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Ford Explorer Maintenance and Repair



  • tjf2000tjf2000 Posts: 61
    Check out you state Lemon Law... I went through this process about 1 1/2 years ago, I followed the MA Lemon Law on my 2002 MM and I received a 2003 MM in it's place. The MA Lemon Law website gives you suggestions on how to write your letter and where to mail it. I have had no problems with my 2003 and it already has over 50k miles on it. Here is the NJ Site:
    Good Luck
  • limitedlimited Posts: 2
    I bought a 2002 explorer limited with 3rd row seating.....could someone help me in locating the keyless entry factory code for this vehicle.Any help would be much appreciated.
  • mbjbmbjb Posts: 39
    The code should be located in the owners manuel. They is a card that list the code, if not there go to your local ford dealer and with the vin number they can tell you the code or at least show you how to reprogram with a new code.
  • limitedlimited Posts: 2
    Looking for help locating the computer module to get my factory code for keyless entry pad.I have a 2002 explorer limited with 3rd row seating.
    Any help is greatly appreciated.
  • infotimeinfotime Posts: 6
    Ford changed the location for the computer module that has the code written on it's side. In the pre-2002 models, this module was located in the rear panel. It could be accessed if you knew where it was.

    Ford has now changed the location to behind the passenger door panel. You have to remove the door panel and do some searching. I wouldn't recommend this with a new vehicle.

    You CAN NOT just call Ford and have them run the VIN number and retreive the code. Ford HAS TO pull the number off the car with a computer. This requires you to bring in the vehicle to their shop and pay for 30 minutes of time.

    Been there...done it.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    It sort of depends upon your intended use for the truck. The Explorer is a truck based, SUV, so it's good for towing and rugged, yes very sophisticated and refined due to the independent rear suspension. It also has available 3rd row seats that are actually usable by adults, and fold flat into the floor. In my opinion, it's class leading. I've had 5 of them since 1994, and they've all been extraordinarily good vehicles.

    The Pilot OTOH, is good by reputation, but minivan based. I don't think you can get a 3rd seat in it, but I know you can't get a V-8, so towing is pretty much limited to a tent trailer. Otherwise it's a nice car. A little overpriced for what you get, IMO, but nice.

    I obviously, am biased toward the Explorer.
  • akanglakangl Posts: 3,650
    Just a quick note on my Explorer. I give up on the gas mileage thing, it bounces around more than a 2 year old. One tank is 15 mpg, the next 14 mpg, then it jumps up to 18 mpg. No changes in driving habits, weather, idling, or anything.

    That's one thing I love about our V10, its 10 mpg no matter what.....well, it can get 13 mpg on the hwy if its just hauling its own rear end.

    My Explorer is going in Friday to be checked, I know its pulling to the right, so they will align it. As for the fuel economy.......I just shrug, I've never owned such an inconsistent truck in my life.

    Will turn 11k this week and yes, I still like my truck even if it is a bit on the quirky side.
  • As regards your inquiry re Pilot vs. Explorer, I believe you can make a much better deal on a new Explorer XLT 4WD than a comparably equipped Pilot, although you should note that the Pilot does have available third row seats (allowing for up to 8 passengers!). However, if you are truly interested in a practical 7 passenger suburban(i.e. limited off-road use)SUV with AWD, you should check out the new Buick Rendezvous as it is more affordable than either the Explorer or the Pilot and offers comparable amenities and options, including an upgraded engine(in the Ultra pkg.)if you so desire. Regardless, I think any one of them (the Explorer, Pilot or Rendezvous)wold be an excellent choice. Good luck.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    to remember again on the Rendezvous, it's minivan based, like the Pilot. Not very tough, not good for towing. If that's not an issue, then it may be worth a look too. The Explorer is still the workhorse of the group.
  • lorchanianlorchanian Posts: 12
    Thanks for your input. Time to get some hard prices.
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    Did you ever get the stalling issue resolved? I wondered if that was related to your bad mileage.
  • leomortleomort Posts: 451
    I bought a '01 Explorer XLT AWD V8. I've only had FWD vehicles before. What extra maintenance is required on AWD? Thanks.


