changed in the fall of 2007. I already have the new ball joints on the shelf in the garage, ready to go. The Upper Ball Joints still have no play to this day at 138,000 miles.
    Both of these vehicles seem to be averaging about the same amount of life out of the Lower Ball Joints, about 7 years/140,000 miles.
    When you buy the new Ball Joints, buy the "better ones", the $35 ones, not the $16 ones. And be sure that they have the Grease Fitting on the bottom, a good name brand like MOOG or TRW, AND BE SURE that you lube them with synthetic grease at each oil change, and you will never have to replace them again. Autozone will rent you the remover/install tool for free when you buy the ball joints from them. You just pay a deposit of about $110, and they refund it when you bring it back with the receipt. Or you can just keep the tool if you want. I kept mine since I have several cars to work on, mine, wifes, and the kids.
    Good Luck,
    E.D. ISF
  • jbny2076jbny2076 Posts: 1
    Hi Everyone,

    I have an issue with my explorer. It is a 2003 XLT. If i have the car on and the A/C on and the blower is on 2,3, or 4 the Hazard lights light up on my dash, the radio light dims, the blower will not work and the car will not shift from park. If i shut off the A/C and put the blower back on 1 the radio light goes back to normal, the hazard lights go off and the car will shift from park. This is really starting to bother me. The car seems to do this ever once in a while, but now has been doing it for 2-3 days straight. Anyone had this issue or know what may be causing this? Could a fuse cause all that?
  • 98explorer98explorer Posts: 8
    I have a terrible sound coming from the front drivers side wheel. We've been told it's the wheel bearing. I guess it's not possible to just replace the front wheel bearing. I've been told that you have to replace the whole hub assembly(?) They said the part is like $170!! (auto zone) but someone else said that it may just need lubricated, but can't get to the bearing to do that. If anyone has any idea what I'm talking about or any advice, please let me know. Thanks.
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    If it's a 4 wheel drive, then you would have a halfshaft coming from the transmission out to the wheel (which has a set of bearings in it in the CV constant velocity joint), and then that halfshaft end would be connected to the hub/rotor which would have the wheel bearings in it.

    If you can hear it, it's undoubtedly too late and you're going to need to replace whatever is defective before it totally tears itself up. I suspect it's the CV joint half shafts.
  • zibbydszibbyds Posts: 1
    I also have a 98 4wd Explorer. I have abot 130,000 miles on it and just recently w/in the past few months had to replace my hub assembly on the drivers side, passenger was about 2 yrs before that. If you jiggle (l to R) the steering wheel back n forth can you hear something loose?? Have someone do that and you go under and hold on to the tie rod end, if the noise stops you need that replaced as well as the hub assembly. Check at the Advanced Auto Parts web site, I know mine was cheaper than what you said. I believe my tie rod went bad sooner than it should have because I let the hub assembly get so bad. Was very noisy. Also another thing that I have replaced lately is the sway bar link bolts, I had one broke and that i'm sure didnt help with other things wearing unevenly.
  • alman08alman08 Posts: 282
    ok... after checking the oil numerous times, I can now feel pretty safe. Oil is in oil color again. And I will never go back to Vacaville Ford in northern CA for any service again.
  • jefferygjefferyg Posts: 418
    I bought a 94 Explorer recently and the driver's door is sagging, making it hard to close. I've checked on the cost of replacing the hinges, but I also saw on ebay that you can get a hinge pin and bushing set to repair the old hinges. The cost for the pin and bushing set is a little over $10. The cost for the uppper hinge from my local Ford dealer is about $25 and $45 for the lower hinge. I'm sure I can get some from a salvage yard for less, but I'm not sure it's worth the hassle.

    I would like to know if any of the rest of you have experienced this problem, and if so, how did you go about fixing it?
  • jodar96jodar96 Posts: 400
    My 2003 Explorer XLT has been acting up with the "door ajar" light staying on in the dash when I know all the doors are shut. Does anyone know where the switch or the relay for this feature is? There are no little contact switches on the door frames like the old cars to pull out, clean or replace.

    This issue is also causing the door chime to stay on when all doors are shut and the key is left in the ignition.

  • amber10amber10 Posts: 1
    My 1991 ford explorer keeps dying on me while im drivng when i take my foot off the gas. the battery died a couple days ago but i charged it up. do i just need a new battery or is it something else?
  • Replacing the hinges is a lot of work. It is much easier and cheaper to replace the hinge pins. Its a good fix. Just be sure to oil the hinge pins on all doors at least at every oil change. If they had been oiled before, they would not have went bad and the door would not have sagged.
    Good Luck,
    E.D. ISF
  • First, You need to check the volts at the battery. Get a digital volt-ohm meter. Check all the battery and wire connections, make sure that they are clean and tight. Then connect the voltmeter across the battery terminals. With the engine off, you should read about 12.5 to 12.7 volts. Start engine and let idle, you should read 13.0 to 14.3 volts. If lower than this, rev the engine up a little and see if the voltage rises. Next turn on the headlights, A/C and windshield wipers, volts should stay above 13.0, if not see if the voltage rises if you rev the engine a little.
    If your initial voltage is very low with the engine off, the battery needs charging or is bad.
    If the voltage is low with the engine running, the alternator is bad or there is a problem with the wiring. Does your battery or Alternator light on the dash light up?
    If the voltages are good with the engine running but the battery goes dead, the battery is bad or there is something draining the battery, get it tested with a LOAD TESTER at an auto parts house. They will test your battery and alternator for free.
    Good Luck,
    E.D. ISF
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