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Ford Explorer Maintenance and Repair



  • swn1swn1 Posts: 27
    I am assuming you have the electric 4WD. I have a '91 with a similar problem, when I hit the switch the dash lights up but the unit does not engage until after several times of hitting the switch. I believe there is a Technical Service Bulletin for a wiring fix but don't know what it costs as I haven't checked it out yet.
  • tomsrtomsr Posts: 325
    My 98 Explorer has wilderness AT tires with
    code 2WH.Not the ones listed but I took it to
    a Firestone dealer for inspection.I have very
    noticeable sidewall cracks at 29k miles.The inspector said don't worry about it and if it
    gets worse they will prorate replacements.
    Does anybody out there have cracks? Also several
    posts mention Michelin LTX tires as improving
    the ride and handling,is this true?
  • Yes its me still watching the posts here 5 months after trading out of my 98 explorer at a loss. Can't decide if its because I want to help those going through what I did, or if it is because I enjoy reading posts like blueseat's that really mirrored my thoughts exactly.
    Anyway, all of the programs I have seen on the firestones say that the problem begins with a small crack on the tire just where the sidewall meets the tread. Sounds like you may have a problem developing. I can tell you that a set of Michelin LTX tires will improve the explorer experience tremendously and are well worth the premium. If I were you I would invest in the Michelins and try to battle with firestone later. It could be a life and death $500 dollar decision.
  • I dumped my Wilderness AT's that were on my '98' two days before the recall began (8/9) because I didn't want to roll the dice with my family's safety and knew how long it would take to ge the tires replaced. I paid for 4 Michelin LTX M/S to be installed and I haven't regretted it. I'm going to attempt to get Firestone to do the right thing but it's clear that they are going to fight this thing until the bitter end. BTW, I'm not sure which tires were on my truck since the plant info came out about a week after I changed the tires.

    All things considered, I have no regrets; the vehicle handles much better especially on dry pavement. I now have confidence in the vehicle knowing that as long as I don't do something stupid, I'll probably get from point A to point B in one piece.
  • Are more quiet and much smoother than the AT. Also provide good wet and snow traction.
  • ct11ct11 Posts: 3
    After 2 weeks at the dealership and them first telling us they are going to need to replace the tensioners, we just found out that our 97 Eddie Bauer needs and entire new engine at 38,000 miles. Now if that is "Ford Tough" I would hate to see the not so tough.

    The dealership is waiting to hear from Ford as to what portion Ford is going to be willing to cover. Hopefully they will feel some responsibility, and willingness to help. The dealership says an entire new engine is $4000.00. Any words of wisdom out there as to how we can get Ford to step up to the plate and cover these damages? We bought the vehicle from a Ford Dealership used w/32,000 miles. We have always maintained the vehicle and changed the oil every 3000 miles.
  • I took a trip to Pensacola Fl. last weekend. A Ford Explorer had a blowout about 15 cars in front of us on the Escambia Bay bridge. The tread went flying. The tires were Wilderness ATs. I am glad I went ahead and put Michelins on. My Firestones were recalled. I sent in my paperwork via registered mail. They received it on 9-5-00 and I still do not have the refund. I expect to wait at least 6 months for the refund check. I hate Firestone now and will avoid their products like the plague. If this recall were handled much better, I would feel different. My local Firestone dealer acted as if nothing was wrong with the tires. He would not check the codes, do an inspection, or help in any other way. He said "it is too hot for me to go outside and crawl under a car, check them yourself"
  • Put new Michelins on my '98 Explorer and am very very pleased. Sent my paperwork in about 5 weeks ago or so and received my $500.00 check last week so it shouldn't take 6 Months. To everyone else GET THOSE FIRESTONE TIRES OFF YOUR VEHICLE!! Mine were cracking under the tread on the sidewall. After you get those Firestones off and put new tires on you won't believe what a transformation that makes on your Explorer.
  • swn1swn1 Posts: 27
    I have these on my '91 Explorer and was quite happy with them until recently. I noticed on one tire what appears to be a blemish in the sidewall has turned into a crack from where the sidewall meets the bead to the where the sidewall meets the tread. The crack is an almost perfect straight line as if it were a seam of some kind. I showed it to the dealer where I bought the tires and after he wiped the sweat off his brow claimed it was in fact a blemish and not a safety hazard. Not being a tire expert and not having any problems after 25,000 miles I'm not sure what to believe. Anyone know anything about this?? I'm still waiting to get replacements for my '99 from my Ford dealer but tires are very tight here in the northeast.
  • mazman1mazman1 Posts: 229
    If u have a genuine crack in the sidewall, it is probably dangerous to be driving on it. I'd go to a Firestone retailer or other tire shop and have that tire replaced. If its under warranty, all the better.

