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Ford Explorer Maintenance and Repair



  • You might find my previous posts about my fuel problems. In a nutshell my '99 (like the other person that replied to your post) would always have trouble starting if 1/4 tank or below and parked on incline with nose of car below the tail. Happened many times. Tough when far from gas station or hard to push the car up and out of a parking spot to the level ground. Anyway, Ford techs said just keep more than 1/4 tank of gas at all times. Not easy for me.

    Problem has been solved. I have been redeemed! No more stalls or starving at start. I also had stalling when coming off freeway (high speed to low) with nose pointing down.

    My case was this - pulled tank - stem of fuel pump/sending unit combo was snapped/broken allowing that stem to float with full tank or fly around with empty tank. Also had crack in the hose that sucked up the fuel - probably had bad suction. AAAAaaaaaaaaaaaand - there is a small plastic reservoir that is attached to the gas tank, within the tank. It holds some fuel and I assume that fuel can stay in the res. and feed the pump when the tank around it has a low level of fuel. That res. is pressed in. Mine became loose and moved from where it should be. It was floating and banging around in the tank. Would hear it clanging around when stopping suddenly. That res. moving probably snapped the stem and broke it off. For me I wouldn't have known that unless I pulled the tank. Hope you get this solved.

    Oh, and the Ford parts counter helped me see a schematic of the tank. You might ask them to show you to see if you have a reservoir w/in the tank. That res. is not sold separately. A new tank is an arm and a leg. I got a used one from the junk yard. Came off a Ford Explorer or maybe a comparable Mercury Mountaineer. Once again I can go loooooow and almost run out of gas if I want :) .

    Another test might be to let the tank go low. Park w/nose pointing down but in a place where it's clear to coast to the level. Usually if I was in such a place I could turn key on but not crank engine, unlock steering, put gear in neutral, coast to level, wait a bit and then it would start and get me to the gas station.
  • shaigshaig Posts: 14
    Thanks everyone for the suggestions. It also seemed odd to me that the brakers failed. On questioning my wife further, she allowed that the car might have stalled.

    At the service station, they pulled the codes and those indicated that the car had indeed stalled. Our service rep told us that we needed to get the PCM software upgraded.
    That seems to have covered it. BTW, the car had a nearly full tank of gas at the time. Last weekend I tried to reproduce it, at the same driveway again, with less gas in tank and it was fine.
  • rchildrchild Posts: 1
    How do you remove the fuel filter on a 94 Ford explorer? There is a clamp on the hose that I haven't seen before. Once it is pushed on it has backward facing spikes that don't allow it to be removed. What is the trick to removing so a new one can be installed?
  • jodar96jodar96 Posts: 400
    First make sure, you disconnect the battery...

    The plastic retainer tabs are designed to hold the male quick connect upset on fuel filter stems. To disconnect, you can buy a set of fuel line discconect tool set at Sears at about $10. You put the tool over fuel filter stems, and slide inside the quick connect. That disengages the plastics locking tabs from locking upset on fuel filter stems.

    There so many different quick connect designs on fuel lines that is tough to say how to disengage one by hand. I have some small quick disconnect tools. E-mail me your address and I will send a 3/8" and a 5/16" tool. I think the fuel supply line has a 3/8" OD.

    Lubricate the ends of fuel filter with some motor oil to prevent cutting the O-rings in fuel line connectors.

