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Ford Explorer Maintenance and Repair



  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    I have heard the same song before... the l/m dealer has a time slot in the shop and got the repair done cleanly and with no muss or fuss... when the ford dealer couldn't. I have not had any issues with my ford dealer service myself, so haven't taken that route.

    it's probably the same song with olds/caddy dealer service vs chevy service... the customer paid the extra X thousand for the car on the same chassis, and the dealer has upgraded their operation to hold the customers and make them loyal. if your ford dealer is not satisfactory, try the other guy.
  • mazman1mazman1 Posts: 229
    Hi Guys. I had to have the timing chain tensioners changed again on my 2000 Explorer because the first upgrade under warranty did not last. The dieseling sound is gone, but I notice that the accelleration is gone as well. The truck can still get up to 75mph, but not as quickly as before. Merging onto highways is not as easy as before... in fact it is downright scary.

    Has anyone else experienced this? Was it resolved?
  • rysterryster Posts: 564
    Well, my Explorer has been at the dealer for a week now having the popping noise in the driver's door repaired.

    I checked with the dealer today, and they said they called Ford and Ford has had some reports of the noise on other trucks. Ford instructed the dealer to do some spot welding in specific locations to eliminate the noise. I may have the truck back by end of week. I'll let you know how it goes.

    In the meantime, I am driving a '00 Taurus SE loaner. I am getting used to it. Hated it at first, but it has grown on me. Maybe if the truck doesn't get fixed I will just trade it for a Taurus or Sable (or try the lemon law; a lemon law lawyer told me I have a case should I decide to go that route, but it could take 5 weeks to 6 months to get it returned as a lemon).

    Does anyone know how the lemon law works? I assume should the truck be found to be a lemon, Ford would take the truck back and refund a prorated value of the truck. Does that value get applied against my loan balance, with the difference applied to a new vehicle of my choice (any Ford product, I guess)? Just curious how that works..
  • jazzy8jazzy8 Posts: 11
    This same problem happened to my father's 96 EB. He had it fixed for around $900 at the Ford Dealer. They mentioned nothing about the warranty assistance program, and he has called Ford since no avail.
    The question is this bmwk75 - did they make you fill out a form? Are there any phone numbers you can call to get help -
    What;s the name of the dealership where they gave you this information.

  • mazman1mazman1 Posts: 229
    The "lemon law" is different for each state.. the best way to find out your rights is to talk with an attorney. If you are not at that stage yet, but still want to research it, I bet the place to start is at your state's attorney general's website.

    I do not personally have experience with lemon law vehicles in NY state, but i do know that it can take a while to process, and does go to arbitration rather than the courts. In NY state, there is a 2 year time limit on discovering the problem, and another limit (I am not sure) for attempts at resolution.

    Good luck, either way you decide.
  • Hi Ryster,

    Check out the NY Lemon Law info below. There is a lot of info about the law on the WWW. I had this info on my computer so I'm passing it on to you



    With respect to those covered cars sold and registered in New York, the law imposes a duty upon the manufacturer to repair, free of charge and without any deductible, any defect covered by warranty, if the consumer notifies the manufacturer or its authorized dealer of such defect within the first 18,000 miles of operation or two years from the original delivery date, whichever comes first. Once timely notice of the defect is given, the manufacturer may not charge for the repairs, regardless of when the repairs are performed. Any consumer who has been charged for such repairs or a deductible during such period should contact the Attorney General's office.

    The consumer should immediately report any defect or "condition" either directly to the manufacturer or to its authorized dealer. A "condition" is a general problem, such as a difficulty in starting, repeated stalling, or a malfunctioning transmission, that can result from a defect of one or more parts. If the consumer reports the problem to the dealer, the law requires the dealer to forward written notice to the manufacturer within seven days. Under the law, notice to the dealer is considered notice to the manufacturer. Unless otherwise advised by their lawyer, consumers should continue to make their monthly payments if the car is financed or leased. Failure to do so may result in a repossession which may adversely affect a consumer's lemon law rights.
    If the dealer refuses to make repairs within seven days of receiving notice from the consumer, the consumer should immediately notify the manufacturer in writing, by certified mail, return receipt requested, of the car's problem and that the dealer has refused to make repairs. A sample notice to the manufacturer may be found in this book.