    Remember that u depend on those tires for your life.. life is more important than any company's profit margin.

    Good Luck. Dont get taken for a ride!
  • Regarding this topic in Pre-1995 explorers, at the back of the transfer case there is a small motor,(looks like a wiper motor). There is a small plastic bushing inside the gear box that goes bad and splits. Unbolt the motor,take the wiring harness apart and remove the ONE wire that prevents the assembly from leaving the vehicle and replace the bushing. Big time EASY problem to fix.
  • Hello all. I have a 2000 XLS with the 4.0 OHV engine. Overall gas mileage in 2300 miles is between 14.75 and 15 mpg. I drive a lot of short trips, but many of them are on local highways 50+ mph. Don't commute in traffic. Switched gas from Amoco to Exxon 3 tanks ago as without improvement (dealer recommended changing fuel company). Went on a trip a few weeks ago, blew out 19 gallons of fuel on highway, only got 17mpg that tank.

    According to my Ford dealer (Dayton Ford, Dayton NJ), they won't hook a truck up to diagnostics until 3000 miles. Fuel mileage is horrible. I don't remember getting this poor of mileage on my old truck, and that had the "big" 6 banger.

    Any thoughts?
  • I agree with you on the Michelin tires. I bought X Radial LTs at Sams Club. They are almost identical to LTX MSs except I think the heat and load ratings are a little higher. The tread pattern is almost identical. They made a huge difference in ride and handling. The steering is smoother and effortless now. I highly recommend Michelin tires to anyone who owns an Explorer. I also have a 00 Econoline 150 that came stock with Michelin LTX MS. It is a cargo van that I keep loaded with 1200 lbs. The tires are great for this van. I also have a 99 F-150 SuperCab XLT that will get Michelins when the Good Years wear out.
  • mazman1mazman1 Posts: 229
    I also have a 2000 Explorer, and it took about 6000 miles for the mileage to improve to an acceptable level. I had a 1994 Explorer, and was able to get over 20 mpg on the highway with the OHV engine.

    Its probably the short trips that is killing your mileage. The engine barely gets up to operating temp, and then you shut it off.

    I would try Mobil regular unleaded (87) and see if it improves... but be a little patient. I am sure it will get better.
  • Finally after 5 weeks at the dealer, I picked up my Explorer last Friday. Out of good will so they say, I paid $212 for the engine. I had hoped to get it free as I still feel it is a defect in the 97 SOHC engine. I drove less than 5 miles from the dealer and the Check Engine light came on. I brought it back to the dealer on Tuesday and picked it up that afternoon. It no longer says check engine but I'm not sure what they did to fix it. I wrote to Ford corporate as I still feel I shouldn't have to pay the $212. I'll let you know if I receive a response.
  • masonmimasonmi Posts: 148
    What is the best gas to use in a V8 Explorer or Mountaineer? does 87 Octane give the best gas mileage or would it be better to go up to 92 Octane?
  • NO, I remeber the manual says 87 only. Not recommand the higer Octane Gas even in high altitude area.

    Please double check the user manual.

    Good luck.
  • mazman1mazman1 Posts: 229
    If your vehicle runs fine without knocking with 87 octane, I dont see any reason to pay more.

    Also, higher octane could possibly harm the engine, as it gets hotter (it burns more completely) than 87. With an aluninum block, it is best to stay within the mfgr recommendation, unless it knocks or pings when you drive.

    Good luck
  • rvivinetto, Don't hold your breath waiting for ford to respond to your letter. If you are very luck and someone at ford reads your letter they may send you some folding chairs for free like they did for me. Which are real handy when you are on the side of the road waiting for a tow. You be better off taking legal action. Like I said in the past ford gives the words P.O.S. a whole new meaning.
  • gamesue, did you really get folding chairs? I guess that is better than nothing. We are now shopping for a new SUV, maybe a Grand Cherokee.
  • If you are not against buying non american made I would suggest taking a serious look at the New PF. One of my partners has a 2000 JGC. He has always been a Jeep fan. As of Friday last week he informed me he plans to sell it in about 6 months and probably won't buy another. His experience mirrors most of those on the JGC class action lawsuit postings here in edmunds townhall.
    I got out of my last lemon explorer into a 01 PF and couldn't be happier. Superb power, quiet tight build, handles extremely well, better than some cars I have had and very similar to my Honda in fun factor. Top it off with the Loaded LE 4x4 coming in around 32k I'm still ecstatic about it 6 months later. Man what a bargain! Finally got what I paid for. May want to check it out if you would consider a non american make.
  • mazman1mazman1 Posts: 229
    The folding chairs from Ford are very good quality... probably the best I have ever sat in.

