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Ford Explorer Maintenance and Repair



  • >>>>>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. <<<<<

    I don't know what year Explorer you have, but mine (1997) has a button on the end of the gear shift lever that I push in to engage or disengage over drive. The computer is programed to always engage the O/D feature when you first start the vehicle and I make it a point to disengage the O/D feature when I'm driving around town. (I don't care to have to rebuild the tranny at 70,000 miles like a lot of people do. I figure gas is a lot cheaper than a tranny rebuild.) I have a light on the dash board, lower right hand corner, that comes on that says O/D disengaged. Otherwise I have the 1-2-D selection on the column, like you do. Only time I use O/D is when I get on the Freeway or Interstate and start clocking 70 or 80 MPH. I wish Ford had reversed the O/D logic in the Explorer and had the vehicle start with the O/D feature disengaged to start with. But I suppose this was Ford playing games with the EPA on vehicle mileage ratings. (So I just have to remember to punch the button each time I start the vehicle.)
  • Will a dealer do them for $20-$25 if I mention that price or will I need to go to a locksmith? Thanks for the info. Also, I did watch dateline last night. The 2002 performed like a champ along with the Acura MDX in the head-on collision test.
  • ace10ace10 Posts: 137
    head on collision test a game of chicken, if so, did either the MDX driver or the Exploder driver flinch, at all?

  • tigerjon1: Sorry, I wasn't very clear on the key. You have to buy the key blank from Ford because it has the security chip in it. They also cut the key for the $20 to $25 (price depends on the dealer - I paid $20). Then it has to be programmed. The 2002 Explorer has the ability to program them for you as long as you have the two original keys that come with the vehicle. The operator manual describes the procedure well. I bought 2 new keys, programmed them myself, and put the 2 originals away for save keeping. The dealer can also program them, as they have for earlier model Fords, but they charge $70. The salesman I dealt with told me about the self-programming feature, but the parts guy at the same dealer tried to convince me they needed to do it.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    my Ford dealer made another key for me, and the blank is a Curtis blank, one of the big "get keys here!" operators. No doubt they all come from the same factory, but which one is OEM and the other guys pay 'em to stamp their name in the plastic is not known. By far the biggest OEM auto lock outfit a few years ago was Briggs & Stratton, but Mom sold the stock and we don't get the annual reports any more to know market share, etc.

    the way I read the manual for my 2000 Exploder, any two working keys can be used to program a third one. the instructions for programming a new key fob looked so formidable that I haven't tried that.
  • I have a 2000 4x4 Limited w/4.0L SOHC V6 with Auto & O/D. It too has the disengage O/D button on the shift selector. Most of my driving is highway at 70-80MPH and I thought the RPMs for 70MPH of 2600rpm, 75=2800, & 80=3000 with O/D engaged was rather high. With O/D off 70=3500 and 75=3800. I first posted looking for Explorer owners with the same engine/tranny to see if this is normal. So far only V8 owners with 3.73 axle have responded. Hopefully someone with a simlar configuration with also respond. Thanks for yours.
  • OK, I was out banging down the Freeway yesterday and here are the readings I got for my Explorer. (1997, V-8, AWD, 3.73 rearend) With O/D engaged at 60 Mph, about 2,100RPM, at 70 Mph about 2,400RPM and at 80Mph about 2,600RPM. Without O/D engaged at 80Mph, I was at 3,600RPM.
    There are a lot more V-6 Ford Explorers out there than there are V-8's, so someone should be responding to you shortly that has a V-6, I would hope.
  • Hey, I had a 2000 XLT 6cyl SOHC . I would tell what the RPM were but the piece of junk wouldnt idle after 40k miles, so I couldnt get it out of the driveway,
    SOLD !!!!!
  • maccmacc Posts: 11
    My niece wants to buy a 1991 ford explorer 4wd sport with 100,000 miles (asking $3200). What is the typical life of explorer transmission?? She can't afford to get stuck with a car with alot of repairs needed. Thanks!
  • maccmacc Posts: 11
    my niece wants to buy a 1991 explorer4wd sport with 100,00 miles for $3200. What's the typical life of an explorer transmission? She can't afford alot of repair bills.
  • smily1smily1 Posts: 104
    Dont let her. 91 was a bad transmission year. Unless it has already been done I would stay away from it. The ohv v6 motors seem to be good and last a long time if taken care of. But still, there is potential for problems with this year such as brakes, bairings and the like. Have her spend a little extra and have a mechanic look it over if she has to have it.
  • A soon to be 11 year old 2 door truck for $3200? That is a steep price. I bet if you shopped around and haggled you could get a "Generation II" (1995?) Sport for not much more money.

