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Ford Expedition Noises



  • Hey all,

    I have a 2003 Expedition Eddie Bauer with AWD/4WD with the 5.4 engine. It has 60,000 miles on it and has ran great for a long time.

    The other day it started making a sound that I have never heard a car make before. When you are driving down the road when you hit about 25 mph a pronounced SQUEALING or SCREAMING type of noise comes from what seems to be the FRONT end, DRIVERS SIDE tire area. It is a continuous noise and will not stop unless I slow down to less than 5 mph or stop. As soon as I accelerate, it's there again. It is EASILY heard by passing cars too.

    My step dad and I have been trying to figure it out. He is VERY good mechanically. The vehicle shifts into other gears smoothly, revving the engine doesn't make a bit of difference in the noise. I have switched it into all the different 4wd modes with no change at all. I have switched on and off everything I can in the interior to see if it makes any difference in the sound and it does not. Today we replaced the front brake shoes and that didn't change anything. It was due anyway.

    It doesn't really sound like a grinding, just a high pitched squeal. My Step dad said it reminds him of blowing up a balloon and then pinching the rim of the balloon and letting the air out. You know that sound right? Well that's what I have whenever I am over 15mph.

    There are no other strange noises. The motor revs and runs great and sounds great. Neither of us can detect any problems what so ever with the tranny. It simply sounds like there is something right behind the front end drivers side wheel that is causing the horrid noise.

    Can anyone help us figure out what is going on here? Any similar experiences with yours?

    Thanks for your help and time.

  • clancemoclancemo Posts: 2
    This sounds very familiar. I have a 2004 and around 100k miles my left front wheel bearing went out. Shortly after that the right front wheel bearing went out.

    To verify you could jack up the front driver side like you were going to change the tire. Spin the tire and you should hear and feel if the bearings are bad.
  • My truck has had a couple of on going symptoms that I can't seem to track down. The first one that showed up is what feels like a lag or resistance from the right side of the truck with a vibration when accelerating. Just yesterday this seems to have turned into a new problem. Now it feels like there is a very large gear that grinds only during about 1/2 of its revolution. I also have noticed that the AW4D never works and putting in it 4WD manually (throwing the switch myself) causes several other interesting noises and takes quite a bit of forward and reverse action to get it back into 2WD. Any help, hints or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
  • croeiiicroeiii Posts: 2
    I had the rattling sound from the wheel area too. I took it in to the dealer and they rebuilt part of the transmission which did not solve the problem. The service manager took an interest in the problem and figured it out without lifting the hood. Seems that there is a vacuum valve that controls the 4WD hubs and when they get old they start to leak and the hubs are trying to engage at high speed which causes all the noise. I've got a 2005 Expo with about 50M miles on it. Until now I had never had a problem with it. Once they put the new valve in the noise went away and hasn't come back in a month.
  • jamull79jamull79 Posts: 1
    i have a 2003 ford expedition, ive noticed lately that it doesnt have the same power it used to, esp up hills it slows down and then u have to put the pedal to the floor just to make it up the hill. Well, today my wife called me and said she went out and started the vehicle, and it made a loud rattling noise in the front end when she started it, so she turned it off and called me, anyone else have any prob like that, if so, what could it be??
  • Hi, i have a ford exp 2000 xlt i hear a bum when i press the gas pedal like to pass a car on the road (overdrive) i don't know is a trans problem or a bushing or suport
    anybody can help me on that?
  • Did you figure this out??

    I hope this isn't U-joints I just spent 650 a few months ago to get them fixed.

    My truck has been doing this since I changed the brake pads.
  • I have a 1997 Expedition. Sometimes, not always, when I park and turn the engine off, the air suspension system in the rear will make a noise like air escaping from a balloon. I'm guessing this is the air being vented from the suspension, but why doesn't it do it all the time, and how can I stop it? Thanks
  • Hi,
    did you ever get an answer to this problem? I'm having the same issue.
  • Our 2003 Ford Expedition (Eddie Bauer ed) 2WD with 105,000 miles just began making a grinding noise that sounds like wheels or front end. The noise got worse after towing a light trailer on a 4 hour trip...seems to be more profound on accelerating and more so on decelerating but is unnoticable on idle in park and less noticable at constant high speeds (60 or 70). Had the brakes in front replaced a few months ago and just one week past the oil change. After reading other messages, I am uncertain whether this is a bearing issue or transmission or ?
  • Hi
    I am having the same problem and i haven't towed anything.
    I would be very interested in the answers you receive. Could you send them to me.
    I owe a 04 expedition.

