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Ford Explorer Maintenance and Repair



  • brophbroph Posts: 85
    Imacmil - I'd be very interested in the outcome if you brought your explorer into the dealer for this code. My Explorer is also a '96 with the same code, but has 114K on it. I had the ECM & O2 sensor replace about 2 years ago I also had this reset a few times n.g. I have been running it this way for over 2 years & it still runs good. Being this is my first Explorer I do not know the usual gas mileage, I get approx. 13 - 15 mpg mixed driving. I'm very leary about going to the dealer, because everytime I got a vehicle back, something else would be wrong. Coincidence??
    Good luck & thanks.

  • lmacmillmacmil Posts: 1,758
    The light is off now because I think the shop that checked it must have reset it. If it comes on again I'll get the code checked at Autozone and if it's the same, I'll go to the dealer. I'm told the catalytic converter is covered for 8/80,000 as an emission systems device. I don't have any driveability problems but on a 1500 trip a year ago, averaged only 16.6 mpg which I thought was a little low for highway driving.

    I know what you mean about the typical dealer service dept. They often aren't any better than the independants but cost a lot more.
  • I took delivery yesterday of an '03 Mountaineer that I ordered in July. It has every possible option except the DVD thingie. The ride is EXCELLENT as compared to the '99 Explorer that it replaces. The two complaints that I have, however, are:
    1. They changed the middle seat in the back without warning (or I might have bot an '02). On the '02, the back folds down neatly into the floor after the seat is flipped up. The kids can use the middle then as a little table. Now it won't fold flat at all because they added a 3 point seat belt.

    2. The rear hatch window will only close if pressure is applied DIRECTLY to the center over the Mercury logo. I noticed a neighbor's '02 Explorer and it appears that Ford changed the entire closing mechanism...but it only "catches" when you apply the pressure as noted or "slam" it shut with extreme force.

    Any comments?

    Daryll40, Pittsburgh
  • Well first Zman3, you just pull the cover straight out-feels like it is going to break, but it won't-did this last night to replace my brake light bulbs-was tentative as you have been, thinking I would break the light cover-it just pops in and out.

    I need some help-my brake lights are not working-replaced the bulbs, but that was not the problem. The fuses all look fine-but frankly my manual doesn't really point out which fuse is the brake light fuse. However, all fuses look fine. I have a 98 Eddie Bauer. I'll have to go into the shop where I'm sure they will decide it's some major electrical problem that will cost me a fortune-so I'm hoping someone out there can point me in the right direction before Ford "takes me for a ride". Thanks.
  • Turns out my brake light problem was the brake switch--found under the dash board. The part was around $8. A friend pointed me in the direction of an honest (is this possible) mechanic who knew exactly what it was-sent me out to get the part and put it in for me on the spot. I feel like I've died and gone to heaven.
    Now to figure out what that rattle is in the under carriage---muffler vibrating against something??? I'll go back to honest Abe when he has more time. If any of you have any ideas though.......
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    and while looking for it, I also found that the chassis bender crossthreaded one of the two front spring leaf holddown bracket bolts and it had over a half inch of rattle room.

    couldn't back that one out, had to cut it and replace.

    that was one of my tiny rattles... I have a toolkit with a rattle in it that is hiding the other right now, so that tells you how small an issue it is.
  • I have a 97 and the first stainless heat shield just back of the engine had a mounting strap around the pipe break. A stainless steel hose clamp fixed it.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    haven't had one go yet, but when they do, I hear it's not always intuitive to find the source.

    I do like to get underneath once a year or so and tap things, especially before a long trip or vacation out in the middle of nowhere. find a lot of dinky little rattle makers doing that.

    for those who haven't had the pleasure yet... WARNING, chock the wheels on opposite corners, tranny in park, parking brake ON, all sets of keys in your pocket. don't raise the freakin' car to do this unless you have sturdy ramps with no damage that can hold twice the car's weight. NEVER get anything underneath a car, even a hand, if it's being held by a jack, NEVER. life safety issues here. if you have remote starting on your key fobs, take the batteries OUT first. level ground only. our lawyers thank you ;)
  • Help!
    My wife just bought a 1999 EB with automatic climate control. Living in Chicago traffic, she likes to have max-AC on all the time to keep out smog. Problem - while the heater works on auto or manual directions settings - on max-AC it will not blow warm air - even at 90 degree setting, still has cold air - suggestions??
    Thanks in advance....
  • thanks to some helpful posts I've replaced the very inexpensive fuel pump and EEC relays ... no problems yet, but if it won't start again my next move will be to replace the Crankshaft Position Sensor (CPS) ... could someone tell me where this is located and how hard it is to replace? Hopefully I won't ever have to - I'm hoping the 2 new relays will do the trick.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    what diagnosis has led to this unusual combination of replacements?