    They should get the guy who designed them to work for the automotive division.
  • Yes I did get the folding chairs, and as mazman1 has stated in response #218 "The folding chairs from Ford are very good quality... probably the best I have ever sat in. They should get the guy who designed them to work for the automotive division." I pray to God that someday he graces me with the opportunity to insert one of those folding chairs rectally in fords CEO's A## $31K times. I also hope and pray to God that I am blessed a second time and allowed to insert the second folding chair rectally up my ford dealership owners A## $31K times. Now that would be better that nothing. Do yourself a favor by a foreign vehicle.
  • mazman1mazman1 Posts: 229
    I would not do that, as you might not get the chair out again! That would be a pitiful way to lose a good folding chair!
  • you are right; perhaps a better thing to do would be to drive the actual explorer into their a##es
    a few times, sideways. getting it back would not be a concern!
  • jlvjlv Posts: 14
    I do not own an Explorer, but thought those who do should know about this.....

    Honeymooners` seat belts failed

    Investigation changes earlier FHP report

    By Beth McPherson
    News Journal staff writer

    Lori and Scott Dwelle buckled up before driving from their wedding reception in Pensacola to a honeymoon in Destin that never happened.

    The Florida Highway Patrol initially said the newlyweds weren't wearing seat belts, but troopers said Tuesday that further investigation showed they were.

    Now, patrol investigators and Ford Motor Co. representatives must figure out why the seat belts on Scott Dwelle's 2000 Ford Explorer failed when it overturned.

    The night of Sept. 23, the Dwelles were thrown from the Explorer after it was hit from behind, flipping over on U.S. 98 in Okaloosa County. Lori Dwelle, 22, died at the scene. Scott Dwelle, 22, was hospitalized for three days for treatment of broken bones and a concussion.

    Tommy Weekley, Lori Dwelle's father, said he was aware of the Florida Highway Patrol's ruling, but he declined to comment Tuesday. Efforts to reach Scott Dwelle's family were unsuccessful.

    Investigators met Tuesday with Dr. Michael Berkland, the associate medical examiner who handles cases for Okaloosa County, to discuss the case and compare patterns of injury sustained by the Dwelles. They announced the findings a few hours later.

    ``It is the intent of the Florida Highway Patrol to fully investigate and provide a proactive approach to early identification of any product deficiencies in an effort to reduce risk of death and injury to the motoring public,'' said Capt. Daniel Parkton, district commander of the patrol's Crestview office.

    No charges have been filed against Esther Faith Holman, 45, of Mary Esther, who was driving the Jaguar that hit the Explorer at high speed, but the accident investigation is continuing.

    ``Today's statement was independent from the homicide investigation,'' said Lt. Bob Farrior, local patrol spokesman. ``It only applies to the initial form that was filled out just after the accident.''

    Parkton said patrol investigators and representatives of the Ford Motor Co. will meet to inspect and disassemble the seat belt mechanisms from the Explorer. They will attempt to determine why the belts failed.

    Representatives with Ford in Detroit could not be reached for comment late Tuesday.
  • It is official Gary. After test driving the new ACURA MDX this weekend, we are trading in out 1997 Explorer XLS. We are giving up the bumpy ride for the smooth MDX ride. We are giving up the Explorer's excellent cargo space for the same space in the MDX but with one gained extra - 3rd row for the kids when the parents are in town. We are giving up the possibility of a tire blow out and/or rollover for the possibility of not having one at all.

    Anyone out there who hates their Explorer should look at the MDX.

  • masonmimasonmi Posts: 148
    I'm searching for new tires, I currently have the Firestone AT's their not on recall, however i hear other brands have a smoother and quieter ride? can someone post those brands and tire numbers?
  • tomsrtomsr Posts: 325
    I have a 98 Explorer Sport with 30K miles.When I make a sharp low speed turn like in a parking lot
    I hear a popping sound coming from the front end.
    Has anyone else had this problem and is it worth worrying about?Also, I checked with Costco on
    getting Michelin LTX tires and they said there
    will not be any tires available for six months
    to the general public.Has anybody gotten these
    tires and where?
  • sanandtonsanandton Posts: 342
    Had a 98 Explorer XLT 4x4 and had the same problem, it seems as if something with the 4wd was amiss. Transfer case comes to mind, but very cloudy memory among all of the other problems we had. Never got it fixed before I traded it though. If yours is 4wd you probably should have it checked out soon as it would seem your warranty expires soon.
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