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Ford Explorer Maintenance and Repair



  • nick_cznick_cz Posts: 1
    Hi, I have a '94 Explorer sport with automatic four wheel drive. It engaged in 4wd earlier this week, but when i tried to take it back out it would not do anything, the lights on the dash and by the buttons are no longer lit up, but its still in 4wd.
    when I push the button, it does nothing, not even a sound from the actuator in the back. Nor do the lights light back up... I checked the fuses and they are all fine, I did both tests on the actuator its self and there is nothing wrong with it. I even tried replacing the push button on the dash with another used button, but still nothing. Does anyone have any ideas? Has this happened to anyone before?
  • Really? No chance she could be a real person experiencing something negative about the 2003 Explorer, same issue as a lot of other people?

    Granted she hasn't been back to check for replies, but sometimes that's how it works with people busy with life. Been there, done that.
  • jdevoigtjdevoigt Posts: 4
    Ok, so I have a 2003 Explorer and I have a BILLION problems with it! I will only name a few of them because I am not a novelist.

    To start, I had to replace the transmission at 72,500 miles! That ended up costing my wife and I $4,500 of which we couldn't afford and that was for a rebuild (I am starting to think that was a little high). Then, we get this huge crack up the back of the Explorer. I kind of anticipated it since I had seen it on many other Explorers before it happened to us. I haven't paid to have that fixed yet because I don't think that I should. Next, the O/D lights kept coming on. Come to find out the rebuilt transmission had problems too! This vehicle belongs in a scrap heap!

    I googled these problems and found that there are lots of people out there with the same ones. I found a websites that was helpful in making me feel like I wasn't alone;

    Anyone here want to buy a "real nice" piece of scrap metal???
  • Are you kidding...I got one myself but mine is a 2005 Explorer and the transmission went out at 42,000 miles. Not to mention my "leather" seats in the front begin to crack, my DVD player went out and had to replace (no I did not buy the $500 factory replacement), a bracket that holds my visor on the driver's side in place broke and the dealer doesn't sell that piece separately since it has the lighted mirror ($250.00). I bought the vehicle new and have 50,000 miles on it right now. I am holding my breath that nothing else happens. Don't bother to contact Ford because I am sure they already know about the transmission problems, at least from me anyhow. $4,500 is a lot for a rebuild transmission, I paid $2,200.
  • ajmtbmajmtbm Posts: 245
    if the crack is right below the liftgate glass take it to a dealer and see if you can get ford to fix it. it is a well documented and common problem, mine was fixed 2x, once in warranty and once out.
  • jdevoigtjdevoigt Posts: 4
    I feel embarrassed that I paid that much for the transmission. With all the other problems that I have had to pay to fix, you would think that they wouldn't take FURTHER advantage of me. I didn't really have the option to shop around at the time as I had a family emergency and was trying to take care of it over the phone with the repair shop.

    I wish you better luck than I had for the duration of your relationship with this heap!
  • As best as I can remember, the vacuum line may go to the PCV valve. The PVC is located on top of the engine, in the center, near the firewall. You can't see it, but you can feel the hose and the valve by inserting your hand down between the intake manifold and the firewall (with engine cold). I think that hose from the PCV comes towards the master brake cylinder, but turns with a plastic fitting towards the front of the engine. That plastic fitting may have broke or fell off. You may be able to see the hose or fitting with a small mirror.
    Good Luck,
  • I have not seen this crack, I had 4 Explorers and never had a crack. What year models does this crack apply to? Could you describe the crack, how big and where?
  • bucanolebucanole Posts: 18
    It happens on the 03 and 04's for sure, beyond that I cannot confirm, but it happens right above the rear windshield wiper. It looks like a 2 millimeter wide crack and runs from the top to the bottom of the plastic on the lift gate. It literally just happens one day, you don't have to use the wiper or anything, it just appears. Mine occured in Florida this year over a period of really cold then warm spell.

    For those with the door ajar notification, I appreciate the information, I'm going to try and get into my door panel this weekend. Any suggestions for properly getting the window and door lock control panels off without breaking the plastic clips holding them in place?
  • Saw you comments regarding "power mirror switch". Got one question for you. Can that switch be removed without removing the door panel.
  • Yes. The last ones I worked on was a 97 and 2000, you can release the electric mirror switch using a thin knife blade, carefully slip it between the top of the switch and the panel and you can push down the retaining clip and the switch will pop out.
  • jdevoigtjdevoigt Posts: 4
    Yeah, I have a friend who went through the same problem with the crack, but he said that the dealership refused to fix it. I would be dealing with the same a**holes so I already know that they won't fix mine.

