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Ford Explorer Maintenance and Repair



  • ssmintonssminton Posts: 155
    When purchasing the vehicle, negotiate the warranty. I actually included a $0 deductible/ 100K mi warranty in the purchase of my '99 Mountaineer, no adder. With my new Honda Pilot, I paid $1000 for the same warranty. You should not pay more than that, but before you offer... ask it to be "included" once you set an offer price.

    Also, most dealers are now shying away from "Factory" extended warranties because they are too strict, delaying and limiting repairs significantly. Both of my recent Ford products used "outside" vendors to supply warranties which meant I could service the vehicle anywhere. Even my Honda extended warranty is provided by an outside vendor. I have never had a problem with something being covered on my Explorer products by the extended warranty. On my '91 and '95 Explorers and '99 Mountaineer, the warranties more than paid for themselves by 50K miles. Oil leak after oil leak and throttle body after throttle body... I'm just glad I had the warranty. Even with the new Pilot, I think it is a wise decision, if you plan to keep your vehicle into higher mileage.
  • smily1smily1 Posts: 104
    I bought an aftermarket warranty on my GP GTP for 900. Havnt had any experience with it yet since its under the factory right now. Its the same coverage as the ford warranty.

    There are many different ways to negotiate an extended warranty. Fact: You can always get a good deal if you do some research and some negotiation. Fact: The dealership is still going to make money off you.

    You can buy the warranty later down the road. I bought my ESP at 35600 miles. It was not worth spending $1300 for three years without being able to use it anyway. If it was negotiated at the time of purchase I would have paid more for the purchase price. If the dealership included it without raising the price that just means I had more room to negotiate or didnt negotiate the best price in the first place.

    I agree with ssminton, you should have an extended warranty on any new car now days. Its just too expensive otherwise.

    It depends on your situation. You can get a warranty at the time of purchase or later down the road. You can get a good deal either way. It just depends on your situation. Just worked out better for me to buy it later.
  • catch22catch22 Posts: 5
    About buying ESP later down the road - until how late could you buy it? Another question is - do you have to pay more on the premium if the car has been in the shop many times already?

    Thanks a lot!
  • smily1smily1 Posts: 104
    You can buy the ESP anytime while the vehicle is under the factory warranty. It makes no difference how many times your vehicle has been in the shop. Its still the same price. The dealership did tell me (at the time of purchase) that the ESP would be cheaper if I bought it now with only 100 miles on the truck as opposed to 35000 miles. This proved to be false.

    Hope this helps.
  • geoffd1geoffd1 Posts: 21
    I bought the OEM Ford 5/100/$50 ExtraCare extended warranty for my 98 Mountaineer over the internet when the car had 35,000 miles on it. I think it's worth waiting 'til the factory warranty is near expiring even though you pay an extra hundred bucks.

    I went through some Ford dealer in Iowa at:

    At the time, they had a far lower price than any dealer ever quoted me.

    I've used the warranty frequently. I've had just about every moving part in the front end replaced. I have to run it in soon to get the driver's power door lock and rear wiper motor replaced since I'm at 96,000 miles.

    Other than one round of plugs and wires, the only thing I've ever paid for beyond fluid changes, filters, tires, and brake pads was a set of Bilstein shocks. I'd recommend the Bilstein's to anybody. Far better than the factory shocks... especially if you tow with the car.

  • sadatxsadatx Posts: 70

    Lately, I've noticed a 'clicking' type noise coming from the engine ( I guess ) while my AC is running. The 'clicking' noise can only be observed when the car is idle and clicks about once every minute or so. The AC seems run fine after replacing the thermostat. Has anyone come across this problem before?

    I have a 98 EB 4x4.

