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Ford Explorer Maintenance and Repair



  • I'm thinking about purchasing a used Explorer Sport 41,000 miles from a dealership. Any comments regarding reliability/repairs/dislikes, etc.
  • emt480emt480 Posts: 2
    I bought my '94 EB Explorer in Wisconsin when it had 63,495 miles on it. The front end problem started at around 70,000 miles and the A/C,radiator problems at around 73,500 miles and it is now at 75,300. I also drive a F250 so I don't put many miles on either truck. My question to the service manager is; Why didn't he advise me at the time that the repairs were covered by warranty,when the warranty in fact comes up the computer screen when he views the trucks history? I have yet to get a call back from the dealer.
  • masonmimasonmi Posts: 148
    It doesn't sound like that dealers service department was fair, you'd think they would have fixed all of your problems before the warranty would have expired, I would seek out another Ford dealership for future work if i were you, seems that particular one was just out to make some bucks.
  • yeah, when i was signing the financing, they brought up the warrenty coverages, which i was prepared for. For $16 bucks a month additional to my payments, it's worth it. I talked to a few people about them before I bought my vehicle, they said if you plan on keeping the vehicle for a while, the 6 year/60 was the way to go. Most of the stuff that fails after that won't be covered anyway because it would be considered wear and tear. Fortunately for me , my father has been dealing the the service department at the dealership for years and years, like my buisness, they are a family buisness and ususually you can find a way to be satisfied. Most of the repair shops other than dealerships in my area are refered to as "Slick and Son" operations, and they take you for their own ride!!!
  • My check engine light went on in my Explorer and I took it to a Mechanic, and he said that it was a P1000 or T1000 Error, I don't remember the exact letter to the error. I asked him what it was and he said that it is nothing and that he could not fix it. I was told that I would have to take it to the dealer and have them re-program my chip. Has anyone else had this problem before with the check engine light not going off? It is a pain in the butt, and I know the dealer will charge me an arm and a leg to fix.
  • sportinsportin Posts: 1
    Hello all, I Just bought a 99 explorer sport 4x4 and I'm wondering if I should buy the extended warranty. I have six months/ 6000 miles left on the original warranty it came with. It has 30000 miles on it now and I can extend it from ford for $1,540 up to 75,000/6years. Right now I don't think I am going to purchase it. Isn't after the 75,000 miles when stuff starts to go wrong? will I be wasting my money? It's a lot of money and I'm hoping I just bought a nice truck with out problems.
  • sadatxsadatx Posts: 70
    I bought a used 98 4x4 EB and I paid about $1100 for 100K/6Yrs. I got the premium care warranty. I'm not sure what kind of warranty you might me purchasing but if would like to keep the truck for a while, defenitely buy the extended warranty. Better to be safe than sorry. Explorers need a lot of tlc. There have been issues with explorers. I'm sure you can see that with the previous 2 million posts.

    Good luck!!
  • mazman1mazman1 Posts: 229
    I bought the ESP warranty and I definitely think it was worth it, although I did not enjoy dropping the extra $1300 (!!!) for it. There is a lot of things that are reported on this site about owners that have issues with Tranny's and engine malfunctions that are covered under the warranty.... keep in mind that one tranny repair will cover the cost of the warranty.

    Good luck.
  • njdevilsrnnjdevilsrn Posts: 185
    Well, my truck was at my dealer for 48 hours this week to have them tell me that I only get 14mpg in my 2000 XLS with the 4.o OHV (6 cylinder) because I have a bug shield on the hood and vent visors on the window. Their diagnostics reveal the truck is running "on specs". I told them I found that to be odd as my two previous Explorers had the same accessories, but the 4.o SOHC engine, and I made about 17mpg. Oh well...

    The service writer also told me that they do not recommend putting a fuel system cleaner in a vehicle prior to 30,000 miles - no reason why.

    I guess I might have to try another brand/grade of fuel. So far I've used 87 octane of Shell, Amoco, and Exxon. The only other big chains around here are Mobil (aka Exxon?) and Sunoco. Perhaps I will kick it up to the 89, but I remember hearing that the Explorer is designed to run on 87. Any opinions?
  • rysterryster Posts: 564
    14mpg does not seem that unusual for a 4.0 OHV Explorer. I too have a '00 XLS with this engine. My parents have a '00 Mountaineer with the 4.0 SOHC engine.

    I average anywhere from 14mpg to 20mpg on a weekly basis in mixed driving. I see 14-16 much more often than I see 17-20mpg. The main issue I have is that the fuel gauge isn't the most accurate thing in the world. When it reads Empty, there is still 4 or 5 gallons in the tank. I have had other vehicles like this, so it is more of just a very small nuisance than anything else.

    My parents average 15-17mpg with their 4.0 SOHC Mountaineer, so the mileage is very similar to the 4.0 OHV engine.

