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Ford Explorer Maintenance and Repair



  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    lots of previous posts, it indicates the 3-4 shift is a goner, time for a rebuild. tons of 'em a few months back on this thread, but going back to 1998 in an archived thread here is possibly the first mention of the issue. haven't figured out how to stick links off Edwards, so here's cut and paste. the current thinking, and something I'm doing in my 2000, is to lock out the OD around town unless I know I'm going over 50 and/or staying there... I have the towing package 2000 V8 AWD and the shift/lockup point on my car is about 42 mph, otherwise most anecdotal evidence is it happens right around 50 mph.

    for what it's worth, Dad's (d) 1975 Suburban diesel towmobile (d) was the first time I'd ever experienced tranny hunt, and all the towing authorities then were adamant that you wanted to lock that sucker out of OD if you were pulling a load or hitting hunt around town, save it for the highway.

    some things never change...

    [F] Town Hall / SUVs / SUVs - Archived Discussions / Ford Explorer transmissions

    #27 of 524 cujet by cujet Apr 01, 1998 (06:23 pm)

    Be forwarned! my 96 sport V6 auto shifts too much. during highway driving 20 mi to work it shifts 37 times 3-4, 4-3, 3-4,etc the torque convertor unlocks 105 times, all this with just small throttle changes. Been to the dealer at 16K mi and 34K mi they couldnt find a problem! Well guess what, all that shifting has taken its toll it now slips during the 3-4 shift!! and Im now at 44K mi, out of warranty. Good luck to all you 95-96 owners out there!
  • njdevilsrnnjdevilsrn Posts: 185
    I wish my Explorer's tranny lasted 65k. My 2000 model year Explorer's tranny lasted 21,200 miles. As for the O/D light flashing, the dealer I had my truck serviced at said that light flashing pretty much means the tranny has major issues. Good luck, as I found out the replacement would have cost well over $2000 if it were not on warranty.

    As for the question about tires, I have Michelin Cross Terrains (OEM for 2002 Explorer) and they ride great and give good traction, mileage.
  • agarianagarian Posts: 3
    ANYONE KNOW WHAT TSB94229 IS? or where to go at ford for info?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    The Edmunds Maintenance Guide will give you a summary TSB (and recall) list for your SUV.

    SUVs, Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Ford Ending Tire Replacement Plan

    SUVs, Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards
  • lariat10lariat10 Posts: 22
    I talked to a transmission tech at my local ford dealer he told me to disconnect the battery for a few minutes then reconnect and try it. This will remove a false error code in the computer. It has been 4 days and about 300 miles with no problems.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    there is a guy at work who said last week on discussing this issue there is one grizzled old tech at his dealership who does a chip diddle on the tranny controller and fixed his issues as well... but it took three visits until he got to "ol'Hans" to do it. details unknown.

    if there is a known false code, reason tells me there should also be a FSB out with a new chip or programming adjustment that can be done in the shop.

    anybody who finds out what is up, please post.
  • mdeymdey Posts: 90
    I have a '92 XLT 4x4, 136,000 on the clock. Ford donated a set of tires during the recall. I was on my second set of the OE Firestones at 103,000 miles. No trouble with them at all.

    The dealer put a set of Bridgestone Dueler HL on the truck. Wisper quiet, track dead straight, soft ride, tight in the corners, and at 122,000 miles when they were last measured they had lost only 1/32 of an inch to wear.

    However, they were measured because I hit something while driving and blew out the left front tire. Make no mistake, the tires aren't the only issue; a less experienced driver would have rolled that truck over. I managed to stop it, but it was a thrill, and I was cruising on the open road at 60 mph when the tire went down (imagine freeway speeds!).

    The new ones are still stones, but I have no complaints. The tire that blew was not defective: it was punctured. But if I were buying, I'd go with Michelin LTX. My personal history with Michelin is that they are a fine tire. It is also the tire of choice from this website on Explorer maintenance:

    As hard as that truck was to control with a blow out, I don't plan to let tires on it wear past 50% again, and I'll buy the best tire I can afford in the future (Read: Michelin or BFGoodrich), and donate the old ones to one of the local high school kids driving on slicks.

  • mdeymdey Posts: 90
    I posted this message on the other Explorer board and so far no response.

    I have a 92 XLT 4x4 with 136,000 on the clock. The steering on this thing has always been a little on the loose side. However, it seems worse now than in the past (may be perceived, but anyway...).

    I've had the radius arm bushings replaced on both sides, and the steering has been shimmed and aligned. The shocks are Gabriel VSTs with about 25,000 miles on them, and they are fine. The bearings, hubs, and wheels seem to be fine, serviced about 10,000 miles back. I can't find any play from tie rods, and the steering column looks like it is in good shape. The tires are in excellent shape. The last time I had it in for service, the local Ford dealer said that's just the way these trucks are.