  • njdevilsrnnjdevilsrn Posts: 185
    I've owned 3 Explorers and a Taurus since 1990. They all made a clicking sound when the compressor kicked on and the idle kicked up. No ill effects seen.
  • njdevilsrnnjdevilsrn Posts: 185
    geoffd1...that is a great link you posted. My 2000 XLS has been only somewhat of a problem child (one major repair - tranny replaced @ 21000 miles), but I shudder to think of what the next 50000 miles of time that I expect to own it could bring. I looked at a Premium Care ESP at all the dealers within a 20 mile radius of my home (about 6) and the cheapest I could find was about $1250 for 6 year/75000 miles with a $100 deductible.

    Geoff's link has the same warranty for under $1200, but with only a $50 deductible!!! I will keep shopping the net, but maybe I can see what I can squeeze out of the local guy if I throw this price at him.
  • geoffd1geoffd1 Posts: 21
    njdevilsrn writes:
    > I've owned 3 Explorers and a Taurus since 1990.

    That's like having a "kick me" sign on your back, isn't it? ;-)

    I've owned two Exploder variants so far. A 1992 Mazda Navajo (2dr Explorer Sport) and a 98 V8 AWD Mountaineer. I put ~140,000 miles on the Navajo and I have just shy of 100K on the Mountaineer. I can't imagine owning one of these without having a 100K bumper-to-bumper extended warranty. My Mountaineer got so unreliable at 80,000 miles that I went out and bought a VW GTI to use as a commuter car.

    That said, I'm pretty sure I'll be replacing my SUV with yet another Explorer. I tow 5,000 pounds of boat and I'm 6'4". That rules out most of the interesting alternatives.
  • mtntop46mtntop46 Posts: 1
    As a current owner of a 2002 Ford Explorer XLS,
    I would caution others to be careful
    of the lower outside door edges, where the door comes to a point, on ALL doors when entering and exiting the vehicle.......possible OUCH !
  • dtobiasdtobias Posts: 5
    Thanks for the info on the warranties, I checked out the link geoffd1 sent, great price - about $915 for the same warranty my dealer was going to charge me $1150 for.

    I have also checked out Warranty Gold (good prices)but am concerned if the company were to go out of business, I'd be out of luck.

    The drive shaft was replaced last week, but it did not fix the problem, there is still vibration during acceleration over 45mph.
  • geoffdgtigeoffdgti Posts: 83
    If you do a web search using keywords

    "ford extended warranty extracare",

    you'll find many other sources for OEM Ford extended warranties. When I searched 3 years ago, there was only one dealer doing it.

    Beyond the dealer in Iowa I used at:

    Hunt Ford in Maryland. 30% off suggested retail.

    Broadway Ford Truck Sales in St. Louis at:

    A classic! Bubba Oustalet Ford in Louisiana will give you a quote via email.

    Many others, too.

    These are all Ford dealers trying to make a few bucks off the internet. I'd imagine that since you're using a credit card to buy the warranty, there's zero risk in using any of them so you can shop strictly based on price. Internet search engines are a wonderful thing.

  • jposterjposter Posts: 21
    I Just purchased a 2002.5 XLT about 10 days ago, v8, tow package & running boards. etc. I've noticed a wind noise in the last couple of days--it seems to have just appeared (wasn't there the first week I owned the truck). The noise sounds like there is a slightly opened window, seems to be coming from the passenger side (hard to tell if its the passenger front window or the one in the 2nd row).

    I'm confident this is wind and not road, tire or engine noise. I've verified all windows and doors are shut. The noise only appears above 50mph and is constant now. I was thinking molding around the windows was coming apart or something, but everything appears to be intact.

    Anyone else have this issue come up? Solutions? I want to have some ideas before I get to the dealer. Based on past experiences, the dealer usually either says No problem found or they claim it was something and that doesn't fix the trouble.

    I know I had a wistle type wind noise from another vehicle I own, and the dealer ended up replacing the rubber molding around the front windshield--it fixed the problem completely.

    Thanks for any advice.
  • mbaldaccimbaldacci Posts: 1
    I'm going to apologize in advance if this is the wrong place to post this message.