  • Anyone has any experience good or bad with replacing engine on explorers? Mine has 130K miles on it and I have been told that it might be burning antifreeze which means that there might be a crack some where. I am leaning more towards buying a lower miles engine and replace the it instead of changing indivdual parts on this one (which may never end). I want to drive this car for another 50K miles.
    Appreciate any input/experience/suggestion
  • shark715shark715 Posts: 382
    My mechanic is telling me that the evaporator is leaking refrigerant, and that the leak is so significant a recharge would likely only last a month or two. He is quoting $900 for the repair because he says the entire dashboard will need to be removed to replace the evaporator, and this will require nearly a full day's labor. Is that correct, and does the $900 sound like a resonable price? Thanks.
  • fixitrodfixitrod Posts: 67
    1998 V8 Eddie Bauer w/ steering wheel controls only blows at high speeds for AC. It does not matter which control is used(steering wheel or console) but the fan has to be turn toward the maximum before the air comes out and then it is at high speed. So is the problem at the fan motor or some switch and how can I fix this because its an annoying noise to talk over. Any suggestions as to where to start looking.
  • Greetings, has anyone had issues with this type of thing before? On occasion from a complete stop the car will not move out of first gear, revs to about 4000-5000 rpm and eventually moves to 2nd gear. In the case when I was in Las Vegas it remained in 1st gear for about three hours, even after the engine was off for a period of time in between to give it rest. The sound it makes it that it's wheezing or there is a vacuum. Vegas could not look at it since it was on a Saturday but they said that it was a heat problem. I took it to my local dealer in LA twice and am going there again today. The computer is not picking up a problem. They diagnosed it as a "computer problem" previously, but that didn't fix it, this problem is still exists and occurs more often, randomly day or night and it has not been warm here. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  • This sounds like the same problem I have having with my 2006 v6 explorer, esecially the whizzing sound. However this happens to my car after accelerating from a full stop and at random times (on the road for a period of time or just getting on the road) with random weather (hot or cool) but normal driving conditions. My car has a shade over 37K miles. Going on another frustrating trip back to the Ford dealership as I have been there twice for the same issue. Thanks for any guidance anyone can provide.
  • Will your car get stuck in first gear and eventually move to 2nd? I seem to have a similar problem and and trying to diagnose it to explain to the dealership to fix. Please advise. Thanks!
  • jefferygjefferyg Posts: 418
    I read a post about a similar problem a number of months ago. I believe it was on the Ranger Maint and Repair Forum. You could go there a do a search and perhaps find your answer. IIRC the problem was in the main fan switch.
  • gyatesgyates Posts: 55
    Probably the fan motor resistor. It is a small rectangle piece that mounts on the blower motor, or at least it is on my Taurus, which did the exact same thing a year ago. The part is cheap, and an easy fix. The resistor is what allows the motor to run on lower speeds by lowering the amount of electrical charge the gets to the blower. The Taurus resistor was under the dash, behind the glove box. Easy to get to. Has an electrical connector to it.
  • Got back from a weekend of boating, which i used the explorer to tow the boat. it was a long ways, mostly uphill, so i had to keep it about 2500-3000 rpm's on average. when we got there i noticed it ticking, below 1200 rpm. its not too loud, but im assuming its the lifters. theres also horrible clatter when it bogs before kickdown or whatever. i used chevron supreme for this trip. what i really want to know is can the lifters be adjusted/tightened down, or do ya got to take it in and have it redone?
    at 220000 miles and original tranny, would it be smart to replace them even if they can be adjusted?
  • fordsonfordson Posts: 4
    Hi!! Great forum!! I have a '96 eb exp..not a big deal, but the lombar support in the seat pumps up , stays ok for about 2 min, then seems to deflate. is there an easy fix for this, or does the seat have to come out? thank you...
  • You have the 4.0L V6 OHV engine, the hydrualic lifters are not adjustable. Since you have high mileage, it comes down to how good is the general engine condition, the general health of the engine, and has all regular maintenance been kept up on this vehicle? If the engine is in good health and regular maintenance has been maintained, you may be able to restore normal or better preformance by using some motor oil additives. You need to assure that the parts have a good oil flow to them, then possibly use higher viscosity oils and additives to make up for any leakdown caused by excessive wear. The lifters may be sticking, so don't add anything that can clog the passagways, do not use anything that has teflon additives. What type oil and filter are you using now, and how often do you change it? Check the health of the engine first. Check the manifold vaccum, it should be good, then check the cylinder compression - they should run about 160 to 180 and all be within 20% of each other. Check the oil pressure with a gauge to be sure you have good oil pressure at idle and at speed. Oil pressure less that 25 pounds with engine fully warmed up and idling is to low. If the engine is weak, check into it further, you can't make a bad engine run good. If the engine is good and strong, it may just need to be cleaned out. Pour in a quart of good engine cleaner in the crankcase, like Marvel Mystery oil, run that for a few days and see if it helps, if not add another quart of Marvel Mystery Oil and run a few more days. You should change your motor oil over to a good quality synthetic oil such as Mobile One or Valvoline SynPower and use a heavier oil since you have high mileage, like a 15W-50 or 20W-50. If the noise still persists after the next 5,000 mile oil change, you may need to replace the lifters.
    Good Luck,
    E.D. ISF
  • clarke3clarke3 Posts: 1
    Did you ever find out what was causing this? I have a Explorer with the same problem. The front end seems to be pulling at slow speeds, especially at intersections.
  • jodar96jodar96 Posts: 400
    I don' think it is the grinding tires. It could be the clutch plate pack that sticks together and gives the feel of grinding tires or the shudder feel.

    My 2003 Explorer XLT sport 4x4 with 57K miles was doing this when I turned the wheel slightly and took off from stop, or when I was pulling in my driveway. Under my $800 extended powertrain warranty, the dealer replaced Trac lock clutches, ring & pinion, and all bearings . It appeared that the items were replaced under several TSB numbers.

  • fixitrodfixitrod Posts: 67
    Thanks for your message, could you remember if the fix was the fan motor resistor? anyway is the Ranger forum an Edmunds or different site?
  • jefferygjefferyg Posts: 418
    yes, I believe it was the resistor, and yes, the Ranger forum is on edmunds. Just use the browse by vehicle tab on the left and it will get you to the listing of Ranger discussions.

