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Ford Explorer Maintenance and Repair



  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    sounds like the counsel is fishing for witnesses. perfectly legal. not very questionable, either. now, some may think you have a weak case if you are scattergunning letters out there. if you liked "Erin Brockovich," you know it's sometimes necessary to develop a pool of interested parties to get something done.

    would like to know what criteria they are using to target recipients, but it's probably the NHTSA complaints log or something like that.
  • Told they wouldn't replace the spare. I guess they think if you have to put the spare on, you should only drive 30 mph!
  • akanglakangl Posts: 3,650
    On my 97 Explorer it has replacement tires, looks like when the orginal owner had it done they did all 5. My friend at the tire shop where I go said that any of the recall tires they did were all 5. They had to take all the firestones off the truck, including the spare.

    I personally had the Firestone Radial ATX on my Navajo (2-door Explorer) and B-4000 (Ford Ranger), I never had a problem with them. Well, except for wintertime, they were too hard of a rubber for winter, no traction. I think it just boiled down to tire pressure, we had ours inflated to the max on the tire. We don't go by the door since we are always towing or hauling something.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    They are supposed to do all 5, including the spare. That's ludicrous that they wouldn't, and I'd be screaming. A defective tire anywhere in your possession is a potential injury and lawsuit. You may want to remind them of that.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Nellcoop, this article should help:

    Bridgestone/Firestone Announces Noninjury Class Settlement Details

    "The next step, according to McDonald, is to get the message about the settlement out to affected consumers nationwide. McDonald said Bridgestone/Firestone would present its notification plan, which includes direct mail and print ad components, to the court the week of Aug. 25."

    Steve, Host
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    the ATX was a designated "safe spare" on the rangers, and they didn't replace ANY of them officially on the spare hanger.

    the Wilderness ATs were a different story, Ford wanted all of them out of the way, at their own expense if necessary. guy across the aisle from me at work didn't get his spare changed out, I had him go back and get it done. I made sure all 5 of my => KILLER TIRES! tm <= were gone before I drove out, and mentioned it when I drove in.

    If you had Aiken, SC tires, most of them were supposedly acceptable, except for the hard sliding rubber and the funky tread that didn't do the job in snow. mine were Canadian, and I was quite disgusted with the performance, whether or not I had to take all the tools and sharp instruments out of the garage to be sure the => KILLER TIRES! tm <= didn't run on a murdering rampage at the drop of a stone from the tread.

    Ford really stepped up on this, and having had a set of the shredding TPC 500s as OEM on my 76 Buick and being blown off by Firestone on that recall until I put my TV news badge on and said it was time to head back to work.. when there was steel wool coming out of the tread edges already... I surely appreciated that.

    I did OK on FR480s on my Ranger (OEM and one replacement set,) but I've had it with Firestone, and will crawl over broken glass through gang gunfire to get to my Ford dealer when next I need to trade, to see what he's got.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I've had the same experience, coincidentally, as my 76 Buick Skylark had Firestone 500's on it, which all separated one by one, and GM did nothing about it but refer me to the Firestone Dealer, who put an equally bad tire on to replace them. I too think Ford stepped up nicely on this problem, and NHTSA did clear Ford of any wrongdoing as I recall.

    Not an easy thing for Ford to do, with the Firestone family related by marriage so deeply in the Ford family. Of course, it's really Bridgestone now. I am amazed that the tires were so bad, but not surprised that Bridgestone disavowed them. Mitsubishi has done that for years, and in fact, most of the Japanese companies don't issue recalls, they issue denials generally.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    which was done as they headed into a sales slump with the deterioration of the economy. that definitely hurt big time. but they knew it had to be done to distance the brand from the issue, and they didn't just crab and snipe from the sidelines, they did the reverse engineering to show how variable the assembly of the => KILLER TIRES! tm <= really was. day to day, plant to plant, there was no uniformity of design or inner materials on those tires. Aiken, SC was about the only place where the designed shoulder was used throughout.

    truck was even lowered in 96 or 97 by a third of an inch in center of gravity with the elimination of the Twin I-Beam suspension, and was nicely stable. the 2002 and up versions were lowered another half inch in CG by pocketing suspension through the frame... and with making the track just over two inches wider, it's a pretty square-shouldered object on the road.

    all of which suggests that while Ford continues niggling a penny out of this and a nickel out of that, like virtually every other manufacturer, they overall gave a rip about whether you got out of the truck at the destination or whether the rescue squad could take its time cutting you out, because time didn't matter any more.