    you need fuel, air, and spark to run the car. assuming you tested the fuel pump by putting jumpers in the body wiring harness plug and ran them direct to the battery, then measured the pressure at the fuel rail... and assuming you have checked the intake and exhaust systems for restrictions and put a clean air filter in line just for the randy hell of it... spark is a useful place to go next.

    however, there are a L O T of electronics in spark beyond just the crank sensor. thousands of dollars worth. not to mention the coils, ignition wires, and plugs. checking the computer with a scan tool is definitely in order for trouble codes... or any indication that the computer can talk to the tool, because if it can't it probably isn't talking to anything else. you can run a gross spark test by putting a neon bulb on the end of a long stick, and holding it by a plug wire while cranking. no orange flashes, suspect spark.

    if you can lead us through the process, there are some serious wrenches who drop by that can help. also post what kind of engine is in this thing, it makes a difference.
  • My 94 has developed a strange problem. When it first starts up it revs up normally and then idles down quickly and stalls. Usually then second time I start it, then it will idle and warm up. It's not a bad problem yet, but my experience says that soon things will head for the worst. I don't know if it's related but the "check engine" light now comes on occasionally as well. I don't have an Autozone to check the codes and I don't want to pay the dealer 119$ just to look at the emissions. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! thanks,ed
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    ford engine computers start rich on the "limp mode" stored curves, then play around a bit for 20 to 30 seconds or so with the mixture and spark and see if they can get off the limp mode and run more or less realtime (more when the engine temp is up and air temp is normal, less when it's colder than a tax man's smile up here a shovel's throw from Frostbite Falls.) during that time, the idle speed varies. on my 4-banger ranger with dual plugs which I traded off two years ago, the computer also periodically tries cutting out the secondary plug bank (on the drivers' side of the engine) and if it won't stay in the zone, cuts it back in.

    all the factors you mention are consistent with issues that indicate running problems, and the computer knows on the second start that it has to fall back to limp mode and not hink with things until it's warmed up.

    the codes will be real useful. how many miles you got on this thing, and which engine? pull a couple of plugs and check their condition, spray the ignition wires with a mister in a darkened garage and look for sparks and corona to do an ugly quick test on whether your wires are going away. is the EGR valve surrounded by little wisps of carbon, perhaps? is the air filter clean? fuel filter replaced at 30,000 mile intervals? some of the old tune-up tricks from way back when computers still had vacuum tubes and tape drives for storage are still valid for a first run-through on what could be at issue.

    but the stored codes in the computer will help pinpoint whether any of the expensive parts, like 02 sensors, need to be evaluated as well.
  • Few things are as satisfying as removing exhaust bolts intact from a ten year old car. The four bolts that held the Y pipe to the exhaust headers have been removed on my 92 Explorer. The last major obstacle before the removal of the A4LD transmission. Tense moments ensued as the heavily extended breaker bar hobbled and sounds emanated that mimicked a cracking socket or shattering bolt. One 3/8 extension sheared, six were used in series to reach the bolts. Penetrating oil, good tools, or skill had nothing to do with it. Exhaust hardware only comes apart as a result of divine providence.

    Now comes the easy part as I attempt to rebuild my first automatic transmission.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    he is on track for sainthood! his first miracle is documented here
  • I just purchased a 97 Explorer XLT 4.0. The truck came with two remotes, but the gentleman I purchased it from never used them at all. At this point they do not work. I replaced the batteries in them, but they still do not work.

    Are there instructions available on how I can program them myself, or will I have to go to the dealer?

    I looked through the site, but was unable to navigate through all of the messages to see if this had been discussed. Any help will be greatly appreciated.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    All I remember seeing is a reference that a dealer has to do it and it should cost ~$45 US.

    Anyone know the trick?