    BTW, the A/C motor on my 94 Explorer was giving me trouble a few days ago. Everytime I switched it to MAX the fan motor seemed to slow down. It turns out a plastic bag had gotten sucked up under the dash and was blocking the inlet. Fortunately it was too big to get into the fan motor. I pulled it out and it's been working great ever since.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Here's the link: Ford Ranger Maintenance and Repair

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • Thanks for the reply. I've never had a problem with the engine before, and the ticking and clatter started after i towed the boat. I change the oil and filter about every 3000-4000 miles, using Calstrol GTX High Mileage. About 15000 miles ago I had a mechanic look the drive train over, because i was about to sell it. He said everything looked fine, sounded strong, was pulling near factory HP and Torque numbers. Always fires up first turn of the piston and idles as good as new. Before I replaced the radiator about 5500 miles ago, it would over heat all the time towing or on the freeway. This Marvel Mystery Oil, where can I find it and is it expensive?
    Thanks :)
  • gconnorgconnor Posts: 1
    1994 Explorer with 175,000 miles. Have owned since purchase and motor is in excellent condition. At times when engaging the ignition switch the engine will crank but not start. I can hear when it does not start the fuel pump not engaging or running when turning the ignition key. Have had the car stop one time in last year and after a few attempts to start it I would finally hear the fuel pump engage and the car started. This last time I went out to the vehicle and it would not start. Cranked over but could not hear the fuel pump engage. Had to have it towed to the shop to get it checked out. When they checked it out the next morning it started with no problem. The shop has no fix for something they cannot track. Have read in this forum that it could be vapor lock, but it doesn't seem to be related to a specific temperature of the day and it does not occur often. Do not know where to start.
  • looking to purchase a 07 explorer limited (zip 90049). with x-plan and few options (moon roof, running boards) cost is $30,200. Since its 07 model cani get them down further and use incentives with 0% apr (not sure if 0% is for 48 months). I have excellent credit
  • jefferygjefferyg Posts: 418
    0.0% APR financing for 36 months
    2.9% APR financing for 48 months
    3.9% APR financing for 60 months
    5.9% APR financing for 72 months

    You also can get $2007 cash back in addition to the low interest financing. If you don't take the low apr you can get an additonal $1000 cash back for a total of $3700. I've seen better incentives from Ford in the past.

    The main thing to watch for is that you get the best deal you can get and then take off the rebate. Dealers will sometimes try to put the rebate on the front end making you think you're getting a better deal than you actually are.

    There are also a lot of variables you didn't give here. Is it RWD or AWD? V6 or V8? Which running boards are you talking about?

    I'd go to and look at their new car pricing and True Market Value reports. It's not hard to navigate.

    Good luck!
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    X-plan rules prevent the dealer from going any lower on x-plan purchases.

    Sometimes, at the end of the model year, you might get a dealer to do slightly better but if the Dealer does, then they are not submitting it to X-plan and getting the commission. (or they are and they are hopeing they won't get audited in the next 2 years. This means they are going to be taking a really really crappy deal.

    There is nothing about the Explorer that you described that suggest that a dealer should take a really crappy deal on it. For instance its not one of the Orange Ironman editions.

    The Whole point of X-plan is to provide the plan member with a great low price and the CONVENIENCE of not having to haggle.

  • The Marvel Mystery Oil is cheap, I think less that $5.00 for a 16 oz can, readily available at most auto parts houses. The can is red with black lettering, I haven't used any in years. Use that first to try to loosen the hydraulic lifters. I have never needed any additive anymore since I started using Synthetic Motor Oil in all my Vehicles, since about 1998. I highly recommend that you use the MMO and then change your oil to Synthetic, use a 20W-50 or a 15W-50 (about $5 to $6 Qt) since you have high milage. If you live in a cold climate, use thinner oil in the winter. I also recommend that you use a Synthetic Oil Filter, I use the Purolator PURE ONE, about $6. With this oil and filter, you can extend your oil change intervals to 7,500 miles, that is what I do, one explorer has 160K miles and the other has 145K miles. I can run my vehicles pass 200,000 miles with no problem, they still run like new with no problems. It is a very good thing you put on the new radiator, because heat will kill the engine and transmission faster than anything. If you have an automatic transmission, be sure to change the fluid every 30,000 miles or sooner.
    Good Luck,
    E.D. ISF
  • I added some Marvel Mystery Oil the other day, no difference yet. I always use a Fram oil filter, seems to work fine. I had no choice but to replace the radiator, I was over heating about every other day for almost 10000 miles. :blush:
    Thanks for the reply
  • 2002 Exp with 70,000 miles. If wheels are turned almost to full travel and I accelerate from a stop, there is a clunk or brief knocking sound from wheel area. Never does it any time except when wheels are turned and start off too fast. Has been doing this for more than one year and does not seem any worse. What could this be?
  • I am getting a 94 ford explorer 4X4. The engine is out and in pieces. Could anybody help me with some pics of the front end and the engine??? The motor is bare. I have to put oil pan, power steering pump, alt, ect... on it. PLEASE HELP..
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    go to, and sign up for the factory Ford manuals online. It's cheap for a couple days authorization, and you can print whatever pages you need.
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