    I have to replace the mirror assembly on the passenger side of my 97 Explorer SOHC.

    I've ordered and received a salvaged part, and now I realize I have to take apart the door to install the new mirror.

    I can go to the library or bookstore and get a Haynes or Chilton manual, but I don't seem to find the time to do so. Is anyone aware of instructions on how to replace a mirror assembly being available on-line?

  • bigaldsbigalds Posts: 47
    to mbaldacci:

    You can get information of how to work on your car online at

    You can buy a supscription for about $20, and it will give you all the information for just about anything you need to do.

  • dtobiasdtobias Posts: 5
    With 20 miles left on my factory warranty I found the best deal at PremiumCare 5/100,000 with $50 deduct. for $1465.00. Decided to go with the 5/100 instead of the 4/75 plan.

    If you want to buy it locally, some dealers are willing to negotiate, I found one near by that would match the price, but they still had to charge me sales tax, which I didn't have to pay on the out of state transaction at

    Also decided against the WarrantyGold after hearing from a friend that just went with them and didn't have a good first experience. He had some problems getting WG to call the shop back in time to give approval to get it done the same day and ended up having to rent a car. The rental ended up being covered, but the headaches of having to keep calling the dealer and WG just wasn't worth the price difference.

    Thanks for all the links, saved me big bucks.
  • mdeymdey Posts: 90
    I have looked at Alldata in the past. I never noticed that Ford had recalled the Explorer 4x4 for the radius arm bushing. A dealer charged me $250 to replace the right-side bushing about two years ago. I still own the Explorer; my son drives it. But this is why I now have two other cars, neither of which are Fords. Shame on Ford.
  • luckynjcluckynjc Posts: 3
    I've got the same problem with my 2000 XLT and if you read message #1423 you'll see what stories the dealer told me and what I've tried to do to rectify the annoyance. I still don't have a solution and am ready to place a strip of material at the top of my passenger side windows and close the window before my next trip. I really don't care how it looks, as long as it will stop the noise. I'll report back with the results, in the meantime I'm going to check the website to see what I can find....
  • If they did it the proper way, you got a deal for $250. The bushing close to the cat always goes bad. Replacing just one side sounds like a bad idea. I replaced mine with polyurathane. ones and did a half split on the bushing so the radius arm would not have to be removed. Took about an hour and are still fine after 70K even though the support frame was chewed up.
  • Hi to All,
    maybe somebody has gone through the same situation, my explorer 95 automatic transmission downshifts suddenly when I am driving it, for example if I reached the 3rd gear, suddenly downshifts to 2nd gear causing a huge shock in the car and a increase in RPM, usually does not happen when the car is cool but after driving a while and the car temperature increases it starts downshifting and shaking the car due to the sudden change, also the O/D light in the board starts blinking. I have already taken to the shop and they "repaired" the transmission but still has the same problem , other people checked the solenoids but did not find anyone damaged. Does anybody have any idea why is this happening ?
  • mj2468mj2468 Posts: 1
    I'm looking for some advice. The transmission on our 93 XLT 4WD just went out. It's got around 80000 miles. We've been quoted $1800 to fix it. Would it be worth it to fix it or can we expect some other big ticket repairs soon? Ordinarily we would just replace it, but we just replaced our other car last month. I don't like the thought of two car payments. Thanks for any help.
  • bigaldsbigalds Posts: 47
    To arturohurtado:
    Sounds that it may be a problem with the computer controls to the transmission, cause the computer tell the solenoids when to shift.

