Last post on May 05, 2013 at 7:47 AM
You are in the Ford Explorer
What is this discussion about?
Ford Explorer, Mercury Mountaineer
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#2029 of 6385 New+used Explorer advice
Aug 24, 2003 (10:47 am)
Well, if I had to choose between Ford and Chrysler for reliability, I would almost always choose Ford. But I don't think you'll see a huge difference in qualtiy between either one. That's the fun thing about buying a car: you never know what problems you'll have until you buy it! You could have a freak failure that is totally uncomon for that model. I think the best guarantee of happiness for a new car is to have a good relationship with a competent dealership who fixes your problems the first time without a big hassle.
As far as used Explorer advice, I've always been a proponent of not buying a first-year of a new model, so maybe be wary of the 2001s. I know at least a few problems with the new models have included differential failure (listen for excessive rear-end whine or drone on the highway) and 5-speed automatic failure (be sensitive to inconsistent shifts that clunk, hesitate or vibrate). Ford is also having some balancing problems with their truck wheels and rear-end gear right now, so be sensitive to vibrations at different speeds. And of course some electrical problems here and there. Just be sure to take your time and test every electrical accessory, plus give the truck a thorough city and highway road test and I thin kyou'll be happy. The new Explorers are much better vehicles over the old ones.
#2030 of 6385 re: idling
Aug 24, 2003 (12:44 pm)
This is my first Ford and so far I have loved it. I own an 02 eddie Bauer. It has 45,000 miles and I too am having problems with it idling.Over the past couple of days, the car would start but then would die immediately. Then it got to where it wouldn't start at all. Of course it is the weekend,and I am basically stuck till in the morning if it will start. From what I have read it sounds like the EKG valve might be the problem. Is this an easy thing to fix?
#2031 of 6385 more advice...
Aug 24, 2003 (12:56 pm)
Depending on how long you plan to own the vehicle, seriously consider buying a Ford extended warranty. I paid ~$1250.00 for the 100,000 mile Ford extended warranty on my 2002 XLT (I'm the original owner) and it has so far paid for itself at least FOUR times over. In fact, as I write this, my truck is sitting in a Ford dealer's service shop for ongoing transmission troubles, and it has spent most of this summer shopped, while I'm driving a loaner car from the dealer. Meanwhile, I continue to send in my monthly $515.00 truck payments. Once my truck exceeded 36,000 miles, the transmission problems set in soon thereafter, big time. Hmmmm... Thank God for that extended warranty.
#2032 of 6385 Rear Differential
Aug 24, 2003 (1:33 pm)
I was watching a recent Motorweek program and they did a small piece on the long term test of the Expedition (this one was an '03 with 37,000 miles). The announncer mentioned the same "whining from the rear end" as has been discussed in this forum. The gentleman also said it was the rear differential, and Ford was aware of the problem. For those that have discussed this subject here, if Ford is aware of the problem, are they replacing the rear differential when you bring it in, or is the service dept. stringing you along? I am considering buying an Explorer in the next few weeks (still looking at Nissan and Toyotas), and I know the Explorer is spotty in terms of reliability (definately buying the Premium 5/60,000 extended warranty $845 approx.).
Aug 24, 2003 (3:34 pm)
I've had (still have) 1 Explorer, and have had 3 (still have one) Mountaineers. I would classify them all as superb, and none of them have cost me a dime in repairs, really. The Explorer has 115,000 miles. Needs front end work, but runs very very well. I'm very satisfied, and like the way the Explorer feels and handles best.
Aug 24, 2003 (4:11 pm)
I too purchased the 100,000 mile warranty.I just hate the fact that I have only owned the car for 4 months and this is the 4th time that I will have to have had it in the shop. Everything has been fairly minor, but you pay a hefty amount for the car and you expect to drive it.
Aug 24, 2003 (9:31 pm)
Feel free to keep the advice coming. It's a little distrubing to hear some of these posts, but if you want to read about a nightmare go on over to the Oldsmobile Intrigue forum and read some of my posts over the last 2 years. I've had mine for 25 months now and in that time, I'd say it has spent a cummulative total of 45+ days in the shop. And then there have been times that I'be had to drive the car with the problem while waiting on parts to come in. It's as if the parts(simple things like a P/S hose or steering gear) come from Iraq or Afghanistan it takes so long for them to come in. If I do the Explorer(or any new car) it will likely be for 3 or 4 years(average 15K annually) so I may consider an extended warranty. As for choosing between Ford and Chrysler on reliability, thats a no brainer. I briefly considered the Jeep Grand Cherokee until I read the forum which was dedicated to JGC problems and it was deja-vu all over again as people were experiencing the same type of crap I have with my Intrigue. That crap not being the problems themself, but dealers inability to fix them on the first, second, and even third try! I had ranked GM ahead of Ford in terms of quality(and both ions ahead of Mopar) but other than Cadillac(they do seem to be serious about it) I'm starting to think Ford is more serious about quality than GM.
#2036 of 6385 bcmtb:used Explorer
Aug 25, 2003 (9:27 am)
AHA! I know what your problem is...you bought somebody else's problems! Seriously, the previous owner probably neglegted to repair a lot of those little things that broke in the first 45,000 miles and now you're stuck with fixing them. That idle problem was the last straw with the previous owner, and he gave up and said "That's it, I'm trading this thing back in to the dealer." In my experience, most low-mileage vehicles are traded or sold because of some type of problem that has frustrated the owner to the point of giving up. Stick with it though, run through that first wave of trouble, and I bet it ends up being a good truck for a while afterwards. Good luck, and let everybody know what the bad idle fix is.
Aug 25, 2003 (9:34 am)
As great as the Edmund's forums are, they're not statistically credible. In other words, I wouldn't let what you read in any forum (including my posts!) make your final purchase decision. For example, go to the Camry/Accord forums and you'll see a TON of posts in the "Problems" section. Then look at Lincoln Continental or Buick "problems" posts. You'll see far fewer. Are Lincoln and Buick more reliable? Nope. It's just that Accord and Camry owners are much younger and tend to be more internet savvy than the older folks. I would only use sources that deal with large statistical samples, like CR and JD Power, and other 'net polling places, to form my opinions on reliability. After that, it just comes down to what vehicle you like better!
#2038 of 6385 i dunno
by steve_ HOST
Aug 25, 2003 (9:48 am)
Buick has been getting good ratings from JD Power lately, and I don't think the over-50 crowd (like me) is necessarily net illiterate.
Forums and surveys can all offer some good stuff. Even those with questionable methodology, like Consumer Reports.