Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Ford Explorer Maintenance and Repair



  • Thanks for your input (post #98). I confirmed with my wife, the last time the Explorer (turned over but) wouldn't start there was 3/4 of a tank of gas. We also tried burping the gas cap which used to do a great job of relieving the vapor lock on my sister's '68 Mustang, but did nothing for the Explorer!

    Any other suggestions? I am not ready to trade it in, but don't like the thought of my wife being "stranded" again. We actually looked at a (I hate to say it) minivan (Toyota Sienna) tonight. But I continue to pin my hopes to the collective knowledge of Edmunds readers and posters!

  • I'm contemplating the purchase of a 2001 Explorer. I've read the above comments but wonder if the Explorers are getting better as time goes on. It seems like Ford really doesn't think their designs through. It's only after drivers suffer with poor performance that Ford fixes problems. To me, this is a stupid engineering cycle.

    Anyway, the bottom line is that for a little more money, I can get a Ford Explorer XLT. Should I save the extra money and steer clear of the Explorer or is it worth the risk? I've never owned an American car and am hesitant because of their poor reputation.

    Thanks for any help.

  • Should you buy the Explorer? Well it is the best selling SUV out there. Don't let the comments on this page fool you. The majority of the people have spoken, just not on this forum. By the way the 2002 Explorer is going to be very different from the 2001.
  • seacrowseacrow Posts: 22

    it sounds as if the fuel pump may be going. It will happen without regular filter changes on MPI engines. There is also a chance that one of the ignition components is overheating, coil pack, etc. does it do it hot or cold or anytime it feels like it?

    For the dome light, I believe there is a TSB on the door jamb switches. It was a supplier problem on some F-150, Rangers and Explorers with the door jamb switches inside the door.

    The window is probably a defective switch or motor, it happens (even with Siennas and Volvos)

    dokealoke, Ford sells more Explorers than Toyota sells Camrys. The car in which most folks refer to as the benchmark for reliability. I used to work at a Toyota dealer, I can honestly say buy what you want. These days you are taking the same chances with all makes, you just hear about more American car problems because there are more American cars. Good Luck.
  • jaqustojaqusto Posts: 1
    I saw this article in the USATODAY.

    It states that their MAY be a problem with the firestone tires that Ford is putting on their SUVs (including the explorer).

    It appears that the tread comes off some of the tires during operation. The article states that there is data to support that this has even happened with the tires when the vehicle was traveling less than 20 MPH (though 55-75 MPH is more typical)and less than 2000 miles of use.

    I am concerned as I have just purchased my second Ford Explorer (loved the first one, and so far so good with the 2nd) and they have the Firestone tires.

    Has anyone had this terrible experience with the tread coming off, and if so, did you contact Ford/Firestone?

    What did they say?

    Any info would be appreciated.


  • njdevilsrnnjdevilsrn Posts: 185
    I was wondering if anyone out there has any opinions about the Ford ESPs. I know they push them when you buy the car, but I was wondering if anyone out there has any experience or opinion over whether they are worth it or not. I've heard some people tell me that by purchasing one, you are betting against yourself. From others, the things are real wallet-protectors. I have a truck I now hope to keep for at least 10 years. Ford has a bunch of plans, the Extra Care ($1400 for total 6 year warranty, 75,000 miles) or Premium Care ($1800 for same period) look interesting. Responses would be appreciated.
  • lmc5lmc5 Posts: 16
    I have a 1997 Explorer XLT and it has been the biggest piece of junk I have ever owned. I purchased the 100,000 mile extended warranty and it was the smartest thing I ever did. The deductible is $100.00 and I have used it twice. The vehicle has been in the shop at least 20 times but Ford has paid for the repairs because it was usually caused by them not fixing something right the first time. Between the awful quality of this vehicle and the sorry service departments (I have been to three dealers and they all have been bad)
    I can honestly say I will never buy another Ford.
    By the way, I currently have mine for sale.
    Good Luck, and purchase the extended warranty.
  • sanandtonsanandton Posts: 342
    Buy the warranty if you are absolutely sure you will keep the explorer longer than three years. I can ensure you that you will have at least one major problem with an explorer. luckily all three of my explorers developed them before the 36k mile mark. The main reason I don't still have one is that I kept wondering what is next and I didn't buy the warranty up front. I checked into it after the fact and it was a lot more expensive.
  • mazman1mazman1 Posts: 229
    I think you can get the extended warranty for a lot less money. Check into it and ask the dealer guy to come down a bit. I have received several letters from Ford asking me to buy the ESP warranty and offered it at lower cost than the dealer did (i guess the difference is the dealer's commission). Also, if you dont buy ESP from the dealer up front, you have up to one year after purchase to buy it from Ford directly.

