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Ford Explorer Maintenance and Repair



  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    in my personal experience, idle vibrations have been loose stuff or exhaust clearance problems. one on dad's old suburban was so vexing and bad that I finally had to chock the vehicle down so dynamite wouldn't move it, get signals very straight indeed with Dad, and crawl underneath while he put it in gear.

    WARNING, DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME. DO NOT TRY THIS ON JACKASS, THE MOVIE, EITHER. WHAT THE HELL I WAS THINKING, I DON'T KNOW. even though this was a high-clearance 'burb, it's a stupid, idiot idea. get a hair-aisle hand mirror, a roll of duct tape, and tape the thing to a garden hoe for inspection like you were working at the emissions inspection station.

    anyway, the exhaust pipe was whacking directly back into the transmission crossbrace. still the OEM. once this was discovered, it was easy to show the shop guys that the little hickey on the pipe matched the edge of the crossbrace. finally fixed.
  • 4dunes4dunes Posts: 12

    You are welcome! I don't wish these problems on anyone else. Which is why I do not feel that I can sell it to an individual.

    Operahouse-Thank you for the information on the rear door locks.

    I currently have transmission problems, a/c problems(twice in shop, still not fixed),suspension is terrible, need to have that checked for an "official report", a roaring noise which occurs even when vehicle is sitting still, and I hear a noise(with a/c turned off as it is still messed up) which sounds to me like an air noise. I do not know squat about cars, but it sounds like vacuum or compression to me.
    With all that I have read at this site, I am afraid of this engine-and will not drive the thing except to get to and from work.
    Currently have an old (14 yr.) car in shop to get driveable so that I can put Explorer back in transmission shop. Guess after that I will get all other problems investigated. I do not want to take to Ford Dealership, as the codes will come up-but then again, I really do not want to sell this car to an individual.

    Right now I feel like I have an expensive piece of scrap metal parked in my garage.

    Does anyone know if we have any rights under Lemon-Laws? How many miles can they have on them?
    Does all work perfomed have to be done by Ford to qualify?

    I had no intention of trading this car for my typical 7+ years. Can not wait to get rid of it.

  • rysterryster Posts: 564
    Anyone know what the average Explorer brake life is? I have a '00 Explorer, 23,000 miles, and I can feel it is time to have the front brakes replaced. A fellow co-worker has a '97 Explorer, 55,000 miles, still on original front brakes (although the rear brakes were replaced at 50K).

    When I had the car inspected a couple of months ago, the shop said the front brakes would be good until about 30K and then need to be replaced. Now, 3K miles later, they do not feel safe (vibration and rumbling noise/feeling when braking). Probably needs front rotor work and new pads.

    What are the rest of you all experiencing in terms of brake life?

    Other than that and the worthless rear wiper, no new problems.
  • smily1smily1 Posts: 104
    I replaced my brakes all around at about 45k. It didnt need it at the time (still had another 12k) but wanted a higher quality pad. WHAT A DIFFERENCE! I didnt even need to turn the rotors. Stops on a dime now. Only negetive side effect is excessive break dust on my rims.

    If you feel pulsing in the pedal then chances are you need your rotors turned.

    "vibration and rumbling noise/feeling when braking"

    That sounds more like a poor quality pad. You can always put new pads on first and if that dosnt solve your problem then you can look at having the rotors turned. Just dont be cheap on the get what you pay for in my experience.
  • bioman3bioman3 Posts: 37
    I replaced the front brake pads on my 99 XLT at 24K. I did not have to, but I had purchased the pads thinking that they would have to be replaced at about 24K. I had about another 5-7K left on the OEM pads, but since I had already made the purchase I made the change. The rear pads, checked last week, are at about 50% with 31K on the odometer. The rotors are in fine shape. No scoring or pulsating. When I rotate the tires I use a torque wrench to adjust the lug nuts to make sure I do not do damage to the rotors. If I had to work on the rotors I would rather replace them than have them cut. Why play with your life? Rotors are relatively cheap. Since you are doing the work yourself, well worth the investment. If you factor in the cost of the cutting, you are not paying that much more for new rotors. You just have to make sure you purchase quality replacement rotors that have been properly cured.
  • mookie14mookie14 Posts: 252
    i have 2000 exploder and now im at 47000 had the fronts turned and new pads. got the brakes looked at monday and still i have enough pad left and the fronts r fine. i think i will replace rotors in the rear but think its a leased truck due back in 8-03 so think???????.
  • mookie14mookie14 Posts: 252
    seeing that me and a whole lot of people here have exploders built in st louis. i do believe we have similar but not the same problem with the rubber band trucks. i have squeaks like njdevilsrn in mine also bumps they come out you hear it and you dont. but anyway the clock and calender is ticking 8-03 will come soon enough and might i say hello volkswagen? hahaha lease ends in 03 august that is so man whatever you do DO NOT BUY OR LEASE A FORD UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. CARS OR TRUCKS PERIOD.THATS IS IF YOU WANT YOUR SLEEP AND NOT SITING IN THE REPAIR SHOP ALL THE TIME IF NOT OH WELL
  • rysterryster Posts: 564
    If you don't want to spend time in repair shops then you should avoid a VW. I unfortunately owned a '99 New Beetle for a short period of time and will have a hard time ever considering a VW ever again. VW repair shops are not a good place to spend any time anyway. They do not do very good work (there are some good VW shops, but they are far and few between).