    The manufacturer or its authorized dealer must commence repairs within 20 days from receipt of the consumer's notice of the dealer's refusal to make repairs.

    If the problem is not repaired after a reasonable number of attempts, or the manufacturer or the dealer refuses to commence repairs within 20 days from the manufacturer's receipt of the "refusal to repair" notice from the consumer, and if the problem substantially impairs the value of the car to the consumer, the manufac- turer, at the consumer's option, must either refund the full purchase or lease price, or offer a comparable replacement car.

    It is presumed that there have been a reasonable number of attempts to repair a problem if, during the first 18,000 miles of operation or two years from the original delivery date, whichever comes first, either: (1) the same problem has been subject to repair four or more times and the problem continues to exist; or (2) the car is out of service by reason of repair of one or more problems for a cumulative total of 30 or more calendar days and the problem continues to exist.

    The law imposes special notification requirements for motor homes which are designed to afford motor home manufacturers one final chance to repair the defect before consumers can take advantage of the remedies offered by the lemon law. If the motor home was subject to three repair attempts or was out of service by reason of repair for 21 days, whichever occurs first, the consumer must report such fact to the manufacturer or its authorized dealer by certified mail, return receipt requested, before seeking arbitration or commencing a lawsuit under the lemon law.
  • rysterryster Posts: 564

    Thanks for the responses re: the Lemon Law. In my state, you have the first 12 months or 12,000 miles to report and attempt to get a problem fixed. Unfortunately I didn't report my problem until 13,011 miles (it was only the 9th month ownership) so I am not eligible for the lemon law :(

    However, the dealer still has my truck. Tomorrow will be day 14. If I do not get it back by end of the week, I am going to go talk with my salesperson about some kind of "deal". Maybe ask for fair MARKET value for the Explorer and trade for an '02 Taurus or other Ford product. Maybe the dealership could contact Ford and get approval for some kind of adjustment in lieu of getting a vehicle labeled as a "lemon". It's worth a shot and I have heard of dealers/manufacturers making such arrangements for customers.

  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    Why would you go for another Ford product?
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    he wants one that squeaks in HIS key, so he can sing along?
  • I recently saw the crash test results for the 2002. Not pretty. I may have read it wrong but from what I could understand, any accident over 5 mph will result in roughly $6000 in repairs. Sounds hard to beleive but the way car makers jack up prices on parts, not to mention the cost for labor, it could be true.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    there should be a federal law that you can't call it a "bumper" if it can't stand being bumped. the alternative would be, IMHO, to call it a "freakin' endless black hole for all your money."

    that would look real good on the sales brochures and window stickers...

    "... the 2003 Ford Evacuation, with room enough for the whole town and power enough to tow it all along behind you, comes with color-coordinated freakin' endless black holes for all your money on both front and rear..."

    I'd rather just have a big ol' piece of railroad iron hanging out there 5 inches or so from the sheet metal, and let everybody else beware. but maybe it's only my personal religion, and nobody else thinks twice about a royal ripoff over "bumpers."
  • smily1smily1 Posts: 104
    I agree. I have a 68 firebird that has gone through 2 accidents inflicting major damage to other vehicles but sustaining zero! Nada! Not so much as a dent! Wish they could build them the way they used to.
  • Swschrad, After reading your posting I'm rolling on the floor. That is great! I agree brother.
  • rysterryster Posts: 564
    It's not that I actually want another Ford product, it just that I am sure they would stipulate a condition that they would buy the truck back provided I get another Ford product. I can understand that. If it is financed through Ford credit, then they would be paying off the loan and getting their truck back. If I turn around and spend the money at Ford, they end up benefiting from the situation.