    I'd say that the warranty at a $1300-1500 price is probably a good bet, since the odds are pretty good that you will have a major service done after 36,000 miles.
  • sarge45sarge45 Posts: 1
    I am considering purchasing this car, I have calculated the price to be $35,511 starting with Edmunds TMV of $30,175 and adding in destination and the invoice price of the options on the car. The dealer says I need to add in $483 for Lexus Dealer Advertising and lets not even talk about the 2% dealer holdback which is his "cost of doing business" I have offered $36,00 cash and no trade, given that we are coming up on the end of the model year, I think it's a fair price. The dealer is saying $37,200. I'll still need to pay title and taxes. Any thoughts??
  • Recently purchased a 2000 Limited V-8. Expensive, considering my last vehicle was a 1978 Bronco with
    470,000 miles. Does anyone know of a noise that occurs at approx 72 mph eminating from the front of the vehicle? It sort of sounds like intake noise. Similar, if any one remembers, that sound old 4 barrel carbureted cars made at full throttle. Its not present at 70 or 75 mph just at about 73mph. I'm a little concerned since this news about the Wilderness tires has come out and perhaps the noise is from the tires. (I have those tires).Has anyone experienced this?
  • mike_542mike_542 Posts: 128
    I bought my wheels and tires from The total cost was $1446.90 which was quite a lot. But, as I said before, the upgrade not only improved the sense of security, but handling, styling, braking, and refinement.
  • poco1poco1 Posts: 2
    We recently bought our second Ford Explorer which now has less than 4000 miles on the Wilderness A/T tires. After hearing the news and reading the newspaper concerning the danger of these tires, we decided to do some research.Little did we expect to find three incidents in our area of tire separation with these particular tires on this particular type of vehicle, one resulting in a rollover and a death. Our Ford dealership did not warn us about these tires at all. We called the Firestone hotline and were told by a recorded message that we could go to a Firestone owned store and they would do whatever it took to make the customer happy.However they forgot to tell their stores that. Bottom line is, after tempers flared we did get new tires put on our Explorer at no additional cost. Our son who lives in another city had purchased an Expedition about the same time as we purchased ours and was in his Firestone store today and also received new tires. Please take a good look at your situation. Take the time to do what it takes to make your vehicle safe.
  • njdevilsrnnjdevilsrn Posts: 185
    Question for Poco or anyone with experience to share...

    The tires they replaced, were they Wilderness tires also, or did they give you something else. If it were Wilderness tires they replaced them with, are these new ones re-designed? Basically what I'm getting at is did it cost you anything, and did Firestone give you an explanation of why the tires they gave you were ok and the other ones suspect to the tread problem.

    Thanks (PS The reason I ask is I just bought my 3rd Explorer 2 weeks ago, has the Wilderness tires...truck was built in June 2000)
  • mazman1mazman1 Posts: 229
    My Firestone Retailer was only willing to sell me the Bridgestone Duelers HL tires and give me a credit for my old tires (that have 5,000 miles)..

    Bridgestone, a Japanese company, owns Firestone, and who knows whether the tires are made the same way and in the same place as the Wilderness AT's
  • njdevilsrnnjdevilsrn Posts: 185
    Another question about tires...

    Anyone out there have anything other than Wilderness ATs on their truck? I know Michelin makes a good AT tire, but is kind of pricy. I had Goodyears on my 1997, I liked those tires better than the Firestones. Quieter, smoother ride.

    Any thoughts?
  • mazman1mazman1 Posts: 229
    There are a few other tires that can replace the Firestones. Bridgstone duelers, Pirelli, Michelin, Sumitomo and Goodyear all make tires for the explorer.

    You can see prices and tires on a website called

    I'm not pushing their site, but looking at their prices can give you an idea of what you would pay at a tire store.
  • mikenohmikenoh Posts: 6
    Just replaced the Firestone Wilderness At's which were OEM on my '98' XLT due to be news on tread failure. Thought about riding it out until Ford/Bridgstone did the right thing but decided to act now since we've got a long vacation coming up. The AT's had lot's of tread left at 20k but traction left a lot to be desired. Replaced them with Michelin LTX M/S--boy what a difference. Smoother rider, better steering response/handling and seemed quieter. With the AT's on the Explorer felt like it had too little rubber on the road--a bit unstable. The LTX's make it feel very stable;price was around $115 installed and balanced--well worth the $ IMHO.
  • shayes1shayes1 Posts: 12
    I too have a 98 with 21.2k on the ATs. What kind of a trade in deal did your firestone dealer give you? $115 for those Michelins is a great deal!

  • poco1poco1 Posts: 2
    Firestone replaced the Wilderness A/T tires with Bridgestone Duelers A/T at no cost to us and at no cost to our son. We had under 4000 miles on our vehicle and our son had well over 4000 miles on his. By the way, our Explorer was made in late May 2000.
  • ahughes2ahughes2 Posts: 14
    Late tuesday it was announced the the three tires in question namely the ATx's, Atx II's and Firestone Wilderness AT's will be recalled. It is estimated it will cost Bridgestone $500 million dollars. As of today my local dealer was going to pro rate my after market AT's and apply that value to the purchase of Bridgestones' Dueler HL's. This is a far superior tire to the Firestone, acording to Tire Rack's evaluation regarding handling, noise and tire life. After the recall details come out,I assume I will be getting these tires at no cost to me as well as thousands of other Explorer owners who have been riding around on these noisy, uncomfortable, potentially dangerous tires. I cant believe Ford supplies their new vehicles with such an inferior tire. The truck is harsh enough. It will be real interesting what they select in the future.
  • mikenohmikenoh Posts: 6
    Actually, they(Mueller Tire in OH) knocked only 10% off their price, which looked pretty good compared to Tirerack. Didn't give me anything for the At's, except to note on the sales order the type of tires they took off and the mileage.

