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Ford Explorer Maintenance and Repair



  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    wow...that is quite the 'workaround'. Not sure I could be satisfied with that fix, but I applaud your ingenuity.
  • frangebfrangeb Posts: 1
    I have a 4-door, 6 cyl. '02 Explorer with about 48,000 miles on it. On a recent trip a warning light came on on the panel saying "Service Engine Soon". The only obvious symptom of trouble was that the engine would stumble like it was going to stall when I slowed down for a stop sign. However, it never did actually stall and there were no other trouble signs. I drove another 300 miles or so in getting home with no problem . I took the Explorer to a reliable independent repair shop that did an electronic diagnosis and came up with a Code P1151 (if I'm reading the service invoice correctly) which corresponded to "unmetered air", an air leak, at the intake plenum (again, if I'm reading the invoice correctly). The service technician was not sure of his interpretation of the code.

    Has anyone had a similar experience? What was the final diagnosis and how much did it cost to fix it?
  • The instrument panel lights on my '04 Expl recently started to flicker - literally off... now back on. During this madness, the headlights are fully operable - no issue. CD player continues playing while dash lights are off - no issue. The clock on the CD player remains shining bright. Battery - brand new. I didn't try manually altering the dash panel lights while they were off, but works fine while they're on.

    Since nothing is dim or has been dimming, and seemingly "all" of the other electrical components are working, I can't figure out if it really is an alternator problem. Any suggestions?
  • Hi there ,got a 97 ford explorer and it suddenly has no bottom gear,i can drive it in 2 and drive but if i start in drive nothing happens just a faint noise from the box,any ideas Guys
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    It's not a systemic problem, it's a problem isolated to your panel lights. The fix, however, isn't cheap nor easy. The panel will probably need replacement. The only other possibility is a faulty reostat on the dimmer for the panel lights. That would be easier. This is a very very rare problem, but I'm sure that's not comforting, sadly.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Be sure an check the Honda Pilot Maintenance & Repair board, and take note of the people accessing their state's Lemon Laws regarding their may need to do the same.
  • cathilcathil Posts: 1
    Hi I have a 2002 explorer, the service engine soon light came on and I hear a rattling noise maybe coming from under the hood, also its seems to be running a little jerky.
  • It sounds like you need to get it into a service shop,Bye the way do people ever check the oil and water levels these days?The rattle you have ?well the Explorer has a timing chain but they dont give trouble on the newer ones,Have you looked under the hood to see if you can spot the rattle,Running Jerky well that can be a h/t lead braking down i know on the early Explorer 97/98 changing the spark plugs was like Night Mare on Elm Street.I honestly think that they where fitted before the Engine was into the car,
  • jmkuchenjmkuchen Posts: 1
    I have a 2003 Explorer (87,000miles). there are times that it will run extremely rough, it is almost like is will stall out. It does this while driving and while idling. It is the worst when I am sitting at a stop sign or light. The check engine soon light comes on and off. some days it is on and others it is off. Does anyone have any ideas as to what could be causing this. I have taken it and had it put on the computer. Usually it says system to lean, I have replaced 2 O2 sensors, spark plugs and wires, crank shaft sensor.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    The light is telling you that your engine is in trouble - the engine is running jerky, telling you that it is in imminent danger if FAILING!! Get that poor car to the dealer NOW, and have it checked out, before you do some irreparable damage to the car.
  • biomanbioman Posts: 172
    I just replaced the front rotors & pads on my daughter's 2002 Explorer XLT. Was looking for a way to adjust the parking brake. The 02 Explorer is quite different from my 99 XLT. Checked the www could find no reference for the parking brake adjustment on an 02 XLT. My 99 was a simple adjustment of the rear parking brake shoes. Did not find an adjustment slot on the 02. Thought I'd give this site a shot before going to purchase Chiltons.


  • tulsahogtulsahog Posts: 64
    On a 4.6L V8, I started to change the coolant and discovered there is no radiator cap. The only place to add coolant is the plastic recovery bottle and it is pressurized.

    Can a DIY'er do this or does it require special tools and procedures? Fortunately, I had not drained the coolant. Did I overlook something? The manual only says to add coolant at the bottle.
  • Ok,first never try to open the recovery bottle when the engine is hot,To check and add coolant this has to be done when the engine is cold,Firsy check the level in the bottle it should be about half way up,There is a line on the bottle and if the coolant is low then just top it up via the recovery bottle,If it is half full and you need to add Antifreeze fluid then you need to let out come water from the Recovery bottle hose,Hope this helps.GERRY
  • tulsahogtulsahog Posts: 64
    Gerry, thanks for the reply but I know how to add coolant. I wanted to change ALL the coolant that I could drain out and replace with new coolant (50/50 mix). There is no cap on the top of the radiator, and it does not look feasible to refill through the plastic bottle.

    Called the dealer service dept and they said they remove the top radiator hose and pump out the coolant and replace it using their equipment. He could not tell me how to do it without this special equipment. For 50 yrs I have been able to simply change coolant in cars, but maybe this is a casualty of newer vehicle technology.

    Has anyone actually changed the coolant in their garage on this or a similar Explorer?
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Pressurized recovery bottles have been around since before 1985, when Jeep Cherokees had them, along with many other cars. They are new to Ford, but not to everyone. It is feasible to refill through the bottle, but also just as easy to disconnect that top hose and do it there. It will work the same as an open radiator cap.

