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#1956 of 6385 Problems with Ford Explorer
Jul 21, 2003 (10:11 pm)
I posted this last night but was asked to move it here today. I hope someone on this thread can help me out. I could really use a good objective opinion.
I am extremely frustrated with my 2000 Eddie Bauer Explorer. Maybe I'm being too sensitive, but this car sucks.
I bought the car new in late 1999. It now has 85K miles on it. Here's what's wrong:
-It consistently over heats in 95 degree weather or hotter. Below 95, it's fine. One dealer told me it is operating according to spec. That cost me $120. Another dealer replaced the thermostat for $250. It still over heats.
-CD player over heats after ~4 hours on the road. I get a warning light (I used to anyway, see below) and the CD player would stop playing.
-Display burned out on the radio. Now I can't see the clock, the radio station, volume settings, CD player overheat warning, etc. Can't fix it. Have to buy a new radio. $350.
-Thermostat failed the first year I had the car. About 5K miles past warrantee, so I had to pay to replace it. Thermostat replacement in first bullet point is the second thermostat the car has had.
-Rear wiper has failed and been replaced twice. This and the tires are the only thing covered by warrantee.
-Yes, there's the tire fiasco, but I won't bitch too loudly, at least they bought me new tires on that one.
-The A/C does not work. Evidently a leaky seal. Of course you can't get a new seal, you have to replace the whole compressor for $800.
-ABS warning light is constantly on. According to the owners manual, I no longer have ABS. Fortunately, I drove for years before ABS, so I'm not too worried.
-Driver's side power lock motor fails 1/3 of the time. Enough so that I can't trust the keyless lock. I have to watch the driver's side lock.
The ride is too stiff, but I blame myself for not noticing that in the test drives. I compare that to the Tahoe and my old Toyota 4x4 basic truck.
So, any thoughts? Am I too sensitive? Do I have a bad vehicle? Perhaps I shouldn't have been one of the first to buy a new model year. Is GM (Chevy/GMC) any better?
I am looking to replace this car, but I'm not sure which way to go. I want some extra room as I have added two kids to my space requirements. I want reliabilty and a comfortable car and ride. I drive in the snow a lot, sometimes in pretty severe conditions, so I want a good meaty car that can handle the mountains and difficult driving conditions. I don't think the imports fit this bill, my confidence is gone with Ford, what do people think of Chevy/GMC?
Jul 22, 2003 (7:10 am)
Sorry to see that you have all those problems with your Explorer. You asked about the GM brand SUV... I have friends who own them and love theirs so much they would consider continue doing business with GM, yet some thought they sucked big time (and I have experienced this with one of my friend's with her 2000 Blazer), and went with the imports. Bottom line is, in my opinion, all cars have problems (just go read the Mercedes board and you probably will feel a whole lot better knowing they're just as bad quality wise).
Based on my own experience, the only cars that I truly did not have ANY problem with were my 1989 Toyota 4runner and my 1993 Toyota MR2 Turbo. So... good luck with your next decision. (I currently own a 02 Explorer XLT and a 92 Mercedes 300CE)
#1958 of 6385 60 - 70 mph shake
Jul 22, 2003 (8:22 pm)
I have a 1996 model that I have had for several years. The shake started out fairly mild but has continually gotten worse to the point that I hate to drive the truck. I have changed tires, tie rods, ball joints and shocks over the years. Has anybody had any luck at fixing this problem or even know what causes it?
#1959 of 6385 alman08 et al
Jul 23, 2003 (12:29 am)
alman08 - thanks for the input
Anybody - Since I will have to live with the Explorer for a while (I don't quite have the cash to replace it now), any suggestions on getting all of these issues fixed? Should I just buck up, pay the money and realize I have a lousy car or do I have any recourse with Ford. They have not been helpful to date. Do people think all of these failures are normal?
#1960 of 6385 auburnjohn - #1734
Jul 23, 2003 (12:32 am)
If you're still out there, do you have a part number from Pioneer on the stereo part you replaced? Any tricks on replacing it? I have the same symptoms. I haven't taken my radio apart yet, but I will check it out after your comments. I bet I have the same problem as you did.
#1962 of 6385 ABS Idiot Light
Jul 23, 2003 (4:59 am)
I have a 1993 Explorer with 222,000 miles on it. The ABS light comes on during acceleration and also noticed that the Voltage needle on the dash goes all the way to 18 at the same time. It doesn't do it all the time only Intermintly. At startup the light goes out but does occasionally come back. What could be causing this? The battery is new and the voltage needle is always in normal operating range except when The ABS light comes on and goes all the way out.
#1963 of 6385 krisak and mbro
Jul 23, 2003 (6:23 am)
I was so bored last night that I read a bunch of message from the "Maintenance and Repair" board. Some of your concerns about electrical were discussed and a lot of them had a solution to it. When you have time, check the board out. (Can't quote which topic and msg#, way too many of them which I read last night)
#1964 of 6385 Mbro:Explorer
Jul 23, 2003 (7:26 am)
Judging from the amount and frequency of the problems you listed, I would say you got a "bad one." The Explorer is not the most reliable vehicle in the world, but yours is well below average. My best advice is to get the overheating issue addressed first: overheating the engine will blow gaskets, crack heads, drop your oil pressure, etc. Now, not to be insulting, but how do you know the vehicle is overheating? What is the temp gauge maxing out to? When does it overheat: at idle or highway speed? Have you had the true coolant temp checked by a technician to see if the temp sender is sending the correct signal? Obviously if two replacement thermostats haven't cured the problem, then the problem wasn't the thermostat to begin with. Your dealers are shotgunning. You need to find a qualified and willing mechanic who doesn't mind tackling complex problems (which cooling system troubles can be). Be sure to communicate everything that has been done to the vehicle's cooling so far; that will help point him in the right direction. I would rate this as your #1 concern. The ABS problem can be diagnosed by hooking up to a brake module scan tool and extracting the codes. It might be worth the diagnostic fee to at least get an idea of how much it will cost to repair the ABS. If it's too expensive, just pull the ABS fuse to permanently disable the system (this is a lot safer than driving around with a defective ABS system, which can cause an accident). Those stereos in late model Explorers are known for electrical problems; an aftermarket stereo is probably your best bet. Wipers and door locks are some other not-too-unsual electrical problems with Explorers, you'll either have to ignore them or pony up and fix them. Where exactly is the A/C system leaking? If the leak isn't at the compressor, then the compressor doesn't necessarily have to be replaced. Although it's recommended that the compressor and dryer be replaced any time the A/C sytem on a high-mileage vehicle is charged, it's not always necessary. You should be able to replace the offending part, then recharge the sytem yourself with the correct ratio of oil and R134. The money you can save in the short term on the repair will be worth the nearly $1000 bill of replacing the dryer+compressor a few years down the road. Finally, although I can appreciate your disgust with Ford products right now, you should take a look at reliability and cost-of-ownership of all American SUVs in Power and Consumer Reports. You're not going to see a huge difference between any. The new Explorers are really good vehicles, and you're likely to get a better one next time around. Remember: the dice you rolled last time has nothing to do with what you'll roll next. Good luck, let us know what you find out about that pesky overheating.
#1965 of 6385 krisak26:ABS Idiot Light
Jul 23, 2003 (11:25 am)
Sounds like a short in the ABS system somewhere. Possibly a power wire grounding out when you accelerate, causing the ABS module to shut itslef down and creating a voltage spike that registers on the voltmeter. You could try unplugging the ABS fuse for a week to see if it stops. It will be tough to track down but hopefully cheap to fix.