    But my son drives it some, although not to school yet. I use it as a weekend workhorse. Before I turn my son loose with it as a daily driver, I'd like to tighten the steering up some. Anyone have any thoughts on tightening up the steering on this beast?
  • mookie14mookie14 Posts: 252
    2000 explorer same problem 2yrs in a row catalytic converter put on 2 times. NOW! same problem screeching sound itermittent on and off mainly when speeding. but im wondering will ford cover it? im no longer covered on bumper to extended warranty does not cover exhaust so will ford or what recourse do i have help as yall know its a piece of ........... but it will do until oct this yr FREEDOM!!!!!!!!!! HELP
  • Have you ever had the radius arm bushings replaced. Most people I know with early Explorers all had front end alignment problems.
  • mdeymdey Posts: 90
    Yes, radius arm bushings left and right replaced at 103,000 miles. Eliminated the clunk, but didn't do much to tighten things up.
  • mstanmstan Posts: 15
    Have a 94 Explorer. Back in November I had the tranny replaced. This past week the front tires started to feel like they were wobbling. Took it to the local tire dealer & he checked the tires and driveshaft, etc - He felt the wobble too - nothing with the tires or front end! Before I could say anything, he mentioned the tranny because he said when he drove it and dropped it into neutral the wobble stopped. You can really feel it when you get up some speed. Any input would be appreciated. Thanks.
  • cediadudecediadude Posts: 13
    Greetings all!

    I had the cam tensioner changeout done at around 65K miles. Now it's back, and I find after reading the posts that Ford isssued a 72K/6yr program change that leaves me out in the dark. I have heard that the original replacement fasteners were made out of nylon and have subsequently been replaced with steel ones. Is this true? Do I have a snowball's change in Hades to get the dealer to change them out again at no/low cost? I would have loved to get a note from the dealer - they always seem to find time to remind me about things I can do myself like change the oil, but if it's related to a recall - I guess not. FYI to all, I never got the notice from Ford - am I the only one or did they miss others who already had the work done as well?
  • waarcewaarce Posts: 4
    Probably the O/D sensor may have gotten disconnected or loose. It takes 5 seconds to reconnect. Try this, it happened to me before.
  • df1437df1437 Posts: 2
    Had the same problem as Lariat10 in Message #1290 at 54,000 miles in September 2001--OD light and all. Ford dealer replaced a broken band bracket in transmission at a cost of $1300 which repair was guaranteed 12,000 miles or 12 months (thank heavens). Of course, it happened a few months after my extended warranty expired. That fix lasted about 1000 miles when experienced similar failure. This time, they replaced a sensor. That lasted about 3000 miles when had a failure of a little less magnitude than first two times. Dealer had it five weeks (good thing they loaned me a car) to replace a stabilizer bar in transmission, and I don't know what else. Got it back first week in April 2002, and it did the same thing once so far. Haven't taken it back yet. May be a sensor problem again? Ford Customer Care says they have nothing on file to indicate this is more than a one-off problem which I find extremely difficult to believe.
  • df1437df1437 Posts: 2
    Every time my Explorer goes up on a lift, when I get it back, the ride feels like it's in four-wheel offroad even though the indicator is in two-wheel. Also seems like it's sitting higher than normal--even though you can get the air shocks to jack it up by turning dial to 4-wheel or 4-wheel offroad settings. Always before, we have turned off the air ride system for a few days, and it somehow seemed to go back to a normal comfortable ride where we could turn it back on and experience the "luxury ride". However, this time has been the exception. Does anyone have any ideas? I'm wondering if it could be some type of sensor problem. Will probably end up taking it back to dealer, but not in much hurry after they just had it for five weeks reworking a warranted transmission repair! Thanks.
  • mstanmstan Posts: 15
    94 Explorer - Had ther tranny replaced in November. On a Saturday in January I had a very difficult time getting the car to shift from park to reverse to drive and vice versa. Took it to the tranny garage. Couldn't find a thing. No problems until 2 days ago and the same thing happens. Took it to Ford garage - they said it might be the cable from the steering column - they used to fray on the older models - but mine was not. Didn't want to open up the whole steering columns and not find anything. Any suggestions.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    lube the linkage at the transmission with white lithium grease, and the end of the Bowden cable connecting to it where the cable comes out of the sheath, that's a common issue. it is also possible they kinked the sheath when doing the tranny replacement, see if NAPA still has lubrication kits for these control cables and try that to lube the cable all the way along its sheath.
  • scootyscooty Posts: 10
    The warranty period for cam tensioner problem is 7 year/100,000 miles for Explorers built from July '96 to October '98 according to had my '97 Explorer tensioners replaced at 40,000 miles with the new metal ones.It has 62,000 miles on it now with no problems.If your Explorer is a '99 or later model,I do not know if it has the same warranty as a '97 or '98,but if it has under 100,000 miles I would call a Ford Rep and see if they could be replaced with the new ones by a Ford dealer for free.Call and raise Cain.Sometimes Ford can surprise you.
  • njdevilsrnnjdevilsrn Posts: 185
    Hello all. Boy it was quiet in here for a while!