  • akanglakangl Posts: 3,650
    Not yet, that's one of the things its going in for tomorrow. It hasn't done it in a while, seems to be ok........of course, it knows I have an appt at the dealer.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    not much additional, the rear diff drive stuff is basically ultra-low maintenance. if you don't tow and don't go fording standing water, which could get water into the vent and thus into the diff, it's just checking diff fluid level and color at oil changes. the transfer case also needs to have level and color checked.

    if you tow, drain and fill the drive line stuff (tranny, front and rear diffs, transfer case) every 30,000 miles just for reliability's sake. if you get into axle-or-over water or mud, you will also have to check, and likely drain and fill, the driveline components as soon as humanly possible.

    you're already used to the boot checks on the drive axles, and that doesn't change.

    that's a real good truck you bought, I have the 2000. there weren't all that many 2001s built due to mid-year change to the 2002, and its new frame, body, and drive components. you should have a lot of good miles in the unit, enjoy it.
  • leomortleomort Posts: 451
    Thank you for your help. I currently don't tow anything and don't have any see any foreseable plans. I think I might put a hitch on so I can use on those metal rectangle cargo carriers for hunting pruposes.


  • bucksnortbucksnort Posts: 1
    What is the difference between the drivetrain in the AWD models versus the AWD button on the top of the 3 button stack on the 4WD models?

    Is the AWD in the 4WD models like the Automatic 4WD mode in my expedition which I don't like? No torque is sent to the front wheels until the rears slip then you feel a jerk as the fronts engage.
  • akanglakangl Posts: 3,650
    I traded in a 1997 Explorer V8/AWD on a 2004 Explorer V6/4WD. There is good and bad about both. I didn't really like the AWD in my 97 because it was worthless offroad, but on road it was a little better I thought. The control trac 4WD in my 2004 Explorer isn't bad, much better offroad, but on road its not as good. That being said, yes, its like your Expedition, its RWD until the rear wheels slip then it gives a little jerk and the front engages. I found winter tires help a lot and it doesn't jerk at slick intersections. I do like having 4LO and have used it many times. Guess its all in what you want and what you want to do with your Explorer.
  • disgusteddisgusted Posts: 2
    my husband bought a 2002 explorer. now it has dropped a transmission after only being 2 years old and 60K miles on it. according to transmission guy, the torque thingee went out and in turn blew the transmission.

    needless to say Ford will NOT stand behind their product. they said they can do nothing for us with their crappy 3 yr/36000 mile warranty.

    any ideas or suggestions.

    this is way too early for a transmission to go out.

    thanks so much.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    You gotta have it rebuilt - then service it every 30,000 miles or so, because you obviously drive a lot of miles each year. Also, if you are driving it in town a lot, taking it out of OD will lengthen the life considerably. You gave us no info about climate or towing or any other indicators as to why you may have had an early failure, so it's hard to say. This is the first of these 5 speeds I've heard going out, so we don't have much experience anecdotally yet. Sorry....

    I know Ford says it's "sealed for life", but trust me, its life would be a lot longer if you had it serviced anyway.
  • disgusteddisgusted Posts: 2

    Most of the miles put on the vehicle were interstate miles. Our climate is fairly nice. We live in the foothills of NC, not much snow but maybe once a year. We have never towed anything at all with the car and had all the necessary service done at the dealership.

    I am in the process of writing a complaint letter. I know it will do no good but will make me feel better.