    My brake work will be the first trip back to the Ford dealer for any kind of work in quite some time (6 months, actually). That's not bad.
  • catch22catch22 Posts: 5
    98 XLT, 52K miles.

    The original OEM pads are still good.
  • mookie14mookie14 Posts: 252
    the passatt not the bettle r u sure. reliability they r good r there not? vw german made not american put it like this they r not like ford cheap parts rubber bands on a car. i think some what like toyota and honda what do you think or what should i get i want a family wagon consumer reports said the passatt is the best in it class what do you recommend?
  • mookie14mookie14 Posts: 252
    i got a 2000 xls and them mileage is 47300 the problem is when i shift the gear to drive plus when im in traffic and when i have my foot on the brake i hear a loud vibration from the engine and thru out the truck. i have had more exhaust problems on this truck than you can imagine. so my mine question is is this normal and has it happen on others? took it to ford well a ford dealer and they said normal. im taking it to the dealer i got it from monday just to make sure if they say its normal then im not responsible when i return it when the lease is over so if anyone knows about this let me know.
  • rysterryster Posts: 564
    Hi. I am not going to recommend anything. Just relaying my VW experience. VW quality/reliability is very hit or miss whether the car is a Beetle, Jetta, or Passat. The universal complaint regardless of VW model is the generally poor service the VW dealer network provides. Consumer Reports does not impress me. I find their advice questionable at best and do not let it influence my choices. Some of the most reliable cars I have owned have been on their "avoid" list.

    When I had my car at the dealer on Friday, I looked at the new '02 Explorer. I was very impressed with the comfort and build quality and plan to give it serious consideration as a replacement for my '00 Explorer. This was a new dealer for me in terms of service and they were absolutely wonderful. It was very refreshing to find a competent dealer for a change.

    No car is perfect, it is just a matter of finding something that you like and can be comfortable with owning for many years.
  • swn1swn1 Posts: 27
    Here we go again folks. I have a 99 Explorer XLT which as we all know had the Firestones recalled and replaced with Ford recommended Goodyear AT/S. Here's my story. Last Wed I was on my way home on the PA Turnpike and heard a noise similar to that of a stone in the tread coming from the left front tire. The noise stopped and a short distance later I stopped for gas and to inspect the tire. What I found was a section of the tread about the size of my fist had separated and was gone exposing the inner belts, just waiting for something to puncture them and blow out, etc, etc. Fortunatley this did not happen. The noise I heard was the hunk of tire flapping on the road and finally breaking off. I changed the tire and took it to my Ford Dealer the next day. He was more than willing to replace the tire with a brand new one for free forgetting about pro-ration on the tire that had 38,000 miles but he could do nothing about the other 4 tires since they showed no signs of being defective. He agreed the tread had partially separated and should not have done so and was a defect in the tire.. I refused his offer and took the tire back. I did not feel safe or didn't think it was wise to risk the safety of my family on his determination even though he never saw the other 4 tires. I replaced 4 tires with Bridgestone's. The Bridgestone dealer also said the tread had separated and the tire was defective and was more than willing to give it back to me. I contacted Goodyear by e-mail and I received a call from a Dave Johnson in customer service, 330-796-6522, who I surmise is a little further up the ladder than a typical CSR. Bottom line is he said there is nothing Goodyear can do since I replaced their product. All he offered was to pro-rate and replace the defective tire and have the other 4 inspected for defects, if they showed signs of defect, whatever that means, they would be adjusted. My interpretation is the problem is mine, not Goodyear's which he did not dispute. If you have any of the problems I described I would suggest you call Mr.Johnson and file a complaint with at least the NHSTA. I have found articles on the internet accusing Goodyear of knowing about and covering up this problem in '95-'97 according to one article I read. If enough people complain we all may be getting recall notices on the tires that replaced the first recall. This could go on forever. I will be interested to see how many others post their experiences and hope they were not serious.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    I think I'll take my tires off and cast concrete around the rims. let 'em make the roads of rubber :-D
  • rysterryster Posts: 564

    Interesting you should mention your Goodyear problem. I am glad that no one was hurt when the tire failed.