    I wish it was that quiet in my truck. My 2000 XLS started to exhibit a rattle/squeak from the B pillar this past week. It happens when going over bumps, and depending on the speed and/or whether I am at a bend in the road it is louder or quieter. I read Ryster's many problems with a bad welding job on his 2000 XLS and I hope I am not in for the same.

    I'm particularly frustrated, as this wonderful Ford vehicle just had a new transmission put in last month with 21,000 on the odometer.
  • rysterryster Posts: 564

    Just out of curiosity, when was your Explorer built? Mine was built 5/00 (according to the sticker on the door). Maybe there are a string of Explorers with bad welds?

  • njdevilsrnnjdevilsrn Posts: 185
    My truck was built in June, 2000 at the St. Louis plant.

    Funny as it seems, today it really wasn't making too much racket after days of it getting worse and worse. I definitely will get it looked at soon, though.
  • dixaronedixarone Posts: 21
    ...What is the "B" pillar? Also, what type of behaviour is exibited by a vehicle with faulty cam tensioners?

    Aw heck, may as well ask one more question while I'm signed in steering column seems to have aquired a squeak when going over rough patches in the road. Thoughts?

    I think I have pinpointed the area of concern regarding my previous postings on my rattle/clicking noise from the front passenger side of my 97 seems the rubber stripping along the door and into the windshield area is somewhat loose - the clicking (I think) comes from it heating up, expanding, and sticking to another piece of stripping in the same area. I'm not sure if I can do anything about it, but I can replicate the sound now, and sort of make it disappear by manipulating the rubber bits in that area.
  • njdevilsrnnjdevilsrn Posts: 185
    Sorry, I was speaking from my days of doing vehicle rescue. The "A" pillar (post) is the post between the windshield and the front door. The "B" pillar (post) is the pillar between the front and rear doors (or hatch in a 2 door). The letters continue as you move back.

    Still looking for a cause, have not found one. I am sure this will be another one to be chalked up in the dealer's "could not duplicate" column.
  • mazman1mazman1 Posts: 229
    Are you sure that the noise / squeak you are hearing is not coming from the front door where it latches to the post on the b pillar. I had a similar thing happen. I tore the door apart looking for something loose. I tore the b pillar apart. Found nothing until I tried driving with the door open (I had someone with good insurance hold the door open) and had no noise. Then I adjusted the position of the latch post to move the door closer to the vehicle and the noise is now gone.

    Mine was built in 10.2000 and was built in St. Louis.

    Good luck.
  • njdevilsrnnjdevilsrn Posts: 185
    I will see if that helps, because it does sound like it is coming from either the back of the front door, the post, or the front of the back door. I might as well try to diagnose it myself and then let the dealer fix it.

    It's under warranty, and I finally caved today and made an appointment for next week.

    PS...My truck is 21 months old with just over 22,500 miles on it. When should I get the radiator flushed and coolant changed?
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    you're about where I am on mine... I have 2 years 1 month, and I will get it done before winter. I am toying with getting my 30,000 transmission flush and fill done early, before a July vacation, and I probably will because I will have my first tow (light one, 1300#) on. obviously want to run on it a while before going ten yards past the end of the logging road.
  • rysterryster Posts: 564

    Just as a follow-up to mazman about the noise with door open. My truck clunked from the b-pillar area even with my door open during driving. Despite that, the dealer tore the door apart before even attempting to look at other possible sources of the noise.

    Here's a question for all: In the process of getting my b-pillar fixed months ago, the door panel was removed and replaced so many times it is now warped. What would be the odds of having a dealer (other than the one who did the b-pillar repair) replace the door panel under warranty? There are also some loud ticking/rattling noises in the door that were not there before. Probably due to the door not being reassembled correctly after the whole repair job was done.

    I also have a loud rattle in the dash. Wonder if the dealer can fix that without removing the dashboard? If not, I would rather live with the rattle; it's too hard to remove and replace dashes without causing even more problems.

    Oh yeah, there is also a fix for the problem that '98-'01 Explorers have where the rear wiper will not sweep the whole rear window. Ford has a redesigned rear wiper arm they can install on the vehicles.

    These are such annoying little problems. Kind of sad to have them on a 17 month old vehicle with only 22,000 miles. If the truck had 50,000 miles I would be more tolerant. It could be worse, I suppose ;)

  • bioman3bioman3 Posts: 37
    Ryster, you're right it could be much worse. You could have purchased a GMC Jimmy!! :) :(
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