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  • jrc346jrc346 Posts: 337
    They are very easy to program as I have had to program 2 or 3 from them getting lost. (NOT CHEAP!) All you do it cycle the ignition switch to the run (not start) prosition and back to off three times or until the door locks lock and unlock by themselves. Then right after they do that with the ingnition switch still in the run position click the lock or unlock buttons on both of the remotes. This should do it.
    If this does not work then you have to go to the dealer and usually they will try the process for free (mine did the first time). If they can't do it then something has to be done to the computer and it will cost around $80.00 to have it done (at my dealership). Goodluck!
  • I noticed you mentioned holding a neon bulb close to a plug wire to confirm spark, what do you mean by "neon"? You mean flourescent?
    Thank you.
  • Thanks a bunch!!! I was able to reprogram both remotes with no problem at all.
  • jrc346jrc346 Posts: 337
    I'm glad that I could help out. Enjoy your Explorer!
  • bivitbivit Posts: 1
    I purchased a 2002 Ford Explorer, XLT 4x4 with leather interior, in Mar,2001, from Shelor Ford,in Christiansburg, Va. The dealer has had the vehicle for 44 days for warranty work. They don't seem to be able to fix things the first time, if they ever do get it fixed. They are unaware of technical service bulletins...(I had to go to this website where someone made me aware that a "TSB" was issued for my transmission problem. They fixed that problem with the info. I gave them. Still having problems with transmission after two repairs. I wrote the President of Ford...received a call from a secretary in his office...said she would call the dealership...she did...nothing happened...after time and more calls, said that they have little control over the dealerships. On salesmen's promises and representations - Service manager said " they can't be held to what salemen tell or promise the customer". I called Larry Shelor, President of the dealership...Received a call back from a "Customer Service" Rep. Said that Mr. Shelor would not speak with me "he is a very busy man". She acknowledged that the file showed that my explorer had quite a number of problems and warranty repair visits. She finally suggested that I "may want to go to another dealership for warranty work" There are other issues... if anyone is interested, post a message...
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    They don't seem to be able to fix things the first time, if they ever do get it fixed.

    I am sorry to hear of your troubles with the dealer. How about taking a short drive up to Blacksburg where I expect you'll find better service and competence.

    SUVs; Aftermarket & Accessories
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    no, a neon bulb that glows orange, like on the end of a two-wire two-dollar power tester. by the induced voltage effect, a neon bulb will glow as spark voltage goes past it on the wire if it's high enough. if there is a break in the carbon conductor and a little dinky spark bridges it inside the wire jacket, that generates a point source of radio frequency energy, and that is almost always strong enough to light off the neon gas inside a neon bulb. it helps that the two vertical electrodes are coated for a reliable trigger of around 55 volts.

    fluorescent bulbs are not sensitive enough to show this, and the phosphor also absorbs enough energy that you won't see the effect. fluorescents depend on mercury vapor gas to light, and there is no pre-heat charge in this application to vaporize enough mercury to conduct in the first place across the uncoated electrode pins in the ends.
  • Hey swschrad, send me a picture of this little devil, if you can!
  • Hi all. Quiet in here, so I will pose the following questions. I'm planning on keeping my 2000 XLS for a while. In addition to purchasing the Ford Premium Care ESP in the next month or so, I was wondering about some of the following as in my younger days, I got 2 Explorers and dumped them with less than 30000 on either one...

    1 - Tires - Currently riding on Michelin Cross Terrain SUV, they have about 21000 miles on them. They are, OK, were a noticeable improvement over the Wilderness. How long do you think these will last?

    2 - Brakes - 27000 miles on the truck, all original equipment. I do a good mix of driving, and I'm not hard on them at all. How long until they go, and I would assume front would go first.

    3 - Shocks - Not having any problems in terms of durability, but when they do go, I would like to upgrade to something that helps hold the road better on turns with bumpy roads (I'm sure all 2001 and before drivers know of the skipping rear end) Any thoughts?
  • brophbroph Posts: 85
    I'm due to change these two things & would like to get to it before the winter. How hard is it to change the fluid in both differentials? & what should I go with synth or regular. I own a '96 explorer for little over 2 years with 114K on it & believe it is the orig fluid. It's due. Thanks in advance,

  • smily1smily1 Posts: 104
    My breaks lasted 40k on my 98. Replaced the shocks at about the same time with edelbrock IAS and have been very happy with them. Billstiens are good as I hear. No idea on the tires. Im getting Michellin ATX/AT's (I do some off roading...)

    never had a skipping rear end.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    i also have a 96 Explorere and changed the differential fluid at 121k in Feb. Considering your mileage and the fact that the regular differential fluid last 114k miles, I woud just use the normal fluid. Save our money for something else.
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