    PS...My brother in law just got rid of his 1992 Sport, it was a gem up until about a year ago and then a lot of different things started to go on it.
  • rysterryster Posts: 564
    '00 Explorer with 4.0L OHV V6, 5-speed auto...

    While out on the highway yesterday tried to get some readings...
    55mph ~2,000rpm
    60mph ~2,250rpm
    70mph ~2,500rpm
    75mph ~2,600rpm

    I did not disengage overdrive to see what effect that had.
  • My friend has a 95(I think) Ford Explorer Limited Edition. It has just recently developed a problem with the idling when it starts up. The problem is when you just start it up it idles to about 3500rpm. After a while it will drop down to normal but that is about 5-10 mintues later. It will do it every time he starts it up even if it has been running all day. Since it is idling so high, when he shifts it out of park it sort of snaps and jerks which cant be good for his tranny. Any idea's as to what the problem is?

    BTW about 5000 miles ago he just had a used motor put in after he drove though a huge water hole and ruined the motor he had in it.
  • My 1998 Explorer has a noise in the front end on the drivers side everytime you go over something rough. It's a dull popping noise. Had it in the shop and they replaced the rack and pinion which took care of the slopiness in the steering wheel but I still have the popping noise. When I bring it in they say everything is tight and of course can't duplicate the problem. HELP!
  • rysterryster Posts: 564
    Hi...I also went through a nightmare with a popping noise on my '00 Explorer. Mine was more in the vicinity of my driver's door latch, though.

    The dealer worked on it 5 times, the fifth appointment had them keeping the truck for 17 days. They finally realigned the B-Pillar, refinished the B-Pillar, and welded the body seams. This eliminated my noise. However, it is gradually loosening up again and I have a sinking feeling it is going to come back.

    I may just trade the truck by year end to take advantage of the special financing that is available for the rest of the year. It is sad to see a vehicle's integrity deteriorate as much as my Explorer's has over the past few months. My truck only has ~17,000 miles on it, but when going over a bump you would think it had more like 57,000. For what these things cost they should have better structural integrity and build quality. I guess my relationship with my Explorer has been love/hate. No in-between.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    I have a 1996 V8 Explorer. I have over 121,000 miles on the vehicle. The problems I have had with the vehicle are: bad throttle body plate (recall item for V6 but not V8, still don't understand that one), bad oxygen sensor at 50,000 miles and cupping of the tires. I'm convinced now that the Goodyear tires are the reason for the cupping. Will replace those after Xmas. The other problem I've had (not really a problem) is accidently hitting the fuel cutoff switch in the passenger wheel well.

    I love the vehicle. About the only thing bad about the Explorer is the gas mileage but I expected that when I bought it. I have experienced any rattles or shakes, no transmission problems or engine problems. I am due for a tune-up and some other maintenance. Kind of hesistating to do it since the vehicle is running so well. Also had a 1991 Explorer that we traded in with 110,000 miles on it. Only trouble with that one was A/C O-rings and arm rest.
  • The 1996 Explorers were head and shoulders above subsequent year Explorers. We had a 1996 on lease and loved it. We subsequently bought a 1997 and 1998. They were junk from day one. The build quality and number of rattles we experienced made me wonder if it was pieced together with bubble gum. Those of you with a 96 model year hold on to them. It was a vintage year for explorers.
  • brophbroph Posts: 85
    & have a dull popping noise when going over something hard also, which seems to be in the front. I have replaced the front shocks, but still have the problem. I wonder if it actually is in the rear (air shocks)or the pillars that i've been reading about. Outside of it riding really hard, it runs pretty good for a vehicle with 108K on it. Wouldn't mind getting a newer one, but from what I'm hearing, the 96 is a good year. I'll probably just keep this one, especially after soaking $1,000 over the last year (regular maint & bearings). Anyone have any ideas on how to soften the ride a little??