    I recently had a front-end alignment done on my '00 Explorer. The dealer performed the alignment, but advised me it was their opinion one of my tires has a "thrown" steel belt and I should be conscious of the fact I may have a tire issue. My truck has Goodyear Wrangler RT/S tires that were on the truck when I bought it new 18 months ago (23,500 miles ago).

    I have already had one of the tires repaired (by a Goodyear dealer) as it picked up 2 nails in the tread. I wonder if the repair helped contribute to the "thrown" steel belt, or if the tire is simply defective (I think it is the same tire). I have never been all that pleased with their perfomance as it is.

    It may be time to take the plunge and simply get 4 new tires (I will keep the Goodyear on the spare; not a big deal). The Continental ContiTrac SUV tires are very affordable and supposedly pretty good. Yokohama Geolandar AT's are supposed to be decent as well.
  • bioman3bioman3 Posts: 37
    At this point I am wondering what kind of a Ford Dealer would let you drive away with a tire on the Explorer that "may have thrown a belt". By telling you that: "you should be conscious of it" this dealer is not giving you good advice. If indeed the tire is bad, the dealer should be a little more proactive in affecting replacement of the tire. At this point I would put on my spare and take the tire to another dealership or Goodyear and get a "second opinion". This sounds like a potentially dangerous situation that requires immediate attention!
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    The Goodyear Wrangler tires (AT/S, RT/S, etc....) are not the best tires for the Explorer. I think people buy them because of the Goodyear name and the association with auto racing. I have had two tire cup on my Explorer. It makes an awful noise.
  • rysterryster Posts: 564

    I don't think the dealer wanted to deal with the tire issue, and not being a factory Goodyear "store" I guess I can't blame them. I would like to think if it was an urgent isuue they wouldn't have let me drive away on that tire.

    The tire seems fine to me for now and I am not exhibiting the drift to the left they claim the tire is causing. When the truck nears the 30K mile point in the next 4 months or so I am definitely getting new tires all around. The Goodyears aren't going to make it through another winter, they were barely adequate on a dusting of snow a few months ago.
  • dixaronedixarone Posts: 21
    I'm going to be replacing my tires at the end of summer on a '97 Explorer 4WD...currently have Wrangler RT/S's.

    Any recommendations as to the "best tire" for this vehicle? If I go ahead and replace the tires, I will be planning on keeping this vehicle for the extra-long run. Therefore, price will not a huge consideration when I buy the new set.
  • bminderbminder Posts: 2
    HELP. I have a 96 ford explorer XLT, V6, four wheel drive. About a year ago I noticed hearing a whirling noise that seems to come from the driver side front wheel. At first my mechanic suggested new tires but this did not cure the problem. The noise seems to be more noticeable in warmer weather, after I have driven several miles, only between the speeds of 15 to 30 mph. It happens slowing down and speeding up. My mechanic has looked at it and said it does not act like a wheel bearing, the Universal Joints looks OK, and since this has been going on for over a year it must not be tied to anything major. The 4 wheel drive seems to work fine. The dust shield for the rotors are fine. I don't notice a warped rotor when braking. Any good ideas would be appreciated.
  • jrc346jrc346 Posts: 337
    I had a front wheel bearing go on a 1996 Explorer and it made a wirring sound starting at 15 Mph. However it didn't stop making the noise at any speed it just got louder and louder. I think at the time it had 60,000K on it. Goodluck with it!
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    if you jack up the car and spin the wheel, you should be able to discern the noise of a brinnelled bearing quite clearly if it's loud enough to hear in the cabin. just grabbing the top of the tire and pushing it towards the engine and away from the engine should be telling.. if the bearing is worn enough to be a danger, that wheel will flop on it, clunk clunk clunk.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    ford spent billions replacing >= KILLER TIRES!tm =< on spec... many millions advertising nationally and locally that they're your local multi-brand tire shop... and they don't drive for the replacement? that dealer either doesn't stock the Goodyears or doesn't want to handle them.

    during the "owner satisfaction adjustment" period, my service advisor told me that they got a lot of "eight-ounce" Goodyears... that's how much weight they had to use to balance them. it's a lot of wheel weights. the tires will probably not ever cause any trouble, but it means a lot of semi-retired molds and long shifts were used to meet the tire demand.

    my General 550 replacements have a fair amount of weight on one side, too, but no issues so far.