    I am just looking to sell it now.
  • dmt4dmt4 Posts: 1
    Hi, I just made a dumb mistake. I have a 2004 V8 Ford Explorer Limited Edition. I turned my headlights on because it is drizzling rain and they did not come on automatically. Well since I never manually turn them on and off... I forgot and left them on. They were on for about 40 minutes. The battery died, I got a jump, and am leaving it run for at least a half hour. My question is.... did I kill the battery? Should I go replace it, or do you think I will be okay? Is there any way to tell? Thank you so much for your help!
  • 1. My question is.... did I kill the battery?
    Answer - This depends on the Age and Capacity of the battery. Compare the battery to a glass of water. The bigger the battery, the more water it holds. It is the same for the battery, the larger it is (more capacity), the more power it holds. As the glass can hold different levels of water, the battery can hold varying levels of power. Only thing is that you can't see the amount of power in the battery, like you can see the water in the glass. The battery capacity is not directly related to the physical size of the battery, it is the RATING of the battery that determines how much power it can hold. There are several terms for battery capacity that may be quite confusing to you, Cold Cranking Amps, Hot Cranking Amps, Reserve Capacity, etc. To compare apples to apples you need to use the same terms when comparing batteries, the Cold Cranking Amps is the oldest and most common, and easiest to understand. So the larger the Cold Cranking Amps, the more powerful the battery. The battery also loses power as it ages, due to chemical breakdown within the battery. Average battery life varies a lot, but 4 to 5 years is about average in normal service. The battery also loses power the more it is charged and discharged, it loses a little bit of life each time it is discharged, therefore a total discharge like you experienced will drain some life from the battery. You can charge it back up, but the amount of available power becomes less after each discharge, so that the power of the battery declines as time and use take there toll. Cold weather also weakens a battery.

    2. Should I go replace it?
    Answer - Maybe, depending on how much power is left in the battery.

    3. Is there any way to tell?
    Answer - Yes, the battery can be tested using a "LOAD TEST". You can take the vehicle to an auto parts store and have them "LOAD TEST" the battery. It is usually done for free, as they are hoping to sell you a battery. BE SURE that they FULLY CHARGE the battery BEFORE the LOAD TEST. Even a good battery will test bad if it is not fully charged. Remember the glass of water? An almost empty glass of water would test low, even if the glass is good. The standard rating for the load test is that the battery is good if it can put out at least HALF of it's COLD CRANKING AMPS rating without dropping below 9 1/2 volts. The LOAD TESTER does two things at the same time, it measures the voltage across the battery terminals AND it applies a variable load across the battery, so that the amps drawn from the battery can be increased and monitored while also monitoring the battery volts. An example would be, if your battery is rated at 600 Cold Cranking Amps, as the variable load is applied and increased across the battery, the amp meter will rise and the volt meter will start to drop, the amps should be 300 amps or more when the voltmeter gets down to 9 1/2 volts. This has to be done fairly quickly, because the heavy amperage can quickly overheat the wiring and battery. There are also several electronic type of battery testers. If the battery tests low, then it is time to replace the battery, even if the vehicle is cranking ok at the present time, because batteries have a way of going dead when you need them the most.

    4. Recommendation - If testing determines that you need to replace the battery, buy the largest capacity battery that you can get or afford. The physical size of the battery is determined by the GROUP NUMBER size. You need to buy the same GROUP NUMBER (same physical size), but if you have a choice between a standard duty verses a heavy duty, buy the heavy duty, and if you have a choice between a 600CCA and a 800CCA, buy the 800CCA or largest CCA capacity that you can.
    Good Luck,
    E. D. in Sunny Florida
  • darralldarrall Posts: 1
  • 2000 Ford Explorer XLT V8 Torsion bar suspension. Need to replace ball joints, upper and lower. I have been searching for the correct parts. The Ford website indicates that there is only a QTY=1 of Upper Front Ball joints on the vehicle. I searched by VIN and that's what it came up with. I know for a fact that there are two upper front ball joints (Passenger and Driver sides). Am I missing something here?
    I have also read that the ball joints, themselves, cannot be replaced and the entire control arm mus be replaced. I find this hard to believe.
    Any help and.or direction would be greatly appreciated.
  • egyptgerryegyptgerry Posts: 22
    I have the v6 but the ball joints are the same i think,the left and right are the same ball joint,Not sure how it says to replace the control arm,is there a nut about 4inches in from the ball jont on the control arm,if there is then you only need to replace the ball joint,Also if there is dont forget to count the turns when taking them of so that when you replace them you dont have to take the truck to have the tracking done,
  • biomanbioman Posts: 172
    For the upper ball joint the upper control arm and the ball joint has to be replaced. They are an integrated unit. For the lower ball joints you can replace just the ball joint not the entire control arm. The lower control arm and ball joint take must of the weight and abuse.
  • bbelascobbelasco Posts: 12
    Hello, I replaced an o2 sensor from a 1998 awd 5.0 befor cat passenger side with an o2 sensor from a ford escape, yes dumb idea. Upon driving i noticed a sulfer smell, only drove it about 5 miles. immediatly replaced it with a new correct one. Rotten egg smell gone, but now car runs rough, what did I screw up? help!
  • swburbguyswburbguy Posts: 3
    I cant get my hood to open on my explorer? Anyone have any ideas?
  • swburbguyswburbguy Posts: 3
    MY explorer o/d light comes on sometimes. Whats causing this?
  • pfran6078pfran6078 Posts: 2
    can anyone tell me on how to replace the pcv valve on a 2000 explorer 5.0 engine
  • wizard43wizard43 Posts: 2
    i have a 2000 ford explorer,it will start early in the morning run for about 30-40 secs. then dies out and will not run for longer than 3 are 4 secs i changed out the fuel pump and it still does the same thing .ive checked the filter its clear.
  • racheysracheys Posts: 3
    I had the same prob with my 91 ,I bought the gear for the front but the back is not available have to replace the whole motor.After thinking about it for a while I had a great idea , why not get epoxy resin and mix it up and use that to replace plastis that crumbles , well I did, both the back windows now work like new and it saved me $150.00
  • See message #6171 for location of the pcv. You can't see it, but you can feel for it, and pull it out, and replace it by feel.
  • wizard43wizard43 Posts: 2
    pvc valve is good, got a po320 code from scanner, so im thinking maybe the coil pack is bad since it is distributerless
  • You never said what engine you have, is it a V6 or V8? The problem could be caused by several different things.