    Extended warranties - I learned a long time ago that extended warranties are a waste on new vehicles. The manufacturers will refund the unused portion of the warranty should you sell or trade the car, but the refund is minimal. Generally the extended warranty runs concurrently with the standard bumper to bumper. When you trade the vehicle and request a refund, you are given a minimal refund. They take into consideration both time and mileage when they calculate a refund. If you keep the car 3-yrs and then request a refund they will automatically consider the extended warranty "used" for 3-yrs. Similarly, if you buy a 6/60 warranty, and put 50,000miles on the car in 3-yrs, you will end up with a refund for the remaining 10K miles you did not use the warranty. A great deal for the manufacturers as they charge approximately $1,000 for a warranty you will likely never use on the new car. If they need to issue a refund, you end up with $150 and a "thank you".

    They make much more sense on used vehicles for which you are concerned about how the vehicle was maintained.
  • jhamnerjhamner Posts: 1
    I just traded my '94 XLT for a '98 XLT with 4 wheel drive. I had them put my tires on it because they had some really chewed up Freestones (225R75/15) on the the '98. I put 235R75/15 Wranglers on but the dealer told me that was not the stock tire. This is the only size I've seen on Explorers. Any truth in this? Also I've never owned a 4X4 before. Is there any special care needed?
  • rysterryster Posts: 564
    It is true that 235/75 15 is not the stock size in the sense that it is an upgraded tire size from the factory. The standard OE tire size for those who do not opt for the 235/15 is, I believe, a 215/15 or 225/15 size. I can't recall the aspect ratio...However, most Explorers ship from the factory with the 235/15 tires, that is why they are so common...
  • ace10ace10 Posts: 137
    on an exploder is an absolute necessity is you get one of the numerous explorer DOGS that f.o.r.d. puts out. if you feel lucky then do ahead and don't take it. does it make you wonder why someone wanted to ditch a '99? it most likely wasn't because it was off lease like with a '98. one tranny rebuild is at least $2,500. i know, ours went at 26K miles. along with a few other, MAJOR warranty claims, past the initial 6 month warranty.

    by the way, $1,540 sounds quite high.

    as to mileage... our '97 p.o.s. exploder 4.0 ohv with firestone at's was getting 13 to 14 in mixed driving. switched to michelins m/s and the mileage is now right around 15 in mixed driving.

    as to engine malfunction codes... if you are positive that the code is not serious, you can generally clear it by disconnecting the battery for a couple of moments. you will lose the radio presets, but the dash light should stop blinking.

  • fordonlyfordonly Posts: 1
    My husband just bought a new 2001 Sport Trac and his check engine light is on. When he gets back from an extended trip he will have it fixed. My 1994 Limited had a check engine light problem while towing a trailer from the Midwest to the Southwest. After we unhooked the trailer the check engine light went out and I have not seen the light anymore. I now see the ABS(?) light ever so often. I ignore it as it is on only occasionally. It seems to be a computer glitch. There are many different computers on a Ford and it is not uncommon to see a glitch. I bought the extended warranty when I bought the car new and I really am sorry that I threw the money away. I was only able to use it twice and they were minor problems. They only would have cost me a few dollars. I am now advertising this car for sale as I have bought a new 2002 Limited which is suppose to be in soon. I would only own Fords after talking to non Ford repairman. They tell me that every SUV has some problems and that the Ford has the least. It seems that the Ford problem is the Brakes having to be replaced. Also when you take your Ford in for the major checkups and they give you a set price for everything, tell them you also want them to figure it by the hourly rate. My husband insisted I do this and it saved me several hundred dollars using the hourly rate.
  • after a good foot and a half of snow from two consecutive storms up here in the north east, i've been using 4 wheel drive alot naturally. I have a 2000 sport with the electronic transfer case. I noticed yesterday that naturally when you put it knob to 4x4 high, the 4x4 high lights up on the instrument panel, when you move it to 4x4 low, the 4x4 high light stays on. If you move it from auto straight to 4x4 low, the light doesn't come on at all. Any ideas???
  • zman3zman3 Posts: 857
    Are you putting the vehicle in neutral when you try to put it in 4 Lo? I don't believe that it will go into 4 Lo with the vehicle in driving gear. I wouldn't bet my life on this, but I think this is how my '95 behaves.
  • mazman1mazman1 Posts: 229

    You are probably not engaging the Low range gear if you turn the knob while in Drive. I dont know why the light does not come on for 4x4 high, but it works fine on my truck.


    I agree with you 1000%. The warranty is a bet, and if you have a big repair, you win. If you dont have a big repair, they win the bet. But, (and this is mentioned in FORD has been putting quality control is job 100 for the past 3 years... I hope I don't have the aggravation that some of the posters here have had with their vehicles. but I can tell from the sounds that my tranny and rear axles make that they are going to give me problems soon.. and by the way, the dealer repair shop says that there is nothing wrong...


    Tires on all explorers built since 1996 have either 235/70R15 or 255/75R16 on them. The bigger ones go on the Eddie Bauer and Sport with premium Sport group.