  • >>>>Anyone have any ideas on how to soften the ride a little??<<<<

    Firestone tires with about 24 lbs of pressure I'm told ~ LOL. Suggest you install a roll cage first however.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    has anyone replaced their shocks in the V8 Explorer? What kind di you use and how much were they? I don't want to get the Bilsteins only because I don't feel like dropping that much money on a vehicle with 121k miles on it. Any help will be greatly appreciated.
  • mazman1mazman1 Posts: 229
    I replaced my stock Ford shocks with Bilsteins. Yes they are expensive, i paid $65 each, and that was on sale, but the improvement in the ride is tremendous. If you dont want to pay for bilstein, then try Edelbrock or Rancho.
  • brophbroph Posts: 85
    Thanks for the info on the shocks. As for the roll cage, I'll just fold back the roof, drop one in & super glue the seams back together or should I use epoxy?


  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    just bolt it on the outside, tell everybody it's an expedition-rated roof rack. put some 13-inch tires on the top and you can tell 'em that you have an extreme explorer that rides well on any two pair of tires. if all 8 are Firestones they'll believe it.
  • brophbroph Posts: 85
    did you install the shocks yourself? or did you have them installed. if you installed them yourself, how hard was it to install the rear. the front gave me no problem. also did you buy your shocks online? the best price that i got was $65 plus s/h of $10. probably order the bilsteins in mid january, unless i can find an automotive place that sells them. hate to pay someone to do it, especially if it is not that difficult to do.


  • mazman1mazman1 Posts: 229
    If you have replaced the front shocks yourself, the rear shock installation will be a piece of cake. You have to lower the spare out of the way, but you do not need to remove the tires. Just use jackstands to support the body. You have to re use the lower bolt, but the upper bolts are included in the kit.

    I bought my bilsteins on the internet, from in California. You might be able to get another reseller closer to your home (lower shipping costs and quicker) from website.

    The Explorer rides tremendously better and much firmer with the new shocks. If you like a mushy "caddy" ride, Bilsteins are not for you.

    Good luck!
  • brophbroph Posts: 85
    They have to ride better than the air shocks that I have now. Do they make the vehicle bounce around or handle the road better. As you can see I'm not that experienced about shocks. I put monroe sensa-trak on the fronts this past spring. I'll just change all four. If it makes it handle better, I'm all for that. Thanks for the info.
  • mazman1mazman1 Posts: 229
    The Explorer's ride with the Bilsteins is stiffer. Almost no bounce... but it is much stiffer than the factory Ford shocks... so that you have very little body roll.. The tires stay well planted and even the braking is improved. If you dont mind a stiff ride, the Bilsteins are great. (Bilstien shocks are factory for Posrche.) You may also wish to consider Edelbrock or Rancho. If you want it to feel like a caddy, Bilsteins are not for you.
  • smily1smily1 Posts: 104
    I have a 98 V8 AWD that I put Edelbrocks on. Installed them myself. Rear shocks were easy to install but the front was another story. I would still have done it myself rather than pay someone.

    The Edelbrocks are great. It dosnt feel very stiff at all but totally controls the bouncing, the leaning in turns and the rocking horse action associated with hard breaking and acceleration. It was a little more then I wanted to pay...$70 each. OUCH.
  • jrc346jrc346 Posts: 337
    As someone who has been Ford loyal for a number of years I am getting very frustrated over my 2000 Ford Explorer with 23,000 Miles. I have the 4.0l SOHC V6 engine and that has been a problem since 10,000 miles and now I think I may be having problems with the Transmition. I have had the Explorer in to the Dealer 3 times for the ratteling in the Engine. They have replaced the timing chain tensioners one time which didn't solve the problem. I took it in again and they thought that the timing cassette was bad but they weren't sure because they couldn't really pinpoint where the noise was comming from. They also said that they couldn't do anything to the engine because there was a TSB out on this noise and FORD was looking into a solution to the problem. They also assured me that the noise wouldn't cause any damage to the Engine. Now I have a new problem. I'll be going down any road or expressway and all of the sudden the car will jolt or sort of bump. It almost feels like I was hit from behind. Sometimes more aggressivly that others. The vehicle is a lease and the lease is up in July. However I don't want this ratteling, jolting Explorer anymore. On the plus side it has held together very well and I love the way it drives and handles in rough weather, but I no longer feel safe in it with this new jolting thing. I also have a 1996 Explorer and that has been a great and reliable vehicle. When I got the 2000 I was hoping for the same reliable transportation and instead was given a true FORD DUD.
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