    Besides, a high-end Taurus or Mustang GT would be okay to me.
  • rysterryster Posts: 564
    Well, the dealer informed me my truck is ready and has been completely fixed (the popping noise in the door is supposedly gone).

    They said the body seams in the B-Pillar were loose. They said they fixed them such that they will never be loose again. When asked why this happened, they said most likely the seams were not properly assembled at the factory and loosened up. That's real confidence inspiring.

    I am picking it up tomorrow morning, so I am anxious to see if it truly is resolved.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    be interesting to have reposts on here from the rattlin' gang saying again which vehicle and which plant (maybe even which production date if known) turned 'em out. if the whole run of trucks was no darned good, that would be one thing, and we'd all know about it already, it would have driven the anthrax off the evening news, if not Bin Looney himself. if all the issues are around the pillar on the drivers side, I'm betting one plant had a sour welding robot for a few weeks while the main robot wrangler was off on vacation or something.
  • rysterryster Posts: 564
    Got my Explorer back yesterday, and the popping noise has been eliminated. The dealer "welded and repositioned B pillar, refinished B pillar, resecured two body seams at B pillar, and road tested several times." This seems to have done the trick. My truck was built 5/16/00, and I bought it 11/21/00; it had 27 miles on it when I picked it up. I will see which plant built it and respond later this weekend. It is a loaded '00 XLS 4x4. It would be interesting to see if our trucks were built at the same factory within a specific time frame...
  • rysterryster Posts: 564
    was built in St. Louis (as a follow up to my previous post).
  • I just purchased a 2000 Explorer Limited. I am new to the SUV market and therefore not sure if what I am experiencing is normal or not. It has the 4.0L SOHC V6 with Auto O/D tranny. The question is is it normal for the RPM to be about 2600 @ 70MPH, 2800 @ 75, and 3000 @ 80? That seems very high at least compared to my wife car, a 1997 Buick Park Ave w/3.8L auto which shows only 2300RPM @ 80MPH. Thanks. NewXman
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    I have what I have assumed is a seat squeak in my mid-February St. Louis built explorer limited, after I have that attended to I will know if it's really the seat rivet issue or if there are weld problems on the body pillar. probably be a couple months or so, however, as I have some other issues I have to work on first.

    it would seem that a flappy body support pillar without enough reinforcement (provided by welding the bent pieces on that go the other way) might be a safety cage issue. maybe those ought to be reported to NHTSA.
  • rysterryster Posts: 564
    Best of luck with your Explorer. I don't know if reporting my B-Pillar problem to NHTSA is necessary. If anything, the safety cage is stronger now than it was when new. But, if there were some quality control issues at the factory there is a potential for other Explorers with body seam/welding issues.I was certainly glad to get my truck back. The dealer had it for 17 days. Hopefully your dealer can resolve your problem quicker than that.
  • lmacmillmacmil Posts: 1,758
    That's about the same as my 1996 with the old V6. The SUV has a higher (lower numeric) axle ratio than your typical pass car. My Old Intrigue runs about 2000 rpm @70 mph.
  • I have a 2002 Explorer with V-6, 5-Spd auto 4X4 and the 3.73 rear end (came with the optional trailer towing pkg.) At 80 MPH I am at 2600RPM. If I drop it out of overdrive, I get about 3200 RPM. I don't know if the 2002 drivetrain is the same as yours, but I hope this helps. Perhaps (with the standard rear end) your higher RPM indicates a problem with the overdrive kicking in? I hope not!
  • brophbroph Posts: 85
    I was curious if anyone knew how difficult it would be to swap the 4.0L v6 OHC (pre '96) for 5.0L v8. Does the tranny & rearend match up? or would they have to be changed too.