    Tires on 1st Generation Explorers were 215/70R15 or 23570R15 (built between 1990-1995)


    Its ok to use gumout in your gastank, just dont go crazy with the stuff. It also should ride best on 87 octane.. you will get poorer gas milage with higher octane (the reason is a long story)... also maybe try a different gas station.
  • stewertstewert Posts: 18
    ZMAN 3,
  • I recently bought a 94 Explorer Eddie Bauer with 92000 miles on it. After having a lot of maintenance work done and performing some myself (tune-up, filters, brakes, fuel inj, intake, throttle body, radiator flush and fill, tranny service, power window switch, plug wires, oil) I still am unable to find the source of an annoying problem.

    After I bought it I began to notice a vibration in the steering wheel and can actually feel the front end shake at certain speeds..mostly highway. I had the old tires balanced..helped a little. At the recommendation of Sears I replaced all four with 235/75R15 Pirelli Scorpions. They balanced and added weights on the outside as well as inside of the aftermarket rims. It pretty much went away but is still present. Now they say "Maybe a bent axle"?

    What should I do to make this vibration go away?
  • marlin77marlin77 Posts: 14
    if you plan on keeping your truck, by all means get the warranty. my 96 with 73k has been repaired to well over the 900 i paid for it. and by many of the messages here, the 96 was one of the better years. and, the price of warranties ARE NOT CUT IN STONE. you can negotiate with any dealer for the best price. I purchased mine from a linc/merc dealer who beat my dealers price by 200 bucks.

    TIRES: went from my original 235-75x15 to a wider 255-70x15, much better handling. this size is acceptable for the explorer.
  • sjk1sjk1 Posts: 5
    The O/D off light on my 95 Explorer with 65000 miles started flashing continuously today. The local Ford service cant get to it for 10 days. Anyone know what this typically is - should I park it for 10 days?
  • sjk1

    I too have a 95 Explorer with about 65000 miles and my overdrive light is flashing as well. I'm taking it in this week so I don't know what the problem is. It's been on for a while but I've been driving it anyway. I don't know whether something is really wrong with the car or it's just a computer glitch. The check engine light comes on once in a while too. As of right now I'm ignoring it but I might have to pay the price later.
  • 99fordeb99fordeb Posts: 2
    I purchased a 99 Ford Explorer AWD Eddie Bauer last week and within 7 days the O/D light started flashing. It seems that I cannot switch the overdrive off light to normal overdrive. It says in the owners manual that it should switch back to normal overdrive when the car is restarted. Not the case here. I am curious to know the cause and hopefully a remedy before I get reemed at the dealership. Advice wanted.
  • mazman1mazman1 Posts: 229
    Why would you get reemed, its under warranty, isnt it? Take it back where you bought it and have them check it out.
  • 99fordeb99fordeb Posts: 2
    No warranty, it has 65,000 miles on it. Dealer had 1,000 mile/30 day warranty which has already passed as I have already driven it over 1,500 miles. Did notice some fluid on my garage floor. Didn't know if the leaking of this fluid would cause the light to blink.
  • swn1swn1 Posts: 27
    What you have there is what is called an, "it does it." I have a '91 EB Explorer and no matter what I do to fix the problem at exactly 67 mph I will get a noticeable but not severe vibration. I've been told it has something to do with the motor mounts but even replacing them it will probably still do it. After 244,000 miles and climbing with no major problems, engine, tranny, etc., I'll live with it. I do notice it gets worse as the shocks start to go so you may want to replace them.
  • ace10ace10 Posts: 137
    most likely scenario is that the torque converter, among other things is finished. that's why the dealer can't get to it for ten days. it's a two day job to replace the tranny. when our o/d light was blinking the svc mgr reserved a loaner car and a ordered new(rebuilt) tranmsission, without even looking at the car. there were other syymptoms, though. the tranny took about five biz days to come in. this was on our babied '97 with 26K/40 months. thank you extended warranty.

    if you are sensing any vibration from the car that is newly present, or the transmission is shifting oddly or roughly, or it is dropping out of gear, then the tranny is definitely gonzo.

    it shouldn't hurt anything to continue driving it, but i wouldn't be anywhere that i couldn't call a tow truck. stay local. is the transmission current on servicing???? does it have fluid? maybe the light is telling you to do some regular maintenance??? maybe?

  • sjk1sjk1 Posts: 5
    Thanks for the reply. It is shifting roughly with a very noticable downshift when approaching stoplights. I just had the 60000 servicing so regular maintenance should be fine. Looks like I'll be spending my tax return money on a transmission. Bummer.
  • ace10ace10 Posts: 137
    when decellerating is a dead give-away. has it dropped out of gear at all? be midful of that. it can and does happen, sometimes at really bad times. i have to turn left across a busy 4 lane road to get to my street. it dropped out twice in that situation. oh what a rush! just put in neutral and and try drive again....

    the going rate for a complete tranny job (rebuilt tranny housing and mostly new guts) should be in the $2,500 to $3,000 range form a f.o.r.d. dealer.

    good luck,

  • sjk1sjk1 Posts: 5
    Thanks for the reply. It is shifting roughly with a very noticable downshift when approaching stoplights. I just had the 60000 servicing so regular maintenance should be fine. Looks like I'll be spending my tax return money on a transmission. Bummer.
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