Last post on May 05, 2013 at 7:47 AM
You are in the Ford Explorer
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Ford Explorer, Mercury Mountaineer
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Aug 26, 2003 (11:13 pm)
I own a 2003 Ford Explorer XLT its haves 30k miles in the odometer and so far so good, i had a 2002 and putted 65k miles in it. My brother is shopping for a used car and he haves on sight a 97 Mercury Mountaineer with the 5.0L OHV, AWD. So far Ive heard the 5 litre engine its very reliable, but I would really appreciate experiences from actual owners of Explorers or Mountaineers with that engine. Thanks in advance.
Aug 26, 2003 (11:37 pm)
I bought a 1997 Explorer Limited 5.0L V8 AWD with 41k on it about 6 weeks ago, have put 5k on it and any problems it has were there when I got it.
Right now it needs new weather seals on the front doors (they leak bad), it has an exhaust leak/sulfur smell, and the blend door for the heater is broken (a very common, very expensive problem, dealer quoted $1100 to fix it).
Am I disappointed with it? No way, I love it, its a nice driving little SUV. I still average 19 to 21 mpg on the highway (cruise set on 68 mph) and about 18 mpg around town. I've taken it off road (nothing big, just some minor mud) it does fine.
I am still a Jeep fan, but I think the Explorer will prove to be more reliable.
All in all, I think the 5.0 is a great engine and really makes the Explorer pleasant to drive, plenty of power.
#2062 of 6385 ogbonna: misfire
Aug 27, 2003 (5:48 am)
I would say a throttle body cleaning is in order. And I wouldn't worry too much about Ford's magical non-stick coating. If you can see carbon build-up then it didn't work anyway. Then go from there.
Aug 27, 2003 (5:59 am)
Back to the exhaust leak- I don't know if you've checked out the problem yet, but if you just have some loose bolts then they're easily tightened with the right wrench. Most exhaust problems are fairly easy to repair and the parts aren't real expensive. It's just dirty, rusty work.
As far as the blend door goes, you might consider taking it to a reputable independent mechanic to save some money, The blend door job does't require speciealized skills, it just takes a long time to disassemble all those dashboard parts. In my opinion, dealerships should have two labor rates: the "High" rate ($65-$70/hr) for all the specialized work that only they can do and then a lower rate ($45-$50/hr) for all the standard repair work that anybody can do. Paying $70/hr for basic repair work is just out of line in my opinion.
Aug 27, 2003 (7:23 am)
My husband said when he gets back from hunting next week he's gonna check to see if its just some loose bolts. He told me that on Monday before he left. For that matter my little brother could probably fix the truck (he's a mechanic and very knowlegeable about the 5.0L V8). He's the one who found the leak to begin with, all I said was it had a weird noise.
The Ford dealer here in Alaska charges $83/hr. That's pretty much going rate, I did have a good mechanic that was cheaper, but he recently raised his rates to $82/hr.
There is a quick fix for the blend door, but I'm not sure how good of a fix it is, its something that can be done in the driveway basically.
I have an extended warranty on the truck and am pretty sure it will cover the blend door repair, but I know it doesn't cover exhaust and emissions.
I'll get around to fixing the blend door as soon as things settle down. Can't have it in the shop right now, the Explorer is our only vehicle right now since our Chevy needs a new flywheel.
Thanks again for your insight.
#2065 of 6385 $83/hr?!?!?!
Aug 27, 2003 (11:18 am)
I thought you had to be a shrink to make that kind of money. Holy crap!
Aug 27, 2003 (12:31 pm)
You have to realize the cost of living in Alaska is somewhat higher than the lower 48. The going rate for a dealer mechanic in my area (Kentucky) is $65+ an hour.
Aug 27, 2003 (3:21 pm)
You should also understand that the hourly rate includes overhead such as rent, capitalization, equipment, benefits and so on.
Depending on the location and other factors, the overhead can be as high as 100% of the mechanic's salary.
Aug 27, 2003 (3:58 pm)
I had two of them. They were the finest cars I have ever owned, totally reliable and a pure delight to drive.
#2069 of 6385 Egg smell revisited......
Aug 27, 2003 (5:32 pm)
Well, I talked to the ford dealer today, they think its the catalytic converter in my truck but need to *diagnose* it first, if its not, i'm out $167, but might know what the smell is, if it is, well, its covered under the emissions warranty and I'm out nothing and the smell goes away.
I'm thinking that's what it is now, they said it wouldn't necessarily trigger a CEL and I'm noticing more and more lack of power. Darn thing was like driving a Geo metro today, had to go through the hills, thought I was gonna have to get out an push.
I'm becoming less and less amused with this Explorer, the transmission is stumbling, no power, smells terrible, the doors leak, oy!! What's next?? Reminds me of the 94 Navajo (2 door Explorer) I used to own. I still like the truck, but the Chevy in our yard looks more appealing at this point.
So, I'll keep it until the extended warranty is up and move on, least it will be paid for by then.
I'm starting to think about just going back to a horse and cart, least then I can get *under the hood* myself and fix it.