    From a website:
    A P0302 code means that the the car's computer has detected that one of the engine's cylinders is not firing properly. In this case it's cylinder #2.
    A code P0302 may mean that one or more of the following has happened:
    Faulty spark plug or wire
    Faulty coil (pack)
    Faulty oxygen sensor(s)
    Faulty fuel injector
    Burned exhaust valve
    Faulty catalytic converter(s)
    Running out of fuel
    Poor compression
    Defective computer
    Possible SolutionsIf there are no symptoms, the simplest thing to do is to reset the code and see if it comes back.
    If there are symptoms such as the engine is stumbling or hesitating, check all wiring and connectors that lead to the cylinders (i.e. spark plugs). Depending on how long the ignition components have been in the car, it may be a good idea to replace them as part of your regular maintenance schedule. I would suggest spark plugs, spark plug wires, distributor cap, and rotor (if applicable). Otherwise, check the coils (a.k.a. coil packs). In some cases, the catalytic converter has gone bad. If you smell rotten eggs in the exhaust, your cat converter needs to be replaced. I've also heard in other cases the problems were faulty fuel injectors.

    My Comments:
    I would pull all the plugs and take a good look at them, note the color of the innner ceramic insulator and gap. The ceramic insulator should be a light tan color to light brown. Dark colors means that cylinder is not firing well, which could be due to the spark plug wire bad, coil bad, injector bad, clogged or dirty, oil flouling, ect. If you find one or more dark plugs, investigate everything associated with that cylinder, and gap all plugs, replace plugs if needed, replace wires if needed. Also check for air leaks, as an air leak can cause the engine to run rough and die. Check the Air bypass valve located near the throttle body, it has two wires going to it, sometimes they get clogged and stick and let too much air in at idle. Cleaning them will fix them most of the time, otherwise replace.
    Will your engine run OK if you rev it up? If so, it may be an Idle problem realated to an air leak, egr valve, Air bypass valve, etc. It the engine runs rough at idle and rough at speeds over 1500 rpm, it could be an ignition or injector problem.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 11,859
    it '02 through '05. rear liftgate was redesigned for '06.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
  • Hi all! New here. Got a couple things. 2001 Ford Explorer SOHC 4.0 V-6. 55K. Owned 1 1/2 yrs. One minor problem that we can live with (#1), and one that we can't (#2). We love the vehicle...we just don't want to die in it....or kill someone else because of it....

    1) Lift gate won't open & door ajar light on all of the time. Checked the latches (when I still could open it), one is sticking a little but doesn't seem to be causing the problem. Have oiled it and still doesn't help. But I seen something earlier in the forum saying something about a crack under the window?!? Where exactly? What can be done about this?

    2) Stalling. Highway or city. Short trip (15 minutes) or long trip (an hour). Anytime. Last summer it started. Live in Kansas...HOT summers. 90-100 degrees F. Took to 2 shops (one a Ford dealer). No coding out of the check engine light. No one could recreate it, therefore not tell us what is wrong. Got a whole tune-up and replacement of fuel filter, fuel lines & pump checked. All ok. Still did it. Googled stalling problems for Explorers and heard of the IAC valve. Replaced that about end of August 08. This spring it started again. Replaced the IAC again. A few people mentioned vapor lock. So we put "Heet" (water remover for the gas tank) in the tank. Still did it after that. And other sites are saying that it is very rare in a fuel injected car nowadays to get vapor lock...An earlier post said "intake gaskets". Is that a real possibility? How easy to fix yourself? Or is it really a job for ASE Mechanics?

    Thank you!
  • dodgekbaddodgekbad Posts: 56
    I have a Check Engine light that comes on and off for months now on my '98 Explorer (V6 SOHC w/ 127k miles).

    It's been off for I guess the past 50 miles. On Saturday I went to get an inspection which includes emmissions and passed. Sure enough it came right back on again the next day.

    Along the way, I went to Autozone a couple of times while the light was actually ON, and it read O2 sensor downstream.

    I don't know what to make of all this. It passed the emmissions test so could it be the Autozone scan thing is baloney?
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