    To mj2468:
    I've had 3 Explorers, a 91, a 93 and a 97. The 91 to 95 transmissions behind the V6 engines are known to be weak, it takes exceptional care to make one last 155,000 miles like my 93 did. Since these are problematic transmissions I recommend serviceing and changing transmission fluid an filter more often than the factory recommendation, do it every year, AND be sure to pour in a bottle of LUCAS TRANSMISSION FIX every time you service the transmision, and also when you have a transmission problem, or when you need to add fluid.
    If you buy another Explorer, be sure to buy one with the V8 Transmission, it runs much better and the transmission is much stronger and will give you much better service.
    Good Luck
    Big AL in Sunny Florida
  • geoffd1geoffd1 Posts: 21
    > The 91 to 95 transmissions behind the V6 engines are known to be weak,
    > it takes exceptional care to make one last 155,000 miles like my 93 did.

    Gee. I pounded the snot out of my 1992 Navajo (2dr Exploder) and never had issues with the transmission in 145,000 miles. I can't remember ever changing transmission fluid though maybe it got done once. The drivetrain problem I remember with that car was the front electric hubs. I've had far more drivetrain problems (pretty much all moving parts from the front transfer case outwards have failed) with my 1998 V8 AWD Mountaineer.
  • smily1smily1 Posts: 104
    How many miles do you have on your Mountaineer? I have a 98 V8 AWD and I pound the snot out of it. I have not had any problems with it so far. I live next to the beach and take it on the dunes rather frequently and take it off road in the snow a couple times a winter. With only 54k on the truck, it might be a little early for problems to surface.

    At what mileage did you start having problems?
  • Consumer reports rated them below average. 91 to 95 I believe before they went to the 5 speed. My 92 has had two transmissions and I don't tow anything. Last time I went to the shop there were 4 Explorers ahead of me. Aerostar used this same transmission if I remember. The LD stands for Light Duty.
  • bigaldsbigalds Posts: 47
    I had a 91 V6 2WD had to put in 2 auto transmissions in 150,000 miles.
    I have a 93 V6 2 WD have had to put one auto transmission in at 155,000 miles.
    I have a 97 V8 2 WD with original transmision at 105,000 miles.
    The A4LD's have a know history of problems, you may get lucky and have one last over 130,000 miles, but most fail before 100,000 miles. I have know of many people with these transmission who have had trouble with them.
    You can have trouble with ANY of them, or you could get lucky with ANY of them, but they all still produce an overall history rating. I've worked on many of them and on a scale of 1 to 10, I would give the A4LD transmission an overall rating of about 4 or 5, and the AODE or 4R70W behind the V8 about an overall rating of 8 or 9.
  • txyank1txyank1 Posts: 1,010
    Just stopped in out of curiosity. I spend most of my time over on the pickup board. On a brighter note than most here, we (Wife's vehicle) have a '96 XLT with 5.0 V8 and only 38,000 miles. Other than a sticky throttle body it has been trouble free. I wanted a Tahoe when we bought this, but didn't need the extra room and in '96 you got so much more for the money with the Explorer. I never liked the "squirrely" handling. The steering is really too quick for an SUV, but it's been a great vehicle.
  • bigaldsbigalds Posts: 47
    To txyank1,
    I was rather surprised by your post, about the 96 Explorer steering feeling "squirrely". I've got a 97 Explorer, and the steering feels so nice, stable and steady compared to the 91 and 93 Explorers that I've had. The older ones had the I-Beam front suspension with the radius arms and bushings, and the newer ones, I think it started in 95, have the upper and lower swing arm suspension with the rack and pinion steering. I really love driving the 97 Explorer with the rack and pinion steering because it is so steady and comfortable. Mine is anything BUT squirrely.
  • raaizinraaizin Posts: 31
    I have a '96 Explorer XLT. When I put the right turn signal on it buzzez and doesnt blink. This probably happen once out of every 10 times. I replaced the turn signal relay and that didn't solve the problem. On another bb I saw that this is a somewhat common problem, but dont see any posts about this topic here. Needless to say hte other board didn't have a solution. Some replaced the relay and turn signal switch without success. Any thought on this.

  • bigaldsbigalds Posts: 47
    To raaizin,

    For answers to your mechanical problems, try the BAT AUTO website:

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