    Also, has anyone had support problems with their seats? I have a '96 and it seems that the support around the left leg gave out. I have owned this Explorer for a year + & like it alot. It has 108K on it (previous rental). If anyone has had similar problems, I would appreciate any input.


  • >>>>I was curious if anyone knew how difficult it would be to swap the 4.0L v6 OHC (pre '96) for 5.0L v8. Does the tranny & rearend match up? or would they have to be changed too.<<<<<

    My guess would be that if you were to make this swap, you would want to do an engine/tranny swap, as one unit and then just cut the tail shaft to fit. I can tell you that the exhaust system, especially the exhaust manifolds on the 5.0 Explorers appears to be a plumbers nightmare. (That could be further complicated because I have an AWD unit.) I'm certain you could make it fit, but I suspect that it would be helpful if you had a brother that was proficient with a cutting torch and a welding rig. That 5.0 unit does fill up the engine compartment of the Explorer. If I were to guess, I'd say you would be money ahead just buying a late model V-8 Explorer, rather than trying to cobble one together. I also suspect that the front suspension system is probably beefier for a V-8 than it is for a V-6, which would necessiate further change.

    >>>>>Also, has anyone had support problems with their seats? I have a '96 and it seems that the support around the left leg gave out. <<<<<

    Power or manual seat? Driver or passengers side? I haven't had any problem with mine (which is a power operated unit).
  • g159g159 Posts: 23
    V8 become optional in 1996, first only in rwd, then in awd. The switch to the sla suspension in 1995 made the first part of this change possible.
    However the v8s caused further change to the metal body frame around the transmission hump, because a bigger transmission from the thunderbird had to be adopted to handle the v8 torque. (so you really need the tbird tranny) I do not know if all explorers were modified to the bigger hump, but they probably all were for easier building. Next, the v8 was not available with the control trac 4wd because it was larger than the smaller awd transfer case. I don't know if you have 2wd or 4wd, but as you can see the 4wd would have to be switched to awd. Next the venerable v8 had to have special headers that have a special angle to fit. Also the radiator had to get a slim "pancake" clutch to fit. Overall, it is a tight fit. I wouldn't recommend the swap. I would try to trade.
  • gregb882, Your the first I've seen here with a 2002 XLT. How do you like it? Ours is expected to arrive in about a week. Nothing fancy. V-6 w/trailer/tow, premium sound, and boards. I understand the independent rear suspension is great.
  • This is my first Ford and I have to admit I'm impressed so far. If your's is an XLT, it sounds like the same equipment that I got. My other vehicle is a 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee which I liked a lot until I got the Explorer. It's very stable, has good power (not a hot-rod, but good) and very comfortable - for an SUV. I only have 2400 miles on it so I can't speak to the reliability, but so far it's great. I read on another board where the off-road crowd is upset at Ford for using the independent rear suspension - they say it won't be a good off-road vehicle anymore. The joke in my family is that my wife won't let her JGC on dirt roads let alone off-roads!

    BTW, you can program your own extra keys once you have the dealer cut them (they cost $20 to $25 each). Don't let the dealer tell you that they have to do the programming for a mere $70!

    I noticed that you had an earlier thread regarding the high cost of the Explorer bumpers in the low speed impact tests. I just heard today that the Insurance Institute awarded the 2002 Explorer their highest rating for crash worthiness. Sounds like Ford got that part right.

    Good luck!
  • Thanks for the reply. My 4x4 SOHC V6 may have the 3.55 axle. It is in Overdrive. I'll have to check it without O/D on. Do you know if there is any difference in the shift selector between 4 Speed auto and 5 speed auto? My selector has D 2 1.
  • brophbroph Posts: 85
    Thanks for the input. it would be wiser to get a v8 already put together rather than try and make one. cheaper too.

    dohc32v - the seat is a manual slide & on the driver side. use to be a rental, i suppose a lotta cheeks have smiled on this one. checked out salvage yards - best price $75


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