    I really wasn't expecting to get much and who knows if Ford or Bridgestone will give anything to customers who couldn't wait for the deal to trickle down them. With 10,000,000 tires to be recalled and priority given to the SE and SW states, I think it will be a while before the people in the rest of the country will see any tires.

    Do you really want to wait until they got them in stock? I couldn't since we have a vacation planned; it didn't make sense to roll the dice the the family safety.

    Regarding Ford, I'm going to try and see if I can get a free oil change out them; if I can great, if not, oh well.

    You're right on the mark on the issue of putting these junk tires on the Explorer; I would have gladdly paid and extra $100-200 to have the LTX's on at the factory. Given the fact the GM on these trucks is in the $10-15K range, I 've got to wonder what they were thinking when they decided to put these things on the biggest cash cow they make.I've got the feeling Ford is not going to come out looking real good in the lawsuits that have been filed since this problem has been known for the last4-6 years.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    A CNN story says there will be a limited 7-state recall area in the south when this is announced tomorrow, and half of the Firestones in that area could be replaced, which is still something like 24 million tires. The recall notice gets posted tomorrow, so YMMV.

  • jillrjillr Posts: 1
    We actually replaced our Firestones in April as we had about 60K mi. on them. We got a great deal on Michelin X Radial LT's at Costco. We paid $497 for all four mounted. They ride like a dream and are great on wet roads.
  • mazman1mazman1 Posts: 229
    1. If you have Wilderness Tires, it will say
    "Made in USA" or "Made in CANADA" on the white letter side right under the "W" in Wilderness.

    If you have "Radial AT or ATX" it will say
    "Made in USA" or "Made in CANADA" under the "A" in
    RADIAL on the white letter side.

    2. The "VD" code that Firestone speaks of in its
    press release is visible only on the black letter side and is branded into the tire around the rim edge in BIG LETTERS.. following the letters DOT.

    To see this you will probably have to dismount the
    tire (a.k.a. bring it to a tire shop) to check for
    the code.

    Good luck everybody. I guess the distinction of
    where the tire was made is important, but I'd still have a tire store look at the tire and maybe hook you up with a replacement if you are so inclined.
  • I have read the postings and responses to "dieseling" noises made by the SOHC V-6. Has anyone had this sound in the V-8? I have a 1997 Explorer XLT with the V-8 which occasionally makes a sound which I equate with valve tapping. The dealer said they couldn't find anything ...
  • Okay, Im jumping in here into the topic, but I my troubles are with a ongoing vibration. New tires, new shocks and no real understanding. The car is a 92 4x2 and vibrates at 55 mph or above. I thought it was the right rear and indeed, the Right rim was bent, although not much. I changed that and then the problem seemed to go away then returned. IT does seem to vibrate under the seat, but it also feels like it could be the front as it "apears" to obviate from side to side.
    Just very confusing to me. Any thoughts would be welcomed.
  • njdevilsrnnjdevilsrn Posts: 185
    Hello, question to anyone with any info on a problem (?) my truck is having...

    My 2000 XLS 4X4 is only 3 weeks old. Previously I had an Explorer with the 4.0 SOHC, this truck has the base 4.0 OHV. Other than the slightly noticeable loss of power, I have noticed this vehicle makes a "whiny" sound when making turns/maneuvering at slow speeds. The truck does not make the sound when going straight, only when turning the wheel. There is no noticeable change in RPMs or in how the truck runs. I checked the power steering fluid and it is at an acceptable level, and there is no difficulty with turning the wheel or problem with how the truck handles.

    Just wondering, is this a normal steering sound for this model truck, or do you think it is symptomatic of a power steering pump problem?
  • mazman1mazman1 Posts: 229
    1. Make sure that 4x4 mode is disengaged. Make sure the position of the 4x4 selector switch is set to either "off" or "Auto" (depends on model). Then I would back up about 10 feet at 5 mph in driveway to release the auto lock hubs. I know that in 4x4 mode my truck whines when i make turns.

    2. The serpentine belt may not be installed properly. Check it for tension and make sure that all of the teeth on the belt are meshed properly. (this was the problem with my 1994 out of the factory)..

    3. The PS pump may be noisy.. i'm not saying its bad, but it may make more noise in normal operation.
  • njdevilsrnnjdevilsrn Posts: 185
    Did some more looking into it today, the truck is in Auto (as far as 4WD goes), and the belt appears to be properly installed. I noticed (as it is only 65 degrees here today and not 90) that the truck is not making the noise as I am not using the Air Conditioning. I wonder if it is just such a draw on the engine for power that it makes this noise (AC and turning)?
Sign In or Register to comment.