    The pressure bottle is safer, less likely to burn you. Personally, I don't like them either, and don't trust them, but amazingly, they do seem to work and hold up well. Just one more thing to explode IMO, but as I said, they are quite common now.
  • tulsahogtulsahog Posts: 64
    Thanks, nvbanker.

    It looks like I could drain the coolant and refill thru the recovery bottle. There is about a 1" dia hose from the bottom of the bottle to the bottom of the radiator and a small overflow hose to the top of the radiator. The small hose goes into the radiator just above the top radiator hose. So, I should be able to refill thru the bottle and the overflow hose should be a vent for trapped air as the radiator fills. Looks like if the Exp is on level ground, I could fill up to the cold mark in the bottle, then run the engine and recheck after cooling down.

    Please advise your thoughts on this method. Looks like this would be easier than removing the top radiator hose. The local dealer wants $118 to flush and refill. I realize this method does not flush the system, but I have had a bad experience with flushing in the past. It caused a heater core leak on an earlier vehicle.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Well, ahem; here's what I would do. I would open the petcock on the bottom of the radiator, and stick the hose in the top of the water bottle. Run until clear. Start the motor then and run until clear again, then drain and refill with coolant. It'll take a while, but it will work.
  • tk99tk99 Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 Explorer XLS. The door locks are not working properly. Both front doors do not reliably lock or unlock with the power door lock switch or the automatic lock. Both doors make a sound when the power door lock is activated but do not push the locking mechanism forcefully. Usually 3 or 4 tries with the switch are needed to get the door lock switch to move to the locked or the unlocked position. Has anyone else experienced this type of problem?
  • tulsahogtulsahog Posts: 64
    nvbanker, thanks again for you help. I drained the coolant and refilled per your instructions. Since only about 1/2 the system capacity drains, due to that in the engine, it is a guessing game as to how much full strength coolant to add. I guess if you could flush all the old stuff out, then you can determine that easily.

    One question came to mind. If I need to add more full strength to get to the right concentration, looks like I would need to drain the mixture until well below the bottom of the water bottle, then increase amount of full strength on refilling.

    Maybe a dumb question, but it looks like the coolant in the bottle doesn't get mixed with the rest, but is maintained at the level that is in the radiator and engine?
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Since only about 1/2 the system capacity drains, due to that in the engine, it is a guessing game as to how much full strength coolant to add. I guess if you could flush all the old stuff out, then you can determine that easily.

    Well, that's why I run the engine with the hose in and the petcock open until it runs clear - THEN I add full strength coolant, and "guess" it to be about 50/50 at that point. Is that what you did?
  • I have only had that problem with 1 door,With you it sounds like the solanoid that controls the the doors is either getting stuck or at least 1 of them is and not allowing the rest of the doors to lock/unlock your next proplem is locating the unit that controls the doors,Maybe some of the other Guys here might have a better answer,Regards Gerry
  • tuckerootuckeroo Posts: 1
    There is a plastic clips that hold the rod in place to lock and unlock your doors. they wear out,or break letting the rod have too much play to push or pull lock mechism. pull door panel and you'll find the problem. will have to plug switch back in so you can push it to see the problem.
  • Sounds like you have an intake manifold leak. If you have the V6, it could be the intake o-rings, a common problem.
  • Bad Dimmer Module
  • Your bad steering column issue is an old issue on this forum. It has happened to several people before. Do a search in this forum and you will find the posts about it and what to do about it. I seem to remember that they had to replace the entire steering column, and the part number was given.
  • bneinerbneiner Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 explorer, 8 cylinder, awd. Recently it started sputtering, backfiring and bogging down during exceleration. My check enging light is on and I get a code P0442 wich is the evap system. this code came up a few months ago but car just started running like this 2 weeks agos. Could a leak here be causing this or do I have another problem ??
  • The P0442 light starts as a small vacuum leak in the EVAP control system, usually caused by a loose gas cap or a small leak in a hose in the system, and does not usally cause any drivability problem.
    However, the problem CAN get BIGGER, and that is what happened to my 2000 V8 XLT in August 2006. My Explorer ran so bad the engine would not stay running unless I gave it the gas, and this came on suddenly. I could HEAR a vacuum sound when standing beside the vehicle, it came from near the left front wheel. Do you hear any kind of sound like a vaccum leak? Listen in front of the left front wheel, under the battery. My problem turned out to be a leaking Vacuum Purge Valve, located under the battery, with 2 large vacuum hoses, 1 small vacuum hose, and a 2 wire electrical connector connected to it. It seems that some corrosion or battery acid leaked down on it and ate part of the plastic away at the place where one of the large hoses connected to it, and created a small hole in it. I could hear the sound but not see it. To get to it, I had to remove the left front wheel, loosen the plastic inner fender cover and pull the front of it down so I could see the valve. I still could not see the problem, but I could hear the vacuum leak. I removed the 2 screws that held it on, and I found the hole on the backside. I took the vlave off and used epoxy glue to fix it, cured it with a heat lamp, and put it back on, No Leak!
    So maybe that could be your problem. If not, it might help someone else.
    Good Luck,
    E.D. in Sunny Florida
  • eckace1eckace1 Posts: 1
    I have a 92 explorer manual trans. I have no powersteering at idle but when I throttle up to above 2k rpm powersteering works fine. Is my problem the power steerng pump or the gearbox? Or is it somthing else? ThanksRobert
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Well, first, check the belt and see that it's properly tight. If it is, then check your fluid level and see it is full. If so, then your problem is the pump is getting old and losing efficiency at low revloutions. A rebuild or replacement of the pump should fix it. The rack rarely fails in these cars.
  • baby_ebaby_e Posts: 1
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