    I've had to fix a couple tangential little items on both my Fords, but less than anything else I've had, and I'm inclined to stay with 'em at this point.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 11,924
    not trying do defend firestone; maybe i'm just lucky.
    just my experience with 4 sets of wilderness tires. first set on 1991 explorer, swapped them out for another set at 70k, tire dealer said most people wouldn't change them out with that much tread on them. i pointed out to him they were over 5 years old and we were headed into winter. second set on 94 explorer 35k, traded truck in. third set 1997 explorer 49k traded truck in, plenty of tread left. 2000 expedition 20k, turned them in with the recall. bought my own tires, so i had to bring them back to the dealer to get reimbursed. they looked brand new inside and out.
    btw, got some pirelli scorpion a/t's. those suckers were like driving on duct tape! kind of noisy though. firestones never felt all that great wet or dry.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Yes, but, sounds like you live in a fairly cool climate? The problems were much much more pronounced in the sun belt and below. I too had ATX & Wilderness tires that gave me no problem, however, I never put more than 36,000 miles on a set before they went back in. But I do live in heat, and we had some come apart around here. It's my understanding that statistically, they rarely failed in places that had snow part of the year.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    as I understand the genesis of the line, the wilderness tires about 96 or 97 started to be bid and supplied to different pricing formulas... ford had a fit of cost-savings, and at this point goodyear stopped selling to ford for this application to protect their bottom line.

    this will of course result in re-engineering the winning-bid tire so they could make 'em and still eke out a profit. it's at that point that the tires started to exhibit problems, first in Saudi Arabia, where it gets good and goldarn hot indeed, thanks. then issue started showing up in south america and the US sun belt.

    I have to agree that the traction and road feel off the => KILLER TIRES! tm <= were just atrocious, like the pretend "semi-pneumatic" tires on a TV cart. they were made foremost, I think, for mileage.
  • My 2000 Exploder, 4.0L SOHC, with only 52K mi., just spun it's front main bearing. The resulting metal shavings and debris ruined everything, a catastrophic failure,and I'm told I need an entire new engine (warrenty expired at 36K). The car was meticiously maintained only by Ford service departments, and had a recent oil change. Yes, the crankcase oil level was at the "full" mark. How common is it for this engine to spin a bearing? If anyone else has had this experience, did you get any help from Ford on the replacement costs? I would contend this failure is the result of a manufacturing or assembly error---no way for it to be due to abuse or lack of proper maintaince. Thanks for your comments.
  • jrc346jrc346 Posts: 337
    I have been on and off these boards for about three years, and I have seen very FEW 4.0L (SOHC or OHV) engine failures. Making me think that you are right about there being some kind of manufacturing defect. I suppose the only possible thing that you have going for you is maintenance. If you have records of everything, then it is really hard for Ford to say that you did something wrong.

    My wifes 2000 Explorer has this motor in it, and it's currently at 50K. Problems we have had with it, is a bad thermostat, and the timming chain tensioner (covered under warranty). Overal, I am very pleased with it. The best of luck to you!
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    got a lot of exploders with one or the other 4-liter engine at work, and they're all going strong with no lower engine issues. you got a bad one, and sometimes stuff happens.

    get the crate engine put in, and request some customer satisfaction assistance from the ford zone office. legally, they are under no obligation whatsoever to give you even a cup of coffee over it, now that the warranty is up. financially, it's not their top priority.

    practically, there is a small pool of resources held at most large companies for keeping customers satisfied, or sorta satisfied, when something unusual fails expensively and kicks the customer hard. if you make a good case and like the car, you might get a little something back.

    most they can do is say no, and it costs an hour and 37 cents to ask. worth a try.
  • After reading these comments I'm having second thoughts on an 03 explorerxlt. Looking at envoy, trailblazer and 4runner. Like the 4runner but dealers don't discount very much. Like toyota quality but prefer american. Would you if you had to do it again, stay with explorer. The 60month 0% financing is hard to ignore. Bit u get what you pay for.
  • jrc346jrc346 Posts: 337
    Well, it is your call and your money! I had/have owned 3 Explorers and I would absolutly buy them again, save for maybe my last one. Mine have all been the last generation 1995-2001 and have been very reliable performers. In relation to the model that you are looking at, good friends of the family own (2003 Mountaineer) one and are going to get another they are so happy with it. IMHO, the 4Runner is very good looking and I like the V8, but like you I prefer American brands. The Trailblazer and Envoy, while appealing seem to have a lot of programing and electrical issues associated with them. However, those issues may be a thing of the past. Just one guys opinion. Goodluck with your search!