    I think the dealer just wanted to try and make a buck that month in chassis, not break even on delayed warranty payments.

    and yeah, I might go along with it, but I would also have the spare mounted up right away, or do it myself in the parking lot. I had the Firestone GM-TPC 500s with belt wires sticking out all over the edges of the tread area, way back when michelin made radials and everybody else made mistakes, and don't believe in God protecting fools any more when tires are concerned.
  • larryk5larryk5 Posts: 25
    Changing jobs and need to buy my own car for sales. Am leaning towards Honda Accord V6 @ $22k and 4.9% but have a local Ford dealer that has quoted me $25k @ 0.9% for XLT 2wd with leather. I will be putting 40k miles a year into it and get 13.5 cents per mile to maintain it. I live in Texas and will be putting a lot of open road highway miles along with stop & go city driving.

    Know what to expect with the Accord as this is what I currently drive and would expect it to make the 180-200k mile mark without a problem. Need some feedback from you 02 Explorer owners on comfort, reliability, MPG, and if you feel this SUV can make it to 200k miles without becoming a money pit.

    Need to make a decision next week and would really appreciate your feedback. I am posting on all the Explorer boards for max exposure so sorry if you run across this more than once.

  • stuartboniastuartbonia Posts: 56
    If you don't need to carry a ton of stuff for work, don't drive in places you need 4 wheel drive, forget the SUV.

    40,000 miles a year! It will cost almost twice as much in gas to run the Explorer than a car.

    If you don't care about running costs, get what floats your boat.
  • dfwhalldfwhall Posts: 11
    To all Exploder owners looking at tires. Owned (past tense!) '99 Exploder Limited. Bought Michelin LTX M/S the day I took delivery (59 miles). Never had a problem with them,I've never had a problem with Michelins for the last 20 years! At 55K, needed tires. Looked at Goodyear Fortera's and decided to try them as I liked the tread design versus Michelin Cross Country. LONG STORY SHORT!!! 3 COMPLETE SETS of tires later, they still would not balance well and give a smooth ride over 50mph. Called Goodyear customer service so much that they knew me by name. Last set of tires installed took 13 TIRES to get a set that did not have a noticeable "hop" or "tread squirm". And this is supposed to be Goodyears premium tire!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Also, during this ordeal, I had the pleasure to experience Goodyear factory store service. Most of them were ok and sympathetic. THE ONE I WOULD AVOID AT ALL COSTS IS LOCATED IN EL PASO TEXAS!!!!The only co. store in El Paso. They had opposing wheel weights on the same wheel (2 of Them!)and had air pressure reduced to 23 - 25 psi. Did not find this until I had driven to Dallas. They were extremely rude and would not allow me in the service area to watch, if they had, I would have at least noticed the wheel weight situation. Everyone take this for what it's worth. It all boils down to personal pride in your work.
  • enforcerenforcer Posts: 40
    During a recent oil change, my mechanic noticed a slow leak from my front (differential) pinion seal on the drive axel. He said the seal should not be failing at 48,000 miles on my 1997 Explorer.

    Has anyone else had this problem? Has Ford issued a TSB or a hidden warranty for this problem? I have an extended warranty that would cover the fix, but it has a deductible.
  • 4dunes4dunes Posts: 12
    I just had a complete transmission service on my '97.
    The servos were replaced, as well as the TPS-Throttle Position Sensor. Is this the same as the throttle kickdown?

    I am getting all service work done to prepare to sell this thing. I had a tune-up at 72K with platinum plugs, then I can not find it listed in the manual until 100,000. Isn't this a long time to go without a tune-up?

    Also, even though I have had this work done, the idling is rough. I am taking it in tomorrow to have this checked. Any ideas what the cause could be? Fuel filter has been replaced also at 72K (currently has 89K on it).

    I had the intake gaskets replaced prior to the recall. When I took it to Ford for the camshaft chain pretensioner recall they listed -replaced intake kit and c shaft. Does this mean that they again replaced the intake gaskets? Well, if so, THAT shouldn't be the problem! I am very nervous about this engine 4.0 SOHC v-6. I am trying to do everything I can to get this vehicle in shape to sell.

    (still have to go back to a/c shop)!~

  • kw_carmankw_carman Posts: 114
    I was looking through an Auto Trader magazine (is it just a NC thing?) an noticed that Hertz Car Sales was selling 2002 XLT's 4X4's for around $24k. Is it a good deal, or should I stay away from it?
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    the throttle position sensor is a variable resistance that tells the computer how hard you're mashing the gas pedal. it replaced all the linkage and plates on carbeuretors. there really is no reason to put it on top of the engine any more, except that they have a couple big springs and a long cable to make it "feel" like the accelerator on every other car you ever drove, not the speed lever on a $200 treadmill. but it does exactly the same thing.
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