  • Probably the differential. Had my 03 in for a replacement @ 175K miles. $2K @ dealership to rebuild ( replace gears/bearings) $1200 @ independent shop but opted for one from a junker @ $800 parts and labor. Lots of issues with the Expeditions with the independent rear suspension diffs. Honestly though, I drove ours with a whine for about 60K miles before getting it replaced.
  • Turns out, it was more than one thing...the wheel bearings were in fact bad...replaced for around $350...THEN at the same time, a spark plug blew completely out and took out the small coil attached to it (5.4L Triton V8) as well as the line to the washer fluid...the plug issue happened suddenly as I was pondering the scraping sound and was a load pop followed by loud sputtering as the engine limped on without that cylinder. After some searching, I learned that over 30,000 cases of this have happened and even law suits were filed for them...mostly to the benefit of the lawyers :/ Ford is not recalling though even though this seemingly is a defect in all models starting around 1997 through 2007!!! I won't ever but another Ford vehicle.
  • follow the exhaust pipe. check those heat shields that separate body from pipe, muffler or cats. if those are loose, it will sound like the truck is falling apart.
  • check wheel bearings.
  • I'm guessing since that post was almost 5 years ago it is probably all set.
  • i have hade a persistant "WHOP,WHOP,WHOP" noise whenever i am driving my 2001 expedition. i have had the rear-end replaced and it is still there, just not as pronounced as before. they told me it may be the e-brake or a bent backing plate. the rear end was used with 60000 miles. any chance i got another bad rear end?
  • ddale1ddale1 Posts: 1
    My 1998 Eddie Bauer Expedition is making a sound similar to what you describe. It is intermittent and seems to come and go and I haven't been towing a trailer with it. Differential sounds like a good possibility, but it has low miles. A wheel bearing would be constant. This "grinding" noise is most noticable at very low speed. any other experiences or ideas out there?
  • croeiiicroeiii Posts: 2
    I am re-posting this now since it was 2010 when I first solved my problem and posted it here. Following is the original post:

    Jun 28, 2010 (1:43 pm)
    I had the rattling sound from the wheel area too. I took it in to the dealer and they rebuilt part of the transmission which did not solve the problem. The service manager took an interest in the problem and figured it out without lifting the hood. Seems that there is a vacuum valve that controls the 4WD hubs and when they get old they start to leak and the hubs are trying to engage at high speed which causes all the noise. I've got a 2005 Expo with about 50M miles on it. Until now I had never had a problem with it. Once they put the new valve in the noise went away and hasn't come back in a month.

    PS. The truck now has 90,000 miles on it and the rattle has never come back.
  • dakota123dakota123 Posts: 8
    Can't believe it's been over 3 years since I posted that. I had been living with this very annoying resonance (and RPM jump that made driving in traffic somewhat jerky) for the last 30,000 miles, but since it wasn't getting any worse, and nothing blew up, I let it go.

    Finally had the time today to act on a hunch -- I solved this by making sure that the tube running from the air filter housing to the hard plastic inlet at the throttle body was pulled taught against the filter housing before cinching the large hose clamp. My clues were 1) the RPM jump that accompanied the buzzing noise -- that seemed to me (coupled with where the sound seemed to be coming from) to point to the inlet tract; 2) sometimes after checking or replacing the air filter, the resonance would be reduced for a couple of days. I took it for a very brief drive with the air filter housing top loose today and could hear a change in tone when the resonance was taking place as compared to with the filter housing in place.

    There are several resonance chambers built into the inlet tract, so apparently having the right stiffness and/or geometry of the assembly is important.

    Hope this helps someone else someday.
  • I have a 2007 Exp Limited EL with 70k miles on it. I recently put new tires on it (July 22) and I have a very noticeable vibration once I hit 75mph. I had a vibration before, but we thought it was because the tires were definitely ready to be replaced. The new wheels have been rebalanced and I've taken it to Ford. I had them check the tie-rods, steering box, and nothing. They took it for a test drive and the mechanic didn't feel anything. I've taken it to some friends of mine that are mechanics and they felt it easy enough and said something is definitely wrong. The said the vibration feels more side to side instead of like a rumble strip vibration. The wheel bearings have also been checked. We're at a total loss. Any ideas? It seems to feel like it starts in the back and works its way up. Not sure what else to look at, could it be the drive shaft?
  • Does the vibration come and go, i.e. is it smooth for a short while and then increase? That's often the way it goes with tires out of balance.

    Where did you get your tires? Hate to say it, but I've had rotten luck with places like Walmart, or even discount tire places. My theory is that they get 'seconds', with hard spots in the rubber etc.

    Also, tire balancing is an art, especially with big, heavy tires. The shop should index the tire to the wheel (find th high and low spots on each and set them up so they cancel out.) If it seems like you're not getting anywhere with one shop, try another. I finally found a shop that was able to make a huge difference with my Expy -- The local Ford dealer had no clue, nor did the Big-O tire shop. A road-force balancing machine may help.

    Driveshaft issues will be different, much smaller in amplitude but higher in frequency, 2000 hz or so, same as the engine RPMs in 4th (the six-speed in the Expy actually doesn't have any gear with a direct 1:1 ratio, but close enough) and not tending to come and go. If that's it, either replace or balance (you can try indexing it as well by matching the high spot of the driveshaft with the low spot on the engine and/or diff flanges.

    Very frustrating thing, I know!
  • priestly49priestly49 Posts: 1
    edited September 2013
    Hey there, i have an '04 expo, and until recently has been running fine. within the last two to three months, things seem to be going down hill quickly.
    My acceleration is very poor, there is a strange knocking in the rear of the vehicle. overall power is almost non existent. and i have no idea where to even begin when trying to fix the situation. can any one please help me with this one.
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