    As soon as the repairs are made the vehicle is going up for sale and another Ford will never enter our driveway.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Don't blame you.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 11,859
    have an '02 explorer, too. i know the tranny is supposed to have lifetime fluid in it, but but i just had the 30k service done on mine. the dealer said i should have the flush done, and i'm glad i did. i did question them about it.
    some of those 'great money saving ideas' don't work out in the real world.
    sorry about your bad experience.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
  • tjf2000tjf2000 Posts: 61
    explorerx4... if I could ask what did the dealer charge you for fluid change. Did they have to drop the tranny to perform the service. My 03 MM has 54k on it and I have been asking my dealer about a trans fluid change for a while. My dealer has been great over the many years I have been going to them, not sure why they do not want to perform this service. Thanks...
  • 1stmountie1stmountie Posts: 13
    Have my new 04 Mountaineer Convenience 4.0L for only 7 weeks and have 930 miles on it. Yesterday, Service Engine Soon light pops on and has stayed on. Truck has been great. Nothing noticeable in sound or drive. Runs as smooth as the day I picked it up. Checked gas gap, as suggested in manual. No problem there. Had 1/4 tank of gas when light popped on, and was enroute to station to fill up. No change.

    I already made the call to the service dept and scheduled appt. Can't see me till next week. Anybody have any ideas? Possibly some sort of bad sensor? Don't want to put truck on the disabled list for 5 days before I go to dealership. Not that I would hold anyone their suggestions, but OK to continue to drive? Would asssume that while I'm there, wouldn't hurt to ask for a first oil change, right?
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    hard to tell if the codes have not been scanned, it could be anything. even a gas cap that is loose, or possibly your filling the car while the engine was on. yes, that will set an environmental code.

    if there is no ordinary sign of disaster impending (engine runs rough, makes funny noises, transmission won't shift, the thing stops every 35 seconds, no brakes, no steering, etc.) and you have full charges of coolant and oil in the engine, it is probably driveable. I would be hesitant myself to get off the back roads and on the interstate if I didn't know what was going on. keep your cell phone charged in case you have to call the 1-800 ford service hotline.

    it's probably a sensor, but as I say, you never know until you have the codes and the interpretation.
  • 1stmountie1stmountie Posts: 13
    Thank you for the reply. Much appreciated. Have to drive from Staten Island to Long Island and back tomorrow, about 120 miles round trip. Need to have some things fixed with my other car, so probably will drive it.
  • travellertraveller Posts: 5
    Hi, I have a 2002 Explorer Limited with 28K KM (17K) miles. In the last month or so I have noticed that the 4x4 High is set a few times a week when I start it and I then have to turn it off. It's not good to be in 4x4 mode in the summer!. If someone else drives it and doesn't see the 4x4 light, it can damage things. Has anyone had this problem and what is the fix? Also, I have a slight rearend whine developing at 82-89 km/hr (51-55m/hr). How loud does the whine have to be before Ford will fix it?
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    No, the trans doesn't have to be dropped to service it. It just has no filler tube which greatly inhibits re-filling. Some dealers don't want to deal with it, some have purchased flush equipment to do it. And the reason it is filled for life is 2fold. One, the engineers think it will run about 100,000 miles anywäy. 2- There is no room for a filler tube to be routed up to the top on the V8 anyway.
  • vancevance Posts: 4
    We have owned our new 2004 Explorer for about a month and the transmission is noticeably jerky (almost like you are using a manual shift). We have taken it to the dealer and they have said this is normal. We had only test driven one other before we bought this one and didn't notice this. Is it normal and, if not, what else should we do?
  • busman01busman01 Posts: 46
    Definately not normal. Had a `99 with similar issues. Turned out some seals had blown requiring a tranny rebuild. We upgraded to an `03 and have enjoyed over 30k miles of unfeddered travel.

    Have the service advisor ride with you so you can point this out when it occurs. Then have him (or her) do a comparison ride in an equivealant vehicle. Point out the differences.

    If necessary, address it with the Service Manager. If you feel you are not getting enough traction, move on to the General Manager.

    Hopefully you will not have to go that far, but you get the picture. Keep all your records. Good luck.
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