    If you have time look at consumer ratings of the 2003 and 2004 Explorers under the NEW car tab here on Edmunds. Right now both years have a really high satisfaction rate!
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 11,924
    regarding the wilderness tires. i was just relaying my experience. along with that i rotate tires on a regular basis, and check tire pressures also; usually to the higher end.
    incentives for the explorer in ct, according to the dreaded tv, are now 0% for 72 months + 1k, or 4 or 5k cash back.
    hoping saturday and sunday don't get cancelled at dover.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Absolutely, in fact I have done it now 4 times, and will very likely do it the 5th time when lease is up in May. I still have my first Explorer, a 94 with 115,000 miles on it. Engine is sound and tight and runs like new. I think they're the best design and very reliable. Oh sure, you can get a bad one, but they're rare.

    4 Runner I have no experience with as I generally don't care for Toyoda design, inside or out. GM interiors are just atrocious, but they have finally designed a nice looking SUV on the outside.

    I like my Fords very much.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    one had tranny issues 3 --> 4 with the series 4 transmission. there are multiple causes, and his was a not-really-optimum flash program in the engine computer... reflashing cured his flashing OD light.

    I'm just plum tickled with mine, and figure to run it like my other cars have been, past 120K. got 43K on it now.
  • Has anybody else heard of this problem? I have a 2002 XLT 4X4 with about 27000 miles on it. I have had to take it to the dealership because the ABS light comes on when turning left. Supposedly it was fixed (a few months ago), but just this AM it happened again. I am taking it in tomorrow anyway because the airbag light is continuously on. Other problems I have had: dome light came on whenever, wherever, but might not come on when turned on, air conditioner stopped working. All of these have been attributed to blown relays. But the service manager says they aren't on the same circuit, so could only be related if the battery has a prob. This last time it was in, he says he had everything checked and nothing could be found.

    Not only are these lights annoying, but what happens if there is an accident? My airbag may or may not deploy and my ABS may or may not work. What the heck??

    Thanks for any help.........
  • cmartin411cmartin411 Atlanta, GAPosts: 42
    My 03 XLT has 33,000 miles and is on its 4th ABS light. Mine would come on and stay on. The dealer said I was "driving through too many magnetic fields." Or maybe quality isn't Job 1 at Ford, as the old ad used to say.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    28000 miles on my 02 - no lights, ever.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    WHOOOO, too much! take a Wedgie hold on that spokes-suit and see if he's wearing aluminum foil shorts, LOL. does he click his pen three times before writing, every time? counting them out loud??

    I believe the option cmartin411 offered, they are replacing bad sensors with ones they ran out back to get from the dumpster. or they are slamming them in with the wrong tool and damaging them in installation.
  • I have an 02 EB Explorer with 48,000 miles on it. Around 42,000 miles, I started having my lights come on. First it was the check engine light, then it was the air bag light. Had both of the sensors changed on it, and has not been a problem since.
    Now, a few weeks ago, I was parked on an incline and when I got back in the car, it would not go in reverse. It took probably an hour for me to get it in reverse. This is the only time that it has happened. Took it to the dealership and they want to replace the whole steering column.I don't know if it was because of where I was parked or if I need to have anything replaced. Has anyone else had this problem????
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    only when I fail to set the parking brake on a steep incline......
  • Hey guys, I need an advice from someone who owns an Explorer or mountaineer with this sound system.
    I wanted to know where the power plant is, if any, and if there are any other components in the back where the big speaker is (in the cargo area). Also I would like to know if anyone has ever changed the lights on the back of the instrument cluster, my tach doesnt iluminate. Oh another thing whats the PCV tube recall for, what does that do?? Thanks for any replies and take care.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    The power plant is somewhere back there in the panel section, but I don't know exactly where. Never had to fix mine.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    This topic started in '98 when some poor owner had a string of bad luck problems with his Explorer. It morphed long ago into talk about fixing problems instead of just griping about them, so it's past time to rename it and bring the title into line with similar ones in our Owner's Clubs. (thanks Francisco for pointing this out!).

    Speaking of Owner's Clubs, we don't have one for the Explorer, as we do for some other models, like the Expedition Owners Club. Holler if you think there's interest in one.

    Steve, Host
  • jrc346jrc346 Posts: 337
    I like the name change!
  • for changing the title, hope everyone likes it.
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